Books Referring To Prem Rawat

In 1982 after the head of the "Moonies" cult was convicted of tax evasion amid public outrage caused by the Jonestown massacre, Prem Rawat, the 34 year old Perfect Master of the Divine Light Mission, directed his followers to destroy all copies of the books, magazines and other media the organisation had published in the preceding decade. Shortly thereafter he closed the "ashrams" containing thousands of his devotees who were living celibate communal lives with all their finances and time completely dedicated to his organisation, ended the nightly public testimonial meetings that had been the major focus of his followers and attempts at recruitment and disappeared from the public eye.

This is surely one of the most audacious attempts at re-inventing oneself ever attempted by a minor (albeit the Lord of the Universe in the minds of his followers) cult leader and has parallels with the criminal attempt by L. Ron Hubbard's followers to infiltrate US government departments to destroy documentary evidence of their leader's life and lies. As his current organisations (the Prem Rawat Foundation and Élan Vital) are now trying to publicly present him as a world renowned and respected "Teacher of Peace" I am presenting these texts for anyone who wishes to gain a more complete picture of his career, unsuccessful and venal though it has been.

Prem Rawat dismisses books and ridicules authors and often says he doesn't read any scriptures. However there is one book he says is very clear and very interesting and apparently written by a premie though, of course, he actually hasn't read it.

A collection of sections of Encyclopedias, Dictionaries of Religion and General Reference books dealing with Rawat(ism) can be found here.

Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji? Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
Edited by Charles Cameron
Introduction by Rennie Davis

Published in 1973 this is the definitive look at the beliefs of the Rawatism religion before Prem Rawat was disowned by his mother in 1974.

"When a devotee makes the outrageous statement that Guru Maharaj Ji is the Lord of the Universe, it's cause enough for a chuckle. But it also happens to be true. Guru Maharaj Ji is the Lord of the Universe and anyone can find out who sincerely wants to know. Every fiber in me says that America is going to find out. It's too big a secret to keep quiet. And I'm starting to feel that America is going to be the most fantastic place on the planet because America is going to be the first country to realize Guru Maharaj Ji is here. America will teach the whole world the Perfect One has come, and that now there is a way to end the craziness of this century and wipe away the tears of its victims and teach us all how to be human beings again."

Sacred Journeys

Sacred Journeys
The Conversion of Young Americans to Divine Light Mission
James V. Downton, Jr.

A remarkably fair-minded, sometimes credulous, study of a "typical" group of young Americans and their experiences of conversion to devotees of the Guru Maharaj Ji in the 1970's. Suffers from the use of a small and possibly atypical sample group and a relatively uncritical acceptance of the explanations given to Downton of the travails of the organisation and the "personal evolution" of the devotees. Valuable as a reputable academic outsider's evidence of the beliefs and doctrines of the time and the devotional message of Prem Rawat in the late 1970's which contradicts the revisionism of Élan Vital's current public version.

Slogans To Mantras Slogans To Mantras

From Slogans To Mantras
Stephen Kent

An interesting study of the movement of many of the 60's "counter-culture" from radical political action to quietist 70's "spiritual cult". It also suffers from a too critical acceptance of the degree of sincerity and committment people had in these groups. It has a good section on the author's personal response to young Prem's "satsang" and his incomprehension that intelligent friends and associates could become devoted to the fat-boy guru. Kent reveals the extent of the hostility to Prem Rawat in the 1970's underground press. It was in the counter-culture that most of the recruitment was going on and the counter-culture press had a much greater knowledge of the methods, success and results of the practice of "Knowledge". A typical example is R. Crumb's comic, Mr. Natural Meets "The Kid".

Yoga in Britain

Yoga in Britain
Suzanne Newcombe, 2019

Contains a basic pastiche of DLM/EV history in Britain partly based on Ron Geaves "research." She mentions the hostility to Prem Rawat and other carpetbagger gurus in the counter-culture. Most of the recruitment was going on and the counter-culture press had a much greater knowledge of the methods, success and results of the practice of "Knowledge".

Prem Rawat and Counterculture Prem Rawat and Counterculture: Glastonbury and New Spiritualities

Ron Geaves is a long time devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji aka Prem Rawat who has made it his divine mission to shed light on the world about the glories of Rawatism in a very subdued and pseudo-academic way. His "research" is based on a regurgitating the Rawatist revisionist history full of success and spiritual blessings. In his latest fantasy he portrays Rawat as a shining light of the counter culture whereas he was probably the most despised and reviled guru of his day, the most uncool fat boy who claimed to be Lord of The Universe and then he was forgotten.

Prem Rawat and Counterculture Prem Rawat and Counterculture: Glastonbury and New Spiritualities

Ron Geaves is a long time devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji aka Prem Rawat who has made it his divine mission to shed light on the world about the glories of Rawatism in a very subdued and pseudo-academic way. His "research" is based on a regurgitating the Rawatist revisionist history full of success and spiritual blessings. In his latest fantasy he portrays Rawat as a shining light of the counter culture whereas he was probably the most despised and reviled guru of his day, the most uncool fat boy who claimed to be Lord of The Universe and then he was forgotten.

