Part Four - The Solution: Guru Maharaj Ji.
17 - The Present Perfect Master.
In this present time, that is in this, the final third of the 20th century, the living Perfect Master is Guru Maharaj Ji.
Those who have heard of Guru Maharaj Ji only through the news media or by hearsay are well acquainted with his personal lila or play with respect to the world at large.
He is a chubby sixteen year old Indian boy who wears immaculate western clothes, has shaving cream fights with his devotees, chews gum, watches television and has several expensive cars and aeroplanes. As such he destroys the pious image of a Perfect Master being old, ascetic, solemn and retiring. To judge any Perfect Master by his outward behaviour is unsatisfactory, for as we have pointed out, the only test of a Perfect Master is the Knowledge he gives. Each Perfect Master assumes that life-style which is needed at the time and place he is in, and since such life-styles can be very different, we must judge only by that thing which we know any Perfect Master must possess - the Knowledge.
Thus when someone asked Guru Maharaj Ji why he was teaching so young, Guru Maharaj Ji replied:
Oh, come on! How could I just come out of my mother's womb and become fifty two years old? I am not preaching my age, I'm preaching this Knowledge.1
For instance, the Perfect Master Krishna lived at first in the country, and then became a prince in the city; when a thousand years later people were expecting him to return, the Perfect Master Gotama Buddha appeared, who was first a prince and then lived in the country, and so upset all expectations. A Jewish Perfect Master, David, was a great king, and so later the Jews were expecting another war-like king for a Perfect Master; Jesus came as just the opposite. By the time people had got used to the idea that the Perfect Master must be meek and non-violent, Mohammed appeared. So the process continues; the Perfect Master comes for the sole purpose of showing people how to Know the One, thus eradicating prejudice, superstition, blind belief and set concepts. And his outer appearance and behaviour to the world is just the opening shot in his campaign to do this, and it often brings people up with a jolt. We tend to think that Jesus' behaviour was that which made people accept him as Perfect Master, but all it did was to make people want to lynch him. He was accepted as the Perfect Master, not by those who merely observed his life-style, but by those who had been given Knowledge and who thus had some glimpses of the Christ or Word which was the 'real' Jesus.
Guru Maharaj Ji was born on 10th December, 1957, the fourth son of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, who was also Perfect Master. Shri Hans Ji spent his life spreading the Knowledge throughout India, starting in the 1920s, and he died in 1966, when Guru Maharaj Ji was eight years old.
On 1st August 1966, Guru Maharaj Ji stood up in front of the thousands of devotees present at his father's funeral and said:
Dear Children of God, Why are you weeping? Haven't you learnt the lesson that your Master taught you? The Perfect Master never dies, Maharaj Ji is here, amongst you now. Recognise him, obey him, and worship him. 3
Of course, he was 'recognised' not in any physical sense, but simply by the objective fact that he could reveal to people how to Know the One. He continued to spread the Knowledge in India, and in 1969 sent an apostle to London, to give Knowledge to whoever wanted it. In 1971 Guru Maharaj Ji left India for the first time, and went to London himself and then to the U.S.A. Since then he has visited many western countries and has sent his apostles (or 'mahatmas', as we shall call them) all over the world.
'Gu' is a Sanskrit word meaning darkness, and 'ru' means light, so a 'guru' is one who leads from darkness to light, ie a teacher or master. 'Maha' means great, and 'raj' is a ruler or king, while 'ji' is just a suffix denoting respect. Thus 'Guru Maharaj Ji' means supreme teacher or Perfect Master. Guru Maharaj Ji explains the term thus:
We have to see one thing, that God is infinite, right? God is energy and God is infinite. Now to cover the area of infinity, you have to be infinite. Then only you can see it. Then only can you realise it, what it is. So how to be infinite? Which is the thing that is the same as or parallel to infinity? As big as infinity? Which is that thing? Perfectness … So you go to a Perfect Master … When we say 'Perfect Master' this is what we mean. A man who teaches you maths, you call him a maths master. A man who teaches you science, you call him a science master. A man who teaches you perfectness, you call him a Perfect Master. (Guru Maharaj Ji) 4
And Guru Maharaj Ji makes no bones that he is the living Perfect Master:
And as a matter of fact I am the Perfect Master because I can reveal this Peace. I am not saying I am bodily perfect. I am not saying I am perfect because of this reason or that reason, but simply for one reason; and that is because I can reveal this Knowledge which is Perfect. (Guru Maharaj Ji) 5
At the time of writing (March 1974) Guru Maharaj Ji has coming on for ten million devotees, most of them in India. In the West at the moment there are about 150 thousand. Obviously Guru Maharaj Ji cannot physically give all these people Knowledge, so itis the 'mahatmas' or apostles who actually conduct the Knowledge sessions or initiations, where the techniques of Knowledge are imparted. But as we stressed in the last chapter, mahatmas are not Perfect Masters; although they explain the discursive aspect of Knowledge, it is Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace flowing through them which imparts the non-discursive aspect we have already discussed, thus turning knowledge into Knowledge.
A mahatma of Guru Maharaj Ji is usually someone (male or female) whom Guru Maharaj Ji has given permission to give Knowledge. So because they can act as direct channels for Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace, they are very inspiring to be with and it is considered a very fortunate occurrence to be in their company. Mahatmas are either actual Knowers of the One or near to being so; they lead a renunciant's life, devoting everything they have to Guru Maharaj Ji, and they spend their time talking about Guru Maharaj Ji and the Peace he enables people to have, and in giving Knowledge; they often take a new name as well. At the moment there are about 2,500 mahatmas in the world.
Not only the mahatmas but also Guru Maharaj Ji's family are very active in propagating this Knowledge throughout the world. The Holy Family, as it is called, consists of Guru Maharaj Ji's mother, who of course was the wife of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj (Guru Maharaj's father), and who is normally called Mata Ji or Holy Mother; and also Guru Maharaj Ji's three elder brothers, Bal Bhagwan Ji, Bhole Ji and Raja Ji. While these four are revered as second only to Guru Maharaj Ji, they themselves hold that they are merely Guru Maharaj Ji's devotees just like anyone else.
Now while one could write whole volumes about the Holy Family, and in particular about Guru Maharaj Ji himself and the lilas he plays with the world and his devotees, we will refrain from doing so here. The theme of this book has been the question of how to find Peace in the deepest and broadest sense of the word, and so to carry on consistently from the previous three parts, we will in the remainder of the book look at how Peace is actually being achieved in the lives of Guru Maharaj Ji's followers, rather than look at Guru Maharaj Ji himself.
The essence of this short chapter is the statement that Guru Maharaj Ji is the present Perfect Master.
18 - The Knowledge
Since the Peace of the world depends upon the Peace of individuals living in the world, then in this chapter we will investigate how and why an individual comes to Guru Maharaj Ji for that Peace, and what the Knowledge is that opens the door for him to it.
For it is very important to understand at the outset that the Knowledge is not Peace - it is the way to Peace. This means that on receiving Knowledge the devotee does not immediately see the diverse as the delusion it is, and plunge into the Peace of Knowing the Godhead (though this does occasionally happen). On the contrary, for most devotees the Knowledge session where the techniques are imparted is the beginning of a process at which the devotee has to work. Knowledge is like a set of tools which the initiate is given at the initiation or Knowledge session, and he, the devotee, has to use those tools to achieve the goal.
The process of using Knowledge to Know the Godhead, involves the performance of three activities - 'meditation', 'satsang' and service. We will deal with these three activities in the next chapter; at the moment we just wish to emphasise that receiving Knowledge is not equivalent to realising Peace, it is equivalent to being shown the path to realise Peace, and that engaging in the three activities in analogous to journeying down that path to the goal - Peace.
