"The birthday party of the Yuga", Scrooge called it and for 9,000 premies it was a precious chance to be with their Guru Maharaj Ji, celebrate his presence, share his love and bathe in his indescribable darshan.
Scrooge was a character in one of the skits arranged for Guru Maharaj Ji's entertainment: a collection of plays and song-and-dance acts called "skitsophrenia" which Maharaj Ji seemed to take obvious delight in. At various points a broad smile would spread across his face, the laughter would shake his beautiful body, and the whole sea of premies would move with a sigh of love like a wave moving through the ocean.
It didn't take long to realize that everyone's focus was not on the stage but on Maharaj Ji and his response to the performance was our true delight. For as he said in his brief satsang, we hadn't really come together for the dinner or the balloons or the skits. We had come together because we knew our Guru Maharaj Ji might be there. We were his devotees, the most fortunate people alive, and to come together in that perfect love was our only purpose and our only real desire.
Normally a birthday party would be an opportunity to give something to the guest of honour, but again we were the recipients of Guru Maharaj Ji's beautiful love.
Tables for the dinner were spread out like spokes from the centre of a wheel, or rays from a light source and Maharaj Ji's throne was the centre. Coming down from the throne - an incredibly open staircase which he later descended to cut the huge 1200 lb birthday cake and inspect his birthday present. Somehow Maharaj Ji turned the huge Miami Beach Convention Centre into a living room and allowed us a precious experience of intimacy with him. When Michael
Golden Age 1
Maharaj Ji, when the devotion is alive for
Guru Maharaj Ji, then Guru Maharaj Ji
becomes alive for you."
- Guru Maharaj Ji
Dettmers sang opera. it was like one of the family performing at a Christmas party.
Maharaj Ji arrived after dinner, sat with us through an hour and three quarters of skits and music from One Foundation and gradually just melted us into a warm sea of love, letting us go deeper and deeper into him and the glow of his darshan. His satsang, even more precious because it was so short, seemed to be the essence of all satsang.
When he left the stage it was like my life was leaving me, and I could feel that the reason why we love Maharaj Ji is because he is our heart. We aren't made complete and perfect, and all the emotions and feelings we try to put in place of that perfect love are futile and stop-gap measures, hopelessly inadequate to fill that emptiness of separation from him. He is our fulfillment and we are whole only when we find the devotion which brings us back home to our Creator.
And there were some reminders for us too. Maharaj Ji himself gave us the scenario from Draupadi's tale, or "Who's Sari Now": a cautionary tale in Maharaj Ji's re-telling where Draupadi runs out of time, asking everyone else for help and leaving Krishna to last. As Maharaj Ji scripted it, the chorus of husbands cried, "Too late" as Draupadi lost her honour. (With Padarthanand in bloomers as Draupadi and Mahatma Jagdeo as the nasty king in a handle-bar moustache it was difficult to be too serious.)
On another occasion, the premies from the DLM National Office were acting out a Gilbert and Sullivan style version of this story set in a land where everything costs 3 p. and the foolish premie gets caught in a noose. At the point in the story where the king is considering whether he'll hang and take the opportunity of going to heaven instead, the premie playing the king stepped downstage to consider his options. Maharaj Ji took the opportunity to intervene, agreeing with the premie that indeed, "he hadn't been such a good person all his life." I don't know how that guy felt, but I know that Maharaj Ji's the only one who can pluck out our most secret confession and still make us feel so loved. We are so safe in his shelter. So healed in his love.
As Shri Maharaj Ji once said. "Devotion to Lord is like a herb that restores life. Without this there can't be any real peace. Happiness and salvation can't be found any other way.-
Initiator Mark Putnam was also at Maharaj Ji's birthday party.
I was involved in some of the skits that were happening for Maharaj Ji's party.
We rehearsed these really stupid skits - they would have been really stupid had Guru Maharaj Ji not been there.
I was to be a house plant in the first skit that was played and I just remember feeling, "Oh God, what am I doing? What am I in this for?"
Dressed up like a house plant, covered in greenery with a big flower around my face, I felt completely stupid. But there was Grace there, and I felt that Grace when we would rehearse.
After the dinner, we were all told to get into our costumes and come out. Guru Maharaj Ji hadn't shown up yet, and I remember having such a feeling that. "Guru Maharaj Ji, if you don't show up, this is going to be the weirdest trip that ever existed. If you don't come, there will be absolutely no life to this party." But as soon as we got back and dressed up in our costumes, then Guru Maharaj Ji came. And when Vic announced that there were some skits that had been prepared, Maharaj Ji said. "Okay.-
Ours was the first skit and I was the first person on-stage. It was such an incredible experience to just be there: to look up and watch Guru Maharaj Ji's face as he laughed at our funny costumes. Throughout all the skits there were so many beautiful moments. The birthday party wasn't at all what somebody's concept might be: that Guru Maharaj Ji comes, gives satsang, maybe he dances, maybe he doesn't. But Maharaj Ji came, and whatever was there, he enjoyed it. Whatever was happening. he completely flowed with it.
One skit was a take-off of Scrooge and Cratchit. Scrooge was a guy who received Knowledge but never practised it. He was completely tight. And his employee was Cratchit, this poor premie. Scrooge wouldn't give him any time off to get to festivals. He wasn't going to let him come to the birthday party, until he had a vision which showed him his past
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life including when he received Knowledge. Finally Scrooge gets inspired to practise Knowledge again, and he decides to come to the birthday party.
And there was one really incredible moment. Scrooge goes out on-stage holding what was supposed to be a picture of Guru Maharaj , but what it really was was this old picture frame - just an empty picture frame that was all dusty to show that it was really old. Scrooge picks it up, faces towards Guru Maharaj and peers through it. You could tell that from where he was standing, the real Guru Maharaj was sitting up there within the picture frame.
One of Scrooge's lines was, "Boy, he looks almost real.- At that point, Guru Maharaj waved his hand a little bit. It was so incredible. Yeah, Guru Maharaj , you are so real and so beautiful.
Basically, Maharaj just came to enjoy the skits. He gave about 8 minutes of satsang, then came down and cut the cake. There was a countdown to midnight to the start of the 10th of December. It felt incredible just to be at home with Guru Maharaj to beJi, there with our Lord and just to experience his pleasure, just to experience whatever there was there to experience.
Because what is satsang? A lot of premies seemed to feel that Maharaj was angry, that's why he only gave about 8 minutes of satsang. But for me the experience was, well, satsang is you Maharaj Ji. What is Truth? You are Truth. And the company of Truth is just your company. Whatever it's your pleasure to do, that's my satsang.
Because you're my satsang, you're my Truth. The experience of just being with you, of spending a night with you. That's my pleasure, that's my happiness, that's my joy.
At one point, a premie imitated Jagdeo, and Maharaj just completely lost it. He reeled back and started laughing and laughing and laughing, his head thrown back. So beautiful to see Maharaj so free and so loving, because of course when Guru Maharaj Ji laughs, everybody laughs. I think that most people were watching Guru Maharaj even more than they were watching the skits. Guru Maharaj Ji's definitely the most beautiful thing to look at. He's definitely what these eyes were made for.
It was such a beautiful evening of being with Guru Maharaj and enjoying his pleasure, feeling that my pleasure is when Guru Maharaj is pleased. And Guru Maharaj Ji was just definitely pleased.
Golden Age 3