Revisionism re The Incarnation of Prem Rawat
As far as we know, the incarnation of a human being with the Spirit of God is an unusual event. Christians consider it a one-off, Jews a future-event and Muslims a heretical impossibility but Hindus are far more open minded in this regard. Naturally the claim that the spirit of God had manifested into Prem Rawat after his father "left his body" ie died was a major source of his early authority and a major embarrassment once he tried to become a less controversial public figure. The initial story as taught by Divine Light Mission is summarised here. However, once disagreements arose within his family and disillusionment amongst his followers then different and less holy versions of the events were raised.
The first demythologising was done by Bob Mishler, disillusioned former President of Divine Light Mission in 1978. Rawat, himself, spoke of his mother as being completely unaware of her husband's power and that she thought of "Knowledge" only as a money-making family business while she superstitiously contravened her husband's teachings by worshipping idols. As opposition to Rawat increased on the internet, Élan Vital produced material providing a revisionist spin on his history.
In 1999 Mahatma Sampuranand, Rawat's number one man in India, had this version of the events of Prem Rawat's Incarnation as the Perfect Master posted on www.enjoyinglife.org. In 2001 the Elan vital video 'Passages' made mention of the incarnational events. In 2006 Bihari Singh gave his version on the web site "A Voice for Peace"
In 2005, Andrea Cagan, a ghost writer was paid $60,000 by the Prem Rawat foundation to write "Peace is Possible," a biography of Prem Rawat. She neither interviewed the subject nor quoted any publicly available sources of information but used the information given to her by numerous of Rawat's long time devotees. This version, which can be considered canonical for the time, is available below. In this version Rawat's night time discussions with the reincarnated body of his dead father is included but not the voice from the ashes telling him "You are He!"
In 2006 the website "A Voice For Peace" © The Prem Rawat Foundation, which is no longer on-line (see The Wayback Machine Internet Archive) published stories of Rawat's incarnation by Charan Anand and Bihari Singh.
In late 2011, "Swimming Free" a former devotee of Rawat's whose path to wealth had begun as a worker on Rawat's Boeing 707 told his story. He used the expertise he gained fitting out luxury aircraft (Rawat demanded gold-plated toilet fittings) and eventually amassed enough wealth to donate $5 million to Rawat in 2010. This gained him acknowledgement from Rawat's children and friendship with his new golf buddy, Abhay Charan, the former Mahatma Guruchar(n)anand.
The revisionist stories all carry a common theme. They attempt to discredit the mahatmas and administrators of DLM, India which deposed him and his family, especially his mother. They are of no value to Rawat in the public sphere but they do provide comfirmation to existing believers that Prem Rawat has the true spiritual succession and is the empowered Guru Maharaj Ji of the present day. There is no point trying to decide in which story has more lies, they are based on the nonsensical belief that any of the Rawat family can somehow manifest the divine power to provide perfect peace through squeezing your eyes, poking your thumbs in your ears, thinking about your breathing, rolling your tongue backwards and kissing their feet.
A short version of the tale was told in the West in the movie "Satguru Has Come" in 1971.
As the time approached for Shri Hans Ji Maharaj to leave this world the young Guru Maharaj Ji began to manifest his divinity. His words moved his father's disciples to tears of joy. After a lifetime devoted to bringing Knowledge of God to millions of followers, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj left his mortal body in Perfect Peace. But the Light never dies. Guru Maharaj Ji is always in the world to bestow Knowledge of God on the true devotee. As he sheds one mortal body, he takes another. At his father's funeral the young Guru Maharaj Ji spoke with great strength and authority to the thousands of weeping disciples gathered there. "Dear children of God, why are you weeping, haven't you learnt the lesson that your Master taught you? The Perfect Master never dies, Maharaj Ji is here amongst you now. Recognise Him, obey Him and adore Him. Immediately the Holy Family along with all the mahatmas prostrated before the Lotus Feet of the Perfect Master and received his blessing. Guru Maharaj Ji then announced, "I have not come to establish a new religion, I have come to reveal the Truth knowing which you will be free. If you come to me with a guileless heart and sincere desire I will give you eternal peace.