CULTS: Faith, Healing, and Coercion CULTS: Faith, Healing, and Coercion

CULTS: Faith, Healing, and Coercion
Marc Galanter

The Charismatic Group
Bringing about changes in the thinking and behaviors of individual members in single episodes
A Charismatic Religious Sect The Divine Light Mission
History of DLM
A study held at a national festival held by the Divine Light Mission

ALTERNATIVE RELIGIONS: A Sociological Introduction ALTERNATIVE RELIGIONS: A Sociological Introduction

ALTERNATIVE RELIGIONS: A Sociological Introduction Stephen J. Hunt
A reasonable introduction to the topic that suffers only by a lack of rigour when it comes to describing individual groups. One wonders why New Religious Movements (cults) have ever caused any public controversy if they are as innocuous as he describes. Did the Rajneeshies really not try to murder their neighbours in Oregon? Did the Children of God guru Moses David not promote paedophilia and prostitution? The page on Divine Light Mission has an awful authorial/editorial blooper where the "Knowledge", "mahatamas" and "simple set of instructors" are mistakenly identified in the same sentence. It also has significant errors of fact: the so-called "Indian influences on his followers" were not a hindrance to the wider acceptance of his teachings. Since the early 1980's when he changed the name and public face of his organisation the number of his followers in the West has halved despite 30 years of proselytising. In fact, it is in India where Indian influences are paramount that any growth in his following has occurred and even there he is not as successful as his eldest brother.

Eileen Barker Eileen Barker Eileen Barker

Eileen Barker
Of Gods and Men
Participation Rates in New Religions and Parareligious Movements Frederick Bird and William Reimer
Financing The New Religions James T. Richardson
Subgroups In Divine Light Mission Membership: A Comment on Downton by Frans Derks and Jan M. van der Lans
New Jerusalems 1992 New Jerusalems
New Religions and New Religiosity 2001 - Chapter 1: New Religions and New Religiosity
New Religious Movements 1989 - Élan Vital

Cults and New Religious Movements Cults and New Religious Movements

Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader
Lorne L. Dawson (ed) 2003
Who Joins New Religious Movements and Why: Twenty Years of Research and What Have We Learned?
Lorne L. Dawson
A Critique of "Brainwashing" Claims About New Religious Movements by James T. Richardson
The Scientific Study of Religion? You Must Be Joking! by Eileen Barker

Strange Gods

Strange Gods: The Great American Cult Scare
David G. Bromley & Anson D. Shupe Jr

Bromley and Shupe have made careers with their paranoid views of the reasonable opposition by parents and concerned citizens to the briefly successful and infamous 1970's "cults" and the concerns raised in the families of those who joined. There was no "Great American Cult Scare." There were families across the USA trying to prevent their teenage and young adult children making or continuing to make seriously flawed life choices that could and did negatively impact their futures.
The Guru Papers

The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power
Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad
"By holding gurus as perfect and thus beyond ordinary explanations, their presumed specialness can be used to justify anything. Some deeper, occult reason can always be ascribed to anything a guru does: The guru is said to take on the karma of others, and that is why his body has whatever problems it has. The guru is obese or unhealthy because he is too kind to turn down offerings; besides, he gives so much that a little excess is understandable. He punishes those who disobey him not out of anger but out of necessity, as a good father would. He uses sex to teach about energy and detachment. He lives an opulent life to break people's simplistic preconceptions of what ego-loss should look like; it also shows how detached and unconcerned he is about what others think. For after all, "Once enlightened, one can do anything." Believing this dictum makes any action justifiable.

The Guru Papers

Radical Departures
Saul Levine
Drawing on many years of work with religious cults, political fringe groups, and communes, psychiatrist Levine describes the desperate need for community and commitment that motivates the departure of young people from their families. Instead of deprogramming, he recommends a compassionate, informed approach

Prem Rawat did not invent or create his religion or declare himself god on Earth on his own. He inherited his role from his father and the following four books provide some insight into and history of the role and careers of successful Indian "Godmen".

The World Of Gurus The World Of Gurus

Gurus, Godmen and Good People
Khushwant Singh
This book contains a series of chapters dealing with a dozen of the more well-known "Godmen" of modern India. The chapter on Balyogeshwar as Prem Rawat or Maharaji is known in India is based upon Singh's story "The Guru Business" in the New York Times of April 8, 1973.

"Balyogeshwar's Divine Light Mission is only one of the innumerable religious organizations that proliferate in the country. There are many other self-styled bhagwans (gods), swamis (lords), rishis (sages), maharishis (great sages), acharyas (teachers) and sants (saints) and gurus who have larger followings. It is not possible to make an estimate of the number of their followers because wildly exaggerated claims are made by each holy man. But it can be assumed that most religious Hindus and Sikhs (together making 85 per cent of the population of India) and some Moslems, Christians and Parsis as well, pay homage to one live saint or the other whom they regard as God incarnate."

