Mahatma Ji, Julie and Faith arrived at Auckland Airport to be met by their premie pilot and baggageman on the the start of their 1000 mile tour of New Zealand. The Cessna 182 was ready and waiting. Harnesses tight, last minute Jaisatchitanands, the doors snapped shut and the engine flicked into life. Taxi, cockpit checks, line up and with a clearance to Hastings we were the start of Mahatma Gurupujanand's first national tour of N.Z.
After take-off we could relax a bit and enjoy the view from 3100 feet. Our route took us over a hydro-electric dam and the largest man-made forest in the world. Over Lake Taupo Mahatma Ji took a turn at the controls. It looked so easy as we went through a series of turns. On we went to Hastings where the whole community was waiting for a glimpse of Mahatma Ji. Our ground crew were quick and efficient and Mahatma Ji was in pre-Knowledge satsang three hours after leaving Auckland.
That night Faith, then Julie and then Mahatma Ji gave satsang. Everything was very mellow and although Hastings has a small community one could feel that the benefits of Mahatma Ji's visit would be far-reaching.
The next morning while Mahatma Ji conducted a Knowledge Review, Rhodes was test-flying the plane so that when the party arrived there was no delay. All aboard and we were off under an overcast sky heading south for Christchurch. The weather forced us down at times to 300 feet and we picked the most turbulent time to eat our lunch. However, half-way across Cook Strait it cleared up and we climbed to 5500 feet, cruised along at 160 mph and landed at Christchurch International.
We had two nights in Christchurch - a premie program and a Knowledge Review. Everyone came together and Mahatma Ji explained the importance of attending satsang and doing service to Guru Maharaj Ji through his Mission. That satsang not only inspired new people to take Knowledge but it also inspired premies to dedicate more and more of their lives to realising Knowledge.
We left Christchurch bound for Wellington but alas we flew into a storm 10 minutes out of Wellington causing us to divert to Blenheim. Mahatma Ji, Faith and Julie caught a flight across the Straits into a 75 mph gale arriving in Otaki some hours late for a program.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent in Wellington with Mahatma Ji giving almost continuous satsang. He stressed the importance of everyone bringing themselves together under Guru Maharaj Ji's banner; of supporting his Mission and of having a steady community of premies so that others can hear about Guru Maharaj Ji and Knowledge.
Before we left Wellington Mahatma Ji made sure that there was no room for doubt in anyone's mind about how we should be practising Knowledge.
On the way to Hamilton we spied a break in the clouds around Mt. Ruapehu so we climbed up to 9500 feet for a fly past the snow-covered summit. We could see the crater-lake and two climbers standing on the peak of the mountain. Two more volcanoes stood between us and the spectacular sight of the 250 square miles of Lake Taupo. One volcano was smoking and so we did a slow turn over the crater looking straight straight down into its mouth. Mahatma Ji then took the controls for about 15 minutes while a new course was plotted to Hamilton.
A premie program and a Knowledge Review were held on the two nights spent in Hamilton. Mahatma Ji explained how Guru Maharaj Ji wants us to understand the importance of this Knowledge, that understanding was an essential part of realising this Knowledge. Everyone was blissed out by Mahatma Ji's straightforward satsang - it is such a comfort to know that there just aren't any alternatives!
It took 23 minutes to fly to Auckland arriving there on the morning of Christmas Eve. Everything had flown smoothly over the last 10 days. Once we became accustomed to the aeroplane it became an informative way to see the country and a beautiful place to meditate.
And the tour had been a beautiful chance for every premie in N.Z. to experience incredibly inspiring satsang from Mahatma Ji. With such an example before us, individually and collectively, we can only grow in realisation.