Prem Rawat: Rome 1980 Ashram Satsang, Q. & A
After a 45 minute speech Prem Rawat, or Guru Maharaj Ji as he then called himself, begins 45 minutes of questions and answers. The questions & statements made from the floor are inaudible so we only have thr answers.
There is considerable laughter. In front of an uncritical crowd Rawat is smug and arrogant even though he admits that there is little or no propagation ie recruitment happening, Rawat blames his followers for not practising his Knowledge ie doing satsang, service and meditation. However, these ashram premies were definitely doing satsang, service and meditation, their lives were constrained by timetables that allowed them to do nothing else. The other guests were people who wished to join the ashrams and do nothing but "satsang, service and meditation." Based on the figures given from the audience near the end of the video there were as many as 750 to 1,000 premies in ashrams in England and Europe at this time and many were wishing to join.
Rawat spoke about "consolidating" the ashrams to make propagation more efficient and producing new materials but while he was the public face of Knowledge failure was inevitable. Within 3 years the ashrams would be summarily closed and Rawat would take on the public discussion of Knowledge completely, thereby reducing the trickle of interest and causing another drop in numbers of his followers as those ashram premies were let loose into their societies often after a decade in an ashram. On this day Rawat seems to consider himself something of a mathematician though he cannot even compute three to the power of three. He reiterates that faith in him is necessary to experience the Knowledge and that practising the Knowledge is necessary to gain faith in him. It didn't work for me or for the majority of people who tried it.
No. There is no need to. There is absolutely no need to. You know perfectly well what I mean. There's two nuclear bombs sitting on each side to blow up each other that's getting pretty squeezy I'd say. Yeah, I bet you'd love me to get into that, yeah? So you can have your nightmares, night time. Look, that in fact there is a problem, everybody knows that. Well what we're working on is a solution. Solution is what we have to talk about, not the problems. Any idiot can come up here, read any newspapers they'll tell you what the problem is but nobody tells the solution. That's the difference of Guru Maharaj Ji. Maharaji tells you the solution. Guru Maharaj Ji gives you the solution.
It's all Greek to me. What's she say? Can you hear? What? Ashram in Morocco? In Morocco? There is no ashram in Morocco. Well I think since Arthur isn't here. ??? answer that question very well. Why isn't there an ashram in Morocco. I'm more concerned about the places where there already are ashrams and that's where the effectiveness has to take place, you know, because, you know, I mean, look at in England. How how many ashrams are there in England? Yes, how many ashrams there are in England? About? Don't you know the fixed number? Tsk tsk tsk. How many? No, ashrams. How many he's said about how many? Seven zero, forty six. Seven zero, forty six, what's the difference? ??? some interpolation here. Get the difference, divide it by two and add it to the lower figure, subtract it from the higher figure. There are approximately somewhere near abouts 70 to 46 ashrams in the great United Kingdom and the propagation is at idle. If we can get it boosted up there, then we'll ship you one to Morocco, the whole thing. (Thank you)
The good ventriloquism. How many of you want to be initiators? Really? How many have already uh sent in an application? How many of you have become initiators? And really, you all want to be initiators? Really? Really? (yes) Why? (to serve you) Well, aren't you serving me now? (??? agya) My agya, well satsang, service and meditation is my agya. Huh? More if you can do that little bit I'll give you some more. Who are thinking about becoming an initiator? You're thinking about becoming an initiator? How how many of you really, really, really, really, really, really want to be initiators even if you have to be sent to Morocco to start an ashram? Why some of you some against Morocco or something? You know, it's really incredible. This year the whole picture is changing. There are these poor initiators in Pacific. They missed the Holi there and they missed the Holi here. And you know what that means, they missed the Holi altogether this year. And they're gonna miss the Guru Puja here, and they're gonna miss the Guru Puja there, and you know what that means, they're gonna miss Guru Puja altogether. And, I don't exactly have any intentions of calling them back quite so soon. And they're in Pacific and there they are. How many of you still wanna be initiators? (laughs) I I didn't say mi, I didn't say attend, I said missed. They all missed that.
What what what which do I think is more important? Between what? Oh Jan. Don't you know Jan, you're famous. You're really famous, all the security guys sweat when they even hear your name. Ha ha ha You don't know, but you're quite popular. Marino, Steve, everybody, everybody knows you. So what's what's what's your question? Well first you have to become not so famous. You're almost becoming more famous than I am. Sometimes they end up thinking about you more than thinking about me.
How many of you really understand the implications of becoming initiator? I didn't know I knew French. Some of you understand the implications of becoming an initiator? Yeah, you over there tell me about it?
Well, you probably don't know this but it's not all a piece of cake, it isn't. Initiators make a lo-o-o-o-ttttttaaaa mistakes, a lo-o-o-otttaaa mistakes, they probably make an average of a mistake an hour or something like that, you know, and uhh. I mean it's like, they're in a very peculiar position and so much is expected of them and yet there's some of these people sitting here received Knowledge after some of you did, you know. Their own experience. It is not like they're solid as a rock, it isn't like every they feel all the love that even they are ready to re-receive all the love, that they can feel all the love. It isn't like they even ready to be initiators. We had an acute shortage, we just had to put out an entire surplus whatever we had, pump 'em on the road.
