Journeys: Gill Harley (formerly Cahill)

Date: October 3rd, 2001 (updated

Hello everyone. Most of you in America won't know me but I was very involved with Divine Light Mission in London, UK, right from Maharaj Ji's arrival here in 1971 until I left the ashram (and, a couple of years later, him) in 1983. Because of that, I feel very responsible for helping many people to take Knowledge and it's mainly for this reason that I feel duty-bound to write.

The first thing I want to say, though, is - we were right! It isn't my view that both parties in the relationship were wrong and therefore we've all made a terrible mess and wasted our time. I feel that those years were not wasted. Far from it. Because the true situation was (and is) that we were right and only he was wrong! And the fact is that (and it took me a couple of decades of immense pain and struggle to get to this realisation) the reason he could 'con' us was (and is) because we were (and still are) devotees, we are premies, and nothing we ever do will ever be able to erase that - because it's who were really are. The only difference is, we are not premies, or devotees, of HIM.

After leaving Maharaji in the early Eighties, and trying every good experience this world has to offer (and I experienced most of them), having the best of relationships, the best family, the best job, the best place to live etc etc, I found that from none of these things did I experience that sweet, soulful, nectarful devotion that my heart still remembered and yearned for and pined for. And so I began to feel totally empty, and everything became meaningless. However, because I had given Maharaj Ji that most precious part of me - my heart or soul, whatever you want to call it - in all good faith, that devotion was not misplaced or wasted, because it had actually fallen at the feet of the one true God who hears every sincere prayer of every true devotee.

The 'divorce' from Maharaj Ji for me (and, I'm sure, most of you) was the most painful thing I had ever experienced in my life. It was far more painful, and so took far longer to get over, than either of my two marriages, which also failed. And the main reason that it was so hard was because I was trying to say to myself, the whole time, that devotion was wrong and that I'd wasted twelve good years of my life.

But, after allowing me to experience the full helter skelter of everything Kaliyuga had to offer,(there were times when I had to be picked up out the gutter by passers-by, because I was rolling drunk; other times I'd wake up in the beds of strangers and not know how I got there) God in his mercy picked me up and now I live happily and blissfully on his lap.

He came to me in the form of the avatar, Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba, but after all we've gone through, I don't expect for a minute that you'll be think this is a good idea! It would be quite reasonable for you to think that I have just fallen into another trap, but please bear with me.

Unlike Maharaj Ji, Sai Baba lives in one room which he sweeps out himself every day. He doesn't own so much as a spoon. He spends hours and hours of every day of every week with his devotees, which means anyone who wants to be with him, not just a select inner circle. He is the most beautiful being I've ever seen in mylife. He's an avatar, or God in a human body. If it wasn't for him, I'd most certainly be dead by now. And, most importantly for those of us who've previously given our hearts and souls to a hypocrite, Sai Baba not only talks the talk, he also walks the walk.

So, just this one last point. There have been times in the last 20 or so years when my thoughts about Maharaj Ji were filled with rage and anger. But in the end, I found that I had to work through and let go of the anger and the rage. Otherwise, I knew that I would never move any further forward on this path. The anger was useful to me for a time. But after that, it became a huge encumbrance.

So if you are also now feeling that you have finally reached the stage of wanting to let go of it, there may be one thing that may help your heart to soften a little. It's this: nobody could have taught me the theory of bhakti-yoga, or devotion, better than Prem Pal Rawat. For whatever his reasons, he did a fantastic job. He did such a good job that when I finally got to Sai Baba, I knew exactly what to do.

I was like the Prodigal Son. I was ravaged by maya, I was like a beggar at the gates. But, within three days, I'd asked Sai Baba (actually, I begged him) for devotion. He accepted and threw a great feast. Being vegetarian, the only thing missing was the fatted calf! But I wouldn't have known what to ask for if Maharaj Ji hadn't directed me towards the right Vedantic scriptures and texts so that I could understand what it was I really wanted. And the only great sadness is for Maharaji - not us - that he can't (or doesn't want to) merge into this great joy himself. He can teach it, but doesn't do it. But we can!

All my love to you guys!! I feel very moved to be able to write to you in this way. My heart goes out to all of you! And thank you for taking the trouble to read this.

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