MAHARAJI'S EFFORTS TO LET PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT KNOWLEDGE ARE ENTIRELY SUPPORTED BY VOLUNTEERS - PEOPLE WHO FEEL ALIGNED TO HIS WORK AND ENJOY PARTICIPATING IN IT. WHAT FOLLOWS ARE EXCERPTS FROM INTERVIEWS WITH 8 OF THESE PEOPLE IN WHICH THEY DESCRIBE WHAT THEY DO AND WHY THEY VOLUNTEER:
"I help out at the place we've rented in New York to give introductory programs. I notice that after a little bit of participating I become me. I experience myself - something that doesn't have to be hidden or masked or presented. I experience my deeper self. That's the fun. It's not what I do or even how I do it. It's that I take a step. And I am grateful to have something to do so that I can take that step."
NEW YORK. NY
"I volunteer because there's a joy inside me that comes alive by participating. I see Maharaji doing what he does and it inspires that part of me that also wants to move ahead. It's not always been easy. Sometimes it requires some stretching and growing. But there is something within me that really does want to get stretched, that really does want to get on the road and walk. Participating has really helped me find a great strength in myself."
"Locally, I've been taking care of the mailing list. I keep it updated and help send out some of the mailings. I volunteer because giving my time even in a small way makes me feel good inside and I enjoy that feeling very much. Of course, sometimes I find myself wondering how I can fit everything into my schedule. But I usually find that once I start doing what needs to be done, its a lot of fun. It's exciting to discover that I sincerely love being involved in Maharaji's work. I think Knowledge has enhanced my ability to be more genuine in the desire to give."
"I try to be involved in whatever kinds of things come up. Right now, I'm the sponsorship representative in Cincinnati and other parts of Ohio. Volunteering gives me a very good experience. I feel energetic and inspired. And it spills over into every other area of my life - my work, my family and my other relations. What I've found when I participate in Maharaji's work is that I'm actually reinvesting this good feeling. It increases whatever I'm feeling in the first place. Sometimes, of course, I run into obstacles. But there's always inspiration to go past these obstacles. I come from a real service background. My parents were into social service and my training was in the social service field. But there's something Maharaji is doing that is on a whole other level than 'doing good.' I've done a lot of volunteer work for organizations. But this is not like that. This has more depth to it. It has an effect that goes beyond cultural limitations. And that amazes me."
"What I do is communicate with people in my area and let them know what's happening with Maharaji's work. I do it because it's something I believe in wholeheartedly. I've seen the beauty, love and growth that Knowledge fosters and how it helps people enjoy their own lives more. I want to support that. Basically, Maharaji is relying on volunteers - people who feel something for what he's doing and want to help. It feels good to know that what I'm doing enables him to reach more people around the world - so that one day they can have the opportunity to receive Knowledge and enjoy it."
"The reason I keep volunteering is because I believe in what Maharaji is doing. Ultimately, it comes down to a conviction that I have - a commitment. It's different from many other things which I do because of what I'm going to get out of them. I don't, volunteer because of what I'm going to get out of it. It's more like the reward is already there before I start."
"I've never found anything that touches me in the way that participating in Maharaji's work does. To me, the challenge is consciousness - to be aware of what. I'm doing, of how I'm communicating and what I'm feeling. What I'm discovering is that every person is different. I can't have any preconceived notions about what is going on. I have to come from a place that is real - not from my mental attitudes. By having the opportunity to interact with Maharaji and watch him work, I'm learning about quality. I've never seen anyone else who consistently maintains such quality. Participating requires that I take the time and the effort to learn about that quality and to bring it forward into my life."
"Why do I volunteer? Because I've experienced something through Knowledge and want to play a part in enabling Maharaji to offer this experience to other people. It's not an obligation or a burden. There's something about participating that is vital to my life. What Maharaji has shown me is something that inspires me to contribute - to give out of the feeling that I have. For me, it boils down to something very personal, something that motivates me. It's not like volunteering for a charity. It's different from that. It goes beyond whether or not there is group involvement. I have the feeling that Maharaji's work is also my work."