It is very important for the would-be devotee to understand that he has to do some work with the Knowledge after receiving it. And obviously he'll only put in that work if he consciously wants to rid himself of the Unpeace he is in. This, then, brings us to the first condition that any would-be devotee must fulfil before he takes Knowledge - that he admit he is in Unpeace and that he wants Peace. This condition is not laid down for any philosophical or theoretical reasons, but is entirely practical. For if the would-be devotee has not desire to escape Unpeace, or else thinks he has already escaped, then were he to be given Knowledge he would have no impulse to practise it. The conscious need for Peace is obviously that which makes one put in the effort to practise the Knowledge.
To take Knowledge without fulfilling this condition has been likened to ordering a slap-up meal (the Knowledge) and then not eating it because one is not hungry. This condition then, is equivalent to accepting that the conclusion of Part One of this book applies to oneself - of course, not necessarily in the terminology that has been used here, but in essence. In other words, that Unpeace is unsatisfactory, and that one wants to find Peace.
The second condition for taking Knowledge is that the would-be devotee admit (if only to himself) that the methods he has used previously to achieve Peace have failed, and that he has full confidence that the Knowledge given by Guru Maharaj Ji will succeed. This is very important for a similar reason as that for the need of the first condition.
If a would-be devotee thinks that other methods, techniques or means will put him in Peace, then he will not have the initiative or compulsion to practise the Knowledge wholeheartedly. As Jesus said, "No servant can serve two masters." 1
This condition is equivalent to accepting the arguments of Parts Two, Three and Four of this book - again, not necessarily in the same terminology nor even in the details, but in broad outline. That is, that of all the activities we have been engaged in during our life, none have taken us out of Unpeace, and we cannot on our own find Peace. This is equivalent to humility - the recognition that we of ourselves cannot find Peace. It is essential to have such humility, because it allows the Perfect Master's Grace to flow into us. For by being proud and thinking that we can find Peace by ourselves, then we are expanding self or ego, and blocking ourselves off to Grace and understanding. Note, however, that Guru Maharaj Ji does not say that Peace can only be found through him.
My point is just this: take this Knowledge. That's all. If anyone else can give it to you, go there and take it. But if they can't give it to you, come to me and I will give you this Knowledge.(Guru Maharaj Ji) 2
This point can cause some difficulty for the person waiting for Knowledge. On the one hand he is told that the only test of a Perfect Master is the Knowledge he gives, and that one should believe only after having direct experience.
First you have to see, then believe. People do the opposite of that: first they believe and then they see. In comics you have seen comics? There are many advertisements for many many things. But when those things come the people are disappointed. First they believed, and then they wanted to see it. First see it, and then believe it. (Guru Maharaj Ji) 3
On the other hand, when he tries to get Knowledge he finds that it is not always easy, and that the mahatma keeps telling him to wait; the reason for this is (he is told) that he must become 'humble' and/or must have a great desire for Knowledge and believe in Guru Maharaj Ji.
This seeming paradox is simply resolved when one realises that although direct experience comes after receiving Knowledge, some effort is needed to practise this Knowledge for the direct experience to be attained. Thus it is the job of the mahatma to see that the would-be devotee is prepared to put in that effort before he gives him Knowledge.
It really boils down to the point made in Chapter 10 - "An Act of Faith". Before any understanding is achieved, we must make an act of faith about the methods we consider valid for such understanding to come about. We cannot prove the validity of these methods by the methods themselves, for that would be arguing in a circle and would prove nothing. Before anyone takes Knowledge he is being asked to accept and admit (at least to himself) that the faith he had put in various methods in the past for obtaining contentment was misplaced. Needless to say, such a humbling admission calls for some soul-searching and is often hard to make.
But not only is it necessary to accept that one's faith in the methods for attaining peace in the past was misplaced, one must also positively and consciously make an act of faith about the validity of the method of Knowledge and of being a devotee of the living Perfect Master, and all that this entails. Such an act of faith must always be made before accepting any method as being valid, as we have seen, but it is practically always made tacitly and unconsciously. But before taking Knowledge, it must be made explicitly and with full awareness.
It is often said that the effect of the Knowledge depends upon faith, but from that has been said above we can see that this is not strictly true. What depends upon the devotee making this act of faith is practising the Knowledge. An example of this can be given as follows: suppose I say that on page 201 there is a picture of Guru Maharaj Ji. Now until you turn to that page you will not know for certain whether that is true or not; but if you have faith, then you will make the effort and turn to the appropriate page. And if you do see a picture of Guru Maharaj Ji there, then you know beyond all doubt that what I said was true; but the truth of my original statement did not depend on your faith - only your verification of the statement depended on faith, since without faith you would not have turned to page 201 in the first place. Of course, very little faith is needed to cause one to idly flip the pages and verify such a trivial statement; but the statements made about Knowledge to would-be devotees are not trivial, and a considerably stronger and more positive act of faith is needed for the Knowledge to be practised wholeheartedly than is needed to turn a few pages. But the principle is the same.
Much could be (and has been) written about the phenomenological aspects of hearing about and waiting for the Knowledge: the panicky rejection of one's first encounter with the gushing superlatives of devotees ("Guru Maharaj Ji is Lord of the Universe" etc); the inexplicable pull to hear more; the amazing coincidences which seem to always put Guru Maharaj Ji in front of one; the asking of a mahatma for Knowledge; the travelling, the missing of jobs, meals and sleep and the desperate calls to baby-sitters; the frustration and the boredom while waiting for Knowledge; etc etc But the scheme of this book is not to dwell on these, important as they are. The main reason for Knowledge not being given simply on demand has been put forward above. Once these are accepted and understood, then the reasons for any individual incident in the process of trying to obtain Knowledge will become clear.
The Knowledge Session
Anyway, having decided that one wants to receive Knowledge and having taken the appropriate steps, at some point a would-be devotee finds himself in a Knowledge session.
The Knowledge session is really a birth; it is one of the decisive steps that a human being takes in the continuous process of being born which we began Chapter 1 by describing. Thus Jesus can say, "unless a man has been born over again, he cannot see the kingdom of God … Flesh can only give birth to flesh; it is spirit that gives birth to spirit." 4 It is at the Knowledge session that the "birth to spirit" is given.
In the remainder of this chapter we will look briefly at what the discursive side of Knowledge actually is, beginning with the 'session' at which Knowledge is given. We will deal later with how the Knowledge is actually practised.
Basically, to receive Knowledge is to go through a simple initiation which consists of the following:
2) A symbolic offering - eg fruit, flowers or some material possessions, depending entirely on the feelings of the would-be devotee. (No money or fee is ever charged for receiving Knowledge - the nature of the offering is solely the initiate's concern);
3) The explanation of four simple instructions, namely
- i) that the mahatma is not the Perfect Master,
- ii) that the devotee should henceforth obey Guru Maharaj Ji,
- iii) that the devotee should not reveal the techniques of the Knowledge unless with Guru Maharaj Ji's personal permission, and
- iv) that he should involve himself in the three activities described in the next section;
4) The revealing and explanation of the four discursive techniques of Knowledge, experimenting with the techniques by the initiates, and discussing and quoting relevant bits of various scriptures.
These are the observable and external events at the Knowledge session, but it is impossible to observe or measure the transmission of that which makes knowledge Knowledge. The initiate experiences certain phenomena (described in the following section), and from then on he finds that his life has changed and keeps on changing, utterly and irrevocably. In facts it becomes obvious either at the time or later that what was really given at the Knowledge session does not belong to the external world of difference, and that concepts and mental pictures are unable to understand it.
