28 August. It has only been a few days, since Maharaj Ji has returned from Canada. This leads a devotee to question: “When you go to someplace within India, it does not seem that you have gone so far away, though you might not return for even months. In fact, when you are in the ashram, we feel you are near, though we may not visit you for months. But when you go to Canada, then it seems you have gone very far away, though you might be scheduled to return in 3 weeks. Why does one feel like this?” It would be wise to remind you here that this monthly gathering on last sunday of every month is meant to remove the doubts and guide the aspiration of the devotees hence before Maharaj Ji arrives to the congragation a volunteer collects any question devotees may have. Maharaj Ji combines all the questions and solves for them so that they can walk further with more calrity and courage.
MG’s reply (not verbatim and a little tentative): We know what the ashram is like. We know what India is like. So our mind can easily imagine the environment where Maharaj Ji might be and it seems he is near, he is fine, for the situations are familiar to us. But about Canada (since we have not visited it), we are at a total loss to imagine something that depicts it really. This creates an uncertainty in the mind, and the feeling of “distance” is closely associated with this uncertainty.
Maharaj Ji goes on to add something from his own life. This happens when we take the Guru to be the body itself. While we were in the service of Maharaj Ji we never considered he was the body. When he left the body, many were crying, but we did not shed tears. Well? For he was still with us! Before coming to ashram, people who were close to us used to say that this boy will look for a job near Ludhiana, so that he can visit Kila Raipur frequently where Maharaj Ji lived. But for us he was not merely in the body. So when we got the job in Allahabad, we took it. Distances did not matter. Yet, at the first opportunity, one would come into the physical presence of the Maharaj Ji . Distances melt away if the heart is imbued with love. For someone who is physically near, and yet far from heart – that is not of much use. Much better is he who is near by heart, even if physically distant. But the best it is for him/her who is physically near and well as near from heart. And in fact, it is only the second one who will slowly and gradually move into the third category, for if one is truly near by heart, one will invariably be near in body too.