Followers of Guru Claim Divine Light
Scott Heath '73, has a new birthday: March 22, 1972. On that day he "received knowledge" of Guru Maharaj Ji, the 14-year-old Perfect Spiritual Master of Divine Light.
Yesterday Heath, president of the Harvard-Radcliffe Divine Light Club, left for the Guru's Hans Jayanthi celebration in Delhi, November 7-9. Afterwards, he will participate in a month of meditation and "Satsang" in the physical presence of Guru Maharaj Ji.
Seven jets have been chartered so far for the "faithful" of the U.S. alone. The Master, who is currently in New York, will take the last plane back.
"We've used up all of Air India's jumbo jets." Heath said "They're a little upset because they can't use any on their regular flights anymore."
Four thousand westerners are expected to attend the celebration marking the birthday of the present Master's father, from whom he inherited the position in 1966.
The movement now has 30,000 adherents in the U.S., as opposed to six when Maharaj Ji made his first trip to this country in July 1971, according to Carol Greenberg, acting general secretary of the Concord regional headquarters.
The ten members of the Harvard Divine Light club hold "Satsang" or "holy discourse" on Tuesday and Thursday nights at Phillips Brooks House.
Tom Ulfelder '74, "received knowledge" of the Master last week. He had been attending "Satsang" since September with his roommate, but he felt he had to overcome initial cynicism before he was ready. "Receiving knowledge" is the first perception of God, the formal initiation into Divine Light.
Several followers have been selling their stereos recently, but Ulfelder denies that the money is for the Mission. "You just get sick of a lot of material things," he said. "All Maharaj Ji wants is our love and devotion. That's all we have to give him. He owns everything else."
It isn't likely that any more followers will be selling record players for a while. Divine Light Mission will soon be releasing a stereophonic recording "The Lord of the Universe."