Prem Rawat's Training Sessions: Introducing the Possibility of Knowledge

This video, titled 'Introducing the Possibility of Knowledge', a Visions International release, was produced in 2000. It contains scenes from two training sessions Élan Vital supposedly held to teach Prem Rawat's "students" how to introduce people to the "possibility of Knowledge." The "invited guests" paid dearly for the chance to be at these sessions as their Master was going to be there. Nearly all of them had been devotees of Maharaji for up to 30 years and so the idea that they needed such training was extraordinary enough in itself. What made it even more remarkable is that most of them had been doing such personal and public recruitment in the '70's quite successfully until Rawat had ordered them to cease and desist circa 1983. During these sessions Prem Rawat appears to have a bad cold and/or be having dental reconstruction work and he has become the Master of the Raised Eyebrows.

While Rawat did take this opportunity to teach yet more concepts which his followers could use to proselytise, the main focus seemed to be reinforcing his own central position and his total power over this "Knowledge", the methods of meditation he claims can contact the source of life within and produce inner peace. He increased the pressure upon them. He continually restated that "Knowledge" is incredible and that "It Works." He told them they were now having to take responsibility for ensuring a 100% success rate in the conversion and retaining of new followers and that any false idea they give could be incredibly dangerous. He blamed everybody but himself for the failures to achieve success in the past. The double bind they find themselves in is that they are aging members (median age mid 60's) of a dwindling band of devotees and Rawat is a very unnattractive and incompetent leader who they consider the "Master" and whom they cannot contradict and must obey and he continually blames them for their lack of success in attracting new followers even though they follow his orders and his methods. The seating at this "training session" was especially weird. Two rows of premies sitting around the walls craning their necks sideways with all the central floor space left empty.

A complete transcript of this video is available here.

(Voiceover) "While Knowledge itself has never changed, the way people have spoken about it over the years has. At the end of July, Maharaji spent two days in Atlanta, Georgia talking to a group of invited guests about how best to introduce the possibility of Knowledge. Then in September, Maharaji spoke further about the objectives of the Atlanta Training in Amaroo, Australia. The following broadcast contains excerpts from both meetings."

'Knowledge' or the combination of belief in Prem Rawat as the Master and the practise of the techniques of meditation he claims to reveal and providing financial support and/or voluntary labour would be more accurately known as the Rawatism religion. The basics remain though the language Prem Rawat uses has altered dramatically and he has altered the meditation guidelines and techniques during his career in the West Rawat's father and eldest brother, Satpal Maharaj,were and are more traditional Indian 'Satgurus'.


"What is it all about? There is a person, there is a Master, who makes Knowledge available. There it is. That's the beginning and the end of it."

"Because to convert a person what fundamentally you have to do is prove everything they're doing is wrong."

Rawat's concept of religion is shallow and ignorant as is his understanding of 'conversion'. Conversion does not require proving "everything they're doing is wrong" but that they should adopt of new opinions or beliefs.

"It would be really nice where the two other trainings, there's this Training, this is about talking about Knowledge and so we can have it in a DVD format and that way we could reach a lotta people and that, this would be going to a lotta people, this, this actual training and uh it would be great to know that everybody is talking Knowledge, about Knowledge the same way."

Pay attention for the "we could reach a lotta people". It certainly seems that he's sincere in that wish. Nearly 10 years later we can see that his wish, which had no grounding in reality, did not come true. Isn't meditation supposed to produce understanding and detachment?

"From the time of Shri Maharaji whether he was sitting by his instructors, whether he's giving an event, it always took a team, it took a team effort to do it so let's not con ourselves into thinking it doesn't take a team."

Since 1982 Prem Rawat has claimed he could do it on his own and he forbade his followers to publicly proselytise. Videos of his speeches have been both the scriptures and the advertisements for his "Knowledge". He has far less devotees in the West now than he had then. He once told a story about his father showing his devotees he didn't need them to propagate either.

I mean, I'll tell you this story that happened with Shri Maharaj Ji. There were a few premies and they said, "Maharaj Ji, you cannot uh you cannot function without us, you know. We helped you a lot." And he said, "Oh yeah? That's what you think? So I'll tell you," he says, "All of you, all of you stay here and let me go out." So he took his dhoti and he just, just kurta, took tilak and he just looked beautiful, gorgeous and he walked right through the streets of Jwalapur. When people saw him, they just flipped out and they said, "Wow, you know, this is just what we have been looking for." When he reached the ashram back again, there was a crowd of seven to eight hundred people who had followed him, just followed him back, you know and it's like, really how Guru Maharaj Ji's grace works, in which ways it works, you know, you just, you can't even describe it. - Guru Maharaj Ji (aka Prem Rawat) Denver Colorado, 12th May 1974


"When no two people in this world, can describe even the process of drinking water the same way."

