Prem Rawat's Teachings about Worship - In His Own Words
Prem Rawat aka Maharaji ("Ultimate Ruler") or Guru Maharaj Ji as he called himself until the 1980's taught that worship of the Perfect Master was necessary and sacred. It was one of the central tenets of his teachings and was widely reported in the press. Every year at or near the full moon in July Rawat would hold Guru Puja festivals (Hindi: 'puja' = English: 'worship') The importance of Guru Puja and worship were explained in the first And It is Divine magazine:
To a disciple of the Satguru, there is no other day as special as Guru Puja. A disciple has seen that without the shelter of his Perfect Master he is like a rudderless boat on windy seas. The disciple is tired of living an individualistic life. He wants only the path of truth: the path back to the One, away from the many. Guru Maharaj Ji's disciples know Him to be the dispeller of darkness, the revealer of light. They seek to dedicate themselves to Him exclusively. Only singleminded devotion is powerful enough to burn away the desires and attachments to limited things which bind men to the cycle ofbirth and death. Guru is Lord; "puja" means worship. A devotee's whole life is puja. Once a year, however, on the full moon in July, a day has been set aside by the devotees of the Perfect Master to express their devotion to Him who has released them from the world.
Rawat stressed the sacredness of his worship and gave possibly his most definitive public statement of the necessity of his students worshipping him in 1979 but he also claimed when questioned by an interested observer at a "Public Program" that he did not seek worship.
Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj Originally Published by Divine Light Mission, B-19/3, Shakti Nagar, Delhi 7, India - 1970, 8th November, 1970
He was a fearless, realised saint who followed the path of all great seers, shunning traditions, superstitions and rituals. He emphasised the worship of the living Guru.
But the relation of the Guru and the disciple transcends human relations, and are based on eternal bond of the jiva and God. Every individual soul is destined to achieve salvation through the grace of a living Guru.
Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
Durga Ji (Marolyn Rawat nee Johnson, Prem Rawat's wife) Guru Puja, Geneva 10th September 1978.
We know Guru Maharaj Ji, we know that Guru Maharaj Ji's perfect, we know Guru Maharaj Ji is perfection. We know Guru Maharaj Ji is our Creator. And if we know and have experienced that Guru Maharaj Ji is our Creator, is the Creator of everything, we are a part of his creation, then just like someone was saying, "What do we do? " When we come to that point of realisation, what can we do except bow, bow our heads and pray to Guru Maharaj Ji. Worship him, adore him, like we're meant to do. What an incredible gift that is, to us, that Guru Maharaj Ji has given us himself. It's so beautiful.
Geneva Guru Puja
Durga Ji (Marolyn Rawat nee Johnson, Prem Rawat's wife), Hans Jayanti, Kissimmee Florida, on November 10, 1978
I feel sometimes like this is Guru Maharaj Ji's dream, it's his dream. I'm his dream, you're his dream, we're his dream. He's dreaming us. But something within us is real. It doesn't fade away. And while we have this body, for however long we have it, it's our chance, our most precious beautiful chance - to know him, to love him, to experience him, to serve him. To adore his face. To worship his feet.
Golden Age, February 1979 Number 51
July 29, 1966, Prem Nagar Ashram, Hardwar, India
Christ spread the Knowledge of God in his time; what was that Knowledge? In many places, temples have been constructed, but in each temple the worshippers see the statue of only a single Saint. When they come and listen to satsang, then we say to them, "The God you worship is our God also." When Knowledge of God is spread through the whole world, there will be one religion. The Knowledge will be spread through mahatmas, because, without these great souls, it cannot be done.
So now, premies, we have to realise how that time is approaching and how we have to do service through which we will he able to understand better how this Knowledge has to be spread to everyone and tell them how beautiful is God's creation and how beautiful is this Knowledge.
And It Is Divine, Millenium Program, 1973 and The Golden Age, November 1978, Number 49
August 1, 1966, Prem Nagar Ashram, Hardwar, India
Dear Children of God, why are you weeping? Haven't you learned the lesson that your Master taught you? The Perfect Master never dies. Maharaj Ji is here, amongst you now. Recognize Him, obey Him, and worship Him.