A full version of the events "The Unbroken Garland" was published in the official Divine Light Mission publication "And It Is Divine" in the Milleniume, November, 1973 ediion.
Mishler's tale as told in a radio interview in 1978 is quite credible and fits into the "authorised version" (though with a discreditable all-too-human twist) and the later revisionist stories of "Mahatmas" Gurucharanand and Sampuranand and Hans' chauffeur Bihari Singh, Prem Rawat's early Indian inner circle. Nevertheless the problem is the unknown source of Mishler's story. He certainly had no first hand experience but it is possible he was told he story by one of the Indians to discredit Rawat's mother and elder brothers during the period between the family split and Mishler's own disillusionment.
Bob: Well, that's a very interesting story. I don't know if we have time to go into it. Gary's nodding so I'll try and explain it very quickly. The story as it is told to the Divine Light Mission members is that when guru was going to go into his Maha Somadi - he doesn't just die, you see, he transcends into some other dimension - he had to pass on the mantle of spiritual authority that he bore. He indicated that it was to be his younger son who was going to succeed him and become the Guru Maharaj Ji. What actually happened was that when the guru died, there were some very dubious circumstances surrounding his death, but that's another story as well.
His mother, the former guru's wife, who was known as Mataji and was part of the so-called Holy Family before they split apart, wanted to ascend the throne herself. At the father's funeral, at which time the new guru was supposed to be proclaimed, she was in a meeting with the governing body and some of the very influential devotees - the Mahatmas - arguing this point view. She had one Mahatma who was very influential arguing on her behalf. Most of the governing body was resisting this, because they were saying that it flaunted the Hindu tradition that the 'perfect master' must in fact be a man. They couldn't go over to a 'holy mother' kind of belief structure when all along they had been operating in this 'perfect master' one.
While this was going on, some other younger and not quite so influential but nonetheless aggressive Mahatmas had a much closer relationship with the younger son. The one who was most instrumental was a Mahatma known as Mahatma Sampuranand. They seized upon the opportunity of absence while this argument was going on behind closed doors in another part of the Ashram. They put the youngest child who was eight years old at the time - the Guru Maharaj Ji that we're talking about tonight - on the throne and crowned him. He was already accepted as the guru by the devotees by the time that they had finally come to an agreement in this other meeting that was taking place.
In this meeting, they had decided to put the eldest son on the throne, because that was in line with Hindu tradition that the eldest son always inherits from the father. This eldest son would then be under the control of the mother anyway, as he was about thirteen or fourteen at the time. The mother finally agreed to that. When they came out, they were really shocked to find that the youngest son was already sitting on the throne, wearing the crown and already accepted by the devotees. So they accepted this, but nonetheless there was the enmity that existed between the eldest son, who felt that his inheritance was robbed, and the younger son. That dynamic eventually exploded in 1974. The mother then, at that point, when the youngest son was really defying her authority, said she'd back the eldest son now. But it was a bit late by that point.
In 1999 Mahatma Sampur(n)anand, Rawat's obese main mahatma in India who died in 2002 after a heart attack at Heathrow Airport, had this version of the events of Prem Rawat's Incarnation as the Perfect Master posted on www.enjoyinglife.org a website set up by, among others, Richard Cainer, a wealthy, long time devotee of Rawat's, which published stories by committed devotees praising "Maharaji." Enjoying Life org lasted from 1999 to 2006.
'Here is my understanding about a master,' Sampuranand explained to us. 'Although human bodies come from a mother's womb, the power of the master does not. A person is born with that. If two masters exist at one time, one will just stay in the background and just move up when the other departs. It is natural. Recognising the master is not something that can be understood with the mind, but comes from a real feeling.'
