No matter how elaborate we think our lives to be, the simple formula is absolute: birth – life – death. We are all drops headed toward that infinite ocean.
The other day I turned on my computer to find the wallpaper displaying a beautiful picture of the Sombrero Galaxy: 400 billion stars in a gloriously bright, sombrero-like disk 50,000 light years across.
When I was at the wondering age of ten or so I could fathom space going on for a long, long ways, but I had no idea if anything was out there, or if it were, what it was like. I knew — or so I thought — that it was impossible, certainly in my lifetime, to actually go and see way, way out there. At ten I hadn’t yet been introduced to the slide rule and it was still several years before I had a portable AM radio that I could squeeze into my shirt pocket.
Imagine how startled I would have been back then if a magic fairy had shown me the Sombrero Galaxy on a screen and told me that when I got older millions of people around the world would have machines in their homes that would allow them to see what I was looking at, as well as see and do other wonderful things with their machines whenever they wanted to.
This is about something I have felt many times, but have rarely expressed. It has been one of my most consistent experiences since becoming a student of Maharaji 38 years ago. The event I just attended in Brighton provided a dramatic reminder of this feeling.
The old seaside resort town of Brighton, England has an interesting layout. The town is built around one main artery — Queens Road — which runs a little less than a mile from the train station down to the ocean. You can imagine the scene — a continuous row of pubs, small shops, eateries, larger shops, inns, a cinema, pubs and pubs. We were staying at a hotel right next to the train station, and the event with Maharaji was at the Brighton Centre, on the ocean.
During our stay in Brighton, I ended up walking the length of Queens Road five or six times each way, but two of those times were special — the times I was going to see and hear Maharaji speak.
And here's the consistent experience I mentioned: whenever I'm literally, physically, moving toward Maharaji, something very remarkable happens. That period of time before actually seeing him, when the primary focus of my life and whatever I'm doing is to get to him, and when I know it's likely that I will get to him, is always, always, magical. The peace, the joy, the consciousness — they aren't just beautiful words and fine ideals any more, but the most immediate and tangible of feelings. It is always like that.
One of the good things about having a living teacher is that often he/she says something that goes in so deep that it becomes a kind of radioactive isotope of truth — radiating from the inside out forever.
One particular moment like this happened for me a few years ago.
I was at an event where Maharaji was speaking and, in a very casual way, he used a modern image to make a very ancient point — one I could definitely relate to then and still can.
He was talking about the phenomenon of impatience and likened the human condition to being a passenger on a jet plane traveling at 650 mph who was running up and down the aisles trying to get there faster.
Ernest Hemingway referred to this phenomenon in a similar way. "Never confuse motion with action," he said.
I’m fascinated with wasps. My shed is full of them. They build their nests by gluing a stem to a ceiling or wall and then adding hexagonal cells to accommodate the larval babies soon deposited there by the queen. And they're always busy. They bring supplies like food to the larvae or chewed wood from a nearby tree to make paper for the nest. On their final approach they identify themselves through chemical and visual means, sometimes flying off again after receiving a message from the group.
Any movement or vibration that threatens the nursery (like my approaching stick) causes them to go into "super alert" mode. If the danger is urgent, scouts on the perimeter fly off to intercept the intruder. If their reconnaissance determines that you're a threat, they sting, but if not they calm down and return to the nest.
I walked into the shed this morning to get a ladder and noticed that, if left undisturbed, they will fly close to me — even touch me — without stinging. It’s a curious feeling to get brushed by a wasp and it reminded me of Prem Rawat’s recent comment that people, if undisturbed, will naturally seek peace. I thought about it and decided that, even when it comes to wasps, it was true!
A letter received by TPRF from a lifetime prisoner in Argentina who has been watching videos of Prem Rawat's addresses as part of TPRF's Peace Education Program. She met him when he spoke at her prison in Ezeiza.
I fell in love with Prem Rawat’s message in prison. The message is about the right a human being has to life, to dignity, to the knowledge of oneself.
Before hearing this message, my life was so cruel, so hard. There was no reason to feel thankful, happy, or good. The years went by like this until I ended up in prison with a life sentence. I went through many things in prison. I was against everything and everyone — against life, against myself — feeling so guilty, carrying a heavy burden.
One day an inmate gave me printed material from the workshop on peace. Then I started attending it myself. From the first day, Prem Rawat’s message reached my tough heart, and that was not easy! I continued listening. Then I started inviting inmates to this wonderful workshop and talking about Prem Rawat to everybody, including the staff. Week after week I attended, and I was feeling better every week.