Prem Rawat's Teaching about 'the Bridge' - In His Own Words
The young Prem Rawat or Maharaji as he became in 1966 was 8 years old when he became the Perfect Master on the death of his father (Hans Rawat aka HRH Yogiraj Param Hans Sadgurudev Sri Hans Ji Maharaj ) and so was uneducated in the practical and theoretical spiritual and religious knowledge ordinarily found in a guru of his Sant background and lineage. He had picked up a smattering of his father's stories and parables but had none of the indepth knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita and Sant Mat poetry that Shri Hans had. He developed his own concepts and one of the most important was that a bridge was needed between finite humans and the infinite God. That bridge was himself, the Perfect Master, who is both finite and infinite at the same time.
Questions and Answers, Delhi, India, 1972
Is it possible to know God without the help of a Perfect Master?
The problem is that God is infinite, human beings are finite, and a finite thing is not able to deal with the infinite. Until the finite becomes infinite, it is quite impossible because a relationship between God and a human being is impossible. But a Guru or Perfect Master - what is the meaning of Perfect Master? The man who teaches math is called a math master. The man who teaches physics is a physics master. The one who teaches us perfectness, we call a Perfect Master. He is the one who is both finite and infinite at the same time. He is the bridge that can take us from our finite condition to an infinite one. But today, the whole world is stuck. The scriptures say "God exists," but people are stuck on the point that God exists. When a scripture says "God exists" it means God exists! Realize Him. He is realizable. His existence is provable. Prove it to yourselves. Know it for yourselves. Understand it for yourselves. No matter what religion a person believes in, he must understand that God is realizable now, in this century, in this age of darkness. So this is the whole process to know God. Once we approach the proper source, it is not at all difficult because Perfect Master knows what to do. We just give ourselves into his hands.
Light Reading, June 1979
Paris, France, June 8, 1976
Because the last example I gave was like, satsang, service and meditation are like this -- there's this gap in our lives, in the whole system. There's Knowledge and there is us, and there's a vast gap in between. And this gap is because Knowledge is infinite and we are finite. And the two things just can't go together so good. Because one is infinite and one is -- one is perfect and one imperfect. So there's a vast gap, and a bridge has to be built over it. And this bridge has to be built by this cement which is called satsang, service and meditation. Meditation itself is the cement, it is the cement -- without that you can't do anything. All you'll have is water and a stir stick, and about all you can do with that is just stir a lot of water. Nothing's going to happen And then satsang is the water, and service is the stick. And the better the proportion of those three, and the better they are mixed, the right amount of water, and the right amount of cement will make an excellent base to build the bridge with. When the bridge is completed, then the gap is completed. The gap is finished.
Élan Vital Magazine, Autumn 1977, Volume I, Issue 1
Hans Jayanti Festival, Los Angeles USA, November 9 1976
You know, I have built a little bridge. If you have read my satsang that I gave on the European tour, the satsang said that a person can build a bridge all the way from one corner of the world to the other corner of the world but right in the middle of the ocean leave three feet of space undone, unfinished. You definitely will be able to drive just about from one corner of the world to the other corner of the world. It takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of energy, but I have just completed the three feet of the missing gap for all the premies. To a lot of premies it's like, "Okay, great. Maybe that's the answer to all my confusion. Maybe that's it. That's what I've been looking for for such a long time. Maybe I didn't exactly need all those Knowledge reviews I had, but this is it." Looking back at it, I have to see, I have to feel, that when I wanted to drive the pilings in the water, in the sand, I discovered that I didn't need to. They were already there. So that means that the beginning of the bridge over that gap was always there. And so, if anybody really attempted it, they could have always built that bridge for themselves.
