Maharaji's father taught that life is dependant on an external force.
The Real Name of God is also ever-existent and self-dependent in all living beings. It is the only life generator. The difference between a living body and a dead body is the presence and absence respectively of the Holy Name.
Naturally the young Prem Rawat aka Guru Maharaj Ji believed the same:
That thing that is making things alive is the most constant thing in the world because it is the power of God, and this is making everything alive. This is the body, this is a frame. One day something will go out of it and the whole body will become like a plank of wood.
During the 1970s Maharaji continued to reiterate the need for the "Energy Keeping You Alive," the Holy Name and the Word of God. He tried to leave his Indian millenial religion and his media disgrace behind in the 1980s and his language altered. He renamed his organisation from Divine Light Mission to Elan Vital adding what he thought was intellectual respectability to his idée fixe that a separate power or energy was required to keep people alive.
Breathing is a natural physical process. Rawat tries to make it sound transcendant, mystical, deep and meaningful and insinuates its a gift that he gives. Wikipedia: Breathing is the process of moving air into and out of the lungs to facilitate gas exchange with the internal environment, mostly by bringing in oxygen and flushing out carbon dioxide. Every breath is individual, temporary and we are not usually conscious of breathing.
Maharaji's "reasoning" is based in simplification, extravagant hyperbole, straw man arguments and ignorance. This is particularly evident in his increasing obsession with 'breath' from the early 2000s on.
I understood once again that, of all the gifts I have been given, the greatest is the breath that comes into me every moment. It is the most non-judgemental gift that I receive. - TPRF 2005 Thank You CD
That breath! The simplest of all actions and yet, the most profound of all actions. Profound because that's where it begins. That's what keeps happening, all throughout your existence. And when that process stops, you no longer exist. - Copenhagen Denmark. Sunday 24 June 2012
If I say to you that the greatest gift you could have is the gift of the breath, would you believe me? Or a little doubt? But it is true. It is the gift of gifts, so abundantly given, without you ever having to pray for it. - Your Moment, 2014
You and I - as human beings - have much in common. You are fundamentally no different than I am. I am alive; you are alive. A breath comes into me; a breath comes into you.
Breath - the coming and going of this breath - out of nowhere it comes and to nowhere it goes. From this breath comes the gift of life.
I am this temple through which the most glorious of all things that can ever happen to human beings, this gift of breath, flows.
The gift of breath will be given to you freely and abundantly. … And the least will be about your breath, the coming and going of this gift.
The gift of breath is given to you by kindness. And all that that you're given every single day is a gift of incredible kindness.
What we are given every day - the gift of life, of breath, of awareness, understanding, clarity, serenity - you can't buy.
From nowhere breath comes and brings the gift of life to you. Then disappears, then comes again, and brings the gift of life again, and again, and again.
Prem Nagar Ashram, Hardwar, November 24, 1971
From where is your breath coming? Who is making your breath alive there? Just observe it. You weren't breathing at night, were you? You never thought to take a breath at night. You never said, "Well, I am going to sleep, but yet I will be taking a breath." You just went to sleep. And still your breath was going on. The Word was helping this breath to go further ahead. If we realize that Word, it will be quite clear before us what is making us alive every moment. And what is making leaves alive. What is making birds alive. What is making animals alive. What is making the whole world alive.
Reflections on an Indian Sunrise, 1972
That incredible thing - in it everything is, but that incredible thing is in you, too. You are the drop. Not the liquid drop, you are the drop. The ocean is in you. And yes, you can feel that. I understand that, because the same energy that is everywhere comes in me in the form of breath - touches me, brings the gift of life.
Voice of Maharaji website
One breath. Just one breath - coming and going - what is the value of it? It is priceless. There is no amount of money or gold or diamonds in this world that is equivalent to the value of just one breath. People have made so many different advancements. They have gone to the moon. But who can bring back a breath? Nobody.