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29 DEC 74 - I have been meditating now for at least two and a half hours a day for the past 22 days straight. Still, it is most difficult, especially as in the last week I have had a bad cold, and throughout, of course, I have my regular, everyday life to live.

1 JAN 75 - Amid resolutions of the new calendar year, I am finding the conflict between my rational, analytical, skeptical, often negative, and cynical self, on the one hand, and my sensitive, creative, devotional, imaginative, easily suggestible, usually positive, and open self, on the other, particularly distressing tonight. I just want to lead a normal life. And yet I also want to be a devoted disciple. Bully! Bully!

It is cold here.
      The winds keep blowing.
            I must go where it is warm.
                  I must find someone
                        To lay warm hands upon my heart.

6 JAN 75 - It was a very, very beautiful association meeting tonight, here in Indianapolis, where I have come for a two week Army safety course and been lucky to get in touch with other initiates. Great folks!

11 JAN 75 - Have attended three great associations here so far. Surely beats carousing with my safety course classmates in the local bars and cocktail lounges!

12 JAN 75 - Last night I heard a tape of Jack Plymouth, Maharaji's representative for the eastern United States, giving a talk in Pittsburgh, where he had been initiated many years before. In the discourse he talks about his wife, who died a few months ago, and tells how Maharaji had once told Jack's wife, shortly after they had been initiated, that her experiences were valid and that she had been with him in a previous life and also had been in the family of Maharaj Gujja Ram Ji, my Maharaji's spiritual teacher, in a former existence.

13 JAN 75 - The Marine Corps officers in my safety class get up each morning at 4:00 A.M. and go for a morning run, to stay in shape. Surely we initiates should show as much dedication as spiritual officers.

19 JAN 75 - Esther says that when you meditate you must be like the dead. "The dead never move!" she emphasizes. "Otherwise, if you move," she says, "you will spoil it." That's a good point!

25 JAN 75 - If I cut out movies, I shall be able to afford going to association in Virginia Beach or Washington, D.C., each week. After my experience in Indianapolis, with all the initiates there, I see the value of more frequently having such meetings, even at some apparent sacrifice and inconvenience.

26 JAN 75 - My brother Ralph's initiation is today in California. Hooray!

(Read The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.)

Esther goes through her things and gives me many of the precious gleanings of the years of discipleship, special photos and written messages and publications, treasures sanctified by her love and devotion. I am the swine before whom she casts these pearls. I am the blind man before whom she dances in ecstasy, stepping lightly to a tune unheard by these coarse ears, and thrilling in innermost being to a vision I can not guess.

12 FEB 75 - Esther went to her doctor for a regular checkup yesterday and, sitting alone in the quiet waiting room, she just began to repeat her mantra mentally and became peaceful within, she says. Suddenly, she "got a message! So beautiful! I was in ecstasy!" She beamed at me. "And that's how I know," she said. What she knew she would not say. Still under the influence of her vision, she also knew, she told me, everything her doctor would tell her before the examination. And now, alone ever since, till my visit, she is still bubbling over, dancing with joy, and barely containing some incredible inner secret.

17 FEB 75 - Esther gives me this counsel today: "You can memorize all the books; but it won't count as much as one glimpse, one glimpse, of the Maharaji inside!"

Tonight Esther indulged her fantasies somewhat and went on embarrassingly about one day, one day, after she would be gone, that if she were here she would introduce me this way: "I would like to introduce to you someone who was commissioned by our Maharaji to teach the Lifestream philosophy in America." She admits that perhaps the mind just plays tricks. I should say!

22 FEB 75 - This Washington's birthday three-day weekend has been just great grace! I spent most of it up in Washington itself, among initiates. It was a beautiful time that has seemed like an oasis in the desert, or like a cool drink after days of thirst. I feel as if my state of consciousness or being has been permanently raised by these few days. Things are looking up! It was like soaring in a realm of bliss. Perhaps if I were to meditate a lot and continue such contacts more and more often, the day might come when such a state could become the norm instead of such a rare event.

