This day Maharaj had a brilliant and distinguished guest, Sir Mark Tully. He was at that time the Chief of Bureau of the BBC in Delhi—a post he held for 20 years. He had covered all the major events in South Asia during that time, and had also written a number of insightful books based on his observations of contemporary Indian history and culture. His dedication to truthfulness was obvious in all his activities. In his youth he had begun studying in Cambridge to be a priest, but instead became such a famous commentator on the Indian scene that he was given the coveted Padma Shri award by the Indian government in 1992 for distinguished service to the nation and eventually the even higher Padma Bhushan award in 2005. England also honored him in 1985 by making him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, and then by making him a knight in 2002.
Not yet Sir Mark, but nonetheless quite distinguished already in 1993, Mark Tully had accepted our invitation to cover the big havan that Maharaj was planning for Shiv Sadan. Fascinated by what Maharaj was doing, he came to Gobind Sadan to meet him.
Maharaj greeted him warmly. Mark said to him, “I am very honoured that you have received me like this. I’m very interested in your programme and would like to film the big havan. Could you tell me something about your programme?”
My deep-seated feeling has always been that we have divided ourselves according to our separate religions, our separate theories. We must understand that we are one family.
Mark asked, “Why have religions divided people?”
Maharaj replied, with Ralph Singh translating according to his profound understanding of Maharaj’s meanings,
I am sure you understand that the message of God has never changed. Prophets have always said there is one God, one Truth, one humanity. But if you look at the clergy, you see that they are only willing to do what will benefit themselves. They are not willing to look beyond that. They are only representing themselves, and their individual interests begin to clash.
All religious teachings are that everyone should work, not only for their own self-interest but for those in need. The greatest mistake the clergy make is to take God’s name to amass personal wealth. Therefore their link with God breaks and they are no longer able to show God’s mercy. They say, “Don’t come to me empty-handed.” God is not asking for anything, but these people think, “If everyone brings something, I’ll be all set.”
What does God want from us? To bring our love and also our weaknesses to Him. We lay them before God and ask that He empty us of the weaknesses and fill us with love. Instead, we bring our endless demands. God laughs at us. God says, “You are not doing any work. You are just asking.”
Where is the source of conflict? The Prophet Muhammad said to do jihad [struggle]. He said the greatest jihad is to control the raving mind, the passions. But people have changed this. They told people to fight a holy war in the world.
Guru Nanak stressed speaking and standing for truth. He said, “Let me show you the way to God: Work hard and share from your earnings.”
Jesus likewise said, “Love God. Don’t worry so much. Love all things, for God is present in all of Nature. Don’t try to sell the love of God. It is only real love which places no demands.” When he sent the disciples, he said, “Take this love I have given you freely and share it freely. Don’t spend so much on big buildings, because God is always so busy with the weak that He ma ynot have time to sit in your big buildings.”
Guru Nanak said, “These are things that will not last. They are like garbage; they will pass away.”
Moses said that there is one God, and out of love for God, if anyone is denying others’ rights and oppressing them, find a way to liberate them.
Buddha stressed truth as the basis for all relationships and dealings in the world.
So what do people do? They take a word off this end of the sentence, and another off the other end, and leave that which suits their own purposes.
Kabir stressed that one should honour all scriptures as true. What is not true is those who interpret them according to their own purposes. This is written in Guru Granth Sahib.
Guru Gobind Singh said, “You are the Creator and also the Merciful One. All prayers are to You; whether offered in mosque or temple, they are offered to the same One.”
If we study the Vedas, we find “Ik Omkar,” “Om,” and “Hari.” Guru Gobind Singh said, “Jale Hari” [God is in the waters]. What is “Hari”? From a parochial point of view, Hari is something in the Vedas. But Guru Gobind Singh said, “Each country has its own customs and dress. God is not in those things but in hearts. Recognize all humanity as One. Do not focus on differences, for if you do, you will fight.”
Peace is not achieved by meetings. It is an internal thing, only realized through meditation to develop our love of humanity and serve them.
People are criticizing the rich as bad people. But whenever there is a meeting to support the poor, the organizations are knocking on the door of the rich.
People are not practicing what they are preaching. That is why there is an increase of corruption in the world. People have so much energy in them. If they do not waste it, there is no end to what they can do in the world.
