Notes on People

He may be the Perfect Master and Lord of the Universe to 50,000 or so American followers but, to his mother, 17-year-old Guru Maharaj Ji is just a "spiritually imperfect" playboy. Yesterday she and the Divine Light Mission in New Delhi "removed" him as spiritual leader and renounced all responsibility for his "despicable" decline from vegetarianism, celibacy, abstinence from alcohol and other austerities.

Shri Mataji (Holy Mother) is the patron of the six-million-member Indian mission founded by her husband, who died in 1966. Their son and his 26-year-old American wife, formerly his secretary, have a 2-month-old daughter and have adjusted to a life-style that includes mansions and fancy cars. At his Divine Light headquarters in Denver, a spokesmän described the "removal" of the guru as "ridiculous" and said that his mother, during a recent United States visit, tried to gain control of the mission here but "lived exactly the life-style of her son." Maharaj Ji, the spokesman said, is an his way to India.

Copyright The New York Times
Originally published April 2, 1975