28 FEB 75 - Anxious, depressed, and lonely tonight. It has just come over me like a flood, I know not why. I long for release from this world, from awareness itself. My separation from my true Self, from that bliss I wrote of so recently, or from our Maharaji, and the life of Lifestream Way discipleship, seems now painfully acute. I yearn for death. Where else can I escape where self is not!?

1 MAR 75 - Imagine a realm peopled only by devoted followers of the Lord, a "place" where live only those whose being has risen until they have seen the radiant astral form of their perfect living Maharaji within. Imagine what landscapes must be there, in that world of worlds. Imagine what it must be like to take a quiet walk there in the evening and whom one might meet along the way. Imagine a meadow of that world's flowers. Imagine an informal gathering of that realm's residents. Look deep into their faces. What must they be like? Imagine the qualities of light, sound, and color there. Imagine the joy of seeing a child smile. It must surely surpass the lyrical flowing of pure waters over the rocks of a mountain stream in springtime. Imagine the things that these people are placidly awaiting, not in hopeless yearning, but with quiet, joyous certainty. Imagine the coming of the Lord to this place! What absolute bliss it must be! And if we, of this place, can vividly imagine such a world and how it might be, are we really certain, can we really say for sure, that it does not exist, that it is just a dream, that there is nothing better than this world in which I am writing and you are reading this?

2 MAR 75 - Esther said today that when I shall be giving association discourses, as I shall, she says, I must remember to take some good thing from Lifestream Way literature and include it in the talk.

9 MAR 75 - The days like leaves fly by. All too soon you and I shall leave this sensory feast. I have great longing. I work very hard. And the inner tears, like tinkling coins, trickle down the inner cheeks. Once more the head nods off in attempted meditation. Once again this ceaseless plague of mental fleas assaults me furiously. I experience hunger. I experience loneliness. I experience restlessness. These are the boons bestowed upon me by my Lord. With these gifts I remember and remember and remember to continue the journey, the efforts to make my way along this path. And to You, my Lord, from afar across this desert of ego, I bring You my thimbleful of pitiful small change in tears of longing, of hope, of love, of effort. Behold! This desert is a vast wasteland! My thimble is forever drying out. My tears are forever refilling it. See! I have lost my way. My eyes' blurred vision seems to take me in circles. I have nothing and am nothing to bring to You. Ignore the tears moistening my face as in a summer storm. Tears, effort, and desert are all unworthy of you. My efforts are not efforts at all. My tears, still noticed, are not yet pure. My small, arid self will dry into deserts whole worlds of beauty within, dune by dune. My blinded eyes will not see the Oases of Your Loving Grace, though the waters of your Love bubble up at my feet and flood and encircle this little island of myself. Here is the seeming hopelessness. Here is the paradox. Here is the hope. Here is the Way! Useless these words to portray.

11 MAR 75 - Up today at 4:30 A.M. for meditation. Then had a fairly interesting day at work. Also got a letter from Joan in Mississippi, Esther's roommate during our Thanksgiving Spirit Fest, down at Key Biscayne. Thanks to the fleas, heat, traffic noises, crime in this neighborhood, parking problems here, trash scattered everywhere, broken beer bottles on the sidewalk, etc., it seems it would be best if I move soon to a better situation. I can now afford to do so. Also, I would like a place with air-conditioning, before the muggy weather starts again in earnest.

28 MAR 75 - Minor frustrations at work require some getting used to. The hardest thing is getting along with others whose values and personalities are very different from ours. We must adapt.

Disappointed with my LW practices. I am so extremely bound up in this world and hardly believe in any other. Now I am finding every excuse not to do the meditation or at least to do far less than the prescribed two and a half hours per day.

EASTER SUNDAY, 1975 - In 1966 I had several drug-induced journeys out of my normal states and as if out of my body, under the influence of a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide administered through an anesthetist's mask by an M.D. researcher. I experienced in "superconsciousness" such things that afterward it seemed to me that I knew, without question, that God Is, that everything is meaningful, and that ordinary existence is but a tiny fraction of Reality, just one facet in a jewel of infinite complexity and brilliance. My task now is to recapture that level of awareness free of drugs and gases, and, moving with determination and perseverance, to continue still beyond even that stage as well.

