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Spiritual Predator: Prem Rawat AKA Maharaji

By Henry See

I think that everyone will agree that we live in a violent and troubled world. No matter which way we look, we don't see any real security be it for our jobs, our homes, our children, for the environment, and especially for those in the far reaches of the empire whose vulnerability is used shamelessly to maintain our standard of living by those who claim to represent us. When you come face to face with the fact that now, when we are said to be at the height of civilization, blessed with amazing technology, the fact that we are less secure than ever in our recorded history tells us that something is terribly, terribly wrong. If this picture seems too bleak, you haven't been paying attention.

How did we get in this situation?

Because of lies.

We are lied to by our governments and leaders, by our schools, by our families and our friends. While some of these lies are conscious, others are the mere repetition of lies passed down from others, lies that everyone accepts and believes simply because everyone else appears to accept and believe them. But a lie is a lie, and they are no less dangerous for being unconscious or accepted out of naiveté or trust in the wrong person.

It is difficult to maintain a level head and an untroubled heart in such a world. Our dire situation speaks to us deeply and indirectly through the gap – truly a chasm - that separates what we are taught to believe is best and most noble in Man, and what we see, live, and experience in real life, be it at work, in the home or in what is forced on our sense by the media.

Most of us know that something is very, very wrong.

But, what to do?

The infection of lies and deceptions propagated by those who wish to climb to the top or stay there has seeped into the most intimate corners of our lives, beginning in infancy and childhood when we enter the world and discover that those who are supposed to be our caregivers are already infected by the disease. From alcoholism to various forms of psychological abuse; from psychopathy to covert forms of narcissism; our basic modes of thinking and living are the stuff of a pernicious disease that keeps us separated from our true selves. We learn to lose ourselves in the needs and demands of those who are infected, defining our self-worth through the eyes of first our parents, then our peers, and finally, our society – all of them often damaged more than they know, and certainly more than any infant or child can know.

But we do know, on some level, that our most basic needs for honesty and true caring are not being met.

And so some of us begin what may be a lifelong quest in search of the answers, a search that can only lead us back to ourselves and the ancient adage "Know Thyself". But knowledge of self, if it is not matched by knowledge of the world "out there", feeds a subjective vision and interpretation of the world, limited by our experiences, our routines, our illusions, our prejudices, and our social conditioning. To escape, to find the way out from this sea of suffering, one needs to see the world as it is, without any blinders. Unfortunately, knowing that certain members of the flock will always attempt an escape, those at the top who benefit from our ignorance, the evil shepherds, knowledge of whom forms part of this necessary knowledge of "out there", have erected many fences that must each be broken through on the way out. We are caught in a labyrinth, where paths that appear to lead towards the exit will double back at the last moment and leave us even more deeply entrapped; where teachers who claim to know the way out will leave us even more lost in illusion because we think we are seeing clearly when all we see is our own subjectivity enshrined as Truth.

Some of these teachers are sincere, being themselves deluded. Others are truly spiritual predators feeding off of the thirst for truth and knowledge of their followers. Whether sincere or conscious predators, they serve the same purpose, keeping the flock hypnotised and imprisoned.

The specific traps we will analyse here are: 1) that of Inner Peace, the belief that all that is necessary is to find a quiet spot inside from which to get the strength necessary to confront the sufferings of the world; 2) the notion that we need to live in the Present, that this moment is the only moment, and we must take full advantage of it; 3) the idea that Knowledge comes uniquely through the Heart, that it is an emotional certitude, a killing of doubt.

This pernicious idea of Inner Peace as presented by many teachers ensures that people who have started to ask questions, who are drained by the horrors and suffering of the world, and of their own lives, will continue to feed those predators around them by developing an ability to tap into a hidden source of energy or bliss. A fixation on the Present – in the particular context of limitation to "right now" - blinds us to our past experience and the application of our lessons to the current moment and the consequences in the future. Knowledge defined as emotional certitude, freezes us in ourselves, locking us away from those people who may be able to see us more clearly than we can see ourselves, thereby closing off any hope of escape.

Any or all of these teachings can be accompanied by techniques designed to produce an altered state in the seeker, a state of altered consciousness that triggers certain neurochemicals that "feel like" bliss and this then serves to reinforce the idea that the teaching is "good" and "real", the end all and be all, and that the teacher is someone special for having provided the key. In the most dangerous cases, the guru or master is credited with "giving" this state to the devotee, creating a strong and sinister psychological link between the two, a link impervious to logic, reason, and clear thinking.

We will use as an example that international jet setting guru – Prem Rawat - who calls himself Maharaji, a spiritual predator who has fed off of the innocence, ignorance and gullibility of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people for over thirty years, rewarding himself for his clever duplicity with a lavish lifestyle.

But first, let us take a brief look at the objective state of things in our world to see what we are up against and to better understand, later, why these teachings are so dangerous. Needless to say, the following is not included in the teachings of Prem Rawat or other spiritual predators.

The World

The goal of any esoteric work must be that of objectivity, first in our understanding of ourselves, and then, as our filters and programmes are dislodged, of the world. A true esoteric teaching will, therefore, not only focus on "Know Thyself", but will also provide knowledge about the reality of our reality. If one or the other of these aspects are missing from a teaching, then you can be certain that it is incomplete, and an incomplete teaching, even if through ignorance of the teacher, even if unconscious, is dangerous.

Regular readers of this site will be aware that we focus on several issues that we think are the core to developing an objective picture of what is really going on in our world. The most important of these topics are:

1. Hyperdimensional realities: Our reality is embedded in a complex system of realities where we are not the ultimate of God's creations; we are not at the top of the food chain. Our reality is controlled by denizens of higher reality, and the forces at work in that reality are not all good. These are the wellspring of energy behind the evil shepherds referred to above. Gurdjieff refers to them in the story of the Evil Magician cited by Ouspensky in In Search of the Miraculous:

"There is an Eastern tale which speaks about a very rich magician who had a great many sheep. But at the same time this magician was very mean. He did not want to hire shepherds, nor did he want to erect a fence about the pasture where his sheep were grazing. The sheep consequently often wandered into the forest, fell into ravines, and so on, and above all they ran away, for they knew that the magician wanted their flesh and skins and this they did not like.

"At last the magician found a remedy. He hypnotized his sheep and suggested to them first of all that they were immortal and that no harm was being done to them when they were skinned, that, on the contrary, it would be very good for them and even pleasant; secondly he suggested that the magician was a good master who loved his flock so much that he was ready to do anything in the world for them; and in the third place he suggested to them that if anything at all were going to happen to them it was not going to happen just then, at any rate not that day, and therefore they had no need to think about it. Further the magician suggested to his sheep that they were not sheep at all; to some of them he suggested that they were lions, to others that they were eagles, to others that they were men, and to others that they were magicians.

"And after this all his cares and worries about the sheep came to an end. They never ran away again but quietly awaited the time when the magician would require their flesh and skins.

"This tale is a very good illustration of man's position." [p. 226]

As an aside, it is also a very good illustration of the relationship of Maharaji's students vis a vis their "Master".

2. That all six billion people on the planet are not the same; there are fundamental differences that are genetic and esoteric. But these differences have nothing to do with those cited throughout history and used to justify the domination of one group over another: colour, culture, language, wealth or social status. The real differences, the fundamental differences upon which the secret history of the world is based, have to do with conscience. Whether we like to admit it or not, there are those who have no conscience, the psychopath, man's main predator, but a predator that looks exactly like its prey, the predators that move invisibly throughout society feeding off of the weak and ignorant. In the case of psychopaths, for too long we have all lived in ignorance because this oh, so clever predator has worked very hard to make sure that we are not even aware of his existence and his wiles and ways of attack.

The second difference is between that group of humans we call organic portals and those humans who have the possibility of creating a permanent link with their real 'I', their higher selves; human beings with an esoteric organ called "conscience". Furthermore, because the psychopaths have power and have established their own vision of the world as the standard, everyone else on the planet is to some extent or another infected and serves to propagate, justify, and perpetuate the pathological system, one which we have called the Pathocracy, after the work of Andrew Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology.

For a good introduction to these ideas, we invite the reader to look at the following topics on the Signs of the Times Forum, where these issues are discussed in depth.

3. That our planet passes through periodic catastrophes, known in legends variously as the Great Deluge, the Flood of Noah, or the Fall of Atlantis. Our research indicates that we are entering such a period of catastrophe, one that may even make the legendary Fall of Atlantis pale in comparison. The recent find of a meteor crater under the ice in the Antarctic, a crater some 300 miles in diameter and now being given as the cause of the great extinction 250 million years ago, may be an indication of what we can expect.

Obviously, this is the most summary of outlines of the knowledge necessary to see the world as it really is. We present it to give the reader an idea of the complexity of our reality and the type of knowledge that any esoteric school or Tradition must include if it is to give a complete picture of our situation.

We have observed that so-called esoteric teachings that promote primarily ideas of Inner Peace, living in the Present, and "Heart Knowledge" (i.e. certitude of inner subjective feeling) do not deal with these issues. The significance of this should become apparent as we proceed. Suffice it to say for now that any teaching that goes no further than helping people find "strength to endure the suffering of life", without describing for them accurately and objectively the real conditions that are the basis of that life, and the real possibilities of interacting with life based on Truth will simply keep its followers in a constant state of readiness to feed man's natural predators, often willingly at that, in the misguided belief that such giving is the highest manifestation of Love. Such followers are little more than milk cows nourishing the predators of our world.

Prem Rawat (Maharaji) Spiritual Predator

The Lord of the Universe himself

You know some people don't like rich people. They have this idea or that idea of what it is to be rich. But they really don't know. It's not easy to be rich. It isn't. Once you've made your first million, you need another to protect it. Then you have two million, and you'll need another two million to protect those two million. Then you'll have four million and you'll need another four million to protect those four million, and then you'll have eight million. Of course then you'll need another 8 million to protect those eight million and then you'll have 16 million... it isn't easy, it's not what you think.

Maharaji speaking at Long Beach 1995

(Maharaji, will you still like me if I'm poor?)

With several mansions, a love of flying, from jets to helicopters, and an international organization setting up conferences around the world, including at the UN, Maharaji, or Prem Rawat as he prefers to be known in the West today, has an ostentatious lifestyle that would better fit in a book entitled "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" than a book designated for the library shelf marked "wisdom literature". Under the watchful eye of Maharaji, Inner Peace has been transformed into the short path to the American dream – for him, at least.

Hitting the West in 1971 as the self-proclaimed Lord of the Universe and Perfect Master at thirteen years old, Prem Rawat has cleverly repackaged himself as a motivational speaker, shedding the religious overtones that are too controversial in the West for the secular vernacular of inner peace that will allow you to "win friends and influence people".

In this discussion I intend to avoid utilizing any information about Prem Rawat's private life, other than the readily available (and easily confirmed) information about his mansions, his planes, and his helicopters. It is very easy for ex-members of any organisation to leave and, in a desire to get even, to invent stories or blow incidents out of proportion. There is ample evidence from the publicly available history and quotes from the teachings of the Perfect Master himself to expose Maharaji for the con-artist he is. Some critics are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he is sincere, that is, that he really believes his own PR that he is Lord of the Universe; after all, his teaching works for him! It may well be. Whether or not he is a conscious con-man or a delusional megalomaniac is not relevant. The final result is the same for the gullible and ignorant followers.

