Prem Rawat's (Guru Maharaj Ji) Childhood
Prem Rawat was born in Hardwar, India on December 10th 1958 the fourth son of Hans Rawat and his polygamous younger wife, Rajeshwari Devi. In his early childhood he was known as Sant Ji or Prempal, "Savior of Love" and from his incarnation as the Satguru on August 1, 1966 as Guru Maharaj Ji and since the early 1980's he has called himself Maharaji, the Ultimate Ruler or Prem Rawat (Prem Pal Singh Rawat) which is presumably his legal name. All the available information about his childhood comes from hagiographical sources (see below) except for some of his speeches in which he gives more down to earth snippets of information.
At his birth the sky lit up in brilliant colors and a sweet music could be heard all around. It is said that when Sant Ji Maharaj, now known as Guru Maharaj Ji, was an infant, Mata Ji used to walk along the River Ganges, holding the baby in her arms. But she would not go there too often, for on those occasions the waters of that holy river would rise up and envelop her, almost drowning her. The Ganges would rise just until it touched the feet of Sant Ji and then recede back into its channel. - And It Is Divine, November 1973
No reports of this astounding phenomenon were ever printed in Indian newspapers. He supposedly arose every morning at 4am from the age of 13 months and took his stick to wake everybody up, one by one, telling them to do meditation and began giving spiritual discourse and advice from the age of two. He was "revealed the Knowledge" by his father and gave his first public speech in English when six. Since he came to the West he has never been seen to be awake at 4am unless he hasn't yet gone to bed.
"When I was six," Guru Maharaj Ji said, "my Father gave me Knowledge with my brothers in the same room. I was given Knowledge and didn't realize it right away. I knew it was my duty, and I began to meditate, and in about a month I realized it." He then delivered his first English discourse, speaking for over thirty minutes with a strength and authority that moved his audience to tears. His father declared that although Guru Maharaj Ji was small in age, he was great in wisdom and enlightenment, and would one day shine over the whole world as brightly as the sun shines in the sky. - Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
He was brought up in relative luxury and was allowed to order everyone around him as if they were servants, which in fact they were. His power increased once his father, who terrified him so much he would be trembling and shaking, died and he inherited the role of Perfect Master and Lord of the Universe. The cute little boy rapidly turned into a fat ugly boy once he began the life of India's most successful Boy God, attending St Joseph's Catholic Academy as a schoolboy and giving speeches and darshan and touring India as the Satguru during his school holidays. Naturally indolent, he hated sports and PT.
He claimed and claims that just practising his Knowledge brings infinite bliss and joy and that he had realised it" when only 6 years old in about a month. His family was wealthy, he had 3 older brothers and a loving mother and he was surrounded by devoted servants who worshipped him. Sounds like a recipe for a happy childhood. However in later life he returned time and again to the same theme. His miserable childhood Sundays were full of fear and tension as on Monday he would have to show his teacher his completed homework and if he couldn't produce it he faced the terror of having his parents informed of his failure. He recalled those tension filled moments just before the bell rang at end of class waiting to see if the teacher would remember to give some homework. Rawat makes no mention of remaining calm and blissful through meditation on the Holy Name, just the desperate wish for the bell to ring. He even recalls being involved in a homework cheating ring in which he bought buns and samosas so he could copy other students' homework and the satisfaction and the relief if the teacher didn't ask about the homework the young Satguru hadn't done. He talks about the negative Kundalini, the chill of fear running up his spine when his teacher says "I wanna talk to your parents."
It's little wonder that he was desperate to go to the West and leave school behind.
This article from an early Divine Times magazine sheds little real light on the young Prem Rawat except to show his habit, from an early age, of ordering those people around him to do whatever he wanted and that there was always a large group of people serving at the "Divine Residence." It also shows how unreasonable his father was in keeping his followers waiting for days and the coming to see them after 2am, a practice that his son also indulged in as he could keep whatever hours he wanted.
As told in satsang by Mahatma Gyanbaraganand Ji, November 26, 1973, Denver. Translated by Mahatma Rajeshwaranand Ji.
Guru Maharaj Ji, the present Guru Maharaj Ji, was only 13 months old when he would wake every morning at four o'clock. This was at Dehra Dun, in the Divine Residence there. Many mahatmas and many premies and those people who are very dear to Shri Maharaj Ji were living at the Divine Residence at this time. And every morning at four AM Guru Maharaj Ji would get his stick and wake everybody up one by one, telling them to do meditation. He would quietly go to each person and get him to do meditation.
But he did not explain how to do meditation, and an idea came to my mind to ask Guru Maharaj Ji to do meditation. I wondered, how will he explain, does he know how to do meditation? So when I asked Guru Maharaj Ji how we should do meditation, he would sit in the posture of meditation and say, "Just by doing this…here, concentrate your mind here!"
