People, Mar. 13, 1978

Sibling rivalry between spiritual leaders? Well yes, between the Maharaj Ji, a.k.a. Perfect Master, and his eldest brother, Shri Satyapal Ji (Truth Incarnate). In India they are often regarded as export gurus aimed at the Western market, but in the U.S. the baby-faced Maharaj Ji, now 20, was once worshipped as the Lord of the Universe by 50,000 or so devotees of the Divine Light Mission. In 1975 his mother, Mataji, disapproving of his playboy ways and his marriage to an airline stewardess, deposed him in favor of his brother. Since then the name of the organization in the U.S. has been changed to the Spiritual Life Society, and it has been struggling to hold on to its dwindling following (about 200). To rally the faithful, Truth Incarnate spoke at Manhattan's Society for Ethical Culture: "A potter can make many, many pots, but many, many pots can't make a potter." The thrust of his pap-psychology? "Life is not complete till you acquire a master." Also, Big Brother knows best.