The World Of Gurus The World Of Gurus

The World Of Gurus
Vishal Mangalwadi
Chapter Ten - The Divine Light Mission

"THE SPECTACULAR RISE and the scandalous fall of the Divine Light Mission has made it the most publicized sect of our day. Its recently dethroned leader, Balyogeshwar, alias Guru Maharaj Ji, was claimed to be "the brightest event in the history of the planet." Balyogeshwar's father, the founder of the Mission, had declared him to be be the "born saint"; his mother, the patron of the Mission, and Bal Bhagavan, his oldest brother and the new leader of the Mission, called him the "perfect master." Like Sai Baba, Balyogeshwar claimed the he was Jesus Christ come again and Krishna reincarnated. Millions believed him and surrendered their minds to him. They testified that he had given them the experience of divinity. This brilliant star has turned out to be a meteor that flashed across gurudom only to sputter out into darkness."
There is a revised version from 1987 here.

Divine Enterprise Divine Enterprise

Divine Enterprise
Gurus and the Hindu Nationalist Movement
Lisa McKean
Introduction to the Fieldwork
Maharaji and the Holy Family
Question and Answers to The Manav Utthan Seva Samiti

Radhasoami Reality Radhasoami Reality

Radhasoami Reality
The Logic Of A Modern Faith
Professor Mark Juergensmeyer

p207: Influence of Radhasoami on Divine Light Mission
p43: Problems of succession in modern "Sant Mat" religions

The next four documents are official Indian Divine Light Mission publications that give background to the specific concepts and history taught by and about Prem Rawat's father, Hans Rawat aka Shri Hans Ji Maharaj aka Param Sant Sagurudev Shri Hans ji Maharaj and Prem Rawat's mother and elder brothers who deposed and disinherited him.

The Light Of Wisdom

The Light Of Wisdom: Shri Hans Ji Maharaj: Life And Teachings
edited by Professor C. L. Tandon, Secretary Divya Sandesh Parishad (Divine Light mission, India)

This book is a history of Hans Rawat's career with many stories collected from his Indian followers. It appears to have been written in the late 1960's or early 1970's but revised after 1974 when any references to Hans' youngest son, Prem Rawat aka Sant Ji Maharaj aka Balyogeshwar aka Guru Maharaj Ji and his 8 years as the spiritual head and Perfect Master of his father's Indian followers were removed after his mother disinherited and deposed him and enthroned his eldest brother as the new Satguru.

Hans Yog Prakash

Hans Yog Prakash
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj (Hans Rawat)

I recall one premie I knew had a copy purchased in India and copies of typewritten draft English translations of this were available in DLM in the 1970's but were only a small part of the book which is available through Shri Bhole Ji Maharaj's organisation, Hanslok Ashram. This gives a much fuller exposition of Hans Rawat's teachings and includes sections on Ashtanga Yoga and the Subtle Nervous systems, the Nectar Technique and the Celestial Music.
"O my Guru, Lord of all Lords, I ask for nothing more than to serve You day and night. If only I might see my living Master, I would tell Him all my sufferings, weeping, and rest my head on His Holy Feet. I would tell him everything. When he wishes for the means to experience the essence of Truth, the devotee must accept a Guru. In the spirit of adoration, he should salute his noble Guru who is God Himself, who is enthroned in the thousand jewelled crown. The aim which the yogic scriptures set us is the union of the individual soul with the Supreme soul. When a devotee remains in the company of his Satguru, in the spirit of devotion, his body of dust becomes filled with bliss. I bow before my Guru who reveals the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord permeating the whole universe."

Antidote To Nuclear Bombs

Antidote To Nuclear Bombs
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj (Hans Rawat) (or his ghost writers)

(Radio-activity is nullified by the Divine Energy generated from the Union of the Consciousness with the Shabd Braham. For details read this article).
The Divine Light is realized and experienced by a precise process. Its realization is a system, of knowledge organised around experienced principles. It is a science, the only true science. It has no fallibility. It is not subject to change by further revelation or experiments as is the case with the material science. Its truth is the only eternal Truth - the knowledge gained from the revelation of the Divine Light and communion of the consciousness with the Divine Light is the only true knowledge of the Reality.

sg_icon (4K)

Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
editor, C. L. Tandon, Secretary Divine Light Mission
"In the annals of mankind there has always appeared a great Spiritual Master at every critical juncture who has saved humanity from an impending crisis. Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, the founder of the Divine Light Mission was such a Divine Master. His contribution to the moral and spiritual uplift of mankind is too great to be expressed in words. Even the scriptures try in vain to sing the glory of a Satguru. Guru Nanak aptly said 'Sant ki Mahima ved na Jane …' The greatness and glory of Saints can not be depicted even by the Vedas."

