The End Of The Road For Prem Rawat Inc.
It's well documented that many mainline Christian denominations are dying as fewer and fewer worshippers turn up at church except for their funerals. Many minor religions have had their brief time in the sun before fizzling out as their last aged parishioners expired often leaving empty buildings standing as memorials to their existence. The "Shakers" died out because they believed in celibacy for all while the Branch Davidians ended with a big bang.
Prem Rawat aka Maharaji formerly calling himself Guru Maharaj Ji claims to be unique as a guru/teacher on this planet at this time. His career began in the West in 1971 with an explosion of outreach and media outrage over this so-called 14 years old Perfect Master and Lord of the Universe. Within a few years it reached its zenith and it has been slowly fizzling out over the following decades. Despite decades of effort very few new followers have been attracted and the majority of his followers are the remnants of the original 20-25000 white baby boomer "premies" the young Lord of the Universe attracted in the 1970s.
Prem Rawat's Aged Western Followers
This aging group of former hippie devotees go to great lengths and pay good money to try to make him an internationally respected world leader of peace and while they're waiting for that to happen are pretending it already has. He is basically an unknown, former teenage fatboy Lord of the Universe and butt of sarcasm. Of course websites lauding Rawat will not show this, they will have lots of images of young and attractive people though whether they are devotees of the guru is unlikely. While audiences in Asia or Africa may be different the majority of Rawat's Western "students" are baby boomers. By 2014 they were in their 60s, bald or grey haired men, women with dyed hair and no black skins. Without their financial input will Rawatism survive elsewhere? Its pretty obvious that their children - having seen their parents life practising Rawat's Knowledge and there effects thereof - are not believers.
An audience of Prem Rawat's devotees in 2014 - photo sourced from premrawat.com on 15/3/2018
An audience of Prem Rawat's devotees at the annual convention at IRCC, Peak Crossing in 2017 - photo sourced from amaroo.org on 18/9/2017
The images below are the first 15 People Who Like Prem Rawat on Facebook (2014) who provided full face images of themselves. They seem to be perfectly normal citizens of affluent democracies except they're pretty well all in their 60's but then that is normal for followers of Prem Rawat. I don't mean to disparage them in any way except for their terrible taste in gurus.
An audience of Prem Rawat's devotees at a Divine Light Mission Holi festival in 1979 - photo sourced from official DLM publication
Rawat's following in India should mean he will be remembered as a minor guru, Godman, whatever. He won't have the stature of a Ramakrishna or a Sathya Sai Baba or even a Satpal Maharaj but he should leave more bits of machinery littering Northern India than Swarupanand. Who knows? One of his children may have what it takes to keep the shebang on the road but its unlikely. One of the trustees of WOPG or whomever ends up with the rights to the Prem Rawat material may set him or herself up as the leader of a cult worshipping the dead Prem Rawat. It would take a lot of infighting and legal cases though and might not be finacuially viable. The 4 techniques will go on being taught by Prem's relatives and their childrens' children and Manav Dharam has subsidiaries all over the world so who knows? I certainly won't see the end of Rawatism in the West as little old grey haired ladies will continue keeping his memory flickering for decades after I die but I may live to see Rawat die. That should provide a last spark of interest in his long and boring later years. I certainly don't expect any public outpouring of grief at his end just a few amusing TV News segments probably titled Who Was Guru Maharaj Ji?
The Indian branch should continue for centuries especially if the BJP remains in power and Hindutva and Hindu Nationalism remain the dominant forces in Indian society. Prem will be rememebred as a boy who went to the dark side but couldn't prevent the success of Hans Ji Maharaj's quest to bring the True Knowledge to the people thanks to his eldest brother, Satpal Maharaj.