Divine Times, November 1979, Volume 8, Number 6
December 10, 1976, Guru Maharaj Ji's birthday, Malibu mansion
Guru Maharaj Ji is that driver who we really need, because he supervises that process. Knowledge is infinite, and we finite, so we need a bridge, we need a translator, who is infinite and finite at the same time, who can really bring us together, and that is Guru Maharaj Ji. In my realisation of Knowledge, I know that if it hadn't been for Guru Maharaj Ji, Knowledge alone wouldn't have done wonders for me, because the wonders that Knowledge was doing already existed - I was alive! After that it was going to go nowhere. I was alive, I was breathing, playing around and so on, but when Guru Maharaj Ji came into my life, everything became different, it became real. I couldn't lose the importance of Guru Maharaj Ji at that point and say, "Well, maybe I can just do it on my own." Because it's literally impossible to do it. A lot of people have tried to do it, and a lot of people have tried to do it the other way around, without going through Guru Maharaj Ji at all, just going back to nature. Trying to be tuned with Knowledge in this whole life, but I can tell you one thing, it doesn't work. They have wasted their lives completely. That's just not blunt advice, because Guru Maharaj Ji is here, and that's what makes it real for all of us. Because we can all come together and have that huge gap covered.
The Golden Age February 1977 Number 36 and Guru Maharaj Ji's World booklet, 1980
Wembley, London, Wednesday, April 20, 1977
What you need in your life is one thing you already have, is your life's life, that energy. And you don't need that, it is already there. You don't have to do anything to keep it there either. When you go to sleep it is still going: what you have to do is to tap into that energy, is to completely submerge with that energy, completely merge with that energy so that you can be one with that energy. And there is a process to do that, and that is the path that I want to reveal you. I want to bridge that gap that is between that infinite thing and between you that is so finite, so that you can come to that point where you can actually be one with that infinite thing.
The Golden Age Number 40
Guru Puja Festival, Miami Beach, Florida July 29, 1977
And so somewhere along this line, there's always been Guru Maharaj Ji. … But that's the truth. And that's the way this whole mechanism works. Because everything is self-sustaining. Everything is so self-sustaining that you need another thing that is completely self-sustaining, but has that bridge, has that gap, between what is infinite and what is finite, to bridge those two together and bring forth that continuous experience in your life. And so this is what we really have to understand.
Élan Vital, Volume IV, Issue 2, Summer 1980
On the Phone to Atlanta community, January 7, 1978
Because Guru Maharaj Ji is the revealer of Light. He is the revealer, is that person who can actually bridge that gap between our finite world into the most infinite thing. And yet we don't understand what's that infinite thing. And we don't understand what's finite. And therefore we just can't understand what's the bridge all about. Because we don't understand what is infinity. And we don't understand what's finite.
This is the way it is! There's Guru Maharaj Ji, and by his Grace we can relieve ourselves from the misery that we are into and by his Grace receive that Knowledge that we really want to receive. The thing that we really want. That bridge between the going-down minus, to the ever-going plus." So premies, it's just so important for us to always remember to just really have that faith.
The Golden Age March 1978 Number 43 and The Divine Times January/February 1978
London, England March 4th, 1978
So, dear premies, we just had a six-hour darshan line, and of course, as usual, it was completely incredible. … And then you see so many premies go by -- it is such an incredible, incredible experience to just be there, to just see what a strong connection there is, what a strong joint that is, what a perfect adaption, what perfect bridge-up it is, from that finite to infinity -- to what so many people in their lives have tried to accomplish, written books about it, gone to Himalayas, climbed into caves, gave up everything. What they couldn't even accomplish: You see this premie walk by in front of you who has perfectly accomplished that thing. And this is by the Grace of Guru Maharaj Ji. It's just so incredible. You just run out of words at this point.