His History

The story of Guru Maharaj Ji, Lord of the Universe, later shortened to Maharaji, and, in more recent times, to his real name, Prem Rawat, as he made the shift from Deity to stress management salesman, is that of a boy who took four yoga techniques that were taught by many teachers in India, wrapped them up in a veil of secrecy to insure his marks felt that they were getting something really special, and then used the blissful experience (strictly neurolochemical) gained by practicing these techniques to tie his followers to him, convincing them that their experience was due to his personal ability to give what he calls "Knowledge" (the four techniques). That is the short version.

The long version tells us that Prem Rawat was the youngest son of an Indian teacher, Hans Ji Maharaj. Wikipedia fills in the details:

Prem Rawat was born in India where he attended the Catholic-run St. Joseph's Academy elementary school in Dehra Dun. He is the fourth and youngest son of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj and his second wife, Jagat Janani Mata Shri Rajeshwari Devi. At the age of three he began speaking about fulfillment, love and peace at his father's meetings. In these early days Prem Rawat was known both as Sant Ji and as Balyogeshwar. When he was six years old, his father taught him the techniques of Knowledge, including young Prem among his other students.

In 1966 at age eight Prem Rawat succeeded to the role of Satguru and leadership of the [Divine Light Mission] upon the death of his father which was unusual since it was not in accordance with Hindu tradition of primogeniture. His family told American reporters during the early 1970s that Shri Hans was away from home at the time of his death, and that shortly beforehand he had written a letter home to his family essentially naming Rawat as his successor.[1] There is a witness account by Shri Hans' personal driver that refers to Shri Hans' request that Prem succeed him and also reports that some of the family were discussing alternatives. His mother and eldest brother were meeting with senior mahatmas to discuss what to do, when Rawat walked on stage to comfort the grieving crowd. Speaking much like his father, he assured them that the master would always be with them and that he would continue his father's work. His succession was generally accepted when the crowd responded to him as their teacher. Afterwards, his mother and brothers came on stage to pay their respects to him.

Prem Rawat remained in India for five more years, continuing to offer the Knowledge [the four yoga techniques] his father had championed.

In the late 1960s a small number of young western seekers, many of them hippies, had come across Prem Rawat at his home in Dehra Dun. Several of them asked him to visit the West, where, they said, many young people would be interested in what he had to offer.

In October 1969 he sent a mahatma to London to begin teaching Knowledge [the four yoga techniques] on his behalf[2] and in 1970 many of his new western followers traveled to India to see and hear him and were present when he announced at a gathering at India Gate in Delhi that he was ready to begin the task of bringing peace to the world. This gathering of 1,000,000 people on 8 November, was reported to be one of the largest ever in the history of New Delhi and was the culmination of an 18-mile long procession.

According to the Dutch religious scholar and minister Reender Kranenborg, this speech called "the 'Peace Bomb' marked the start of the Maharaji's mission to the West".

The trip to the West in 1971 was the big break for the young guru. He founded the Divine Light Mission in the US, Canada, the UK and elsewhere, and within several years, there were tens of thousands of devotees practicing the four techniques that lead to the "Knowledge", as the Divine Master called it.

A million dollar bash at the Houston Astrodome in November 1973 failed in its attempt to levitate the stadium, however it did demonstrate that the boy guru was able to raise serious amounts of money within a short time of arriving in the West. Moreover, he must have had friends in high places in our, oh, so, material world.

According to Wikipedia:

In the 70s Rawat spoke in more than 20 countries and received the keys to the cities of New York, New Orleans, Monterey, Oakland, Detroit, Miami, and Macon in the United States, and Kyoto, in Japan.

Not too shabby for a teenager who had arrived in the UK in 1971, according to his own account, with only 25£ in his pocket. It does, however, open the door to a lot of questions. What other teacher of enlightenment has received the keys to so many cities, and what does that say about his relationship with the folks that hold those keys? And what has this enlightenment that he "brought" to the West done for America? Remember Iraq? Afghanistan? Central America? Grenada? Iran Contra? CIA, NSA, George Bush and so on? In short, you can know them by their fruits.

A split occurred with his family in India in 1974 when he married an American airline stewardess. The boy guru, he was still only 17, took over the Western part of the family business while his brother took over, under his mother's watchful eye, the business back home in India. By then, the tiny, perfect master was ensconced in a palatial home Malibu, evincing a love of wealth that has never left him.

The website picks up the story

By 1974, Prem Rawat was living in a luxury property, at Malibu Beach, California, this mansion was apparently in the ownership of DLM Inc. although following the financial restructuring of 1975/6 it came to be owned by SEVA Corporation of America. In the same year, at the age of 16, Rawat married an airline stewardess from San Diego named Marolyn Johnson. As a result of this marriage there was a second family schism and Prem Rawat was denounced by his mother and two older brothers. The eldest brother, Bal Bhagwan Ji, now (Satpal Maharaj), after being ceremonially crowned by his mother, set himself up as the 'true' Guru Maharaji and rightful inheritor of the mantle of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, the Rawat brothers' late father.

In 1975/6 the relationship between Prem Rawat and the US Divine Light Mission was radically altered with consequences for the movement world wide. In response to an impending IRS audit of DLM, which was registered as a tax exempt church, considerable assets held by the church were transferred to Rawat's personal possession. Additionally Rawat ceased to be named as having any personal interest in the US Divine Light Mission.

Although no published figures exist, at some point in the mid 1970s the number of new followers ceased to grow and the numbers leaving the movement increased. The source of this disaffection is not well established however a progressive disenchantment with both Prem Rawat and the Divine Light Mission organization seems to have played a role.

Following the legal changes which saw Prem Rawat gain control of substantial personal wealth, in 1977 he embarked on a reassertion of his role as Guru, restating the importance of devotion to the 'teacher' in the Hindu Bhakti tradition. As part of this restatement of devotion, the ashram system was reinvigorated after a period of apparent decline, a more restrictive set of rules were imposed and all of Rawat's followers were subject to stronger encouragement to enter the ashram system.

The DECA project, begun in 1979 was set up to provide Prem Rawat with a customized Boeing 707 for his personal use.  As an adjunct to the ashram system, DECA was reliant on unpaid labour and donated funds; the business model that developed within DECA served as the basis for subsequent projects designed to benefit Prem Rawat.

In 1982 without prior warning, Prem Rawat announced that the Divine Light Mission ashrams would close, the abruptness of the announcement was matched by the rapidity of the closure programme which was complete by the end of 1983. This period was marked by a sense of crisis in the wider movement, a reflection of the ongoing difficulties Rawat was experiencing in his personal life. The DUO ashrams in India were treated separately and remain to this day as largely monastic in character.

Speculation is that the ashrams had to go following the media fearfest about cults after the Jim Jones mass murder in 1978. It is not hard to see in the focus on devotion to the teacher, in the practice of darshan (lining up to kiss the feet of the guru), and in the claims to divinity, that an important part of Maharaji's message was the establishment of the cult of the personality, a policy that was obviously directed from the top. It wasn't the feet of those of the inner circle that were kissed; it was the "Master's". It was not, as his apologists would have us believe, merely the result of the enthusiasm of over-zealous disciples.

Those who defend the Maharaji argue that he closed the ashrams because in his great wisdom, he saw that the experiment wasn't working, that it was fixing in place exactly those aspects that the Divine One himself was trying to root out: mindless devotion to the "Master". It was also reported that the practice of darshan was dispensed with. However, reports from the last six or seven years indicate that this ritual is still practiced, well after the change of orientation from religious figure to corporate motivational speaker, though only out of the eyes of the media.

Kissing Maharaji's Feet

Guru Maharaj Ji (Prem Rawat) giving darshan, a ritual where devotees line up to kiss his feet. He seems to be enjoying it.

Can you come up with a good reason why anyone should be asked to kiss the feet of anyone else, much less those of a supposed spiritual teacher? What is the message of such a demeaning act? While I'm not going Bible thumper on the reader here, I would like to mention the example set by Jesus where HE washed the feet of his disciples.  See the difference?

The eighties saw the closing of the Divine Light Mission and the opening of his new front, Elan Vital, with a slick corporate veneer. The shift saw an attempt on the part of Elan Vital to destroy not only the old image of the former Lord of the Universe, but also the documentary evidence. Fortunately, former premies have made this material available on the Internet. Today Prem Rawat has taken on the trappings of the successful motivational speaker, appearing at international conferences and carefully crafted appearances before the faithful and the curious to bring his message.

The public message of Elan Vital removed the religious overtones and focused on a secular message of "Inner Peace" through the practice of the Four Techniques. The use of others to pass on the teaching of the four techniques was eliminated, and now the guru himself does all of the explaining to new students either in person or via the wonders of multimedia. We'll look at the possible reasons behind such a move further on.

At this point, we want to let the Lord of the Universe speak for himself. Although many of these quotes date from early in this charlatan's career, and his faithful apologists try to explain them away as either out of context or the mistakes of youth, I think these quotes well establish the foundations upon which the subsequent career of this man has been built. According to those who have followed that career closely, he has never retracted these statements, never taken responsibility for them, preferring to place the blame on those around him — the typical behaviour of the psychopath. It is never the psychopath's fault; someone else always is to blame.

To my mind, any one of these quotes is enough to rip the veil off of his teaching and reveal it for the fraud it is. The entire collection taken together cannot be explained away. Read them and judge for yourself. Judgement is, of course, another of those mental faculties Prem Rawar discourages. Coincidence? We think not.

Quotes from Maharaji

Place the reins of your life in my hands, and I will relieve you of your suffering... I possess such a Knowledge that with it I can control the whole world, from ants to elephants, from men to animals, from birds to mosquitoes.

If you do not obey what Maharaj Ji says, what is the use of your living in this world? Rather you should die of shame!

Has there been such a king before? Krishna was not such a king. Rama was not such a king. There were lesser powers in Rama, there were lesser powers in Krishna, but I have come to the world with full powers.

That peace which disappeared shall prevail again. It will come, and once again the world will understand. So listen to me and act accordingly. Bow down before Guru Maharaj Ji!

You should sacrifice every drop of blood for Guru Maharaj Ji... Obey my command, or else you will be drowned.

Prem Rawat (then known as Guru Maharaji)

'Peace Bomb' address, India Gate, Delhi, 1970 (Note: He was twelve years old!)

You want to be fulfilled? Without the Master, you cannot be fulfilled. Why am I saying 'Master' instead of 'Knowledge'? Because without the Master, you can't have Knowledge. Without the Master, Knowledge makes no sense whatsoever.

Prem Rawat Oct 17, 2000

You have to get rid of it all, and surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji.  And to be able to come together, and really not enjoy ourselves, but to enjoy Guru Maharaj Ji.  To take in the satsang [discourses] to take in that pleasure of being together, and still being one with Guru Maharaj Ji.  So the whole thing is, let's get rid of that concept maker.

