HOW HE BECAME “MAITREYA”
A lecture by a disciple on how Maitreya realized who He is and how He eventually decided to start His Mission
We will explain Maitreya’s childhood briefly and then will explain the part how he became Maitreya in length.
He was born in Tehran, Iran, November 8, 1944 (1944 numerically is 1 + 9 = 10 = 1 or 1944 = 1 + 4 + 4 = 9, the same as the numerical value for 144,000). Tehran is located in an area that is east of Jerusalem and west of Tibet. This fulfills the expectation of the Jews and Christians who are waiting for Maitreya to come from the East. This also fulfills the expectation of Hindus and Buddhists who are waiting for him to come from the West.
Maitreya’s ancestors lived in an area north of Tehran called Taleghan, a mountainous region consisting of eighty villages. It is very rugged and sometimes inaccessible. It was so inaccessible that the Assassins used one of these villages (Alamot) as their stronghold. The government never succeeded to capture this place.
All of his grandfathers were religious leaders. Not only were they the religious guides of the area, but their power exceeded their religious authority. Maitreya’s grandfather had to be consulted and his permission was essential before any governmental official could enter his territory. They all lived in a village called Shahrasar. This authority, of course, decreased and eventually vanished when the central government became more powerful, people left the villages for larger cities, and greater communication facilities were provided.
His parents were the first generation in the family to leave that village and come to larger cities such as Tehran. His father started as a teacher. Then after passing an entrance examination and studying in law school, he became a judge. Right after Maitreya’s birth, however, he took advantage of an offer by the government, received an early retirement, and started his law practice as a lawyer. It was then that he became more prosperous. Maitreya was born the seventh child.
Also a few months after his birth, World War II was finished. This, of course, fulfills the prophecy that is from Buddhist beliefs that: “It is predicted that the manifestation of Maitreya shall come after the wars.”
The end of the world wars brought many more opportunities to everyone, including his father. This also helped the family to have a more prosperous situation. Maitreya’s father was a very sincere and honest man. He was so well known for these qualities that he was asked by many to be the trustee for distribution of the wealth to their children, sometimes orphans. He never professed to be religious, but deep inside he had great feelings for God. Maitreya learned from him a great deal of strength, perseverance, and higher thoughts.
Maitreya’s mother and father were cousins. She lived a queenly life, spending winters in Tehran and summers in the village to get away from the heat of the city, always having servants, both in the city and in the village. She was a pure and powerful woman. She was well known for her benevolent acts and beauty all through Taleghan. Her husband loved her so much, that he would do anything for her.
Maitreya was born into such a background. He was told that on the night of his birth there was a great deal of excitement. He had one brother and three sisters all older than him (two children had died in infancy). All of the three sisters were born while his mother was spending summer and fall in the village. His brother was born in the last month of the winter while his parents were living in another city, Zanjan.
By the time of Maitreya’s birth, his parents had three girls and one boy. His mother intensely desired to have another boy. Because she did not know when he would be born and with the past experiences that all the children who were born in the village were girls, she decided not to go to the village that summer. So she stayed in the heat, which she was not accustomed to, and endured that summer plus being pregnant to make sure that he would not be a girl!
On the night of his birth, there was a sense of celebration among the family, so much so that a night of gathering and story-telling was arranged. Everyone stayed awake until 5:00 AM when the news of the birth of a boy child reached them.
At the time of his birth, they had a hard time making him to breathe. It seemed he was refusing to enter this world. Probably he had suffered so much in previous lives that he was hesitant to come back. Eventually they succeeded to pull him in. Or maybe God pushed him into the world! He was given the name Mohammed by his parents (Muslims are expecting the name of the Mehdi to be Mohammed!)
One of the stories of his childhood, which his mother used to tell, was about the man who would bring milk for the baby. It is not unusual for women to use the milk of the cow as a supplemental source of food for the newborn. There was a milkman who used to bring his milk to the house every day on his bicycle. But that first winter of Maitreya’s life, one day it snowed so much that all the transportation facilities stopped in the city. There were many feet of snow on the ground.
Although Maitreya’s mother had milk, it was not sufficient. It became a concern of how to find milk. No one could even leave the house, that severe was the snow. People had to dig tunnels to reach anywhere. His mother told us that it was the next afternoon that the milkman showed up on the doorstep, not on his bicycle, but on foot. Cold and shivering, carrying some milk under his cloak, he had spent hours fighting the snow to bring the milk. He was very concerned that the infant would be left without any milk.
Another interesting aspect were the dreams Maitreya’s mother had when she was pregnant with him in her womb. One of her dreams was that: They were preparing to eat dinner. She said to Maitreya’s father, “But Prophet Mohammed has not come to dinner with us yet.” His father answered, “Do not worry, he will be here soon!”
Another dream was that she saw herself sitting on a lion. The lion was rising from the horizon, like the sun. A voice told her, “The lion you are riding is your child.” Maitreya’s mother later said, when she was in America visiting her son, that the landscape in that dream looked like New Mexico.
Maitreya became close to his mother. Indeed he became her favorite. His special treatment, of course, became a source for some jealousy from his brother and sisters. But they mostly accepted the situation, especially since, except for his younger sister (two years older) who also became close to him, they were all much older. They had other concerns than to compete with him (the second oldest also was a girl who was 7 years older than he was).
The family mostly spent winters and early springs in the city, and summers and early falls in the village. This brought a great balance in Maitreya’s life. He became familiar with the city life, without losing touch with nature. Maitreya’s grandfather still was living in the village. This brought a central figure as a unifying force for the family. He brought a great deal of warmth, strength and discipline to the whole family. He was respected and exalted highly. Sometimes, in the winters, he would come to the city to live with the family. He too had a favorite eye upon Maitreya.
Maitreya was seven years old when he declared his independence. One day when his mother, like all mothers, was mothering him, he told her that he is old enough not to be treated like a child any longer. Although he was not a difficult child, he was strongly aloof and independent.
For example, when he was seven or eight, he refused to participate in a ceremony, before the New Year, during which the people would jump over a bush on fire as a sign for health and prosperity for the next year. It was probably a tradition carried to the present time from the time Persians were Zoroastrians. Maitreya declared it seems ridiculous and served no purpose. From then on they accepted his position and left him alone.
It was, however, in the high school and teenage period that he reached his highest physical and mental development. Until then, he usually stayed home and had his little world with the family and some friends. But in high school (which started in the 7th grade) he became engaged in sports (soccer, basketball, tennis, skiing, etc). It was also in this period that his spiritual longings and questions were frustrated by not finding adequate answers for them. He had reached a point where he said, “If you show me God, then I will accept Him. If you can’t show me, then I can’t believe in something that I cannot see.”
Of course, they couldn’t show him God! God was something, somewhere up there. No one has any access to Him. They said, It’s a very inaccessible thing. Maitreya probably had a very scientific mind, and he just wanted to see Him.
When he read about evolution, he felt, “Ah, that makes sense. There were dinosaurs, then there were monkeys, and then there were humans. They evolved from each other and eventually it came to what I am.” So it made more sense than religion.
Then Maitreya found out about dialectic materialism, which in essence says, “Whatever is not seen, cannot be believed.” So he eventually reached a point that he said, “It’s all just nature, just chance, and there is not really anything such as Spirit. We’re just made by chance. There is no God.” So his eventual conclusion was formed on the theory of evolution and dialectic materialism. He just rejected God completely.
He became an atheist, you can say, and he was comfortable with it. He didn’t think too much about these things any more. He was just a student, going to school, doing his homework, getting his grades, and trying to please his parents, if possible. They told him, “This is the way. You go and get your degree, you get educated, then you get a job, you get married and have children, and all that. Then, you become a productive member of society,” etc. I guess we all know what that set-up is. It is already set up for you.
This trend continued until Maitreya entered college and finished his degree, a BS in Business Administration. In college he also became involved in gymnastics. After college he had two years of military training. These all went relatively comfortably and smoothly. It was one year after he finished the army that all preparations were completed for Maitreya to go to the United States for further education.
He had finished his college education and had his bachelor’s degree. He came to the United States to get his master’s and doctorate degrees. He thought he was just here to get his education and go back.