New York Times, April 8, 1973 and The Golden Age, November 1978, Number 49
South High School, Denver Coloradao, May 4 1974
Because I know one thing, it's gonna be a fantastic, fantastic program. It's just gonna be such a beautiful program that it's gonna be completely unbelieveable because it's like Guru Puja is a point where I want all the premies to come, you know, and bring their friends who want to receive Knowledge and worship Guru Maharaj Ji, worship and meditate and realise more of it. … This would be different to Hans Jayanti but where everybody can receive Holy Breath, can receive Darshan, can receive Knowledge Review, can get rid of the doubts, do a lot of meditation and I mean just a very cool, beautiful, lovely - as they say in English - program. Just a beautiful, just like a premie program and of course Guru Puja is a function where, you know, it's like a really premie's function it's like really a devotee's function so that they can go and worship Guru Maharaj Ji and really I also want to clear you on this point, that's about time, now all the premies start following agya.
The Golden Age, Number 22, July-August, 1975
Guru Puja Festival Caracas, Venezuela, July 23, 1975
how can you come up to Guru Maharaj Ji and say, "Thank you?" Because how can you ever thank him with just saying "Thank you," or "Gracias," or "Danyabad," or any word you want to use? You cannot. And it's a prayer you pray. It's Guru Puja festival, when you worship your Guru Maharaj Ji, when you understand, when you get to be … and it's one more thing, one more occasion, where premies can be close to Guru Maharaj Ji. Because how can you worship the Almighty?
Élan Vital, Volume II, Issue 2, Summer 1978
Pacific Guru Puja, Capitol Theatre, Sydney, Australia, October 18, 1975
You know, Guru Mahaji. They have a hard time pronouncing it. But don't relate to that pronunciation. Relate to what is behind it and to understand and to realise more of that glory of Knowledge. To understand more of the glory of the revealer of that Knowledge, we all assemble to worship him, to pray, to understand more because there is never enough of this stuff. There's never enough of satsang, there's never enough of that beautiful blissful experience that we all want to experience. So premies, it's like, it's so beautiful that this Pacific Guru Puja has been held here, you know, and it just shows us that we are just coming together more and more and more and more and more.
The Golden Age Number 24, November 1975
Guru Puja Festival, Miami Beach, Florida July 29, 1977
But nevertheless, this is what this whole program is all about. It's about Guru Puja. I think all of the people understand the meaning of "Guru." I hope all of the people understand the meaning of puja. Because puja means worship. And how do you actually worship Guru Maharaj Ji? Though it's like worship, you don't exactly just go with an arti tray - or as the tradition is, with an arti tray and what-have-you - the red stuff, and this and that and piles of coconut and banana leaves, and the whole tradition - and try to put on more of a show than actually worship. That's not really worship. And how do you actually worship Guru Maharaj Ji?.
Élan Vital, Volume IV, Issue 2, Summer 1980
Shower of Grace, Malibu, California, June 11, 1978
Because it really - look, dates don't matter at all. It's got nothing to do with dates. What have dates got to do between the devotee and Guru Maharaj Ji, and celebrating and worshipping him? Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. So that will be a beautiful experience. And it's just that if we stay in that tune, just get out of our little idiosyncracies, and get out of our concepts, it can be a beautiful experience for all of us.
Divine Times, June/July 1978 Volume 7, Number 4
Guru Puja, Tucson, Arizona, Friday, July 14, 1978
If you are a devotee, then you have to worship your Guru Maharaj Ji forever and ever and ever. Twenty-four hours a day, two hours a day. If your day is two-hours long, two-hours long. If your night is twelve-hours long, another twelve hours. Every moment, every second. And then the only thing is that happens, that happens; but when we understand what it is all about. So far we are naive, so far we go around playing the games of …
The Golden Age Number 48, September/October, 1978
Guru Puja festival, Lingfield, England, 21st June 1979
"If you have a Perfect Master you can't do anything but worship him every day of your life. You tell me, if you really have that Perfect Master in your life, what can you do except to worship him every day? Get up and worship him, pray, know, surrender. Every day of your life!"