Guru Maharaj Ji - Malibu, June 11th, 1978

Because I've seen just the way the mind works.  And I've seen it in a lot of people.  They're there and everything is working okay for them.  Everything is working just fine for them. And all of a sudden the mind comes in and says, "Do you understand what's going on?"  Because if you don't you should try harder.

Do you really, do you really feel Guru Maharaj Ji in your life?  Because anything that you feel is not sufficient enough. You have to feel him more. Do you feel meditation in your life?  Any amount of meditation you do is not enough.

And it takes you through all this cobwebbing, all this weaving. And it just says, "No, this is not good enough." It's based on what satsang is, because that's the way satsang is given; that we can never do enough meditation, we can never do enough satsang, we can never have enough satsang.

Prem Rawat Holi Festival, Miami, Florida, Sunday, April 1978.

The greatest problem all around the world today, whether in America, Japan, China, Russia, India or anywhere else in the world, is that people are not in peace. People want peace. Today, if two people fight, the government is supposed to settle them down. But when governments fight, who is going to settle them down? The only one who can settle the governments down is the Perfect Master, the incarnation of God Himself, who comes to Earth to save mankind.

Guru Maharaj Ji Tokyo, Japan, October 3, 1972 (And it is Divine, July 1973)

Now just imagine, I have a following of six million people; and whatever I tell them, they are going to do that. And among those six million people there are millions of people who are criminals. They have murdered people, they have committed many crimes. They have been to jail and they know what it's like.  And if I tell them now they would do it. They would murder anyone off the street.  We could be hijacking planes and stealing cars off the roads, and killing people and doing other things. But we have realized that Knowledge, and so the whole movement is completely different.

Prem Rawat 1973 (then Guru Maharaj Ji)

Enough is enough. You guys are a bunch of disgusting assholes. This is how you operate. This is how you think. How can you be proud of this? Don't shake your head, you are part of it. You are part of the asshole equation. This is what you offer me. Every single time this is what I get. Do you like it?

Prem Rawat speaking to some selected followers. July 24th 1999.

This group of quotes spans three decades. There is a consistency of megalomania that is disturbing. At an early age, he preached that he was the Perfect Master, a being more powerful than Krishna and Rama. Thirty years later he writes that only a "Master" can bring "Knowledge", can bring you fulfilment. And, of course, there is no question as to who this master is!

It is not possible to explain away these quotes as "youthful enthusiasm" or mistakes because Prem Rawat has never offered a public apology or retraction of these statements. To the contrary, he puts the blame on his disciples, shifting responsibility from the teacher, who is supposed to know better, to the student who obviously doesn't. Certainly any being who is capable of controlling "the whole world, from ants to elephants, from men to animals, from birds to mosquitoes" should be able to control his own tongue and have an understanding of the consequences of the words he utters, for those consequences are intimately bound with his own karma, and as the Perfect Master come back to Earth to preach the truth, he should undoubtedly understand karma.

We will see below the process used to bring people to the point of accepting such nonsense, a process that carefully manipulates them through a series of emotional experiences that ends up by short-circuiting their ability to think clearly or critically about anything having to do with the Perfect Master.

But before looking at the indoctrination process, let us look, with the help of our still functioning critical faculties, the question of Prem Rawat's wealth.

His Wealth

It is no secret that Prem Rawat leads an ostentatious lifestyle with his fleet of expensive cars, his private jet, his helicopters and his mansions. One doesn't need to go further, to read or listen to the stories of those who were once close to him. None of those stories matter. There is enough evidence that Prem Rawat is a spiritual predator in the existence of this personal wealth alone.

The argument has been made that all of this wealth was accumulated through "gifts given out of love" to the master in gratitude for the gift, a gift beyond value, of "Knowledge". Moreover, it is said that one shouldn't refuse a gift given out of love.

This argument raises several questions. 

Does a guru need personal wealth? Is there a better way of spending this money? What does the accumulation of wealth say about his teachings and his application of his teachings in his own life? 

What of the gift-givers? Is a gift offered out of love always to be accepted? What if one is putting oneself into hardship through such a gift? Isn't the Master responsible for teaching the student that giving unwisely is wrong? 

These are but some of the questions that a consideration of Prem Rawat's wealth brings to mind. One would think that anyone who can think would have the same questions. That his followers attempt to justify this wealth away is one of the signs of the unnatural and unhealthy hold he has over them, of the way their reason has been short-circuited and by-passed on any question relating to their "Master". They are asleep. 

The Teachings and Wealth

Is it incompatible for a teacher to be wealthy? There are no recipes or easy answers. As we repeat often, there is good, there is evil, and there is the specific context that determines which is which. It is dangerous and lazy to throw around general principles regardless of the specific situation to which they are to be applied. That application demands knowledge of the situation. We note in passing, however, that none of the accounts of Jesus focus on his accumulation of wealth and that several passages talk about the early Christians living a rather Communist lifestyle with all their possessions "in common" and a common purse from which expenses for any of them were paid. Sakyamuni, the prince, renounced his riches to embark upon the path of self-knowledge that led to his Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. Once enlightened, as the Buddha, he didn't seem to find it very important to go back and reclaim his lost wealth. 

There are, however, religious teachings that promote the idea that individual wealth in an indication of God's favour. The wealthy fundamentalists backing George W. Bush tend to this view, as does the Book of Job. (Which also, by the way, discusses the terrible price Job paid for his success.) 

In the case of Prem Rawat, he arrived in the West with 25 pounds sterling in his pocket in 1971. Three years later he was living in a sumptuous mansion in Malibu. His only work at the time was his teaching. His wealth was obviously connected to his teaching and his relations with his followers who made him generous gifts. 

Obviously nobody really needs a bigger house than what is required for their daily activities: a place to sleep and eat; a place to keep the things they need for their major activities, i.e. work, hobbies, etc.; a place to meet with and enjoy the company of their friends; perhaps a place to work if they do not work outside the home.  In other words, it's hard to justify a 28,000 sq foot house for a single family (not to mention more than one such home).  Then, there are the cars, the aircraft, the yachts. Certainly, many people think that they need more and more "stuff" even if it is totally impossible for them to use that "stuff" on a regular basis thus showing that they don't really need it. It seems that the need many humans feel for material possessions is carefully drilled into them from a young age in order to perpetuate slavery to the consumer system.  

Maharaji argues that he is above all that, that he is capable of having all his toys without identifying with them, unlike the rest of us poor mortals. 

Nice rationalisation, isn't it? "Hey, I'm above all of this stuff. They are just gifts of gratitude from people I have helped. So back off!" 

The boy god started off his mission to the West with the goal of establishing world peace and, according to him, he was the only one who could do it. So how does this vast personal wealth and obscenely opulent lifestyle fit in with his plan for world peace? It is hard to see how it does. Certainly, after thirty some years of his mission, the world is in worse shape now than it was then. Hundreds of thousands of people who have been introduced to his techniques have left the fold. Millions of dollars have been spent to house, clothe, feed, and shuttle the jet setting Master and his family and servants around the world to spread his message of Peace. When is the all-powerful going to deliver the goods? 

Money, Gifts and the Teacher-Student Relationship

What about the teacher-student relationship? Two arguments to justify the giving and acceptance of gifts are as follows: 1) that the gifts are given in love out of gratitude for having received from Maharaji a greater gift, "Knowledge"; 2) there are people at many different stages of development, and maybe it is necessary for them to make such gifts, even if it causes them hardship and suffering, because they have a particular lesson to learn. 

So, there you are, desperate seeker for something to ease the pain of existence. Along comes a funny guy in white robes who tells you that he alone controls the key to something you have locked inside of you. Then, following his secret instructions - instructions you have sworn to keep to yourself because if you, oh, pale mortal, should divulge them, they would emerge twisted and misshapen to such an extent that anyone following your directions would do serious damage to him or herself - you have an "experience". Poor, long-suffering individual that you are, this experience is far and away the most amazing rush you have ever had. Whoa! What a kick!

And you're grateful to His Holiness the Maharaji, Lord of the Universe, the Perfect Master, because you followed his instructions and he delivered big time. How do you repay such an act? You're overwhelmed. How can you ever pay him back?

So let's slow down those horses right here. Who says you owe him anything? Moreover, who says that He and He Alone put you in touch with yourself? Are you even certain that "getting in touch with yourself" is what happened? Of course, he is telling you that, and so are all of those around him who have already bought into the hook; and criminy! It did feel good so it must be what he says it is, right?

Maybe you aren't conscious that you want to "pay him back". No. You just want to "thank him". Well, isn't the first thing that comes to mind that the "Master" might need a new car or private jet? Or if you aren't a trust fund baby with access to Daddy's wealth, maybe just a $100 or $1000 cheque would do? And if you aren't rich enough to afford the cheque, then how about standing in line to kiss his feet?

Would the idea of giving an expensive car come from you? The idea of bestowing upon his Greatness a new jet? Or, is it just possible that you've been set up, that you have been trapped in a feeding mechanism, that you have been carefully manipulated into a situation where the soft sell is all you see until you have been hooked by "the experience"? Having been entrapped through a process that begins with a group feel-good experience to prime you, to get those chemicals flowing and tie them to the presence of you-know-who, and having been chosen to receive the "Knowledge" from the "Master" himself, you are then initiated into the secret teachings which in a certain number of devotees actually do trigger some sort of ecstatic experience, thus confirming His Specialness and your unique relationship to him — even if you have never met or exchanged words — you have been carefully nursed along into a state where you are ready to pay. And this is where the true character of the teacher and his teaching comes out. Rather than being asked to spread this knowledge freely to others, you are asked, or it is suggested, that a house, a boat, a plane, a car, or just a blank cheque would be humbly accepted.

Or, perhaps, you just wanted to give to the organisation so that it could spread the word and bring this indescribable experience to others. Maybe you don't even know that your money is going to go instead to buy jets, cars, boats, and mansions, and a style of life of which you can only dream, for the funny guy in the white robes who likes to kick back after hours.

A Necessary Step: Fleecing Your Flock

What is the purpose of working on oneself? While the Maharaji would probably say it is to find peace, we think it is to become master of oneself. The work of the master is to help the student outgrow the master in a certain sense, to stand on his or her own feet. Prem Rawat on the other hand works mainly to increase the sense of devotion his students have towards him. I have actually met an individual in whom this devotion is so great that even after having been treated badly by the Prem Rawat group, after having been thrown out of the group, this individual still maintains this sense of devotion to the "Master". The explanation is offered: since the "Master" is isolated from the daily workings of the organisation, he doesn't know what his underlings do. Indeed, it is useful for him to appear to stand above it, above the failings of those lesser mortals who have to do the daily work of organization and management. Then, when problems arise, the master can say, "Hey, I didn't know about it". We see the same dynamic in politics. It is called "plausible deniability".

So, let's say that someone is getting ready to offer, out of love, obviously, a gift to the Perfect One, say a new Mercedes. What attitude would you expect a true Master to have?