But when he came to the US, amazingly, he started being pushed and pulled in directions he wasn’t intending to go. It was then that the greatest chapter of his life started to unfold. With a Mighty Hand, he was guided to his final realization and Revelation of God’s Plan.
We must note that it was a very cloudy day when Maitreya flew on the plane to the United States. It was cloudy the whole way here. That was disappointing to him, because he wanted to look out the window and see the ocean and land, but clouds had covered the whole earth, it seemed!
When he first came to the United States, he had a couple of spiritual experiences. Also for the first time he experienced the hardship of life. Maitreya started to notice discrimination, the feeling of being an alien in another culture and all the problems related to the concepts of “mine” and “thine.”
All these occurrences shattered the peaceful and loving world he had known at home. This opened a new dimension to him. Although he could not understand what was happening, he felt that his world was being destroyed and with a Mighty Hand his life was changing in the process.
He was in school in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but he lost his interest in pursuing education. He was still considering finishing his degree. He wanted to have more time to think about these new developments than study.
Therefore, he started working in a hotel in Pennsylvania. There he met a man who became his roommate. This person was a very good person and seemed to have a lot of love. He also used to meditate. However, the meditation he practiced involved going under a blanket and staying there for a long time, and sometimes even falling asleep there. Maitreya could not see what he was doing under the blanket. All he said was that he was meditating. Maitreya wanted to talk to him, but he would just fall asleep there sometimes. He thought, “This guy is crazy.”
But this roommate was very happy. He was really happy. When he was out of the blanket, he was a beautiful guy. Maitreya really liked him and felt very intrigued by him.
Maitreya went to the dictionary and looked up the word meditation. What does the word meditation mean? The dictionary said that meditation means, “to think.” He said, “I can do that. If he can go under the blanket, think, and come out so loving and nice, I can do it as well.” So Maitreya put a blanket over his head, and he started thinking. After five minutes under the blanket, he was thinking, “It’s getting hot here, I can’t breathe.” After ten minutes, he was struggling, “Boy, it’s getting really stuffy in here.” After fifteen minutes, he said, “Forget it, this guy is crazy, no doubt about that.” So that was the end of that. Maitreya concluded, “Definitely, he’s crazy.”
That summer, a couple of months later, Maitreya went back to school and took some courses. He was living in the dormitory and eating in the cafeteria. That was where he met this very small Eastern Indian man, named Satish, which he later found out means, “Truth.” Satish had so much energy. He was such a dynamic person. He was just glowing with energy. Maitreya came to like him very much. In the course of their talking Maitreya found out that he lived downstairs in the same dormitory.
One day Maitreya said, “You seem very energetic, how come?” Satish said, “I meditate.” Maitreya thought, “Oh, oh, another one of those loonies.” Maitreya asked him, “You mean you go under the blanket?” He laughed and said, “No, no. Not that kind.” Maitreya asked, “Oh, there’s another kind of thinking and meditation?”
Satish started talking about meditation. He told him about Ananda Marga, that he belonged to that organization, etc. He explained briefly what mantra is and what really meditation is. Maitreya did not understand completely what he said, but it made some sense to him.
Later on, when they came to know each other better, Maitreya went to his room and Satish showed him a pamphlet that was about the activities of Ananda Marga. He explained some of the aspects of that organization and he showed Maitreya their sign. When Maitreya saw the swastika in the sign, he asked him if he was a Nazi. Satish then explained to him that the swastika is not what Hitler used it for, but it is a very ancient sign symbolizing higher consciousness. Satish also told him some of their philosophy, but Maitreya was really interested in meditation at that time. It seemed anyone he met who meditated was happy and full of energy. He wanted to learn this art that made these people so joyful!
After a couple of months Satish told Maitreya that a teacher from Ananda Marga, called an Achareya, was coming to the campus to give a lecture. An Achareya is a person who has dedicated his life to meditation and teaching it to others. This teacher was from the Philippines.
Maitreya had been here in this country probably around two years or so by this time, and he still had a hard time to understand English with an American accent. That was because he had studied English with a British accent. When he was coming to the United States, he had stopped in London. It was very easy for him to understand the television there. He could probably understand around 60-70% of their English accent.
Then he came to New York. They said (with a New York accent), “How are you doing?” Maitreya would say, “What?” They just completely threw him off balance. It was a completely different world. He probably could understand 10-15% of what they said.
See, when you are in school, you work with the books more than with the people. You are not in too much contact with the people. You just sit with the professors and the professors talk a very high level technical language of English related to your field, and you read books, etc. So you are not in very much contact with day-to-day people. You understand the professors, but you really don’t know the language. You really have to live with the people to start to truly learn a language.
Anyway, after two years Maitreya still couldn’t understand English very well. Then this Filipino person came and he had a Filipino accent. Have you ever heard a Filipino person talk English? It can be very difficult to understand. Even the Americans can have a problem to understand a Filipino with their accent.
So Maitreya didn’t understand a word of what the Achareya said [laughter]. The only thing Maitreya understood was that he was going to be available for consultation and that if you had a question you could go and talk to him. Then the teacher went into a room.
Maitreya said to Satish, “I do have a couple of questions.” So Satish told him to take his shoes off, go in the room where the Achareya was, and say, “Namaskar,” (which is an Indian greeting), sit crossed-legged in front of him and ask his questions. Maitreya said, “Great, that is what I’m going to do.”
So Maitreya went in the room and said, “Namaskar,” and sat in front of him. But the Achareya’s eyes were closed and he was meditating. Maitreya kept silent and was waiting for him to open his eyes so that he could ask his questions. The Achareya was in such a state of peace and his face was glowing that Maitreya felt completely attracted to his Peace.
With his eyes still closed, the Achareya started talking. He then initiated Maitreya! The teacher told him the process of meditation, and he gave Maitreya a mantra and its meaning. He said, “You meditate on this mantra. That is your mantra. Go and meditate.” Maitreya never even had a chance to ask his questions! The Archareya opened his eyes, wrote the mantra for Maitreya on a piece of paper, and told him to go and meditate. Also he instructed Maitreya to meditate twice a day.
Maitreya did not come to the lecture to be initiated. He even did not know what initiation was or what it meant. He had not even heard about a Guru or any of the Far East philosophies. But somehow there was a great pull!
So Maitreya went to his room. The Archareya had instructed how to meditate, “Go and close your eyes,” and things like that. He went up there and meditated. He started using the mantra and thinking about its meaning…
It was a wonderful thing that happened. It was one of the best meditations he has ever had. He felt that Light was going out of his head and body. He opened his eyes and everything was Light. He went downstairs in the dormitory and was grabbing people, “Hey, can you see God?” Of course they didn’t know what he was talking about. This occurred August 15, 1974.
The fall semester was to start sometime in September. Maitreya was thinking about moving out of the dormitory. A person from California came to join Satish so they could start an Ananda Marga Center in Scranton. They wanted to get a place together and start a Center. Maitreya also wanted to leave and probably get a big house and share it with a couple of other students. So, he started to look for a house.
Actually, in the beginning he was supposed to move in with Satish and the other person. But perhaps they concluded that Maitreya was not ready to live in the Center with them. Satish had been meditating for fifteen years, and this other gentlemen had been meditating for six years. To them, Maitreya was just like a baby in the path. They didn’t want to live with him. So they decided to go and get a house by themselves.
Maitreya also went out and looked for a house. He was just looking around to see if there was anything for rent. He could not find anything. Then he saw this lady walking in the street, and he asked her, “Do you know if there are any houses for rent around here?” She said, “Yes. There is a house there. It has been empty for years. I don’t know if the owners want to rent it but they might. Go and ask.” She showed Maitreya where the house was.
Maitreya went there, knocked on the door, and asked the person who was there, “I heard that this house is empty. Would you like to rent it?” He said, “Well, it’s been empty for a long time. We’ve been thinking about it. But let me think. What are you doing?” Maitreya said, “I’m a student. I go to school. I might get a couple of other students with me, and we are just going to school. I haven’t been able to rent a place.”