The sessions themselves are remarkably simple and casual, the non-external events taking place being so powerful that external pomp, ritual and props are unnecessary and only distract from the real purpose. The only 'prop' is a picture or small altar to represent Guru Maharaj Ji. Knowledge can be given anywhere that is reasonably quiet and free from interruption. The initiates are free to question the mahatma any time during his explanations.
The Private Phenomena
The techniques revealed at the Knowledge session are those whereby one is taught to concentrate on four particular private 'objects', or phenomena in the private world; namely Light, Music, Nectar, and an inner vibration or rhythm - the Word or Holy Name. These phenomena are not public, and in fact are always present inside us, but being very subtle they are seldom perceived. Even if they sometimes are experienced before receiving Knowledge, it is not recognised what they in fact are.
Because of the vow of secrecy one makes not to divulge the techniques, we will here discuss the private phenomena only rather than how they are experienced. Devotees do occasionally divulge the actual techniques (against Guru Maharaj Ji's instructions) and from time to time they appear - usually incorrectly - in print. This does not really matter very much (except for the devotee who divulges them), the only important thing being that non-devotees who read about the techniques and try to practise them should understand that they have only got discursive knowledge - they have not got, and cannot practise, the Knowledge (big 'K').
i) The Light
There is a glorious sun, not the sun you see in the sky, but a sun which is within ourselves which is much brighter, much much brighter than the sun you see in the sky. (Guru Maharaj Ji) 5
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (New Testament, John) 6
Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth (Koran) 7
God and light are inseparable as God and unity are inseparable. (Law) 8
The phenomenon enabling the non-differentiated Godhead to be perceived discursively as Light is widely documented by all Knowers and in all scriptures. It is often held that 'light' is just a symbol for truth or the One, and is just a way of speaking, as in the phrase "I have seen the light" meaning "I have understood". But those who have Knowledge will testify that on the contrary one sees, as one of the discursive facets of Knowledge, actual light - a light which is so pure and bright that it can hardly be described.
This light divine which I have oft described as being so bright is so overwhelming, so transcendent, that all lights are but darkness in comparison with this light. (Eckhart)9
The Light Unchangeable (is) not this ordinary light, which all flesh may look upon, nor, as it were, a greater of the same kind … Not such was this light, but other, yea, far other from all these. (Augustine)10
If the light of a thousand suns suddenly arose in the sky that splendour might be compared to the radiance of the 'I'. (Bhagavad Gita)11
This brightness is so great that the loving contemplative sees and feels nothing but an incomprehensible light (Ruysbroek)12
O Eternal Light of Divine Glory … thou art in my innermost depths … (Eckhart)13
This light is actually perceived but not with the physical eye; blind people can see it when shown how to look. In other words, we need to have opened a 'third eye', which the mahatma does in the Knowledge session. Thereafter, this light can be seen any time one cares to practise the technique.
If you wish to see that Face, seek another eye. (Shabistari) 14
For it is with the interior eye that truth is seen. (Augustine) 15
The eye of Knowledge contemplates the One. (Shankara) 16
But never canst thou see me with this thy natural eye, a celestial eye I'll give thee. (Krishna) 17
… (if) thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. (See notes for the translation of 'haplous' as 'single'). (Jesus)18
At the Knowledge session, some initiates see just faint patterns, while others see a brilliant sun or experience their whole head being flooded with light, whilst still others have a vision of Guru Maharaj Ji or a past Perfect Master they particularly loved (eg Jesus or Krishna). The Light is always with us, for it "lighteth every man that cometh into the world" 19 as St. John says; in fact, according to John, the Light is our life20 - the Knowledge merely reveals it.
Seeing this Light makes one calm and relaxed, and thoughts slow down or stop altogether. With continued practice, one experiences the Light to get intenser and brighter, and the effects from seeing it are increased in proportion. It often appears in the preliminary stages as flickering and shimmering patterns, but as it gets intenser then the flickering (which is but a reflection of the flickering concentration) dies down:
I am conscious of something within me that plays before my soul and is as a light dancing in front of it; were this brought to steadiness and perfection in me it would surely be eternal life. (Augustine ) 21
To experience the Light when it is bright and steady is to be purified of self or mind, and this is obviously the origin of the alchemical idea of purifying by fire:
The 'I' being illumined by meditation, and then burning with the fire of Knowledge … shines in its own splendour, like gold which is purified in the fire. (Shankara) 22
ii) The Music
There is a music going on inside of yourselves, and God plays that music. It is so symmetrical, so beautiful, that on the first strike, man's mind is concentrated. (Guru Maharaj Ji) 23
For him (the devotee) music is played by hands unseen, for him feet unseen beat time to dance. (Guru Nanak) 24
In every strain which (the devotees) hear from the minstrel comes to them rapture from the unseen world. (Shabistari) 25
I heard the divine music and was entranced. (Guru Nanak) 26
The Music is analogous to the Light in that it is an interior sound which is not perceived through the ears; deaf people can hear this music on being shown the technique. When shown the technique in a Knowledge session, many people often hear a murmuring sound which can be likened to the sea, a waterfall, a roll of drums, crickets or even thunder; as St. John said: I heard a sound from heaven like the noise of rushing water and the deep roar of thunder; it was sound of harpists playing their harps. (New Testament, John)27
He then goes on to say that only those who were 'ransomed', ie had Knowledge, could learn the song. For with continued practice, what had appeared to be a murmuring or a confused water-fall sound resolves itself into sounds like that from bells, gongs, harps and flutes; and subsequently one hears what can only he described as beautiful and melodious music. The effect of this is to completely entrance the listener, and give him great peace and calmness.
The Music is frequently heard even when devotees are not practising the technique, especially in calm and quiet surroundings. Some devotees hear the music clearly when they are near mahatmas or Guru Maharaj Ji.
iii) The Nectar
People drink wine and they say 'cheers'. But when you share this divine wine, it is really "cheers"! (Guru Maharaj Ji) 28
Everyone who drinks this water (from the well) will thirst again, but whoever drinks the water that I shall give him will never suffer thirst any more. The water that I shall give him will be an inner spring always welling up for eternal life. (Jesus) 29
From the Guru a pure nectar is obtained, and on drinking that nectar he is always satisfied with Grace and (his) thirst is quenched. (Guru Nanak) 30
He who serves the true Guru tastes divine nectar. (Guru Nanak)31
In the same way that the Light and Music cater for our senses of sight and hearing, the sense of taste (and smell) is catered for by the 'Nectar' or 'water of life'. This is probably the most difficult of the techniques, and so the nectar or divine taste is experienced rarely by new devotees.
The Nectar is a subtle liquid which can actually be detected and drunk with the appropriate technique, and in tasting it one feels particularly healthy and satisfied. The devotee who regularly drinks the Nectar will rarely get ill. In addition to fending off illness, drinking the Nectar sustains the body, and it is said that Knowers of the One can exist for many years if need be on Nectar alone (ie not eating food). The technique for drinking Nectar is not obvious to an outside observer, so that it can be practised in any situation. It is particularly valuable when one is under strain or in a trying situation where anger is near the surface, since the soothing effect of the Nectar makes one feel contented and well disposed towards others.
iv) The Word or Name
When all things began, the Word already was. The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was. (New Testament, John) 32
The heavenly Father speaks one Word and that he speaks eternally and in this Word expends he all his might; his entire God-nature he utters in this Word. (Eckhart) 33
If God stops saying his Word, but for an instant even, heaven and earth would disappear. (Eckhart) 34
Every creature has its being from the One Name. (Shabistari) 35
The Name or Word is God; it is the primordial energy of creation. The reader will remember in Chapter 8 we saw that only the forms of energy belong to the diverse; the actual energy itself is uncreated and undestroyed - it is the power which sustains everything, and we can call it the Name or Word of God.