"Hey, thanks, that'll look great over here next to the Rolls?" or "Are you out of your mind???? What am I going to do with a Mercedes? I already have a Rolls!", or, maybe, "Don't you think there is something better you can do with your money, young Skywalker?"

Which master would you seek out?

Using a popular slogan, we might ask "What would Jesus do?" or "What would Buddha do?"

To bring it home, we might also ask "What would the Pope do?" or "What would Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell do?" Cash the cheque, no doubt.

Which master would you seek out?

What of the case when such a gift, "given in love", has emptied the devotee's bank account and has left him destitute? Even among the Boy God's followers, it is admitted that such things have happened. Is a teacher really going to let a student do such a thing to himself? Is he going to take someone's last cent?

Or is he going to say, "Wake up! You're doing something really, really stupid! See how this so-called love you feel is blinding you to reality? Is it really love you are feeling, or is it just some chemical rush that shuts down your ability to think?"

Which master would you seek out?

Of course, if the "Master" does not know the devotee, has never spent one minute asking about his family, learning the birthdates of the kids, about what motivates him, what holds him frozen in an unsatisfying life, then he probably couldn't care less. The devotee is a vague, amorphous figure seen from afar, from the heights of the dais upon which the Perfect One sits and feeds off of the energetic teat of the crowd that delivers directly into his gaping maw endless money, goods, worship and all the things a psychopath craves.

Saying that there are people at all stages in their development, that if they want to give when they shouldn't, that it is their choice, really amounts to saying there are those we can manipulate and those we can't! Beware of any dealings with a person who takes such a view.

Again, which master would you seek out: the one who cares for you so much that he would take you for everything you have in order to help you learn that all-important lesson of thinking for yourself (while making a nice profit for himself in the doing), or the one who is going to help you see it before you go broke? If this seems like a rather obvious, or even a rhetorical, question, when it comes to those held under the sway of Prem Rawat, brainwashed we might even say, the answer is in no way obvious. They really can justify this behaviour and easily find excuses for it. No rational argument can shake their faith. The so-called "Knowledge" delivered by Prem Rawat cuts otherwise intelligent and loving people off from their ability to think rationally, clearly, and critically when it comes to seeing the "Master" and his scam for what it really is. What kind of "knowledge" is that?

Making the Connection with the "Master"

According to those who have been there and back, when an aspirant became interested in the Great One, a period of courtship began, the purpose of which was to develop within the victim the feeling of need for Maharaji in his or her life. The idea was to create the impression that one came to Maharaji not only for the "Knowledge", but also for the connection with the Perfect Master himself and the great benefits that this might bestow.

The way people are prepared to receive the "Knowledge" and accept Prem Rawat as their personal saviour — for that is what it amounts to, a conversion as sad and absurd as that of the born again, fundamentalist Christian who accepts Jesus and is blind to the reality of the local TV evangelist and the crimes of George W. Bush — is a carefully managed marketing campaign designed to create a need within the client for the product. The fundamentalist and evangelical churches share two other points with the Maharaji's teaching: they offer ecstatic group experiences, and they shun the intellect. The Guru just robes his teachings in a different cloth.

The first stage is the process of learning about the Guru and an evaluation of whether or not the aspirant is ready to receive the great secret. In most cases, a minimum of five months is spent watching videos of the Master teaching. Having watched some of them myself, it is clear that he is a powerful speaker. I say this not based on any content in his words - which amount to little more than Self-Knowledge 101, the same kind of tired teachings spouted by self-proclaimed gurus the world over - but because I have observed him and the special manner he uses, the way he uses his hands and modulates his voice. Anyone who is fundamentally naïve and unaware of the existence of psychopaths, or who lacks true knowledge of the matters he claims to be speaking about, thus having an inability to comprehend the crux of a matter, experiences the influence of the Maharaji's teachings as clouds of poisonous vapors whose influence easily anchors in such minds, traumatizing their psyches, impoverishing and deforming their thoughts and feelings, and limiting their ability to use common sense and to read a psychological or moral situation accurately. This then opens the door to the influence of other pathological processes.

At the same time as you are watching the "Master" on video, you are meeting with premies who have received his "Knowledge" and who assure you that it is worth every effort. They reinforce the idea that He, and He alone, can do this for you. It worked for them. "Master" keeps his promise. The postulant is regaled with personal stories of the incredible experience that is "the Knowledge". More importantly, the idea that this knowledge can only be had through the intercession and divine grace of Guru Maharaj Ji, or whatever, the "Master" is calling himself this year is repeatedly drummed into the ever-more eager supplicant.

The seeds of devotion are planted, to be harvested at the moment that the inner sun rises with the practice of the four secret, stolen, techniques.

Having created within the individual the, by now, real need for the "Knowledge", the local handler decides the supplicants are ready to be initiated in the Great Secret, the key to the Great Experience. The big day finally is here! After all the dreaming, all the build up of expectations, all the anticipation, the anxious followers to be are finally ready to be admitted into the club. They know that they are speshul because they have learned a "one size fits all" secret teaching stolen by Maharaji's father from yoga techniques taught by teachers all over the world who haven't mastered the marketing techniques of the Perfect Master.

So what exactly is the victim going to receive?

The Four Techniques

There are many schools of yoga, with many lineages, teaching different forms and techniques to achieve different goals. Often they are complex and demand long study and practice. The novice is slowly brought along, learning more as the basic teachings are understood. It is well-known that some of the more advanced techniques could be dangerous if applied at the wrong time, before the student is ready.

Guru Maharaji, the boy wonder, God Incarnate and Joker all in one, has a much more simplified system. He teaches four yoga techniques that he claims will bring his disciple "Knowledge". The four techniques were initially known as Light, Music, Holy Name (or the Word), and Nectar. They are now, more prosaically, named one, two, three, and four. Although the techniques themselves are simple, they are presented to the initiate with an aura of mystery and secrecy that encourages the devotee to believe he is really getting something special and unique, something that only Maharaji can give him. He must vow to never divulge the techniques - techniques that thousands of other gurus give out in their teachings with no air of great mystery whatsoever.

The following vow is given:

Oh my Guru Maharaji, I dedicate myself to your lotus feet. I am weak and ignorant and am filled with the impurities of this world.

Oh Guru Maharaji, please take my mind and purge me of the impurities I possess. Reveal to me the knowledge of all knowledge.

Strengthen me, uplift me and reveal the kingdom of heaven within inside of me.

Bring me from hate to love, from darkness to light, death to immortality.

I will OBEY you implicitly and will never reveal this knowledge to anyone for any reason.

I will keep in contact with you through my DEVOTIONAL LOVE, satsang, meditation and service.

Thank you my LORD for everything.

You will be excused if, after reading the above, you find that you need to go outside for a moment to take some deep breaths of some fresh air. If you need a sick bag, you're on your own.

Yes, today, as you read this vow, you acknowledge that you are nothing. But do not fear, in a matter of hours you will have the keys to "Knowledge" and will be forever linked with his Cosmic Holiness Himself. You will be saved.

Having acknowledged your lowliness, you impurity, and your need for someone else to pull your buns from the fire, and having vowed obedience and devotion to He who will raise you up, you are now ready to receive the sacrament, the Great Secret: the four stolen yoga techniques.

One site devoted to looking at the real character of Maharaji and his teachings describes the techniques this way:

In the first technique, or 'Light', the meditator focuses on their forehead, at a spot between, and a little above the eyebrows. The thumb and first two fingers of the dominant hand help with this, the index finger resting lightly on the correct spot on the forehead, and the thumb and middle finger resting lightly on each closed eyeball, to steady and stop the eyeballs from moving.

Where you are to actually focus your sight is never stated - do you stare through the coloured shapes and blackness behind the closed eyelids into infinity? Do you focus right on the back of your eyelids, trying to make sense of the swirling colours, the 'black light', you see there ? Do you actually focus not on what you see, but on the spot on your forehead where your index finger rests ? Do you turn your eyeballs upwards to this spot, or do you keep a level horizontal gaze ?

In the second technique, or 'Music', the meditator stops their ears with each thumb, twisting slightly so that the fingers of each hand rest on the top of the head. The technique is then to listen to what you hear, the Sound of the Spheres, or the sound of silence. Or is it a sound like a waterfall ? Is is just a physical manifestation of the blood in the head, the pulse in the thumbs, or the trapped air in the closed ear canal ? And if it is, do you listen to it, or do you listen through it, trying to find some ineffable celestial sound beyond it ? Are you trying to listen to a silence beyond it ?

These first two techniques involve placing one hand (in the first technique) or both hands (in the second) up to your head. This can be tiring and cause arm muscle fatigue. For the first sixteen or so years that Prem Rawat was teaching in the West, it was common for meditators to use a 'beragon', which was an arm rest shaped like a letter 'T' about 2 feet high - the bottom of the stem of the 'T' rested on the floor or cushion you were sitting on, and each elbow rested on the crosspiece of the T. In the mid-eighties, Prem Rawat discouraged the use of beragons, or any form of arm rest, and the meditator was required to hold their arms up without support. Beragons are recommended by other Gurus and indeed one design has been patented.

The third technique, or 'Holy Name', or 'The Word', is simply to follow your breath. Many meditation traditions involve watching the breath in some way, but most traditions give clear instructions on how to do this, since in fact you can use your breath in many different ways to create many different neurochemical states. Prem Rawat says very little about it. His most common instruction while demonstrating the technique is to move his hand up and down in front of him as he breathes in and out, the implication being that you are to follow the in-breath and out-breath upwards and downwards (or is it downwards and upwards?) from your nose to the base of the lungs or the abdomen and up again. Another instruction he sometimes gives is that you follow your breath like you are sitting on an inner swing, with Prem Rawat pushing this swing. This is one of the clearest signs in recent times that Rawat is still implying that he is a power inside the meditator helping and guiding their meditation.

The fourth and final technique, or 'Nectar', involves curling the tongue upwards and placing the tip of the tongue...where ? Well, for many years, the instruction was to place it on the roof of the mouth as far back as you could possibly force it, the goal being to make it go behind the uvula (the little skin flap that hangs down at the throat entrance), and up the rear nasal passage as far as you could. The ultimate was to touch the base of the brain, and make a cosmic connection, although there are no reports of anyone being actually able to do this. [One suspects that this is how Hannibal Lecter persuaded his cellmate to choke to death on his own tongue in the movie Silence of the Lambs.] This is a Hindu technique called kechari mudra (kecheri mudra). In more recent times, Prem Rawat has dropped all reference to the uvula, and just required the meditator to rest the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth in a manner that is comfortable, even if they cannot get it any higher than the back of your front teeth. But again, on what is the meditator to focus ? Just the where the tip of the tongue is physically, or through it in some sense, or do you focus on what you taste ?

That's it, folks! The Rawat Family Jewels. The secret so great that millions of people have been willing to sell their souls to this modern-day Mephistopheles.

The premie, as the followers of the Lord of the Universe are called, is encouraged to do the techniques for fifteen minutes each, once, and if possible, twice, a day, and if ardent, sincere, and faithful to the "Master", the path to "Knowledge" will open.

So what exactly is this "Knowledge"?