The true means of help is what you have produced yourself. God is not happy if we take from one side and give that to the other. It is my firm conviction that we must not ask [for contributions]. Is God so weak that He is a beggar that we must take to others? If God is so powerful, He will help us in our work, and that we can share with others.
As a result of not turning to others for help, our mission has been very successful. My focus is to go into places that no one has developed. We discover how much energy God gives us. I have realized that God is so inexplicably powerful that with His blessings and Power, there is nothing cannot be developed—whether minds or lands.
Mark remarked, “People feel it is difficult or even unattractive to find God.”
Why are people talking about trying to find God? God is sitting right inside them. They do not have to leave the world. How does happiness come? When we have done everything with God’s power and thanked Him. If we are always thinking that God is doing everything and thanking Him, we have this sense of fulfillment.
Mark asked, “How to get this message to someone who doesn’t believe it?”
I went to Russia and people asked a lot of questions. I asked them to come and see what we have done and then say if it is real. They brought a documentary film crew, and said, ‘You have succeeded in what we have failed to accomplish.” You must take time to visit the farm. Not only was no food being grown there. You couldn’t even enter it. It was so desolate that there were five-foot-deep ravines and jungle. People were very much against us. They said, “Where did these people come from?” I said, “We have come to set an example and show you how to produce food.” Now many people are fed daily from our stores, and they are happy.
I myself question God all the time: “How can this happen?” God assures me. I bow down when I see the results, and then ask more questions. What I have accepted is that God is so great He can change the whole world in a minute.
Everyone wants to see a practical example. We are cheating people by just talking to them. If we only talk from our own experiences, no one will challenge us. They will all be our friends.
From childhood, my goal has been to be a good person, not to be a guru. There are no issues of position. It is hard enough to be a good person. The real Guru is the Creator.
We should accept this life as a school and begin studying in it. To enter a field, we have to take the courses and pass the entry exams. There is no job given without an interview first. We are not willing to sit in God’s school even one day before deciding that God does not exist.
Scientists spend their whole life studying. Dervishes spend their whole life linked with God. This is also a school. We have to go within and sit in that school of enlightened wisdom. What we find is such that we cannot describe it. It is as if one were to give a sweet to a person who is deaf and cannot speak. He has no words to describe its taste.
God exists. God is not a theory. Over five hundred years ago, Guru Nanak said in meditation, “There are hundreds of thousands of planets, of galaxies, and the world is round.” He spoke as God was instructing him. The Vedas likewise spoke of the solar system and planetary orbits. Guru Nanak spoke about levels of galaxies. He said, “God has shown me millions and millions, and yet they are stretching endlessly beyond.” He was able to tell the distance between planets. Scientists haven’t even reached the first level discovered in God’s inner university of enlightened knowledge. There is a tremendous amount in there. We have just taken a little.
Mark asked, “Do you teach specific ways of knowing God?”
Meditation, working hard, and serving others—then those virtues in us come forth very strongly.
Mark observed, “People feel that meditation is difficult.”
To get any benefit, one has to struggle. If you have love, it is very simple. When we pray, we are saying something to God. By meditation, I mean focusing within ourselves, being quiet, and listening very silently to God. What happens? The wave of God’s love and truth well up within us and our mind begins to be linked with God. This has such an impact on our consciousness that we begin to realize that God speaks to us from all of Creation.
Then in our anxiety—“What will happen?”—that Voice quiets us: “It will be okay.” That voice reassures us: “Don’t worry.”
We think, “How can there be light in the world? All I see is darkness.” No: There is Light inside and it is so powerful that as it appears, all darkness will disappear. We need not push hard. As a result, our will is developed and our weaknesses disappear.
Mark said, “That inner quietness is the hardest thing.”
Maharaj assured him,
It will happen. If we move a little bit toward God, God will take our finger and help us walk. I know from my own experience, because I have never read books: God exists. Next time we meet, you will agree.
There is nothing in the world that cannot be accomplished. From a worldly point of view, if someone in the past had told me I would be able to talk on the phone with America, I would never have believed it. But someone had a goal and knew it could happen. Or how could we have believed that body parts could be exchanged?
There is no difference: Love of God is the same way. Stop saying that it is hard. The best schools are the most challenging.
After this lovely audience with such a powerful media person, I mentioned to the staff that it seemed that Maharaj had been hiding but was now willing to be revealed. Ralph Singh described his vision that the media people are all flattened in front of Maharaj, yelling, “We’ve found him!” and beating us, saying, “Why were you hiding him from us?”