He said, “OK, I’ll rent it to you.” Maitreya said, “OK, can I look at the house?” He said, “It’s a nine-room house. It has a basement. It has central heating.” Maitreya went to look at it. He thought, “Oh, it’s going to be five or six-hundred dollars for a nine-room house.” He asked, “How much do you want for it?” The gentleman said, “Seventy-five dollars a month.” [Laughter]
Maitreya said, “OK, fine.” He certainly didn’t have any complaints about $75 a month for nine rooms. He said, “OK, I’ll take it.”
Maitreya went back to his room, in the dormitory. As he was meditating in the evening, someone knocked on the door. It was Satish with his friend. They had a problem with their landlord. Their landlord didn’t want them to start their Center in his house. He didn’t want them to bring people there to meditate, and all those things that would be part of being a Center. So they were unable to start a Center in Scranton.
Then Maitreya told them about the house he had found. Satish suggested that they all take the house and make it a Center. Maitreya told him, “But you didn’t want to live with me.” Satish said, “I have no choice now. We looked for another place to rent. We could not find one. It seems there is no rental house available in Scranton anymore.” Maitreya agreed to share the house with them.
They rented it, and the three of them started to live together. Of course, they first went to the landlord and explained to him what they were going to do, that they were going to have people come and meditate there. The landlord and his wife were wonderful people. That was fine, no problem. Actually, just across the street there was a big house with around six or seven nuns living there. So, there was a very beautiful, strong energy there.
Maitreya started living with Satish and the other person. He was now with these people who had been meditating for years. They started talking about the teachings of Baba. Baba was their spiritual teacher. They would wake up at around 4:30 in the morning, and then they would go for a walk.
At the top of Scranton there is a lake. It is an artificial lake that is the reservoir for the city. It was a one-hour walk around the lake. They would go there, walk for half an hour, sit there and meditate for another thirty minutes or an hour, and walk back for half an hour. That was their ritual every day for around six or nine months.
Maitreya was in a very intense environment with these people. He had very strong meditations, yoga, and teachings, and at the same time was going to school with them. He had a lot of discussions with Satish and others. He started to understand what the Guru meant and who was his Guru, etc. Also he enjoyed talking about these philosophies. So they created a very nice environment there. That environment completely changed his lifestyle and his view of the realities of life. He was awakened to a realm that was unknown to him before.
That spring he finished his MBA and was accepted for continuing his doctorate in business in three universities. He chose to go to Mississippi State University because they accepted him unconditionally. The other universities were in Pennsylvania: Penn State and Temple University. If he had stayed in that state, he would have been almost in the same situation as before.
By going to Mississippi, however, Maitreya was forced to completely change his environment away from the support and friendship of like-minded people. He understood this change more later on and found out that there was no one in Mississippi from the same organization. And because of living in that spiritual environment in Pennsylvania, he did not like to associate with people who were not doing meditation and were pursuing a regular life. He couldn’t get along with the people who drank, smoked, were vulgar, and all those things.
When Maitreya went to Mississippi, it was very hard. Suddenly, he was out of that secure environment in a place that he didn’t even understand the language any more [laughter]. For the first semester he was pretty much by himself. There were very few people studying business in the doctoral level, and there was not much social contact. So he became very isolated, and he spent most of the time by himself. Well, that was really by His Grace.
Maitreya’s schedule was to go to school, eat, sleep, read schoolbooks, read Baba’s books (his spiritual teacher, Baba is his affectionate name) and meditate. So he had much more time to read Baba’s books and become familiar with his teachings instead of listening to others talking about him or his philosophy. Therefore, Maitreya was not being influenced by others but had a direct relationship with him. For about five months he was in this situation, completely wrapped up in meditation and study.
The next semester he felt like he wanted to do some service. He had such a desire to spread the knowledge he had gained from his spiritual teacher. He decided to start a yoga class. Also he wanted to find people who were interested in spirituality and make some friends.
So Maitreya went and talked with the person who would set up the programs in the student union. He was very interested and even offered to pay him $2.00 an hour for the teaching. But Maitreya refused the money because he wanted to do it as a service. Instead he requested that they do the publicizing for the class because of his busy schedule.
Maitreya thought that maybe around five or six people would come and that they would have some fun. If at the end even two of them stayed, that would be great, still he would have two friends there and they could talk about things that he liked to talk about, like God, meditation, etc.
Anyway it was advertised, and the class started. The number of the room was given out, and the time was established. It was supposed to be from 7:30 to 9:00 PM on Mondays, in a room large enough to hold 20 to 25 people.
The first day of the class, Maitreya went upstairs in the union and saw that there were a lot of people there. He said, “I must have the wrong room.” The room with the same number was just packed. He went downstairs and checked the number with the desk, and that was the right room. Maitreya went back there and looked and there were around 50-60-70-80 people waiting for the class to begin [laughter]. It was packed. All the chairs were taken, some were sitting on the floor, many were standing along the walls, and still more were coming.
Maitreya thought, “Are you kidding me? I can’t talk about yoga in front of 80 people in English [laughter]. I can’t even speak English very well yet. Eighty people!” He panicked, and he just ran downstairs [laughter].
Maitreya sat in a chair and said to himself, “I’m not going to be able to do this.” He closed his eyes. He started meditating. But he said, “Somebody has to do it. You have already told these people that there is going to be such a class.” He said, “Well God, You are going to have to do it for me.”
Like an instrument, Maitreya walked upstairs and went to the class. He closed the door and started talking about meditation and yoga. It was a great experience! Everything became Light. The whole class was out of this world. It was filled with joy and peace. Everyone was together. That’s when he felt really good, really fine, really great. Maitreya has said that it was such an incredible experience that the whole class was out of this world. They were one, all eighty people with him, all were one. He was so high, so relaxed, so joyful, and everything looked brighter and more beautiful. His English even was OK. He just loved the feeling. Maitreya knew then that he was going to continue teaching.
He split the class into two classes, each with about 40 members, one for Mondays and the other class for Wednesdays. As the semester progressed, these four hours of teaching were the most profound and joyful times of his week. He used to make a schedule of what he was going to talk about. For instance, “This week we will cover this, this and this.” But he would go to the class and wouldn’t talk on any of those topics [laughter]. Completely different topics would come out. He would put them into meditation and suddenly an incredible thing would come out and everyone would be amazed with the subtlety of the things that were talked about.
After two months Maitreya invited a teacher of the Ananda Marga organization from Atlanta, Georgia, to come and initiate those who wanted to become members. Thirteen people were initiated, which is a very large number for a class in existence for only two months. Usually they start classes for fifteen to sixteen people, and one or two would become initiated. So when thirteen people were initiated, it just exploded in the whole of Ananda Marga that Mohammed, who was in Pennsylvania and went to Mississippi, after having a class for two or three months, facilitated thirteen people to become initiated. So Maitreya became very famous all over Ananda Marga (AM). Many people in AM knew him, who he was, what he was doing, etc.
Maitreya then requested for a “wholetimer,” who is a person who goes to a six-month training course and works full time for the organization for one year. He requested one of them to be posted in Mississippi so he could help him in establishing a Center there.
That semester finished and Maitreya has said that it was one of the greatest periods of his life. He was Godly-high almost all of the time, “It was such an incredible feeling!” In the summer he decided to go to Iran and visit his parents and his family, after three years of being away. However, when he got there, he found himself a foreigner in his own home. Everything and everyone seemed different. Of course, Maitreya was a yogi now. He started telling them about yoga and teaching about these things, but they couldn’t understand it.
Maitreya felt that he did not belong there any more. He longed to return to his teaching and his spiritual friends, so he did. He just felt, “I’m out of place here. They are no longer my family, I can’t relate to them. They are from somewhere else, from a different consciousness.” All he wanted was to go back to Ananda Marga and his friends and more spiritual people, the people whom he was comfortable with, who meditated and talked about God.
So Maitreya came back to the United States to continue his education. By then, of course, Ananda Marga had sent a full time worker to be with him because he didn’t have time. He had his classes and things like that, so he couldn’t take care of thirteen people.
Before this happened, of the people who started coming to his classes, there was a group of hippies in the class who came and studied with him. They came to Maitreya and said that they wanted him to go and live with them and become their spiritual teacher [laughter]. The first thing he said was, “There is no loose sex, OK?” They said, “What? You can’t do that to us” [laughter]. They offered that Maitreya could have anyone he wanted as long as he let them have their way. Maitreya said, “No, it doesn’t work that way.” So they backed off.
