No. 34, November 1976
For richer for poorer
While looking through the bits and pieces that have come into Wentworth Avenue lately, we found a few paragraphs of sat- sang that we felt were worth sharing. Coincidentally, they are all from initiators. The first question and answer is from an interview with Bill Patterson, and is taken from the South American's Colombian Newsletter.
What do you understand by "the family of love"?
Guru Maharaj Ji says he wants to make this world into a family of love, as he mentions in the film. Our first reaction is "Wow, beautiful!" But a family has to continue being a family even when there are difficulties or clashes, they have to overcome all obstacles and this is the commitment we have to understand.
We have so many ideas about love and family. We know that the family is an established institution in this world, and that we cannot realise Know- ledge alone, because that is really impossible. And we know that there is something inside that does not want to come out and face up. I can- not see my own face without a mirror but others can see it. In a deeper sense, I cannot see my faults or limitations, years and years may go by without my seeing these faults. But if premies are going to live to- gether, we are going to have a mirror with us and that is a process which can be very intense. At times we are going to make mistakes and sometimes things will be very dif- ficult, that is why we need a foundation such as a family in which we have a lot of trust and in which we help each other - not just see someone doing something, turn around and walk in the opposite direction and say: "Oh, I feel that is wrong, but I don't want to say anything so he won't feel bad."
The foundation of the majority of families is marriage and in the marriage ceremoney there is a vow of submission: "For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish 'til death do us part.' That is what it's about. That is love, we need that foundation. When two people are joined in marriage definitely there is love at first, but after a few months or years they begin to see the reality of living together. And though there is value in living together, you have to understand how to live together. It's a promise, nothing more.
When there are problems, when we have different ideas, we still have to love. We as premies really have to serve each other. There are times in Knowledge when everything is beautiful, when there is inspiration, an inspiring satsang, when meditation is beautiful, but there are times when things don't happen that way and we are going to go through that experience. And at that moment we can say, "Oh, all the premies are so crazy, satsang is nothing," so we leave everything and go. But it's not like that, we have to live it all. Love is that contract and through it we can arrive at something much greater. I believe that the family of love is composed of two things: one is that premies have their own understanding and their own purpose in life, that they are strong in this sense, that they have their relationship with Guru Maharaj Ji. Secondly, that they recognise the necessity of having a strong relationship with other premies, in their lives. And when we have these two things, we can start living and experiencing Knowledge.
From an interview with Padarthanand, conducted by Malcolm Davey, an Australian expatriot in Denver.
It seems that here we're trying to drop the spiritual framework that the Mission is in, trying to stop relating to Knowledge like it's a religion, which is the way the public tends to see it; premies here are trying to convey the experience as it
The Golden Age
just is without the concepts around it. Have you noticed this happening?
Yes. I have been seeing that people are trying hard to stop those spiritual concepts. But again, we can change external forms, but the root of this creation and the root of human life - and the root of DLM - is the spirit: how can we change that? So like, again that's sometimes a lack of understanding; we go from one extreme to the other extreme. So like I was saying, externally my dress has changed and my hair is growing, but potentially in essence I am the same. Before I got this title "Mahatma" I was something; the title was given to me and that title was changed to "Initiator" but still I am something with all these titles and uniforms, still I am something and that something is the spirit, the soul. Similarly, the base of DLM is the spiritual Knowledge, Knowledge of the spirit, Knowledge of self. So what are we going to convey to people? We can say to them, "We have got peace, you need peace." But then, how is that peace going to be? Through Knowledge. So you see, we can't completely throw out these old things. We are changing external things so that people can relate, but actually we are trying to get through that same message, that Knowledge, that Knowledge of the spirit.
From an interview with Guru Charnanand, printed in Denver's community newspaper "Light Reading".
There's a narrow line that you have to take between staying within yourself and staying within Knowledge. And what happens is a lot of premies go back to doing something they used to do before and get drawn out of Knowledge. Can you talk about the narrow path of Knowledge?
