I have to admit that it was a little difficult to determine how well Prem Rawat performed back in the 1970's and early 1980s because there weren't too many other dwarfish lumps of lard around ranting, raving, screaming, frothing at the mouth that everyone should surrender to him, everyone should worship him, pray to him, obey him, donate to him and kiss his feet because he was the Guru Maharaj Ji, the Perfect Master, the Lord of the Universe, the Living Master, the Creator Who Has Incarnated in human form, God Incarnated in human form, the Satguru, the Manifestation of the Energy that is Keeping You Alive come into this earth and probably lots more I've forgotten.
He was pretty well unique and though he appeared to be an incompetent laughable nasty greedy stooge it might have just been because it is so hard to fill those divine shoes. I mean maybe Jesus had a lisp and farted in public, who knows?
But yesterday I heard his opening address at the Festival Of Knowledge in Brussels in 1989 and I knew that I could get a better perspective on his talents because he had metamorphosed into a comedic and inspirational raconteur a la Garrison Keillor, Billy Connolly or Robin Williamson and a polymath showing off his enormous and erudite vocabulary as does Stephen Fry and this had all happened during the 1980's while I had my back turned thinking he had disappeared from the stage forever.
He tells 2 jokes one about a monk stranded in a crashing plane that is miraculously saved by calling on Buddha and murdered when he thanks God. There's no charm in the retelling, the monk is repellently obsequious and the phrase "my Buddha" jars and he sucks snot out of his nose and swallows it three times during the telling - very off putting. Does he always have a cold?. Without sympathy for the monk there is no emotional charge when he is killed and really in this syncretistic New Age who still thinks of a jealous and vengeful God? Finally, he commits the cardinal sin, he explains the punch line when the joke is over. He is so stupid that he thinks the joke is difficult to understand and that his audience needs an explanation. He steals a concept from Scientology and berates the plethora of psychologists. He really shouldn't tell a joke in which he makes spitting noises and then sucks the snot out of his nose and swallows it audibly. Even Billy Connolly wouldn't be able to make this joke charming or funny.
Every story he tells is a nasty putdown.
Site Master's comments in italics
Opening Address, December 8th 1989
Thank You. Please. Thank You. Please. Thank You. So welcome everyone to this Festival of Knowledge and most importantly we have come here to learn, we have come here to grow, to feel, to understand and it's not easy, it's not easy because something has to get processed, something has to make sense but there is an easiness, easiness in life that has to be explored that has to be understood and when we can begin the process of that discovery, when we can allow ourselves so that the process can unfold within us then something starts to make sense, then something starts to take place in our lives. The way I see it there's a game and there's a lotta people in this world and they're playing a game and the innocent child arrives in this world and that child, he or she, is plugged into the game. Does the child, that the baby, there's the person wanna play the game? The is no option, everybody's playing the game and you have to play the game too. What is the game? It's a very different kind of game, in fact, last night we were talking about this game a little bit, a different perspective of it and there are people and they look at the magazines and they wanna look like the people in the magazines.
"Maharaji videos" usually have scenes of "beautiful people" premies. Back in 1989 it was rare to find old people so this older lady devotee was often pictured. As time has passed most premies are now around 60 (2010) so it's rare to find young people in the audience.
You know, the magazines go out, they hire these models, it's like if you have ever taken a look at some of these beautiful pictures that they have of food and it looks really incredible I mean just the golden colours and it it just looks so edible and that's the whole idea that the picture looks so edible that you feel like just jumping out and grabbing something and eating it but in real life all of that food is totally inedible. Why? Cause they use brown shoe polish to bring the golden hue about. They use tons of lights and filters and in the most cases the food isn't even cooked because the idea is to present the picture to you that you will like. Aah. Another way to explain this would be the man who had to go on a long journey at night so before he left home he took a picture of a candle burning and stuffed it in his pocket and left thinking that when he needs the light it would be such a simple process, he doesn't need lighters and he doesn't need matches and he doesn't need any of that, that all he would have to do is just pull out the picture and there's a picture of the candle burning and of course if there's a picture of the candle burning that means there should be light. But that's not true and in this game everyone is supposed to be s certain way and in this game everybody means something and in this game you are not just an individual you have a real role to play. You are going to do something in this game, you are a pawn and the the idea is that the better you play your part as the game dictates that you should, why the better off you are.
It's astonishing that Rawat should criticise magazines hiring "models" as he often poses as if he is a musically gifted, tall, debonair, handsome male model when he is actually short, obese, jowly and triple chinned with bad skin.