That year, there was a weeklong Ananda Marga retreat in Kansas. It is a custom for the people in that organization to ask for a Sanskrit spiritual name. Maitreya was in Ananda Marga probably two years by then, and he had never felt he needed a spiritual name. He never had a desire for one, but in the retreat he decided to ask for a name from his Achareya.
However, this Achareya was a very busy person because he was the International Coordinator of the organization. So he put Maitreya’s name on his list of those who had asked him for a name and he told him that he was too busy at that time, but he would send him one. Maitreya said, “OK, I’ll wait for you.”
Of course, most of the people who asked for a spiritual name received it right away. They had the names of Ishvara, Krishna, or Shivamurtti, and all those big names. That retreat was finished and he went home. Maitreya waited for a month, two months, but the name was not coming.
Maitreya had become so inspired at that retreat that he decided also to go to a training center in Denver and become a wholetimer himself. It just seemed that more and more he was becoming attracted to the spiritual world rather than the external world. However, when he went back to Mississippi, things started not going well.
First of all, he would have to quit school. Secondly, after he decided that he would do it anyway, it seemed that he couldn’t get out of town. Maitreya put his belongings in the car all ready to go, but the car wouldn’t start. After a couple of days he decided, “Well, I am not going to go,” and a few hours later his car started with no problem.
The next day he decided again to go, thinking that he was being superstitious. So he took his car to the back of the house, put his suitcase and things again in it, and started driving. However, it was raining and the backyard, which was just dirt, became very muddy, so his car got stuck in the mud. He just could not leave the house!
A few days later Maitreya decided again to go. He went out and found that his car had fallen into a ditch at the side of the house! He decided these were the signs for him not to go. He sent a letter to the training center describing the situation and told them he would not be coming.
Maitreya had still not received his spiritual name, so he sent a letter and asked for it again. A week or so later they had a retreat for the people from Mississippi. There was a teacher, an Achareya, from Atlanta Georgia who used to come every three months and tour different AM centers. He was in charge of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. He would travel, and go back and forth through these states. So Maitreya already knew him. His name was Rudranath. He was invited to come to Mississippi for this retreat.
Rudranath came, and because Maitreya knew him and was very comfortable and close to him, when he came for the retreat Maitreya told him that he had asked the International Coordinator to give him a name but he had not received it yet. Now it was two months later and still he hadn’t received it, so Maitreya asked Rudranath, “Could you go ahead and give me a name?” Rudranath said, “OK, let me think about it.” He later on said, “I’m going to do it, I’m going to give you a name.”
It was Wednesday. Wednesday passed, Thursday passed, Friday they went to the retreat site in the evening, nothing. The retreat started that night. Maitreya said he was really upset that he was not giving him his name, “It has been three days. What is he doing? Come on.”
So Maitreya went early in the morning Saturday (interesting it was Sabbath!) just as he woke up. He rushed to Rudranath’s room and said, “What is my name? Are you going to give me my name or what?” Rudranath said, “OK, your name is Maitreya.” Maitreya couldn’t even pronounce it correctly, so Rudranath wrote it down for him.
Maitreya asked, “What does that mean? What does Maitreya mean?” He said, “It means The Compassionate One.” Maitreya said, “OK” and he walked out, saying to himself, “OK, my name is Maitreya, that is my spiritual name.”
Maitreya didn’t know what the word “compassionate” meant, so he went to the dictionary to find out. It said that compassionate means to have compassion, to have mercy, to have all those things. It didn’t sound good [laughter]. He really didn’t like it too much.
The other people had names like Shivamurtti, which means “statue of Shiva” or Ishvara Dave, “the controller of the universe,” and things like that. All of them seemed beautiful to be or become. But Maitreya, the compassionate, did not seem very interesting.
Actually the next week after that, Maitreya had to go to Memphis, Tennessee. He had to do a couple of things there. So he went to Memphis, and this spiritual teacher, Rudranath, was there. Maitreya said, “I want to talk to you, I don’t like this name. I want you to change it.” Rudranath said, “No, I can’t, that is it. I gave it to you and you’re going to stick with it.” Maitreya said, “No, I don’t want this.” Rudranath said, “That is it. If you don’t want it, don’t use it. But that is what I gave to you and that is going to stay with you.” Maitreya has said that now, when he thinks about it, he is amazed at how he became so involved in such a name trip, but of course, there is a reason for everything.
A few weeks later Maitreya received a letter from the other teacher and he gave him the name Vigi Kumar. Vigi means, “youthful.” Kumar means, “prince.” So Vigi Kumar means, “the young prince.” Maitreya said, “Wow, that looks better [laughter]. I’m going to use the name Vigi Kumar instead of Maitreya.” So he was using both names and telling the people that he liked Vigi Kumar better, but without any exception all told him that he should accept Maitreya over Vigi Kumar, because being compassionate is a greater virtue than thinking you are a young prince.
This was in the spring semester. Maitreya finished his courses in June, and in July there weren’t any courses scheduled for the summer that he could take. Ananda Marga had their headquarters in Denver, Colorado. They had a business called Golden Lotus. They used to make shampoo and other products. It was a very wonderful shampoo, it might still be on the market. They were having problems with their business so they were looking for someone, a business major, to come and study their business and suggest some recommendations. Since Maitreya couldn’t take the two courses he needed that summer, he had almost the whole second part of the summer doing nothing.
So Maitreya wrote them saying, “I am a business major, do you want me to come and help you out with this problem?” He received a call, “Yes, come. You can come here and stay with us and do the things we need to be done.”
Maitreya went to Denver, and it was decided that he should study the company and set up a cost-accounting system, some paper flows, and makes a report of its situation in general. From the very beginning he felt some resistance from some of the people there. They felt threatened by his presence and his questions about all the different phases of the business. However, he tried his best, and made a report to the president and International Coordinator.
During the time he was doing that, people kept asking him, “What is your spiritual name?” He would explain to them, “I have two names. I have Maitreya and Vigi Kumar.” Everyone, without exception, told him, “Keep the Maitreya.” He explained to them that he didn’t know which one to use, Maitreya or Vigi Kumar, and they all said, “Keep the Maitreya, keep the Maitreya, keep the Maitreya.” It was just like pounding on him, “Keep the Maitreya, keep the Maitreya, keep the Maitreya.”
Eventually, by the end of the two months, he decided to keep the name Maitreya instead of Vigi Kumar. So his spiritual name was established as Maitreya.
At the same time, his money was running out. He talked with the people in Ananda Marga and said, “Do you need me to stay with you longer?” They said, “Yes, we want you to stay here.” So they decided that he would continue on with this task. So he told them, “I will come the next semester. I don’t have to take a course. I won’t take the two remaining courses in the fall; I’ll take it in the spring. I’ll come and stay with you.”
However, he was becoming a little disillusioned with the way things were being run there and the way things were handled. He found a deviation from what the ideology of his Guru was and the way it was handled. Also there were rumors starting in that organization about a lot of things. So he was getting kind of, not as good a feeling as he used to have about the whole thing.
Also, later on he heard that his recommendations were rejected. Not that he was attached to the recommendations but they were good, they were good recommendations. They were sound, they were based on the business studies that he had made. But they didn’t want to do them. That was another drawback for him. But that wasn’t really it. Just a lot of things started to go wrong. He was feeling a little disconnected. Sounds like after his name was established to be Maitreya, his relationship with Ananda Marga start to crumble!
So Maitreya left and went to Mississippi and went to his P.O. box. He found, after two months of being away, only one letter in his box and it was from the Dean of the business school, “Come and see me as soon as you can.” The next morning he went there and said, “Well, here I am.”
The Dean said, “We have a scholarship for you. You are going to receive $250 a month. The only thing you have to do is to work with one of the professors ten hours a week. Also, you don’t have to pay any tuition. Your tuition is waived.”
Now he was feeling disconnected from Ananda Marga a little bit. His money problem would be solved with this scholarship. Everything said, “You don’t have to go, you can stay and continue your education.”
