Passages: A Master's Journey - Transcript Part 2
Maharaji gave his first public address in the West at the Conway Hall in London on the 19th June. He also spoke at a large rock festival at Glastonbury in the
south-west of England.
Despite the premie hype, the appearance at Glastonbury was a fiasco. The hippies decidely rejected Rawat.
"Because I have got that Knowledge, I have got that Knowledge, I have got that thing and I can say you all that I can help mankind and everybody of you by giving that Knowledge."
Note how Professor Ron Geaves is ever prayerful around his God and Perfect Master
"In the house that he lived in in North London, you know, the the living room every day the living room would be absolutely packed with people and he would come down every day and talk to everybody in the living room and then if there were too many people for the living room and it was a sunny day out in the back garden and hundreds of, two hundred people out in this small back backyard uh all listening to him. - Peter Lee
"I have wonderful images of that time. I I mean, in the morning cause everyone would sort of be gettin' up and goin' off to work and and there was one bathroom in the house and we'd all be queuing up there sort of about 15 people, boys and girls, sort of queuin' up for the bathroom and Maharaji would just come in in his boxer shorts and you know his his soapbox and you know soap bag and he would just come and he would just join the end of the queue (snigger) and you know he and he wouldn't say a word you know and and suddenly people would suddenly sort of realise, you know that Maharaji was at the end of the queue and ??? turn arounda and he'd be there and you'd sort of offer him up "Oh come on Maharaji, you can go in the bathroom next." You know eergh it's just a very different image I think than what some people have who don't know him." - Professor Ron Geaves
"Maharaji often mentions that very first day when he went into the living room of that house and sat down and a small group of people stared at him and then he stared at them and nothing was said. I was there then but it was beautiful, in the end people started talking cause we were very shy, we never come across a Master before. I guess if somebody prhaps had got out some M & M's and said "Maharaji, would you like some?" that would have broken the ice but we were (laughter) he would have like it but uh we weren't in that mode we were all spiritually evolved people so we thought, you know, and uh this was a Master so you don't hand a Master M & M's. That was our concept. So that was then, that was that uh that was the day when he arrived and of course he stayed therefor a month before he went to America on the 17th of July." - Glen Whittaker
"I heard that he was arriving in England and absolutely went insane. I started, I think in those days it was telexing or something or was it Western Union. I started sending Western Unions every day when he arrived in England "Please Maharaji, please come to America." - Joan Apter
(voiceover) So after 3 weeks, Maharaji was faced with a difficult decision, return to India as promised or travel on the the United States
"So much happened in those 3 weeks and I even wrote a letter to Mata Ji, I said "Even if you had sent all of your hundreds of Mahatmas, the could not have done as much as Maharaji has done already in 3 weeks. The whole country knew about him and then Mata ji and premies started calling from India to come back. From the other side in America, Joan Apter and others other premies started begging him to come to America, "Please, please come before you return to India." So Maharaji was going back and forth and then one day after the conversation with people in India he said to me "What do you think? What are your feelings?" I said "Maharaji, I was there when there was a conversation between you and Mata Ji and you said you did not want to waste your time in the school. So if you go back to India Mata Ji is going to send you to school (laughs) and uh so my feeling is "Let's go to America." And he said "That sounds good." And we flew to America." - Mahatma Gurucharananand
"From London uh New York stopover then he gets um a connection and flies to LA. We meet him at the
airport and we have a press conference for him at the airport. We drive him to where he's staying and we have another press conference at the residence. He says goodbye to everybody and goes to his room and he says "Ah, you
know, that's it, you know I've been travelling fer a zillion hours and I'm going to bed" and he closes the door and Gary and I are sitting outside his bedroom door going "I wonder how we're going to break it to him that we
have a program scheduled for him tonight." And we were outside the door pondering how to break this to him when he opens up the door and says "You wanted to tell me something." "You know well Maharaji we sorta scheduled
this program for you and my mother's there and all the premies you know and "urghh urghh" putting it to him and he graciously accepted and he went and he said you know "I should be sleeping", however he gave a beautiful
first program it was absolutely marvellous." - Joan Apter
The very brief clip we have shows it was anything but marvellous.
