Kirpal Singh flew to Dallas, Texas, on December 21, and was welcomed there by Baron W. F. von Blomberg and Mr. and Mrs. James Lawrence, at whose residence he stayed whilst in that city. A reception was held that evening at which the Master met many prominent people, including General Sosnokowski, Commander-in-Chief of the Free Polish Armies. Kirpal Singh addressed the assembled guests on the basic theme of the World Fellowship of Religions. A further reception was held the following day at the residence of Judge and Mrs. Jordan, prominent Dallas citizens, to honor Sant Kirpal Singh as President of the World Fellowship of Religions. At both these receptions Kirpal Singh said that mankind was entering one of the most challenging eras of human history. We were fortunate in our modern literacy that we could have a record of all the scriptures of the past. We were proud of the great spiritual teachers of the past, affirmed the Master, but the question is, are they proud of us? It is often little wonder that the forces of negation throw in their concerted weight in an attempt to stem the liberating tide of spirituality. It was clearly recognized by the tough, practical Texas businessman that the W.F.R. was a dynamic spearhead of religious unity and goodwill in the world, and that its President was a practical Teacher of spirituality.
Kirpal Singh was welcomed to a reception at the Statler-Hilton Hotel, Dallas, by Dr. Douglas, a noted humanitarian who sponsors the welfare of over 600 orphans in India alone. The Master and Dr. Douglas discussed the World Fellowship of Religions and the situation in India, particularly the poverty-stricken areas. On December 23, Kirpal Singh addressed the City Council at the Dallas City Hall. The Mayor of Dallas introduced the Master, who then spoke on the World Fellowship of Religions and the way that this organization could benefit the whole world. Public meetings were held at the Dallas Chamber of Commerce and the banqueting hall of Wyatts Cafeteria.
Watching the great spiritual Master from India in the city of Dallas, a city with the atmosphere of tragedy still hanging over it in the month after the President's assassination, one was moved by the sadness and suffering which man's ignorance has brought into the world. We are as the prodigal son, far out in the wilderness of the world of Kal —the Negative Power, Endeavoring to learn the lessons afforded by physical existence, we must have before us the recognition that we are not only the transient personality, but we are also the immortal spirit.
In a Dallas meeting one questioner was told that this recognition could be given a scientific basis through the experience afforded in Para Vidya—the highest knowledge. The questioner wished to know if the spiritually-focussed man could reorient his life to the ideal of selfless service and also meditate for his own development. One follows from another; the vessel filled with God is a better servant of humanity. Spiritually-directed, the leaders of the world will apply a truer set of values to the task of government. The lessons of the Dallas tragedy, and the lessons of the world tragedy, would be learned. A spirit of tolerance would be introduced into all matters of human enterprise. Yes! The world needs the benediction of a Living Master to bring these conditions to pass.
On Christmas Eve, 1963, Kirpal Singh and his party were welcomed to
Houston, Texas, by Mr. Ashton Pitre, his representative for the State.
Two public talks were given at the World Trade Center and one talk at the
St. James Episcopal Church. Two press conferences, attended by television
and radio interviewers, were held, and the Master appeared on both television
and radio programs. Sant Kirpal Singh visited the Convent of the Good Shepherd
and explained the mission of the World Fellowship of Religions to the holy
sisters. At a reception given in his honor by Mr. Leonard Keating, International
President of Junior Achievement, the Master spoke of the many facets of
spiritual endeavor and the global importance of the W.F.R. On Christmas
Day, 1963, Kirpal Singh gave a talk to his devotees and friends on the
Christ Life. He stated that Christ—the Living Word—was in the world before
Jesus, that Christ was eternal before the existence of Jesus, and is now
eternal after the passing of Jesus. The Christ Power is with man always.
The Birth of Christ should be celebrated each day, as the birth of the
Christ-consciousness within. He released the following Christmas Message
for his followers throughout the world:
Dear Ones: On this Christmas Day, 1963, I am nearing the end of a World Tour which has taken me through Europe, Asia Minor, Britain, Ireland, Canada, the United States, and is still to continue to Panama. There is a tradition which tells us that Christmas symbolizes the birth of the Christ Child in the human heart. To be truly Christ-like, the disciple must become as a little child, a pure and unsullied vessel, receiving the nectar of the Holy Spirit as an upturned chalice. "If ye love me, keep my commandments!"Arriving at Tampa Airport, Florida, on December 27, Kirpal Singh was greeted by Mr. Jess Mays, his Florida representative, Mr. Dean Schumaker, the Sarasota group-leader, and Mr. George Lawrence, the group-leader from St. Petersburg. The Master gave two public talks at the Scottish Rite Club in St. Petersburg, and was also invited to the Scottish Rite Club as guest-speaker for the United Liberal Church. He was presented with the "Key of the City" of St. Petersburg by the Mayor, Mr. Herman Goldner, on December 30. Television and press photographers were present, and in the evening the presentation ceremony was screened on two television channels. That evening Kirpal Singh spoke at the Women's Club in Sarasota, about fifty miles from St. Petersburg. Meditation sittings were again held each morning at St. Petersburg, and a large number of people were initiated into the Science of the Soul on December 31, New Year's Eve.