Well, given it is an experience induced by the above "techniques", one that by-passes that evil mind with which we are accursed, putting it into words will be difficult. Once, again, we'll give the Master himself the first word.

The Knowledge

The following are some quotes from the Man Himself on what Knowledge is. They are taken from the book The Living Master, Quotes from Guru Maharaj Ji, published by Divine Light Mission in 1978. They were republished on the web at


Everything is a vibration. My hand is a vibration of something. Me, myself - I am a vibration of something. Everything is a vibration. And then there is a primordial vibration, which is of course, the highest and the most beautiful vibration of all. One vibration is vibrating; that's why all the vibrations are vibrating.

There is something functioning in me, and if that stops, I'll stop. A doctor would say "your heart," or "your lungs." "If your lungs stop breathing, you will stop breathing." But what is the one thing which, if that goes, everything stops? We don't understand that now. Today we think we live, we survive, because our heart pumps, blood circulates, we breathe, oxygen goes in, and so on, and we function. No! If we take a dead body and dissect it, we will find its heart is there, its blood is there, the lungs are there, everything is there, just fine. What is missing? That's the clue - what is missing? This is it: for man to understand this Knowledge, to understand this secret.'

(New Delhi, India; November, 1972.)

How many people see sunsets? It's fantastic, you know - people go out, and that's the big thing. Every Sunday night, if the sky is clear and beautiful, people go out and watch sunsets. So they have a nice time. But there's a lot of difference when I see a sunset, because I don't just see a sunset. I understand that what is making everything go up and down is that energy, is that Knowledge, and when I look all around me, look everywhere, it is that energy that is making it happen. I don't see that energy in this mike, but I know that what is making this mike exist right now is that energy. What is making me talk - I don't see my talk come out, but I know that what is making that sound is that energy. And I see everything, and I know it is the energy; it is the essence that I have got.

(Frankfurt, Germany; November 29, 1976.)

What is Knowledge? Knowledge is a stethoscope. Through this stethoscope we can tap into the inner being of who we really are. We can motivate ourselves inside, we can go deep inside and experience what we really consist of.

(Denver, Colorado; February 20, 1977.)

Knowledge is itself the path and also the destination. It is what it is and it is what it should be. Knowledge is the path to itself and takes us into itself, for it is that vibration we are seeking. It is everything. It is merged with everything. It is the Knowledge. It is the primordial vibration. It is the path to it. And it is it itself. This is Knowledge.

(London, England; October, 1971.)

I can give you a lot of philosophical theories. I can tell you how an automobile works, or I can tell you how a camera works, or I can tell you a lot of different things. But that's not what you need in your life. All you need in your life is one thing you already have: your life. That's energy. And you don't need that; that's already there.

And you don't have to do anything to keep it there, either. When you go to sleep, it's still going. What you have to do is to tap into that energy, to completely submerge into that energy, to completely merge with that energy, so that you can be one with that energy. And there is a process to do that. There is a path to do that. And that is the path that I want to reveal to you. I want to bridge the gap that is between that infinite thing and you, who are so finite, so that you can come to the point where you can actually be one with that infinite thing.

(London, England; April 20, 1977.)

Remember this: Knowledge does not seek us; we seek Knowledge. That is the seed that is going to bring us - if we call it liberation, then it's liberation; satisfaction of mind, then it's satisfaction of mind; Peace, Peace. You name it, and it's going to bring it to you.

What I talk about, that Light I talk about, is not the light you see because you happen to be most fortunate to have two eyes. I'm talking about that Light that even a blind person can see and experience. I'm not talking about the music that your two ears experience; I'm talking about the Music that even a person who does not hear can listen to. I'm talking about something that's a little more - well, let's say, serious. I'm talking about something that's a little more beautiful, something a little more within inside of us, a little more subtle, and a little more gracious, than everything else that we do in our lifetime.

(Denver, Colorado; February 20, 1977.)

When you take this Light of Knowledge away, there's nothing there. And with Knowledge there, it makes the existence of everything else a hundred thousand times better.

It brings the life into a dead body.

It brings leaves; it brings spring to the flowers, to the trees that are barren.

It brings people into the valleys.

It brings the air in the flute that makes it sound so beautiful.

It makes the drums beat within inside Of us.

It makes the clouds come so that rain can fall.

It makes the sun come bright.

That is the beauty of this Knowledge; that is the beauty of this Love; that is the beauty of this understanding. And without the experience of this Knowledge I know material things can never provide me with happiness. And even now, I look at them- I'm not happy because of them, and I'm not sad because of them either. But people think that by having all this materialism, they will be happy.

(Atlantic City, New Jersey; December 19, 1976.)

I understand that calling it vague doesn't even come close to describing the word salad flavour of it. I showed it to a friend to get an opinion, asking the person to imagine themselves in dire unhappiness, perhaps even suicidal, looking for answers, would they, could they, find comfort in those words of Mahariji?

The answer verbatim: "If anybody gets taken in by this crap, it says more about them than about Maharaji ... Hell's bells, I've been suicidal ... but I was never so dumb I'd buy that load of manure.  Good god, in my salad days I wouldn't have been taken in by this crap!"

That pretty much says it all.

What strikes me is that all of the above is described perfectly by Andrzej Lobaczewski in his work Political Ponerology:

When the human mind comes into contact with this new reality so different from any experiences encountered by a person raised in a society dominated by normal people, it releases psycho-physiological shock symptoms in the human brain with a higher tonus of cortex inhibition and a stifling of feelings, which then sometimes gush forth uncontrollably. The mind then works more slowly and less keenly because the associative mechanisms have become inefficient. Especially when a person has direct contact with psychopathic individuals, who use their specific experience so as to traumatize the minds of the "others" with their own personalities, his mind succumbs to a state of short-term catatonia. Their humiliating and arrogant techniques, brutal paramoralizations, and so forth deaden his thought processes and his self-defense capabilities, and their divergent experiential method anchors in his mind. In the presence of this kind of phenomenon, any moralizing evaluation of a person's behavior in such a situation thus becomes inaccurate at best.

A further explanation and elucidation of Maharaji's "Knowledge" is offered by ex-followers on the website Prem Rawat AKA Maharaji. They have this to say:

Knowledge, The Knowledge and Self Knowledge are interchangeable terms in the language of Prem Rawat and his followers. Understanding what is meant by these terms is unfortunately not a simple matter of definition, rather Knowledge, (or The Knowledge or Self Knowledge) has a spectrum of meaning which provides a level of ambiguity that is actively resistant to definition. In the most reductive sense 'Knowledge' refers to the meditation that Prem Rawat prescribes.

The term Knowledge or The Knowledge as used by Prem Rawat - signified by the upper case K - has its origin in the teachings of Rawat's father Shri Hans Ji Maharaj; Prem Rawat sometimes employs the alternative term 'Self Knowledge'. In the context of Prem Rawat's usage the term 'Knowledge' is ambiguous, it can specifically mean the techniques of meditation prescribed by Prem Rawat, it can also mean the experience gained through practice of the techniques. In a more expansive usage by Prem Rawat and his followers Knowledge refers to the whole experience of meditating and being a follower of Prem Rawat.

With a degree of semantic dislocation, the Rawat 'Knowledge' does not actually involve the gaining of understanding, nor the obtaining of principles, nor familiarisation with facts or abilities, apart from the very limited exception of having been taught the 'secret' techniques of meditation. Although never specified as such, usage of the term Knowledge by Prem Rawat is frequently a reference to an undefined revelation about the nature of reality or, in particular, the true nature of Prem Rawat, as comprehended by his initiated followers. In this sense the premies are a true 'cognoscenti'. In the early years of Prem Rawat's western 'mission', 'Knowledge' was frequently suggested to be equivalent to Gnosis - the mystical Knowledge of God - that which had been revealed by Jesus, Buddha, Ram and the endless line of living masters, indeed it was this form of usage that appears to have been intended by Shri Hans Ji. Prem Rawat has never said that this 'mystical' usage was wrong, nor has he ever said that the 'Knowledge' that he teaches is a different Knowledge from that which his father taught.

To the extent that Prem Rawat acknowledges that there is an ambiguity around what is meant by 'Knowledge' he has gone no further than suggest that concern with the meaning of words is irrelevant and that it is the experience that he delivers that he wishes to be judged on. Followers of Prem Rawat strongly affirm this experiential response although clearly an unresolvable circularity of argument arises which allows no resolution outside of Prem Rawat's own definition.

It appears that this "Knowledge", so-called, that the Perfect Master brings is some sort of experience that he claims is that of Oneness with energy, with vibration, even with Life itself.

What is also clear is that the "Knowledge" offered by the "Master" has nothing whatsoever to do thinking or the use of the Intellect at all:

Rawat: 'Knowledge' does not actually involve the gaining of understanding, nor the obtaining of principles, nor familiarisation with facts or abilities, apart from the very limited exception of having been taught the 'secret' techniques of meditation.

So the first thing to understand about Prem Rawat's "Knowledge" is that it has nothing whatsoever to do with thinking or understanding. It is related to experience. Next we'll look at how this "Knowledge" fits into other esoteric ideas of knowledge, specifically the idea of Gnosis from esoteric Christianity.

The following two quotes also help to establish what the Master himself "thinks" — and we use the term advisedly — about his "Knowledge" and the experience it brings:

The day you receive Knowledge, and by your own effort of doing satsang, service and meditation, you start to have that experience of Knowledge, that experience of Guru Maharaj Ji – it's just like the world's biggest, biggest rose opening up all the petals. It's the worlds greatest sunshine, where all the rays just completely come blooming out golden into your lives. And you see the Grace manifest. You can see, you can feel the Grace happen in your life.

(Miami Beach, Florida; July 31, 1977)

So now we learn that the experience of knowledge is the experience of Guru Maharaj Ji! And if you think the above was simply the folly of youth, albeit megalomaniac youth, then try to digest the following quote from 2000:

You want to be fulfilled? Without the Master, you cannot be fulfilled. Why am I saying 'Master' instead of 'Knowledge'? Because without the Master, you can't have Knowledge. Without the Master, Knowledge makes no sense whatsoever.

Prem Rawat Oct 17, 2000

While other traditions speak of such an ecstatic experience as the direct Knowledge of God, Prem Rawat has no hesitation to put himself in the Creator's place! Through ecstatic experience, we'll experience Him!

At least he is consistent. It has been, and still is, all about Himself.

Here we can also understand why all of the teaching of the Great Secret is done by the "Master" himself, either in person or via videos and multimedia. The devotional link must be established directly with the Great One. When the acolyte is closing his or her eyes during the mediations, "Master" doesn't want the face of one of his lackeys popping up! No, it has to be the smiling face of the Divine One that forms the psychic, emotional, and psychological link with his prey.

Manipulation Through Experience

As we began investigating Maharaji, we opened a thread on our Signs of the Times Forum for people to bring forward data they might have about the guru and their experiences with him and his "Mission". One member posted the following:

I remember this guy. It was 1982, and this is all from memory. [...]