So Maitreya told the Dean that he would have to think about it. He said, “Fine. Come to me any time you are ready. But you have to answer us in three days because if you don’t want it, we have to give it to someone else because that money was given to us and we have to spend it.” When they get the money they have to give it to someone, otherwise it is not going to be there. So he told Maitreya, “You have to tell me in three days if you are going to take it or not.” Maitreya went to his room to think about it.
Maitreya called Ananda Marga and said, “Well, this is the opportunity that came up, and I think that I am going to take it.” Of course, they were a little disappointed but they said, “Fine.” So at that point he was almost completely disconnected from Ananda Marga.
So he stayed that fall. This was the year 1976. Maitreya had only two courses and this teacher wanted him to go and study the market trends in the stock market. He wanted to be on top of the stock market trends, etc. So the only thing Maitreya had to do was spend probably half an hour a day just to see what the trend was, especially in the Dow Jones.
Maitreya said that it was very easy. He could just look at the news and they could tell you what the trend was in the evening. It was a very easy thing to do. It was not difficult. So he had plenty of time on his hands. He had two courses — usually a full time student has four courses.
He had planned to prepare for his comprehensive examination and also find a topic for his dissertation. So Maitreya used to go to the library to study. Whenever he would get bored and had nothing to do, he would go to the spiritual section of the library and look at different books, on Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc.
On one of these days he was flipping through a Buddhist book, and suddenly he came across the name Maitreya. He started reading it and in the middle of the book he found that the name of the Buddha to come is Maitreya. For the first time he found the name of Maitreya in a book about Buddhism. It was very interesting, but he did not believe in prophecies then, so he just became a little more pleased with his name and understood that the name is mostly related to Buddhism.
Maitreya thought, “OK, they know him. Someone knows him” [laughter]. He was supposed to be the Buddha to come, “Oh great, so it means something here, the Buddha to come.” That was finished and then he would read something about it and close the book, go to his courses, and continue with his studies.
Then some other time he went and flipped through another book and suddenly came across this, that Maitreya probably came from Mithra, from Persia, which was one of the Gods of the Zoroastrian religion. He was supposed also to come, to return, and unify the world and all that. He said, “Oh great. It is also even related to the same country, to the nation where I was born.” He still had the national feeling, “Wow, that relates to where I was born. Oh, great!”
So that was good. That was another sign. It just kept popping up, and he found more and more information about what Maitreya means, who he is, and who it can be. He also enjoyed reading about the philosophies and histories of different religions.
He really didn’t pay any attention to all this information, it was completely out of his realm. His realm was to finish his education and get his degree. But at the same time, he started reading these books.
Maitreya would be sitting in his room, and someone would knock at his door. Who was that? It was the Mormons. They would just sit and talk about the Mormon religion. Or, he would be living in a house that this lady, the landlord, belonged to this church. She invited him to go to this church and they would have a discussion about Christ and compare that in the Bible with the teaching Maitreya knew.
But this stream of consciousness started coming to him at the same time. So far he was in Ananda Marga only. Now he started reaching out, studying about other religions, but not the Bible. He hadn’t touched the Bible yet. He had heard about it. They had talked about it in that church, but he didn’t know what they were talking about. He knew there were some things coming from the Bible, but He didn’t know really where in the Bible they were coming from.
Maitreya also used to jog. He liked to go off and run once in awhile outside. He used to run around the campus, and there was a church he always passed on his way. He didn’t pay it any attention. It was just another church like other churches. They were all over. To him it was just another building.
One day he was jogging, and when he reached in front of this church, he felt so tired that he couldn’t go any further. So he decided, “OK, I’ll just go inside and rest for awhile.” Maitreya had already been in church (the one landlord took him) so he knew you could go in and stay there if you wanted to. No one was going to ask you what you were doing there.
He walked in, as the door was open. The lights were on. There were Bibles all over the place. So he sat there and started meditating. After five minutes he got to feeling a little bit better, so he opened his eyes. There was a Bible in front of him. He picked it up, flipped it open, and started reading it, “Genesis 1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” and on and on. That is evolution, isn’t it? Just right there Maitreya realized that it is the same thing as evolution! He was amazed at how the explanation of the creation corresponded to the evolutionary process. Right there He realized that each day of creation was referring to one period of the evolutionary process. It was the first time in his life that he had read the Old Testament. He just could not stop reading it.
So he borrowed the book [laughter]. He went to his room and started reading the Bible. Maitreya read, and read, and read, and read, and read. Really, the two courses, the students, the teacher, and the scholarship were out of the window. Now it was Bible time.
He was reading it and reading it, the Old Testament, and then the New Testament. Of course, he bought his own Bible, and he returned that Bible to the church where he had borrowed it [laughter]. He said, “Thank you very much. It was good to have it for a couple of days.”
Actually, he still has the Bible he bought back then. He started reading the Bible, making notes, and seeing this and that. That was it. He was totally engaged.
Then Maitreya realized, “If the Bible is like that, I’d better start reading the Koran too.” He had never read the Koran before. He had been living in a Moslem country, but he wasn’t interested at that time. He wasn’t interested in God, so who cared? If you are not interested in God, who cares about the Bible or the Koran, etc.?
Now he had to read the Koran. All these things were extremely interesting, to read them, to see. There was always this feeling that there should be a relationship. There were a couple of Baha’is from Iran on the campus, so he also started talking to the Baha’is and getting interested in them, a little bit, not much. He already knew about Ananda Marga. And he was also talking to the Mormons and many groups who would come to the campus to talk to the students.
There was something strongly impressed on him, that there should be a thread between all these beliefs. It was the first time in his life that he was so attracted to these books. He just could not believe that there was any difference between these Revelations. If there is One God, why so many Revelations? He could not grasp the exact relationship then but he intuitively knew that there should be some relationship. He found himself helplessly reading these books and spending his time going through them again and again, as he was finding so much truth in them and their relationships with the teachings of Ananda Marga.
So much new knowledge started coming to him. Maitreya became completely occupied with this new stream of consciousness which was being impressed on him. Actually he was having trouble finishing the semester because he did not put too much effort in his studies.
For instance, he was sitting in his class and the professor was talking about management, which in organization is represented as a triangle upward. The teacher was talking about the president, the vice-presidents, department heads, etc, the triangle upward. “Oh, the triangle upward means the hierarchy, the hierarchy in the organization.” So the triangle upward in the sign of Solomon maybe has the same meaning! Then what would the triangle downward mean in that symbol? Maitreya was out of class, he was in the sign of Solomon and the Jewish symbol.
So he was out of the study. The professor was talking about management, and Maitreya was thinking about God and His relationship with this. He was no longer there. He didn’t belong to those classes any more. This extremely powerful consciousness was being impressed on him.
Maitreya has said that with difficulty, he passed the two courses. Actually, those were some of the lowest grades he obtained in school, in that semester. Of course, he was lucky he had other grades that were pretty high to cover those. He got two “C’s” that semester. He had other “A’s” so it made a “B” average. You have to have a “B” average to be able to take the comprehensive exam and receive your doctorate. But he was having difficulty to study. So, he wasn’t prepared for his comprehensive examination.
When he finished, it was the beginning of January, and he had to take his comprehensive examination some time at the end of January, the 17th of January or such. He had to study and he couldn’t study, just this extreme of consciousness was coming to his mind. So he didn’t pass the comprehensive exam, but actually he didn’t care.
Now Maitreya was familiar with the Far East Philosophies, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, a little of Baha’i, and Ananda Marga. That was it. But he was much more interested to read books about spirituality, the Bible, and anything related, and go to the churches and talk to the priests. That he also started doing, going to the churches in Mississippi and talking about God the way he understood Him.
After awhile they would say, “Oh.” They were beginning to get scared, kind of, the way the truth he was presenting to them was so striking that they couldn’t handle it.
In the spring semester he did not have any courses but was still working 10 hours a week with his major professor. So he had plenty of time without worrying about any exam or any assignment. He utilized all his spare time in reading the Scriptures and thinking about them. It was at the end of February that he felt really tired and frustrated about all the things that were happening.
So he decided to go to Chicago and visit his cousin. He planned to stay with them for a week. He was thinking that he was going to forget all about everything and would clear his mind of all these things, and then he would go back to Mississippi and put all his effort in getting ready for taking the comprehensive examination again.
