Prem Rawat's Teachings About 'Mahatmas' (Great Souls) - In His Own Words
The Mahatmas ("Great Saints") that provided Rawat with his spiritual credibility and provided the drama and intensity of the "Knowledge Sessions" departed en masse in 1975 when the young Prem Rawat was disowned, disinherited and deposed by his mother, elder brothers and the administrators and members of Divine Light Mission, India due to his drunkeness, dope smoking, meat-eating, excessive interest in sex and general playboy lifestyle. Though propagation was never very successful thereafter, there were sometimes long delays before a person could be initiated because of the paucity of initiators. In 1976 it was suggested that part-time initiators could be used. Rawat forcefully refused to consider the possibility. Ten years later, with ashrams closed and numbers down, he reconsidered.
Dehra Dun, 29th July, 1966
When Knowledge of God is spread through the whole world, there will be one religion. The Knowledge will be spread through mahatmas, because, without these great souls, it cannot be done. You cannot prepare the lamp without oil. Without oil, it will not burn. The spreading of the Knowledge is beneficial for all. That is why we should not waste time. We have to give even our last breath for the sake of others. … But if you have got the true thing then it does not mean that you have to become a guru yourself and start giving Knowledge to others. It means that you should bring people to the mahatmas.
The Golden Age November 1978 Number 49
Delhi, India, December 1972
Well, there's only one method. First they are introduced to the Knowledge by someone. Then there is our literature which people read and understand that this is the practical Knowledge that is being offered, that this is the Knowledge that we are all interested in finding. And then it is a simple process, as has been described, "Ask and you shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you." They ask for it and they are given. The people working at the different centers are like apostles, like disciples. And some disciples are called mahatmas; they reveal this Knowledge, but they do not give this Knowledge. If it was a process of giving, it might be difficult for them. But it is a process of revealing, so it is very easy.
And It Is Divine, Volume I, Number 5, March, 1973
Los Angeles, November 24, 1974
You know, many people go to mahatmas and say, "Oh Mahatma Ji, I have this confusion." How do you expect him to answer the questions? He is not a robot. How do you expect him to answer? Because he does meditation. He knows this Knowledge; he has realized this Knowledge, and he is realizing more and more and more and more. Because of that meditation, you think that he is capable of giving answers. Why don't you try it for yourself?
Divine Times Volume 4, Issue 3, April 30 1975
Hans Jayanti Festival, Orlando, Florida, Evening, 9 November 1975
You see, I have realized Knowledge. I have experienced that bliss, and I have become one with it. And I want you also to become one with that bliss, with that true consciousness that you have realized, like I have, so that you can be in that stage which I promised you, so that you can be in that perfection that I promised you. This is the reason why I want you to go ahead and do satsang, and service and meditation. And when mahatmas come along and give you satsang, listen to them. I am pretty sure that we have sorted out the right bunch of mahatmas, and I hope they'll cooperate with you. Of course, nobody knows about mind, what it might do.
Divine Times Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 10, December 31, 1975 and Golden Age magazine, Number 25, January 1976
Letter To All "mahatmas" 24th December 1975
When you give satsang it is most appropriate to stand or sit in front of the microphone in the same manner as all other speakers. There is no necessity of covering chairs with cloth and placing flowers around them and sitting on the stage prior to and after you are giving satsang. I have also given permission to some of the mahatmas in the West wearing Indian-style saffron clothing to dress in Western clothes and to allow their hair to grow to a normal length. I am also changing the name "mahatma," which is impossible to translate into other languages accurately because the Hindi word literally means "great soul." When this has been translated it has confused many people and it also has caused devotees who performed this service to be described in a manner which promotes wrong ideas. I have decided to call all "mahatmas," initiators. This word more accurately describes the unique service which is performed by these devotees under my agya, and can be easily translated into all languages.
