the Golden Donut Prem Rawat's "Golden Donut"

Photographers and film-makers who were devotees of Prem Rawat (Maharaji), or Guru Maharaj Ji as he called himself in the 1970's, often photographed or filmed Rawat as if he emanated light from his face and head or had a halo. Sometimes this was done using special effects and other times through the use of lighting or the angle of the sun. They were imitating one of the major effects of squeezing your eyes which is what the mahatmas did when they showed the Divine Light technique when they "revealed the Knowledge." This was often referred to by premies as the "golden donut." Typically it appears as a bright disc with a black central hole set against the background of black that is the usual visual phenomenon seen when the eyes are closed. One film produced in India even ends with a scene where His face fades into a bright circular light object, centered between his eyes.

This obsession came about because the Divine Light meditation technique that was part of "the Knowledge" required you to squeeze your eyes with your longest finger and thumb producing this sort of effect if you squeeze hard enough. I was quite shocked when Mahatma Padarthanand did it to me in my "Knowledge Session" and pulled my head back to be greeted by his stern look when I opened my eyes. I applied very little pressure to my eyes while meditating as I did not want to damage my sight. As we were supposed to keep the techniques secret I did not even hear about this "golden donut" until 1978 when talking to someone at the Kissimmee Hans Jayanti festival in 1978.

 
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Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
 
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Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
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The Young Prem Rawat Attracts the Light at a Garden Party

 
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines

The Young Prem Rawat Becomes the Light and Disappears into the Sunshine

 
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines

Believe It Or Not

Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines

People might think that I am an Indian so we shouldn't receive the Knowledge. You know, you are not receiving me. If you are receiving me then yes you can have a duality in your heart of, you know, black and white but you are not receiving me, you know, so there is no question of black and white. You are receiving my Knowledge, Knowledge hasn't got any colour.

Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines

Some of the Effects Were Obviously Phony … But Then It Was All Phony

 
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Rome 1977
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Kissimmee, Florida, 1978
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) in Japan
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) in Japan

The Obsession With Reflected Light is Even Used in Film of Natural Scenes.

 
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Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines

In many cases, Rawat's bloated, pudgy face is shining with sweat from the lighting for filming.

 
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines

And sometimes it's just pure fantasy and cheesy special effects.

 
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat Holi

Sometimes the Greatest Magisian Will Pull Off A Miracle

 
Full moon satsang
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Shines