THE INSIDE STORY Short Articles Written By Premies
No matter how many employment agencies you visit, or how many times you flip through the want ads, there's one job you're unlikely to find listed: the job of disciple.
And yet, some of the most respected figures in the history of the world have been disciples or have gathered disciples around them. Christ's disciples included
JOB OF A DISCIPLE
Peter, John and Matthew. John the Baptist had a circle of disciples. Buddha had disciples. Plato was a disciple of Socrates.
It just doesn't seem to come naturally to people of our time to offer any sort of obedience to another human being. And yet, think of a symphony orchestra.
At first sight, it seems a little strange perhaps: fifty or sixty grown men and women gather together in a beautifully decorated room, and surrender their individual tastes and preferences to follow the smallest gesture of one of their number. They give him their complete and unquestioning obedience. And stranger still, several hundred more people pay good money to sit and watch them.
But when an orchestra gets together to perform one of the Beethoven symphonies, that's exactly what happens. And the musicians' discipline, their obedience to
the conductor, is essential if the music is to be well-played.
Nobody wants to listen to an orchestra where the bassoonist is competing against the violins and the second trumpet insists on playing long solos in the middle of the slow movement. It isn't music.
The reason why musicians follow their conductor's lead is very similar to the reason why disciples of a spiritual teacher follow his directions with such care.
A great and wonderful harmony is the result.
Guru Maharaj Ji offers his disciples a path to follow. He invites them to practice three disciplines called meditation, satsang and service.
When a boy falls in love with a girl, his friends soon discover three things. It is difficult to separate him from his beloved when they are together. It is difficult to dissuade
him from showering her with gifts and attentions. And it is impossible to stop him from talking about her.
Meditation. satsang and service are rather like that. Putting it very simply, meditation means experiencing the deep source of love that is inside us all, satsang means encouraging each other to keep returning to that source and service means letting that love flow into our lives in the form of selfless actions.
Loving, talking about our love and acting on it.
As Guru Maharaj Ji puts it, "There is just one thing to say, and that is satsang, service and meditation. The path we have searched for our whole lifetime is right there, just three steps away."
When someone shares his experience of Truth with someone interested in hearing it, that exchange is called satsang. Literally, satsang means "to be in the presence of Truth." And though each satsang Is different, with different words and examples, its purpose is very simple: to help us understand who we are and why we are alive on this Earth.
If we know what life is, we know what to do with it. If you don't know what a tape cassette is, you might just use it to wedge open a door, or prop up a window -- something any old stick could do. But when you find out what it is, and you click it into a tape recorder, you're completely surprised. Music is everywhere. What you guessed it could do was nothing in comparison to what it really could do.
It's the same with life. Most people just live it, never taking a good close look at it. But really, is there anything more incredible than life itself?
Everything that you or I or anyone has ever done has only been possible because of the life within us. Every book written, every painting painted, every car driven, every politician elected, every child born, every thought, feeling and action of man since the beginning, is all courtesy of life. And free of charge, too.
Mysteriously, life brings us into the world, gives us its energy and power to do whatever we choose, and then at some point, also mysteriously, it withdraws that energy and power from our body. While we have life. we're free to use it, but ultimately it comes and goes beyond our control. It's not really ours, but on loan for a while.
That very life energy, if we could connect to it, is in fact the solution we are looking for. And because it is omnipresent -- everywhere -- it exists right within inside of us.
Once, while I was sharing this, a woman seemed shocked. "You mean this is already inside me? What
I want is inside me? That's impossible!"
I asked her to imagine something very small, about the size of a button, that had a very special quality -- whenever someone touched it, he was filled with happiness.
Then I asked her: if she were going to give it to someone she loved, where would she tell him to keep it? She mentioned this place and that place. But each time, she realized that if the person left that particular place, they would also leave the happiness.
Finally she said, "I'd tell him to swallow it. You know, inside."
