Prem Rawat's (Maharaji) Blame Game

Prem Rawat (Maharaji) claims he was directed by his father to bring the Knowledge to the world. However, despite the constant positive propaganda by his followers, this has not been a great success. He has only a small fraction of the number of his followers that he inherited from his father. There was extraordinary success in gaining new followers in the West in the years 1970 to 1973 while Indian concepts were central to Rawat and his followers' preaching. Numbers rose from 1 to as many as 25,000 in North America and Europe until growth halted in 1974. Despite terrible publicity over the failure of the Millenium festival, Rawat's greed and materialism, his marriage, his family and Indian followers rejecting him, problems within Divine Light Mission itself and general social concern over the proliferation of new cults there was continued though erratic growth through the 1970's. Rawat, himself, no longer received any publicity but his followers held nightly 'satsang' meetings and these attracted enough interest that the number of people prepared to travel to see him peaked around 20,000 by the early 1980's.

Rawat made radical changes around 1983. He summarily closed the ashrams which had been his major financial source for more than a decade leaving the residents obliged to pay off any debts the ashram they were currently living in had acquired and ordered ("gave agya") that the nightly satsang meetings were to end and that his followers should no longer answer any questions about Himself or the Knowledge but to direct people to watch available videos of Rawat's speeches. He also cancelled the publication of any magazines and ordered them to destroy all their current Divine Light Mission magazines, films, audio and video tapes and photos. These actions were later defended in videos such as Passages that presented a rewrite of the history of Rawat and his followers (the web-master's comments, rebuttals and snide asides are in italics):

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

(Narrator - 'Passages' video) "But he was becoming increasingly aware of the need to separate Knowledge from it's Indian cultural packaging. Too many things that were simply a part of Indian culture had been considered incorrectly by Westerners to be an integral part of what Maharaji was offering."

The only salient parts of Indian culture considered to be integral parts were those that Rawat, himself, ordered and ordained. These included agya, arti, ashram, bhajans, charanamrit, his divine dancing, darshan, holi, holy breath, his Holy Family, his Divine Incarnation, lila, his Lotus Feet, that Jesus was a Perfect Master, Krishna, that he was the current Perfect Master, pranam, that his father had been the prior Perfect Master, being the Supreme Power in Person, surrendering to him, worshipping Him, etc and he continued to openly promote them until the mid-1980's.

However these changes did not make Rawat or his Knowledge attractive to people through the 1980's and 1990's and, despite millions of dollars spent on Rawat, luxury hotels, residences and his executive jets for propagation, by the year 2000 he had fewer followers in the West than he had 20 years' earlier, numbers had probably halved despite 20 years of effort. His strategy to divert his students from thinking about this too closely seemed to be five pronged:

  • Blame his followers for the failure of their practise of Knowledge to inspire them with the "clarity and joy" that would make for successful propagation.
  • Blame all those people who reject him (the overwhelming majority) for their lack of "thirst" or being in their "mind" and not their "heart"
Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

Satsang to Community Coordinators in Denver, Colorado, February 21, 1977
We have to have that clarity, have to have that love flow from the premies, so just automatically, just beautifully, the prachar goes on. And what they talk about is that true experience. Not get into like, "Maharaj Ji speaks 34 languages," or stuff like that. Not to show outward and visible signs of that.
The Golden Age, Number 33, October 1976

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

"But what makes me really happy from my heart when I see my premies making an effort, when I see that something that I said, something went through. I don't expect all of it to go through and yet how wonderful it would be, you know, if it all did. That's what makes me happy is when I see that you make an effort. That you make that little effort. When you make that little effort that makes me happy. When you make a bigger effort that makes me happier. And when you really, really make that effort from your heart and succeed and that's what makes me laugh. Laugh not jokingly on you but makes me so happy that I can laugh, you know. … When you become a devotee, when you unconditionally surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji, when ifs, buts and doubts go away, when that for one change when you say I give you my heart, for when you really mean when you say you are my all, my Lord to me, that's when Guru Maharaj Ji becomes happy." - 1979

Prem Rawat (Maharaji) in Rome 1980

"this whole act has to clean up, has to come to a point where the propagation can really begin to happen. Where there can be that demonstration, where there can be that "Yes! Knowledge! Yes! Guru Maharaj Ji!" Where people can see, like I said in the satsang, you know, people are gonna look at me, then they're gonna look at you, and if they see something there, then they're gonna look at me again and say "Can I have your Knowledge?". When people look at me, then they look at you, and they don't see anything, they're gonna look not look at me either. Why should they? There is nothing there. You know. Because it reflects in every single thing we do in one sense." - 1980

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji with initiators

Q: "When you first arrived in the West, how did people react to your message?"
A: "There was a mixed, mixed reaction that people had. Some people were definitely looking for the Eastern religion and I think you're talking about very much the 60's era who were uh very much so looking towards the East whilst for some other people it wasn't a question of East and West but it was a question of something real, something beautiful and finding that and understanding that and examining that and I think that uh it was that is what really Knowledge always has represented is that deep feeling within regardless of East and West and all the other barriers that we tend to put on." - 1989

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

Q: "Maharaji recently you've been meeting groups of people who want to learn the Knowledge. What type of people are they and what attributes are you looking for in your students?"

A: "Well, these are people who want to know, who want to learn. That's the quality that I'm looking for in them, that their search is real for them and that's the only thing that I look for in people. I don't care who they are if they want to know and then that's a heartfelt feeling that they want to know and if I can convince myself that yes that is a heartfelt feeling not coming from just because they're curious then that interaction goes on further and further till the point that they can receive this Knowledge." - 1989

Is Knowledge the only Path?