Joan Apter introduces His first U.S. satsang
"So tonight, Guru Maharaj Ji has come just because there are so many people here and because we had forgotten how tired he would be and arranged for him a program but uh please keep in your mind that uh he would like to speak to you just a short time tonight."
"Ladies and gentlemen, though we have for this human body but we have to even realise why that Supreme Being, that Lard has given us this human frame."
(voiceover) Maharaji was invited to speak at events all over the United States, everywhere there were people eager to hear what he had to offer
"Even from the first in Los Angeles you can't imagine, every single hall was overfilled, people were dripping from the rafters." - Joan Apter
I wanted a teacher, I had come from a background of possibly you might say being an atheist or an agnostic and I started coming across some poems and readings that had it seemed obvious that that that there there had been people in this world who actually had a divine experience. - John Hampton
"I was on the lookout for him to, you know, tell me something that didn't feel right but he never did and so it wasn't really an issue of trust it was just from the very beginning, listening to him, captured my heart."
Linda Pascotto, President of The Prem Rawat Foundation
It certainly wasn't the Knowledge as for the first 15 or more years of her devotion to Rawat Ms Pascotto she was unable to meditate.
Basically because I didn't know how to tell if he was real or not real I asked him, I said "How can I really know by what authority you say what you say." Because he spoke so matter of factly about the truth, about Knowledge, about the possibility of knowing and he said uh I remember asking him, I said when I was in the Navy the guy who had the authority could say which way to steer the ship, he had 4 stripes and if the guy with 3 stripes told you what to do you wouldn't do it, you wouldn't steer the ship that way, just the guy with 4 stripes and he just laughed, he said "It's a little more difficult, I don't wear stripes" and he laughed, for actually quite a while and then he uh he said "But here's what you can do" I remember this almost word for word, he said "You can listen to what I have to say about this Knowledge, you can listen to what others who have received this Knowledge have to say about it and after listening to them you feel in your heart it's something that you want then ask me for it and I'll give it to you. If after receiving it you find that it satisfies the deepest longing in your heart then you will know what I gave you was pure water." Then he said "And if on the other hand it doesn't satisfy the deepest longing in your heart then you will know that what I gave you was not pure water or that you were not really thirsty." So my little brain went click, click click and I said "Wow, the whole thing about who he is, whether I can trust him or not depends on one thing, what happens to the longing in my heart and only I could be the judge of that."
Sound track: Rita Coolidge singing: "Your love is lifting me higher than I've ever before, So keep it up …."
"I remember Charanand asked us to go talk to the Prime Minister of Canada so off we went, no question, and actually spoke to him, and he was uh you know simply told him that uh we had met Maharaji and he had given us this gift and we thought it was worth sharing with the Canadian people and uh he was very open, he'd just come from India himself. So, yeah, talked a little bit about, you know, teachers that he'd met in in India and uh I I did hear that many years later he actually did go to an event." - Janet Wallace
If he did actually attend a speech by Rawat then Trudeau obviously wasn't impressed.
"I mean sometimes I think if I hadn't seen that poster, if I hadn't been at that book store and seen that poster would I have had a chance to hear him speak because I was living up in Montana and then Wyoming and I was very isolated so I just appreciate that somebody hung that poster up for me." - Linda Pascotto
(voiceover) While he was in America Maharaji was still under pressure from his family to return to India and resume his education but he was convinced that he should continue what he had started in the West.
"He went to America and propagation started happening so fast and he would uh just call Mata Ji and tell her what was happening there." - Mahatma Gurucharanand
"And I remember conversations with his mother on the other end of the phone and although I didn't understand Hindi, I
mean it was easy to get the gist of it, that she wasn't too happy that he wasn't coming back and he was, I got the feeling you know, that he realised this was something that he wanted to do and he needed to do and it was important for him to do and he was courageous I think, you know, to to go against that because um I'm sure it wasn't easy for him. He
would have liked to have had his mother and his family say "Oh great, you know, oh wonderful, we've got, we support you, we're behind you, do what you have to do."