The text in a single file formatted for a more concise printing is available here

In The Light Of Knowledge
Mike Finch

A difficult book to label. This book was inspired by Prem Rawat's eldest brother, Bal Bhagwan Ji, before he disowned and replaced Guru Maharaj Ji as Spiritual Leader of the Indian Divine Light Mission. Finch who took another 30 years to renounce Rawat wrote the book but once finished it was destroyed as it was associated with the apostate eldest brother now known as Satpal Maharaj. A copy survived the book burning and was found in Germany 30 or 40 years later and I nagged Mike to allow it to be published on the net as an historical artifact.

Secret Knowledge

The Secret Knowledge
Satpal Maharaj

In 1975 Bal Bhagwan Ji, Prem Rawat's eldest brother, replaced his brother as the Satguru and Perfect Master of the age and became Satpal Maharaj. The overhelming majority of the Indian premies became his followers forgetting about Prem Rawat. He is far more intelligent and educated than his youngest brother and has knowledge of the concepts of Indian religion that Prem Rawat has never learnt or understood.

Shri Hans

Shri Hansa

"The Great Spiritual Master of the 20th Century" - Someone compiled this from a set of internet sources.


Shri Paramhans Advait Mat
Shri Anand Pur Trust

Prem Rawat's father was not unique but part of a tradition. A tradition that did not accept him as being the bona fide inheritor of the mantle of his own guru, Shri Swarupanand. There is nearly always considerable dissension and controversy on the succession of the Satguru after the death of the living incumbent in panths of the Sant Mat tradition of Northern India. (see "Radhasoami Reality by Professor Mark Jurgensmeyer, p43) Hans Rawat was not accepted by his peers at the death of Swarupanand if for no other reason then he was a married householder. This decision is certainly validated in the light of the failure of Hans Rawat's nepotism and the family dissension in his heirs which saw his youngest son deposed by his mother because of his drug-taking and the later fall-out between the elder brothers, Satpal and Bholeji Maharaj. This book is published by people within the accepted lineage.

The following books are written by former followers of Prem Rawat's or people who had some involvement.

Mescaline, Maharaj Ji and the Mojave Desert: Abandoned Roads

Mescaline, Maharaj Ji and the Mojave Desert: Abandoned Roads

Jos Lammers, ex-President Divine Light Mission, Holland and Director International Operations (Europe and Australia), International Headquarters, Divine Light Mission has written a short but interesting memoire, in Dutch and English that was available from Amazon in which he recounts his life as a university drop-out in 1970 taking too many drugs (he may disagree it was too many :-) and looking for the "meaning of life" who becomes a "premie" of Guru Maharaj Ji. He moves into the ashram where he discovers a talent for business and organisation that makes the Dutch DLM financially successful. So successful that he is called to Denver to join the international executive staff of DLM as Director International Operations (Europe and Australia). There is a summary of his DLM career here and two excerpts from his book, Abandoned-Roads, here and here.

Without The Guru Without The Guru

Without The Guru
Mike Finch

Finch has written a personal memoire of his 30 years of thralldom to Prem Rawat or Guru Maharaj Ji as he initially called himself. Many academics of New Religious Movements have disparaged apostate evidence about their former membership as "atrocity tales" in an attempt to destroy their credibility through pejorative labelling. It would be interesting to read their comments about Finch's book in which he has deliberately withheld the many "atrocity tales" he saw first-hand and attempts to maintain an air of imperturbable high-mindedness widely at odds with the behaviour of the guru he spent decades revering: Prem Rawat or Maharaji (the "Ultimate Ruler" as he prefers to be known), the former teenage Perfect Master and Lord of the Universe, Guru Maharaj Ji.

The book would appeal to a wider audience if the didactic sections were replaced by racy details of Rawat's vulgar venality but it is by far the best (and almost the only) book available about life in the Rawatism cult and it is truthful and accurate, though very personal.

Letting Life Happen Letting Life Happen

Letting Life Happen
Donald de Laski
An extremely mistitled book that reveals Donald de Laski as one of those people who do not just let life happen but take it by the scruff of the neck and drag financial success out of it with continued hard work and business savvy. On the one hand he is the quintessential American entrepreneur and on the other he is a dreamer who accepts the claims of any and every healer, psychic, clairvoyant, alternative therapist, seer and prophet with whom he comes into contact. Sections of Chapter 13 in which he discusses the 10 years in which he was actively involved in Divine Light Mission and kissed the feet of the Living Lord and provided Rawat with a gift of shares eventually worth tens of millions of dollars are reproduced here.

My Mother, My Mirror

My Mother, My Mirror
Andrea Kitt

This is a really depressing book. It relates a very common theme. It is typical of many premies' lives. Unhappy childhood, aimless teens, LSD, "Be Here Now" and meeting someone already in a cult who appeared to have what was missing in her life - happiness. Ms Kitt describes her time as a premie in a premie milieu very well. She evokes the flavour of life in DLM. She appears very honest about her feelings.