Divine Times Magazine, Volume 5, Number 2, February 29, 1976
Frankfurt, Germany, 28th November, 1976
GURU MAHARAJ JI: (Looking at Nick and John) Get your communities together and pour out a little more potatoes. You see, it's like - the initiator is the initiator. I can perfectly understand why the person has to be a single person because it is a full-time job. It isn't just going like this to a person and - period. "Da, da, da, da, you got Knowledge." It's not a part time job. It's a full-time job because you have to hold your horses 24 hours a day. I don't know what people think about it; people must have a lot of concepts about it, that it's this and that it's that. I'm telling you, I'm really surprised with this initiator bunch that we have now. I'm proud of them because they really turned out to be pretty good. I didn't think they would at all. (Laughter). They turned out to be a pretty good bunch, you know. I don't know what happened. (Laughter).
Well it's like a lot of people have their concepts, I think. "Part time job, part time they can go and do the initiator service and another time they can go out and earn money and da de da de da…" That's literally impossible to do. Because you are initiating somebody. You are making a major change in their life. And if you for one second are unclear on doing that, you can ruin a person's life, which you have no right whatsoever to do. And therefore I'm not going to give this initiator service to anybody. I think I'd be very irresponsible and very incompetent if I let just anybody be an initiator. This service is something else. Yes, it is a different kind of service. It is a service that takes a lot of dedication; it takes a lot of concentration and it takes a lot of effort. And it's like, you see these guys smiling all the time: 'Yeah, these guys are groovy guys. They get a little of this and that, all the benefits come down, and everybody respecting them and 'mahatma ji' everywhere they go. They have a lot of direct communication with Maharaj Ji and everything." But maybe someone should look to find out how much it takes to keep 'em together. Look how much craziness they have to face up to: talking to aspirants, talking to pure mind, facing pure mind every day and being able to discriminate every possible time, right? It takes a lot. It's not a joke. It's just not a joke service. That is why the screening process is very, very very difficult to do. The initiator has to be as strong as - stronger than - the Rock of Gibraltar. The Rock of Gibraltar's nothing, compared to how strong the initiator has to be. So people who have concepts about having a part time initiator, whatever you've got concepts about you might just as well dump 'em, because that's not the way it goes. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? Is that clear? Has anybody got any questions about that? Hmm? That's the way it is. It's a very, very, very, very difficult service. I've discouraged more people than I've encouraged, because it's a very difficult service to do. But if you can manage, if you can pull all your horses together and come through with the whole thing, it's a very beautiful service to do, it's very enjoyable. It's just like - well, what can be more beautiful than to maybe every day bring a person to Knowledge. Even if you are only able to bring one person to Knowledge, reveal the Knowledge to one person, that one life that you have saved makes it all worthwhile, makes it all very beautiful.
The Frankfurt Conference
29 November 1976, Frankfurt, Germany
"What do you want to speak about? Sounds like Mister Mind has paid him a visit once too often. Which people should think about becoming initiators? Live ones. People who are live. Dead are no good. Well, I just started to give my opinion about what I really thought about it, it's a very serious service. A few people thought it could be a part-time service or something - that was the nuttiest idea I ever heard about. It is not a part-time service. It is a full-time service, because you have to hold your horses all the time, you have to keep yourself together inside all the time, otherwise how can you then give Knowledge? You have to be strong in the experience of Knowledge. You have to have a lot of understanding, a lot of love and a lot of strength behind you. We have not yet opened it to everybody, because we just tried the O.T. program and we got piles and piles and piles of applications. Some premies, I said, "Okay, you can be on O.T." and two days later they freak out - that's not the way it goes."
The Golden Age April 1977 Number 37
Quotes From Guru Maharaj Ji's Satsang
The initiator has to be as strong as, stronger than the Rock of Gibraltar. The Rock of Gibraltar is nothing, compared to how strong the initiator has to be. So people who have concepts about having part-time initiators, whatever you've got concepts about, you might as well dump them, because that's not the way it goes.
THE INITIATOR SERVICE booklet, 1978
North American Convention, Miami, Florida, July 5 1986
Those interested in applying to become part-time instructors may write to the following address and request an application:
Instructor Application c/- Mailing List
P.O. Box 6130
Malibu, CA 90264
1986 was a year in which Maharaji worked closely with instructors. Four times he participated in training conferences-in Texas, Florida, Los Angeles, and England. By all accounts, the trainings went exceedingly well, increasing both the quantity and quality of instructors. To date, there are approximately 320 instructors worldwide. Most are now "part-timers, " offering their services as volunteers.