Maharaji goes where he is invited, although he gets too many invitations to accept them all.  In '82, a friend of mine who was a follower of Maharaji invited me to go to one of his presentations in a theatre in Vancouver. The local group had hired the theatre, and there was no charge for the tickets. Four of us went, three skeptical young thirty somethings and the follower.

Maharaji was a little guy, dressed like an upper class Hindu all in white. For about an hour, he talked about himself, his life, what he did. He claimed that we all have a higher self that we could become in touch with. This higher self could see farther and better, and could give us intuitive promptings if we knew how to listen. He had something called Knowledge which he could give us - all we had to do was ask. No charge. In fact, there was no pressure for money at all, but it was clear that everything was funded by donation.

As he talked, a feeling of giddiness spread among the people gathered in the packed theatre. Everybody was happy and giggling by the end.

I was intrigued enough to follow up, and made an appointment to meet with one of the helpers. The way it worked was, people who wanted to help spread Knowledge could volunteer to do this, and were trained by Maharaji. If they were accepted, they would be assigned to a city other than where they lived for a couple of years. They would live in a house rented by the local group and screen applicants for Knowledge. Their only rule was that they had to remain chaste as long as they did this work. And so I met Willi, from somewhere in the American mid-west - a really nice guy, about my age, who liked to play tennis.

Basically, we would meet up somewhere and hang out for a couple of hours just talking. It didn't really matter what we talked about, he was sizing up my readiness to receive Knowledge. He decided I was ready after about a week, and invited me up to the house.

Before I arrived, Willi spent a couple of hours in meditation building up energy, so he was flying (figuratvely speaking) when I got there. We sat facing each other on the living room floor, and he taught me the three methods of meditation - one to see the light, one to hear the sound, and one to feel the feeling. Then he asked me if I was ready to receive. With my agreement, he placed the tips of three of his fingers on my forehead and delivered a jolt, like electricity, but smoother. That was it, and I left the house. I was high for about three hours.

So it was about feeling good and feeling high, but I wasn't conscientious enough to meditate enough to keep it going full time, and I gradually stopped doing it. I continued to receive the mailings for a couple of years, and then they tapered off. I heard later that Willi had fallen in love and left the work

My friend who had originally invited me to see the Maharaji died last year from cancer. She was a follower to the end.

Another member of the Signs of the Times forum offered this summary of the effects of the Maharaji's techniques:

The other thing that struck me was the "gift" the Maharaji offered to people. I believe the experience is commonly called "shaktipat", but I think the term covers many varied effects of experience transfer. In this case, the transfer seems to be temporary, and is limited to a heightened energy state in the body. From the description, I don't see much difference between this, and a chemically induced experience (although different chemicals generate different experiences).

Once one is "touched", and experiences the high via induction, having a photo of the guru can generate a kind of flashback state or rekindling of the experience, usually not as intense as the first one. Or just having a photo around can generate a sort of non-local induction effect in some people, even without direct former contact.

I have read different accounts of shaktipat, and in many cases the first experience is always the strongest, the one leaving the strongest impression. Meditators sometimes generate their own experiences afterward through extensive meditation, and in this sense getting a "taste" might be useful.

However, I do not see how a "high" has any relation to world peace. Timothy Leary seemed to be thinking along similar lines, and in the end "dropping out" was the only real result. Timothy Leary believed in the power of LSD to change the world. I think the Maharaji also believes in his power. And I think he sees no conflict between his ideals, and the practicals of running a spiritual family business.

People, gurus included, stuck on tradition will often respect the concept of "hierarchy" wherever it manifests in the world, especially if it claims to express ideals similar to theirs. I think that on a conscious level at least the Maharaji sincerely believes in the effectiveness of world organizations such as the UN. His world-view works for him so he considers it "right".

He learned, IMO, to maintain a certain energy state, (which may very well be induced through extensive biochemical conditioning resulting from mechanical meditative pursuits). He learned to, furthermore, transfer that state, which usually happens spontaneously when the state stabilizes in one's body. He seems to think he is doing great work, and getting a nice profit from it.

It seems the exercises he promotes, as I said, are different means of biochemical conditioning, a kind of stimulation of certain neurotransmitter and hormone releases in a sustained manner. This results in bliss. Whether this is useful or even healthy is another story.

Is it a coincidence that many gurus die of cancer? Unlike Taoist masters who admit they are improving their bodies, and who do retain youthfulness and vitality (although there are exceptions to this), without making extensive spiritual claims, Indian gurus are not generally subjects of robust health and longevity.

The bliss they promote can generate neurotransmitter depletion, which requires a high protein intake to be supplanted. Since most of these people do not have a high protein intake, abstinence would be a must to prevent protein and mineral loss.

All in all, I think there is often confusion between enlightenment and stimulation of the body's drug factory, and the most popular gurus (although there are exceptions to the rule) are pushers of intrinsic drug experiences. These can be useful (just like extrinsic experiences) in simply revealing the power of altered states and experiences outside the box of normality. They can, however, be addictive, and can take and have taken people away from moving on a truly integrative path.

Since there are forces that are geared to prevent people moving on a true path, it stands to reason these would support such gurus, whether they are sincere or not. (Esoquest)

The "Knowledge" promoted by Maharaji, then, is closer to a drug high than anything that can be understood as real Knowledge.

The ecstatic experience is used to promote the subjectivity of the practitioner at the expense of his or her ability to see things objectively. Such is the principal danger. The victim then becomes caught in a feedback loop where to flee from or regain energy depleted by the horrors of the world, the suffering of daily life, and any questioning of the "Master", more meditation is needed to reproduce the high. The high then reassures the victim that he or she is doing it right, that the "Master" is indeed what he claims to be, and the use of the intellect is dampened. Eventually, it closes off completely.

The victim is from then on completely caught in his or her own subjectivity.

Killing the Intellect

We have all probably had moments when the voice in our head begins to drive us slightly crazy. We can become caught in thought loops that seem impossible to break. We feel like a plane billowing smoke as it spirals towards a fiery death. It is this voice that Maharaji claims he can silence with his meditations. So what? Many forms of meditation claim the same thing, and can do it, but not all of them see the necessity of killing off the intellect along with the chatter.

It is a serious mistake to identify this "mental chatter" with the intellect, with the entire workings of our intellectual centre. In fact, at the outset of any spiritual work, it would be a mistake to "think" that one can "think" at all. We can't. We don't think; we are thought, swept away in a stream of consciousness arising from we don't know where and propelled we don't know how. It appears to be a loose association of images that, uncalled, follow on one after the other. At the beginning this chatter is us. To shut it down before doing the work to create something Real inside that has the capacity to really think is to leave one empty, hollow

So this chatter is not "thought" per se.

Maharaji makes no distinction between chatter and thought. In fact, the ability to shut down the mind and bypass the intellect completely is seen as an accomplishment. Just listen to this declaration from one of his followers in 1973. It is taken from the film "The Lord of the Universe", a documentary produced about Millennium '73, the group love-in to the Master held at the Astrodome in Houston in November 1973.

Quicktime Version

Windows Media Player Version

Transcription of the video:

Interviewer: What do you think?

Security Guard for Guru Maharaji: I don't have to think. I know.

Int: What do you know?

SG: I have knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji. (Turns to the camera) I have Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge. I don't have to think, I know. I have Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge.

That's clear. "I don't have to think, I know." Could there be a clearer statement of entrapment in one's subjectivity; of the abandoning of reason altogether?

With the so-called "Knowledge" of the Guru, one needs no nothing else. But whereas real thought is active and the fake chatter that passes as thought is passive, the Great One does not preach an advancement from passivity towards action; no, but rather a total subservience to just a different passivity.

Lans and Derks wrote that according to Maharaj Ji, "all evil should be attributed to the mind", and that such concept of mind indicates the obstacle of freeing oneself from former bonds, referring primarily to a "state of consciousness characterized by everything but passive, non-rational confidence and trust."

Get rid of everything except "passive, non-rational confidence and trust".

Again, that is clear. Not only is the intellect overridden, an explanatory structure is put into place to justify the necessity of such an act, one which may well prevent the victim from ever regaining that capacity again. Any doubts from the mind must be silenced by a return to the experience.

Thought and thinking are an active process, not the passive submission to random brain chatter. Learning how to think necessitates the formation inside of us of something that has the capacity to think. It means assuring that someone is in the driver's seat. True Knowledge is not attained by killing off inner processes, but, rather, by bringing them all together under the guidance of something higher and aligning them towards a common aim determined by the higher self, the "driver"; they aren't taken out behind the barn and shot.

The Parable of the Coach will serve nicely to explain what we mean. It clearly illustrates the difference between true esoteric work and the path of Maharaji, the Lord of the Universe.

This image represents the characteristics of man by a coach. The physical body is represented by the coach itself; the horses represent emotions - sensations, feelings and passions; the coachman is the ensemble of the intellectual faculties including reason; the person sitting in the coach is the master.

In its normal state, the whole system is in a perfect state of operation: the coachman holds the reins firmly in his hands and drives the horses in the direction indicated by the master. This, however, is not how things happen in the immense majority of cases. First of all, the master is absent. The coach must go and find him, and must then await his pleasure. All is in a bad state: the axles are not greased and they grate; the wheels are badly fixed; the shaft dangles dangerously; the horses, although of noble race, are dirty and ill-fed; the harness is worn and the reins are not strong. The coachman is asleep: his hands have slipped to his knees and hardly hold the reins, which can fall from them at any moment.

The coach nevertheless continues to move forward, but does so in a way which presages no happiness. Abandoning the road, it is rolling down the slope in such a way that the coach is now pushing the horses, which are unable to hold it back. The coachman, fallen into a deep sleep, is swaying in his seat at risk of falling off. Obviously a sad fate awaits such a coach.

This image provides a highly appropriate analogy for the condition of most human beings, and it is worth taking as an object of meditation.

Salvation may however present itself. Another coachman, this one quite awake, may pass by the same route and observe the coach in its sad situation. If he is not in much of a hurry, he may perhaps stop to help the coach that is in distress. He will first help the horses hold back the coach from slipping down the slope. Then he will awaken the sleeping driver and together with him will try to bring the coach back to the road. He will lend fodder and money. He might also give advice on the care of the horses, the address of an inn and a coach repairer, and indicate the proper route to follow.

It will be up to the assisted coachman afterward to profit, by his own efforts, from the help and the information received. It will be incumbent on him from this point on to put all things in order and, open eyed, to follow the path he had abandoned.

He will above all fight against sleep, for if he falls asleep again, and if the coach leaves the road again and again finds itself in the same danger, he cannot hope that chance will smile upon him a second time; that another coachman will pass at that moment and at that place and come to his aid once again.

At the beginning of esoteric work, the master is not in the coach. The master will only be invited into the coach once the other parts are working as they should, functioning as a unit. This work is called that of balancing the centres.

Maharaji is proposing to dispense with the driver altogether, give all the power to the horses, and put himself in the coach! Where is the student in all of this? Reduced to little more than serving as a vehicle for possession by a living Demon.

And that is pretty much what one finds.

In 2003 Prem Rawat gave an interview that is posted on his website. This question and response appears:

What type of people are most receptive to your message?