The world thinks, people think, God is a man. People think God has ears, nose, teeth, and he rises early in the morning, brushes his teeth, washes out his mouth and he is an old man so he brushes out his beard also. But no - God is energy. God is perfect and pure energy, and that is why scientists say that energy cannot be destroyed and cannot be created …This is the Word. This is God. (Guru Maharaj Ji) 36
Now this energy is keeping us alive; it is our very life and being, and while it can be seen as Light, heard as Music, tasted as Nectar, it can also be directly felt in its most pure manifestation within the human body. The most direct manifestation of this "perfect and pure energy" is that of a vibration or rhythm.
Gaze at the sky, the earth, the sea, and all the things which shine in them or above them, or creep or fly or swim beneath them. They have forms because they have rhythm; take this away, and they will no longer be. (Augustine) 37
And in this, the fourth technique, the initiate is shown how he can feel this fundamental rhythm of life. It is of course not a mantra of any sort, or a syllable or a sound which is speakable or imaginable.
The name which can be named is not the constant Name. (Tao Te Ching) 38
It is revealed in the Knowledge session as a comparatively gross vibration existing in the human body, but even concentrating on this brings about incredible peace and stillness. After a short time of practice the devotee perceives the vibration as becoming much subtler and finer, and as he progresses it becomes so fine as not really to be thought of as a vibration any more.
Since the Word or Holy Name is within us constantly, it can be remembered constantly. The mind can and should be focused on the Word during any and every activity.
There is interior prayer without ceasing. (Augustine) 39
If we are to be, we must do; and our doing is hearing the Eternal Word. (Eckhart) 40
So remember the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself with a complete devotion. (Koran) 41
If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. (Jesus) 42
We started off this chapter by pointing out that to use the Knowledge to full advantage, the would-be devotee must fulfil those conditions which ensure he will put some effort into practising it. We then briefly described what happens at a Knowledge session, and then dealt with the four phenomena perceived in the private world as a result of practising the four discursive techniques of Knowledge.
19 - The Three Activities
Now although there is really only one reason for being a devotee of the living Perfect Master, namely to Know the One or Godhead, there are nevertheless several reasons why we need a living Perfect Master for this purpose. We gave seven such reasons in the last section of Chapter 16. From that section, we can extract three actual activities which a devotee should perform for maximum progress along the read out of the diverse and into Peace. These three activities are to practise the discursive techniques of Knowledge (called 'meditation'), to listen to the personal instruction of the Perfect Master and his close devotees (this is part of what is known as 'satsang'), and thirdly to do service to the Perfect Master.
Because these three activities are activities, that is they are things that the devotee actually does, as distinct from what the devotee feels as a result of doing them, then they must be the central point around which any examination of a devotee's finding of Peace must revolve. So it is that in looking at the Peace and Love which manifests in Guru Maharaj Ji's followers and so in the world as a whole, we will do so from the viewpoint of these three activities.
Meditation is the practising of the four techniques as revealed in the Knowledge session, and concentrating upon any one of the four private phenomena produced by practising these techniques and discussed in the last chapter.
Although meditation is sometimes called an 'internal' activity or described as 'going inside', by virtue of it consisting in experiencing phenomena (albeit private phenomena) it is diverse and discursive and hence external, according to our definition. As we have shown we cannot avoid performing external or diverse activities since we have bodies and minds which are part of the world of difference. The essence of Knowledge is that by the Grace of the living Perfect Master certain external activities are instrumental in harnessing that non-external and non-diverse power we have called Grace so that the One can be Known.
Of these activities, meditation is the most basic, since without it the others cannot be experienced fully; and also in being a private activity it can be performed anywhere, any time and in any situation, whereas the other two activities, being public, are dependent to a certain extent upon the environment.
In fact, so fundamental is the activity of meditation that if conscientiously performed it will automatically lead one to do the 'right thing'. New devotees often rush around after Knowledge, start energetic projects and constantly ask mahatmas and Guru Maharaj Ji "What shall I do?" The answer it invariably "Meditate", which can be infuriating to those brought up to solve problems through action in the public world. But the fact is that it is through the activity of meditation that the Godhead is finally Known by Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace, and on the way to this Knowing it Is meditation which is the unfailing guide and constant source of inspiration at all times.
The word 'meditation' comes from the Latin 'medius' meaning middle or centre, and so meditation can really be defined as 'going towards the centre'. When one actually reaches the centre, the heart of our being, the Godhead 'within' us, then one can be said to be no longer meditating, but is actually there, ie in a state of Knowing. Thus although to the beginner meditation is definitely a discursive activity, with the devotee here experiencing some phenomena there, as it were, nevertheless as one progresses its discursive aspect fades away the more one merges into the phenomena, and eventually Knowing results. (Thus 'meditation' as the term is used here, bears little relationship to its older meaning of 'thinking' or 'cogitating').
This process can be explained in the terminology of Pure Consciousness developed in Chapter 14. The reader will remember that the projection of the 'I' through the self or mind we defined as Pure Consciousness, the raw 'stuff' of awareness. However, in passing through the super-backgrounds and ordinary backgrounds in the self we are only aware of it as being impure and as being the vehicle by which we see the one distorted and as the diverse. Now we can think of the four phenomena described previously as being the most pure 'reflections' possible of this Pure Consciousness within the self. Because we are conditioned to perceiving the world through our senses, then these 'reflections' of Pure Consciousness assume pleasing forms in terms of our senses, and we see Pure Consciousness as bright Light, hear it as beautiful Music, taste and smell it as sweet Nectar and feel it as the Word or Name. The more we meditate and experience these phenomena, then, by virtue of the fact that we have two 'sided' Knowledge and not one-sided knowledge, we are manipulating the non-discursive aspect of the Knowledge to pick up the Perfect Master's Grace, which then performs its task of diverting the 'stream' of Pure Consciousness away from the self and Its backgrounds (which cannot be done other than by Grace, Chapter 14). As this happens, then obviously the 'reflections' become purer, since self or mind is involved less, and the phenomena perceived in meditation become more powerful and beautiful. This will encourage meditation to be done, so that yet more Grace is harnessed, which means that more of the Pure Consciousness bypasses self, and meditation becomes yet better, etc Thus we have yet another example of a positive feedback mechanism, which continues until our stream of Pure Consciousness is completely diverted from the self or the mind, and we are aware of Pure Consciousness as Pure Consciousness or 'I', which of course is what we have defined as Knowing.
Although the devotee is advised to spend a few hours every day in sitting and just meditating (say, one or two hours both in the morning and at night), meditation should be continuous, and can be done at all times no matter what other activity is being performed. In the beginning, however, the only technique to which this applies strictly is remembering the Word or Holy Name, but as one progresses in the meditation all four of the private phenomena can be experienced at any time.
In as much as meditation leads to Knowing of the non-differentiated and non-discursive Godhead, we can say nothing about it, except that it happens. Enough has been written previously about the impossibility of writing (which is a discursive activity) about Knowing (which is non-discursive and unitive). However, the fact is that in travelling speedily and efficiently towards the Peace of realising completely the One or Godhead, the devotee experiences amongst other things great peace in his mind and great love in his heart for his fellow creatures, each of which increases the deeper the meditation becomes. This peace and love, although belonging to and being caused by the external and diverse activity of meditation (hence their being spelt with small 'p' and 'l'), are nevertheless very powerful. The reason is, that although they are technically part of 'Unpeace' as we defined the term originally, nevertheless they are a peace and love which are continually increasing and expanding, since they are born of a process which is leading straight out of the diverse and into that total Peace and Love which comes from unitive Knowing.