Maitreya’s cousin and his wife are doctors, M.D’s. They worked in Chicago then. He hadn’t seen them for probably five or six years. So he called them and said, “What do you think if I come and spend a week with you?” They said, “Sure, come, come. We would love to have you.”
Maitreya took his car and started driving toward Chicago. Mississippi to Chicago is almost like a straight-line north, almost, not completely. So he went and arrived at their house around three days later. They sat around and talked. They renewed their friendship and things like that. A few hours later, they asked him, “What do you want to do tomorrow?” They were both supposed to go to work. But his wife had off the next day. The rest of the week they both had to go to work.
She said, “I have off tomorrow, what do you want to do? How about going to see the Baha’i Temple?” Maitreya said, “OK, sure, that would be fine.” Maitreya had read a little about the Baha’i Faith but he had never seen a Baha’i Temple. In the morning, they woke up around 9:30, 10 o’clock. They took their car, they took the children (they had two boys), and his wife and he drove all the way to the Baha’i Temple.
The Baha’i Temple is built in a street. So they parked on the curb, the pavement, and they started going toward the Temple. There are steps there. You almost don’t see the Temple until you go to the top of the steps.
So they went there and walked up the steps, and oh, this beautiful white Temple was there. And there is a swastika, the Star of David (Judaism), the cross (Christianity), the moon and star (Islam), and the Baha’i symbol carved there on the temple. The moment Maitreya saw all these signs on the wall, a flash of realization occurred. He suddenly realized their relationships. His mind was filled with the excitement of this realization. It was impressed on him, all the symbols. That was where the whole Greatest Sign started to form.
So he was not out of that consciousness, actually it was much stronger now. Now he was in this relationship that it was flashed back in him so strongly and impressed him.
His cousin’s wife started telling him about, this place has been like that, this place like that. Maitreya was out of that completely. So he hardly bore the tour with her and he said, “Let’s go home.”
They went home and he took his car and went back to the Baha’i Temple himself. He went downstairs and bought all the books they had, any books they had about Baha’i and their religion, etc.
Maitreya went back to their home, back to his room, and started reading the books he bought from the Baha’i Temple. A couple of times he went back and forth to the Baha’i Temple. He started putting the signs that were on the temple and the sign of Ananda Marga on a sheet of paper. He put the swastika at the top, then the sign of Solomon, Christianity, Islam, and Baha’i, from top to bottom. “There is something there, there is some relationship. There is a thread between them.” As he was doing this, then he added Ananda Marga, the sixth seal. So he had six of them now. He knew that God’s number is 7, so he put another swastika at the very bottom. Now if the first and last Swastika would come together!
As his best topic in high school was geometry, Maitreya knew that every circle could be divided six times by its radius. So he made a circle and divided it by its sixth radius and put each sign around. It started to evolve more and more toward The Greatest Sign.
He started thinking that swastika is the Godhead, the Creator whom all things have come from (), as the Ananda Marga philosophy says. Later on man failed, according to the Bible, so God chose the Elected Ones, so the sign of Solomon, of Judaism, is there (). These people were elected to bring man back to higher consciousness, but they failed to keep their covenant with Him. So He sent Christ to tell the Jews that they are not Chosen Ones any longer (). After Christ, a great Prophet came, not from the Jews, but from a close race, the Arabs, as Muhammad (). After that, a sense of universalism had been arisen in humanity, so Bab/Baha’u’llah came to bring that message, the Baha’i Faith (). And Ananda Marga brought the concept of Paravipra (), or the true leaders of the society who will bring the dream of universalism to the reality to accelerate the progress of humanity return to God, which is the second swastika, at the end ().
At the same time, Maitreya’s cousin started insisting that they visit the Playboy Club. They had a key for the Playboy Club. If you are a member, you have a key and you can get in. They wanted to impress on Maitreya that they had the key, so they could go to the Playboy Club [laughter]. Now Maitreya was here in this Revelation of The Greatest Sign and impressed with this realization and this flashback that just took all the life out of him, and they wanted to take him to the Playboy Club.
He said, “Oh guys, don’t worry about it, I don’t want to do that.” He didn’t want to hurt their feelings that, “No, come on, forget it, I don’t want to go there.” They just kept insisting and he just tried, “Oh, not tonight. I am going to cook tonight for you, so not tonight.” Maitreya cooked for them that night. The next night came, “The children are tired, let’s not do it tonight.” But Maitreya felt that they were getting upset about his resistance.
At the same time he wanted to be staying there because he wanted to go back and forth to the Baha’i Temple to see where this was going to end. So he didn’t want to leave just then.
He was probably there around five days. He was almost done with what he wanted to accomplish, he had all the Baha’i books, and he had his questions answered. They had definitely decided to go to the Playboy Club Saturday night. Maitreya said fine. His cousin and his wife went to work on Friday, they took the kids to the babysitter. Maitreya was home alone, so he wrote them a note, “I received an emergency call from the University. I have to go back to the University right away” [laughter]. He left the note on the table, took his car, and headed south.
Not only did he not get out of that consciousness, so that he could get to his studies and finish his education, now he was impressed with this thread and The Greatest Sign. So he went back to Mississippi and went to his room. And that was it. The next two months or so Maitreya was absorbed with The Greatest Sign.
Now he was studying the religions much deeper. Before he was just reading them and enjoying them. Now he was really reading them with this Spirit, just going into them to see why Baha’i, why Islam, why Christianity, why? And The Greatest Sign started to evolve more and more.
So the symbols were in the circle, and it went from swastika (), to the Seal of Solomon (), to Christianity (), to Islam (), to the Baha’i Faith (), to Ananda Marga (), and back to the swastika (). Maitreya drew a circle and divided it into six parts, and put each symbol at one of these points. Then he drew the two big triangles, which connect each three of these symbols together. Later on he put a swastika in the middle of all these, so The Greatest Sign was almost complete. But still the I-Ching () and the dot in the middle of the I-Ching had not been revealed. They came to be later on in 1978 when Maitreya was in Denver.
Actually, he wouldn’t show it to anyone. He had a curtain over it in his room. Whenever anyone would come, the curtain was down, and they would sit and talk about different things. It was around, probably six months that passed like that, and he didn’t do too much about it and he didn’t talk to anyone either. He was just by himself and The Greatest Sign.
That spring and summer he spent all his time working on the Sign. And every day more and more he would realize how incredible this Sign is. He started widely reading about the religions involved in the Sign and other related materials. He found out that he would not become attracted to anything unless there was a purpose in that for furthering his realization.
By the fall he was very sure that all this truth which had come to him could not be false, that definitely there is a mission for him to be done in this lifetime, and that the name given to him supports it. At the same time Maitreya started seeing more clearly the signs of the time and the tribulation which was spreading, not only in one or two countries, or races, but all through the world. With all these clues he could no longer consider himself merely a student. Of course one part of him was fighting the idea and resisting taking up the challenge.
For his final decision, Maitreya moved out of Starkville, the city that the university was in, to a small town 30 miles away. He rented an apartment there just by himself. For two months he did another intensive search and contemplation there alone by himself, and then moved back to Starkville.
The Greatest Sign had pretty much formed itself by then. But the very center was only the swastika. There was one swastika in the center, a swastika on the bottom, and the rest of The Greatest Sign.
Of course, Maitreya was bothered with the notion of the swastika and that is one of the reasons that he studied symbolism. He found out that the swastika is one of the oldest symbols on earth and every tribe and nation used it, every mystical religion on earth, even the American Indians had it. Africans had it, and Asians had it also.
Maitreya decided to go to Virginia Beach to study symbolism from Edgar Cayce at the Foundation there. He drove all the way to Virginia Beach. He went to the foundation and bought a lot of books, and also he purchased their book on symbology. He became more familiar with the symbology, which once again made him realize how powerful the Sign is.
He still was saying, “God, You’ve got the wrong person. I am not the one. I am not the one to do this. I am just here to finish my education and go back home.”
What about back home? “My poor parents who spent that much money, time, and energy sending me to school…” The relationship between parents and children is much stronger in the East. It is not like in the West where you say, “OK, now I have enough money, I can get my apartment and go away.” You are almost internally connected to your parents for the rest of your life. It is a very strong, close relationship, and there is a lot of respect and love. Breaking those taboos is very hard.