While 1986 was a wonderful year, 1987 promises to be even better. in January, approximately 200 instructors and guests met for a three-day "instructor Refresher Course" in Ft. Lauderdale - a training process scheduled to be repeated every six months. Immediately following that, Maharaji addressed more than 200 North American organizers and instructors, focusing on plans at me importance of working together for a common goal. Afterwards, it was off for a three-day recurrency flight training - a chance for Maharaji to continue honing his Lear 55 piloting skills. Next, came a seven-day South American Instructor Conference in Miami.
In View - Spring 1987
North American Convention, Miami, Florida, July 5 1986
Maharaji, I've asked about becoming an instructor. How can I go about doing that?
If you want to be an instructor, apply. If your application is already in, you will either hear appropriately or be invited to one of the instructor conferences. There is no push. A lot of people have applied and it is proceeding. I think the part-time instructor program has been a tremendous success. It has allowed a lot of people to be able to come forward. I have high hopes for anyone who wants to be involved.
In View - Spring 1987
A Voice For Peace Website
1985: Maharaji introduces a prototype training for part-time instructors.
1986: Training programs for part-time instructors continue, beginning with one in Tapatio, TX.
1997: This year is notable for team-training sessions and Maharaji's continued involvement with Knowledge preparation meetings and Knowledge Sessions.
Maharaji reinstitutes the part-time instructor role at one of the team trainings. Instructors are to provide general inspiration and assist in the Knowledge preparation process as needed. Maharaji continues to conduct meetings for people interested in Knowledge and Knowledge Sessions as time allows. Two instructors conduct preparation meetings and Knowledge Sessions using a video presentation of the techniques when Maharaji is not available.
A Voice For Peace website downloaded 1st April 2012
Shri Sant Yogashram, New Delhi, Evening Session, March 24, 1990
Now there are mahatmas. I was referring to them previously how they are leading such a comfortable life. Wherever they go, they are treated as V.I.Ps. People keep standing before them and ask them with great regard about their requirements of boarding and lodging, or what would they like to do. Some mahatma would like an elephant ride, the other one likes to ride a horse. Someone likes to travel by train and another one wants to fly by aeroplane. And there are such mahatmas who try to explain things to devotees, they don't know themselves. What would you explain to him, Mahatma ji! Have you yourself understood? Anyway, it is not a general state of affairs. It does not happen generally. I have regard for mahatmas but they should be cautious.
This thing concerns both of them--the aspirants and the mahatmas. So I occasionally sit with the mahatmas and talk to them. And what do I talk to them? That-"Do you tell the people what you yourself have understood? What is your understanding?" The day the mahatma says to himself, "I have become a mahatma," he no more remains a mahatma and the day a premie begins to say, "I have become a premie", he or she ceases to remain a premie after that. The premie, the lover, is one who is intoxicated with love. Who is so much intoxicated with it that he is no more conscious of the fact that he is a premie or not. Just understand what I am saying, that one who is a premie, when he is loving, when he is truly in love, he becomes oblivious of his environments. He is lost to the outer world. He is so much affected with the devotion that he is unable to admit to himself that he is a premie. Because he is so much captivated by love and devotion that he has no time to ponder and say to himself, "Oh yaah, I am a premie now! Because he is already in love, he is wholly absorbed in love captivated by that love.
'Life Force', Volume 7, Issue 4 October-December, 1990
Hans Jayanti festival, November 9 1990
And in foreign countries when prachar work was in its initial stage, people used to wear saffron clothes, got their heads shaved, with the result that their heads shone like a runway. So the audience there did not understand what was being explained. Because there were so many people belonging to another movement who wore similar dresses with their heads shaven. So people thought about those mahatmas who were doing prachar work, that they too belonged to the same cult, because they were similar in looks. The same shining skull with a tilak mark on their forehead, wearing saffron clothes. So, I said: do you want to do prachar here, or want to wear these saffron clothes? So all those who were doing prachar work there have now been made instructors. And what a love they have got in them! Some of them have come here also, but they get into tantrums occasionally - having the same sort of mannerisms like mahatmas.'Life Force', Volume 7, Issue 2 April-June 1991