Divine Light Mission Attempts To Explain: the "Holy Family Crisis"
and Rawat's deposition by the Indian DLM.

The Rawat family - "The Holy Family" - were active in Divine Light Mission, indeed many observers believed the young guru was merely a figurehead for his mother and eldest brother. Each one of its members had various responsibilities in DLM's campaigns and organizations. His mother, Mata Ji, presented as the 'Mother of the Universe' was in charge of mahatmas and ashrams. His eldest brother, Bal Bhagwan Ji, presented as the 'Number Two in the Universe' was giving intellectual discourses on the nature of God. Brother Bhole Ji was the head of a band performing at large programs, and brother Raja Ji was in charge of Maharaji's security and WPC (World Peace Corps).

However the young Lord of the Universe began drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, eating meat and having an affair with his "secretary". This behaviour was unacceptable to his mother and the senior administrators and mahatmas of the Indian Divine Light Mission and after failing to "reform" him, they eventually disinherited, deposed and disowned him and went public on 1st April 1975. Rawat and his followers have consistently tried to present this as a "family split" based upon his mother's hidebound Hinduism and intolerance. In the 1970's Rawat's drug use was known to only a handful of his inner circle. Here is a reproduction of letters and documents written by the DLM administrators to premies trying to explain away the problem. Note how Rawat's divinity is taken for granted.

September 2nd, 1974: Ashram Mailing
6 September 1974: Letter to DUO Directors.
27 November 1974: Memo to DUO Directors.
End 1974: Open letter to all premies.

Here is an excerpt from the September 2nd ashram mailing. It is concerning the letter Maharaj Ji wrote about his brother, Bhole Ji.

'As His letter of 22 July regarding Bhole Ji indicates, the mood is changing. With the reissue of His statement regarding Bhole Ji and Blue Aquarius, also came a letter that Maharaj Ji sent to all the countries of the world regarding two previously active and well-known premies. I am speaking of Mahatma Satyanand and Ram Babu whom most of you know. Maharaj Ji has declared them both manmath -- which means anti-guru, follower of their own minds. Both Maharaj Ji's stand regarding Bhole Ji and this declaration regarding Satyanand and Ram Babu are very strong, offensive blows against the subtle delusion that any of us are subject to falling into. If we didn't see these things as signs to guide us during this difficult time, then we are only foolish because through Satyanand and Ram Babu and Bhole Ji, Maharaj Ji is trying to help us all come to a clear understanding that actually the line that we walk is narrower than we sometimes think.'

'Mahatma Jagdeo feels that we are experiencing only the lull and the pressure before the storm and I really agree. It is time to hold on and be strong. It is time to catch firmly to satsang, service and meditation and to remember the one point in our life. Otherwise, we are likely to be blown to the hell in our minds.'

'So many of us feeling what you are feeling. So please be only with Guru Maharaj Ji during this time.'

-- Mike Donner

NOTE: By the agya of Guru Maharaj Ji, Teshwaranand is not longer an Mahatma. If he contacts you for any reason please call us immediately. Trevinanand is no longer a Mahatma and the same policy applies.

Salutations at the Lotus Feet of Satgurudev


6 September 1974


Dear brothers:

Mahatma Jagdeo and I have been on the phone a good deal lately with Guru Maharaj Ji and others at the residence. It seems that during this time of apparent calm, the pot is being stirred. Last week I told you that Maharaj Ji has sent a letter throughout India declaring Mahatma Satyanand and Ram Babu 'anti-Guru'. In an important respect that letter was a warning for Mata Ji and Bal Bhagwan Ji, as Ram Babu is one of their most trusted administrators. Rather than deter Mata Ji, it's pushed her further into action against Maharaj Ji. There are two new factions within the Mission in India. One loyal to Guru Maharaj Ji and one loyal to Mata Ji and Bal Bhagwan Ji.

Where this new level of division will go is hard to pinpoint at this time. But simultaneously in the U.S. Bal Bhagwan Ji and Bhole Ji are still very active with the new band -- and out of ignorance premies are still supporting them monetarily. Mahatma Tejeshwaranand has left the L.A. ashram to live with Bal Bhagwan Ji and Bhole Ji.

It's time for all premies to be clear about devotion. This is the main point that Guru Maharaj Ji is emphasizing now -- DEVOTION to one point, to the Perfect Lord. Without devotion no one can ever understand what this life is all about. Without devotion we can never experience the peace that exists for us to enjoy. Without devotion there can be no understanding of how to live in this world.