What happened was this. Basically, from the fourth day after Shri Maharaj Ji died, to the thirteenth, Sant Ji spent much of his time with me. During those 10 days, Sant Ji expressed to me with remarkable understanding and perspective how he was going to take Knowledge to the rest of the world. For a boy who was only eight years old, this was truly extraordinary. On the thirteenth day after Shri Maharaj Ji's death, by tradition, people from all over India were expected to come to pay their final respects and to discover who was going to be the next master. On 30 July, the night before this event, I decided that the first thing I would do the next morning would be to accept Sant Ji as my master. So I arranged for a garland and a chair and whatever else was required to be brought to a small room. But when the next day came, Sant Ji and I started playing together as usual. I began having so much fun that I forgot about the preparations I had made the night before. Soon our play took us into that very room and much to my surprise he asked me what was in the cabinet where I had put the garland. Then and there, all alone with him, I garlanded him and accepted him as my master. Meanwhile, about 12,000 people were sitting outside on the event grounds. Many were crying over the passing of Shri Maharaj Ji. Once or twice Sant Ji would go to the stage and speak to console them. He asked them why they were crying and told them that what they had really loved in Shri Maharaj Ji would never die. Everyone felt uplifted and there was an acceptance of what seemed obvious, that Sant Ji was embodying that same thing that they had been loving and respecting.
After some time, Mata Ji, Maharaji's mother, and the others came out and took their places on stage Mata Ji told a mahatma named Charan Anand to speak. But when he started to speak, he found that the PA system had failed. So he turned to Mata Ji and said: 'It's a huge crowd and my voice is not strong enough to reach everybody.' When Mata Ji asked who else could do it, Charan Anand replied: 'Sampuranand.' I didn't know what to say, so I just sat there. Then I looked over at Sant Ji and he signalled me and said: 'Yes, go ahead.' Then, without knowing what I would say, I started reminding the people about how Sant Ji had been speaking about Knowledge in public since his earliest childhood and that only he amongst the family members had ever come onto Shri Maharaji's stage and had even sat in his chair before him, while addressing audiences. I also spoke about the letter in which Shri Maharaj Ji had sent his 'pranams' to Sant Ji. 'Besides all this,' I said, 'look into your hearts to see how you feel.' Everyone rose up and shouted an overwhelming acceptance of Sant Ji as their new master.Not long after, everyone sang 'arti', (see glossary), to Sant Ji and he was officially garlanded. Mata Ji and the three older brothers showed their acceptance of Sant Ji as their master by doing pranam. There was an overwhelming feeling of joy as everyone accepted that Sant Ji was now the new master.
In 2001 the Elan Vital video 'Passages' was shown and sold to premies. it contains a revisionist history of Prem Rawat's career devoid of the claims of his divinity, being the Supreme Power, the Lord of the Universe, the Guru Maharaj Ji or Revealer of Light and Ultimate Ruler and his insistent claims to be worshipped and implicity obeyed by his followers who should completely dedicate their lives to him in ashrams with all their time, energy and money. A short picture of Rawat's incarnation was presented without mentioning his mother and eldest brother. It also removed the spiritual or divine parts of the story that had been the most important elements in the 1960's and '70's.
At a very young age Maharaji had shown an extraordinary interest in his father's work and in the practical techniques called Knowledge which lay at the heart of his teaching. His interest developed to the point that his father was allowing him to speak to large audiences when Maharaji was only 4 years old.
"Shri Maharaji did gave the words many times saying when he was telling him stand up and give satsang to the audience and when he was finishing many times he was saying, "See how young he is and how beautifully he presents the Knowledge. Imagine when he will be grown up how he will present this beautiful Knowledge around the world to the human beings." - Mahatma Sampuranand
"We were standing on the roof of the house where Shri Maharaji used to stay and it was full moon and Maharaji said to me he said 'Look at the moon, I feel Shri Maharaji's presence everywhere' and he just ?? whether we are we lost in our sorrow or we still remember the dearest thing to him, that was propagation of Knowledge. Are we, you know, thinking about that feeling about that - to continue his wishes and I said "Yes Maharaji you are right, I feel the same." And I was so deeply touched when I heard him expressing his feelings and concern about that in a very innocent way. He was only 8 years old at that time and then next day he spoke and everything was so clear that yes he's the one who is going to do what Shri Maharaji many times proclaimed about him." - Mahatma Char(n)ananand
Few could have expected the strength and determination with which Maharaji took on a role which was to shape the rest of his life.