DLM publication, 1978
Memorial Day, Malibu, California, May 28, 1978
Our body is finite. Something within this body is infinite. And if we join those two things, if we make that one connection … Because what we are trying to reach, what we are trying to get to, is that most spectacular experience. And that experience is always there, because it's infinite! And we can always achieve it. We can always be there, by going to Guru Maharaj Ji, by going to the Perfect Master. Because Perfect Master not only teaches us perfectness - and that is why he is a Perfect Master - but he has the key. And not only does he have the key, but that answer, that solution, that experience, lies within him. Because he is that experience. And by approaching that Master, then he unfolds, he unites yourself, that individual, that one jiva, that one soul, to himself, and thus bridges the most, most incredible barrier, crossing the most wide, most outrageous, most violent stream of all between us, crossing all factors of time, life, death, anything that's finite - crossing all those factors - and bringing us into that perfect harmony and that perfect unity. … But Guru Maharaj Ji doesn't give or take. Guru Maharaj Ji merges. Guru Maharaj Ji merges you with his own experience. And that is how the barrier is completed. That is how the bridge is put up. And only when we let go to Guru Maharaj Ji.
The Golden Age, August 1978, Number 47
Guru Puja, Miami Beach, Florida, Saturday, 21st July, 1979
And when devotees have that love for that Guru Maharaj Ji, when devotees have that realization, then such a barrier is fulfilled. Such a gap, such a bridge, is fulfilled for ever and ever. Guru Maharaj Ji wants to show you an experience. Guru Maharaj Ji wants to give you an experience. That's number one point. That's it. That's where Guru Maharaj Ji stops.
The Golden Age, October 1979, Number 55
Lima Peru, 7th February 1981
Blessings of Guru Maharaj Ji, when Guru Maharaj Ji bless us, blesses us he's giving us that strength to continue. He's giving us that strength to carry on, he's giving us that strength to understand him because Guru Maharaj Ji's not gonna try to understand us, we have to try to understand him. We have to understand, we have to try to understand that game plan, we have to try to understand that truth. The truth isn't gonna understand us. The saga of what's finite and what's infinite. What's infinite is infinite and what's finite is finite and yet here I am completely something that's a very, very finite, that has a very distinct beginning and has a very distinct end. A period, a time and every little factor that I'm completely bound by and simply what Guru Maharaj Ji brings is that bridge to take away the gap between what's really, really finite and what's really, really infinite.
Lima Peru, 7th February 1981 audio tape
Auckland, New Zealand, 14th March 1983
I'm not a genius, I'm really not, I'm not genius Wile Coyote, I'm just, I haven't even finished school yet, I only went to 9th grade. I finished up my aviation business though, completely, um done all my ratings, all finished with that but I'm not here to give you a lecture on aviation either, just a flight insight, that's all so umm feel free to ask any questions. … How do we get inside? Well, first of all we gotta find out, the gentleman asked the question "How do we get inside?" There is a bridge, the bridge is what I called Knowledge that allows you to link up with what is inside, that experience that is inside. It's very simple, it's very, very simple. (garble) Pardon me? (garble) Uh the gentleman said that uh in our part of the world Knowledge is, in his part of the world Knowledge is not a big thing, (garble) pardon me? (garble) the Knowledge that you see? the world that you see, Knowledge is not a big thing. Well I'm trying to make it a big thing, that's what I'm trying to do. Go to places and try to
Birmingham England, September 28, 1983
Knowledge is just a bridge: no more and no less. But if one gets into speculation about the bridge, then we've got problems. Let me hypothetically try to paint a picture. Imagine a person wanting to cross this bridge. He speculates about it and says, "Well, how long is this bridge?" An answer doesn't come back. So he thinks, "Well, in case it's very long, I must take some food along with me." Then he thinks, "Well, what if it's really long? A cup of tea would be wonderful." So he brings his thermos along with a cup of tea in it. Then he says, "Well, what if it's longer than that? What if I'm walking, and suddenly it's night-time. Then what'll I do?" So he says,"Well, if I have to sleep on the bridge I may as well bring my back-pack along, with a sleeping bag." You see, everything is rational, everything is logical, but just see where this logic keeps taking you. Then - I mean, one can imagine the English weather, it's as unpredictable as anything - he says, "What if it starts raining? I must take an umbrella." Then he says, "Suppose I get hungry again. By then my sandwiches will be ruined, so I need to take some beans in a tin can. They'll be protected." But then lie needs a can-opener, and then