People who are truly free. Free in what they think. People who are encased in concepts and ideas about how everything should be and how everything works have a much more difficult time understanding what I'm talking about. People who have a fear of listening to other people will not be able to understand my message. But those who feel freedom and feel at ease with themselves are the ones who are able to come and listen to me.

Prem Rawat, 2003

The alarms should be going off. None of us are free. To proclaim otherwise is the first lie. We are all trapped in a false Personality that pretends to know, to be, and to do when in fact things just happen. We are incapable of Doing anything, because there is no master in the coach. The first stage on the path to Truth is to see ourselves as we are, to admit that we know nothing, to consider the state of our coach, horses, and driver and bring them back into balance. We certainly all desire to be free, to feel at ease with ourselves, and just as a couple of con-artists once convinced an entire country to say that their emperor was fully clothed by claiming that if they could not see the clothes, they were unworthy and ignorant, so does Maharaji use the same ploy. It's a game as old as the hills and people are still falling for it.

Prem Rawat sings a song to enchant his listener and to entrap them. "See, you're open to these ideas! You're free! You're not like those trapped in fear! You're special!"

But we are all trapped. To understand this fundamental point is the basis of any real Esoteric Work. There is no free lunch; if you think there is, you are lunch!

The interesting thing is, if someone were truly free and at ease with themselves as Maharaji suggests are the types attracted to his "teachings," they wouldn't need a guru! They wouldn't need his "knowledge," they wouldn't support his lavish lifestyle, and the most definitely would not be kissing his feet.

Going back to Gurdjieff's Tale of the Evil Magician, he said further:

"To 'awaken' for man means to be 'dehypnotized.' In this lies the chief difficulty and in this also lies the guarantee of its possibility, for there is no organic reason for sleep and man can awaken.

"Theoretically he can, but practically it is almost impossible because as soon as a man awakens for a moment and opens his eyes, all the forces that caused him to fall asleep begin to act upon him with tenfold energy and he immediately falls asleep again, very often dreaming that he is awake or is awakening."

But, all is not lost as we learn from Boris Mouravieff:

In Western civilization the interior life of the individual, with all its richness, finds itself relegated to a minor role in existence. Man is so caught up in the toils of mechanical life that he has neither time to stop nor the power of attention needed to turn his mental vision upon himself.

Man thus passes his days absorbed by external circumstances. The great machine that drags him along turns without stopping, and forbids him to stop under penalty of being crushed.

Today like yesterday, and tomorrow like today, he quickly exhausts himself in the frantic race, impelled in a direction which in the end leads nowhere.

Life passes away from him almost unseen, swift as a ray of light, and man falls engulfed and still absent from himself. ...

Even so, this senseless and dangerous situation can be modified in a beneficial way. But this requires work; conscientious and sustained effort. ...

What then is the meaning of human life in this Cosmos as we know it? Man's existence has two main purposes:

-as an element of the universal organism, it serves the aims of the latter;
-as an isolated individual, he can pursue his own aims.

To better understand why and how these two objectives are bound together, let us take an example:

The position of man in the Universe is analogous to that of a cell in the human body. Each cell is a part of an organ which, in its turn, is an element of a group of organs that assures proper accomplishment of some definite function of the organism.

From this point of view, let us examine the lot of a cell in our bodies. It is subject to two categories of laws. To simplify, let us say that it is placed under the rule of two laws.

The first keeps the cell in its place. In esoteric science we call it the General Law. The second leaves a certain liberty of action for the cell, and is called the Law of Exception.

The first law, which is conservative, ensures that the organ of which this cell is a part accomplishes its function with no impediment. To this end, the first condition is that during their lives the cells which compose the organ fulfil the role given them. This law obliges these cells to remain in their own places, to complete their work, and to dedicate their lives to it. 

It is evident that if this law did not keep the cells of the body within the limits of each organ, if it did not oblige them to fulfil their function, the latter would not be able to exist. Thus this law is beneficial; by ensuring the existence of the organs, it permits the whole body to endure.

We know, however, that the total removal of certain organs of the body is compatible with survival. In the current state of our knowledge it even seems that removal of some of them leads to no serious functional inconvenience. Even more; the organism tolerates partial resection of some organs without compromising the roles played by the latter in the general economy.

This shows that the disappearance of a few cells, an infinitesimal part of an organ, goes unnoticed: its functioning is not impaired. As the essential role of the General Law is to watch over continuity of function, this disappearance passes unnoticed by it. Therefore it places no further obstacles. Symbolically, one can say that cells which escape from this law now enter the domain of the Law of Exception.

This escape of a few cells is a phenomenon which occurs constantly. All our cells from the epidermis to the nervous are constantly renewed according to different and variable rhythms. In addition to this renewal from within, there are also disappearances, compensated or not compensated for by new units.

Up to this point, the analogy with what happens to man because of the General Law and the Law of Exception could be taken as complete.

But it stops here, at least as regards the present state of our knowledge. In this activity of life, of migrations and of cellular death, there is no justification for thinking that the passage from the General Law to the Law of Exception results from any conscious actions of the cells.

For man it happens differently. As a cell of humanity, man forms part of organic life on Earth. This life in its ensemble represents a very sensitive organ of our planet, playing an important role in the economy of the solar system.

As a cell of this organ, man finds himself under the influence of the General Law, which keeps him in his place.

In fact, this law leaves him a certain margin or tolerance. It allows him some free movement within the limits it sets. Within these boundaries, which are very limited objectively although subjectively they appear vast, man can give free rein to his fantasies and his ambitions.

Without going too far into the definition of these limits and detailed description of the components of this General Law, we can say as an example that one of those factors is hunger: the servitude of working to assure our subsistence.

The chain: sexual instinct; procreation; and the care of parents for their children, is another factor. The esoteric maxim that applies to this aspect of life is conceived thus: carnal love is necessary for the general good.

Lastly, fear in its many forms constitutes the third group of factors in question.

On the whole, the permitted margin for free movement tolerated by the General Law is limited by something best described in a term less scientific than colourful: bourgeois happiness. Careers in every branch of human activity; fortune; family; love; honours etc.; all are subject to the sine qua non condition of unconditional if only subconscious acceptance of the inevitability of Death.

As long as man accepts the principle of the final annihilation of his Personality without a fight, he can carry on in life without attracting the increasing pressure of the General Law upon himself.

The case is totally different if he struggles to surpass the limits which it imposes. He then runs against the action upon him of this Law and its derivatives.

It acts simultaneously on several planes: physical, mental and moral.

Its action on the moral plane is conceived by man, since time immemorial, in the form of a personification: the Devil.

In the orthodox Tradition demonology occupies a considerable place. We find there practical  and profound observations on the highly sophisticated and insidious forms that the "Devil's" action takes in very varied circumstances, in which it goes as far as using the good faith of humans for its own ends.

It must be realized that in placing himself under the aegis of the Law of Exception, man goes against the General Law, which he is even called upon to overthrow, if only on the individual scale.

He must not forget-under penalty of 'surprise attack' -that his success depends on "victory over the Devil", which as we have said, is the personalized moral aspect of the General Law. This is so even though this, being a cosmic law, is naturally a divine law.

However, one must not be afraid, as the Law of Exception is also a divine law: in choosing it, man continues to serve the interest of the whole, but differently and in an incomparably more efficient manner.

During his fight against the General law that keeps him in bondage, he is subject to tests that often take the form of temptations. In orthodox Doctrine deep studies are devoted to this theme.

As stated above, they contain precious advice of a practical nature, details of which we cannot cover in this present work. We are however permitted to draw attention to the indirect nature of diabolical action.

If, aiming straight towards his goal, which is liberation, the seeker successfully overcomes the obstacles and by this shows proof of a strength that would permit him to defy the authority of the General Law, the latter will begin to act upon him indirectly, generally by the mediation of his near ones if they do not follow the same path: this action occurs on the moral plane, and often takes emotional forms appealing to his most noble, generous and disinterested sentiments: to his charity; his obligations; his pity. It impels him down blind alleys, insinuating that he will thus be returning to his duty, that by so doing he will go on walking in the right path, etc. This will clarify the profound saying of Jesus that: ~ man's worst enemies are those of his own household.

Let us now repeat, because it is important, that esoteric work is by its nature a revolutionary work.

The seeker seeks a change of state: to overcome Death and attain Freedom. [Gnosis, Volume I, excerpts edited slightly for clarity.]

This is the goal given to this work by the Scriptures and by the Apostles. As St Paul says: 'If ye live after the flesh, ye must die.' But do not forget what else he says: 'We shall not all die, but we shall all be changed.'

The man who lives passively under the first law, insensibly and without being aware of it -even as an excellent citizen- involves himself in' The broad way that leadeth to destruction;' he who chooses the Law of Exception takes: 'The narrow road that leadeth unto Life.'

The Teachings of Don Juan as described – or created - by Carlos Castaneda in several books are among the most interesting compilations of Mystery teachings to come forth in the past thirty years or so.  Most people are not aware that they reflect the core of many other great teaching systems around the world throughout the millennia. It is even conjectured that Castaneda put a "Southwestern spin" on the work of Gurdjieff which has its roots in ancient Sufism and Siberian Shamanism. With so great a tradition, as well as anecdotal and clinical evidence to support the validity of certain of these teachings, why is it that so much gobbledygook passes as "Metaphysical Knowledge" and so many who claim to be walking the path of enlightenment are so abysmally ignorant of the true state of mankind and their own position within that state? Castaneda's Don Juan tells us:

... We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don't do so [act independently ...] You have arrived, by your effort alone, to what the shamans of ancient Mexico called the topic of topics. I have been beating around the bush all this time, insinuating to you that something is holding us prisoner. Indeed we are held prisoner! This was an energetic fact for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico.

    'Why has this predator taken over in the fashion that you're describing, don Juan?' I asked. 'There must be a logical explanation.'

    'There is an explanation,' don Juan replied, 'which is the simplest explanation in the world. They took over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. Just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, the predators rear us in human coops. Therefore, their food is always available to them.'

    I felt that my head was shaking violently from side to side. I could not express my profound sense of unease and discontentment, but my body moved to bring it to the surface. I shook from head to toe without any volition on my part.

    'No, no, no, no,' I heard myself saying. 'This is absurd, don Juan. What you're saying is something monstrous. It simply can't be true, for sorcerers or for average men, or for anyone.'

    'Why not?' don Juan asked calmly. 'Why not? Because it infuriates you?'

    'Yes, it infuriates me,' I retorted. 'Those claims are monstrous!' [...]

    'I want to appeal to your analytical mind,' don Juan said. 'Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradiction between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behavior. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of beliefs, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal.'

    'But how can they do this, don Juan?' I asked, somehow angered further by what he was saying. 'Do they whisper all that in our ears while we are asleep?'

    'No, they don't do it that way. That's idiotic!' don Juan said, smiling. 'They are infinitely more efficient and organized than that. In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous maneuver - stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous maneuver from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now.'

