Nov. 18, 1994 – Daniel tries again
Daniel Gomez-Ibanez has returned to Maharaj after his very difficult experiences in organizing the 1993 Parliament of Religions in Chicago. It was highly successful in terms of attendance—over 8000 people from around the world participated in a great number of interfaith workshops, presentations, and discussions. But behind the scenes Daniel seems to have been caught in the midst of ego clashes.
I myself had gone to the premier event in that Parliament on behalf of Maharaj, a meeting of hundreds of the world’s best-known religious figures, including the Dalai Lama. We were supposed to discuss a document by theologian Hans Kung, “Toward a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration.” But this gathering was held below ground in the former Chicago Stock Exchange, and each day when I walked down to that place, I felt like I was descending into a snakepit. We were given specific seat assignments around a lot of round tables which were so large that we had to nearly shout to be heard by the others at our table, an effect which was amplified by the volume of people shouting to each other across all the other tables. There was also angry shouting, sometimes by the august moderator of the whole thing, who would stand on the stage and thunder down at us to behave ourselves, and sometimes by participants who didn’t agree with the document. Mercifully, media people were barred until the last day, when participants were invited to sign the document. When the television cameras appeared, suddenly everyone became docile and queued up to sign the document with great flourishes. I of course didn’t sign it, because I knew Maharaj wouldn’t approve of all this. When I walked up out of that room on the last day and saw the ordinary people on the street and in the railroad station, they looked like angels to me by comparison with the world’s religious leaders. When I returned to India to give my report, Maharaj said, “That’s why We sent you—so that you could see how bad the situation is.”
Daniel has returned somewhat disheartened, for he had worked so hard on that Parliament. Maharaj counsels him:
Blessings are necessary. Without that, you will go only halfway. People get discouraged when things don’t go according to their plans. They innocently make their plans but don’t know they are going to the battlefront. If a person gets to know the other force, he will never be disturbed. Judas thought that when Jesus went to Jerusalem, people’s minds would be changed. But Jesus knew it would not be so. That is why he said so, and knew that he would actually be crucified there. This a man of God knows, but others don’t.
On the one side there is disillusionment; on the other side, there is education. Everything should be accepted as the will of God if you want to stay happy. You will understand that things happened as God wanted. This is the truth.
There are periods like the present time when everyone tries to be superior to the others. But actually the great person is very humble and compassionate. Whether he is high or low makes no difference to him, for he knows where he is. Others do not know and they try for worldly position.
The only way to stay happy is to fix your aim and move toward that slowly. Be prepared for the obstacles and jungles. Don’t get upset; just carry on. Everyone has different ideas, but if you fix your goal and move toward it, you will not be upset.
In Jesus’ time, there was Jesus, who was always healing people. There was also another man who was always hurting people. The public choice was to crucify Jesus and let the other man go. Seeing this, recognize that the world is like this: People will go against a human being if they even went against the Messiah. If you accept that the public is like this, you can sleep comfortably and relax.
People who think they know everything never develop any new ideas. They are never ready to attend any class. They think they know everything. There are a lot of things happening in this world. You have to consider them. You will be able to accomplish your goal if you calmly move on your own path. Others will join you. But if you look at the peak immediately, you will get a sore back.
November 23 – Daniel is back again. He has a new idea, which he had gone to present to the Dalai Lama, who apparently endorsed it. The idea is to create a Peace Council of religious leaders of the world. Maharaj is not enthusiastic about the proposal, because he considers it impractical. He tells Daniel,
When you say, ‘We want to follow one path of peace,’ many people will think they are already following and preaching the path of peace, so they will wonder what is new about your way. They may even feel angry when they hear of your way. They may be afraid their followers might desert them and follow your way.
You already got a lesson in Chicago which you should never forget. Your ideas and thinking are very good, but people didn’t understand. You will have to struggle.
Daniel staunchly says, “I’m ready.”
Maharaj advises him,
Then don’t go after the very famous people. Start from the roots. Organize your meetings of lower-level, like-minded people. Then the real peace will come, because they are in the majority.
Daniel replies, ”I’d like to provide a service so that those leaders who are genuinely broad-minded can work together. The Dalai Lama is one of those.”
Maharaj asks, “He is already preaching peace all over the world. What more will this do?”
Daniel replies, “He wants to work with other people.”
Maharaj suggests, “You could work in their mission—that’s a different thing. They are always saying they are preaching peace.”
Daniel notes, “Many people speak of peace, but few are practicing it.”
Maharaj says, “If you think there are weaknesses, start at the lower level. People will not agree to what you say just by mere talk. Those Parliament people did not have the power of healing. That is why the people scattered again.”