5 APR 75 - I am frightened, of rejection, of my life's years wasting away, of death. I grow less sure of my commitment to LW. For a little company under the covers I could easily cease all these attempted spiritual efforts. Give me a happy, dancing wench and a glass of cold beer; and I'd toss it all away.

17 APR 75 - Despite such thoughts as in my last entry, I continue to be drawn by the life of discipleship. It is necessary to carry on the everyday existence, to go through the motions of a normal life. Nonetheless, we need not give this world more than passing interest. Let us give it simply the least effort required to hold down a good job and fulfill our responsibilities toward others. Let us then turn all our extra energy and creativity toward "going within." This will pay great dividends, not only in the spiritual realms but in this ordinary life as well.

19 APR 75 - Swept out two large rooms of my apartment. Opened all the windows. I sit, then, listening to the birds celebrating a new spring, feeling the great gusts of fresh air sweep through, shaking the windows and walls. Later, there is a fine shower and the apartment becomes a dark cave. I look out from its mouth into wet whirlwinds. I seem to soar with the furious roaring and rushing of the wind, as it wildly thrashes the limbs of tall, swaying trees, their new leaves shimmering in frenetic frenzy.

20 APR 75 - More and more I become convinced, there is nothing "out there" to be discovered and nothing "inside" either. Rather, we are, in our meditation, simply discovering ourselves, more and more essentially, and, in so doing, approaching closer and closer to reality, personal truth, That Which Is.

When I was twelve or thereabouts it occurred to me, for the first time I remember, that each of us is not separate at all but rather is bound up with everyone else, not in some mystical sense, but just in that we can never really set the limits for where I stop and you start and for the ends or results finally ceasing of even the slightest of our actions or of the slightest of the multitude of phenomena going on around us continually. There are, then, in reality, no discrete individuals or occurrences. Everything that goes on and each constellation of momentary personal expression is as a dynamic stream of thought or flow of waves and effects one upon another, from each of which again an unceasing rippling of concentric waves of interactive effect moves outward even as, at once, an infinitely complicated interplay of new effects and interactions is inward moving, acting upon and shaping us and all that we regard as apart from us, etc. In this sense or view, it seemed to me, there are not causes or effects, but states of being, all at once, everywhere, if we but knew.

At any given moment the law of conservation of energy is operating in each of us, setting limits on us and sustaining a balance of our tension, fatigue, relaxation, physiology, consciousness, emotional state, etc. Since we are a whole, an extravagant expenditure of energy and attention in one area, such as violent sex, may greatly reduce our potential for something else at around the same time, like higher forms of awareness. On the other hand, tapping such a higher level of awareness creates concomitant changes and elevations in our overall level of energy and being. Things are then radically transformed for us, until a new balance and new limits have been realized.

22 APR 75 - With her uncanny way of reading me, Esther today, although neither of us had been discussing my moodiness, surprised me by the following comment just as I was leaving: "You'll be alright. Just keep happy and laughing and don't be getting morbid like you do. It doesn't do you one bit of good!" She also told me, as if of herself, that you get to the point where you are walking along and you are just kind of floating, so that you don't even feel your legs on the ground, so it's like you're up in the air and just flying along. "And then," she adds, "you never get tired!" We said our goodbye, till my return from Fort Rucker, AL, as I'm off there for aviation safety training.

In a tensile mood, he selected the mocking, commonplace thoughts. He held off a deeper view with this pabulum and hid himself in the shaggy smock of a herd idiot. He disappeared thus in the inane and innocuous, the same within and without.
11 MAY 75 - Back from Fort Rucker and settling in here in the Fort Lee area. I stopped off on this trip in Albany, GA, and had an incredibly beautiful visit with Charlotte, an initiate there, delighted to see me and share association, especially as she is at some distance from other LW followers. Also, while in that general area, I visited a couple times with two initiates in Columbus, GA, and one in another community. In Columbus, one of the two had come clear across the state for our little meetings. We had, then, in fact, altogether several good association visits, despite the difficulty of initiates being very widely separated in that part of the country. And I confess I left thinking that Maharaji had really this in mind in sending me so far away for my training, that He really just used that excuse to put me in touch with these beautiful followers, and for such good times with them.

