Prem Rawat's Teaching about Holy Breath - In His Own Words
"Holy Breath" was a ritual that Prem Rawat or Maharaji (the Ultimate Ruler) as he calls himself or Guru Maharaj Ji as he called himself until the 1980's considered extremely important. Every new person that had been initiated, ie taught Rawat's system of meditation and that he was the incarnation of God on the planet today, was also taught that on the first time they had his formal darshan ie line up and walk past and pranam to him and kiss his feet after they had received Knowledge they should cup their right hand behind their right ear as they approached him. So as you approached his throne during the darshan line (this was usually done in a large group in single file), Rawat would then be able to recognise that this was your first time and make a megaphone-shaped move with his hand, blowing through it into your right ear. This was an important step - a necessary step - in becoming a premie according to his dogma: the Perfect Master recognising and accepting you as one of his chosen.
Montrose, Colorado, on July 25, 1972
God is only subject to the Knowledge and to realize Him we need to know this Knowledge, we need to know this divine Word. I am not talking about a word that I take out of my pocket and I am not talking about something which is unique and new, but I am talking about that thing that has been written about in the Bible, that has been written about in the Koran, and that has been written about in the Gita. In all the scriptures something called the Word has been described. What is that Holy Breath that vibrates in us and makes us alive? What is that Word?
Light Reading, 1980
Guru Maharaj Ji Answers Questions, San Francisco, California, February 10, 1974
Q: Can I receive Holy Breath when I haven't received Knowledge?
GMJ: You haven't received Knowledge yet? So first receive Knowledge and you can receive the Holy Breath.
Q: I'm not very clear on Holy Breath. Can you give me some satsang about it?
GMJ: Well, why don't you ask some initiator about it. Okay?
Élan Vital, Autumn 1977, Volume 1, Issue 1
Los Angeles California, April 19 1974
GMJ: So well, just tell everybody I'm gonna be here tomorrow, they should come and enjoy satsang. Thank you very much. (Thank you Bolie Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai! Maharaji we love you. Maharaji can we have Holy Breath?)
GMJ: Okay let's tell everybody that they can come tomorrow and have Holy Breath. (Oh wow!, Bolie Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai! Maharaji would you like a bigger hall?)
GMJ: Okay but tell everybody because uh they want Holy Breath (Thank you Maharaji Bolie Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai! See you tomorrow. We love you)
Perfect Master Tape 012
Los Angeles California, April 20 1974
So dear premies, We have assembled here because I think yesterday I said people who wanted Holy Breath could come today. But really, before we start going and do any satsang, or before I start giving Holy Breath to premies, I think it's really important to understand the purpose, the meaning, of what all this is, because many times many premies are talking about service. Many times I am talking about service; many times Mahatmas are talking about service. And I believe many premies are doing service, but after all, what does it mean?
The Golden Age, Number 12, July-August, 1975 and Perfect Master Tape 012
Phipps Auditorium, Denver Colorado, 2nd May 1974
And it's the Grace that brings us there, the Knowledge which brings us there and I can tell you one thing right now, that in Guru Puja I really, really intend to get this mind straightened out, out of almost everybody who comes to Guru Puja. Because (Bhole Shri Satguru Dev Maharaji Ki Jai from crowd) because it's getting pretty heavy each day and the way, the way we will set up Guru Puja will be better than Montrose, the one we had in Montrose, will be a lot more beautiful and it's like there'll be Arti two times, and everybody will receive Holy Breath, everybody will receive Darshan, who hasn't and there will be Arti two times, one in the morning and one just before satsang program and it's like if this Guru Puja goes the way I have planned it in my head, by the time it's over, the mind should be out, I mean out (enthusiastic Bhole Shri Satguru Dev Maharaji Ki Jai and Hooray from crowd) and so I want, that's all I want you to do is to get the word around that ah how important it is, how fantastic it is, really.