Thus we must differentiate between the ultimate goal of meditation upon the Perfect Master's Knowledge, and the benefits and by-products which accrue from such meditation.
The former cannot be spoken about nor imagined, but the latter can be, since they belong to the world of difference.
And although these by-products such as peace, love, serenity, happiness and joyous bliss arise out of a discursive activity (meditation), that activity is unique in that it is given by the Perfect Master as the means to Know the Godhead; and so the by-products are continually being enlarged and strengthened, until indeed they become the goal itself and the fruits of seeing complete and total unity everywhere and at all times.
i) The Mind
The first by-product of meditation we will consider concerns the ego, self or mind, all of which are synonymous terms as far as this book is concerned.
The reader will remember that at various times we have defined the self or mind as being our private world, that of which none other than ourselves can be aware. Our projecting the 'I' through (or our Pure Consciousness shining through) mind and all its backgrounds gives rise to the delusion of this world of difference and diversity, and causes our attachment to it and its concomitant Unpeace. It is equivalent to us identifying ourselves with the self or ego, which of course increases separateness and is 'bad' as we have seen (Chapter 13).
Since on our model we can think of all activity in the diverse as resulting from the filtering of Pure Consciousness through the ego or mind, then thinking (which is a very definite discursive activity, albeit a private one) also has the same cause. In fact, thinking is one of the primary manifestations of the will to diversify and separate, and functions to preserve and protect the sense of distinct identity due to ego or mind.
Now the identifying with the ego or mind is a process which has been built up since birth; (and even over many life-times if one accepts reincarnation), and so in most people it is very strong and deep-rooted. Thus it is that amongst devotees the arch-enemies of liberation and Peace are always held to be mind and thinking.
But since mind and its function of thinking are the causes of practically all the achievements of human endeavour, then when a non-devotee hears devotees saying things such as "You must smash the ego!" , "You're in your mind!", "Don't think!", then he must wonder what it is all about. The fact is that the ego or mind and thinking are not bad in any sense of the word; what is bad is the identification with mind and thoughts. For by identifying with the mind, ie holding that "I am the ego" or "I am the mind", then discursive thought must arise and the sense of difference and diversity is strengthened. Since this leads to a deeper entanglement in Unpeace for all concerned, then it is 'bad' according to our use of the term. In the initial stages of meditation, one of the most obvious effects is the painful recognition of just how deeply we are bound by our own self or mind and are a slave to its workings. In trying to meditate, the new devotee becomes aware that his mind is constantly absorbed in a sort of private conversation or running commentary, and that it reacts to public and private stimuli by jumping all over the place and through every conceivable move. In trying to meditate the devotee can find himself swamped in thinking about being comfortable, sitting correctly, the wonderful benefits of meditation, how long it will take to calm down, how wonderful Guru Maharaj Ji is, etc - in short, anything but meditating. Each time the devotee catches himself wandering and puts his attention back on whichever of the four private phenomena he was meditating upon, he learns a little more about the subtlety of his mind.
After becoming tolerably familiar with the tricks, subtleties and juggling of backgrounds which go on in the mind, the devotee begins to appreciate the enormity of the commandment to meditate constantly. As Arjuna, one of Krishna's devotees, says:
The mind is restless, Krishna, impetuous, self-willed, hard to train; to master the mind seems as difficult as to master the mighty winds. (Bhagavad Gita) 1
But Krishna answers that the mind or ego can be mastered, only we have to practice our meditation. This of course, is the answer of all Perfect Masters.
Mind is the only thing that is making man unhappy today, the only cause of dissatisfaction. And how can you conquer your mind? Through this meditation, because meditation is the only hammer which can beat your mind down, it is the only rope which can tie your mind up. (Guru Maharaj Ji ) 2
Of course, once the mind is "beaten down" or "tied up", that does not mean we become mindless morons sitting around in vegetable-like bliss, as has been pointed out before. By conquering the mind or ego one becomes no longer a slave to it, and is not bound by the essential diversity and difference which it projects. A devotee who is truly in meditation, even if he is not a Knower of the One, by virtue of his being on the way to Knowing is largely unattached to forms of separateness and change, and while he recognises at least physical diversity, his heart is fall of peace and love. He uses his mind to think and speak etc, and performs many discursive activities in the world of difference, but his meditation enables him to be at all times in touch with that greater 'reality' and unity which lies beyond his mind or self, and so he is not trapped in the Unpeace of the diverse.
Thus we can distinguish two processes due to meditation which weaken the grip that the divisive ego holds over us.
The first is that in meditation the workings of the mind become very clear, so that in many cases just a recognition of an impulse to increase diversity as being a product of the mind or ego is enough for that impulse to be extinguished. However, as important as this is, by itself this process is insufficient for conquering the mind and overthrowing its tyranny.
The second process is really the fundamental one of meditation, and it consists in the approaching of the 'I' or Godhead. After all, Part Three was based on the assumption in essence that the diverse cannot be transcended by diverse procedures, or that the mind cannot be 'conquered' by the mind; and that we have to find that which is non-diverse, which we call the Godhead or the One. In Chapter 14 we recognised that the mind must be conquered, ie that we must 'die to self' but we came to the conclusion that to do this we cannot concentrate on 'dying to self' as such, but must pursue the positive goal of Knowing the 'I', when self or mind would automatically be under control.
Thus in the remainder of this section we shall look briefly at this second and more important process which occurs as a result of meditation.
ii) The Word
Although the devotee who has progressed considerably in the Knowledge can perceive the four phenomena of meditation at any time, for the beginner the only technique which can be continually practised is that of 'remembering the Word'.
So we will tend to talk in terms of the Word of God, even though what is said also applies to the other techniques of the discursive side of Knowledge. Of course, the nearer a devotee is to the stage of actually Knowing, then the more the Pure Consciousness of 'I' is perceived as the Pure Consciousness instead of in terms of its reflection in the self or mind; thus the more the four 'reflections' or private phenomena become unified, and can be thought of as simply manifestations of one thing (the One).
At the end of the last chapter we said we could think of the Word as that Pure Energy which can never be created or destroyed. While the forms of energy, such as Light, heat, gravity etc are continually changing and so of course belong to the diverse, nevertheless science is forced to postulate that energy itself does not change and is everywhere since everything can be thought of as a manifestation of Pure Energy, as we saw in Chapter 8. Since this energy itself, this Pure Energy, does not belong to the diverse, we can say nothing about it except to give it a name, Science calls it "energy" - Perfect Masters seem to call it the "Word".
Everything is existing today because of something, so what is that something? That something is everywhere, that something always is, and that something is the Holy Word of God. (Guru Maharaj Ji ) 3
(Thus although of the four private phenomena, one is specifically called the "Word", we can also think of each of the four as being a manifestation of that Pure Energy or Word.)
Concentration upon the word is alive and vital, since the Word is itself the essence of life. By its own nature, the Word aids the mind in concentration, and slows down all the mind's ceaseless chatter and whirr of mental activity which is extraneous to the task in hand. The Word is very powerful; in fact it is the power-house of the Cosmos and of our own life. By just touching it in one's meditation, even if only for a few moments, one feels completely refreshed and invigorated, as if being washed over by a great wave of peace and joy. Thus it is an incredible experience to be in true meditation, and although we have in the last paragraph used the word 'concentration', it is not to be thought of as a laborious effort, but rather as an effortless focusing of the attention on that which gives most satisfaction and contentment. After all, the mind can be characterised by its natural tendency to search for Peace, as we found in Part One, Unpeace merely resulting from the mind's inherent inability to find Peace in the diverse, and hence its constant restlessness. So the mind will concentrate easily on that which leads to the true Peace of Knowing the Godhead, although in the beginning stages before the true nature of meditation is realised, it can be - and is - hard work. The mind feels that it is being asked to sign its own death warrant, as it were, by letting its 'owner' meditate.