Right now there is an IDP (Initiator Development Program) program that's been going on from since when. Where is he? Huh? Fourteen months? Fourteen months and and they already sent me a card on their anniversary (laughter) so my answer to them was I liked the card so much I'll let 'me have one more anniversary. (laughter)
Huh? No to tell you the truth I'm not prepared any more, to make any more initiators. Still if you want to become an initiator go ahead and put your application in I'm pretty sure you'll become an initiator someday. But uh, right now I have to see the effectiveness of the initiators I already have. It isn't like if I get a hundred initiators then I'm gonna get my uh first rank, you know, haha, first stripe on the side. If I don't see any effectiveness I, I don't, I don't see any purpose to keep on just making all these initiators you know, that, first I have to just see that yes, there is an effectiveness that they can do something because after all how did you, how did you think this whole, I mean all of you are sitting here, very, very few initiators.
Plus they have to get their act together too. Right? Would anyone of you like to uh comment on how tough it is being an initiator? It's not tough? For Irene, it's not tough. Anyone of you? It must be tough for one of you guys, huh, for Rossi it's tough, see? Oh well, you know what I mean, you have to be frank, obviously. It's not, it's not a piece of cake, you know it and I know it.
When the initiators come everything is very good. Yeah and then what happens. Then it all turns, all goes bad, huh?If you just keep coming to places, never stay there, that'll be all to the good. Are you disappointed that I'm not prepared to make any more initiators? Come on. Your smile wiped off your face, saved by the bell. Mmm? Propagation what? Propagation in the street? What, you're trying to make the bricks a premie? First of all, you have to talk their language, you know. I don't know what bricks say to each other. Get you tap dance shoes on there, you know. Do a tap dance on the bricks and see if they understand that. Give 'em some moving satsang. Get the whole street to move out of there. Propagation on the street by I. Sing Daly. (laughs at his own witticism) That sounds like a good name for a good novel, you know., with the dark hat and the lamp post lit at night time, street fog and morgue across the street and the guy in the jacket, you know. Yeah, uh, it doesn't work like that. See my experience, it isn't like. What about the propagation in the street? If you can do propagation in your own, to your own self. If you can't convince your own selves to sit down and do some satsang, service and meditation you can forget about somebody else, you know.
Yah, I mean, obviously everyone of us like to have the whole thing in a platter, silver platter if preferred. How to do propagation, you know, have a book. How to do propagation. How to live in the ashram. How to do pranam you know. How to be with Guru Maharaj Ji . How to be in the ashram. How not to be in the ashram. Makes it so simple because every time you wanna do something, just pull your little book out (mimics pulling book out of suit, pocket, opening, reading it and replacing in pocket) Inspiration. Necessity is the mother of creation. You feel the necessity in your heart that the propagation should happen, you'll find a way. Maria has uh put together, Maria and uh Mark Winter and uh, what's the other premie's name? I can never get his name right. They've put some uh really, very beautiful uh material together, except they're so expensive you hesitate to give them to somebody (giggles) No, I'll keep this. (laughs) They're very beautiful. They're obviously very expensive.
You wanna surrender then all this stuff comes out and doesn't make you surrender. Yeah. Well if you can tell me what surrender is, maybe I can help you in uh how you should do it.
First, find out what surrender is (Prem Rawat (Maharaji) personally demonstrates nectar technique or maybe he sucks the mucus out of his nasal passagee and swallows it) you see there are different stages of surrender, there are different ways in one sense uh you remember I was talking about the roto-rooter up the spine, you can't do anything about it, in the one sense that's surrender but that surrender is so temporary but when the roto-rooter goes right up here (holds hand above head) you know your hand lifts and bam. Mah! How do you surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji? First of all what does surrender mean? To let go. To let go of what? What do you have? Probe in itself what do you have? You have your ego, you have your mind, you have your little stories and most important there is the something within inside of you that's you. That's you, that's so much you. The way you, your concept, your idea of you, to let it go. Be in a place because see surrender is a chain reaction, it's a part of a chain reaction. Surrender in itself cannot happen, it's impossible. It has to be set up it's like a chemistry, it has to be set up where a chain reaction will cause it to happen. First of all, in your life, satsang, service and meditation has to happen. If you don't understand what satsang is, obviously service won't happen, obviously service won't happen, meditation won't happen, vice versa, so on and so forth, blah blah blah. You know, you can cut that two hundred ways, actually there's three things, should be a mathematical formula for that, how many ways you can criss cross that but so it's the same thing, if you don't do meditation, the service won't happen, the satsang won't happen, if you don't do service the satsang won't happen, the meditation won't happen. Three to the power of three, right? What would that be? Well somewhere between there, different ways you can put it.
