Prem Rawat attained brief public notoriety and ridicule as the "Guru Maharaj Ji", the teenage fat boy ice-cream guzzling guru whose apparent skyrocketing following in the early 1970's had journalists in the "West", especially the USA and Great Britain, astonished and eager to write about his Divine Light Mission. This period ended with the failure of the “most Holy and significant event in human history”, Millenium '73. The debts left by this failure and his personal extravagance nearly bankrupted the organisation.
For another few years stories about Rawat became more derisory as knowledge of his bleeding ulcer, his materialistic and extravagant life style, his claims to Divinity and the worship of his followers became common. His marriage to a much older and taller devotee in 1974 was followed by his own mother disowning and disinheriting him in 1975 for his meat-eating, drug abuse and general "playboy" lifestyle. Since the early 1980's, he has continued to minister to his core of devotees in self-imposed obscurity until this century when he has attempted to become known as an internationally respected teacher of peace and renowned philanthropist through the use of phony public relations publicity.
Prem Rawat was born on December 10, 1957. His father's self-proclaimed title was Shri Hans Ji Maharaj. Prem Rawat claims he was a descendant of Indian Royalty, and Hans also claimed to be the living incarnation of God of his time from whom Prem inherited his position. The process of Prem's incarnation, as he described it often, began on July 19th, 1966 when his father left his body in samadhi (died) and ended on August 1st to the ecstatic recognition of him as the new Perfect Master by thousands of his father's followers in the party of the century.
Prem Rawat or Maharaji (his translation: "Ultimate Ruler" formerly known as "Guru Maharaj Ji") now claims to be a mild-mannered inspirational speaker and wealthy private investor living in well-deserved luxury in Malibu. He claims to work tirelessly to bring people the possibility of inner peace and bliss, a possibility that is completely unique and absolutely "the best thing happening" and that only he can reveal and inspire. His face and body show the effects of a hard drinking and smoking lifestyle and reveal the emptiness of his claims to provide the supreme Knowledge to his "students" who seem to have forgotten the hopes they had for enlightenment and perfect bliss that the young guru promised them. Still the wealthier ones get together most years at his compound at Amaroo in Australia to kiss his feet and renew the ties of devotion to their Master, for whatever that's worth.
This site has a collection of a:
- library of books
- academic papers
- magazine articles
- newspaper articles about or mentioning Prem Rawat (Maharaji)
- magazines, newsletters, etc
- Perfect Master Audio Tapes
- videos and films
- hundreds of photos
- transcripts of his speeches published by Rawat's defunct organisations
- a concordance of his teachings.
As of 2015 Rawatism is continuing it's slide from obscurity to history. Rawat - showing all his 59 years and 10 more no matter how professionally his photos are lit - can only hope the magic of expensive modern medicine can keep him going as his followers begin their bell curve slide into the grave. While some lady devotees probably still have decades of increasing grey haired irrelevance their male compatriots who are already thin on top will be thin on the ground or in it within 15 years. I have already heard of the death of half a dozen premies I knew.
Prem Rawat's "Teachings"
Prem Rawat and his followers have developed a jargon in which many English words have a meaning that is different to the norm and in some cases this meaning has even changed considerably over the decades. He has never written anything, all his teaching is through speeches, mainly extemperaneous but very repetitive, that he makes from thrones or stages. His teachings are based in those of his father, a guru in a Sant Mat tradition, but his father died when he was 8 years old and he has been developing his own teachings for over 50 years. He claims his Knowledge is concept free, that it is an experience beyond words, that is unable to be understood by the mind, only by the heart. He regularly berates 'concepts' as being products of "the Mind" and does not seem to realise that his teachings are also concepts. Over the decades his language has become more vague and his speeches devoid of real information about this "Knowledge."