However, just realising to a very small extent even the power and bliss of the Word, then this feeling dies away and meditation becomes very beautiful and easy to do. The devotee is then clearly aware of the contrast between the level of thought and mind, and the resulting tension; and the level of the eternal Word, and the resulting Peace. Were one even to forget the Word subsequently, one can never be fooled and trapped again in the mind and its thinking, once the reality of the Godhead beyond has been felt by the power of the Word.
But if the experience of the Word of God is powerful, so is the mind; and the new devotee who has been trained all his life to turn his attention to the public world and to look to it for happiness and contentment often forgets to practise the technique of 'remembering the Word'. Of course, by an ironic paradox many devotees find that their mind, with true Machiavellian cunning, hinders them from meditating with thoughts and preconceptions about meditation, the Knowledge, Guru Maharaj Ji etc Because meditation is leading to, and is founded upon that world of non-difference we have called the Godhead, then in fact all explanations and imaginations about it are incomplete. Since mental concepts and expectations of meditation on the Knowledge always fall flat, then the mind has an excellent excuse to rise up in its own defence and argue forcibly against that non-mental thing which threatens to topple it from its tyrannical position.
Often in such a situation devotees try to seek solace in all the stories and dogmas, the 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts' of meditation and Knowledge, and while such beliefs can comfort the mind, they are no substitute for the experience of true meditation itself. Only the meditation on Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge can pick up the Grace needed to Know the Godhead, and so meditation is the only activity which, of itself, can enable us to find that calmness and rest which comes from heading straight for the Godhead. Progress in meditation and the Knowledge comes from the honesty to cling only to conviction based upon direct experience and to recognise that all beliefs and ideas by virtue of their being external and diverse, are insufficient on their own for obtaining Peace.
(As a postscript to this section we must clarify our use of the word 'experience'. We have been using the term freely in the last two chapters even though it has been shown (Chapter 12) that experience is essentially discursive. This is because until the One is fully Known we must be in and of the diverse, and so be in the realm of experience rather than unitive being. However, by virtue of the fact that in practising the living Perfect Master's Knowledge the devotee is directly approaching a unitive Knowing of the Godhead, then his experiencing the Knowledge, though only experience, is nevertheless valuable, convincing and unique. This section has been based on this fact.)
Service And 'Satsang'
Although the devotee should in theory be constantly meditating and 'remembering the Word', meditation is however a private activity, and the question obviously arises as to how the devotee should deal with the public world of which he is a part. How should he live, speak and relate to other people? The way to speak and relate to others is termed 'satsang', and the way to act is called service.
To begin with, it is clear that activity in the public world cannot of itself bring about Peace. Most of Part Two was involved in showing this, and the rest of the book was based on it. But a Living Perfect Master, by his Grace, can and does manipulate the public world in various ways, as we saw in Chapter 16; and in particular he offers the devotee the opportunity for performing activities in the public world which help him on his way to Knowing the One or Godhead.
Service we dealt with at the end of Chapter 16, showing that it helps develop in the devotee that obedience which lessens bondage to self or mind, and which thus makes meditation easier and helps harness the Grace we need for Knowing. It also causes, and is the result of, an increase in devotion, and since devotion can be thought of as the yearning for unitive Knowing of the Godhead through the Perfect Master - which is a prerequisite for being able to use Grace - then obviously service is in practical terms very important.
'Satsang' is a Sanskrit word meaning 'company of Truth', and is usually applied to being in the company of a devotee who is sincerely practising the Knowledge, and is thus manifesting to some degree that Truth which he has found in his meditation. Although the words spoken in satsang are usually (though not always) about Guru Maharaj Ji and the Knowledge, what makes satsang satsang is the fact that the speaker has at least partially experienced the Truth within him on his journey towards Knowing the One, and thus manifests a 'vibration' or 'atmosphere' of serenity and well-being. This 'vibration' can be felt by the listener, whether he be a devotee or not, and uplifts both listener and speaker alike. Since satsang depends upon this vibration of Truth, and not on the words spoken, then in fact the words can be dispensed with altogether; just being in the company of a Knower or One near to Knowing, ie a mahatma, is 'satsang' since the Truth and purity radiating from him can be felt. Obviously the satsang most sought after by devotees is Guru Maharaj Ji's. The subsection entitled 'Instruction' is Chapter 16 dealt with one aspect of satsang - that of good advice being given by the Perfect Master (or his devotees).
However, what makes the good advice 'satsang' and not just 'good advice' is the fact that it is backed up by the power and force which can only emanate from a devotee who is sincerely practising the Knowledge, or of course to a greater degree from the Perfect Master himself.
The importance of satsang is that it provides inspiration and encouragement to practise the Knowledge, and that like service it purifies the mind and so helps in meditation. Satsang is also that which makes a non-devotee want to become a devotee; since in not having the Knowledge and thus in not feeling that Truth within which comes from meditation, the non-devotee can only feel practically that joy, happiness and Truth which Knowledge gives in as much as it is manifested by devotees - ie by satsang.
Now since service and satsang are activities in the public world, then obviously their performance depends to a large extent upon the environment and conditions surrounding the devotee. Thus it is that Guru Maharaj Ji has caused to be set up two organisations which provide the optimum conditions for devotees to perform these two public activities. At the same time, by co-ordinating devotees' individual services, they are the vehicles by which the love and peace generated in devotees by their meditation are carried on a large scale into society and the world in general.
While these organisations exist to disseminate both the Knowledge and its effects, it is important to realise that they are in fact no more than organisations of individuals, and as such can never of themselves bring Peace, for being organisations they are external and belong to the diverse. Peace is being established in this world by individuals Knowing, or on the way to Knowing, the non-differentiated Godhead, which they are able to do only by virtue of their meditation and the Grace of the living Perfect Master, Guru Maharaj Ji. In short, these organisations channel, co-ordinate, focus and organise the 'raw materials' of Peace, but they can never be their cause. Thus to criticise Guru Maharaj Ji's organisations on the grounds that Peace can never be established by means of them is invalid, since they are not the causes of Peace, but merely exist to amplify that Peace which is generated in devotee's lives on account of their practising the Knowledge. This 'amplification' works in two directions one is in uniting devotee's efforts to help the world at large, and the other is in providing opportunities for devotees to perform the two public activities of service and satsang which enable them to progress quicker towards Knowing the One. Some devotees who are serious in wanting to practise Knowledge and to Know the One nevertheless try to carry out these activities apart from and independently of Guru Maharaj Ji's organisations, and while in theory it is possible to be successful in this, in practice such devotees find it very hard going and sooner or later decide to carry out the activities within the context of the organisations.
Although all Perfect Masters organise their followers to some extent, in as much as they tell them what to do, it is very rare for a Perfect Master to initiate such formal organisations as Guru Maharaj Ji has done. In most cases the organisation has come after the Perfect Master leaves his body, and is an effort on the part of his followers to preserve and propagate his teachings, which is often very efficiently done, the Roman Catholic church being an excellent example. However, as we have shown, when a Perfect Master dies all that can be preserved is the discursive aspect of his teaching, ie his or his devotees' knowledge (small 'k'), and while this can be of great use and leads subsequently to much inspired and noble living, it is not Knowledge (big 'K') and so cannot lead to Knowing.