Look at this beautiful creation with its sunsets and rivers and seasons and fruits and vegetables and so many things, each made with such detail. such care, such beauty. From beginning to end, it's a creation of Love, given to man by his Creator.
And joy and happiness is also there in abundance. But these are so special, so essential, that they are put in a place where they will always be available, and can never be taken away.
Inside. Deep inside where that life pours into our being. Behind our thoughts, behind our feelings, lies that treasure.
Yet even knowing this, if you try to experience it right now, you will fail. It's there. You're alive to experience it. But you cannot. You have two eyes. You have a face. But no matter how hard you try, never will your eyes be able to see your face without a mirror. The mirror makes the connection: that's lust the way it is.
It's the same with us. Nothing needs to be added. We just simply need to be connected up to our own life, to the perfection that lies within us.
The one who makes that connection is called the Perfect Master, because he has mastered that perfection and can connect us to it.
Who is the Perfect Master? What does he look like? Where does he live?
There are so many questions like this we can ask. And there is one answer: the one who can do it is the Perfect Master. The one who has enough knowledge and power to make that connection, the one who has enough love and patience to
guide you into that perfection and make that experience real for you, he is the Perfect Master.
Once there was a gentleman who considered himself a great seeker. He knew all the books, all the philosophies and sciences, all the prophecies and scriptures. Hearing that, in his own town, there lived the Master who revealed Knowledge of Life, he set off immediately. When he arrived, he announced to the Master that he was ready to receive his Knowledge. The Master seemed pleased, and handing him a cup and saucer, asked him to sit down for some tea. While casually speaking of the eternal Truth, the Master filled his cup to the brim and continued pouring. The tea overflowed the cup. overflowed the saucer, and spilled all over the gentleman who cried out, "Can't you see that this cup is already full? There is room for nothing more."
"Precisely."' replied the Master. "Empty yourself. Open your heart. Then return to me."
So, here we are. Life is within us. And Guru Maharaj Ji is the living Perfect Master. He is the Master because he can reveal that true Knowledge to us. We need only ask him with a simple and open heart.
And if we lack that humbleness and that openness at first, it will grow automatically within us as we listen to more and more satsang. Satsang is the first gift Guru Maharaj Ji gives us. It is a gift of such power and love that in one stroke it can cut through the unreality of our lives and give us a view of what is eternally True, what we were meant to experience on this Earth.
As we hear more and more sat- sang, our questions are answered and the longing for that knowledge of life, for that knowledge of God, is intensified more and more. When it reaches the point where we can imagine nothing more precious and nothing more necessary than this Knowledge, then we can ask Guru Maharaj Ji for it. And he will reveal it. That's his greatest joy.
And when he reveals within us that pure and perfect energy that has been called the Word of God, and when we experience that perfection for ourselves, then he becomes our Perfect Master and we become his devotees. As we deepen our meditation upon this Word. our being is filled with an unimaginable peace and Love. We come to know our true Father, our real home, and endless Love.
This is the gift that Guru Maharaj Ji is offering.
The contrast between life with Knowledge and just trying to strive for a "better" life, is very profound for me. The feeling I receive from that contrast simply leaves me very grateful to the Master, Guru Maharaj Ji.
And yet, when I first encountered this Knowledge, and the "Guru," this was certainly not my feeling at all. I was a young man (still am for that matter), fairly self-assured, but in truth, not much of anything. I was more like half-this or half-that, half- intellectual, semi-alternative, semi-business. When it came to anything that was the least unusual or "spiritual" (God), I would just say (with my best European air) "God is irrelevant." That was true; I was closed, not receptive to God. so how could I be aware of that presence in my life? I never asked myself, "Why am I alive? What is the purpose of my life anyway?" I just figured that it was trying hard not to feel too bad most of the time.