My vision blurs. A screen comes before my eyes. A jackal is glimpsed for an instant. His hot, wet breath is felt in little panted draughts upon my face. A red haze obscures all but a dim hint of light. From the left is heard heavy city traffic. From the right there is only the screeching and howling of wild creatures. A tiny insect progresses with detached solemnity across my right ear and up the side of my head, stops momentarily on the top of my cranial orb, then stalks slowly down and forward till sitting astride my right eye. A black shadow falls across the bloody haze. All becomes black. The scene shifts, is forgotten. I open eyes on greens, whites, flesh pinks and browns, chromiums, porcelains, tiles. The smell of antiseptics. A marble-filled mouth garble of sounds, soft, high and low. Colors and sounds slowly gel and coalesce into walls, people, medical machines, words, sentences, meaning. I find myself lying down in an operating room. Nurses and doctors peer over me. Carefully they scrutinize some part of my body beneath my chest. A sheet of white light is drawn over me. After several seconds I realize this is not really light but a field of pain so pervasive it seems it has become all there is anywhere, everywhere, forever. It goes on and on. New worlds, whole universes of agony are born into being as the seconds slip away slowly, slowly. Again I fade out of the scene. A hazy blankness and blackness mercifully intervenes. It seems to last for uncounted eons before a dim, tentative opening of some kind appears. There is no name, no shape, no self. There is simply an opening that continues, delicately, gently, for a million, million years...

20 MAY 75 - Esther last night, noting that I was yawning, said she knew I was busy. "And you will be busy," she added, as if this had special significance. Is this just more of the foolishness of an old woman?

14 JUN 75 - I have applied for permission to go to Gagan, the spiritual colony in India led by Maharaj Dayal Nam Ji, the current teacher of the LW faith. I hope to be able to go the last two weeks of this year.

I mentioned to Esther that my brother, Ralph, is getting out of the service soon and does not know whether to come out here, stay in California, or go back to Austin, where our folks and siblings are. She said he will definitely be coming here. Similarly, I mentioned to her my application to go to Gagan; and she said I shall be going.

15 JUN 75 - I gave my first formal association talk today, in Virginia Beach. By Maharaji's grace, it went very well; and the discourse was apparently of inspiration to several listeners there. The topic was: "practical considerations for the improvement of our meditation," quite pertinent in my case!

21 JUN 75 - I have been seeing a lot of a girl met at work. There are some basic differences in our outlooks. However, we seem to be both attracted to each other most keenly!

28 JUN 75 - It is over between Mary, the girl at work, and me. We had a most affectionate evening a few nights ago. But she suddenly became quite unaccountably nervous and asked me to leave. Now she is just very abrupt with me, says she can not see me further, and gives no explanation! Maharaji, what is going on here!? Is this how you keep me from leaving the LW path and breaking my initiation vows?

Wet rat beside empty wine bottle
Lying on its side in a dark alley
Rotting garbage, slimy gutter
The rat's blood, leaking slowly
From tiny wounds
Streaks out behind its tail
As the creature moves slowly
Through the muck.

"Peace enters the mind when desire for pleasure exists no more." Guru Nanak

29 JUN 75 - On the way to association in Virginia Beach today Esther told me that "one day" I would be having that "feeling of fullness" within that shall make all this outer restlessness seem insignificant. She added that I am "isolated outside and insulated inside" which is the reason I had never married, as no one could get really close to me. But she said this was good for my meditation, giving me a valuable detachment so that "with all that padding" I was not to be easily distracted. I asked if this sort of padding would become greater or less as one advanced on the meditative path. She said she felt it just got "thicker and thicker." But she said this inner padding was very different from outer isolation, that you can be both very close to someone and very well insulated inside. However, she said that, in my case, although I would not have to remain isolated, I probably would.

