by Sheldon Jaffe

Prem Rawat Inspirational Speaker The Pudgy Perfect Master Dressed As Krishna The mala is a simple thing: a vest-like garland made of red roses and flowers called "white pikakes" and "gold bachelor buttons". But when it is worn by Guru Maharaj Ji, it quickly goes beyond the Divine.

Maharaj Ji had worn the mala when younger, in India. But no one in the West ever thought, ever hoped, ever wished, to see him manifest so beautifully so openly, so lovingly to his premies.

And yet he wore the mala on the last night of the Philadelphia festival. Behind the stage he paused, just briefly before presenting himself to the stunned audience. "Oh my God," shouted one premie into the international phone hook-up. "Oh my God! He doesn't have a shirt on!" (In Denver two premies listening to this passed out and disconnected the line. "Oh my God …")

On the floor of the convention center the premies screamed, and screamed, and screamed with ecstasy - "Bhole Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai! BHOLE SHRI SATGURUDEV MAHARAJ KI JAI!" - as the Perfect Master sat there, his hands out in front of him, glancing occasionally over his shoulder as if trying to see what all the excitement was about. It is said that the only thing that surprises the Lord is Love, and Guru Maharaj Ji looked surprised.

"I personally think it's cuckoo," he began, when the noise died down, "but that doesn't make much of a difference. Dear premies, in a combination of 'hi' and 'bye' I'll see you at Hans Jayanti and by Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace, if possible, even sooner.

And then, as One Foundation played the Lord of the Universe, the premies singing with full force, Maharaj Ji departed. Around the hall premies stared at the now empty chair, still not believing what they had seen. Some cried, some laughed and others fainted at this miracle of Maharaj Ji's.

At the Geneva festival the European premies just barely hoped that they too would be given a chance to see this "new Krishna costume," as they called it. But on the last night of the festival, after his satsang, Maharaj Ji got on his radio microphone and spoke to all the premies from behind the stage, telling them he would see them in Dortmund (the next festival). It seemed so sure he would leave that the ushers sealed the doors to the hall, as premies did their best to surrender.

But then he came back and Graced his devotees with an entire Arti in this wonderful new form - the most subdued Arti many have ever heard.

By the last night of the Dortmund Guru Puja, just about every premie in the hall had seen Maharaj Ji in the mala at least once. But when he manifested on the stage that night for Arti, his bright orange pants, his bare lotus feet and the mala on his chest: when Durga Ji placed the crown of Krishna on his head, the light reflecting off of the jewels, when he sat there for nearly an hour through Arti and then devotional song after devotional song, when all of this was done and Maharaj Ji left the stage, seeming so God-intoxicated, so full of love, that he could barely walk, moving so slowly, his bronze shoulders and bare back there for all to see, the premies in the audience could only sit back, stunned, full of the love of Maharaj Ji.

There are no words that can describe Guru Maharaj Ji. For the premies there are just three 'thank you' and pranam'.

Thank you, Maharaj Ji. Pranam


"My way to describe the glory of
Satguru is to say that the glory of Satguru
can never be described,"

- Hans Yog Prakash