The Holy Lotus Feet of Prem Rawat (Maharaji)
While Prem Rawat's flabby and half-naked dancing and his followers' mania for lining up and passing by and bowing down to kiss his feet are strange enough in themselves, there was another, even more unusual practice. Reproduced photos of Prem Rawat or Guru Maharaj Ji Ji as he called himself in the 1960's and 70's, were widely sold to his premies or devotees. They ranged in cost from 50 cents for wallet size to $30 for 16" x 20". Some of the most popular photos were the focus for the cult of the worship of Rawat's "divine and Holy Lotus Feet" but don't just take my word for it, Click Here. A lotus is an extremely beautiful flower of a tropical aquatic plant, Nelumbo Nucifera. It often grows in dirty water and it's flowers are held above the surface so in India, it is used as a metaphor for saints and yogis, etc. They supposedly live "above" the dirt and squalor of normal human life. As Rawat said in Denver, Colorado, on May 12, 1974:
"If you want to stay in this world, be like a lotus flower who stays in the dirty water, who was born in the dirty water, but never gets adopted to dirty water. You can live in the world of concepts, but live in such a way so that they don't affect you. There can be a million, trillion infinite concepts going on, and they shouldn't bother you. And I'll tell you something, that's a most beautiful way to be."
In November 1971 at Hans Jayanti he spoke about his 360 Western followers attending the festival:
They have come here to listen to the glory of that Knowledge more and more. They have Knowledge, but now they have come here to hear the glory of that Knowledge in holy discourse. Because they know that by seeing the Lotus Feet of Guru Maharaj Ji and by hearing his nectarful voice, serving under his Lotus Feet, all the sins of lives together are washed off. I have made it clear about these things already.
And in Patna, Bihar, India on December 25, 1971 he spoke about himself:
"So the Supremest Lord, Shri Guru Maharaj Ji, knowing everything, remains detached from everything just like the lotus flower. The lotus is blossoming in water, but remaining in water, is away from the water. If the lotus flower goes underwater, then the ability of water to take all the good and bad will also come into the lotus. But the lotus, remaining in water, does not take the qualities of water. Remaining in water, the lotus does not accept the qualities of water."
Followers of Prem Rawat had shrines in their homes where a chair would be reserved for the exclusive use of the divine arse (ass) of the Perfect Master and Lord of the Universe should he ever deign to leave his gigantic Malibu mansion and enter their humble abode. In front of the chair would be a pillow with a lifesize photo of Rawat's feet before which they would pranam, sing arti while waving trays of candles and on special occasions take a smidgin of charanamrit or holy water on their tongues. Charanamrit is water in which Prem Rawat, or at least, His Holy Lotus Feet have been bathed or at least water in which it was claimed that they had been bathed. It was bottled homeopathically - a drop of the precious bath water was diluted in normal water and was then made available through his trusted followers. You had to have faith. Some examples of the photos of his feet are shown below. It appears from close examination of these photos that Rawat may have assuaged his stressful feelings of inadequacy and insecurity by picking at his toenails as well as by alcohol abuse. Click here to see what he says about his holy Lotus Feet.
Prem Rawat spoke of His Lotus Feet and explained their significance early in his career in his charming, uniquely idiosyncratic way: "… the guy who is determined to shed his forehead on the Lotus Feet goes to that perfection from where he never returns."
In 1980 in Rome he spoke of the song Leaving Your Lotus Feet, a song dedicated to his very own feet, as being one of his favourites.
