Lingfield 1979 Ashram Satsang
This video records a speech made by Prem Rawat or Guru Maharaj Ji as he then called himself in Lingfield 1979 to ashram premies and premies wishing to move into an ashram. At this time the ashrams in which his most devoted, unmarried followers lived and dedicated all their time and income to him and Divine Light Mission and their practise of Rawat's "Knowledge" were still the mainstay of his organisation. He told them that to be granted an opportunity to be in an ashram was a precious blessing and that his real devotees had no choice but to live in an ashram. However he stressed again and again the importance of sincerity for a premie in the ashram and that those with sincerity would be rewarded but those without sincerity would reap bitter fruits.
In front of an audience of his most dedicated European followers Rawat stressed the evil of the Mind which he taught was a Manichean power that had led even the best of his followers into devastation and that this Mind became more powerful the more sincerity and effort the premie made in following Guru Maharaj Ji's (Prem Rawat) agya and that only more effort and sincerity can prevent that devastation and that extra effort and sincerity makes the mind try harder to get in …
He unequivocally states that agya (Maharaji's commandments) has to be obeyed implicitly at all times and that the ashram is the place "to dedicate your lives to Guru Maharaj Ji, to satsang, service and meditation, period". But it was not just the ahram premies that needed His Grace, everyone in the world needed His Shelter and that "the world" ie normal human life that was not dedicated to Him had nothing to offer anyone.
Rawat appears to have deep insecurities. Many of his more charismatic followers had become "initiators" - people proselytising publicly and initiating the small number of new followers and inspiring the faithful. These people were overall far more impressive than Rawat himself and he took many opportunities to denigrate them to the "rank and file" followers under the guise of humour. A complete transcript of the speech is available here.
"So, it's nice to see there's a lot of ashram premies, perhaps not enough though. The reason why I wanted to see you all to me always has been a thing, always will be, ashrams are very special place. In the ashram there's a real experience to be had in the ashram is really a shelter that Guru Maharaj Ji provides (laughter) and uh we need some translation ?? here. And yet I can't say and I don't think anybody in this world can say that they don't need Guru Maharaj Ji's shelter. I mean all of us, everyone of us needs that shelter and to me ashram can be a really beautiful experience for everyone of us if we are sincere about it, if we are sincerely seeking a shelter, if we sincerely want a shelter, if we really want to be saved from something, if we really want to be sheltered from something."
"Premies who want to live in the ashrams have to be sincere about living in the ashrams. There's no point to live in the ashram just because you want a shelter over your head. There's no point to live in the ashram if you just want to live in the ashram for the sake of it because there is a real experience in the ashram that you can have, there really is and it is a very important aspect, it's a very important way, it's in fact such an incredible thing because it can really assist us, it can really boost us in the experience of our Knowledge, in the experience of Guru Maharaj Ji"
"You know, I'd like to see a great quality of ashram, not quantity, quality. Everyone of us needs ashram, everyone, there's nobody who can say "I'm fine without it." And so, some of you, whoever you are, from whichever country you are and you have an opportunity to live in an ashram all I can say is "Don't blow it," like some of you already did. Once ??? Maybe the mind has come in, maybe whatever has come in because what has this world gotta offer? What do you think this world, this world is gonna give you?"
"There is an opportunity, there is a place where you can sincerely just dedicate your life to to Guru Maharaj Ji. To me ashram is the next thing to being an initiator cause that's where I choose my initiators from. There's not one single initiator that is now, was or will ever be who has not stayed in the ashram. Cause that's where the experience can be gained. Ashram is not a thing, I mean tell me, tell me, is it that you're gonna be 43 years old and one day you're gonna realise that you don't need the shelter of the ashram anymore. You don't need Guru Maharaj Ji's shelter anymore, you're perfectly OK to walk into this world and everything will be hunky dory, everything will be great for you. It just isn't that way, it doesn't work like that, does it? Sooner or later we find out. Maybe it's the hard way we find out sometimes. And what is Guru Maharaj Ji trying to provide? I mean so far I'm concerned, I am really concentrating on ashrams, I have been, you know, and very soon there will be a day where I'll visit everyone of the ashrams"
"What an ashram is so far I'm concerned, ashram is the backbone of my work, what I have to do here in this world. And that's how important an ashram is. It's the spine, it's the backbone, of what has to be accomplished in this world. And if you are the ashram premies who live in the Europe you have to be clear, you have to really understand. Do you really want to dedicate yourself? And that's what you wanna that's you, that's what you wanna focus on, that's what you wanna be clear on. Do you really wanna dedicate your life?"