Perfect Master Tape 014 and The Golden Age, Number 7, Saturday, June 8, 1974
South High School, Denver Coloradao, May 4 1974
Because I know one thing, it's gonna be a fantastic, fantastic program. It's just gonna be such a beautiful program that it's gonna be completely unbelieveable because it's like Guru Puja is a point where I want all the premies to come, you know, and bring their friends who want to receive Knowledge and worship Guru Maharaj Ji, worship and meditate and realise more of it. … This would be different to Hans Jayanti but where everybody can receive Holy Breath, can receive Darshan, can receive Knowledge Review, can get rid of the doubts, do a lot of meditation and I mean just a very cool, beautiful, lovely - as they say in English - program. Just a beautiful, just like a premie program and of course Guru Puja is a function where, you know, it's like a really premie's function it's like really a devotee's function so that they can go and worship Guru Maharaj Ji and really I also want to clear you on this point, that's about time, now all the premies start following agya.
The Golden Age, Number 22, July-August, 1975
Cosmopolitan Hotel, Denver, Colorado, May 6 1974
Because they cannot proceed any further than that. It's just, that's the way it is. And many people who are really - I mean, he would just like to read story books, and have happened to pick up a scripture because they like the story books and they start reading it for that purpose, they won't be confused - but a person is sincerely seeking this Knowledge, he will certainly be confused. Because like all their build-up is correct, it's truthful, everything is okay. But where does it go? Where does it end? Where does it last? Where is it? I mean, there is all this knowledge knowledge knowledge, Word Word Word, Holy Word, Holy Breath, holy this, and holy that. Where is it? It's just not there. And that build-up that you have in your heart, reading all these beautiful things about it, and really getting excited, and really getting blissed out about it, then you come to a point - which is the last page of the book unfortunately. And it has a big full stop on it.
Golden Age, No. 17, January 1975
People who just like to read story books and happen to pick up a scripture and start reading it only for that, they won't be confused. But a person who is sincerely seeking Knowledge of God, of Truth, he will certainly be confused. Because the build-up is correct, it's truthful, but where does it go? Where does it last? There is all this Knowledge, Knowledge, Knowledge … Word, Word, Word Holy Word, Holy Breath, holy this and holy that … but where is it? It's just not there, not in words
And It Is Divine Magazine, Volume 2, Number 1, June 1974
Guru Puja, Amherst, Mass., July 6, 7 1974
Premies, there's just one thing left. So just go ahead and meditate, and tell people that what we have realized is much more than what they are imagining, what they can expect. So we are all here, and tomorrow there is going to be a Darshan line, and all the premies will be able to have Holy Breath and Darshan. We have come here, and then we are going to go. There is going to be one more program. I mean we can just arrange such a way so that we can hold programs forever and ever and ever. I mean it's possible. But the most important thing is that we should be able to gather something, we should be able to realize something out of these functions, out of this that's being given to us. We should really understand that it's Grace that has been given to us. It's that Grace, that pure Grace that is here. Because of that pure Grace everything is existing. I mean, how many people are there who understand this, that we are here and living on this planet earth purely because of Grace. But it is perfectly true. Like, that's the reason.
And It Is Divine Magazine, October 15, 1974 Volume 3, Issue 4
Hans Jayanti festival, Toronto Canada, 9th November 1974
We have to work on something, we have a project ahead of us and tomorrow everybody will be given darshan and the premies who have not received Holy Breath yet, they will be given Holy Breath and so it's like again there is not much to say, there really isn't and there has never been much to say because understand, try, smile and it's like look you have reached it, you know, you have had it what you want and it's like more meditation brings you closer and faster towards that point more and more and it's like really you know what, what else except smile and understand because it's so, so beautiful and so glorious and you know you know it's like hallelujah you know for that, for that perfectness and what else is there and when we realize it, it, it, it (snaps fingers) takes one instant second and before that is like "Bah boo bing bong" and then (snaps fingers) after that, just after one second it's hallelujah you know and it's so beautiful, so perfect that, that you know we can't, we can't ever imagine and say and think and say "How was it? You know how could it have been?