This is a fallacy that Prem Rawat has clung to for over 30 years and the drinking of water has been one of his most common examples. Interpersonal communication does not rely upon perfection for it's efficacy. The common experience of drinking water and speaking the same language is perfectly adequate for understanding. There is nothing special about this "Knowledge" and it's effects that prevent adequate communication and understanding. The failure of people to respond to Prem Rawat and his students shows that extremely good communication and understanding is occurring. People easily understand the discrepancy between what Rawat says and what his followers believe and what he is and the contrast Rawat's persona and the claims he makes for his Knowledge.

"Maharaji, why don't you come up with a leaflet that we can pass on to people talks about Knowledge, can't be done!. Maharaji, why don't you come up with a video that talks about Knowledge, can't be done! Maharaji, why don't you write a book on the subject of Knowledge, can't be done!"

After 40 years speaking English, Prem Rawat has still not mastered the language and so he may be incapable of authoring adequate media, but he has talented devotees that could easily write them. And he has had all his speeches recorded on video for 40 years and they all "talks about Knowledge". In the last few years, his followers have created a DVD course that teaches everything he claims people need to know. Creating leaflets, videos and books that will make this "Knowledge" attractive and be truthful, now that "can't be done".

"That it is not a subject that can be comprehended by this mind … but in my opinion flying an airplane is like that too."

it cannot be done, simply cannot be done. Experience rules supreme here not facts and fictions.

There's no point to be made by including this clip. I couldn't resist it because it's just so silly.


"Knowledge and all things associated with it are compliments of the Master. The Master doesn't want Knowledge sessions to happen, guess what? They're not happening. The Master changes the rules, creates the rules, disposes of these rules as the Master wishes. The possibility of Knowledge is brought to you by the compliments of your friendly Master."

"But the key frame here, compliments, Master says yes this is OK to do. You may talk about Knowledge, you may not talk about Knowledge."

"If you're borrowing your neighbour's car, the neighbour says, "Yes you may drive it" but one day the neighbour may say "No you may not drive it, I want my car back." You have to realize ownership of Knowledge resides with the Master. Hearing about Knowledge is a privilege."

For decades Rawat has repeated that recruitment is the most important service his followers can do. The "privilege" was given to anyone who might read a newspaper.

"Being able to talk about Knowledge is a privilege, it's not a right, it's a privilege. Receiving Knowledge is a privilege. Being able to practice Knowledge is a privilege. Being able to participate is a privilege."


"And it would be great to shoot and achieve 100%. So this is where, this is where the difference starts to come up. Every person introduced to Knowledge ends up not only receiving Knowledge but practising as well. Broaden our horizons."

Here Rawat acknowledges a major problem. Many people who go through the long process to be allowed to "receive the Knowledge", who have listened to and presumably believed what they were told about the Knowledge, do not bother to practise the meditation techniques once they know the techniques are sticking your fingers on your eyes, your thumbs in your ears, rolling your tongue back and concentrating on your breath.

"You know there's one person in one of the communities and they've had incredibly succ high success rate in bringing people to Knowledge and of course one of the instructors got interested (mumbles) "How you do this?" and the guy said "Look what I do, I have gone in the Library and looked at all these videos and I choose the video for the person that I think will do them the best." Just that much little homework produced an incredible amount of result. Imagine if that starts to happen in all the communities."

Élan Vital has categorised Prem Rawat's recorded speeches depending upon whether they can be watched by 'new people', 'aspirants' or 'pwks' for decades. Rawat gives no figures or details, but if any homework entailed in communities it failed. My wife certainly came home from Amaroo and started vetting the videos (over 1,000 were stored at our home) they were showing at their local events.

"I think somebody is trying to tell us something. Am I mistaken there? You mean I think that's staring you in the face and saying if we come together, right, do our homework, we can actually change a lot of these outcomes."

While Élan Vital and Prem Rawat Foundation press releases, phony interviews, pamphlets and flyers all portray a growing and successful organisation with a fool proof method for attaining inner peace, here Prem Rawat acknowledges his very poor success rate in attracting new members and retaining the members they do manage to attract.

"There is a lot of people out there that are willing to listen to Knowl the introduction to Knowledge and wanting to receive Knowledge. It'll keep you busy for the rest of your life, don't worry about that."

It is quite likely that there is one premie who has achieved greater success in attracting and inspiring people because the bar has been set so low by the inability of premies to manifest anything that would attract new members. And they have an extraordinary burden to carry in their Master so that the Knowledge would actually have to be the Knowledge of God to convince many people to accept Rawat as their Master.

The hopes that Prem Rawat placed into the Training Sessions were not fulfilled. Propagation continued at extremely low levels and some of his long term followers became so disgusted when they saw Prem Rawat up close for extended periods of time that they apostasised which is why this information is available on the internet.

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