Dear Sister / Brother:
ON TOUR WITH REV. MASTER
Report by brother Sharat Hegde and brother Bhupendra Chuphal, India
Delhi and Jaipur, 22-Feb-2006 to 27-Feb-2006
Rev. Master arrived in Delhi at 7:15 PM on 21-Feb-2006. On 22nd, Master conducted satsangh at the Gurgaon Ashram where approximately 1,000 abhyasis had assembled. After satsangh he stopped at a book store bought some more books to add to the growing library for the Centre for Research, Education, Sadhana and Training at Bangalore and Kharagpur.
Master left Delhi by road on 23rd Feb and arrived at Jaipur at 1:30 PM. The abhyasis present received Master with a traditional Rajasthani welcome. A well-decorated elephant with a mahout was also present in the welcoming group. Abhyasis form abroad were especially delighted with this show of affection.
On 24th Feb, at the breakfast table, Master was in a jovial mood and responded to a question from an abhyasi asking, “Master, have we changed in the last ten years”. Master replied, “Whether you have changed or not, I have changed”. He continued, “You need me to change yourself; I need all of you to change”. While on the way to the ashram to conduct satsangh, one youth came and told Master, “The youth of our centre are full of energy, and we need motivation. We would like to meet you.” Master immediately replied, “Yes, you have come to the right man”, and promised to have a meeting with the youth group.
The ashram is about 10 kilometres from Jaipur, south of the city, located in the Ramchandrapura village just off the Jaipur-Ajmer highway. The villagers briefly stopped Master, where he was accorded a traditional welcome with presentation of the shawl, sweets and fruits by the village head. With the mukhiyan (village head) directing the villagers, Master met all the villagers and offered prasad to each one, patiently and with love.
The meditation hall is a simple facility built using elegantly thatched-roof, in tune with the local village setting. After satsangh, a sister abhyasi from Delhi sang Meera bhajans (devotional songs) in her melodious voice. Master enjoyed the songs, while we all were still soaked in the deep meditation, which Master had later remarked was an exceptional sitting. After satsangh, Master visited a farmhouse in the Himmatpura village, about 10 kilometers from the Jaipur Zonal ashram. Master kindly accepted a donation of the farmland by an abhyasi couple, comprising of about 11 acres. Amongst the birds chirping atop the trees, the serene and green surroundings, the water sprinklers showering on the wheat fields, Master named the farm as “Angel Farms”. He also decided that this farm would be used for an SMSF retreat center. The location is ideal as it is neither too isolated nor too close to the city. Master was very happy and listened to rendition of original poems in Hindi. Master explained the activities of SMSF in detail, which covers publication, education and health care, and thanked the family for their generous donation.
After a hectic morning on 25th, when Master made six new preceptors and conducted satsangh, Master talked to the youth of Jaipur centre assembled at His cottage. He said, “I consider the youth as my special charge. They are like the cows of a rishi – sacred, protected and loved. That does not mean that you will be pampered. The elders must allow them freedom in their work and give the required guidance – not controlled, but regulated gently, wisely and usefully”. He said, “We want a very spiritual, youthful group in Sahaj Marg, which will produce responsible citizens in the future who will retain their idealism and enthusiasm”. “The lack of idealism is ruining the country”, Master said. Master gave a practical example of how we need to think positively, when a young girl mentioned that the board exams are starting on her birthday on March 1st – he noted that the positive way to approach the task was “may you do well in your exams and may it be like your birthday”, while a negative thinking will be to think that the birthday was ruined because of the exams.
In a visit to an abhyasi’s house in the evening, Master explained about obedience. Obedience is permitting refinement and simplification of life through discipline of body, discipline of mind and finally spiritual discipline. He went on to explain obedience and said that in general Guru’s order should be obeyed. Lalaji’s principle on obedience can be of great help when we are in doubt of what is to be obeyed - Check if it is as per the tradition or religion; then check whether it is as per the scriptures; does your Guru permit it; and finally does your conscience allow it.
Talking about life in response to an abhyasi who was not practicing regularly earlier, Master replied, “Take life as it comes. The sun is always shining – we benefit from its warmth inside or outside the home. But in winter, when there is a need for warmth, we have to go out to get the warmth from the Sun directly. That is spirituality.”
Master enjoyed the devotional songs that evening with His eyes closed and swaying to the notes. After returning to His room, Master worked on the computer and wrote his diary, which He always finds time for. Before getting up from the chair at midnight, Master meticulously took the backup of the files from the computer, removed the trashed files from computer, shutdown the computer, folded it, switched off the table lamp and made sure that everything on the table is at its appropriate place. He remarked that He always likes to finish the day’s work before going to bed.
Master left from Jaipur on 26th Feb at 10:00am after conducting Sunday satsangh at the ashram. He stopped enroute at a couple of places and arrived at Delhi at 7:00pm. Even after a tiring journey, Master went through the marriage biodata files, setting things in motion and on the following day met each marriage candidate, introduced the pairs and arranged to schedule the date of the marriage.
This North India tour is coming to an end – he leaves for Hyderabad tomorrow morning where he will inaugurate the new meditation hall at the ashram in Thumkunta on March 1. During this month-long tour of several centres in North India, Master has made several preceptors, inaugurated five ashrams and three cottages, laid the foundation stone for two new projects and announced two new retreat centers.
REV. MASTER’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS IN LATVIA
July 24th, 2006
Report by brother Samir Singh, Latvia
We are delighted to inform you that Rev. Master has given His blessings for celebration of His 79th birthday in Riga for abhyasis in CIS and Baltic countries. We heartily invite all brothers and sisters of your centre to participate in the celebration. A detailed program will follow a little later. Meanwhile, kindly inform and encourage all abhyasis of your centre to prepare for their visit to Riga this summer. For additional details, please contact brother Samir at firstname.lastname@example.org