Maharaji wants all premies to be prepared for the storm and tests that are to come soon. But how to be prepared? Devotion is the only answer. Because we can explain this point and that point, but real understanding must come from the inside out. In many ways the safety of our family is at stake -- but real security has to be based in a consciousness from within each of us. Guru Maharaj Ji is making everything clear for us now. We must be one-pointed and doing His agya of service, satsang and meditation. If we are doing this agya each day then we will know how to act when Bhole Ji and Bal Bhagwan Ji come to town, or when a mahatma propagating the 'knowledge' of Bal Bhagwan Ji comes around. We cannot be in each city to deal with the confusion that comes and goes. Each premie must become clear and centered and one-pointed.

[The next page is '3' but that could be a typo. It sure looks like it flows together.]

So this is the main point that Guru Maharaj Ji is making now. It's time to understand devotion and its' time to tighten up the ship. This is not a panic vibe however. The main thing to stress as a DUO director to all premies is devotion now. But in your day to day service begin to tighten security, communication and transportation. Encourage people to let each other know where we go when we leave the house or office -- how to keep in touch, etc., and matters of courtesy. As Mahatma Jagdeo would say, 'we must become like soldiers now, disciplined and brave.' Mahatma Ji is absolutely correct, but make sure that communicate and work on all this without creating panic or a crisis vibe. Service to Guru Maharaj Ji is our everyday life and we should just begin to take it more seriously now.

So now we can begin to see why Maharaj Ji has been trying to so hard to keep us in the ashram and single. He wants us to be one-pointed now and free to move quickly without other responsibilities other than to Him and the 'larger' family. We keep straining against Maharaj Ji's timeline. Let's surrender to His Will now and be ready to serve Him at all costs.

But while these relatively cosmic things are going on, our service is still day to day and must be practiced. It's a delicate balance that we must achieve in our lives. To do professional service, to follow through, to work in this Mission as if it were going to last 1000 years and yet be so detached that we won't miss a breath if it ended tomorrow, is not an easy road. But, not only do we have to walk it but we have to try to head other premies down the same narrow line. Everybody's devotion will not manifest in the same way but devotion is the watchword.

So when you go over the enclosed information -- drawing your attention to the packet about 'town councils', please see every opportunity that Maharaj Ji gives us as a tool that we are to use to help Him create devotion in our lives. Any way that we can get premies plugged into the flow of communication and dedication is for everyone's good.

I'd like each of you to please write back feedback about this info on 'town councils'. Over the next month or so we would like to establish a relatively uniform approach to greater community involvement. Each DUO director's input is very important.

I'm going on a Meditation Retreat this weekend with 200 or so Denver premies -- I hope to see you all in the light …

Jai Satchitanand.

In love and service,


Mike Donner
National Executive Director

27 November 1974
TO: All DUO Directors
FROM: Mike Donner

Dear Brothers and Sister, [note the singular]

Jai Satchitanand. In the mailing this week, I am sending you an open letter, written by myself to all the premies, explaining as well as possible, the situation in Maharaj Ji's family and the events surrounding it. This letter will also be published in Divine Times, but I wanted it sent to you, the DUO Directors, to use as you see fit before it comes out in print.

As you know, Maharaj Ji wants all the premies to know the facts now, and it is our duty to help maintain the clarity which is necessary.

Love to all of you …

Your brother,


An Open Letter to all premies from the National Director of DLM

Dear Brothers and sisters,

Many of you have heard bits and pieces of the story of 'Maharaj Ji's family Lila.' It's been hard to tell the whole story until now, because Maharaj Ji Himself has been trying to give everyone involved enough time to digest the changes that have taken place and join Him once again in unity and cooperation. Maharaj Ji loves us all -- and because of that love He always gives us enough rope to either tie ourselves to His Lotus Feet or hang ourselves.

Historical account

In early spring, Raja Ji married Claudia. The marriage, held with Maharaj Ji's complete consent and knowledge, was a private ceremony. Mata Ji knew of Raja Ji's love for Claudia long before this marriage and was against their relationship from the start. A month or so following their wedding day, Raja Ji and Claudia, after consulting Guru Maharaj Ji, decided to go to the residence in L.A. and announce their marriage to Mata Ji and Bal Bhagwan Ji and to ask their blessings as is the custom in India. They went and were greeted not with blessing but rather with anger and raised hands and were driven from their home. This upset Maharaj Ji because He had blessed the marriage and Mata Ji knew that Maharaj Ji approved. Mata Ji and Bal Bhagwan Ji's anger was so great in fact that Maharaj Ji called Bob Mishler and myself to L.A. to ask Mata Ji, Bal Bhagwan Ji and Bhole Ji to leave the country, to return to India.

