Shri Maharaj Ji in Later Life
| By 1950, Maharaj Ji had acquired a large number of followers. Usually he would go on tour and stay in the homes of devotees, giving satsang in the evening and personal interviews in the morning. Wherever he went there was always a stream of people coming to have his 'darshan' and hear his discourses. |
After 1950, Maharaj Ji shifted from Pahar Ganj to a premie's home in Bara Khamba Road, in New Delhi. He had a large group of disciples in Delhi by now and they started meeting together in his absence as well. At this time the first disciples decided to become part of the group of missionaries who preferred a life of meditation, service and teaching in order to spread his message. They were the first mahatmas, following his guidelines in full and dedicated to his teachings.
Whereas satsang programs used to take place only when Maharaj Ji was in Delhi, now regular weekly satsang meetings were held in premies' homes. The disciples would either share their own experiences and insights or invite mahatmas to come and teach them. Gradually they organized themselves into a small community of disciples and admirers faithfully revering him as their Satguru and seeking to spread his message to others. Shri Maharaj Ji too inspired them to spread this knowledge of the Holy Name and Divine Light, as the greatest service and charity that a person can do. He agreed with Guru Nanak, who said, "One who meditates on the Holy Name and helps others also to meditate upon it will achieve salvation."
To start with, his message was spread by the simple method of word of mouth, However, once the premies were organized to some extent and eager to make known the greatness of their Guru to the general public, they arranged outdoor satsang meetings in local parks whenever he visited Delhi. Pamphlets were written, handbills distributed and other literature given out so that by the time Maharaj Ji arrived, large audience had gathered. The general public came to know that Maharaj Ji was a man who spoke the language of the saints. His popularity increased and there was widespread awareness of his activities and teachings.
In this manner the Knowledge spread from Delhi to large areas in U.P., especially Lucknow, Aligarh and Allahabad, as well as in the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jammu-Kashmir. Maharaj Ji sent mahatmas to various districts to continue and build upon his work, and they in turn arranged large, well-publicized programs at which he was invited to speak
Another significant development in this period was that 'Hansadesh', the Hindi monthly magazine, began publication from Delhi. Its purpose was to present Maharaj Ji's ideas to the public at large, and to offer instruction in the path of True Knowledge. The magazine was unique, not only because of the articles written by mahatmas and others on spirituality, but also because it published Maharaj Ji's satsangs, By now, he was becoming more and more popular and established as an outstanding figure in the field of religion.
Slowly and gradually, the number of followers increased until there were large premie communities in Gujarat, Bombay, Maharastra, Bihar, Calcutta, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. During this period Maharaj Ji organized big peace conferences and 'All Religions' conferences at venues such as Ramlila Ground and the Constitution Club in Delhi.
In the last two or three years of his life, Maharaj Ji was all dance and bliss. With a tamboura in his hands, he would sing and dance onstage, delighting the devotees with these lilas. Like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he was in a state of divine ecstasy. He proclaimed, "People of the world, I declare that only Guru can save mortal man from the clutches of death and maya." His own devotion to his Guru was exemplary and this is what he taught to his own disciples. He was selfless and others under his tutelage learned the great art of selflessness. He relied utterly on the Holy Name, or rather, he was the Word made flesh. His Knowledge was great but greater was He himself. And greatest of all was his service to others.
On 19th July 1966, at 3 a.m. Shri Maharaj Ji left his mortal body, leaving the devotees in a state of inconsolable grief and despair.