The Highpoint of Rawat's Career - Guru Puja 1973
Guru Puja 1973, "A summer celebration of love and light," was held in London's Alexandra Palace, affectionately knows as 'Ally Pally." The majority of the devotees camped out during the festival about twenty miles from the hall. Early one morning Maharaj Ji drove his car onto the grounds and began beeping his horn to 'wake everyone up." At the evening programs, Maharaj Ji's brother Bhole Ji conducted a 42 piece band which rocked the audience with devotional music that included When the Saints Go Marching In" and "Jumping Jack Flash." On the final day of the festival, Maharaj Ji sat for several hours as thousands of devotees filed past him to receive darshan and Holy Breath. Part of this darshan line is shown in the "Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?" film.
At this point Divine Light Mission and Guru Maharaj Ji were on a wave getting bigger almost daily. It certainly would have flattened in the near future but if you heard anything about it then astonishing growth would have been part of the news and part of the appeal. Like a self-generating feedback loop DLM fed on it's media stories, the "witnessing" of the young and excited premies and the promises of bliss and Knowledge of God. So far the counter-publicity was from disapproving "oldies" not from disillusioned counter-culture people who'd tried the Knowledge and found it wanting or recognised bull when they saw it.
"If a devotee has a Guru, then
puja is his life, understood?"
– Guru Maharaj Ji
Street Parades During The Guru Puja Festival In London, July 1973
The highlight of this early success, at least picturesquely, was probably the Guru Puja festival held in London in July 1973 with thousands of young hippiely dressed Westerners parading with banners through the pavements of London and meeting in the Alexandra Palace. 15,000 people attended the "Festival of Love" though there was sometimes very little action.
Of course most people thought a 13 or 14 year old fat, squeaky voiced guru was ridiculous and some showed they thought he was a ripoff by ripping off his face from the posters.
Guru Puja, Alexandra Palace London, July 13 1973
You see peace in this world has become very strange for people. Peace in this universe has become a antique. It has become unique
Guru Puja Festival (Guru Worship) 1973, London, England.
Now I am going to say a very funny word to the world and this word sounds just very very strange to this world, but for that purpose we have all assembled here and that's "peace".
You see peace in this world has become very strange for people. Peace in this universe has become a antique. It has become unique. It's like a antique thing that uh was there thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago and if now somebody sees it he says "Wow, you got a peace." This is what it is peace has become into this world, and always a Perfect Master has come into this world to reveal this Knowledge, to reveal this peace. I'm not talking about one saint, all the pictures you see. I think even more have come into this world to reveal this spiritual Knowledge, to reveal this peace that we have forgotten. And if we want to today receive and achieve this point of peace, we have to go to him who is known as Perfect Master.
Now when we say the words "Perfect Master" let me tell you this, it just sounds very strange to people, news medias, it just sounds very strange to them and one of the questions they put before me or before premies, people who have received this Knowledge, is that why do you call him Perfect Master? Why do you think he is Perfect Master? Well, according to them what they presume is that those people who say that I am Perfect Master they're trying to say that I am just very perfect. But the point is that they are not realising that what is the real meaning of Perfect Master is. Why do they call me Perfect Master?
See, if someone teaches you Maths, if someone teaches you English, if someone teaches you Science, you call him Maths master, English master, Science master, respectively. Same way, I can teach people peace. Again, I have to tell this to people, that I am not prophet, I'm not a prophet, I am just an ordinary human being with two legs, two eyes, and I work, and I voluntarily put myself here, so that I can reveal this Knowledge to people. I think because people need it, people have forgotten what this Knowledge is, and I am just teaching them perfectness and that's why they call me Perfect Master. And as a matter of fact, I am Perfect Master, because I can reveal them this peace. Not saying that I am bodily perfect, I'm not saying I am perfect because of this reason or that reason, but simply one reason because I can reveal them this Knowledge, which is perfect.