The Perfect Master only forms an organisation himself when he intends his Knowledge to spread to very many people in his own lifetime, when of course people will not look to the organisation itself for Knowledge but to the living Perfect Master. Apart from this being so in our time with Guru Maharaj Ji, it happened nearly 2500 years ago when Gotama the Buddha formed his renunciant devotees into the organisation known as the 'Sangha'.
The success of such organisations is of course due to their being inspired by the living Perfect Master, and to their functioning with the help of his Grace. This is certainly true of Guru Maharaj Ji's organisations. For a devotee's maximum rate of progress towards knowing the One, it is obviously best if he works within the structure which his Perfect Master has caused to be set up and which is saturated with his trace.
i) Divine Light Mission
The organisations are two in number, and we will first deal briefly with the Divine Light Mission - henceforth called DLM.
This is the organisation of the followers of Guru Maharaj Ji, and was originally founded by Guru Maharaj Ji's father, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, in India in 1961. Taking Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge means that one is automatically a member of DLM, though by no means all devotees play an active role in it. Guru Maharaj Ji's mother, Mata Ji, is the patron of DLM, but being an organisation of Guru Maharaj Ji's followers, Guru Maharaj Ji has no official role in it. Needless to say though, each of the officials in DLM, by virtue of their being devotees intent on Knowing the One, obey Guru Maharaj Ji implicitly and so in practise DLM is run by Guru Maharaj Ji, both by means of his external instructions and of course by his non-external Grace.
Divine Light Mission is one organisation functioning internationally, and at the time of writing is well-established in at least forty different countries. This represents an incredible expansion, bearing in mind that before 1969 it was only established in one country - India. It functions slightly differently in each country, depending upon that nation's laws and social customs.
In most countries, DLM is a registered charity. Its aims, as set out by the Charity Commissioners of Great Britain, are:
To advance religion in accordance with the principles of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj and Shri Sant Ji Maharaj (ie Guru Maharaj Ji) by promoting the knowledge that God is the supreme creator of the universe. The realisation of God without denominational bias, the relief and prevention of suffering both mental and physical occasioned by poverty, ill-health and the abuse of drugs.
In Britain, DLM is officially run by a board of trustees who are all devotees of Guru Maharaj Ji, although the day to day running is supervised by officials such as the General Manager, General Secretary or Treasurer.
The second of Guru Maharaj Ji's organisations is the Divine United Organisation (DUO). The ultimate aim of DUO is explained by Guru Maharaj Ji:
In this organisation we are going to help the whole world socially. Now I think I should illuminate what I mean by socially. The whole world, aside from needing Knowledge, needs food. … Now, many people come up to me when I talk about Knowledge, and they say, "Guru Maharaj Ji, we think that those people who are suffering, they need food, shelter, and clothing first, rather than your Knowledge." And, probably it is true to some extent, because they do need those things. If someone is hungry and we tell him to sit and do meditation, and try to concentrate on God, he will say, "Oh God, don't give me peace, but give me food first". So if we just give them Knowledge it's no good because again people are not being helped … 4
So the purpose of DUO is to solve man's physical problems, but of course as we have seen Peace cannot be achieved by such external methods alone. So Guru Maharaj Ji stresses that along with material benefits humanity must be given Knowledge:
But if we open this organisation, and socially help people, it will be beautiful; because today, if we just give a house to someone, he will need a car in the house tomorrow, and then the second day he will need air-conditioning in the car, and then he will just need everything. But before the point where his desires become endless can be reached, before that point is reached, the Knowledge will put a stop to it, Because Knowledge will also be revealed to him, and his desires will be under his control. (Guru Maharaj Ji) 5
DUO has only been recently formed, and it again is an international organisation. In Britain it is a limited company, the shares being owned by the trustees of DLM, and it is composed of several subsidiary companies, which include such activities such as printing, clothes manufacturing, a travel agency, a garage, health service, taxi service, electronics and many more. The idea is that devotees will work for DUO just as for an ordinary company, and they will get a wage, which they will be free to keep or donate (in part or in toto) to DLM, as they wish. The point is that since DUO is working for World Peace under the guidance of Guru Maharaj Ji, then the devotees' work will benefit humanity as well as being service to the Perfect Master.
So these two functions of DUO complement each other, and in fact merge into each other. For while devotees of all sorts are given the opportunity to do service, then they are being assisted towards realising Peace on account of service to the Perfect Master being an activity which helps in the practice of Knowledge. But also the actual work they do will help others in a physical aspect as we have seen, and so lessen the tremendous material poverty and suffering that exists in the world. The reason that DUO hopes to succeed in this when most other organisations, including governments, are failing is because the employees of DUO are working not for money or selfish power, but out of love. And the more they work, then the more of Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace they pick up, and so the more their love is increased.
Thus it is that the DUO proclamation reads:
Whereas, the one Universal belief all people hold to be true, is the belief in Life itself; and yet due to ignorance of the aim of human life, the world continues to be filled with misery; and
Whereas, even with the advancements of the technologically expanding Twentieth Century, humanity has continually failed in all efforts to find a solution to misery and suffering; and Whereas, Knowledge of the aim of human life is being revealed to all people of the world by the living Perfect Master and Spiritual Head of Divine Light Mission, Paramhans Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj, thus eliminating the cause of ignorance and misery;
Wherefore, the people who have experienced the Knowledge of Shri Sant Ji Maharaj, with full awareness of the difficulties of living without knowing the aim of human life, are compelled to reach out to the rest of struggling humanity to spread the solution to strife and suffering by a commitment to work in all fields of endeavour for the elevation of humanity, manifesting an exemplary alternative to be known as the Divine United Organisation.
The relationship between DUO and DLM is that while DLM will tend to look after all direct propagation of Guru Maharaj Ji's message and the Knowledge, DUO will be more concerned with improving the world physically, and with financing both organisations.
We dealt in this chapter with the three activities in the diverse which Guru Maharaj Ji recommends all devotees to engage in for Knowing the Godhead to be reached in the shortest time.
Meditation is the private activity which consists in concentrating upon the four private phenomena discussed in the last chapter. It is that activity by which, by Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace, we can be freed from attachment to the diverse and can find total Peace in the unitive Knowing of the Godhead. Since, however, Knowing cannot be written about or explained discursively, in this chapter we looked at two effects of meditation which occur as a by-product of the fact that meditation leads us out of the diverse.
These effects are
- i) that the devotee becomes more aware of the divisive activity of his mind, so ensuring more effective control, and
- ii) by increasing awareness of the manifestation of the Word inside him, the devotee experiences great peace, love and joy, and clearly recognises the source or substratum of his thoughts, his life and his whole being.
We then dealt briefly with the two public activities of service and satsang, which give the two-fold benefit of
- i) helping the devotee's meditation, and
- ii) manifesting the love and peace realised in meditation into the world.
We finish with a short description of the two organisations, Divine Light Mission and Divine United Organisation, which Guru Maharaj Ji has caused to be set up to further the opportunity of engaging in these activities.
20 - The End Point – Peace
The starting point of this book was the concept of 'Unpeace' which was introduced in Chapter 1, so it is only fitting that this, the final chapter, should be concerned with what this book has had in view all the time - Peace (big 'P').
