|Journeys: Lee L.|
|Date: June 5, 2003|
|I recieved "knowledge" in summer 1995, having followed Maharaji through my parents since 1989. My parents were premies during the 70's and spent some time living in ashrams, but they have not disclosed much
information to me about those days. My mother is now an ex-premie but my father has continued. They are divorced. I chose to live with my father. When I first saw a video of M I was only 12 years old but I was
completely taken in by it, there's no doubt about that. I trusted him and I liked the 'Idea' of knowledge. I also felt that, although I didn't understand a lot of what M was saying I understood the general principle
and was quite pleased with myself that I did understand (or thought I did!). I asked my father about his experiences and he told me about the light, the concentration required, the fact that you had to 'empty your
mind' and 'not think'(!?!)(which sounds so stupid now). I was definitely curious. One thing that stood out for me was how genuine and caring M appeared to be at the time, but it's also worth noting that I also didn't have any notion of him being 'The Perfect Master' (which was what, ultimately, and without me really knowing it, I was eventually led to believe). If there was a hint that there was any kind of manipulation involved at that time, I probably would have just said 'No'.
From 1989 to 1995 I attended programs, listened hard to M and tried to understand everything he said. I didn't question anything during this time - I was just 'certain' - as M said I should be. I felt that I just "knew" that it was all perfect, the perfect technique, the perfect master and the perfect time. But there were just a few things that happened at this time that made a few doubts creep in. I attended a program in Sheffield, England in 1995. On the train journey home, some rough Sheffield boys jumped aboard and started causing a bit of trouble - nothing too drastic but definately a bit disturbing. I remained silent, hoping they wouldn't notice me at the back, and it was working. But then I started to think about what M had said: "Don't worry about the world - it'll go away", and I thought "well, at the moment, the world doesn't seem to be going away at all. If these boys start to turn violent towards me, is M here to help me?" I spent the rest of the journey afraid, tense, and extremely worried. It was quite an ordeal to go through straight after an event. "No" I concluded - Maharaji isn't being entirely truthful here.
Then, not too long afterwards I recieved "knowledge". "Is this it?" I thought. I didn't experience ANYTHING from the first technique. "I'll have to work on it" I thought. The second technique was just boring, a breathing meditation - something vague was happening with the third, but the forth was quite pleasant. "Well, one and a half out of four isn't bad!!" I thought. But I was still extremely disappointed. "Where was God? Where was the creator? Where was this bliss that M talked about?". M had stressed the importance of not having concepts, about approaching K openly "As a child with an open heart" etc. So it was MY fault. "I mustn't have been open enough", "I wasn't ready for it." Bullshit. I was more than ready. In fact, I was probably "too ready". I had concepts? - NO. It was M that forced the concept of this "incredible experience within" that could be attained through this "Knowledge"- "That bliss, contentment, God, The creator" etc. NOT me. "Give Knowledge a fair chance" I was told. "Okay, let me work on this then", I thought.
I practised diligently from 1995 to 1998, sometimes even as long as four hours a day. Admittedly, I did experience a few pleasant things, but for the majority of the time I was just disappointed and depressed with my lack of progress. I was confused - torn between the two conflicting thoughts "keep working on it - it'll come" and "This is just NOT working!". I told my father about the problem and he recommended that I write to M. (I think my father must have been having problems too at this time). So I did. I wrote a very open letter directly to Maharaji.
"He's probably just too busy", I thought (too busy to actually help HIS followers practice HIS techniques correctly!?!). But of course I wasn't completely convinced of this. Something was really beginning to give now. But ultimately, there was one more problem that just wasn't going away. "Knowledge" couldn't fix it. Maharaji couldn't fix it. Attending programs couldn't fix it.
The problem was this - I was lonely. I had become very lonely. M had taught me that everything I was looking for was within me and not outside. So, I had stopped looking. And I had gotten stuck in a rut - a rut of darkness. I couldn't see the benefits friendships/relationships outside of M and K could bring. "No. This is wrong. This is wrong" I kept thinking - "I can't keep doing this to myself. Humans are social creatures. I can't cut myself off from the world". But this is EXACTLY what Maharaji pulls you into doing. You end up giving up your own authority and your own rational thinking. When has M ever mentioned the importance of friendship, human love or compassion? In the ten years that I followed him I never heard him mention the word 'compassion'.
Ultimately, in this life, a person needs to follow what works for them. And for me, Maharaji and Knowledge certainly didn't work in any shape or form. It caused more harm than good in the long run and it is so sad that many more will be suffering in the same way.
In march 1999 I picked up a Yoga book for the first time and tried the Yoga postures(asanas). Within two weeks I was hooked and have never looked back. A few years later I discovered Patanjali's eighthfold path. It included a technique called Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses). I found out that this technique (which is centuries old and was taught by Patanjali, seen as the 'Father of Yoga') was the same technique that Maharaji calls "Knowledge".
I have come full circle! This time, however, I took the 'proper' way round...