Passages: A Master's Journey - Transcript Part 4
(voiceover) Around the world, people from different cultures and backgrounds were discovering that with Maharaji they had become involved in a very different kind of relationship.
Critical comments of the script are in italics: They were certainly taught to believe they had a relationship and that it was something special but in reality it was a pretty straightforward worship of a charismatic leader of a cult by his followers.
(voiceover) Thoughout the 70's and 80's various teams of people had been responsible for teaching the techniques of Knowledge. In 1987 Maharaji decided to make sure that everyone had a clear
understanding of what was involved in practising these simple techniques. At a series of events call Rejoice, he personally reviewed the techniques of Knowledge with everyone who had already received them".
Nowhere near everyone. By 1987, in the West, as many as 200,000 people had been taught these techniques and the minimum doctrines of the Rawatism religion. In the period 1987 to 1989 as few as 10,000 of these were still able to be contacted by the Elan Vital organisations and were interested in attending these "reviews". As for India, only a tiny fraction of those who had been initiated since 1936 by Hans Rawat and his mahatmas and his eldest son, Satpal Maharaj and his mahatmas attended these meetings.
"Like my cousin, she's my cousin, she received Knowledge and for 2 or 3 months she's you know "Hi sweety ??? I'm so happy", six months down the road, she's like "I can't stand it when someone interrupts my meditation", you know, she's getting so into it. Eight months, nine months down the road I call her up and what is it, it's not about Knowledge anymore, it's not about the meditation, "Oh George, my God, George I love that man SOOO MUUUCH! How could I love him so much?" I said "Aha, it's just one of those things!"
"I tell you one thing, the interaction with Maharaji was the magic ingredient and it was so plentiful, it was it was just, just so available. It was incredible and I think that's what got people ready for Knowledge even though maybe they weren't ready intellectually but they were ready because they had they had love, they felt love."
Joan Apter (Joan Apter was one of Rawat's first Western devotees and was an extremely disturbed, even crazed, young woman.
"When I first received Knowledge I was told that I needed to practise an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening and it seemed so unrealistic. I would sit down to practise and, you know, after 20 minutes I was just … that's about all I could do and I didn't try hard enough you know I just kinda let it slide and I focussed
a little more on service and I would practise when, you know, I felt like it but it wasn't the discipline, it wasn't the understanding of I'm of realising how much that really helps and so when the Rejoice programs came along and he sat us down and he said "Ok, one hour on the first technique, one hour on the second technique" all day long and then we came back and he said 'Ok, 15 minutes for each technique' and I thought 'aagh, I can do
this! Great! I can do this!' And ever since then um it's been much really consistent and I enjoy it and I and I did always have that prayer in my heart that said 'You know, I really want to enjoy practising Knowledge' because at first, I didn't, it was a struggle."
Even some of his closest devotees such as Ms Linda Pascotto, President of the Prem Rawat Foundation were unable to practise meditation properly, if at all, no matter how "inspiring" Prem Rawat was, until 1987 when the required daily meditation time was cut from 2 hours a day to one hour giving her and doubtless many others the hope (but no guarantee) that maybe, possibly she would be able to begin to manage at least the minimum meditation.
"I remember when Maharaji started having these er Rejoice programs and uh giving people Knowledge reviews that was the time he began really talking about the simplicity and that stillness inside. So one person said 'Oh Maharaji, I want to thank you so much that today you made something so clear to me. My friend and my brother always used to tell to me they would see big light and they would hear celestial music and taste nectar and this and that but I would feel only that peace, that calmness inside. And I would always feel bad that was wrong with me that I don't have these thundering experiences but today you made it clear that's very calming and quiet experience. I want to thank you for that.' And when Maharaji heard him saying, that was the turning point."
Rawat began to reinvigorate Elan Vital from 1987 with the Rejoice tours where he changed the meditation techniques of Knowledge with most of the remaining Western premies. In this video Charanand explains the new understanding of the experience of Knowledge that Maharaji now began to teach his students. They were now taught that the big thundering of Light and Divine Music and tasting of Nectar they had been told of in the 70's, and that they assumed each other had been experiencing, had been mistaken.
(voiceover) After the Rejoice events, Maharaji decided to assume personal responsibility for all sessions where people were shown the techniques of Knowledge.
Even though Rawat did not ever stay in the hall for lengthy periods during these sessions he shifted this "personal responsibilty" onto a computer and videos of himself as soon as he could.
"He, himself, has simplified the experience and to allow people that are coming receive it in a very direct manner from himself where he's eliminated a lot of middle-men so to speak and just simplified it in that sense and just created a beautiful platform to move forward on."
When she said this it was already 2001 and numbers of Rawat's followers had dropped even more during those 15 years except in India where Hindu religious concepts were still used.
By the 1990's Maharaji could look back on a remarkable achievement. He had successfully brought Knowledge to the West and simplified the presentation of his message so that it could be understood in many diverse cultures. Hundreds of thousands of people were enjoying practising the techniques of Knowledge in over 80 countries around the world.
If you go for a vacation in any obscure place in the world and start talking to somebody, a taxi driver or somebody in a shop or somebody you meet and they're interested in some way they can go forward, somewhere reasonably locally they'll be able to see a video of Maharaji or get in touch or get some magazine sent to them or learn something about it and in the end be able to receive Knowledge.
He set out to and accomplished making Knowledge of oneself available to anyone on the planet who wants it. Something that was not available outside of a rather small part of geography in India. The possiblity became real, realisable for anyone.
