Mother Ousts Guru, 17
Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File); Apr 2, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 - 1986) pg. D1
CALLS MAHARAJ JI A PLAYBOY
Mother Ousts Guru, 17
NEW DELHI (AP) - The mother of Guru Maharaj Ji, the 17-year-old Indian religious leader now living in Malibu, Calif., with an American wife, renounced her son Tuesday and accused him of being a playboy instead of a holy man.
In a signed statement, his mother declared she was removing her son as spiritual leader of the Divine Light Mission and no longer recognized him as the "perfect master," as he is known to his followers.
Known as Shri Mataji, or holy mother, she said her son, "under the instigation of certain bad elements in the United States Divine Light Mission, has continuously disrespected my will by adopting a despicable, nonspiritual way of life."
Susan Butcher, a 30-year-old Canadian devotee of the Divine Light movement. said the Guru's relatives in India were upset with the way Maharaj Ji was living in the United States.
"He has not been practicing what he has been preaching," said Miss Butcher, speaking in behalf of the Guru's mother.
"He has always preached and recommended his devotees to live a life of vegetarianism, celibacy and abstaining from alcohol and all excessive forms of materialism. Now he himself is indulging and encouraging his devotees to eat meat, to get married and have sexual relations and to drink. He's not living a spiritual life. He's being a playboy."
Miss Butcher said she thought many of the guru's 8 million devotees in India would still remain faithful to the Divine Light teachings although they would not recognize him as their leader.
The Divine Light Mission was founded in 1961 by the guru's father, who died in 1966. After his death, his widow proclaimed her youngest son to be the next head of the movement while she remained its patron.
Maharaj Ji was en route from Miami to India and could not be reached for comment.
C. L Tandon, general secretary of the Divine Light Mission in India, claimed the guru had "shown disrespect to his mother by removing her pictures from the American Divine Light Missions, saying she is not worthy of worship but that his wife is."
The guru married his American secretary last May. They had their first child, a daughter named Prem Lata, meaning Vine of Love, last month.
The American Divine Light Mission is headquartered in Denver, but the guru and his 26-year-old wife were last reported living in a mansion in Malibu.