And it sounds so absurd, it sounds completely strange but that's the way it is and only if you can stop for a minute in your routine, in your life, in your ongoings and take not one but about 15 steps back cause it's like we're really into the heart of it and take those 15 steps back and start looking at it and saying "What's going on? What is going on? Who am I? What am I? This world did not create me yet somehow the world wants to put a little sign on my back saying, "Made in this World." "Made by this World." And I have to constantly convince this world, day and night, that I am playing their game, that I am doing my job, that I am participating in the game that they have given me to play. That yes I do wear clothes, that yes I do wear a shirt, that yes I do wear a tie, yes I wear shoes and the better I can do that the more I can convince this world that "Hey, I'm cool. I'm with you man, I'm with you. I'm here." And then once you get caught in the game you try really hard to play the game cause now the objective is to become really good but the push to become good doesn't come from the world, the push to become really good comes from somewhere else, in fact, inherently placed inside each human being and on the other hand I'm using everything I've got everything I've saved up and I'm playing to play a game but there's something else going on, there's something else going on that's so different and maybe I have a slightly different perspective the way I see it cause I feel so honoured and so privileged to be able to go and talk to these people, look at them in the face when you are talking to them, not just a video or an electronic medium, you cannot talk to a lens but these people and you look at them and you say here is a human being, a human being who has taken 2½ steps back of the 15, just 2½ and this human being has said to himself "I feel a thirst, I feel a thirst in my life and I want to be fulfilled.
It's simple, it's not complicated, it's such a simple statement. Life is so simple. Knowledge is so simple, the magic that Knowledge holds is so simple. Joy is so simple. Happiness is so simple. That feeling of being fulfilled is so simple. It's not complicated, it's not riddled with riddles. No big dilemmas. The thirst makes itself apparent. The problem? We don't even know what we are looking for. One time, I was relating this example a couple of days ago. I lost a watch, I lost it, looked for it, couldn't find it, so completely erased it from my head. I was sitting in the bedroom in Denver, a pencil fell behind the credenza, I reached out to get the pencil, pulled it out, out comes the watch. "Hey, I've found my watch. I wasn't even looking!" The problem sometimes is we don't even know what we have lost. How do you look for it? Only when somebody reminds you, only when you feel what all the other feelings for a moment are subdued and that thirst is allowed. Feel the thirst. Feel it. I know everybody wants to quench it but feel it, feel that thirst.
Do you realise what a magic it is, what a magic it is that you do feel the thirst? Don't you realise what a magic it is that the heart pounds and cries out that I want to be fulfilled. Listen to yourself for once. Yourself. Yes yourself. You have a lot to tell your own self. Your own self. There has been somebody within you crying out for a very long time. Saying things to you that you prob probably thought somebody was saying in another language and therefore it's not for you but it has been for you it was meant for you so start to listen to it, start to accept, start to learn that language. And there will be a difference, that's what Knowledge is all about. Knowledge makes a difference. So we have a couple more days ahead of us and what are we gonna do?
We're gonna come together and we're gonna talk about Knowledge, we're gonna talk about this life and we're gonna talk hopefully about how thankful we all are. Why? Because that feels so good, that's why. (clapping) You know I suppose that dead people could try to talk about life but they would have a really hard time. Living people, don't you realise what the most important thing. Life! (frenzied) So what makes more sense than the living people coming together and talking about a living experience brought to them by a living teacher through the living Knowledge.
Morning Address … December 9
But the inner learning, very different, backwards. First you don't know anything about it, then you start to understand, not that you know, you just start to understand and the first thing that you understand is how little you know. No pence and the teacher no certificates. "You're right" the teacher days, "it's a long ways." No graduation ceremony, it'll take a whole lifetime. Drag. (laughter) "Give it to me now. I want it now. Hey, please. I put in my 20 days, you know. You don't think I'll pass" Pass? You will pass away. (laughter) But you still won't get a certificate. You still won't get a pat on your back, you've done good, no. And every day and here's the fearful thing, every day you learn just a little bit more you realise how little you know and every time you learn a little bit more how you realise how little you know and that's it it's like backwards process. And when do you begin to feel good? I mean after a little while you get addicted to this not knowing stuff and then you really start to get happy when you realise you really don't know anything. I mean, it's like completely backwards. (scattered applause) When the process of inner learning is such that it is surrounded by uncertainty and when the process is such that in the uncertainty there is pleasure and joy and in the uncertainty there is hope then the kind of tool you need to survive through that, to come out on the other side, is trust and that's why that creator in this incredible beautiful loving wisdom gave you the tool called trust. When everything gets dark, trust is that little light that comes on and illuminates that path for those people who have very little to go on and you realise that there is very little to go on.
Hope. What do we use hope for? We use hope that our Christmas gift will arrive before Christmas. That our ordered gift from the catalogue will actually make it. What do we use hope for? That the present or the gift that we bought, you know, the person whoever we bought it for will like it I hope. But hope and it takes time in life to start understanding this for those people who have to go out in an uncharted sea, an uncharted ocean and no past wisdom may be brought. No charts, just feel. And a hope that that living teacher, living Master brings. A soothing feeling, it's okay, it's okay. Many have sailed and many have made it. Remember trust, be aware, and although this is a complicated path, although it's a very uncertain path you'll make it and that's hope, that somebody brings into your life and fills it and illuminates it and you begin to love even that feeling. You begin to sit down, you begin to relax in a very different place.
