Euphoria has struck again. A new havan is being built in Tejpuri under Maharaj’s blessings and supervision. As afternoon turned into evening, those of us carrying brick dust on our heads in taslas (steel pans) began walking faster and faster. Faster and faster we filled our taslas, and then as someone began singing Nam, we began running with our loads, which became weightless. Each in our own way and our own timing, but with the same joyful love, we sang “Ik Onkar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru,” the Nam that Maharaj Ji gives us, which could be translated as “There is One God, ceaselessly manifesting, the True Reality, supremely wondrous, the Light that dispels the darkness.”
Maharaj Ji is usually present with the sevadars (volunteers) in the fields or wherever else hard work is going on. Today he was with us all of a very hot and humid morning and half the afternoon before leaving in his mud-splattered jeep. We never saw his car reappear, but he was surely with us as we all got into the spirit of the work, empowered by the Power of God.
Nowhere else in the world have I seen such unremitting—and joyous—hard work by volunteers in any religious organization. And not even in so-called religious leaders have I seen the kind of light that gleams from the faces of so many of the common people here.
Actually, I have just returned from an international gathering of most of the world’s best-known religious leaders, where I was stunned by the darkness of the group. I had gone on Maharaj Ji’s behalf, for he had foreseen the outcome and sent me in his place—not so much to represent him as to fully experience the reason why our world is in trouble. Those who should be inspiring the people with the spiritual values which are so lacking in the world are neither inspired nor inspiring. “Only God chooses who will speak for Him,” Maharaj told me. “These people have chosen themselves. This is actually the work of Satan. Dark rays are coming out of them, and they fall on the people, making them dark or discouraged. And the religious leaders should be working with the people, rather than saying, ‘I am special—You work as I tell you.’”
What is more, Maharaj told me, “If you read the Bible, or the Guru Granth Sahib, or the words of Lord Buddha, you will see that their ‘followers’ are not living by what their prophets said.” The people at that conference were arguing over theology, over the wording of a document about global ethics. Leaders made a show of signing it in front of television cameras, but Maharaj says it will have no effect. By contrast, what I am witnessing in Gobind Sadan and Shiv Sadan are practical manifestations of what a truly hard-working, truly holy person is doing.
Kailash, the volunteer halwai who makes sweets in the langar, explains, “Maharaj blesses us, and the Light suddenly strikes us.” As he speaks, his eyes and smile are gleaming in the darkness.