January 15, 1993: Women’s spiritual work and standards of disciples

One of Maharaj’s staff members was apparently speaking against me, so Maharaj immediately called all his management people: Major Sahib, Dr. Anand, Balwant Singh, Gurdev Singh, Bakshish Singh, Gurcharan Kaur, Harvinder Singh (LL) and me. The staffperson who had apparently been criticizing me to Maharaj began complaining about women as a whole, saying that Buddha did not trust them. Maharaj disagreed, reminding him that Buddha thought a long time before leaving his wife and then later made her head of the order of nuns. “She was the chief preacher,” Maharaj said. “These things should be given to women. Men should do the heavy work, of machines and factories and such.” Maharaj is very much in favor of women as equals to men, and many of his communities are managed by women.

Then he gave us a very serious lecture:

My world mission is now beginning, and you must all be held to very high standards. Nothing can stop God’s mission, but if you don’t measure up, you will repent. You have been with me for so many years—have you not learned? You are free to leave if you like, if you cannot meet those standards of behavior. You waste so much time criticizing each other. You must cooperate with each other.

This is the center of the mission. We are all parts of the machine. If we all work together in harmony, the car will move ahead. The mission will grow when the disciples are good. The mission is a mirror for your character.

I didn’t understand much of what Maharaj said at the time. But when he looked at me and asked if I had any questions, I asked, “Since we are all held to such a high standard, but are all so weak, should we meditate even more than other people?” He said, “Meditation must be part of your life.” I added, “And must we not also love each other? Jesus said to his disciples, ‘They will know that you are my disciples by the love you have for each other.’” “This is the main thing,” Maharaj affirmed.

A few days later, in a lighter mood, Maharaj told some people that he had been using my shoulder for firing at the others. I knew that—He had been carrying on both sides of the dialogue, opening my mouth and speaking words that I would never have said on my own.