Search for the Guru

Search for the Guru: Adventures of a Western Mystic, Book 1
Peter Mt Shasta

In London I found myself sitting at the feet of a chubby, thirteen-year old kid they called Guru Maharajji, who claimed to be the only one on Earth in possession of what he called Knowledge, unique spiritual methods he was willing to transmit to the faithful. "I am here to give you the knowledge which only I can give," he boasted. "Wow, what chutzpah," I thought, "but you never know; he must have something to be able to attract all these followers:. "If he's so enlightened," I wondered, "how can he be so boring?" He droned on and on, day after day, about the evils of materialism, and how only he could teach the techniques that would free us of that materialism.

Letting Life Happen

Love Hunger
David Kyle Foster
This book mainly deals with Foster's unhappy childhood, his hatred of his father, his inability to come to a positive acceptance of his homosexuality, his life as a struggling actor and gay prostitute and his "born again" Christianity and career as a Christian pastor, author and producer. Some sections dealing with his short time as a premie of Prem Rawat are included here. While much of it deals with his intense mental life and struggles with his childhood Christian brainwashing there is some information about life in late 1970's Divine Light Mission and a very premie story of how he had just exactly enough money left in his secret credit card to fly to meet Jesus in Israel instead of a Holi festival in Rome. It must have been Guru Maharaj Ji's grace.

For Christ's Sake For Christ's Sake

For Christ's Sake
Glenville Whittaker
Whittaker has been a devotee Prem Rawat for 40 odd years and what odd years they have been. In this book he attempts to promote an idealised image of his Master's teachings and practices with the outrageous concept that Jesus was exactly such a Master. He does this by giving a shallow, and I mean really shallow, rehash of some of modern scholarship about the life of Jesus interspersed with snippets of Rawatism doctrines but as far as I recall he does not demonstrate one actual connection, merely many tenuous possibilities that Glen ensures "we must" accept. Of course Rawat is never mentioned nor is the fact that all the positive blurbs about the book are by other devotees of the former "Lord of the Universe." This is a grossly dishonest book which pretends to be discovering secret truths about Jesus' teachings but is merely attempting to insinuate that Prem Rawat's teachings were taught by Jesus. Whittaker claims the essence of Jesus' initiation was that to be fully effective, it required devotion to the messenger. Yes for Prem Rawat's teachings to be effective then you must adore and worship him first. I'd recommend virtually any other book about Jesus before this one.

Soul Rush Soul Rush
Soul Rush
Sophie Collier
An insider's look at her 2½ years in Divine Light Mission in the early 1970's. She is interesting, intelligent, immature, foolish, pretentious and the book is as deeply flawed as the organisation was. It was written when she was only 20 years old and though her views of the Godboy are uninsightful the gossip gives a good picture of life in DLM administration in the early to mid-1970's. It provides a picture of the lives of the guru and some of those premies and their hopes, activities and hypocrisies. An introduction to her precocious childhood was published in the Divine Times Special Millenium Issue.
"(As I discovered later, we were not the only ones for whom some alcohol was the festival's high point. Bob Mishler told me Maharaj Ji got "sloshed.");"
… I wondered why Maharaj Ji did not want the truth known. Already AP, the wire service, had carried parts of what he wished to suppress.
… "If Maharaj Ji wanted to run a little religion based on his father's teachings and he was able to find people to join, so what? That was his business, not mine."
The Way Out The Way Out

The Way Out: Radical Alternatives in Australia
edited by Margaret Smith and David Crossley
The editors were followers of Prem Rawat at the time (though no longer) and so some thinly disguised attempts at recruitment were included.

A MAGICAL MYSTERY - A Tour Of Communal Life by Penny Watson
Penny, who became disenchanted with Prem Rawat in the 1980's, wrote this early biography as a "coming to the truth" through attempts at communal living" story. She was a particularly sweet, loveable and intelligent person who now works in environmental science doing some real good.

THE DIVINE LIGHT MISSION IN AUSTRALIA by Derek Harper & Michael McDonald was a very positive, unrealistic picture of the Divine Light Mission of the early 1970's.

Between Dark and Dark Between Dark and Dark

Between Dark and Dark
David Lovejoy
David Lovejoy, one time President of Divine Light Mission, Australia and Great Britain is a former editor of the Byron Bay Echo, a local newspaper published in the resort town of Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia. He has written a "memoire" about his life which most people would find extremely boring but is of interest to his friends, family and anyone wishing to read about the "hippies" who became followers of Prem Rawat in India circa 1971 and the Divine Light Mission in Australia in the 1970's.

