Guru Fights Ouster as 'Perfect Master'
Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File); Apr 28, 1975; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 - 1986)  pg. A4

Guru Fights Ouster as 'Perfect Master'

Times Religion Writer

Maharaj Ji, the 17-year-old guru denounced by his mother as a U.S. playboy, is planning to seek legal control of the Divine Light Mission in India, according to a spokesman at the organization's Denver headquarters.

"All legal steps are being taken to insure that control of the Indian mission is in the hands of Guru Maharaj Ji's trusted followers," read a telegram received Friday in Denver.

The sometimes Malibu resident left for India earlier this month after his mother, called Mataji, said she was removing him as spiritual leader of a movement claiming millions of devotees in India and tens of thousands in the United States.

Meanwhile, in Santa Monica, Mahatma Ji Satyanand, a leader loyal to the mother, told newsmen Friday that "it is a must" that Maharaj Ji "surrender" to the will of the mother and accept his oldest brother, Bal Bhagwanji, as "the perfect master."

Mahatma Ji, speaking mostly through an interpreter, said that the mother had named the teen-ager the perfect master "temporarily" after the death of the father in 1966. The oldest brother, Mahatma Ji said, was really the perfect master all along.

Speaking of the 17-year-old, who married a non-Hindu last year, Mahatma Ji said: "He is a saint, but not a guru." Joe Anctil, press spokesman for the Divine Light Mission headquarters, said the family quabble goes back quite a few years.

The young spiritual master's taste for expensive cars and homes has been publicly known, but Anctil denied the mother's charges that the guru had also begun to eat meat and drink alcoholic beverages.

Anctil said the mother visited her youngest son last January in Los Angeles. "She surrendered to his direction then, but apparently she was only buying time," he said.