14 JUL 75 - It has been raining a lot. Dr. Singh, an Indian gentleman, one of our little group of initiates in Virginia Beach, quipped that it must be our monsoon season. The rains seem lately to mirror my own inner feeling of dreariness and insignificance. I would not be dismayed if this were the onset of a new biblical Flood.

15 JUL 75 - On this, my second, anniversary of LW initiation I find myself wondering why it has been such a difficult, unrewarding path for me. Nonetheless, I shall go on in discipleship to this beautiful Maharaji.

18 JUL 75 - Last week I wrote to my brother, Ralph, that if I did not receive permission to go to Gagan I expected this would be my last year of following this path. Today I received a letter granting that permission and suggesting an extension of the time I'd planned to spend there to the whole month of December. I am ecstatic, but now am worried that I may not get permission from my boss for the extra time off. Still, what Maharaji suggests must come to pass!

21 JUL 75 - Hooray! This morning my supervisor granted me the time I had requested. I shall be leaving just before Thanksgiving and not returning till after New Year's.

down by the river     very pleasant     first sunny day in three weeks     birds about
everything bright     slight breeze swaying tops of trees     river so calm
swallows diving whirling and soaring then diving again

As Joyce, in the Virginia Beach LW group, says, "It is a comfort to know Maharaji is arranging everything for the best." Wish I always had her faith!

23 JUL 75 - We should not take literally the painstakingly detailed, explicit descriptions of the rewards and punishments of "karma" or of the means of its being worked out through a nearly endless succession of cycles of transmigration. All such are at the best very crude, yet symbolic or poetic, attempts to convey truths or relationships and complexities that defy real explanation at our ordinary levels of understanding. Even the Bhagavad-Gita, taken by many as literal truth, is only a story meant to get across certain spiritual and philosophical points.

Much dreaming lately centering around my own death.

7 AUG 75 - I think it very important, whatever else is going on, that within the next five years I shall go back to school for a masters or doctorate in psychology, educational psychology, or something else of more genuine interest for me than my current work as a safety management specialist, which does not turn me on.

(Read Fire in the Lake!)

11 AUG 75 - Received a new letter from Ralph today. Sure enough, just as Esther had predicted, he will be coming out here when he gets out of the service, though for awhile earlier he'd thought he'd stay where he was or go back to Austin or Hawaii.

12 AUG 75 - Many dreams, over the last few months, about Maharaji and a close relationship with him (Him?). Also many about death. (I think that one attraction of death is simply that at times it seems the only really exciting thing left. Perhaps this is one reason so many go in for dangerous hobbies.)

5 SEP 75 - A few days ago I gave my second LW discourse. It was so well received that afterward over half the group came up to tell me how much they had appreciated it. Amazing! I must admit I was quite pleased with this result, and that Paula and Theresa were here visiting, along with Esther, of course, whom I now take over to Virginia Beach at least twice a month, on weekends when I'm not away for training. We all had a good celebration and get-together.

I'm off again to Indianapolis for a three week safety course. Ralph will join me there, on his way east from his last assignment in the service. Then we'll drive back together.

5 OCT 75 - Back in Virginia Beach again, after my training, I gave the LW discourse again today. From the responses of the listeners, it was the best talk I have yet given. It just seemed to flow brilliantly. Maharaji's grace!

Ralph is sharing my two-bedroom apartment, in Hopewell, Virginia. A lot has changed for both of us since our roommate days back in an apartment in Austin, in 1971. Still, some of the challenges of being in such close quarters remain. Now, as then, I often get the feeling he must dominate the situation, is competitively driven to try to do so, so much so that it does not seem unusual to him, merely the way things must be. My recent bit of "success" in giving LW talks seems to aggravate this need of his to show he's in charge. But, for me, used to the "isolation" that Esther mentions, well "padded" and content with being completely on my own, to have someone come in and try to change everything to his ends, a younger brother at that, feels extremely intrusive. Honestly, however, I realize that, though this is how it feels, in reality I am overly sensitive, that I am reacting as much to my own fears of not being assertive enough as to Ralph's being too pushy. Neither of us is very comfortable with the situation, but both trying our best to work it out and remain on good terms. It is inspiring sharing this LW path, having the possibility of spurring each other on as we traverse together this path of inner awakening and spiritual insight.