"He stepped forward and he gave the hope to thousands of people who were crying and wondering and he promised then, "Don't worry, your Master is with you with you always," and he said "I will take care of Knowledge. I will try to spread the same Knowledge as Shri Maharaj Ji was doing it." - Mahatma Sampuranand
The full recounting of the Succession from Peace Is Possible by Andrea Cagan is available here. In this page I have removed everything not directly related to the events. The source of Rawat's quotes about his father's death are not given and Cagan states in the forward that she did not interview him. Most of this information apparently came from Sampur(n)anand and Bihari Singh as she relates their thoughts. In this version Rawat's night time discussions with the reincarnated body of his dead father is included but not the voice from the ashes telling him "You are He!"
Sant Ji went directly to his father's room. Sant Ji approached his father's motionless body, touched his feet, spent a few moments in silence, and walked outside. "I wanted to feel him one last time," says Maharaji. "And I was filled up. It was a beautiful experience, and yet it was terrible, too. Like it was the end of the world. Afterwards, I realized that something had just sprouted within me, that the beautiful fountain was really within me. The world had ended, but it had also begun, and everything was different." Maharaji recalls crying for several days without stopping. … At the same time, his mother was beside herself, lamenting, "Why didn't he give any indication? He wasn't even sick!" She ordered Shri Maharaji's body to be packed in ice, a customary practice in the heat of India to preserve a body until the cremation. However, the truth was, she believed that maybe her husband was not really dead, but rather was in a deep meditation and eventually could be revived.
Early the next morning, Shri Maharaji's body was placed in the top section of a van and driven to Prem Nagar, his final destination. Word had traveled quickly that Shri Maharaji had died and would be cremated at Prem Nagar. Hundreds of stunned and grief-stricken students were hurrying there to pay their last respects. On the day of the cremation, Sant Ji stayed home with his mother. In Indian tradition, those present at the cremation poured coconut oil and ghee (clarified butter) over the pyre just before they set it on fire. According to Hindu custom, a mourning period of thirteen days was prescribed, during which time the male family members shaved their heads. On the thirteenth day, the mourning would end. There was a general anticipation among the mourners because they hoped that when the mourning was over, it would be clear who the new master would be."When my father was about to die," says Maharaji, "he did not sit down and write a will. He did not dictate to somebody what should happen next. He did not call anybody into his room and tell them, 'Ah, you should do this, and we should be doing this, and I wish I could do this.' He simply went into a room, sat down, and practiced Knowledge."
When Sampurnanand heard the boy speaking with such confidence and faith, he was taken aback. He recognized the new Guru Maharaj Ji speaking. In fact, he felt certain of it, as he remembered the subtle hints from Shri Maharaji about his youngest son being the next master. When Sant Ji later took Sampu into a room, together with Charan Anand, Bihari, and others, and talked tearfully about times and places where he would be going on tours to continue his father's work, it was clear to those gathered that Sant Ji, despite his young age, was the one. The family and the senior members of the organization, however, did not feel that Sant Ji could succeed his father. They seemed to have forgotten Shri Maharaji indicating that his youngest son would be the one to someday carry his message.
On the eve of July 30, the twelfth day of the thirteen-day mourning period, people gathered in the large meeting hall at Prem Nagar. Sorrow and grief hung heavy in the air. In a back room, Mataji and her eldest son, Bal Bhagwan Ji, were meeting with senior instructors and organizers, trying to decide who would succeed Shri Maharaji. Charan Anand and Sampurnanand were purposely not included in the meeting. When Sampu and Sant Ji approached the room where the succession discussions were going on, Sant Ji told Sampu to open the door. But when he did, Sant Ji's family stopped talking immediately. Mataji had been pushing her favorite instructor, the organization's treasurer, to advocate her case. "Mataji is the one to lead us now," he had said, but that did not meet with general approval. A woman as master? That would be much too controversial. Even though Shri Maharaji had appointed as many women instructors as men, he had received his share of criticism for this, both from traditional religious groups and from Arya Samaj. The idea simply did not fly.