"we are just have to all again realise what an opportunity, what a precious blessing and in fact it is to be granted an opportunity to be in an ashram. And people who were insincere, who really don't wanna be there, who really don't want be in an ashram shall get their own fruit. Ashram will bear fruit for everybody. People who have been sincere living in an ashram have gotten sweet fruits. And people who have not been sincere living in an ashram have gotten very sour fruits. Very bitter fruits and in one way it's really all up to us, to really understand that and treat that as a place of Guru Maharaj Ji. To really have that consciousness in our hearts. To really have that understanding of dedication. To really have that, to really see that moment again of satsang, service and meditation and how it can really manifest if we all really try and it can happen. I mean if it can't happen I wouldn't be telling you, you know."
"See, this is, I understand one thing, I agree with one thing, that there should be no ashram regulations, none at all. There should be no regulations. In an ashram there should only be an agya of Guru Maharaj Ji. Nothing should be looked at as regulations, nothing should be treated as regulations and that's the step I'm moving towards, definitely. … But the only thing is that your sincerity, your determination will have to be three times as strong cause one bad mistake and I can assure you, that'll be it. That's the way it should have been the very first time and that's the way it'll be now."
"You're in there, not to entertain mind. Remember that. If you think you move into an ashram to entertain your mind then you are absolutely wrong. Ashram is not a place to entertain your mind. Ashram is a place to dedicate your lives to Guru Maharaj Ji, to satsang, service and meditation, period. And none of this mind will be tolerated in an ashram. Because there, there can only be a place for either Guru Maharaj Ji in that ashram or for your mind in that ashram. That's it. … Laws are made to be broken but agya is not made to be broken because agya is never made, agya is given, a law is made and there's a lot of difference. And we have to always follow Guru Maharaj Ji's agya in our lives all the time, implicitly."
"And one thing I see that I definitely, you know, I mean so far I'm concerned I love ashrams and as I've already said in a very strong statement ashrams are pretty much the backbone of my purpose in this world. But it's your, it's your prerogative if you wanna be a part of it or not. If you sincerely are a devotee, if you sincerely are a premie then you don't have a prerogative as a matter of fact. You don't have a choice and you don't have an option cause that's exactly what you wanna do you know but if you have your own ideas then that's exactly what you wanna pursue then that's a different story. … It's only the Guru Maharaj Ji's agya will come through for you, to direct you more, to guide you more in the purpose that you're trying to solve."
"ashrams are very simple. A group of very dedicated premies who want to dedicate their lives to Guru Maharaj Ji in satsang, service and meditation. How simpler can you get? That's the definition of an ashram. A group of premies who want to dedicate their lives to Guru Maharaj Ji by His Grace and living in His agya. That's it."
"You have an opportunity to dedicate it to yourself. It's up to you if you really make that effort. You know I mean to me always what I have seen of ashram premies is that they really have a chance, they really have that potential and now that you have the opportunity don't let your mind come in, just let really Guru Maharaj Ji flow through you, cause that's what you want anyway. Mind will come in, mess you up, takes a minute and I've seen the best of 'em go out the window, you know, and there's nothing left then we gets devastated, it's like a string, you know, we make those little telephones and so far that string is straight and it's beautiful, everything's OK, that message, that connection can be there but if you break it and you tie a knot then the sound doesn't travel when the connection isn't made. And this is what we all have to understand. Sometimes we all are willing to take a chance, why not and yet what does this chance bring us of mind, a complete devastation perhaps, you know."
"If you have any problems don't hesitate to talk to an initiator. If your mind starts coming in, cool it. Don't jump into it. Give it about (pauses) 30 years (pauses) before you do something because after all that's what you wanna do is to let Guru Maharaj Ji come in and more effort you make perhaps more mind will try to come in. More you open your heart, maybe mind will try to fill it and yet your sincerity is the only thing that can stop it. Your effort is the only thing that can stop it and really let Guru Maharaj Ji come in instead of the mind."
"You know, when an initiator comes to your ashram and all the things you have to do for 'em. If you become an initiator and go back in the ashram you can get even with all those ashram premies who didn't give you a nice time. Covered water. Covered food. I mean, they have it made. They don't do anything, pretty much. One of the main things that they portray an image of is Knowledge Reviews and that they always have an assistant with them, he does most of the work, they just sit there. So there's nothing to be afraid about becoming an ashram, I mean an initiator. It's perfectly normal. It's just, you know, you, you just get a promoted. Lot of travelling and lotta nice stuff. I mean certainly in the ashram not even on your own birthday do they give you water that's covered. They get it every time. So if you just wanna move up in your life, apply now ha ha he he. A little commercial for initiators. For the better life you've always wanted, apply now. So anyway, how many of you would like to become initiators? Well that was a very effective ad, we should run it in Divine Times. And why do you wanna become initiators for anyway? You think they serve me? You see, this is when the initiators stop laughing. It's a very serious, serious thing. Ah it's true, once in a while they do. They do serve me once in a while when they're in good mood."