Perfect Master Tape #026
Guru Puja Festival, Caracas Venezuela, 23rd July 1975
So enjoy and realize, and just be in one bliss and harmony. And there will be satsang tomorrow, and day after tomorrow. And so, be there because you want to be there. What other good reason can be given to any of you about why should you be there? Because you're supposed to be there. So be there, and realize, and be one with the great harmony and bliss. And of course there is going to be a darshan program where everybody will be able to come and do pranam, and have Holy Breath. Premies who haven't had Holy Breath, they will be able to have Holy Breath. So this is just the first day, and there is a lot more in Dr. Lord's one more show. And if you have got the brain, come on in. It'll be sure to be blown out.
Élan Vital Summer 1978 Volume II Issue 2
29 November 1976, Frankfurt, Germany
Well, this kind of satsang hall trip hasn't happened in years. There's a lot of love. But also premies have to understand that 50,000 premies trying to do this, I'm pretty sure that somebody would get killed. Small programs like this, two hundred people here, doesn't hurt - except I almost got squashed against the stage. These security guys have got very bad names. They don't need bad names, they do a pretty good service. They try to do their best. Before it was a little bit crazy, I must admit: premies got thrown around everywhere. But now it's really beautiful, you don't get rushed through darshan. Before it was like, you either could do pranam or you could see me, but now you can at least do both, and have Holy Breath if you need it.
The Golden Age April 1977 Number 37
Kansas City, January 22, 1978
And there's so many programs up on the way, just for North America, for South America, for Canada - for the whole world, there's so many programs coming. And there's so many new premies every day. It's such an incredible thing, because every time there is a darshan line, there's these people ready for Holy Breath. And it's just so incredible, because there's more and more and more and more premies who are coming into that experience. And really, what more can you say, except thank you. So I hope I see you very soon, and thank you very much.
Golden Age, April 1978 Number 44
Malaga, Spain, Sunday, 26 March 1978
So premies, Knowledge is such an incredible thing, because it just shines and shines and shines and shines. And I mean it's just like there is a lot of new premies here, because yesterday it was really incredible in the darshan line. So many premies wanted Holy Breath. And there were these premies that actually had not had Holy Breath. And it was just so beautiful to just see more and more premies, more and more premies, more and more premies, more and more premies come into this Knowledge. Because it's like an opening. It's just like you can see how beautiful it is to be able to come back home again. Because we are really spaced out all the time into this ocean. But only by Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace, when we surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji, when we say, "Okay." Not literally say, "okay," and not mean it. But when we don't say a word and yet mean it, mean it from the bottom of our heart, that "Help." And then it just manifests
Golden Age, April 1978 Number 44 and Divine Times, Holi Issue, 1979 Volume 8, Number 2
Hans Jayanti, Friday, November 10 1979
But then to even have the practice of Knowledge a reality … and then to accept Guru Maharaj Ji as Guru Maharaj Ji. Because it isn't that day, "Okay, today, Guru Maharaj Ji, you have given me Knowledge." So many premies came today, or have been coming actually throughout the entire darshan line, for the four days that it's been going on, and they want Holy Breath. I guess Holy Breath signifies that you have been accepted as a devotee. And some premies come with their right hand over their right ear for Holy Breath. And some premies put their left hand over their left ear for Holy Breath. Initiators do a terrible job of explaining it to them, which ear or how to do it. And I remember this one lady was coming through darshan and she was holding her left ear to receive Holy Breath. And so this initiator saw this, and he lifted her right hand to her right ear, so she walked through the darshan line looking for Holy Breath with her hands behind both ears. "Either one, Guru Maharaj Ji." Great. Fantastic. Sure. Sometimes when the premies do come with the wrong ear, I just aim for the right ear. That's the best I can do. Because