|Journeys: Nya Alison Murray|
|Date: May 23, 2004|
|I was stranded forlorn and out on a limb in my life. Some people,
musician friends, kept telling me about this guru who was the real
thing. I didnít believe them and insisted he was a charlatan and a fake.
When I was on the horns of a dilemma, not knowing where to go and what to do next, I knew I could turn to a premie friend for help. So I did, it was a Canadian woman, Gwen, one of the most interesting people Iíve ever met, and very kind. I decided to have an open mind about maharaji, and I experienced an epiphany, an on the road to Damascus kind of awakening. Up to this point, in the wake of Vietnam, I had determined that either God was dead, or didnít care about me. I decided to support the hypothesis that the universe was benevolent, and that maharaji was the prophet of the age, and see where it led me.
I was never part of the premie social scene, but made a few good friends with some lovely sincere kind people. In fact I knew nothing about the ashrams and the lifestyle and the club and the clique. I vaguely wandered into Ďsatsangí sessions over 8 years, never once encountering the instructors or the inner circle.
Eventually in 1984, I decided it was time to try the techniques, and I did. It was the most wonderful revelation. The techniques for me were like a hidden secret pathway to my deepest self, my eternal self, the unchanging and the changeless, the divine and the miraculous. I practised them as best I could. At this point in time, I had never seen the guru, nor had he been in Australia for many years.
I finally saw him for the first time in Sydney at a bizarre event where there was a dinner afterward. I left after a couple of glasses of wine.
So I cruised through the eighties conscientiously practising these techniques, and focussing my efforts on discovering the nature of reality, truth and the eternal wisdom that human kind have always sought. This was my focus in life. Maharaji didnít really come into it. He was a remote absent figure, and I trusted he was going about his business saving the planet, in his guise as latter day Jesus.
In the nineties I discovered a lot of truth and wisdom and some wonderful people who were premies. I started travelling professionally, and in the mid-nineties started attending international events. By this time my mentors were Kahlil Gibran and Kabir. I was working on letting go of pride, stupidity, greed, attachment to materialism and fostering my interest in the environment, the peace movement and the development of complimentary medicine like naturopathy, herbalism, massage, acupressure, etc.
When I saw maharaji at these events I had some wonderful experiences by focussing and tuning in to myself, my inner thoughts and being with a large number of people who were also focussing on something real and true.
By this time Amaroo started to happen, and instead of drifting away at this point, I started to give money and try to get involved. It wasnít easy. Giving money was, but getting involved was weird. I was critical right from the start at the way recruitment was done, and how labour seemed to be exploited, so I withdrew and started having the opinion that the people around maharaji must be very flawed, because Amaroo was clearly a venture that was very badly run. I thought so for years, and was very concerned because maharaji seemed too busy saving the world to notice.
I continued my journey to my soul, and continued to focus on the meaning of consciousness, life and death, while I went through a very profound and wonderful journey with my mother over a number of years, as she slowly declined and passed on. A truly miraculous experience, and I was very glad I had focussed on the meaning of consciousness and existence as it gave me the moral strength to look death in the face, and find the meaning of the other side of spring and summer, that is autumn and winter. I was able to understand in some way the awesome nature of the creative forces of this universe. It seemed obvious to me that not only was death an ending, but in some other perspective, it was a beginning.
Meanwhile I listened to maharajiís words, and translated them to a simple profundity.
Amaroo was a constant worry, as every time I went behind the scenes, I saw splintered fractured chaos. I saw a place that had the hallmarks of a very badly run small family business. It appeared to me that everyone around maharaji was incompetent and had very imperfect flawed motives. This I rationalised as the master of the time working in a very mysterious way.
Eventually I was approached to give a lot more money. I was suspicious naturally, and decided that I would go close to the throne to find out what was going on, and attend a major donorís conference. The whole proceeding was strange, and I was even more suspicious, even though I had a great time in Arizona, complete with fling with premie from Paris.
I knew I didnít want to go to Amaroo ever again, or give any more money, but I still clung to the belief that maharaji didnít know about any of this corruption or stupidity. He was not his brothers keeper.
Then after a chilled out weekend with a woman friend, a musician with whom Iíd done a recording session, we were having coffee at the Gold Coast Arts Centre. She decided to trust me enough to tell me that she was now an ex. As I was open, she proceeded to tell me her personal experiences of how flawed maharaji is. So did I believe my friend, or cling to my belief in the prophet of our time? Yep, I trusted my girlfriend. She had no reason to lie.
The first few weeks were rough, but really, Iíve emerged from my long association with exactly what I put into my experience. An incredible awe of the way the universe works, a healthy scepticism for every belief system in it, and an honest heart and a clear head.
Now thatís not too bad, really. You have to laugh. Lord of the universe? Oh come on, I must have been born yesterday!
And the techniques? I am working my way back to contemplative yoga through the front door this time, learning the basics, and evolving my practise from simple physical techniques. At this point in my life, I am having a great time. I have a great career, a healthy lifestyle, good friends and money in the bank. Iíve sorted out my childhood traumas and put them behind me. I am no longer afraid of death and the unknown, and I now know the universe is benevolent. Iím just not at a contemplative stage in my life. No doubt when I am older I will return to contemplative practise. I feel for the first time in my life as though I am in the driverís seat, not my ego or my illusions or my fears or my doubts. And maybe god is not dead, after all, but I know that prophets and religions are props on the way to a universal consciousness. Been there, done that.