His wife, the former Marolyn Johnson to whom he gave the title "Durga Ji", began speeches with "Pranam Guru Maharaj Ji! Pranam to your beautiful Lotus Feet". She was the model devotee singing the glories of her husband's feet:
And the other night I just looked at Guru Maharaj Ji's Feet, and there they were, you know. And to me - I mean, all of a sudden - I know Guru Maharaj Ji's Lotus Feet are the most beautiful thing in this world, but I was just looking at his Feet and I just went, "Oh, my God!" And I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't take my eyes off his Feet. And its like, if you go to , maybe, people of the world and just try to tell them, "Well, Guru Maharaj Ji has the most beautiful Feet," it just won't make sense. But to premies … You know, it's like, I am so blissed out looking at Guru Maharaj Ji's Feet. And yet, to each one of us, we know how beautiful those Lotus Feet are, because he gives them to us to hang on to, you know. And that's like the gateway to his heart: His Feet. And they're so beautiful. They're so perfect. They're so lovely. Physically, even. I mean, they're just so beautiful.
One wonders what she might have said about his penis.
While public worship of Prem Rawat's feet is no longer allowed (private kissing of his feet is allowed at his cult compound Amaroo in Peak Crossing, Australia) still there are often clues to the premie beliefs such as this scene from the 1995 video, The Connection.
His father, Hans Rawat the Perfect Master before him, spoke of the mystical form of the "Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord permeating the whole universe" and how "If only I might see my living Master, I would tell Him all my sufferings, weeping, and rest my head on His Holy Feet."
- Balyogeshwar (meaning "born Lord of the Yogis") Shri Sant Ji Maharaj walks in on patent-leather-booted lotus feet. Brigham scrambles to kiss them. Foreheads zoom toward the floor. - The Washington Post, September 14, 1971
- … his followers, including his mother, now called "the holy mother," and his three older brothers, all of whom worship him by kissing his "lotus feet." - United Press International, December 10, 1972
- As he passed, the devotees, many in tears, threw flower petals in his path and then prostrated themselves to kiss the marble slabs where his lotus feet had just trod. - The New Republic, November 17, 1973
- The New York Times reported that Divine Light Mission "inter-office memos began: "Salutations and prostrations at his lotus feet." - December 9, 1973
- He loves to play jokes-like the time back in India when he jumped onto his motorcycle and roared away, scattering dust and gravel on some people who had prostrated themselves to kiss his lotus feet - Saturday Review/World, September 9 1974
- Durga Ji Marolyn Rawat, Maharaji's wife speaks about His Lotus Feet - Denver Colorado, September 3 1977
- Durga Ji Rawat, Maharaji's wife bows to His beautiful Lotus Feet: "Pranam Guru Maharaj Ji! Pranam to your beautiful lotus Feet" - Kissimmee Florida, November 10 1978
- last night I had such a beautiful, most beautiful experience of Guru Maharaj Ji's Lotus Feet. I was just so graced to be able to give a little massage to Guru Maharaj Ji's Lotus Feet. - Kissimmee Florida, November 10 1978
- Mitchell Ditkoff of Idea Champions: Satsang over, I stagger into the Arizona night, not having the vaguest idea why I love him so, why I'd travel any place, anytime, would crawl on my stomach (or yours if it would help) just to get the chance to kiss his Lotus Feet. - Divine Times - August 1978 Volume 7, Number 5
- Rennie Davis, Antiwar Activist and Devotee of Prem Rawat in The New York Times, May 6, 1973: "I would cross the planet on my hands and knees to touch his toe."
- Lucy Dupertuis in her Ph.D. paper discusses "the Supremest Lotus Feet" and their role in the premie experience as the gateway to ultimate reality and center of the universe.
- Lucy Dupertuis in her Ph.D. paper discusses "the Holy Lotus Feet" and their role in the vows taken at initiation into Prem Rawat's Knowledge
- To round up the festival guru Maharaj ji was going to give 'darshan': a personal encounter between master and follower, the biggest favor a 'perfect master' can grant and by the true 'devotee' seen as a short cut on the road to enlightenment. Kissing the holy lotus feet of the lord just once, was equal to at least one year of intensive meditation, according to the mahatmas. - Mescaline, Maharaj Ji and the Mojave Desert: Abandoned Roads by Jos Lammers
- all in America are coming to the Lotus Feet because of the power of His attraction from soul to soul. He is saving all those who come to Him. We are in perfect bliss, heaven has come to earth. - Joan (Dhiraj Bai)
- Looking again at where I was then I can only cry in gratefulness to Our Lord, for by His Grace, he has brought me to His Lotus Feet in full pranam. After having crashed the plane, I have deepened my understanding of His Knowledge - Carlos Warter, M. D.