I do not know what tomorrow will bring. The question I need to ask myself "What do I have for tomorrow, not what tomorrow has for me." What have I saved up from today. There'll be days when what the Master is trying to tell you will not make sense, there'll be days and you'll say "Gees, I wonder what he means." And you will need hope and you will need trust. These are the qualifications of an aspirant. Who is an aspirant? A person who wants that experience in his or her life period. So, we are all aspirants, all of us aspiring to go deeper and deeper and deeper, fill ourselves more and more and more as much can be.
And that's Knowledge. A gift, a gift given to those who come, who ask with their sincerity, with love, with reverence, with affection, with commitment, with gratitude, who ask "Give me, show me, reveal to me the way to fill my thirst. I am ready. What do people say? "Well that'll take too much time. I don't have time." Please, you know, you should sit down, you should practice, "I don't have time." What've you got time for? "We-e-e-ll" What you got the time for? Things that you don't really even want to do. You have time for those.
I mean just think of it. Most of us work to make somebody else rich. Not even ourselves. Somebody else. Loyalty. Imagine God standing up in heavens above just imagine this and there you are sitting down on a cushy, soft cloud, kneeling probably, unless they're sitting down. Slight arrogance sitting down. Here comes God, you look up "Hello, how are you?" "Have, fine thank you." If you're slightly philosophical, "You already know." "How would you like to go and spend some time on planet Earth?" "I would like that thank you." "What will you do down there?" "If I sent you to my beautiful creation, Earth, what will you do?" "Type." (shrieks of laughter) Get stuck in traffic jams, work for somebody else, do things I don't want to do. Is that what your answer would be to God? And to me it's just like it can't be and nothing has changed, here you are and every day you are being asked, you know, haha it's really amazing, nobody even even has to ask you this question, you know the little voice inside it does the job just fine the little voice comes up "What are you doing?"
It's so cute I mean it's such a nice system the way it works "What are you doing? Is that what you wanna do for the rest of your life?" "Uh huh. Hey man, it took me a long time to learn how to type and now that I can type that's what I wanna do." And can't you just see your statue in the city centre, there you are, this magnificent dress blowing in the wind, carved out of beautiful marble with a typewriter in front, all made out of marble and you proudly sitting there, the human being and so it's all there, it's all there. A teacher does not create Knowledge, a teacher does not create the necessity, a teacher simply uncovers the stuff that's already in there. A teacher doesn't has to ask you a question, the question is already there, all the teacher does is just brushes it, says "Here, here's a question you forgot to read. You didn't find this one, did you and it's the one that says, what are you up to?
Song (with montage) probably titled "Your Love Comes Through" by la Chanteuse Inconnue
You've been searching for me
I've been searching for you
We've been searching for love, a feeling so free
Sometimes it's been close, sometimes far away
Sometimes it's been rough, feeling so gray
Sometimes you are ??? I beg you to stay
Sometimes feeling ain't right and I need to pray
But your love comes through
and pulls me away
In the love where you are,
in the light that you shine
I can hold you close,
I can call you mine
Sometimes when it gets dark
and the sun still shines
Sometimes gloom's all around
and there is no time
Sometimes tears ??
and the line is not so bright
Sometimes I seem so closed
I see no way out
Sometimes I wonder why I see no reason or rhyme
Sometimes I can't hear your voice, no bell or chime
Sometimes I forget what a true love is mine
Sometimes I can't see you want to set me free
There's only one thing I can say, it only gets better. (applause) and I know that there'll be a program in 1990 and you will know that it's the best and even after having walked away from the best program ever to be able to turn around and say "It only gets better" (applause) and it does, it really, really, really, really does get better (applause) so Rejoice, Rejoice that you're alive, be happy that you're alive, Rejoice that you have Knowledge, Rejoice that you're interested in Knowledge, Rejoice that you are an aspirant and Rejoice that you have heard some words that may inspire you to remain an aspirant for the rest of your life (scattered clapping) and Rejoice someone really does care I mean there are times it really doesn't seem like it and I know it's very hard to even in those darkest of times remember this one and I know you'll forget but you know, habit, maybe one day you'll remember it that it really it's okay someone does care through thick and thin it all takes place and that's the way it's been going for a very, very, very long time and pray that in your life you have that wissdom that you will continue to witness and continue to see and make that effort towards feeling that joy and rejoicing for the rest of your life. So, take care, be thankful and enjoy yourselves. Thank you very much. I hope I'll see you in the 90's.
Song by Geoff Bridgford
Please don't go
How you want me to be
The world seems angry ??
The smile on your lips my friend
That's such a pose
The smile on your lips my friend
It's such a surprise
The smile on your lips
that's what I need to see
The smile on your lips
that's where we want to be