9 OCT 75 - Ralph headed out, a permanent departure, this morning, en route to Virginia Beach, where he'll make a new start. The difficulties we have had in the last few weeks were a big shock to both of us; and his leaving now, under these circumstances, is especially upsetting, yet also a relief, for him as well as for me, I think. At close quarters, for very long, our personalities seem to clash often and easily enough that I find myself longing for time alone. There is much, much more I could write here on this topic. Suffice to say that I have seldom felt so low and that the estrangement from Ralph is likely to remain a terribly sore wound for us both for some time to come. It is all the more cause for anguish since we had such high hopes for a close bond when he moved out here, on recently getting out of the Air Force. I am not sure we shall ever overcome with each other the intensity of pain we are both feeling right now.

Last month, at an association meeting in Indianapolis, I met an Indian initiate named Jaimal who told me about being initiated by Maharaji himself in Hong Kong, in 1970. I had mentioned Maharaji's recent initiation of about four hundred in England and how one of these, it was said, did not at first hear the inner music, but then Master had him take the meditation position we were given for listening for or to the inner, spiritual sound, and try again, and this time he heard it as well. Jaimal told me that when he was initiated one of the ladies in the group, an older woman, asked Maharaji to help her with the instructions because she was very hard of hearing. He agreed and had her sit right next to him. He told her, in the listening for the inner sound position, to just watch the others and do as they did. But, after just a little while, she began exclaiming that she could hear, and sounds like she'd never heard before, only it was too loud, much too loud! She turned to Maharaji and asked him to do something. The sound was just too great! He laughed and said, "Alright." Jaimal said she has been very lucky to stay in Hong Kong and attend association quite often and to get in a great deal of meditation, which seemed to be going very well; but she no longer had to ask for the sound to be turned down.

30 OCT 75 - A bright, cool day. Pretty flowers are gently swaying in a soft breeze in the field out back. A new beginning.

31 OCT 75 - Expect nothing! Want nothing! Only so can you really appreciate living and avoid disappointment, anger, worry, and frustration. Remember your death! Still the mind! Observe everything you do. Avoid expressing negativity. Stop indulging. Keep the focus throughout the day. Be, in every moment!

Life is a dream. What are the parameters of our dream world, to which we agree so as not to awaken?

" 'Are there any new worlds for us really?' I asked, half in jest. 'We have exhausted nothing, you fool,' he said imperatively. 'Seeing is for impeccable men. Temper your spirit now, become a warrior, learn to see, and then you'll know that there is no end to the worlds for our vision.' " Carlos Castaneda

This is the story that my young Indian initiate friend, Jaimal, told at association, when I was recently up north in Indianapolis:

Maharaji went to Hong Kong in October, 1969. By this time Jaimal had already been on the LW diet for a short time. He was then 18 years old. Earlier he had not been a vegetarian, avoiding alcohol, or careful about no sex before marriage; but then he came under the influence of his auntie who was an initiate. After awhile he found he wanted to become an initiate himself. So, once he had been a vegetarian a few weeks, he wrote back to his family in India about wanting to receive this boon. They were a little upset about this and wrote back that he was too young. They were not against his being initiated, they said, but first he should live his life, get his education, get well along in his career, get married, rear his children, enjoy what life has to offer! Later, when he would not be longing for these ordinary things, then would be the time to ask for initiation.