"Maharaji is an incomparable public speaker and a wise strategist, and if he chose to hone everything down to the delivery of the techniques of meditation in a respectable, non-religious and noncontroversial way, then he did so in order to maximise people's opportunities for receiving Knowledge." But since Rawat has "honed everything down" the numbers of his students has halved despite 25 years of expensive attempts at gaining new adherents and many of those who consider themselves followers live lives in which Rawat is a very peripheral figure, as has Lovejoy. Of course, Rawat is, in a sense, an incomparable public speaker, there is no-one else anywhere near as awful a public speaker with whom to compare him.

Project Girl

Project Girl
Janet McDonald

A black girl from the Projects goes to Vassar and finds it emotionally very challenging and is drawn into Divine Light Mission by the niceness of some premies until Millenium '73 brings her down to earth with a bang.

Fighting Spirit Fighting Spirit

Fighting Spirit
Lauren Burns
Lauren Burns seems to be an admirable young woman. In her autobiography she mentions the events that occurred in her family's life after her father became involved in Divine Light Mission and Guru Maharaj Ji and here are the relevant passages. She evokes the family spirit that infused 1970's Divine Light Mission, in Australia at least. As the daughter of a minor Australian celebrity who was a good friend of Johnny Young who provided financial support and positive publicity for "Maharaji" she was probably treated with significanly more attention and "love" than the daughter of a neurotic single mother.

Back Cover Blurb: WHEN LAUREN BURNS WON a gold medal in Taekwondo at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, she became an instant Australian hero and the proverbial 'overnight sensation'.

Me Of Little Faith Me Of Little Faith

Me Of Little Faith
Lewis Black
Unfortunately this book just isn't very funny. Maybe Black's material requires his personality or delivery to add the magic or maybe it requires the tension of living in a society where religion actually matters to make it funny but this Australian irreligious skeptic found it bland and hohum. The chapter on the "13 year old Guru Maharaj Ji" is not a researched history nor even an exhaustive memoire. It's a minor vignette written over 30 years after the events recounted and it tries to be funny. Nevertheless, it makes some interesting points that would be relevant for most people who have been involved with Prem Rawat's cult.

Encountering Light* Within

Encountering Light* Within: A Post-Christian Religion
Arthur D'Adamo
An intellectual's life attempting to experience the promise of mysticism thorugh reading about and practising various religions and spiritual paths. Included here is a section dealing with his life in a a Divine Light Mission ashram and his wholly admirable rejection of Prem Rawat's so-called "Knowledge" when he found out about the attempted murder of Pat Halley and the machinations and cover-up that followed.

Baba Baba

Baba: Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Yogi
Will Ganz aka Sitaram who now calls himself Rampuri is a legend in his own chillum. The author of 'Baba' and a star of the Ethnobotanical (drugs) "spiritual scene" he has spent decades in India sucking at the sadhu's source of spurious stoned saintliness. He left his early spiritual career in Divine Light Mission with a bhang and doesn't mention those days in his biography. Exactly why he was involved is lost in a hazy mist of marijuana and paranoia but there is no doubt he had a strong initial impact in helping the young Rawat go to the USA and to provide him with an audience once he got there though he did his best to sabotage the movement once he realized Rawat's vision did not include him and any intellectual grooviness in the 'inner circle'. There are copies of two emails he sent in 2002 in which he claims full credit for getting Divine Light Mission off the ground in the USA, calls everyone else involved stupid, ignorant and low-caste - yes 'low-caste'. He discussses early Divine Light mission and his role within it here and makes intelligent criticisms of Indian Rawatism here.

The following books contains sections dealing with or mentioning Prem Rawat's career as a cult leader of Divine Light Mission, Élan Vital and the numerous legally separate organisations his devotees/followers have set up this century.

Divine Disenchantment Divine Disenchantment

Divine Disenchantment: Deconverting from New Religions
Janet Liebman Jacobs
This book includes a case study of the travails of a married premie couple as they negotiate the many changes in Divine Light Mission. It is obviously authentic as nobody could recreate the language and experiences of premies so closely without actually living through it. There are some minor errors which may be the fault of Ms Jacob's incomprehension. For example, nobody actually received Knowledge from the guru himself; married couples could not live in an ashram; premies did not "chant the Holy Name.

All God's Children All God's Children

All God's Children
Carrol Stoner and Jo Anne Parke
"In order to evaluate charges that Divine Light is a destructive religious cult, it is important to compare the Mission to both the most deceitful religious cults and to the self-help programs which neither offer communal life structures nor encourage practitioners to give up all outside interests. Some compare Divine Light's meditative "knowledge" techniques to the meditation practices of Transcendental Meditation, explaining that both are do-it-yourself systems that can be used to enrich one's life.
But the comparison does not work. The Mission's three-pronged program does not depend solely on the techniques of meditation, but also on satsang, or reinforcement of a belief in the benefits of meditation through discussion with others who do it, and on service work performed for the Mission without pay."