Truth is above all, but true living is still above Truth. This requires leading a life of continence, humility, truthfulness, love and devotion to God and all creation. To become a mouthpiece of Master, expressing Master's will and purpose, you must surrender all to Master. This does not mean the giving up of employment, home, possessions, family and friends. It means simply: let the will of the Master work in you and through you, let your whole life be dedicated to service of the Master. Like a flute, be all vacant from within so that the Master may make sweet music of your life.
This is the Christ-like way: the true message, meaning and purpose of Christmas. Master brought the Christ Child to birth in your heart. You, in turn, must "become as a little child" and surrender yourselves to the everloving and merciful Father who watches over you, guides you, and cares for you. I wish you all a joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year. My love goes to you all.
The Master's motorcade set off for Miami, Florida, on New Year's Day, 1964, led by Mr. Jess Mays. On arrival in Miami, Kirpal Singh was welcomed by Miss Jerry Astra Turk, group-leader for that city, and many devotees. The Master was the guest of Philip and Etta Perrin, two dedicated and loving disciples, for the duration of his stay in Miami. When the Master and his party arrived at the Perrins' residence, each visitor was presented with flowers. A continual buffet-service of meals was kept in operation at the Perrins' home, which was an "open house" for all devotees, seekers and friends. The "Miami Herald" interviewed the Master, and a very fine report of the Tour and the Master's mission appeared in that newspaper.
Three public talks were given at the Miami Senior High School's great auditorium, and further talks were given at the Ewing Gallery and the Congregational Church of Christ. These talks were all well-attended, as were the smaller and more informal talks given at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Perrin. On January 4, a reception was given at the world-famous Seaquarium of Miami by the Director of Public Relations, Mr. Roger Conklin, Jr., in honor of Kirpal Singh. Press reporters and cameramen followed the Master and his party as he was escorted through the Seaquarium. Great amusement was created when one of the dolphins rose out of the water and grasped the Master's coat-sleeve, gently tugging it as the Master sat at the edge of the tank. A sea-cow, noted as an extremely unsociable animal and generally preferring to ignore human beings, came up to Kirpal Singh and presented itself for a gentle stroking from the Master-Saint.
A small boy in his mother's arms pointed to the Master and cried: "Mommy, there's Jesus!" The mother was extremely embarrassed and told the child to keep quiet. The little boy remonstrated with his mother three times: "It is Jesus, Mommy! It is Jesus, Mommy! Mommy, it is Jesus!" And the perplexed mother took the little boy away from the scene.
When he had been in Athens and Rome, Kirpal Singh had sowed the seeds for unity between the Christian churches. Speaking of the activities for inter-religious unity of the World Fellowship of Religions, he had ad-vised Christian leaders to "put their own house in order." and then meet all faiths under the Fatherhood of God. On January 4, 1964, the two supreme Prelates of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church met and conferred on Christian unity, the first time such an event had taken place for many centuries. It was by no coincidence then, that upon that significant day the oldest Order in Christendom chose to honor the great Master from India.
During a memorable ceremony held in the auditorium of the Miami Senior High School, Kirpal Singh was awarded the Cross of the Sovereign and Imperial Order of Saint Constantine the Great. Several hundred people, including leading dignitaries of the local government, attended this event. The author introduced the members of the Order who were present at the ceremony as noble witnesses. He then spoke of his Master's attitude to honors and awards, and quoted the Holy Book of the Sikhs. The award was made by the Reverend Dr. "Mark" A. C. Karras, who heads the Hellenic Sector of the Constantinian Order in the United States of America. Dr. Karras stated that the widely known unifying and spiritual efforts made by His Holiness Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj for the benefit of humanity were in keeping with the noble Byzantine ideal.
It was these great activities of this Holy Man which were the cause of this bestowal of this ancient and venerable Byzantine Order upon Kirpal Singh. This Order was founded in the year A.D. 312 by the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine the Great. Prince Theodores IX Lascaris Komnenos is the present Grand Master of the Order. Under its original pristine Christian impulse the Constantinian Order today perpetuates the Byzantine ideals of peace, culture and unity. It exists and functions in the world today with complete organizational planning in its hierarchical complex. Members of the Order are those who have displayed ample cause for reward by their unselfish, humanitarian and spiritual endeavors for the benefit of their fellow men and humanity as a whole.
The Reverend Karras, who bestowed the honor on Kirpal Singh as Exarch of the Order in the U.S.A., is also the Delegate for the State of Florida of the International Philo-Byzantine University. An ordained minister, he has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Economics, and the Doctor Laureatus (H.C.) degree from the International Philo-Byzantine University of Madrid, Spain. In replying to the bestowal of the Order, the Master thanked the Reverend Karras for the honor, and stated that all credit went to the Grace of God working through his Master, and, with this understanding, he would be happy to accept the honor as a token of recognition for the mission that he had to fulfill—under the guidance of his Sat Guru—that of "bringing the children of God together."
