Western premies had their beliefs about mahatmas challenged when they learned that Mahatma Fakiranand had nearly bludgeoned the journalist and merry prankster, Pat Halley, to death with a hammer for throwing a shaving cream pie into Maharaji's face in Detroit in 1973 but their consciences were not particularly active and mostly they shrugged their metaphorical shoulders and put it down to Maharaji's Lila. Fakiranand, who was a well-loved mahatma of Shri Hans, Prem Rawat's father, and remained an extremely important mahatma under Satpal Maharaj after Prem Rawat was deposed by his Indian followers, was quickly hustled overseas and Halley accepted a $10,000 payment from Divine Light Mission as compensation. (Click here for full details of this vicious crime)
Even amongst the early premies, Fakiranand was considered extreme and is possibly the only "mahatma" to be written about in Penthouse magazine:
Mahatma Fakiranand is a very special mahatma, being one of the first premies elevated to that sacred state after the barely pubescent godhead (he's one day older than Donny Osmond) assumed the title of Perfect Master in 1969 upon the death of his father, the founder of the Divine Light Mission. Fakiranand is fondly referred to as Guru Maharaj Ji's "drunken puppy," because of his rather peculiar sense of devotion. The day after the Detroit incident Tina Sanderson was receiving The Knowledge from Fakiranand, and she was more than a little perturbed by his zeal. He made the twenty-odd premies-to-be clean their pockets of all their possessions, scooping the spare change into a paper bag which, along with many other paper bags he would collect from other Knowledge sessions, he would personally deliver to the feet of his master. Tina remembers being particularly disturbed by the fanatical display of adoration Fakiranand exhibited. "He made us bow twenty times to a picture of Guru Maharaj Ji, making us promise to renounce all other gurus and religious beliefs. There was a picture of Guru Maharaj Ji which had fallen to the floor. He got all agitated and scolded us for not rushing over to pick it up. Other premies later told me that he would berate them for even turning their backs on a picture of Maharaj Ji."
The compleat mahatma: try to kill someone one day, reveal the Holy Knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji the next.
One of Fakiranand's satsangs is posted here, he certainly seems "blissed out" in the photo and in his speech:
"I am seeing that self-effulgent Light twenty-four hours a day. Guru Maharaj has opened my eye and has given everything to me. I am remembering that Word at all times. There is nothing more precious than Guru, nothing more lovely than Guru Maharaj in this whole universe for a human being."
Even premies who heard about the attack were not aware of the details. Sophia Collier believed Rawat stripped the mahatma of his rank and urged him to turn himself in but the mahatma quietly slipped out of the country.
In 2000 Halley made a few posts on the Prem-Rawat-Talk Forum and revealed that Fakiranand contacted him after the Rawat family split claiming he was blackmailed into attacking Halley by DLM administrators.
I received a letter two years later from Fakiranand, a copy was also sent to the Detroit Police. He said that he was ordered to kill me by the President of the organization (not Maharaj Ji) and he denounced the Guru and the entire organization, claiming that they used the threat of deportation to force him into it.
In 2012 Fakiranand was contacted by a former premie seeking to ascertain the truth of the matter and he absolutely denied having struck the near fatal blow or having anything to do with it. He claimed that the evil administrators of Divine Light Mission falsely accused him as he was the only mahatma fighting for truth, bliss and consciousness against their dark machinations. However there is enough confirmatory evidence to show that he is lying. He also claimed he did not write the letter sent to Halley in Fakiranand's name, once again blaming these evil overlords.
It is pretty obvious that if there is a self-effulgent Divine Light and a Holy Name then Juteswar Misra is certainly not experiencing these divine gifts of truth and bliss but is a demented religious fanatic who may or may not know that he is lying. Like his former Guru Maharaj Ji he has used these Indian religious doctrines for his own selfish ends though obviously not as successfully as Prem. Having comfortable quarters, the respect of the gullible and free food sure beats slaving in the hot Indian sun for a pittance.
He has continued as a mahatma until at least the present day (2013) preaching for Satpal Maharaj, Rawat's eldest brother and replacement Satguru. He presides at Prem Nagar ashram in Haridwar as the wise and enlightened elder statesman Mahatma and denies all knowledge of Halley's attempted murder. The Western premies had to change their beliefs about mahatmas when all but a handful of them returned to India and remained loyal to Rawat's mother after she disinherited Him for his playboy lifestyle. After all, Mahatmas couldn't have higher spiritual experience if they accepted that Prem Rawat, their former Perfect Master and Lord of the Universe had become just a naughty fat boy who'd got lost in maya of sex, drink, drugs and being a playboy, could they?
A former premie, Joe, posted this reminiscence about Fakiranand on 18/5/2012
When Fakiranand toured, in advance of his arrival, the ashram had to be completely "Fakiranized" because, apparently due to very perverted toilet training, Fakiranand demanded "perfection." One of the requirements was that every picture of Prem (and, at that time, the other members of the "Holy Family" ) MUST have a cloth underneath it if sitting on a table, AND there had to be a cloth (usually some satin/silk number) behind every such picture hanging on the wall, among other ridiculous things. First thing he did when he arrived was to look for something incorrectly done to bitch about it. And, as you say, he was a tyrant with aspirants.
Mahatma Fakiranand Ji at the IAM Metaphysical Centre (Part 2 and continuation of previoulsy uploaded video 2011-01-01
- I resolved to return to the ashram a week later when Mahatma Fakirand, the boy guru's number one disciple, would be back from a tour of the U.S. to "give knowledge." …
"Ah," said the Mahatma, "then who is the more important, guru or God?" Flashing on about 500 complexities and figuring I had had it, I replied, "God."
At which the Mahatma told me that I should then ask God for knowledge; the guru is more important than God because the guru gives knowledge of God.
The Mahatma advised me to get some more "satsang" and come back when I really believed that the guru is indeed the key to my life.
"The Guru on Fourteenth Street" STEPHEN C. ROSE. the christian CENTURY. January 19, 1972, pp. 67-69
- Mahatma Fakiranand, close disciple of 14-year-old Guru Maharaj Ji, will be in Concord Friday afternoon at the Divine Light Mission on Baker Avenue.
Disciple of 14-year-old Guru to visit Concord, the Lowell Sun, 9/14/72, p. 13