I remember one very clear scene when I was first hearing about Knowledge. My sister and I were very close. When she received Knowledge, she was working for the telephone company as a "customer representative." (That's a euphemism for: "I listen to complaints all day long.") Now her one complaint was that when she came home, many times she felt so bad that she couldn't eat dinner. Then one day she was telling me about her experience of meditation. She said, "When I'm meditating on this Holy Word, I don't have knots in my stomach." I could not relate to "Holy Word" but I understand not wanting to have knots. That I could appreciate very well. Gradually, I started attending satsang, and in a short time received the techniques of meditation.
That was seven years ago and the various changes that I have experienced on every level of my life have only added to my deep appreciation of Knowledge and Guru Maharaj Ji.
On the exterior, I am now the manager of a high-class restaurant. On the interior, where I have been connected to the experience of meditation, there is peace, beauty. and indeed, when I am meditating on this "Holy Word,- there are no knots, no problems. I can manage a restaurant without it "managing" me, without facts and figures, labor and food costs. dominating my every thought.
What would my life be without the experience of Knowledge? After having drunk from the clearest, sweetest-tasting stream. how would the Hudson River, right after an oil spill, seem?
I wasn't always searching for God. Most of the time it was simply a good cup of coffee. Or a pair of dungarees that fit. But as the years passed. an incredibly deep longing began to awaken in me. Like some amnesia victim beginning to come around. With very little warning, I simply found myself one day in the middle of the most ancient human adventure. I had entered the path," you might say, looking for that which was true.
Led only by intuition and a strong desire to experience reality, I tried just about everything. I fasted. I prayed. I attended "spiritual" lectures. I used drugs. I moved to the country. I went for long walks. I bought a dog and named him Zeke. I fell in love. And out of love. I meditated. I refused to speak on Sundays. I chanted. I read the labels on everything I ate. I read my palm. my horoscope and, above all, books.
Books. Books. Books.
Books from the East. Books from the library. Used books. New books. Borrowed books. Anything I could find that might give me more of a clue. Sometimes, in a rare quiet moment, alone by candlelight, I felt I had found it. Everything flowed. All was beautiful. But then, somehow, it would drift away. Or I would drift away. Or the phone would ring and I would be gone again …
The books seemed to be saying the same thing. God was within.
Peace was within. Most of them referred to the lives of the great Masters: Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, and Mohammed. Terrific. If they knew something more than I, perhaps they'd help.
And so I hung their pictures all around my house. Buddha in the living room. Krishna on the bathroom door. Jesus in the guest room. Anything to help. Anything to remind me that a was possible (though I really didn't know what It was.)
The closer I got, the more I read. the deeper I felt it was possible, the more frustrated I got. Was this "supreme enlightenment" only for people who lived 2000 years ago and said 'ye' a lot? Was it only for cave dwellers and wandering monks? What about me? What about this ex-suburban, chocolate-chipcookie freak with an uneven moustache and unmatched socks? Was I forever going to be a well-read peeping tom into the far distant past when the Master walked with his devotees?
The stories began to bore me. It was all myth and fairy tale. I felt like I was forever window shopping -- every time I reached out there was a wall of glass …
Then came the letter. The letter from Ed, my best friend. Probably the only one in the whole world who could have said what he said without me tearing the letter in two. He told me he met some premies. fol-
lowers of the (at that time) 1 3-yearold Perfect Master. He told me they had received a genuine experience from Guru Maharaj Ji and were radiating an amazing peace and joy.
I put the letter in a drawer.
So many times I had been approached by people who wanted to "help". People with causes. And ideals. Short cuts to infinity. "Free the Bulgarian 22." "Come tonight to a free lecture on blah blah blah ."
But my friend was persistent.
Soon he called and invited me to come and listen to one of Guru Maharaj Ji's initiators
Somehow I knew this was it. My eternal bluff was being called. Having been the professional, sallow-cheeked seeker for so long, I knew I was in for big trouble.
One week later I found myself sitting in a room listening to the devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji speak. My whole being was quaking. I felt
like I was sitting on the edge of the infinite. I felt like I was coming home. Knowing nothing about the etiquette of such gatherings, I raised my hand and asked one of my million questions.