Guru Maharaj Ji, you can only worship Guru Maharaj Ji from heart and that's it, from you love and that's it and to me to come to an occasion, to me to come to a place, to come to a point in our hearts where we can even pray to Guru Maharaj Ji, where we can even see Guru Maharaj Ji that's the greatest opportunity in our lives, that is the greatest thing in our lives.
Lingfield Guru Puja video, 21st June 1979
Guru Puja festival, Miami, Florida, 19th July 1979
So dear premies, welcome to Guru Puja. Really Guru Puja is a very sacred occasion.
And we come to worship Guru Maharaj Ji. It's a technicality: "Guru Puja." Quote, "Guru Puja." You tell me, who is in this hall who technically has a right to worship Guru Maharaj Ji or would call themselves a perfect devotee? You have to be a devotee, right? Have to have devotion. You have to be there. Something has to be there. You have to have something to worship Guru Maharaj Ji with.
Élan Vital, Volume III, Issue 4, Winter 1979
Guru Puja festival, Miami, Florida, 21st July 1979
You're so far beyond me, I hate to even try to describe something I never can.
But let me simply say that I love you and adore you, want to worship the very ground
Touched by your precious Lotus Feet, Lotus Feet, your precious Lotus Feet.
All night long, Let us stay with you Lord,
All night long, Let us play with you Lord
All night long, Let us worship you Lord,
All night long, Let us gaze at your Form
All night long, Let us sing to you Lord,
All night long, Let us dance with you Lord
All night long, Till we're totally gone
Guru Puja, Miami, 1979 Video Transcript
Miami Beach, Florida - July 25, 1980
So premies, it's wonderful to be here, to have this opportunity. I know "opportunity" is a misused word. These days everything is an opportunity. But this really is something special for all of us. This festival. What it has to signify means something. It's really a festival of premies. I know of course the name Guru Puja started in India, but I find it's really beautiful to know what it means. Just some devotee's wish: a desire to worship, to worship their Guru Maharaj Ji. And it really is a festival in which we - we - can really benefit: through that satsang, through that service, through that meditation.
Élan Vital, Volume 4, Issue 4, Winter 1980
Follow-Up Program, Washington DC, 26th November 1981
Your followers seek to worship you, why do you seek that?
Why do my followers worship me?
Why do you seek their worship?
Well, I don't seek their worship.
Satsang is a Hindi word okay, now if you like it you can use it if you don't like it you sure don't have to use it but 'sat' means truth, 'sang' means company, company of truth, it's when people come and they talk about an experience which is real period. When are people can come up and talk about a lotta experience. The thing is ah when, it's just a, it's just a word but what happens is not really a worship in many cases. Do I come and sing my own praises when I am in that environment? Certainly not.
Perfect Master Tape #216
Do you know what the greatest form of worship is? Acceptance. In that acceptance, in that understanding, clarity begins to come, not confusion. What comes with joy is clarity. These things are paired. Clarity is paired with joy, not with confusion. Confusion comes with doubt, anger, fear - all the things we don't like and don't know how to get rid of.
TPRF Newsletter Inspire v5 i153
The Keys FAQ
Does this have something to do with religion?
No. The practice of Knowledge is independent of but also compatible with any religion. There is nothing to worship and no system of faith or belief associated with this practice.
Words Of Peace Global website first downloaded 1st April 2012
Belfast Ireland, May 16 2008
I'm not here to say you should follow this religion or not follow this religion. Do whatever you have to do. Do whatever you have to do but all those things that you do, do this too. Feel the fulfilment. Of all the things you do, also do this one. Accept the blessing that has been given to you, so, so abundantly. This breath, accept it and the day you do, that will be the most incredible worship, you will ever have done. Your heart will be filled with gratitude instantly. And when your heart is filled with gratitude, let me tell you, there is no greater heaven on the face of this earth. Time stops, worries are gone, the heart is filled with gratitude. You know the fulfilment of mind because you've tried it many times, you work hard at it, trying to get gratitude out of your head
Inspire Electronic Magazine, Volume 5, Issues 139 - 164