Actually I can say that the mind or, you can say, the ego starts playing these trips again. And some premies think that now they have Knowledge they can do meditation by themselves, they are strong enough to remain centered into this experience no matter where they are. Then slowly, slowly they get drowned in the same old habits. That's why we need Guru Maharaj Ji all the time to guide us. But if we are far away from him, then who is going to uplift us again? And that's called really misunderstanding. If a child thinks he really doesn't need the help of parents or elderly people, that's a completely wrong idea. In the same way, we are small children, small babies on the spiritual path, so we should be under the instructions and guidance of Guru Maharaj Ji. Otherwise there is a risk of going back. So that's why even after the attainment of enlightenment, the greatest spiritual masters have advised to remain always in meditation, satsang and service. Remain aware of that experience because at any time this mind can bring us back.
Do you have any stories or advice for premies who would like to settle down in society and do something that they feel will use their talents?
The most important thing is to have love for all human beings. because what humanity needs from us is love. That's the most important thing. Then, once we start loving anyone, second thing is to be truthful to your- sel to be dutiful in your own life. And once we are aware of our own duty and Concentrate our attention upon that particular object, we don't need to say to others to do this and don't do that. They automatically learn from our own example.
If we have something for others, that is love. Love is for others and this awareness of our duty is for our own selves. A dutiful man can really inspire others to be dutiful. If I start thinking of your duty, I will forget my own duty. That will compell me to make mistakes and my own mistakes will bring suffering into my life. Most of the time we suffer because of our own actions, but we blame others. We don't realise that this is the result of our own mistake.
So we should be aware of our own duty or action and just give love to others. If I love you, you will definitely accept my advice also, because you know that I really love you, I really want to help you or wish good for you. Then you will be open to me. And if I just give you advice, do this and don't do that, and if I do not express any love for you, you will not accept it.
If anyone experiences Knowledge inside, it must be projected outside by that person's actions in this world. Otherwise, how can we really say that we are experiencing the Knowledge if at the same time we are not loving others and behaving properly with our fellow men? Because what-every we experience inside, we project outside. The external world is exactly what we feel inside.
So in order to make people receptive to satsang, service and meditation and any good advice, you need to love them first. Lore is the opening door. Love others, remain cheerful and concentrate your attention on your own particular task. Then society will accept, parents will accept, the whole world will accept.
This is the first time I have stayed in Denver for a long period and I just enjoyed it a lot, learned a lot, understood a lot. Though I have been seeing big ups and downs and changes in the Mission, everything that happens, happens for the best.
Why is the sign these days of such change? We're growing, I guess. It seems like the Mission is always going through changes.
The Mission is changing because it is bound to change. All things of the world are subject to change. Divine Light Mission is not eternal, it is bound to change. But there is something which is revealed by Guru Maharaj Ji and this Mission that is changeless. We have to identify ourselves with that changeless reality and go through all these changes with that experience that nothing is changeless in this world. Right? Ups and downs are the beautiful dance of life of the liver of life. But let this flow of life continue until it reaches its destination. You should not get stuck in this. Let us do satsang, service and meditation. going through all these changes and ups and downs, for they are natural. And one thing I would like to say to premies, and that is to keep yourself happy. When your own self is pleased, the others must be-satisfied with the divine love. Just be full of serenity and dispassionate tranquillity, and you will find all your surroundings will adjust themselves aright. It is not your duty to worry and hurry about any business. Your only occupation and duty in this world is to keep yourself content, self-wise and self-blissed. You have no responsibility to anybody but to yourself. We are serious criminals to ourselves if we violate the most sacred love, cheerfulness and peace. Let other people, when they get up in the morning, do makeup, dressing and decorating their bodies or houses but when we premies get up in the morning we should
No. 34, November 1976
address ourselves always in the supreme happiness through meditation upon the truth. It is our first and foremost duty and all other things are just secondary matters in the play of life. Do not make fools of yourselves; think not happiness is in the objects of the senses. Rise up to the pure consciousness. The ocean of immortal bliss is within you. The kingdom of heaven is within you, so get well established in the divinity of your supreme self. Hold fast to your true position and no blame can come to you, no sorrow or joy can disturb your inner peace. Blessed is he who is drowned in heavenly intoxication. Blessed is he who is dead drunk in the divine madness.
by Terry MacKinnell
The next issue of the Golden Age will look in more detail at the changes in our community and national structure. Whatever we do, DLM is in reality what happens when all of us with Knowledge and those aspiring to Knowledge come together and do something. Obviously what we do as a whole should reflect what we experience as individuals.