Well, since he was quite young and had not yet had a great deal of experience of life, and since he was also the youngest child of his family and listened to the advice of his parents, older brothers, and sisters, these arguments did have an influence on him and bothered him somewhat. So he wrote to Maharaji about it. He never got a reply to that letter. However, shortly afterward one of his LW books fell open to a passage about this very question and he read that we never know when death may come and also that, in any case, it may be much harder to meditate when one only starts in old age, when the body, as a rule, has more aches and illnesses with which to contend. Besides, perhaps more importantly, by then the mind has had all those years to develop habits of running after all the stimulating attachments outside, so then it is all that much harder to still the mind and turn inward. So he decided to go ahead and ask for initiation just as soon as possible. He wrote to his family and explained all this to them. (Not long after this, surprisingly enough, they all became vegetarians and began to prepare for initiation as well!)

Now Jaimal's auntie would get up early and have tea and then meditate and so Jaimal, who was staying with her and his uncle then, would get up early too and would practice meditating using "Sat Guru" as his repetition.

Then it was learned that Maharaji was coming to Hong Kong. Of course, excitement was high. When he did come, in October, many people applied for initiation. Jaimal was among them. There was a long line of applicants. You can imagine the intensity of feeling among them! Jaimal was standing far back in the line. As he got closer he could hear the questions Maharaji would ask each applicant, like whether he or she were married, how long they had been following the diet, and so on. And then the Master decided if they were ready for initiation and nodded his head either to the right or left to signify the decision.

Many were turned away this time. None of those turned away in Jaimal's hearing were told they would be initiated later. Finally it came his turn. Maharaji just asked him three questions. "What is your name?" he asked. And Jaimal gave his name. "What is your work?" And Jaimal told him that he worked for his uncle in a clothing shop. And then Maharaji asked him how old he was. And Jaimal was thinking of all those ahead of him who were even older than he who had been turned down. And he thought, "I am just 18! I am almost 19, but Master may think I am too young since he has already turned down several who are 21 or 22 or even older." So he said, "Master, I am 20." And Master looked at him and said, "My son, you will have to wait until next year."

Jaimal went away feeling very sad. Several of the others who had been turned down were crying and now his eyes began to fill as well. And his initiated friends were amazed that he had dared to lie to Maharaji. News travels quickly among initiate groups. Soon all over Hong Kong they knew that he was the one who had lied to Maharaji. But when they saw how sad he had become and that his tearfulness and remorse continued, they consoled him and pointed out that he was the only one who had definitely been told he would be initiated, and that he only had to wait until next year! So he began to feel better. He started thinking to himself, "Well, it is just three months until I am nineteen; and anytime after that I can be initiated!"

So the months passed. Then it was well into 1970 and nothing had happened. He asked some of the initiates about it. They all told him to be patient. Perhaps something will come up so he would have to go back to India, where he would see Maharaji and could then be initiated. They did not know how it would happen, but one thing was certain, they told him. "Of course Maharaji won't be coming back to Hong Kong the very next year." It had taken many years before he had visited there, in 1969."But, one way or another, you will be initiated this year. Whatever the Maharaji says will happen, that is precisely what will occur!"

Now Jaimal began to worry. He didn't want anything to happen to any of his family. But that was the only way he could figure that his uncle would let him off from work to go back to India. By now he had begun to understand that Maharaji was no ordinary man. And so, following the initiates' counsel, he decided to just remain patient and to stay on the diet and following the other vows, while he waited to see how Maharaji would bring it about. Nonetheless, unable to contain his anxiety, he wrote to Maharaji and pointed out that it was now the next year and how was he to get initiated?

But Maharaji again did not reply to his letter. A few weeks later, though, during Maharaji's visit to Europe and North America for the first time in six years, the Hong Kong secretary surprised the initiates there one Sunday by announcing that Maharaji was coming back to Hong Kong at the end of his world tour. Now all the initiates came over to celebrate with Jaimal. Everyone said it was because of him that Maharaji was coming back among them so soon.

When Maharaji did come, there were once again several applying for initiation. Jaimal, of course, was again among them. Once more, after some wait, he stood before Maharaji. He was asked just three questions:

"What is your name?"

"Jaimal," he answered.

"And what is your work?" Maharaji asked him.

"Maharaji, I work for my uncle in his clothing shop," he said.

"And now, how old are you?" Maharaji said.

"Maharaji, I am nineteen."

And this time Maharaji initiated him.

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