"Guru Maharaj Ji can show you God if you want to see Him," said the beaming man before me.
"Er … right now?" I mumbled. "Come back tomorrow at 8 a.m." he laughed.
And so I did. What I experienced that day I could never describe. Far beyond my imagination, it was the essence of all. The power of life.
What each human being shares in common. Pure energy. Pure love. God's love.
Almost eight years have passed since that day. And the experience within me that Guru Maharaj Ji revealed has only gotten deeper. The grace in my life, the sense of wonder and gratitude, grows day by day. Though my recognition of Guru Maharaj Ji is still so small, I have seen enough to know that He is the One.
The Perfect One.
And He is here.
After seven years of hearing about Guru Maharaj Ji, sporadically attending satsang, and having dreams about Guru Maharaj Ji, I finally saw him in Tucson, in July, 1978. I was completely exhausted and half-asleep by the time he came on stage. As he began to give satsang I woke up and was more attentive than I have ever been in my life. That one night of actually being in Guru Maharaj Ji's presence began a deep hunger in me.
The more satsang I read and heard, the more I realized that this Knowledge is what I had always been looking for. I still wondered who this Guru Maharaj Ji was and why he was such an unlikely-looking source of this most essential information and beauty, but I just knew I wanted true, everlasting love in my life and in the lives of my children. I was at a point where I was willing to try anything that didn't pollute my body, break my heart or endanger my life. I decided to give Maharaj Ji a try -- to ask him to please open up my battered-by-thisworld heart and let that true love flow into my life. When I heard about a week-long festival in Florida with Guru Maharaj Ji, I could hardly wait to go.
In Florida, I fell in love with Maharaj Ji. It seems preposterous that he can answer everyone's prayers and satisfy every longing in our hearts, but that is my experience. Every prayer I made to Guru Maharaj Ji was answered. In fact, I was having such a beautiful experi-
ence that for ten days I completely forgot about my deepest pain -- the death of my beloved companion and father of my son.
After a few more months of sat- sang, I received his Knowledge and began to meditate on it as I was instructed. I am wayward and lacking in focus and concentration but as I try to do what he asks, I have more experience of that perfect love.
I still do not understand why. I only know that as I follow his direction I am more in love and able to share this joy than ever before in my life. Guru Maharaj Ji has shown me that love that is everlasting and not dependent on this body. Guru Maharaj Ji is the source of the most pure, crystal, everflowing experience which is totally transforming and fulfilling me.
I work as a software development engineer in a large aerospace firm. My work realm is logic, mathematical modeling of space environments and mechanical engineering. In his discourses Guru Maharaj Ji tells me, and in my life shows me, that that is not what I really am.
I am a premie -- a person that loves, and is loved by. Guru Maharaj Ji. That is the case now, has always been the case and always will be the case.
At a festival where Maharaj Ji spoke in 1977 he described a person's life as a series of chapters in a book. The first few are about a person's coming to the point in his life where he sees that there must be something more than random experiences and ideas and he begins a search for life's meaning. Then, as the "book" progresses, he finds Guru Maharaj Ji, and the most exciting part of the drama unfolds.
But even in those early chapters, he said. Guru Maharaj Ji plays this whole mystic incredible role, paving a parallel path with you through your life. I see that now.
When I came to Maharaj Ji. I wanted Truth. I was miserable, but. man. I knew there had to be something. And yet, when I saw that first poster about "The Guru," all I could think was, "What can a fourteenyear-old kid teach me -- an intelligent, worldly-wise adult of eighteen?"
Then, a few days later, a girl turned around in my Chinese Poetry class and handed me a pamphlet about "The Guru". I read it. It talked about "Divine Light." and "The Holy Word" inside. Inside of me!
And inside of me something responded and said, "Yes. I want this Knowledge."