Thus, the Master from the East had met the Patriarch in Athens, the Cradle of Western civilization, and the Pope in Rome; and was decorated by the oldest Order of Christendom in the New World as his work in the Old World (Europe) had come to fruition. The Light shines brightly through the world, in spite of the opposing darkness. On January 7, leaving behind many new disciples and supporters, Kirpal Singh and his party left for Panama from Miami International Airport. He arrived in Panama at 8:30 p.m. where he was greeted by a large crowd of Panamanians, Americans, Indians and press men. In spite of the mounting tension and the focus of public attention on the widespread rioting, arson and looting taking place, the arrival of Kirpal Singh was given front-page coverage in both the English-language and Spanish newspapers. A television interview with the Master was screened on local television channels.
Kirpal Singh was a guest of Mr. and Mrs. Wally Crawford, his local representatives, who showed great courage and resourcefulness in organizing this phase of the Tour during these troubled times. The Master gave two discourses at the Jewish Welfare Board on January 8 and 9, but further aspects of the program were canceled by compulsory military order, as Panama came under martial law. This did not prevent many people from risking life and limb in order to meet the Master.
On January 9, Kirpal Singh left the Crawford residence, and two carloads of devotees followed the Master's car. One of these two cars was driven by Mrs. Crawford, accompanied by her two small sons and three devotees. The two rear cars were held up and lost sight of the Master's car which proceeded on to the Jewish Welfare Board. Suddenly, the two cars were surrounded by a mob of about two hundred people, throwing stones and rocks and shouting anti-American slogans. A huge rock crashed through the windscreen of Mrs. Crawford's car, shattering the glass to pieces and leaving a great hole in front of Mrs. Crawford's line of vision. She closed her eyes, ducked her head behind the steering wheel, and accelerated fast. The car behind her followed suit.
When the cars reached the Jewish Welfare Board, it was discovered that both the cars were full of dents from the impact of several rocks and stones, but not one of the disciples was hurt. One of Mrs. Crawford's sons, aged thirteen, when ducking from the stones, had shouted, "Don't worry, Master is with us!" He later said, "Master was with us, right next to you, mother, on that seat." Mrs. Crawford had driven through the yelling mob, her mouth full of broken glass and her body covered with it, but not a scratch or cut on her. The Master approached her with loving concern, but she smilingly thanked him for his protection. A very gallant lady.
A building near the Crawfords' shop was burned down by the rioting mob. When they came to the Crawfords' shop, the mob prepared to send it up in flames. Someone cried: "This is not an American's shop, it belongs to a Panamanian!" So the Crawford shop was saved, and the Crawfords—-two American disciples—again thanked the Master-Power for its protection. At midnight that night Mr. Crawford came to the house with the news that there was a strong rumor that the mob would attack that area in the night. The Master asked how many houses there were in the area. On being told that there were thirty houses, he detailed six men to guard the roads leading to the houses. "Let the others sleep in peace," he ordered, "not only for tonight, but every night until conditions better themselves."
The Canal Zone military authorities offered protection, advising the Master and his companions to evacuate into their zone. "Do not worry," said Kirpal Singh, waving this offer aside. "Nothing is going to happen tonight, but for the future be on your guard." The next few days were truly memorable. The risk of losing their lives did not deter the American and other foreign disciples from coming to the meditation sitting each morning. Mrs. Cecil Vockrodt, an American disciple, said that she had more difficulties in passing through the American guards than through the Panamanian mobs. The American guards were shocked that she was willing to risk her life in leaving the Canal Zone and entering the Panamanian Zone. They tried to deter her but did not succeed; she was going to see her Master. Four initiation sittings were given during the difficult days in Panama. Not one person connected with the Master or his party was harmed during the rioting.
People came from as far away as Cali, Colombia, to meet the Master. General and Mrs. Luis de Arteaga arrived from Cochabamba, Bolivia, nearly three thousand miles from Panama. Mrs. Arteaga, a representative of Sant Kirpal Singh, has already translated his "Jap Ji" commentary into Spanish, and is to translate all the Master's literary works into Spanish for the benefit of the South American people.
The Master went to a strife-torn country and gave yet another lesson to the world. Fair dealings and the creed of forgiveness must be put into practice by all nations of the world. The follies of the past must be resolved, and mutual understanding and working for the common good must become the golden rule for a new global economy. We must develop a positive conception of global peace, using the God-given powers of awakened mankind. A new direction towards the higher values of life, in the individual and in the nation, is needed. Mankind can then change the chaotic conditions of human existence and behavior in a positive way. The task of awakening humanity has been divinely accorded to a Living Master. May mankind march firmly forward and onward on the Path of spiritual realization.
Kirpal Singh left Panama on January 17, and after a brief stopover in
Miami, returned to Mr. Khanna's residence in Washington, D.C. He discussed
new plans and propositions for this spiritual endeavor throughout the world
with representatives from all over the United States. On Wednesday, January
29, 1964, His Holiness, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj left New York for
India. The great Tour had ended, but a greater mission had just begun!