Behind the stage, Sampu took Sant Ji to a little window where he could watch the crowd, unseen. By this time, one of the organizers in the back room had named fourteen-year-old Bal Bhagwan Ji as successor, and Mataji was beginning to accept that outcome. But in the meantime, when Sant Ji saw the people's sadness and sensed the huge void, a desire to comfort them overcame him. And so, while his mother, his eldest brother, and all the "important" people huddled in the meeting room behind closed doors, arguing and planning the organization's future, Sant Ji walked out onto the stage and sat in his father's chair. Behind him was a large picture of Shri Maharaji looking straight ahead with eternal serenity, decorated with flowers. Sant Ji sat for a little while with his eyes closed while the audience quieted down "In that one moment of my life," he recalls, "everything changed The only thing I could do was close my eyes and listen to the words of my teacher, my father And believe me, his words echoed and echoed as if he was standing on that platform telling me exactly what to do. There are rationales I could have gotten into, but I didn't give myself a chance. I went for it. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that my destiny was changed in that moment. Absolutely." "Don't cry," were his first words to the thousands of mourners. "You don't have to cry. That which you loved about Shri Maharaji will always be with you. Nobody can take that away from you."
Silence filled the hall as Sant Ji continued. "I feel that Guru Maharaj Ji is here. After all, what is in me? I have only flesh, nerves, blood, and bones. And I do not have anything more. But I have got the same soul. The same Guru Maharaj Ji is within me. He is within you, too. He is within everybody. We must understand that it is Guru Maharaj Ji himself speaking right now." Sant Ji pointed to the photograph of his father and said, "You are looking for him in the picture, but look in your own hearts, and then you will understand." People were crying again, but their tears of sorrow had become tears of relief. When Sant Ji finished speaking, people filed slowly out of the hall, feeling that a seed of hope had been sown.
The next morning, on July 31, 1966, people gathered early in the great hall. Sampu, as usual, was carrying Sant Ji around on his shoulders. The family remained stubborn. Even after they heard about Sant Ji's appearance onstage and how the people had reacted, they were still involved in discussions about the future. As the large meeting hall filled up, Mataji asked Charan Anand to say something comforting. But when the PA system failed, Charan Anand passed the job to Sampu, whose powerful voice could reach the back of the audience. Sampurnanand asked the people why they were so impatient. Hadn't they heard what Sant Ji had said the night before? Mataji was not happy with his words, but she couldn't or wouldn't stop her youngest son from stepping on the stage next. Suddenly the PA system began working, and Sant Ji said, "Look, good people. This is not an occasion for celebrations, because at three in the morning of the nineteenth, Guru Maharaj Ji left his mortal body. But I feel that Guru Maharaj Ji is still here and always will be Guru Maharaj Ji is not here anymore in his old body. However, I shall explain everything to you. A guru is never born and never dies Guru Maharaj Ji is and always will be present."
People started to shout, "Bolie Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai" This meant "Glory to the master!" and was a greeting of jubilation called out in the presence of Shri Maharaji. Others picked it up, but some started talking amongst themselves or shouting remarks until Sant Ji said sternly, "Listen. You must open your ears and listen If you don't listen, then I will have nothing to do with you." The hall fell silent again "When Guru Maharaji was here," Sant Ji said, "what did he do? He gave Knowledge to everyone, and he gave of himself as if it would never end. Everyone kept taking from that endless treasure, and now he has passed so much power over to me. He told me to do his work, and Guru Maharaj Ji is in front of us. He is within my heart and everywhere."
In the back room, senior officers of the organization were preparing to come out and announce Bal Bhagwan Ji as the next master—until somebody burst into the room and told them what was happening. They rushed out just in time to see Charan Anand putting the tilak on Sant Ji's forehead while Mataji looked on in surprise. Thousands were shouting for little Sant Ji, his shaven head covered by a piece of white cloth as he sat in the master's chair while Sampurnanand, Charan Anand, Bihari, Gyan Bairaganand, and several others improvised a ceremony to crown him. After Bihari put a crown on Sant Ji's head, never again would the students call him Sant Ji. For them, he was now Guru Maharaj Ji. When Mataji and Maharaji's brothers touched his feet as a sign of respect, he garlanded each member of his family, including Older Mataji and Didiji. But while most of the audience were ecstatic, some were still not yet convinced. Maharaji told everyone that the next day he would show them proof that "Guru Maharaj Ji never dies."