When in my life, I see that yes my focus and my attention, you know, and then of course what is satsang, service and meditation can bring is that love for Guru Maharaj Ji. What do they bring is that faith in Guru Maharaj Ji. When my faith in Guru Maharaj Ji grows, through satsang, service and meditation, through my own understanding, through the through which I can see "Yes, this is where I want to be, this is where I need to be, unconditionally. Then nothing can waver my faith. When I have found my everything, when I believe in that, is that, then slowly I can let go of myself. Is like a ship, it has to be constantly in its power, under its power. It has to constantly fight those waves and wakes and has to constantly fight the currents but when it's docked and it's tied up, you can kill those engines cause that's it. Now, it's tied and in one you may say it's surrendered to the tide. It becomes a part of it. To me, in my faith, if my faith isn't there I just can't jump and surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji. How can I do that? First of all, I have to have faith and how can I have faith if I'm not even doing satsang, service and meditation? If I'm not even experiencing what satsang is, If I'm not even experiencing what meditation is, If I'm not even experiencing any of those things how can I then have faith in Guru Maharaj Ji, how can I know who Guru Maharaj Ji is if I do not even accept the gift, the only gift through which we both can be tied and when that happens then my own heart grows more and more open. Then I can see, then I can accept. When I accept I see more and more "Yes, that is my ultimate place" and when that happens in my life more and more then I can completely rely, then I can completely be, I don't have to be a particle of myself.
It's not like my thinking process is going to stop, I'm going to become a deaf, dumb and mute dummy. No, I'm still gonna be and yet my heart that has been constantly been pouncing in the waves of this world will be then docked at Guru Maharaj Ji's (pause) feet. You know. Then that will be my salvation, that will be my liberation, that, then, then I will be content. Then I don't have to make any more journeys because then it becomes my destination and it is my destination. And believe me, that's just one way of putting it.
Don't you remember we gave you a tape recorder because you didn't know how to read. If I didn't think it was important then why should I think it's important now? I'm not responsible for what my initiators say. Ha ha ha ha. Because they're all college graduates and they see you getting off so easy. They don't like that idea at all. The next thing John Hampton's going to be telling you's, "Go join the army." Doesn't matter, you know, I mean, really, really, really it doesn't matter in that minute little sense, yet and if you want to go and have a job at Regent Street you might as well learn how to read and write. But ah if you want to learn how to aristocratically sign your name, sure.
So ah I'm pretty sure you're all full of questions simple as Frank's question to as sophisticated as "Can you explain me the little more about this squeeze of the world?" or to as different as the ashram in Morocco.
Someday, with Guru Maharaj Ji's grace, there'll be ashram everywhere yet if we all set out as a goal to make ashrams, that's all, ashrams everywhere, then there'll never be ashrams anywhere cause what because I just, you know, just see that there has to be a necessity for an ashram, it isn't just like, huh, that's a good plot, nobody lives in it, how about opening up an ashram? You know. But a necessity, yes there is something to back the ashram up and yes that there is something happening in that area that the ashram can back it up. Then I can see that, yes, there will be it. A good reason, you know.
Sometimes ashrams are because it's a nice place, might as well make it an ashram, you know, a whole bunch of wanna people wanna live in one place, make it an ashram, you know and that always is a problem. Everybody wants to be in the nice ashrams, you know, the nice houses or the nice view out the window or or their native place where they want to live or you know, obviously all the ones from Milano live in the Milano ashram and all the ones from L Rome live in the Rome ashrams. Sometimes you switch the Milans from the Romans "Why am I being sent to Rome? From Rome?" (in high pitched whine) "The spaghetti is better here." The ashram is is that still have that nice ashram? Bruno? Nice Milano ashram? You know "I wanna, that's where I wanna go" you know. All that has to that's that's no good all that has to come out, all that has to go away what just has to be is that we,
Obviously in the coming years you'll see and this is what I'm trying to work at just to slightly upgrade the living standards of the ashrams, you know, where it's a little more liveable, you know, not a ??? floor under the bathtub but you know a good environment and that the you know the proper cities where there is going to be, where there are communities, where there can be propagation that yes that the ashrams are set up there not not in Tootsville, Tennessee where there's nothing happening and in the middle of nowhere there are ashrams and they're doing nothing for nobody, you know, a little hillbilly ashram premies, you know, beard and playing banjo in the outhouse, you know, all the time. That to me has no significance. You'll probably be seeing in the near future some of the consolidations of ashrams, taking out the ashrams from Tootsville, Tennessee, taking the ashram premies from little places where there's really nothing happening and plugging them into ashrams that are, that have a lot of potential.
Hmm? Somebody wants to sing a song? Yes, speak a little louder. (She says, "Would you like us to sing to you?") You make a good PA, don't you?" What's your style? Diana Ross or uh Anne Marie? Oh we'll have plenty of time for singing. Always. What's happening in uh Denmark?
From here, the meeting becomes even more boring with unfunny joking around. I lost interest. Rawat certainly seemed to enjoy making funnies about Nazi saluting.