- There is ample time to touch our heads on to the Lotus Feet, place an offering in the back of the jeep and receive prashad from a blissful Mahatma Padarthanand Ji, who is following close behind. … he whole western world now knows something about Guru Maharaj Ji. It is watching to see what he, through us, is going to do. Then if that proves acceptable and attractive, nothing will be able to stem the stampede to the Lotus Feet. - Golden Age magazine August 3 - 16, 1974
- The second and final day began with a darshan line. Eight thousand people filed past the stage (temporarily screened off for the occasion), kissed the Lotus Feet and drifted into the ethers. - Golden Age magazine, Number 16, December 1974
- A point was then introduced about initiation vows, pranaming and dedication. Some initiators felt that pranaming was strange in certain cultures, that stressing dedication could seem forced, and that parts of the vows were worded inappropriately. Maharaj Ji agreed that the vows could be simplified and suggested, for example, that "Oh Guru Maharaj Ji, I dedicate myself to your lotus feet" could be rephrased to "Oh Guru Maharaj Ji, I dedicate myself to you." In general, he left emphasis on these aspects of the initiation session to the individual initiator's discrimination. - Golden Age magazine, Number 34, November 1976
- This is the path of devotion that Guru Maharaj Ji is offering us, the path where we become one with that infinite perfection. And that experience that we have of touching his lotus feet to our foreheads, of kissing his lotus feet, it's such a symbol of what Guru Maharaj Ji is doing. - Joan Apter, Tucson, Arizona, July 15, 1978
- The Divine Light Mission film "Satguru Has Come" reports the Holy Family and all the mahatmas prostrated to Prem Rawat's Lotus Feet when they realised He was the new Satguru
- The devotional song Arti includes the lines: Mine, Thine, Wealth, Health, Give them to the lotus feet of love, Give them to the lotus feet of the Lord
- A popular hit song in the late 1970's (amongst devotees of Prem Rawat's) included the lyrics:
"You're so far beyond me, I hate to even try to describe something I never can.
But let me simply say that I love you and adore you, want to worship the very ground
Touched by your precious Lotus Feet, Lotus Feet, your precious Lotus Feet."
This song, "I Love You" by Rich Neel with One Foundation, was featured in the the commercial DLM tape of the same name and the video of the Guru Puja 1979 festival.
- Other mentions of his Lotus Feet in DLM songs included:
"I came like a beggar to your Lotus Feet and you carried me away"
"This hour we have the chance to gaze upon your golden form, And slip beneath your precious Lotus Feet"
"In the river of nectar sweet, We're going to bathe at your Lotus Feet"
"I need to see your shining face, I need to kiss your Lotus Feet, Oh yes"
"Leaving Your Lotus Feet, Oh where would I go?" which is one of Prem Rawat's favourite songs.
Vow to Guru Maharaj Ji made before "receiving Knowledge."
Oh my Guru Maharaj Ji, I dedicate myself to your Lotus Feet. I am weak and ignorant and am filled with the impurities of this world. Oh Guru Maharaj Ji, please take my mind and purge me of the impurities I possess. Reveal to me the Knowledge of all knowledge. Strengthen me, uplift me and reveal the Kingdom of Heaven within inside of me. Bring me from hate to love, from darkness to light, death to immortality. I will OBEY you implicitly and will never reveal this Knowledge to anyone for any reason. I will keep in contact with you through my DEVOTIONAL LOVE, satsang, meditation and service. Thank you my LORD for everything.[The uppercase words were in the original].