The next morning, on the first of August, in front of a full hall, Maharaji told the attendees, "When I was in Dehradun, I was asleep in bed, and I felt that a man was there. I touched him with my hand and saw that it was Shri Maharaji. We spoke to each other for a long time. Guru Maharaj Ji is right here; he is not gone. If you want me to prove it, I shall prove it to you. Tonight, you shall see Maharaji right before you." That night, eight-year-old Maharaji stood up and began to dance and play the manjeeras, the small cymbals that his father used to play. Within a few minutes, the people in the hall witnessed the same radiance they had seen and felt in Shri Maharaji. Here was Shri Maharaji himself, they decided, dancing before their eyes, with the same radiant grace, glorious smile, and shining eyes.
In 2006 the website "A Voice For Peace" © The Prem Rawat Foundation, which is no longer on-line (see The Wayback Machine Internet Archive) published stories of Rawat's incarnation by Charan Anand and Bihari Singh. Bihari introduces a new wrinkle, the idea that there could be several gurus despite this being completely against Hans' exclusivist message. He speaks as if the young Rawat has actually succeeded in the predictions he claims Hans made.
Early in the morning of July 19 at 2:00 AM, Shri Maharaj Ji passes away at Shakti Nagar, his residence in Delhi. Despite the earlier indications by Maharaji's father, some senior members of the organization as well as Maharaji's mother feel that Maharaji is too young to succeed Shri Maharaj Ji. While they are discussing other possibilities at Prem Nagar Ashram a few days after Shri Maharaj Ji's death, Maharaji goes on stage and speaks to a gathering of several thousand mourning students and is accepted by them as their Master.
The night before Maharaji publicly accepted the role of Master
In 1966, when Maharaji was only 8 years old, Shri Maharaj Ji passed away. Once word of his passing got out, thousands of people started gathering in Prem Nagar to express their deep love and gratitude and to honor Shri Maharaj Ji's sweet and profound memory. Some were crying, some were confused and others were asking who was going to guide them in the future and who would shower them with that tender love and care. On the evening before Maharaji was to publicly accept the role of Master, I was standing with him on the roof of Shri Maharaj Ji's residence. He was very serene and quiet. The sky was clear, the moon was full. He turned his eyes toward the stars and the moon and said to me so innocently, "Look Charan Anand, I feel Shri Maharaj Ji watching us to see whether we are lost in our sorrow or are still remembering him and how dear the propagation of Knowledge was to him." I was so deeply moved and felt total admiration and reverence. Surrounded by so much sorrow, let alone his own unimaginably intense personal feelings of loss – in that most painful of moments, he retained such a profound awareness of Shri Maharaj Ji's wishes for him. All I could feel was that if Maharaji at this tender age has such strength and clarity under these challenging circumstances, then what won't he be able to do when he grows older? - Charan Anand, a mahatma, or instructor who would later assist Maharaji in bringing his message to the West
Maharaji accepted by his father's students
Right after Shri Maharaj Ji's death, the family and several mahatmas were discussing who would become Master after the 13 days of mourning were over. They were thinking about Bal Bhagwan Ji, who was the eldest son. When they asked me what I thought, I said, "Shri Maharaj Ji told us when Maharaji was born, 'He's going to take my message all over the world.' Then, before he left Dehra Dun, he told the whole family in Monsoorie, 'Sant Ji's going to take my place.' So everybody knows." So I took Maharaji from Dehra Dun to the Prem Nagar ashram. The discussions were still going on. Some were suggesting that there be several gurus (all four brothers or some group of 5 or 7 gurus), and others were still in the Bal Bhagwan Ji camp. Particularly in India, when a father dies, the older son steps into his place. I said, "Listen, the one who has the power is going to satisfy everybody. Relax and watch what happens." Twelve days after Shri Maharaj Ji's death, Maharaji went on stage with a handkerchief on his head and spoke for about 45 minutes to the people who had gathered. After listening to him, everybody accepted him as their Master. - Bihari Singh, Shri Maharaji's personal driver
Maharaji at the time of his father's death