Daniel protests, “This is not my idea. The saints asked for such a thing and want me to organize it.”
Maharaj cautions him,
They may misuse your services. Whenever a healer comes, those people who are already in their seats will never join him. Jesus said, ‘I am with the lambs. I am with the downtrodden, those who have no place in society.’ Your time will be wasted. Those people will never come together.
Daniel persists, “I want to tell you what kind of people they are. Maybe that will set your worries aside. At one table there were Swami Chidananda and the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama got up from his seat and gave everyone tea, and Chidananda gave everyone cookies. So they were like Christ washing the feet of his disciples. The great ones serve the public.”
Maharaj asks, “So who benefited?”
Daniel admits, “There was no benefit to the public. The meaning of the story is that they serve others. The benefit is a teaching about seva. It is that kind of person—not someone who is egotistical—whom we are inviting to become Peace Councilors.”
The Dalai Lama is a special person, a Peace Prize earner. The question is not whether a person served; it is what is happening in the societies? There is so much strife. How to remedy that?
Today you will not agree to what I am saying, but I want to propose spreading the message in the lower levels in society—the officers, government officials. The higher-level people know policies. They are famous and they know how to win the hearts of people and be successful. But you should enter that level of society where people don’t know anything. Take any country: The lower-level people are always cheated. Why? Think carefully. Because they are ignorant and they are bought. A person who is doing corruption is not doing anything for society, not thinking about the public welfare. Nobody likes him. But still he is able to buy everyone. Why? You should worry about how to handle these sharks.
The people at the top level are those who have divided the people, disturbed the system.
Daniel protests, “I don’t think they are all hypocrites.”
I am not telling you theory. I am telling you what I have seen. When some political person comes, these famous religious people give him great importance. They will praise him, stand before him. They know he has done nothing for the people.
Daniel says, “There are good people.”
I agree, but the good people are hidden. Look for them. I’m very sincere. I love you from my heart. But the work you are doing is a slightly wrong path. Society has always been improved from the lowest level. I feel that through the well-known people peace will never come. Whenever a Messiah comes, he has never been from the top level or rented big halls.
Daniel tries again: “There is a very small number of people who are well known and genuinely spiritual. They started without any desire for name or fame. It happens that because God was directing their work, they became well-known. If we have a few such people, it becomes easier for us to find other who are less well-known but are sincere. I agree with you that the true saints of the world are many and hidden. When Mother Teresa started her work in Calcutta, she had no intention to become famous. She just wanted to help dying people.
Maharaj says, “That’s what I am telling you. Start that way.
Daniel says, “Such people have asked me to help them work together.”
Maharaj replies, “My feeling is that she doesn’t have to say that. She is already doing her work. It is good that you have taken the name of a person who has chosen the right path. Such people have reminded the public of Jesus’ way of life. Whoever starts at that level will benefit the world. They have used their inner power, whereas you are wasting it.
Mother Teresa is a very good person. Just take her path. At this time people really need someone like you. Try to decrease your journey. Take a shortcut and start with that. Once you start working and helping others, you will be famous for loving and helping people. Their voice will reach God, asking God to give you long life, more peace, and more love, so that you can serve more. Then there will be such a big meeting for you that you won’t have to spend a cent.
Today you may doubt about taking this path. But if you think about it, it is best for you and for others. You will have to carry the lamb on your shoulder sooner or later.
Daniel admits, “I have thought about this way of working.”
Maharaj says, “Why are you travelling on a bicycle? Why don’t you take a plane?”
Daniel says, “I will meditate on it.”
Maharaj insists, “There is no other way. To distribute peace, create peace. God is always there to bless you. If you go toward Him with a small amount of love, He will fill you with so much love. It is good to take a shortcut.
First you should meditate to understand who you are. Then start your work at the lower level. Your mind will be clear only when you start working. Even if those famous people come together, the public will not gain, nor will you. You have worked with these big famous people; you have given them so much time. Now start with the lower-level people and then tell me what you have gained. Then that Power of the Almighty, Who is more famous and has more love, will come near you. You will have more power and then people will understand you. People should see peace inside you.
Daniel, says, “I am very aware of that.”
Maharaj tells him, “You need it because you want to work. Then a fountain of peace will spread peace all around.”
Daniel says, “My most important goal in life is to align myself and become in tune with God. What happens with my work is of secondary importance.”
Maharaj happily says, “Now you’re talking about the right thing. That is the primary objective. When you are in communion with God, He will do so much. You are blessed—the sooner the better.”