I don't want to talk and say, "Hey, you have your hand over the wrong ear." But that is a significance that signifies something. Fine. That means that Guru Maharaj Ji has opened his door to us. That means that Guru Maharaj Ji has now offered himself to us. But there still remains a small problem. And this problem is that now we have to open ourselves to Guru Maharaj Ji and we have to offer ourselves to Guru Maharaj Ji. … And that's the way I feel that, for us, to come through darshan line - okay, who offers who what in a darshan line? To me, I have to go back to the drawing board as far as these chairs are concerned. Because they can be uncomfortable, in the combination of every air bag in this chair having to be literally correct and perfect before it feels comfortable. Because every one of these little things is actually an air chamber. And underneath the air chamber, there is a mold of my body, of my back. And it has to be all correct. Otherwise it's very uncomfortable. And sitting in a darshan line for three or four hours really twists my back around, really gets my back going after a little while. It just really starts hurting. But I know, besides that experience, there is also a very wonderful experience that's manifesting, and I'd rather stay with that experience than with my back, until it gets to the point of being unbearable or something. But when a darshan line happens, when Guru Maharaj Ji is there and when every premie is given an opportunity - who gives that opportunity for the premies to come? Is it, "Oh, Guru Maharaj Ji, here I am. Look at me"? Do we give Guru Maharaj Ji the opportunity to see us? Is that what the darshan line is all about? Or does Guru Maharaj Ji give us an opportunity to see him, to experience him?
Divine Times, Volume 9, Number 1, January/February 1980
Many of his followers seemed to have difficulty in remembering the method involved in Holy Breath so there were numerous reminders printed.
- If you have never previously received Holy Breath, please place your right hand to your right ear as you approach Guru Maharaj Ji. (Holy Breath is given by the Perfect Master when He formally accepts you as His devotee and you should not ask for it a second time.) To respect Guru Maharaj Ji's wishes, no one should go through the Darshan line twice. Guru Puja '77 brochure
- DARSHAN: Aspirants are asked not to go through the darshan line. If you have never received Holy Breath, please place your right hand to your right ear AS YOU APPROACH Guru Maharaj Ji, before you do pranam. Please do not wait until you are standing right in front of him to place your hand to your ear. (Holy Breath is given by the Perfect Master when he formally accepts an individual as his devotee, and you should not request it more than once.) - Denver '79
- DO: If you have not received Holy Breath, place your right hand to your right ear AS YOU APPROACH Guru Maharaj Ji, before you do pranam, so that he can see that you are asking for it. Do not wait until you are directly in front of him to indicate that you would like to receive Holy Breath. DON'T: Please do not wait until you are directly in front of Guru Maharaj Ji during darshan to ask for Holy Breath. Place your right hand to your right ear as you approach him, before you do pranam. - Guru Puja '78 brochure
- If Guru Maharaj Ji gives darshan people are asked to remove their shoes before entering the darshan line but everyone must wear socks. No bare feet will be permitted, for health reasons. Anyone who has not received Holy Breath before may ask for it by placing their right hand to their right ear as they approach Guru Maharaj Ji. Premies are asked not to wait until they are directly in front of Guru Maharaj Ji before doing this because Guru Maharaj Ji will not be able to see that they are asking for Holy Breath. Since this is a continually recurring situation, premies who know someone who will be asking for Holy Breath might take the time to explain this to make sure it is understood. - Hans Jayanti '78 brochure
- Darshan: Aspirants and newcomers are asked NOT TO GO THROUGH the darshan line. Please leave your shoes under your seat during darshan. Also, please do not carry any purses or clothing in the line. Premies are requested to go through the line only once. If you have never received Holy Breath, please place your right hand to your right ear, AS YOU APPROACH GURU MAHARAJ JI. (Holy Breath is given by the Perfect Master when he formally accepts you as his devotee, and is not requested a second time.) - Holi '79 brochure