Maharaji's Teachings About The Dash - In His Own Words
Maharaji often mentioned death in his speeches especially post 1983 and he nearly always mentioned that "people" didn't like him talking about death though only a handful of people bother to listen to his speeches and most of them consider him to be divine or something similar so who are these people? He invariably talks slightingly of normal humans ie those who who don't know or care about him and he uses the dash between birth and death dates on tombstones regularly to show the meaninglessness of the lives of people who don't accept him as their Master. He says birth and death are the only two most important things that happen in the life of a person who doesn't worship him because only he makes life life and without him your little life is just a little dash.
Guru Puja festival, Lingfield, England, June 21 1979
I mean look at all the people in this world. You know you look at graveyards and there are some graveyards where there are thousands of people buried and what have they done in their lives? What have they accomplished and what have they gained? They came in this world, they lived their lives, their little, their little portraits just went with them. What is there left of it to show but just a headstone. You know, and that's what this world gives us. … Is that our life? Is there, is our destiny really to be six feet buried under the ground with a headstone sticking up. Is that it? Is that the final thing and that's it? Cause if that's all that this is all about then there's, then the meaning of life doesn't exist. There's nothing to life. What is the purpose of life? Life is no good.
Guru Puja Lingfield, England video and 1971 - 2001: Maharaji 30 Years In the West
Guru Puja festival, Miami, Florida, July 19 1979
we come into this world. We go away from this world. And there is absolutely nothing to account for. There's nothing left. Becomes same old story every day. Becomes, another tombstone rises. Another body is burnt. Another body is you know buried at the ocean. Every day. And yet you tell me. Does it ever appear to be that is that your life? 1919, 1974. And a dash. That's it: a dash. Is that dash, in fact, truly signifying what this life is all about? Yes! For that person's life, that's exactly what it is - a dash. Born and died. The two only most important things that ever happened in his life. Two most important events. And Guru Maharaj Ji makes this life life. Life to live; to make it a reason to live, give it a purpose to be alive.
Guru Puja Miami, Florida video and Élan Vital, Volume III Issue 4 Winter 1979
Public Program, Manchester England, 28th September 1981
This is my little whole scenario and in if ever that time comes in which we can clearly see it's all going to end in the next few seconds that whole life runs by bam bam bam bam bam this this this this this this this this this and yet there isn't one single thing in our lives we can cling on to and say, "Ahh, it's alright, I'm happy, I'm fine." But when that life goes by real fast in front of us it's more disappointing than ever, then "My God, here I've been for 20, 30, 40 years and I haven't accomplished anything." Coming over here was passing by a graveyard, all sorts of stones, little ones and big ones and I can look at the stones and I know that that stone signifies that somebody is buried there, that's true but who it is, I don't know. Another life, another human being, was born, do you realise how (End of Side 1 of Tape) your life is going to be presented on that little tombstone? By a little dash, just a little dash, born 1942 - 15 or or you know whatever year you lived to 1988 87 or whatever. That's it, that's your little life, that little dash that took that carver to put in just a few seconds signifies your entire life
Élan Vital audio tape?
Public Program, Auckland New Zealand, 14th March 1983
God made us for a specific purpose. Let's find out what that is. What is this life, the basic fundamental thing that we live in, here we are, maybe we are born, 1941 and maybe all we see of our lives is a little slash on a headstone goes 1941 - 1985. Is that is that all we have done in this life, a little slash. Is that us? It's ridiculous.
North American Convention, Miami, Florida, July 5 1986
On tombstones, the inscription shows the year of birth and the year of death separated by a dash. Everything the person did - good, bad, right, or wrong - is represented by that dash. Nothing is scripted out. There is no fine print.
In View - Autumn 1987
Public Program, Los Angeles, February 21 1988
We have these vivid visions of attaining things, and becoming somebody, leaving a mark on this Earth and making a difference in this world. Maybe not everybody has high ambitions like that, but some of us do. Then the time comes when society says, "Arrivederci. Goodbye. Please find a nice resting place. Relax, do your thing and wait." Wait for what? Well, wait for the inevitable. Because it's going to come. What is the inevitable? It's the last date on your tombstone. And the mark you wanted to leave behind? It has been left behind - on the tombstone. It's the dash between the beginning date and the end date.
Élan Vital video and In View magazine, Spring/Summer 1988
Public Program, Wembley England, 20th April 1988
If you look at it perhaps very superficially, we're all born and we all die. Now the testament to this happens to be a graveyard where it proves the fact that we all do die and then you go and have these lovely headstones, "To our beloved Henry, born 1943 then a little dash and then 1988, 1987. Do you know what that dash represents? That represents your entire life, that represents all your frustrations, that represents all your successes, that represents all your failures, that represents all your everything you are is a dash. I mean you know sometimes I see these graveyards and I see this specially there is one in America, it's next to an airport and sometimes when I go there I can see this, just this mega graveyard. These little little little little little headstones all over the place, it's an army graveyard, it's like all these people died because of this and because of that but they're all dead and you know the, the curious thing is I wonder what they look like, I wonder what they did this for, I wonder what was going on in their lives but that's, that's all you have now is this little white stone that says somebody lies here. Fine. What about you? What about me?
Élan Vital video
Passages - A Master's Journey 2001
"What is the purpose of this human life? Just to fight a fight that is never going to be won? You know? And it's just like, flying over here, you could see all these gravestones, you know. You, you could see all these graveyards and these headstones on the graveyards. And these, obviously these people - that's what they've done for so much such a long time: just fighting for sort-of an endless reason. And then there they are, six feet under the ground, with a little slab saying born in 18-something and uh died in 19-something and "He was a good guy." You know and that's about it! And that's the result of your whole fight. That's the end of your fight. That's the beginning of your fight. That's the, that's the motive of your fight. And yet there's so much of a greater purpose in our life that we can realize, that we can understand, that can manifest within inside of us. And that's where we have to concentrate; that's where we have to motivate ourselves for."
Passages a Visions International (a division of Élan Vital Inc) video
Downloaded 1st April, 2012
When you are content inside, life is no longer a little dash between two dates. It’s a lifetime. A true lifetime. And if nobody remembers, fine. You will. Because a heart full of joy will dance forever.
Young Peoples' Initiative website (downloaded 1st April 2012)