The Guru

The Spiritual Supermarket
Robert Greenfield
Saturday Review Press / E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc

Highlights the counter-culture roots of DLM concentrating on Rennie Davis and Charles Cameron

The Guru

The Guru
Bob Larson
Bob Larson Books
An accurate, ironic look at Prem Rawat when he was Guru Maharaj Ji by a Christian author who actually attended Millenium '73 and listened carefully when premies tried to explain their beliefs to him. Based upon his time at Millenium '73 but with some shrewd observation albeit based upon a world view that sees the demonic possession through meditation and "false happiness" of premies. Larson is a very controversial figure and probably does far more damage than Prem Rawat.

Youth, Brainwashing And The Extremist Cults

Youth, Brainwashing And The Extremist Cults
Ronald Enroth
Chapter 7 of this book written in 1977 gives a pretty accurate, if idiosyncratic, view of DLM and the experience of one, Jim Ardmore (real name?) Some of it is nonsense - meditation turns your brains to jelly beans - but not very much. The most astonishing part of the book relays his deprogramming by Ted Patrick in 45 minutes after he returned home after chopping the ends of his fingers off cutting up tomato sandwiches at Millenium, '73 festival. While this was definitely the correct decision, he could have put up a bit of a fight.

Superstition And The Press

Superstition And The Press
by Curtis D. MacDougall, Prometheus Books; 1st Edition (August 1983)
Dec. 2, 1979 Maharaj Ji, who lived with his family in Malibu, Calif., was reported as intending to ignore the attacks on him. Dec. 15, 1979 in a half-page feature by Virginia Culver, the Denver Post's religion editor, the sect's public relations man, Joe Anctil, said the guru's mission was "peace and love" and he "has no intention of getting in fights with critics or wasting time in court battles with every crackpot that comes along." Anctil said the cult has 1.2 million members in 59 countries - 15,000 in the United States.

Odd Gods

Odd Gods: New Religions and the Cult Controversy
ed. James R. Lewis
This book purports to be a primer on the "cult controversy" and a source of material on a wide range of New Religious Movements - Lewis eschews the use of the word 'cult' due to it's popular pejorative connotations. While I agree with book's conclusions I found the lanuage and arguments slanted against critics of NRM's and the descriptions of many of them absurdly uncritical. The section on Divine Light Mission / Élan Vital is identical to the one in Lewis' book The Encyclopedia of CULTS, SECTS And New Religions and contains numerous errors of fact.

Larson's book Of Cults

Larson's book Of Cults
Bob Larson
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois
Pastor Bob Larson is a very controversial figure and probably does far more damage than Prem Rawat with his demon-exorcism hysteria. However, this is an accurate, ironic look at Prem Rawat when he was Guru Maharaj Ji (1970's) by a Christian author who actually attended Millenium '73 and listened carefully when premies tried to explain their beliefs to him:

"God has retired and now resides in comfortable affluence amid the placid splendor of a Malibu, California mansion." That might well be the epitaph on the tombstone of Divine Light Mission. In the early seventies Guru Maharaj Ji commanded one of the largest and fastest-growing followings of all imported cult leaders.

The Spiritual Tourist

Mick Brown
Brown also wrote a piece for the Texas Monthly in January 1974 about the Millenium Festival.
"It was very odd," remembers Michael Eavis, the dairy farmer who runs the Glastonbury Festival. "Somebody said God had arrived and could we put him on stage, and my thought was: Well, the festival's for everybody really, so why not? By the time he went on stage everybody in the audience was completely stoned out of their minds, and you could hear this ripple going around, "Wow! That's God!" Then he started preaching against drugs, which I think everybody there found a bit disconcerting."

Breath Of India

Breath Of India
Elizabeth Owens
A memoire of a trip to India to the Prem Nagar ashram ("The City Of Love") in Haridwar, India to see Satpal Maharaj and to "Receive Knowledge" from Mahatma Fakiranand. For more details about the author and her books see Elizabeth Owens Web Site

Hunga Dunga

Hunga Dunga - Confessions of An Unapologetic Hippie
Phil Polizato
This excerpt from a book I wouldn't recommend anyone should bother to read gives a pretty accurate description of the process of being involved in and initiated into the "Knowledge" of Prem Rawat and Divine Light Mission in late 1973. The only part that doesn't ring true describes the vows taken before the initiation ceremony. There were 5 commandments to be obeyed: Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today. Never delay in attending satsang. Always have faith in God. Constantly meditate and remember the Holy Name. Never leave room for doubt in the mind. I suspect that author has forgotten and got his information by reading the mundane promises currently made by people before they are "Revealed Knowledge."

Insider Histories of the Vietnam Era Underground Press

Insider Histories of the Vietnam Era Underground Press, Part 2 (Voices from the Underground)
ed Ken Wachsberger

Contains an article about the Fifth Estate magazine's investigation of Divine Light Mission in light of the Shaving cream pie-ing of Prem Rawat, then known as Guru Maharaj Ji, by a Fifth Estate journalist and anarchist, Pat Halley and the subsequent attemopted murder of him and the cover-up initated by Rawat.