Why wouldn't a 14 year old teenage boy want to stay in the West surrounded by hippies who encouraged and paid for him to do anything he might like rather than go back to a strict Indian mother? He was soon driving Rolls-Royces and fast sports cars, eating meat, getting drunk and stoned and within a year or so had a blonde mistress. These were definitely things he wanted to do. He was also infamous for not turning up at publicised speeches or gatherings of his followers and for his spending on cars, boats, houses and planes. and for having an ulcer at 15.
These unusual events inevitably started to attract media attention. The boy guru was big news.
"Some of the interviews that Maharaji did were, I found, amazing. The way he answered the questions and he wasn't intimidated at all by anyone or or by being interviewed on a top American television show or by the BBC." - Sandy Collier
"I guess in the beginning we used to think that the press would be helpful but you know as you get umm more experienced with the the press you realise that they're they're not so friendly, they they're always wanting an angle."
And they certainly didn't have to look very hard to find the "angle". Guru Maharaj Ji, the Perfect Master, the only person alive on the planet able to reveal the Knowledge of God and teach perfectness in the body of a pudgy 13 year old luxury loving boy who speaks English very poorly and whose followers claim he's God (though he "humbly" brushes the question aside in public), kiss his feet, declare he's ushering in the Millenium and proclaim they would walk across America on their knees to kiss his foot. It was a no brainer, much like George.
"I mean they weren't looking to represent Maharaji's teachings, you know eumm and I mean they were looking for 13 year old umm umm Rolls Royce with flowers all over it uh that's what they were looking for in those sort of interviews."
The press reported Rawat (Maharaji) quite accurately. He came to the West claiming to be the incarnated Perfect Master who was here to bring peace to the world through the power of His Grace and his secret meditation techniques and they reported that. They also reported his followers' behaviour and claims about Him accurately. It is quite astonishing how polite they were to the young Rawat who was, after all, a ridiculous figure, plump, pompous and supposedly divine.
(voiceover) In November, just 5 months after his original departure Maharaji decided to go back to India to speak at an event being held in celebration of the birth of of his father. He invited the Westerners to go with him.
Maharaji made the invitation. He said I'm going to be doing a program in India and everyone's invited to go and uh next thing you know we had, I don't remember 8 jumbo jets between United States and England and Maharaji went back and did a fantastic program and many, many people got a chance to uh spend time with Maharaji in Prem Nagar, changed their lives. - Joan Apter
And then he returned to India after a few months being in the West. There was a red carpet reception, even from Indian government, they were so impressed because he returned with a 747 full which we chartered and everyone was so impressed that at such an age he has done a remarkable thing. - Mahatma Gurucharananad
The um Indian premies were just so so joyous to have Maharaji back and there certainly wasn't any taking it for granted, an more that he was going to stay in India. There was a real recognition that Maharaji was for the world and that we could no longer claim him as the property of any country. - Joan Apter
(soundtrack: Weeping In My Joy by One Foundation) Maharaji began to receive invitations to speak from many different parts of the world. During the following year he was to visit Germany, Switzerland, Kenya, South Africa, Japan and Australia. Everywhere he went he and his message met with a warm reception. The size of his events was getting bigger and bigger.
Actually everywhere he went he met with derision except for a tiny majority of receptive hippies and ex-hippies. The size of his audiences grew rapidly from six people until 1973 when the Millenium '73 festival, "the most Holy and significant event in human history" (as Rawat wrote in his invitation letter) showed there were less than 15,000 Western premies. Outside of India crowds around 20,000 gathered on a few occasions in the late 70's and in the late 90's around 10,000 gathered a couple of times. In India, he lost virtually all of his followers to his eldest brother and never again has he come close to getting an audience of 1 million people as he did in 1971.
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