Maitreya wouldn’t have been able to study anyway. There was no way for him to open a business schoolbook any longer. He just couldn’t open them. There was no feeling there to do that. The only thing he was interested in was The Greatest Sign and the religions related to it.
So after two months he said, “Well, OK, I’ll do it” [laughter]. He gave away a lot of things and sold some others. Maitreya took his car and headed for Denver, Colorado. That was the only place where he knew some people. It was being impressed on him that he had to go to Denver, that the goal of his life had already been planned for him, that he has this mission to fulfill, and that he is not going to get his doctorate.
Also, during this time of intense realization, the four parts of The Holy Word, which is also called The Holy Name, The Word, and the mantra that we have in the Mission, started being revealed. Maitreya’s mantra started changing to The Holy Word, which really the pronunciation is what the Hebrews knew and said, “Don’t utter it.” That is why if someone tried to utter it, he would be stoned. This was not because they didn’t want that it be uttered, but because you cannot utter it. It is not possible to utter the Holy Name in the physical world. It is a very etheric thing, it’s from the Consciousness (God).
Maitreya said, “OK, I’ll go to Denver. They know me, I know them.” From the very first trip to Denver he knew that this city had some relationship with his life. He went to Denver and started subtly and slowly to reveal to them that this is even more expanded than what they already have, “So they are surely going to join me, and help me with this.” However, as usual, God had another Plan for him.
On the third day of his stay in Denver, Maitreya was working on the Koran and was isolating those parts that seemed interesting. He was sitting in a room and was reading, and this person from Ananda Marga (Maitreya said, “This crazy guy, a wonderful man but we never connected really that strong, but we were aware of each other’s presence) suddenly burst into his room and said, “Hey.” He didn’t like to say he really needed something. He wanted to see how Maitreya feelings were, “Hey, do you want to go to this mountain? There’s a good place called Shamballa Ashrama. Do you want to go meditate there?” [laughter]. Maitreya said, “Well, I’m sorry, but I’m writing right now. I don’t think I am going to go, you go by yourself and tell me how it was.”
He left for half an hour, Maitreya could hear him going upstairs and downstairs. They were the only two people in the house that day. Eventually, he again burst into Maitreya’s room and said, “Come on, let’s go. It’s a good place and I want to go. I don’t want to go alone.” Maitreya was getting tired of writing, so he said, “OK, let’s go.” He just put everything away and they went.
This man had long hair with a beard, a hippie kind of person. Maitreya had been kind of neglecting his appearance also because he wasn’t interested in appearances either, so probably his beard and hair were long as well [laughter].
They got into this man’s car. He had one of those old cars with a putt, putt, putt, type of engine [laughter]. They drove all the way, around twenty miles south of Denver and they went on this dirt road and went to the mountain in Sedalia (or something like that!), almost in the middle of the mountain. The place was called the Shamballa Ashrama, or the Brotherhood of the White Temple.
However, when they arrived there, they only found an office with the secretaries. When they went in, there was a nice office and a couple of very pedicured secretaries sitting in their chairs, and these two hippies were walking in [laughter]. The secretaries were just shocked. They jumped from their chairs, “What do you want?” This hippie-looking guy told them that, “We came here to meditate.” One of the secretaries said, “We don’t have any place to meditate” [laughter]. When she heard this request, she just handed some information to them and almost pushed them out of the office.
They took the information to the car and drove a little further into the mountains, to a nice place to meditate. They parked there, got out and meditated for around 30 minutes.
While they were driving back, Maitreya picked up the information the secretary gave them, and started looking at it. In the list of their literature they had a booklet called, Maitreya, Lord of the World. Maitreya said, “Hey, wait. Let’s go back there. I’d like to buy this book.”
They went and bought the small book. Maitreya had never seen anyone have a complete book about Maitreya. He had heard the name here and there, but now here they had this book about Maitreya. He went there and bought a couple of these booklets from them.
So apparently that was the whole purpose of what happened that day. It was to go there and see that they had this book. They began driving back home again and that was it. The whole purpose of that trip was to know that this was Shamballa, and they were waiting for Maitreya to come.
In the book it was stated that there are only three books written about Maitreya, and this one is the only one in the West. It was the first book that had so much about Maitreya. However, somehow it was incomplete. In this book it said that Maitreya is a Western soul which is the belief of the Buddhists in the Far East. However, Jews and Christians are waiting for Maitreya to come from the East. That is why most of the people are expecting Maitreya to come from Iran (Persia), because it is east of Jerusalem and west of Tibet.
Actually our symbol, the throne with Maitreya in it, is from the cover of that book. However, this picture does not belong to them; it is a drawing by a 15th century Monk in Tibet.
So Maitreya stayed with Ananda Marga for a while but it didn’t go very well because he was really out of Ananda Marga and now he had this teaching. Maitreya started talking to a couple of people and they became a little defensive about it. No one felt comfortable with him, and Maitreya wasn’t comfortable with them any more either. He was not one with them any more.
Eventually he reached a point where he felt he had to move on. At the same time he kept bumping into these people called “preemies,” the followers of Guru Maharaji. He just kept bumping into them. They had a restaurant, and they had a grocery store in Denver. Maitreya had to buy groceries there because they had such good vegetarian things. So he kept seeing them and meeting them in street, etc. He even started knowing a couple of them. His followers were talking about The Holy Word, The Holy Name, something like that. Maitreya even started sharing an apartment with one of these people.
Maitreya said, “OK, maybe these people have The Word.” Actually he was thinking about it as a Holy Name then. “If these people have it, then I am off the hook” [laughter]. “I can go away and say they have it so I don’t have to worry about starting the Mission.” So Maitreya started going to their meetings and tried to find out about the “knowledge,” or techniques. He was not interested in the other techniques, but only about The Holy Name. However, he found out that they expected him to proclaim that, “The Guru is greater than God,” and he does not believe in that. He said, “I cannot proclaim that.” So he became discouraged with them and withdrew.
He decided to move to another place. He, however, was out of money but he was expecting to receive some money soon. But at that time he didn’t have any money. He saw this ad for a place for rent. The ad said that they were looking for someone who does not smoke and also meditates. So Maitreya went to this person who placed the ad, Rodney, and said, “Well, I would like to come and live with you. I don’t smoke. I meditate. But I don’t have any money right now, you will have to wait until I get my check.” Rodney said, “OK. Come in.” He was a very nice person, a very nice guy. Maitreya really didn’t expect him to accept; he was just throwing a stone into the dark. And Rodney said, “Sure, come in.” So Maitreya moved in with him.
At this time Maitreya heard there was a center called the Self-Realization Center (different than the one started by Yogananda in California), and the person who was the teacher there and ran it used to be one of the Mahatmas, one of the teachers of Guru Maharaji. He gave the same “knowledge” and mantra to his people but he didn’t expect you to believe that the Guru is greater than God. So Maitreya said, “OK, I’ll go there.”
He walked to their center one morning and knocked on the door. He met with one of the members. After a while he was asked, “Why don’t you come Thursday night to our Satsang?” Maitreya said, “Great, I will.”
So he went to the Thursday night Satsang. They sat and they gave Satsang, and they meditated for awhile. Then Maitreya decided to go. When he was leaving suddenly this lady with these two big black eyes started running after him and said, “Would you like to come next week to our dinner?” Maitreya looked at her, such beautiful big eyes looking at him. He already knew her. He said, “Sure, I will.” That was Maitreyii.
After that first Satsang, Maitreya came back that night and he told Rodney that he was going to marry that girl [laughter]. Rodney said, “What? Are you crazy? You just met her tonight. You’re not going to do that. It is not proper. We don’t do these things here” [laughter]. Maitreya said, “I don’t know if it is proper or not but we are going to do it.” Because the feeling was so strong, the connection was there, there was no doubt about it.
So, Maitreya started going to this center. There was another person there by the name of David Lunbeck. He also became attracted to Maitreya. A lot of things started happening to the center. It started falling apart.
Two weeks later, Maitreya received the mantra and the technique that Guru Maharaji and those people had. And it wasn’t It. Their mantra was different than The Holy Name, although that was what they called it. Actually the holy name they gave him was the same that Ananda Marga had already given him. So it wasn’t The Holy Word. Now we can understand that the whole process of Maitreya meeting preemies was to guide him to the center in order for the Mission to start.