He he wants to make it available for those who don't have Knowledge, that's kind of his project, that's his work …
his innner life is to do with the love that is generated between the people who've
recognised him and who do love him and his love for them, one heart to each other. The dance that is going on, the eternal dance, really, between the Master and the student.
Rawat cannot love those "people who've recognised him" as he only knows a handful of them, unless he is God. It is obvious that Whittaker believes Rawat is the incarnation of God. Who else can have an eternal dance?
(voiceover) At the end of 1998 Maharaji addressed people from all over the world in his first ever Global Satellite Broadcast. Over 60,000 people in 81 different countries watched this broadcast "Hello Maharaji, hello Maharaji, how are you? Thank you so much for this opportunity that you're giving us to be in touch with you." I wanted to make one thing very clear I hope that there are more satellite events and I pray that the interaction of being in that country live in front of those people is never, ever taken away from me. (applause) My hope is that we have more of these satellite events, that's a hope. If it doesn't happen, I may be a little disappointed but no big deal. I've been disappointed before, no big issue. But not to be able to go to those places and see those people and look at their eyes ??? claims I make they need to look in mine (applause) and know that what I say is from my heart to their heart. That can never, I hope, I pray, never, never change. Technology, no technology, ah this is all exciting but that's what I want in my lfe, to be able to bring that joy, that happiness, to however many I can
He's trying very hard to let everybody in the world who wants to hear it hear this message who want to hear the possibility, to have a choice because otherwise if they don't know about it they don't have a choice and somehow that doesn't seem quite fair because I had a choice and it made a huge difference in my life.
Maharaji has accomplished so much since, as a solitary boy, he stepped off that plane at Heathrow airport. The central figure in a real life story that has been full of romance, drama and magic. A story that has touched the lives of thousands of people worldwide.
"He's shown me the most important, what I would now call the most important part of my existence as a human being and prior to that I'd heard the word and I'd associated it with certain emotions and romantic feelings but I did not know the existence of the heart and to establish that amongst human beings, umm, that's a (pause) the richness of that discovery, that's unparallelled as far as I know, it's unparallelled in human history to make that a reality for an entire globe.
"He's certainly fullfilled his promise and sort of going back to that original moment when when I sat in front of him and and asked him for peace if I could find peace in my life and, and that has certainly been fulfilled perhaps not in the way I expected you see I had this sort of hippie concept, sort of a bit of politics and anti-Vietnam (giggles) and feeling a bit cool inside myself but, but a real deep fulfillment inside my life, umm, there are things I can say about my life which I would like to hope that all human beings can say, I think all human beings should be able to say it but I can actually honestly say it those things I can, I can look at my life and say My life has been absolutely fantastic. The, umm. I cannot think of any way that it could of been better. It's just, you know, that's not to say there haven't been problems or difficulties but it but the fulfillment that Knowledge has given me and the inspiration that Maharaji has given me has meant that I am actually able to look at my existence, my life and say this is the most extraordinary thing that ever happened to me and if I died right now I would say I would die saying 'WOW'!" Ron Geaves
"For a long time, for many, many years I felt I didn't love Maharaji and I was upset that I didn't love him because everybody else was saying "Oh we love you Maharaji." Well I can't say that well he's a man to start with and I'm a man so … I respected him, I acknowledged him as my Master, I'd do anything for him but I didn't have that feeling of love but now I find that uggh that feeling of love is there, and I love him very strongly as if it's been there forever but I know, I remember the times when I was upset with myself for not loving him but so something's happened some kind of growth has happened where I see him on a video or in person or I read something that he's said and I'm just incredibly touched. It's a very personal thing mumble mumble it's a it's a gift he's giving me, he's he's he's going straight straight to my heart"
"Maharaji has brought to me personally a sense of extreme peace and just contentment, just contentment and so thankful that I have had this opportunity in my life and I just want it to keep growing and I want my last bit to be just more of the same.
And she didn't even meditate properly for nearly 20 years either because 2 hours a day seemed so unrealistic.
"And I don't have any theories about afterlife or next life or reincarnation but if there is reincarnation I would like to come back and have another go at it really and do exactly the same thing (giggles) you know it's just and I think to be able to say that as a as a human being that your life has been fantastic, incredible you know it would be hard for anyone to have a better life than you is a compliment to Maharaji and Knowledge."
"For me, he gave me love. He gave me trust. He gave me Knowledge. He gave me care. He gave me his kindness. How, without him, I can't imagine myself where I would be. In which street in the world, doing what? God knows. But for me, he gave me life, a new life. Life, which is full of joy, which is full of enthusiasm, which is full of love and whatever it is that's what he gave it to me and that's what I feel it and I'm … I don't have the words to show my gratitude but he brought to me."
"Deep inside if I just see him and I'm going 'Thank you, Maharaji.' To me it's, it's the icing on the cake. To be able, you know, to be able to do that, to to look at this person. Thank you. If you were not on this planet, I don't know, I mean really, it's as serious as that. If that guy was not on this planet, I don't even know."
"For all of my life I've been this feeling that he's with me at every step in this journey, on this process and I pray that it continues."
That's quite a remarkable statement considering Charanand is a lot older than Prem Rawat. Of course, he believes that Rawat is the Perfect Master and that the Power of God incarnated in the young Prem Rawat when his father died.
I wrote a poem to him once, long time ago and I told him, you're everything. I had that feeling then, I told him you're everything but I told him sss dare I say that you forgot you forgot one thing and that was to leave me a satisfactory way of saying "Thank you" … and I still feel that. He's a Perfect, but to me he's Master, Perfect Master but he still hasn't given me a satisfactory way of thanking him.
Bobby Hendry, Prem Rawat's chef