What we all do together in the name of DLM is broadly outlined by Guru Maharaj Ji and the details and method of doing these things are filled in by us. What Guru Maharaj Ji indicates he wants DLM to do is:
i) supply satsang
ii) supply service
iii) provide for those waiting for Knowledge, and generally enhance the opportunity for all of us to grow in Knowledge, to become consistent and clear and develop greater awareness. The point we should arrive at eventually is where DLM is a tool of Guru Maharaj Ji to spread this Knowledge. We are learning the necessary lessons as individuals and as an organisation to allow this to happen.
And we are all definitely learning one lesson or another. When I look back at my own growth in Knowledge I cannot see a period where I wasn't learning something, if not a lot of things at once. Usually I don't understand the lesson when I am learning it, which may make it difficult at the time, but which also makes me realise how important for me personally are the guidelines Guru Maharaj Ji gives. Similarly with DLM: as an organisation it is like a baby or a small child, clumsily striking out in one direction or another, making a mistake here, doing something there–but learning all the time how to be better and more developed. This is why Guru Maharaj Ji lets DLM do what it does, because as an organisation, it has to learn. One way of learning is by listening to advice, the other way is by doing something practically and learning from the mistakes or correct actions. Both methods occur with the development of DLM. Sometimes Guru Maharaj Ji gives direct advice, because otherwise we may do something that is too calamitous; other times he lets us learn by our mistakes. But he is always there.
Guru Maharaj Ji wants DLM, at present, to be an aid for people to grow in Knowledge by supplying satsang and service. How we go about fulfilling that aim is up to us. The way we are organised together in DLM is still much the same as it has been for the last few years, but it can by changed to suit our needs and our environment providing it still is in tune with Guru Maharaj Ji's wishes. This is why there is a national director, because the national director is responsible to Guru Maharaj Ji, through Bob Mishler for the activities of DLM in Australia. It is Guru Maharaj Ji's prerogative to change whatever he feels necessary to promote this Knowledge. He obviously knows the the most about it.
Within this framework of Guru Maharaj Ji's overview and direction there are our own actions based on our individual awareness gained from practising Knowledge. The more we are individually in tune with Knowledge, the more our external expression is in tune with Knowledge, and the more our collective efforts in the form of DLM are in tune with reality. Guru Maharaj Ji encourages this, because he doesn't want premies being his puppets, puppets of IHQ, NHQ or of the local DLM organisation. We must be individually strong and clear in Knowledge.
Practically speaking, the form of DLM in Australia is changing. Within each community, the way DLM is organised is being dictated by the members of that community to a greater extent. The level of community involvement depends upon how much each member of DLM wishes to become involved. Though the way of organising ourselves may include community councils or community meetings and elections or whatever, the aim is still the same: to supply satsang and service to those who want it.
This change in organisation has naturally had its effects on NHQ and IHQ. National headquarters is becoming more of an extension of each community's organisation, supplying those things that are more efficiently done from a central focal point.
The Golden Age would be too expensive to print, edit and write in each state. If an overseas initiator comes to visit, or if Julie Collet is made an initiator, there needs to be a point of coordination for such tours. If Guru Maharaj Ji wants to come to Australia, somehow all the Australian premies must come together to organise it, and for reasons such as these there is a national headquarters. But what actually the Australian NHQ does will be a result of what all ofus want, or the great majority want.
At present national headquarters passes on letters and direction to the communities from Guru Maharaj Ji, passes on videos, films, and printed material, has a centralised finance system for handling AMP donations, runs the Golden Age, and speaks on behalf of Australia to Guru Maharaj Ji and IHQ. But again, what NHQ does, and how it is done can change, and most likely will, because it is only a tool of each local community. Any member should query their local organisational or community director about anything concerning the national headquarters. If the community coordinator cannot supply the answer, he will make inquiries to NHQ. If you cannot get satisfaction you can always contact NHQ direct, we answer all letters.
No matter how you look at our local organisation, NHQ or even IHQ, it all comes back to individual people. For any organisation to function harmoniously, the individuals concerned have to cooperate. We in DLM are fortunately both in having a very simple and practical purpose to achieve, in having the guidance of someone who understands that purpose well, and in having the opportunity to continually increase our own understanding of our goal, our own awareness of how best to achieve it, and our ability to understand and cooperate with each other. Although Knowledge is first and foremost an individual journey, the awareness and happiness we experience in our lives when we truly practise it are also the main tools we have at our disposal in order to help Guru Maharaj Ji achieve his - and our - purpose.