"Whatever you want to follow, follow. When you get it out of your system and you're clear what you really want, I'm here. OK? Knowledge isn't another medal, mm mm, Knowledge isn't an anaesthetic, Knowledge isn't Advil, Knowledge isn't any one of those things. People must come to Knowledge because they want to come to Knowledge. Just as simple as that. If there is going to be reasons, then they will not understand what Knowledge is all about. There can be no reasons." - 1994

For an aspirant, when you ??? put it down and say I am ready for the real. Carry no load no more then it can be something beautiful. You have to decide that, do not worry about getting Knowledge, don't worry about that, don't worry about that. If you need to be worried, then worry about being a student. Clean the bowl. Don't worry about the giver coming and giving you the gift, don't worry about that. That's nothing to be worry, you're worrying about the wrong thing. Clean the bowl, empty the bowl, be ready, be ready so when the giver comes, you're ready to receive. Be ready. (More swelling music and waterfall scene) - 1994

Rawat emphasises the need for the aspirant to "clean the bowl" ie empty him/herself of any doubts about Rawat and his Knowledge and accept, without any doubt, everything that Rawat says. But only accept everything that Rawat says.

Try to open, open the doors, open the doors, open your heart. What the Master says cannot be understood by intellect. If you try to understand what the Master says by intellect, the net result is total confusion because the message is sent to the heart, not to the intellect. When the heart receives the message, "Feel", it's very clear, it's very clear. When this receives the message, "Feel", it says "What?" The message is not for this (points at head) the message is for this (points at heart). When you take Knowledge and put it here (points at head) it does not make sense, does not make sense. Take Knowledge and put it here (points at heart) and it's so obvious, so obvious. - 1994

Rawat's teaching ("what the Master says") is easily understood by the intellect but it's not easily believable and it's certainly false, unless you accept it without due consideration. That is why he castigates 'doubt' and 'the mind' because only if you accept his simplistic teachings that the heart and the mind are separate, antagonistic entities and you should just 'feel' his speeches would you accept his claims that he is the unique source of peace in the world today. Rawat is merely the leader of another insignificant cult whose members enjoy the shared beliefs of any cult member.

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

When a lot of the mahatmas came to the West they brought with them immeasurable amount of concepts and it kinda went wild and there was no stopping it. The backlash of that I had to directly bear because people would ask me point blank these questions, "Are you this, are you that, you know, what is this, what is that?" Whereas, a event or a question and answer session was very informative for people because the questions were being dealt with, it slowly changed to where you were trying to lay down groundwork of what you are not or what you don't do, what you aren't you shouldn't expect will happen." - 1999

OH MY GOD! Imagine the Horror! Being asked a point-blank question! He quickly made sure that could never happen again.

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

Well in a way that went on for an extremely long time and this is my key of bringing the history here. That people were very open to Knowledge, that people were very open to me and I really don't think that I have ever felt that that has changed. That people are still very open and when they listen and what they hear they're just as fascinated by it as they were when I was a little boy talking about the same stuff. So that's the good news, the bad news is that the concepts have really gotten us buried in a hole to this day where we're still having to defend ourselves, which I find pathetic, having to defend ourselves and say, "No these things are not true." - 1999

What is truly pathetic is that none of the people listening to this rubbish have the insight or the courage to tell this blustering fool that in fact people are not open to or fascinated by him and his spiel.

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

"I I like I'm not I'm not really trying to say here what you should say and you shouldn't say I'm trying just bring out some understanding this time around because a long time ago I did say to people "Please don't say anything" and it was really a stop-gap measure and I'm revisiting that whole scene and I'm saying OK it is time to be actively involved and let's have this training and in this training what I'm trying to do is not put words in your mouth but try to give you some understanding so that you will understand there is no necessity to go out and say things that are bfsst" - 1999

Wouldn't 30 years of meditation and listening to Rawat's speeches obediently be more than enough to teach these people, his most dedicated followers, not to say 'bfsst' but to talk sensibly, openly and truthfully if there was any truth to it.

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

"You know and it's a it's a curious little history because there was a time where people would introduce Knowledge to other people and it was wild, it was absolutely, incredibly wild, I spoke 48 languages, in those days, walk on water, walking on water, no problem." - 1999

He has continued to blame his existing followers saying they made false claims about him and the spread of these concepts has severely hampered his attempts to "spread this Knowledge" to this day. One of his ongoing criticisms is that his early followers claimed he could speak many languages though it was a claim that would provoke ridicule every time the young guru spokek in the West as he had a very poor command of English, the only language apart from his native Hindi that he could speak. After 30 or 40 years his English is still obviously a second language and he's still complaining that his devotees sabotaged his mission to bring peace to the world by saying he speaks 24 or 34 or 48 languages. He is such a chump he can't even remember how many languages it is that he doesn't speak. Not only couldn't he walk on water, he couldn't even swim.

Timothy Gallwey devotee of Prem Rawat aka Maharaji

W. Timothy Gallwey: "But here's what you can do" I remember this almost word for word, he said "You can listen to what I have to say about this Knowledge, you can listen to what others who have received this Knowledge have to say about it and after listening to them you feel in your heart it's something that you want then ask me for it and I'll give it to you. If after receiving it you find that it satisfies the deepest longing in your heart then you will know what I gave you was pure water." Then he said "And if on the other hand it doesn't satisfy the deepest longing in your heart then you will know that what I gave you was not pure water or that you were not really thirsty." - 2001

"Because, as we are now, we should all get together and we we can really shake down this world. We can. As a matter of fact, we only need four people. One on the North Pole, one on the South, one on the East, and one on the West. Shake it down. And I'll tell you something; if you are able to shake it down good - all the evil in this world will completely fall apart. All there is is the misunderstanding of people. They cannot see, they cannot understand." Golden Age, Thursday, June 8, 1974