I went to the address given in the pamphlet that afternoon, and continued to go for another few weeks, and then received Knowledge. I
found out that I have a heart.
In that Knowledge session I discovered that I'm not alone. There's someone in here with me. It knows me. It loves me. But, it wasn't until the first time I saw Guru Maharaj Ji that I knew who it was.
Maharaj Ji talks a lot about "Guru Maharaj When I first noticed that, it completely floored me -- "Who's he talking about?" Then I realized. Guru Maharaj Ji is not just that body. He is that energy, that consciousness, that underlies and operates the entire creation. And Guru Maharaj Ji is also that access port to the experience of that energy, of that consciousness. He is the singularity in the equation that describes this world. He is the one who is here, but also everywhere.
And the more I open up to that, the more beautiful life becomes, in all ways. I experience love inside that is so strong that it shakes me, uplifts me and uplifts those around me. I even work better, since there's less of that noise going on in my head that can distract my concentration.
You know that feeling when you fall in love -- everything is beautiful. Amplify that a few thousand times and that's what Guru Maharaj Ji's love is like.
His love lets me see love in people around me. But what really means
something to me is the ever-increasing awareness that I have a chance to serve, to give, to dedicate to the Lord. That Lord that everybody wants to know. I know Him, inside. I can connect with Him through meditation, service and satsang.
This gift of Knowledge of the soul is what Maharaj Ji reveals in a person's heart. And when that happens, man, that's everything!
And then you turn around to find that you love Guru Maharaj Ji -- all of Guru Maharaj Ji -- more than you could ever love anybody. anything, in the whole world.
Man has often been described as the crown of creation, yet he destroys like no other creature. It is man who has polluted the planet. It is man who is frustrated and aimless. It is man who hates. fights and kills. It is man who is on the brink of his own destruction. Surely this is not the life for the crown of creation! What is it then that can bring man to a place of dignity and respect? Perhaps, as Guru Maharaj Ji has said, man will receive his gold medal when he finally achieves peace. Perhaps man will unite, love, serve and devote himself when he finds his Creator and tunes himself to what he has been created to do.
In the ignorance of his purpose, man suffers. Not knowing his Creator, man is orphaned. Yet out of suffering, man reaches for the answer and is humbled to ask for help. That help comes from the Perfect Master. When man is ready to go beyond, when man has realized the artificiality, the limitation of his condition, he is ready to respond to the presence -- the love,. the play, the satsang -- of the Perfect Master.
Guru Maharaj Ji is the living Perfect Master. Like king, emperor or president, Perfect Master is a title given to describe a unique and special function. Guru Maharaj Ji comes to take man from darkness (ignorance, emptiness and frustration) and put him into Light, inner and lasting peace.
The bridging of man's gap between darkness and Light has been called enlightenment, illumination or rebirth. Inner Light is seen and found to be completely soothing to meditate upon and become absorbed in. It is revealed by Guru Maharaj Ji along with the Eternal Sounds or Music, the sweet Nectar of life, and the Word of God, or Holy Name, which is the actual vibration of life from which everything emanates.
The inner awareness of these experiences is called Knowledge. This Knowledge cannot be learned or bought, it can only be asked for and revealed. When Guru Maharaj Ji sees in us the recognition of our own
need for Knowledge, when he sees our sincerity and faith in him, that connection is shown in a Knowledge session held by one of his initiators, a disciple whom he appoints for that service.
Guru Maharaj Ji not only reveals Knowledge, he also gives the grace to realize it, to become one with it. There is such an incredible necessity of guidance for the realization of that infinite experience. We are so small compared to this world, so small compared with the universe, and the universe is tiny compared with infinity. Yet man has the audacity to think that he can make it on his own. Man cannot even make it beyond his own life span, beyond his own grave. Not one creature can transform himself into another. Man does not hold the key to life and death. Perfect Master does.
Why? Because he does.