When Shri Maharaj Ji died, I drove his body back to the family home in Dehra Dun. Then I went to the school to bring Maharaji and the all brothers home. I didn't say anything to them about their father having died. When I came to the family home, everybody was crying. But Maharaji, who was eight years old, walked inside the room where his father was, touched his feet and looked at his face without crying a single tear. Then he went out near the garage, where he looked at me and said, "Bihari Singh, why are you crying? I am still here, and he left his body. Guru never dies and is never born. Guru is a power." - Bihari Singh, Shri Maharaji's personal driver and aide
Shri Maharaj Ji talks to sons about Maharaji's future role
We went 25 miles away to Monsoorie near Dehra Dun in early July. One day, Shri Maharaj Ji invited the four brothers to a big park. Everybody sat down to have lunch there. Shri Maharaj Ji started to talk to his sons about what they would do when they grew up. To the eldest, he said, "You are the older brother. Never try to make yourself anything. Try to help your brother …." Then he pointed to Maharaji and said, "Sant Ji is going to take my place. He doesn't need anybody's help. But don't disturb whatever he's going to do—his work." - Bihari Singh, Shri Maharaj Ji's personal driver
In late 2011, "Swimming Free" a former devotee of Rawat's whose path to wealth had begun as a worker on Rawat's Boeing 707 told his story. He used the expertise he gained fitting out luxury aircraft (Rawat demanded gold-plated toilet fittings) and eventually amassed enough wealth to donate $5 million to Rawat in 2010. This gained him acknowledgement from Rawat's children and friendship with his new golf buddy, Abhay Charan, the former Mahatma Guruchar(n)anand. After becoming disillusioned with Rawat, he began posting on Ex-Premie org and recounted a night with Charan. Charan's story, like Sampuranand's, almost fits into the official story though he conflates two nights into one. In the official story the 8 year old's speech of the 29th July, 1966 only hinted that he was the new Satguru and it was his speech on the 31st July in the presence of his family and his dancing that confirmed his new divine status.
One night this last year before I exed, I was having a nice dinner at Charanand's apartment in Miami. His cooking is exquisite. I brought the wine and cognac. We were joined by 2 of his close friends for this evening. We may or may not have golfed earlier in the day, I don't really recall. After dinner, talk turned to things spiritual. I noticed a picture of a much younger Charanand together with a very young Maharaj Ji displayed prominently on a shelf. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe that Bihari Singh and Sampuranand were also in the picture. I asked Charanand about this picture and he explained that it was from the coronation of Maharaj Ji as the Perfect Master.
He told the eye witness story as follows: After the death of Shri Hans there was much sadness. Many of the Indian premies were gathered in the area. There was a big debate going on behind the scenes as to who would carry on as the new perfect master. There were Mahatmas who wanted to take over, Mata Ji wanted to take over, and Bal Bagwan Ji wanted to take over. None of this was to be though. While all these meetings were going on, the three of them, Charanand, Bihari, and Sampuranand put little Prem on a chair in front of the premies. The premies went wild with joy at seeing him, so Charanand put the tikak on his forehead, and Sampuranand put the crown of Krishna on his head. They gave him a microphone and he spoke. The crowd went wild and accepted this as his being the new perfect master.
Mata Ji, Bal Bagwan Ji, and the mahatmas came to see what all the ruckus was. When they arrived, it was apparant that their prior discussions were no longer relevent. The premies gathered had accepted little Prem as the new perfect master. He had stolen the show right out from under them. This upset both Mata Ji and Bal Bagwan Ji. This had never been in their plans and little Prem had never been in the seccession discussions. However, it was too late to change what had happened, and an uneasy truce was gained and little Prem was allowed to continue as the Perfect Master. Thus the stage was set. If my memory serves me correctly, little Prem was about 8 at this time.
I think that little Prem believed in his superpowers until he was well into his adult years. Who would have been allowed to challenge him? He must be doubting them now though as more and more of us challenge his self appointed authority. With the revisionism now rampant in the organization, the above account must be embarassing. But consider the problem being that the Indian Mahatmas spread such confusion. Talk later turned to the topic of royal families. Charanand expressed his opinion that the Rawat family is a royal family. Perhaps this is why knowledge spread more in England than in France where they don't treat their royals so benevolently.