Prem Rawat's "Holy Breath"
"Holy Breath" was a traditional ritual that Prem Rawat, or Guru Maharaj Ji as he called himself before the early 1980's, considered extremely important. Every new person that had been initiated, ie taught Rawat's system of meditation and that he was the incarnation of God on the planet today, was also taught that on the first time they had his formal darshan ie line up and walk past and pranam to him and kiss his feet after they had received Knowledge they should cup their right hand behind their right ear as they approached him. So as you approached his throne during the darshan line (this was usually done in a large group in single file), Rawat would then be able to recognise that this was your first time and make a megaphone-shape with his hand and blow through it at you while make a sweeping right-to-left movement presumably into your cupped right hand and that redirected it into your right ear …
This was an important step - a necessary step - in becoming a premie according to his dogma it meant that the Perfect Master recognised and accepted you as one of his chosen.
The necessary Grace that Prem Rawat provided for you so that you could practive the Knowledge and survive life's lilas came through the "ether" - an unkown to Western science supernatural method - but you still required lift-off from an actual face-to-face energy transfer via the breath from his lungs being blown to you. No doubt to be in the room when Rawat farted would be considered a special extra-divine gift. How wonderful it would have been to hear Marolyn Rawat sharing the bliss and joy of the beauty of he husband's farts.
On February 10, 1979 in San Francisco, Rawat was asked,
"Can I receive Holy Breath when I haven't received Knowledge?"
He replied, "You haven't received Knowledge yet? So first receive Knowledge and you can receive the Holy Breath."
He did make it plain that it was to be received only once:
"And of course there is going to be a darshan program where everybody will be able to come and do pranam, and have Holy Breath. Premies who haven't had Holy Breath, they will be able to have Holy Breath."
Sometimes he even had special meetings just to give Holy Breath as he said on April 20, 1974 in Los Angeles:
"So dear premies, We have assembled here because I think yesterday I said people who wanted Holy Breath could come today. But really, before we start going and do any satsang, or before I start giving Holy Breath to premies, I think it's really important to understand the purpose, the meaning, of what all this is"
In October 1974 very few Australian premies had seen Rawat in person. "Mahatma" Padarthanand had been the driving force behind attracting new followers in Australia. So in the darshan line Rawat had to constantly give "Holy Breath" as many premies had never had the chance to kiss his feet before. Here we see details of his technique in stop motion images. A series of photos of this magical interaction between the Master and his students with indepth expert commentary is available here.
From another angle more details of this incredible process are revealed. The Master recognises the call of the first-time-foot-kissing-devotee for "Holy Breath." Does the position of the tongue matter? Only The One Being can know. He prepares the Holy Breath trumpet shape of his right hand perfectly pointing at the perfect place and then speeds His Grace on the way with an elegant follow through.
Prem Rawat removed many of the superficial Indian trappings from his organisations in 1983 when he closed the Divine Light Mission ashrams, ended the nightly satsang meetings his followers held all over the world and renamed Divine Light Mission to Élan Vital. But while his followers were no longer allowed to call him the Lord of the Universe or Guru Maharaj Ji but only Maharaji (ie Great King) he continued with the most controversial ceremonies in secret. This image is from a video filmed at Amaroo, his cult compound near Ipswich in South East Queensland after the year 2000 and shows a young woman in a darshan line there requesting "Holy Breath."
There was considerable confusion about exactly how this should be done so in 1979 the pamphlet giving details of the 3 day festival in the Denver Coliseum (February 23, 24, 25, 1979) gave explicit Do's and Dont's for Holy Breath:
- DO: If you have not received Holy Breath, place your right hand to your right ear AS YOU APPROACH GURU MAHARAJ JI so that he can see that you are asking for it.
- DON'T: Please do not wait until you are right in front of Guru Maharaj Ji to ask for Holy Breath. Place your right hand to your right ear AS YOU APPROACH HIM.