In fact, they all left for India via Hawaii in time to attend the Baisaki festival in Bihar, India -- where they pretended that nothing had happened. You all probably remember our joy when Maharaj Ji allowed us to announce that Raja Ji had married Claudia. When this news reached India, Mata Ji and Bal Bhagwan Ji denied the truth of the matter. This announcement, while bringing us so much joy, seemed to make matters even worse between Maharaj Ji and Mata Ji and Bal Bhagwan Ji, as they were still unprepared to accept the marriage and in fact were pressuring Guru Maharaj Ji to command Raja Ji to get an annulment. It's hard to understand why such a simple and beautiful marriage -- although not traditional -- should have caused such a commotion, except in the context of Guru Maharaj Ji's own marriage.

Bal Bhagwan Ji, at least, saw the handwriting on the wall and strongly suspected that Durga Ji would soon be our Lord's wife. At one point he even flew secretly to Denver from Australia to try to persuade Guru Maharaj Ji to return to India, behave more traditionally, and denounce Raja Ji. Guru Maharaj Ji asked Bob and I to meet Bal Bhagwan Ji at the Denver airport and have him return to India. We spent hours with Bal Bhagwan Ji that night trying to explain to him that as far as were concerned Guru Maharaj Ji was Guru Maharaj Ji and could do what He wanted and didn't want to be pressured into behaving according to someone else's norms and customs, etc.

He left for India (not very convinced), after Guru Maharaj Ji suggested that if he returned to India Guru Maharaj Ji would consider going to India on May 20th. Ironically, May 20th was that very blessed day for all Guru Maharaj Ji's children. On that day, rather than returning to India, Durga Ji became Guru Maharaj Ji's blessed wife. In a sense, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Maharaj Ji said there was no turning back at that point and everyone, including His family, just had to follow Him to Heaven.

By now, most premies were beginning to learn to let go of their concepts and ideas about how it was going to be. For some, more caught in tradition, it was difficult to make such rapid changes. It was a time of great stress for many older devotees. Because it was so hard, Guru Maharaj Ji was extremely patient. The things that Bal Bhagwan Ji said about Guru Maharaj Ji during that period are still too harsh to repeat. But Maharaj Ji listened and hoped that time would heal the wounds.

Recent Developments

Now time has passed, and the gap is still present. I cannot say why people act as they do. Who can say why such a time can be a tremendous experience of love for some and such a time of pain for others. Maharaj Ji spoke about this paradox recently when He wanted us to tell all the premies how Mata Ji had come to His residence late at night. She, Bhole Ji and Professor Tandon (of the Indian Mission) tried to get Maharaj Ji out of bed on the night of 11/23/74 demanding to see Him. Maharaj Ji was asleep. Mata Ji called the police with stories of how Guru Maharaj Ji was being held against His will, was a minor, and so on. The police came, spoke with Maharaj Ji only to find Him well and embarrassed that His family had caused such a scene. The police were very apologetic and asked Mata Ji, Bhole Ji and Tandon to leave and phone back in the daylight hours for an appointment.

But Maharaj Ji said that night that there was a lesson for all the premies. The lesson is that we must all personally experience the Knowledge. No matter who we are, how close we are to Guru Maharaj Ji physically, or due to our service or age, we must experience the Knowledge for ourselves. He said, 'If premies will practice Knowledge, they would not do such crazy things.'

Guru Maharaj Ji held off circulating His letter that you see on this page in hopes that Bal Bhagwan Ji, Mata Ji and Bhole Ji would tire of the folly that Guru Maharaj Ji is to young to lead us; in hopes that they would tire of the delusion that Guru Maharaj Ji is caught in 'Western' maya and cannot be trusted; tire of the joke that the Perfect Master is being controlled by the DLM administration. As we all know, Guru Maharaj Ji is in complete control of all levels of life.

But they have persisted in spreading this confusion until Guru Maharaj Ji has no choice but to speak the embarrassing truth about His own family.