When Guru Maharaj Ji was very young I used to take him for a morning walk in a baby trolley. We would go in a park, or a garden. Guru Maharaj Ji had full control. My desire had nothing to do, and every moment Guru Maharaj Ji was directing like this, "Here, take me to this side." And when I took him to one side, he would say, "No, that side." Then I would take him to that side. And when he wanted to stop, Guru Maharaj Ji would say, "Now, just stop." And when two paths crossed one another, he would give me explicit instructions how to cross over. Because the paths in the parks of India are different from those here in America. They have ruts, and when two paths cross, the ruts intersect.
The legal name of Guru Maharaj Ji is Sant Ji Maharaj, Param Hans Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj. How did Guru Maharaj Ji acquire his name? How did he become known as Sant Ji? One day when I was taking him, or shall I say he was taking me for a walk in a garden, an aged Sikh came and prostrated at the feet of Guru Maharaj Ji. According to the Sikh religion, these people wear turbans and keep a beard and moustache. Now everyday this aged Sikh prostrated at the feet young Guru Maharaj Ji. He just fell down like a stick just falls on the ground. This surprised me, and I asked him,
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"Why do you prostrate at his feet ?" Then the Sikh said, "He is not an ordinary child, he is the supreme person." The Sikh added, "l know him, he is the incarnation of Sant Tucaram."
That Sikh would come everyday to search for Guru Maharaj Ji and Guru Maharaj Ji would look around also, to watch for that man. Then I told Shri Mata Ji about this incident, and I also told Shri Maharaj Ji. They said, "Okay, his name will be Sant, Sant Ji Maharaj, after Sant Tucaram."
I remember that before Guru Maharaj Ji could speak, if somebody came before him to see him and ask questions, then if that man was a good man, Guru Maharaj Ji would point his finger, and this meant that I should give him satsang, I should talk to him. Guru Maharaj Ji is omniscient, he knows everybody, so he could easily tell a man's heart and intentions. If a man is very ill-meaning, if he is a bad man, then Guru Maharaj Ji used to say, "No, no." He used to speak by signs.
Guru Maharaj Ji since his very childhood used to practice meditation. He was always in meditation and he was very reserved in his speech. He was not like an ordinary worldly child, he never wept and he was just very reserved in manner. On very special occasions, on a rare occasion, he would make speeches, and each one was always very meaningful, very significant and to the point.
Although Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Shri Bhole Nathe Ji and Shri Raja Ji are the elder brothers of Guru Maharaj Ji, they used to pranam to him. Although in the Indian culture the younger brother salutes the elder, all the three elder brothers used to salute the youngest. In their childhood, the four brothers used to play very exceptional games. They were extremely playful, but their play was special. Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Bhole Ji, Shri Raja Ji Maharaj ordered the mahatmas to bring bricks, and they collected many any bricks. With these bricks they used to make a stage for Guru Maharaj Ji, a very high pedestal. Then they would make al! the arrangements and in the end Guru Maharaj Ji would come and sit on the stage. He would say, "Okay, now everybody sit, take your seats." And then Shri Bhole Ji was just very humble and with folded hands he always asked Guru Maharaj Ji, "Maharaj Ji, what should I do, what should I do, what service should I do?" From his high pedestal Guru Maharaj Ji used to give satsang and what he used to say was that, "This human body is only for meditation, so you people should do meditation." Then he himself used to demonstrate how to do meditation.
In the Divine Residence at this time about 15 or 20 people were living, many mahatmas and other people. So from the stage Guru Maharaj Ji would call out, "Okay, call everybody
and everybody should stop their other work and everybody should come here and sit and hear satsang. Now I will give satsang." Then everybody came and sat together and Guru Maharaj
Ji would give satsang. And while he was giving satsang, Shri Maharaj Ji, the father of Guru Maharaj Ji, came from the house and at the door, upon seeing Guru Maharaj Ji giving
satsang on the throne, he would say, "Oh, Sant Ji is giving satsang and everybody is listening." Then he used to laugh and say, "Oh, a wonderful thing is taking place!" Then Guru
Maharaj Ji would run to him and Shri Maharaj Ji would say, "See, he will fulfil all my tasks."
In those days only about 25 or 30 people had received Knowledge in Delhi. This was in the very beginning when Shri Maharaj Ji started propagating the Knowledge. During those days the premies would wait for days for Shri Maharaj Ji to give darshan. They would sit and sit and sit. Shri Maharaj Ji used to come at two in the morning, after midnight, to give darshan. And he used to ask the premies, "What do you think I am, who am I ? What do you think about me?" Then Shri Maharaj Ji used to say, "I have the capacity, if somebody claims that he is completely detached from this world, that he is not subjected to any illusion or maya, then I have the capacity to throw him in the debris of maya. Within one second I can throw him in the debris of maya. I can just make him completely attached to this material world. I can do it." And he said that, "If anybody says, 'No, I cannot become detached from this world, I am so sunken, so drowned in this maya, in this illusion I am completely a lost man,' then I can, within the twinkling of an eye, I can completely pick him out from the debris of maya and I can make him completely detached from this world of illusion and attachment. I have the capacity, I can do it."