of course he needs something to cook the beans with, so along comes a portable stove. And it goes on and on. Then he thinks, "Suppose the bridge is so long that I meet someone and decide to get married along the way" So he packs up a wedding dress. So now that he has everything packed, he has got this enormous back-pack. Huge. Gigantic. And he starts walking towards the bridge. He starts to enter the bridge OK, but then all of a sudden something stops him. He tries again, and again can't go forward. So he looks behind him and he sees that the bridge is narrower than his back-pack. He can fit but his backpack can't. Now this person is faced with a more serious problem than before - what to get rid of? How is he going to choose what to leave behind? Now, where could faith have possibly come in for this person? Having the faith that somebody who has invited him across the bridge will take care of him. It's like somebody has invited you to dinner and you bring your own dinner along just in case that person doesn't have anything for you. That's ludicrous. But that's the way we seem to function. We need to have that little faith. Faith to enjoy the bridge, enjoy the ride, enjoy the experience Knowledge brings. We imagine, we hypothesize what this bridge is like and we have all these imaginations that we put forth. And yet, believe me, the bridge is utterly simple. It is meant to be simple. It is made to be simple. It is for you and me. And yet, you need to have some confidence, confidence in yourself, confidence in Knowledge, and confidence that yes, it can happen, that you can do it.
1971 - 2001: Maharaji 30 Years In the West
Miami Florida, 9th December 1983
I strongly feel that that relationship between all of you not just the ones in this hall tonight but all of you who have had the grace to experience this Knowledge and me, that bridge that connects us together is an incredibly, incredibly strong bridge. It's really, really strong and we need to know that it's strong cause we can bring our burdens along and wash them away. We need to understand its strength, its phenomenally strong, it can take anything, anything but when that bridge is built of something else and we get the two confused then we've got serious problems. We gonna take the truck, full of our load, we gonna drive it on the wrong bridge and it'll collapse and we'll survive, we'll survive and then we will say "There is no such thing as a good strong bridge" and yet there is, there is, there is and what is it strengthened by? Its strengthened by your own experience of Knowledge, it is strengthened by our love, that's what is strengthened by. These are the nucleuses (sic) for that bridge, these are the foundations, these are the pillars that support that bridge and you can draw upon it for strength, for love and if you, if you will some people who wanna call that devotion then that's it, that's what it is all about. It's that relationship between me and you, me being that teacher who has shown you the way to see and what to see and you who has witnessed it, who has seen it. We get baffled, we get shaken, so shaken sometimes from what? Because to me being a human being, you have the supreme blessing and Knowledge is very very straightforward, it really is. … That is what's important to me and so let that Knowledge well like I was just about ready to say that that Knowledge be real but the Knowledge is real because it leads you, it shows you, it's that bridge into that reality so experience that and enjoy that and enjoy that relationship between you and me of that love because that is a grace too.
"Birthday Program", Perfect Master Tape 256
"Inside you is a world that is timeless, silent, still and real. Knowledge is the bridge to that world."
The Journey is the Destination video, 1994
The Peace 2004 CD
Track 4: "What is this existence? I will tell you what this existence is. It's pretty special and you know why it is special. Because it is a bridge. It is an incredible bridge between the finite and the infinite. This is where it happens. This is where the two meet. This is the threshold where the two can meet, where the mortal can experience immortality." (Fades on strings and woodwinds)
Peace 2004 CD
Bridge of Life
The coming and going of this breath is a gift. And absolutely, as long as the breath comes into you, all is well indeed. When you feel that simplicity, you can begin to hear the real rhythm of your life. You can appreciate what you have been given, and the story will be complete. You will be set free when you understand that you do not need the support of all the ideas, that you can just stand on this bridge of life, and that it is solid, good, strong. You can jump on it, and it won't fall down. You will be able to appreciate its strength. And then your heart will fill with gratitude for all that you have been given. And when your heart fills with gratitude, you will have the answers without needing the questions. It gets better and better, because there is no limit to that better, and there is no limit to the ability you have been given to enjoy.
Inspire electronic magazine, v5 i149, 22 May 2008