So his plan just didn’t work. They did not really have The Holy Word. So that meant Maitreya had to go on with the Mission.
Meanwhile Maitreyii (the lady whom Maitreya said to his roommate he was going to marry) started seeing Maitreya in her third eye and started having some spiritual experiences about him. So did David Lunbeck. One day Maitreya took her to the park and said, “Well, here it is. This is The Greatest Sign. This is the Mission that I have to do. Would you marry me?” She said, “Do I have any choice?” [laughter]. Maitreya said, “No.” She said, “OK” [laughter]. And that was it.
Now Maitreyii and David both moved out of the center to live with Maitreya. They started living together in a small house. Maitreya started writing about The Greatest Sign, and the book THOTH started forming. He was writing, revising, and re-writing it over and over again. Maitreyii had to type it, retype it and type it again, but she loved doing it. She typed the book many times over. They didn’t have a computer then. It was just a very old typewriter that she used. It was not even the IBM selectric or electric type, it was just a manual typewriter. That was a pain [laughter]. But she did it. She just kept doing it, and doing it, and doing it over and over again. (Maitreyii says, “But it was a wonderful way to learn the teachings!”)
Then they moved from that house to another house, a big house in Denver. It was a big five-bedroom house. They stayed there for around six months or so. At this time Maitreya was writing the book. By now all the mundane things of life were taken care of for Maitreya. Now he could concentrate on writing what he had received. He would go to the mountains during the day and write THOTH. It was then that the writing of THOTH started.
They moved from there and ended up eventually in the mountains. They rented a big house at the top of Denver, in Indian Hills. So he didn’t have to drive to the mountains any more. He could just stay home and write.
One week he decided to work intensely on The Greatest Sign because It really wasn’t perfect yet. So for one week, almost day and night, Maitreya worked on The Greatest Sign, drew it, re-drew it, changed it, revised it, etc. He would bring it out to the sitting room and show it to Maitreyii and Dave (his spiritual name was John), in different colors. One day it was finished, it was a Sunday about two or three o’clock in the afternoon and it was sunny outside. There was a big window in the living room that you could see the whole mountain in front of you. The Greatest Sign (the old One) was always hanging in that window so they could sit in the sitting room and meditate in front of it.
He brought the new Greatest Sign out, and put it on the altar. The moment he did that, a cloud suddenly came up. It started raining, and then big hailstones came down, then the sun came out again, and there was a big rainbow right behind The Greatest Sign. It all happened very quickly. There was no doubt in our minds. These were signs from Heaven. We said, “That is it,” and from then on we continued with The Greatest Sign we have now.
After a while they went back to Denver. But in Denver the air was getting bad, it was becoming very polluted. Denver is like a bowl, there are mountains all around it and Denver is surrounded with them. Really the wind doesn’t get to it. It just goes right over it. So any pollution that is there gets stuck in this bowl shape.
They moved back to the mountains. They lived there for a while. But they eventually decided that they had to move.
The first day Maitreya had come to Denver the name Albuquerque popped up. It was the first day, actually, a few minutes after he had entered Ananda Marga. He was sitting in the Ananda Marga headquarters when someone came and said, “The truck that was in Albuquerque and was supposed to bring some fresh fruit and food from Albuquerque to Denver, had an accident.” And it was coming from Albuquerque. Maitreya didn’t pay too much attention, but that was the first time he had heard the name Albuquerque.
Then, when they decided to move somewhere else, they started reading that Albuquerque’s air was considered to be good. It was in the Denver Post that, “Albuquerque’s air was very good. There is no pollution there, there is always wind to take away the pollution.” Eventually an opportunity opened up for them to move to Albuquerque.
Maitreya said, “Let’s go to see what is this Albuquerque.” So Maitreya and Dave decided to visit it for a few days. One of the things they didn’t like about Denver was that it was very cold, especially when you lived in the mountains. And it was humid, so the cold was really colder, it would get to your bones. So they drove to Albuquerque. They came here, it was sunny, and it was warm. It was beautiful, and they just loved it.
Maitreya said, “Well, it sounds like this is it. We will move here.” So they moved to Albuquerque. This was in 1981. THOTH had not been completed yet, but The Greatest Sign was ready.
It was in the spring of 1982 that they put some ads in a few magazines proclaiming that, “Maitreya is here.” People started coming to the Mission, asking them if they were the ones that Benjamin Creme was preaching about. They answered, “Who is Benjamin Creme?” They were told, Creme is the person who is saying Maitreya will announce Himself in the spring of 1982. That is exactly when Maitreya also reached to humanity and announced His Presence to the world.
Maitreya told them we do not know this Mr. Crème. Actually, after a while, he thought probably it is the same energy that inspired Mr. Crème to announce Maitreya’s presence on earth. That is why they (the Mission) sent a couple of invitations to Benjamin Creme to come and join the Mission. Some other people also have told him about us. He hadn’t found his Maitreya yet, nor answered the call to him to join us either.
It was then that the people started coming and the Mission started getting in touch with a lot of New Agers, a lot of them. They just flooded the Mission. How many came? 300-400 people. They just kept coming and they brought the Keys of Enoch, the spaceship brothers, crystals, channeling, etc.
It sounded like God had shielded Maitreya from all these things, so far. Maitreya didn’t know anything about these things before then. Actually it was after The Greatest Sign was perfected, and after THOTH and the writings were finished, and after everything was ready to go, that suddenly these people came with this new consciousness that he had no idea about.
Of course, they looked good, they sounded good, “That could be, there is a possibility others live in the universe, why not?” If the human lives on the Planet Earth, there is the possibility that other consciousnesses also live somewhere in the universe. It wasn’t all bad. There are a lot of good things in them. They had a lot of truth, like everyone else.
The rest, you probably know what happened. A man in Florida (David Bent) saw our ad, He sent Maitreya a letter. Maitreya called him. He called him back and that was it, they were connected with the people in Florida.
As the New Agers and people started coming, they were some help. For instance, one of them had a table for us in that conference, “Planetary Initiatives For The World We Choose,” in Toronto.
Then, of course, David Bent knew Ananda Ma, and got you guys in touch with us. Then Maitreya met Darlene and Dottie in Toronto. Maitreya almost got hit on the head by Darlene [laughter].
So, we got in touch with Florida and we got a letter from a person from Canada, Jean Hudon. We got in touch with him. Actually, David Bent, Jean Hudon, Mary Lamb, Elaine Powell, and a couple of other people wrote letters to Benjamin Creme about, “Maitreya is here in Albuquerque,” and all of that.
And even Elaine was, I guess, one of the first people who introduced Benjamin Creme to the United States (that is what she told us). She was close to the people around him. She took THOTH, went to California and presented it to the Tara Center there. And they were rude to her. She was very upset about that.
So we went to the Planetary Initiatives, and we had a lecture there. That was the first time personally that Maitreya reached to the world. So Darlene and Dottie were the first people who met Maitreya in the external world.
Then, of course, Maitreya went to Jean Hudon’s and stayed with him for a month. It was then that he wrote The Light, to go along with The Map, The Master Plan For Planet Earth, which were put together as a booklet, The Plan. It was written because Jean complained to Maitreya that, “You have only The Master Plan For Planet Earth, it doesn’t have much of the spiritual part of the Mission.” Maitreya said, “OK, I will write it for you.” Maitreya wrote The Light in one afternoon, in a couple of hours. Jean typed it, put it together, and published it in three days.
Now, as you know, almost everything has been revealed and is ready. Now we have to “call them that are bidden to the wedding.” Now is the time to invite others to join us and let them see the truth that we have here. We should share this knowledge with those who have made themselves ready to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, as is described by The Greatest Sign.
Our duty is to present this truth wide and deep, spread the good tidings of hope and unity, to teach what the Plan of creation is and what is the goal of life, and to sacrifice all in this way. When all come, then the Kingdom Of Heaven On Earth will be established and God’s Plan will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Note: For a brief history of what happened to the Mission and Maitreya after He started His Mission on 1977 to 2008 read an article written by a disciple (if URL is not working click here)!