Prem Rawat's Vocabulary Change as He Slithers From Guru Maharaj Ji to Maharaj Ji to Prem Rawat

 

Knowledge
peace
Guru Maharaj Ji
feel
understand
joy
satsang
understand
God
heart
realiz(e/ation)
Knowledge
love
beaut(y/iful)
mind
real/reality
perfect(ion)
exist(ence)
meditat(e/ion)
love
service
simple(icity)
peace
breath
feel
happy/happiness
grace
enjoy
light
fulfill
Master
thirst
devotion
tru(e/ly)
surrender
God
Perfect Master
light
Lord
importan(t/ce)
joy
gift
ashram
free(dom)
reveal
content(ment)
enjoy
mind
happiness
Master
heaven
realiz(e/ation)
energy
dance
initiator
gratitude
reality
miracle
bliss
clarity
realization
doubt
darshan
power
father
truth
the Word
heaven
Creator
devotion
perfection
creator
mahatma
perfect(ion)
beg/beggar
devot(e/ion)
worship
bless(ing)
Hans
the breath
divine light
instruct
breath
infinite
Shri Maharaj Ji
grace
realizing
light
agya
divine
my guru
Lord
propag(e/ation)
bliss
worship
worship
technique
service
my father
technique
supreme
supreme
incarnation
meditat(e/ion)
divine
Hansi
Holy Name
arti
session
nectar

The column on the left gives a breakdown of Prem Rawat's most often used buzzwords, the worlds he most repeated that defined his message, during his years when he played the role of Perfect Master and Lord of the Universe. The column on the right gives a breakdown of Prem Rawat's most often used buzzwords during his years when he was someone who was unique and able to empower and inspire people to experience a true peace like no other but wasn't and never had been a Perfect Master or Lord of the Universe or anything similar. Certain words disappeared Guru Maharaj Ji, satsang, mahatma, ashram, surrender, grace, agya and of course the names of the four meditation techniques. Other were severely downgraded and others I've left out because they were thereafter only used in India. Peace, feel, heart, breath, joy rose to the top. Ironically only 'understand' kept its high position. As of December 2023, we have very few copies of his speeches from the last decade so I'm sure the vaguer words will continue to remain as the basis of his vocabulary as we catch up. To give Rawat his due, he was able to almost instantly stop using words and concepts that he had based his career on for nearly 20 years and did this while giving extemperaneous speeches without a script or a prompter. We have very few records of his speeches from the early to mid 1980s, that may be part of the reason.

The most remarkable thing I learnt from making this table is that in the 1970s the words he spoke most were understandably Knowledge with a capital K and Guru Maharaj Ji, the two things he was selling, supposedly for free. 'Knowledge' and "Guru Maharaj Ji" were both spoken almost twice as often as 'understanding.' He used Guru Maharaj Ji as a name and title for Himself and as a name and title for Brahman (the transcendent and immanent ultimate reality, Supreme Cosmic Spirit in Hinduism which is central to Hindu philosophy especially Vedanta) as far as I could ever tell and you understood which one by the context. Guru Maharaj Ji as an incarnation of the power that creates, sustains and destroys universes and Guru Maharaj Ji as that Transcendent and Immanent Ultimate Reality. It was a bit confusing as he also used other words such as God, the Perfect Master, the Lord and the Creator as aspects of Guru Maharaj Ji. Premies were supposed to feel the Energy creating and sustaining the universe in themselves when meditating on Holy Name. But like most things, Rawat had everything backwards. There is no Elan Vital, no Word or Holy Name powering ourselves, what premies and pwKs feel when meditating (whatever they feel) is the result of being alive in a body not what's giving life to their bodies and selves.

Maharaji 1982Rawat, having supposedly jettisoned his Indian cultural religious concepts cannot ever say Guru Maharaj Ji publicly again. He doesn't and cannot use 'Maharaji' as a replacement which is now just used as his name and as an honorific. He no longer feels he needs some justification for his personal spiritual authority. As far as I can tell he no longer ever mentions the source of Knowledge or an underlying reason why he should be able to empower the meditation techniques. There is apparently no longer any transcendant power (Grace) driving premies' experience and lives though his evergrowing use of the importance of the Coming and Going of THE BREATH seems to be the modern version of his earlier claims that the Holy Name was the power kickstarting life and keeping it going until the last breath. Those premies who remained loyal to 'Maharaji' entered into an unspoken conspiracy with him. They will continue to support him, they will continue to attend his speeches and act as if he is the fount of all wisdom without ever dicussing his history and his former actions and teachings and he will use the fact that he has these thousands of worshipful followers as the validation of the authority he has without requirement of explanation. To ensure there are no slip-ups, in the late 1980s he orders his followers not to do anything but introduce himself and the possibility of the (Self-)Knowledge to improve their lives but to advise anyone interested to speak to a part-time instructor (when they existed) or a video of Maharaji speeaking. They are never to discuss their 'experience' of this practice, this meditation with anyone.

MaharajiBy the time he gets his followers to begin trying to attract new followers, it is too late. No matter how much administration and re-organisation and inspiration and re-education he supplies, eventually it is up to Maharaji, Himself, his speeches and his being that will close the deal. By the year 2000 the New Age has infected popular culture, countless homegrown gurus and second generation teachers are advertising their wares. Many of these are intelligent, charismatic, beautiful and as unscrupulous as Rawat. He does, however, have a strong financial base and creative, experienced, staff and infrastructure creating professional videos, DVDs and music and a minority of his loyal devotees are prepared to do voluntary work for him. He shifts propagation attention to South America, Africa, Asia where he might appear new, fresh and interesting but in the West he's old-hat, stale and a dead bore. He also shifts resources to attempting to become a famous, internationally respected worker for Peace and eventually this becomes his major focus. There are always bien pensant useful idiots out there and media organisations looking for filler for air time and empty pages.

His speeches became vaguer and vaguer and more anodyne. As the years pass his speeches begin to contain sections in which his new buzzwords, heart, peace, joy, gift, dance, clarity and thirst are looped together in two different ways in a sort of personal glossolalia, repetition or word salad:

  • repetition: feel the peace, feel the heart; feel the clarity, feel the gratitude, feel the gift of the breath, understand the gift of bliss, dance to the beat of the heart, dance to the beat of the coming and going of the breath,
  • I want to see peace dancing in the heart of every human being.
    Joy is dancing in the simple heart of every human being.
    The gift of real peace is the joy of the heart that dances in the immortal.
    The gift of joy is the reality of the heart that comes with the understanding of the dance of peace in the thirst of true existence.
    Joy is the gift of the reality of peace that quenches the thirst for love that lives in the clarity of experience.
    Peace is the gift of the reality of joy that quenches the thirst for clarity that lives in the love of experience.
    The miracle of contentment comes with the clarity of understanding of real peace.
    Fulfil the clarity of peace in the heart of infinite truth.

Only the first sentence is one of Rawat's. I just typed up the others in a couple of minutes glancing at the list of his favourite buzzwords for inspiration. Basically all his speeches have the same message: "Me! Me! Me!"

Maharaji Dances

From about 2005 it became apparent that no matter how well organised, well financed and how hard they tried, his ageing 50ish pwKs in the "West" were unable to attract any but a pittance of new followers for Rawat. So 'propagation' which had been the number 1 priority was let slide and his campaign to gain respectabilty became the most important part of his life. Of course, as his only public activity had always been making speeches this continued as it was the source of his income and he rather enjoyed flying around the world being admired and worshipped. His edited speeches were then used in the PEP and PEAK programs.