We defined Peace originally as that which we are all looking for, consciously or unconsciously, and we hope to have established that it cannot be found in the diverse or world of difference we live in, nor can it be found by any discursive means (using 'discursive' in its literal meaning outlined in Chapter 7). It can only be found by realising that which is totally non-diverse and completely non-differentiated, which we called the One or Godhead, and which is the substratum and source of the entire diversified and differentiated cosmos of which we are part. Though, of course, having found the Godhead and come to a state of unitive Knowing of it, then that absolute and unshakable Peace is ours forever, and we can then live in the diverse, though not be of it; that is, though recognising separateness, change and duality seem to exist, we are not affected or bound by them and their Unpeace.
Thus it is that how to Know the Godhead is a very important question for man, both individually and collectively, to answer. The answer is given in practise by individuals we have called Perfect Masters, who can reveal to people that Knowledge whereby the Godhead or Perfection can be Known.
So the question then takes the form, "Who is the Perfect Master now?" and the answer we have given is that it is Guru Maharaj Ji.
Now while the arguments in this book has been presented in a reasoned step-by-step way, the fact that Guru Maharaj Ji is a Perfect Master cannot be established by any reasoned proof, since as we have pointed out the only foolproof test of a Perfect Master is the Knowledge he gives - does it lead to Peace? So while it is that scientists and philosophers are often criticised for forming their conclusions first and then building up reasoned arguments to support their already-established conclusions, it must be confessed that this is what has been done in this book. The conclusion - that Guru Maharaj Ji can reveal the Knowledge of how to find Peace - has been established by personal experience; this book is merely an attempt to show how such an experience is the logical outcome of living a life as a human being in this world.
Now since the real starting point of this book is personal experience, and not some intellectual concept, then it is necessary that we should conclude on a personal note. That is, I (the author) must explain briefly how it is that I personally came to want, and then had the experience, of Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge.
Being scientifically and intellectually biased, I approached the whole problem in the manner of the scientific method. Firstly, there were the phenomena and observations, the facts of sense-experience. In my late teens I realised that while these facts of experience were sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, their net result was always one of dissatisfaction and Unpeace. So given this, the problem became to find an experience which was satisfying and which ended the fact of Unpeace.
I searched for such an experience in a variety of ways, including travelling, working as a produce-broker's clerk, being a schoolmaster, heavy drinking and most of all taking drugs of all kinds for a period of about two years (this included being addicted to heroin).
The search was fruitless - dissatisfaction was still the order of the day, and even a drugged or drunken unconsciousness was not the answer. Then in the summer of 1967 I was faced with Unpeace in a particularly acute form. A combination of LSD and cocaine, combined with a weak liver due to heroin, led to an experience of such unimaginable terror and horror that I would have undoubtedly committed suicide to end it had I been able to move. The upshot of this was that the search for Peace assumed a much more urgent aspect, and out of desperation more than anything else I plunged into books on the occult, yoga, theosophy, spiritualism etc - anything which offered some comfort and hope that a life free from Unpeace was possible. The first two authors I read extensively at this time were Paul Brunton and Yogi Ramacharaka.
Now as was mentioned in Chapter 7, the scientific method is to choose a set of observed facts and then form an hypothesis, which (it is hoped) both explains and unifies the observed facts or phenomena, and which also motivates and guides further research into the phenomena. The facts and phenomena I had experienced were my data; there now had to be found an hypothesis which both explained the facts of Unpeace, and which would guide the research into the finding of Peace. My preliminary bout of spiritual reading ended with the finding of such an hypothesis, best summarised by Aldous Huxley:
That there is a Godhead, Ground, Brahman, Clear Light of the Void, which is the unmanifested principle of all manifestations.
That the Ground is at once transcendent and immanent.
That it is possible for human beings to love, know and, from virtually, to become actually identical with the divine ground.
That to achieve this unitive knowledge of the Godhead is the final end and purpose of human existence. That there is a Law or Dharma which must be obeyed, a Tao or Way which must be followed, if men are to achieve their final end.
That the more there is of self, the less there is of the Godhead1.
It was a working hypothesis diametrically opposed to that of academic philosophers, of which we can take Bertrand Russell's as typical:
That man is the product of causes which had no pre-vision of the end they were achieving, that his origin, growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and beliefs are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that all the labour of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noon-day brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, that the whole temple of man's achievement must be inevitably buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins - all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.2
Huxley's hypothesis is, in effect, that no philosophy which accepts these things can hope to stand, and it was this which I took, as I said, as my working hypothesis.
There then followed some abortive attempts to find the Godhead - many painful hours spent performing some meditational technique outlined in some appendix of some 'spiritual' book. The result was nil. It was then that I saw the need to emend slightly my working hypothesis, by including the condition that the "Law or Dharma which must be obeyed, the Tao or Way which must be followed" could not be obeyed or followed from books - I needed a teacher, someone who could practically show me where I was going wrong, and what I had to do.
This led to a two-year period of my trying to find such a teacher. It included a short stay in a Christian monastery, and a year's being attached to a Buddhist monastery. One thing that impressed me greatly during this period was that all the teachers I met, Christian and Buddhist, Yogi and Zen, Spiritualist or Occultist, were all saying essentially the same thing, though in different terminologies. And what they were saying was in essence the hypothesis outlined by Huxley above. But although everybody agreed about the hypothesis or theory, the practical was a different matter.
Although it was generally agreed that the laboratory in which the hypothesis had to be tested was 'inside' us, I found no-one able to tell me exactly what experiment to perform, and how to perform it, which led to a satisfactory testing of the hypothesis.
Then early in 1970 I met a devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji.
He told me that Guru Maharaj Ji could show me how such an experiment was to be performed. I went to see Guru Maharaj Ji's mahatma. in London, and heard him speak. There was no doubt that although he was saying yet again the same things I had heard many times before, in this case there was something different; and that was that he had clearly realised in himself the truth of that he was saying. I felt very excited. Was it possible that I had found someone who could, with no beating about the bush, actually reveal to me the Law, Dharma or Tao which I had read and heard so much about, yet was still totally ignorant of? Nevertheless, I still kept my scientific caution.
I was told in satsang not to believe and then see, but see and then believe. Very well, I thought, I will do that. So I performed the experiment of taking Knowledge; before I took it, I neither believed nor disbelieved what devotees told me about Guru Maharaj Ji. I would judge him totally on the results of the experiment; if he could enable me to verify the hypothesis, then I would surrender my life to him; if he could not, then I would be the first to propagate against him and denounce him before the whole world.
I was very disappointed at the actual Knowledge session, but was determined to give the Knowledge a chance. I practised meditation, and later in the year went to India to see Guru MaharajJi in person.
I have no doubt now that Guru Maharaj Ji is the Perfect Master, and that he can give to anyone who wants it that Peace "which the world cannot give".3 Many people criticise Guru Maharaj Ji, but only because they judge him on insufficient criteria - ie externally; to come to any understanding of him we must view him from the viewpoint of that personal experience which we can have as a result of practising his Knowledge.
What Guru Maharaj Ji claims he can do is fantastic but as a hardened intellectual and scientific sceptic, I have not a scrap of doubt that his claims are valid, since I have found their proof in my own life, and have experienced their truth. This book is a testimony to that experience, which when had means one is finally fully born.
… give me your love and I will give you Peace. Surrender the reins of your life to me and I will give you such a Peace as will never die. Come to me, and I will give you liberation. Place the reins of your life in my hands, and I will relieve you of your suffering. First be capable of giving the reins of your life to me, then give them. And if I do not give you Peace, I will give them back to you. Why do you search in the world? Peace is not there, Peace is with me. To have Peace, come to me; I will show you the way to Peace. If no-one else can give you Peace, I will give it to you. Those who are lost can come, and those who are fond of roaming can roam about in arrogance. Those who come to me, those who are lost, I will give them Peace.