Biography of False Gurus from East to West
ed Ramesh Jain

Put together from my website

The following books are books published by Prem Rawat's organisations.

PIP Cults:

Peace Is Possible
by Andrea Cagan
A "biography" written by a biography-mill author who didn't interview Rawat, used no newspaper, magazine or academic articles about Rawat and whose "sources" were all close, confirmed, long-time devotees of Prem Rawat. She was paid $60,000 by the Prem Rawat Foundation for her trouble.
It is, however, an invaluable source for determining the revisionist history and "spin" Rawat wanted printed about his life in 2005. Some interesting sections are available below:
Bihari Singh's version of the "Succession" when the young Sant Ji inherited the Satguru's throne.
Rawat's version of his association with Michael Dettmers, his long time personal assistant and revealer of the guru's secrets.
Rawat's version of his association with Brian Kitt, the first Western "mahatma", Mahatma Saphlanand

Living Master Living Master

The Living Master
A collection of excerpts from speeches given by Prem Rawat in the period 1971 to 1978 (mainly 1976-77) edited into a reasonably coherent exposition of the Divine Light Mission doctrine as it was current in 1978. It contains 23 black and white photos of the young Guru Maharaj Ji some of which are so jowly and unflattering as to make you wonder what on earth were the editors thinking.
Guru Maharaj Ji, are you permanently in God-consciousness?
Yes. I am permanently in God-consciousness.
Because you will have then realized and fulfilled your destiny. The speck, that little speck, then will have become everything, because it will have merged with infinity, it will have then merged with the most incredible, most indescribable thing that there is!

Holi 78

Holi 78
Malaga & Miami
Satsangs of Guru Maharaj Ji
Prem Rawat's love of technology has been given full rein in his version of this ancient Indian religious festival. This booklet contains his speeches at the European and US celebrations. It shows him attempting speeches that are no longer comletely reliant on his Indian religious roots and not succeeding too well. The main focus is to "surrender" to him:
the first priority, when you have clearly seen that there is no ands, ifs, and buts about this whole thing, and that you're there for one purpose, and it's to serve your Guru Maharaj Ji, and it's just to meditate on that Holy Name, and it's just to understand what this life is all about.



A short book of sections of Prem Rawat's speeches formatted as poetry rather than prose. It contains many phrases pretending to be aphorisms but falling short as they fail the "truth test. 'Clarity' is one of Prem Rawat's most over-used and abused words. His meaning is quite simple: 'clarity' is agreeing with and believing everything Prem Rawat claims to be true.

Prem Rawat: Official Publications The Greatest Truth 2013
A mish-mash of sections of Prem Rawat's speeches heavily edited by the indefigatible Ole Grünbaum and put through a formatting overload in a desperate attempt to make them seem meaningful and deep rather than vapid, mundane and ridiculous. First published in ADI magazine and then rehashed as a book, something Rawat could never write himself.
Prem Rawat: Official Publications No Ordinary Box 2013
A mish-mash of sections of Prem Rawat's speeches heavily edited by the indefigatible Ole Grünbaum and put through a formatting overload in a desperate attempt to make them seem meaningful and deep rather than vapid, mundane and ridiculous. First published in ADI magazine and then rehashed as a book, something Rawat could never write himself.

Many authors have tried, and many saints if I could call them saints, many people have tried to gain this Knowledge by themselves. But they're in this room and they try to get out of this room but they can't find the way out. And this one goes and bangs his head on this corner, and that one goes and bangs his head on that corner and then it's finished. Then they write their books! But authors who haven't known this Knowledge, and are trying to write about it in their books, you will find neither horn nor tail in such a book. There is no horn and no tail in this book. Not at all. You can't find a beginning or an end in this book. You know they are just banging their heads on the four sides of the room. Sometimes they say something about this thing, sometimes they say something about that thing, but nothing about their own thing you know.

But how clearly it is written in the Aquarian Gospel. It is very interesting. You know it has been written very, very clearly. So authors who know this Knowledge and try to write about it are very successful. Now I'll give you two books. One book has been written by premies, or has been written by me. And the other book has been written by someone else. Just compare these books. The book which has been written by us will thoroughly talk about Knowledge, and only that. Won't it? The other book will talk about what is a mango, what is an orange, will try to tell you what is natural, what is unnatural and what seems to be natural. He will try to tell you why the world was created, why nature was created. But he is just wasting your time, you know It seems quite natural, but it is artificial. But a book that has been written by a premie could only describe what is Knowledge. And it will always say that this is the secret of all secrets.

Aquarian Gospel

The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ

An early 20th century book "channelled" from the Akashic records. It combined nonsense about Jesus' travels in the "Mystic East" and teachings, astrology and health foods. It was very influential amongst the early 1970s' ex-hippie premies, at least in Australia. Rawat often mentioned it in his first Western tours though he surely had never read it.

Many thanks to the people who made these texts available on the internet for their dedication to truth.