Guru Maharaj Ji can take the limited consciousness of the true seeker and lock it into the unlimited consciousness of the infinite, the source from which all things are generated. The purpose of this -- the real joy of this -- is that Knowledge enables a man to know and recognize his Lord. That Lord grants the gift of Knowledge so that in awe of Him, we can lose our pre-occupation with our own petty identities and become the creatures of spontaneous love and adoration that we are.
The Living Master is here -- here with his purpose. his love, his guidance, and his correction. It is only with the living Perfect Master that we can enter into the Divine Play for which he is so famous. When the Master and his disciples come together. the purpose of this entire creation is realized.
Guru Maharaj Ji, in all his power and wisdom, is the eternal child -- free. happy. no ego, no pride, no anger. no jealously and no reaction. He makes his premies, his devotees, his lovers, like himself. No one can imagine the love and shelter Guru Maharaj Ji has for his devotees.
Guru Maharaj Ji is over-brimming in boundless love, the love we all crave. His love is constant. We can turn away. doubt, criticize, forget, but he is always there. accepting, forgiving, understanding, yet strong in reminding us of the experience we should be in.
Man is renowned for rejecting the Perfect Master of the time. In fact. the Perfect Master is a complete shock to the worldly mind. Mind is a capacity that is not content to simply help us function in this world. but goes on thinking, thinking, thinking. The uncontrolled thoughts of mind create those fears which give man nightmares, make him angry, drive him insane. We all have that craziness within us to one extent or another. It has developed in the absence of Knowledge and we all need to be rescued from it. The only way to be saved is to be in the Truth itself. Two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time so the Perfect Master brings our consciousness into the experience of the Holy Name where eternal tran-
quility of mind is found.
The Holy Name is pure consciousness. the essence of everything. It is the vibration of love and it keeps us alive. Concentration on the Holy Name lets you feel the true caress. Its love never stops. At first we are unused to surrendering to that pure love because we are so prone to thinking and worrying. Mind has become so strong it doesn't want to be lost within the ocean of love and bliss within us. It kicks up, it resists, it makes excuses. Mind is so tricky that it's hard to know when it's got you. But Guru Maharaj Ji knows.
As human beings we are trapped in a maze and can't see which way to go. Guru Maharaj Ji knows the way and he is always here to tell us our next step. He is always just in front of us, beckoning us on. He gives us the way and the grace to constantly meditate and come into that natural state of being where he is. That is the way we have been created to live. Guru Maharaj Ji tunes life into a dance with the Giver of life Himself.
Picture yourself on a major freeway in summer, on your way home from work. Part of the road is under construction. It's rush hour. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper. You've been sitting in your car.. a long time, hot and tired, without getting very far. Other drivers are sticking their heads out their windows, yelling at each other. Inching forward, you wonder if you'll ever reach your destination.
Hold it -- wasn't there another road around here? Before they built this asphalt artery that's getting you nowhere? Something in the vague shadow of memory tells you there was another road, but you can't see it from where you are. You assume it's gone -- and wish it wasn't.
Then it happens. Some unseen, powerful force picks up your car, moves it sideways, sets it down on a parallel road. A strange experience, yet oddly natural. as if it's happened to you before and you knew, somehow, it would happen again.
This road you're on is old, but smooth, straight and clear. Feeling it beneath you, solid, you realize it's always been there. You feel relieved, cool, refreshed. Above all, you're thankful for the helping hand.
The power that put you here seems to be pressing the accelerator, moving you. All you have to do is to make sure you stay on this road and enjoy the ride. You're going home.
"This is what you have to find in the world. There are many paths. Many. many paths … all seem beautiful. But there is one path which we hardly can look at, because it is so bright. People who are really people. people who are really humans, walk on it. The man who walks this bright shining path always gets brightness. And God handles him …
-- Guru Maharaj
The path of Knowledge is the road beside the road, an alternate route through life. It's always been there -- always -- but it takes a totally loving power to lift us up, move us away from the road blocks, and reveal the most natural, most flowing way home.