Bal Bhagwan Ji is (at this printing) still in England trying to gain control of the Mission there. Just before Hans Jayanti in Toronto, Susan Butcher at Bal Bhagwan Ji's prodding and with Mata Ji's consent phoned an incredible story full of lies into the Toronto newspapers. This tactic of going to the press to exploit the disloyalty with Maharaj Ji's family prompted us to release a statement about the situation to the U.S. press. This action also prompted Maharaj Ji to finally circulate His letter throughout the world (see both reprints on this page).


So why do I take the time to write this lengthy letter to all of you? Because Guru Maharaj Ji has asked us to keep everyone informed so that no one can confuse any of our family any longer. There are some common questions that arise from this lila.

'Why does Guru Maharaj Ji allow such things to happen if He is the Lord?' I can really only speak for myself, but everything Maharaj Ji does is for me. I can't begin to express the endless lessons I've learned in the short time of this play. Guru Maharaj Ji is taking us beyond our mind and concepts to a place where we can have the pure experience of love. Just love; love unfiltered by any idea of what it is. We cannot experience love with our minds so Guru Maharaj Ji takes us beyond our minds. These situations are the tools He uses to explode our concepts to take us further down the path of devotion and surrender.

And further, He makes it clear that such things happen to help us see that we have to personally experience this Knowledge. No one else can realize it for us. As He said in His Paramount satsang in Denver, 'It doesn't matter who received Knowledge before you or after you. You have to experience it for yourself.' It doesn't matter what Mata Ji's role or relationship is to Guru Maharaj Ji -- ultimately it doesn't affect what I must do to get close to Guru Maharaj Ji myself.

So, many more lessons have come from this situation. I can only serve one Lord, not five. Guru Maharaj Ji is one, not five. Agya comes from one point, not five, etc. etc. …

Some ask: 'If Guru Maharaj Ji can't have peace within His family, how can He bring peace to the world?' Guru Maharaj Ji has made it clear that all His devotees are His Holy Family. His family is a spiritual family that crosses all boundaries of creed and tradition. Guru Maharaj Ji is in fact bringing peace to the world through the peace brought to the lives of millions of devotees -- US! Knowledge is the key and we must practice Knowledge to be experiencing the peace that He has promised. Peace comes when we surrender totally to the Lord -- no matter who we are, surrender is the path to peace. A few persons being too proud to surrender to the relationship of Lord and devotee doesn't negate the experience that the rest of us are having of Guru Maharaj Ji's love.

'Aren't Bal Bhagwan Ji and Mata Ji just realized souls playing their part in His game perfectly?' Not necessarily. Guru Maharaj Ji is making it clear that if they were experiencing this Knowledge, they wouldn't be hindering His movement and purpose. In fact, many premies still do not understand this and that is why Guru Maharaj Ji has published his letter of October 26, 1974. He knows that such ideas make premies easy prey for confusion that Mata Ji, Bal Bhagwan Ji and others bring with them. Guru Maharaj Ji is our only Lord and by serving Him only, He will take care of all the rest.

'Shouldn't we try to bring unity in the Family?' We shouldn't try to do anything but realize the Knowledge, practice meditation and serve Guru Maharaj Ji. If we direct all our energy to that one point, with no concern for the result of this selfless action, then Guru Maharaj Ji -- like a magnifying glass -- will burn away all the separation that keeps real unity from manifesting.

Most of us know from our own experience with our own family and friends that only Guru Maharaj Ji can bring then into His love. We can try and try, but until we give up that desire to do it we only make matters worse with our personal desires and lack of trust. Obeying the agya of Guru Maharaj Ji and tending to own spiritual growth is good advice.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, no one said that the path was simple -- but actually it is simple if we get down to the simple agya of Guru Maharaj Ji. When we do satsang, service and meditation, then we experience the Grace, the peace and joy of seeing Guru Maharaj Ji's plan unfold perfectly for this world. The physical life of Guru Maharaj Ji is here to make our lives easier -- but if our mind doubts then that same life -- His style, etc. -- will throw us into confusion.

Guru Maharaj Ji is the Supreme power who is taking care of everything in this world. If we relax and remember to remember that Guru Maharaj Ji is Conscious of all life; then our life becomes full of peace and bliss.

I hope this letter helps you some. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to write to me. Jai Satchitanand,

Your brother in His love,


Mahatma Satyanand was the senior Mahatma of Divine Light Mission and it was said that he had also been a mahatma of Hans Rawat's guru, Swarupanand.