January 20, 1993 – Meeting the sangat in Tejpuri

Roughly 125 people—and rough we are—have gathered in the Tejpuri courtyard at Shiv Sadan to greet Maharaj after his 6-7 months’ absence. Wrinkled grandmothers with bright sun-darkened faces and work-hardened hands, children holding shawls around themselves for warmth, tractor drivers, local landowners—all so glad to see him among us again, and so vibrant. Maharaj sits relaxed in a wicker moora with a white sheet draped over it, sipping his tea from a cup that says “With love.”

They ask him about their spiritual practices, their children. He teaches them from Guru Granth Sahib, citing Guru Amar Das.

A tractor idles just beyond the crude courtyard. Under Maharaj’s hukam, tea is brought for every one of us, quickly prepared on a chula in the corner of the courtyard which is fed by a bundle of branches. It is a quiet, relaxed audience. Mostly the people just want to see his beautiful face, feel his great and calming presence. And this is what they get. We all feel so much satisfaction. He has fed all our deepest longings.

Since I am handling the new video camera which has just been presented to Maharaj, I get an especially long drink of his lovely face, on full zoom, and then zoomed out, to shoot the scene of the faces of the poor and the sturdy, peaceful sevadars.

Afterward, we drive through a pink and lavender sunset, seen across fields of yellow mustard flowers and then above the tall and thick stalks of sugarcane ready for harvest. It seems that God has returned to us, and all is well in the world.