    Don Juan continues: 'I know that even though you have never suffered hunger... you have food anxiety, which is none other than the anxiety of the predator who fears that any moment now its maneuver is going to be uncovered and food is going to be denied. Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. And they ensure, in this manner, a degree of security to act as a buffer against their fear.' [Castaneda, The Active Side of Infinity, 1998, pp. 213-220]

Yes, there is an aspect to our minds within us all, called the predator's mind by don Juan, called the Personality in the esoteric Christian Tradition. It is only by developing a higher ability of thought, one that is the result of overcoming the limits of our lower intellect and emotion and automatic reactions that one can overcome this "predator," the chatter, the source of our fears and suffering.

Going further into the idea of the predator's mind, we could say that what we really mean is the whole gamut of "automatic programs" and "learned behaviours" and "knee jerk responses" that we are all heir to as a consequence of our upbringing, social pressures, trying to please others in order to survive, and so on.

This, in no way, refers to some kind of "possession".

The ways and means that we ensure survival of the ego is established pretty early in life by our parental and societal programming. This conditioning determines what IS or is NOT possible; what we are "allowed" to believe in order to be accepted. We learn this first by learning what pleases our parents and then later we modify our belief based on what pleases our society - our peers - to believe.

One of the first things we might observe is that everyone has a different set of beliefs about themselves based upon their social and familial conditioning, and that these beliefs determine how much of the OBJECTIVE reality anyone is able to access.

Human beings - faced with unpleasant truths about themselves or their reality - react like alcoholics who refuse to admit their condition, or the cuckolded husband who is the "last to know," or the wife who does not notice that her husband is abusing her daughter.

In States of Denial: Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering, (Cambridge: Polity Press; Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2001), Stanley Cohen discusses the subject of denial which may shed some light here:

Denial is a complex "unconscious defence mechanism for coping with guilt, anxiety and other disturbing emotions aroused by reality." Denial can be both deliberate and intentional, as well as completely subconscious. An individual who is deliberately and intentionally denying something is acting from an individual level of lying, concealment and deception.

Denial can be subconscious and therefore is a result of familial and social programming combined with what an individual learned to do to survive. This learning can occur by trial and error, or by observing what other people do and whether it works or not. Receiving Maharaji's "Knowledge" during a difficult period in one's life can lead to forms of denial: about the guru himself, about the supposed benefits of that "Knowledge".

All of these become entrenched circuits in our brain, body, being; like Pavlov's dogs that salivated at the sound of the bell, we become machines. Somebody says or does something, something happens in our reality, and it's like the ringing bell and we just "salivate," (do whatever it is that is programmed in us to do.)

For some people, these layers and layers of reaction programs, survival programs, how to get what you want/need programs, are so thick and so dominant, that there is little possibility of any real consciousness to manifest.

Since most of them are directly tied to emotional states, the instant something happens "out there," the emotions of fear of being hungry, fear of being abandoned, fear of being hurt, get triggered and everything and everybody are seen through the filter of this almost uncontrollable fear.

And certainly, since a person like this has functioned this way for literally their whole life, they don't really know much else.  They are sure that all these things that just run automatically in them are "the real me..." That's all they know.

But IF such a person has some kind of "seed of the self" buried in there, they are generally not very happy living this way.  They can't let go and become complete narcissists or psychos or use other people without paying some kind of price inside where they suffer but don't exactly know why. Such people then begin to search for - they know not what - but basically, an end to this suffering that they feel for "being themselves."

They don't realize that, above all things, they are NOT being themselves and THAT is the reason for the sensation of discomfort, the pain inside.

The Maharaji serves to suck up such troubled souls, offering them what looks to be a way out but which leads them only more and more deeply into captivity.

Knowledge or Gnosis?

The most accessible way of understanding what true knowledge, or gnosis, really is may be through understanding the process that the individual must undergo to realise it. The parable of the coach cited above gives indications: the three lower centres must be balanced. They must be brought to work together. This work will not happen through accident or good fortune or the practice of four yoga meditations. It demands the active participation of the centres under the intent or will of the seeker. At the beginning, one must function as if this will already existed. Slowly, over time, the seed will grow and the intent to have Will becomes real Will.

Because the experience of Knowledge, and here I am referring to real Knowledge, is, to some degree, unable to be put into words, any comparison of Maharaji's descriptions with those of other writers might blur the important distinctions. However, when one understands that true knowledge is the product of not only the heart, but of the intellect, and when one understands how this comes about, it is easy to see that the Maharaji is peddling phoney enlightenment. 

The following quote from George Heart and his book Christianity: Dogmatic Faith vs Gnostic Vivifying Knowledge is a good starting point. He compares the mystic experience with the experience of gnosis:

Mysticism is the state of passive contact with the Divine Plane, in contradistinction with the state of wilful conscious active contact with the Divine Plane, which is proper to authentic Esotericism. [p. 142.]

We see that according to the Tradition of esoteric Christianity true knowledge does not bypass the intellect, rather, it engages it fully: it is "wilful, conscious, and active".

Scientific Philosophy studies man in general; abstract man. Esoteric philosophy concerns man as he is: the investigator is the object of his own studies. Starting from the constatation that man is unknown, his target is to make himself known to himself - as he is, and as he might become under certain conditions.

The final object of science is the same in principle, but the efforts are diametrically opposed. Starting from the centre, science extends, specializes, and so diverges towards the periphery. At the limit each point forms a separate discipline. Esoteric science begins from the multiplicity and variety observed on the periphery accessible to our senses, and moves towards the centre. It tends towards a more and more general synthesis.

The method of esoteric science is the same as that of positive science: observation, critical analysis of the given observations, and rigorous deduction from the established facts.

...This is why we apply this method here with the same rigorous objectivity, but in the opposite direction: in science we admit a postulate if we cannot refute it; here we would refute something if we do not find facts or phenomena to confirm it. [Boris Mouravieff, Gnosis, Vol I, p. 3]

Compare that with Prem Rawat's "passive, nonrational confidence and trust". The two are at opposite poles. Perhaps the four techniques of Prem Rawat can trigger something of a mystical state in certain of his followers; perhaps it is nothing more than a self-induced neurochemical high. Or it is the first in some and the second in others. Regardless, it is important not to stop there, not to think that this state is the final stop on the path.

The real work is only beginning.

True Knowledge is of a different nature than the data we learn in school or that we take in from society. Prem Rawat plays upon this difference but twists and distorts its actual meaning because True Knowledge, or gnosis, is objective, not subjective. With its grace we see ourselves and the world as we are and as it is.

Writes George Heart:

In its original Greek usage, the term "gnosis" has always been differentiated from sensory perception as well as opinion. Ever since the time of Plato, it has signified apprehending what really is. The platonic view grants such a reality only to those objects which are unaffected by the corrupting effect of time; and obviously, only metaphysical realities can withstand this test. If therefore one could grasp such realities through a gnosis, and grasp them integrally through his higher intellectual faculties, he would be drawing himself out of the space time domain.

[...] Gnosis is therefore Knowledge of God, Cosmology, Cosmogony, Archetypes, the Essence and the Origin of the human being. It is a Transcendental Knowledge to start with, which we register prior to transforming it into our substance. But, if this does not happen, and our internal psychic structure is not radically modified in accordance with this knowledge, then it has failed to accomplish its goal. Gnosis is a Knowledge of Life and Light which is itself Life and Light. [Ibid. pp 130-31.]

Although this description, on first glance, might seem as vague as any offered by the Perfect Master, it offers many clues as to how true gnosis differs from the feel-good experience offered by the Maharaji.

First, true gnosis permits one to see metaphysical realities. What does that mean? Are we talking about some hallucinatory trip? Not at all. The world is the manifestation of the interplay between Creation and Entropy. On one level, these are metaphysical realities. However, they are manifested in our world in ways that can be perceived by our senses. What is differentiated from sensory perception is our ability to see behind the material manifestation and to identify of which force it is a manifestation. Gnosis, or True Knowledge, permits us to see these forces as they manifest in our world, to see through the veil and the illusion to identify them correctly. Entropy, or the destructive force, if often hidden behind a veneer of Creation. Think of the words of George Bush claiming that he is bringing peace, freedom, and democracy to Iraq. Hidden behind these words is a cold, calculated, and relentless attack on peace, freedom, and the democratic will of the people he is responsible for slaughtering.

Yet how many people are unable to see behind the veil?

Of those who do, how many are able to actually DO something about it?

You might argue that the example of George Bush is not very difficult. It is easy to see the chasm between his lies and his actions. Well, the example of Prem Rawat is of exactly the same order. He says one thing and does something that is the opposite. He preaches inner peace, but he is bringing a deadening of our inner life that will render his followers incapable of clearly distinguishing between Creation and Entropy. Worse, he is convincing his followers that with this "experience" they are better off, closing them off from finding real answers to their questions and sealing the deal with a feel good experience.

The second point we can draw from the citation from George Heart is that true gnosis will radically modify our internal structure. If this doesn't happen, then the goal has not been reached. It is not the place here to go into detail of what this means. It is related to the seating of the Real 'I' which occurs with the fusion of the small 'I's of the Personality. A permanent link is thus established with our higher centres; it doesn't wear off.

Let me give a practical example of how one goes about this real work of acquiring Gnosis. 

Imagine a group of people all working together on a project of trying to learn about and practice access to higher realities. The hypothesis they have is that there IS another level of reality and they know that the signals of this reality are very, very subtle and not measurable in the ordinary way. There is no mechanical device they can build to detect or measure them. Yet, they know from experience and spontaneous phenomena that there ARE such signals. And they theorize about this other reality based on what little they can discern from these signals.

Remember: The method of esoteric science is the same as that of positive science: observation, critical analysis of the given observations, and rigorous deduction from the established facts.

And so, they conclude that the "instrument" that they need to work with is the most complex of them all: their own "being" which includes not only their physiology, but also the theorized "soul" and its theorized "organs of perception."

They decide that the best way to approach the experiment is to first study everything about their own "instrument," i.e. the body and psyche and all its "feelings" and impulses, etc, and compare one to another in order to begin to find and establish a baseline. In order to do this, they have to have a very great deal of knowledge about biology, physiology, psychology, history, and so on.

Once they have a baseline they can then begin to assess the myriad signals that enter the system.

How are they going to do this?

They must have feedback. If a signal comes in, there must be some way set-up so that they can check the signal against a "fact."

Using the example of telepathy, if someone gets an "impression" or a "feeling" or "sees a vision" or whatever the signal might be, they MUST have someone or something to either confirm or falsify it. Better still to have a group of people with a great deal of knowledge of a practical sort to be able to sort through the information and determine which is truth and which is not.

And here, truth must be understood.

As we ordinarily use it, the adjective "true" means "an assertion that corresponds to the facts". More precisely, the word "true" denotes the validity of an intended (or expected) correspondence between a representation and what it represents. There are many interesting essays that deal with this question on the internet. In this one, an example is given of a map being "true to geography" because "the lines of the plan exhibit approximately the same two-dimensional shape as streets". A painting is said to be "true to life" if it accurately shows to any viewer how something really looks when you see it with your eyes. This essay also suggests that "truth involves two 'systems', purportedly linked by a 'mapping'."

So, for the moment let's take this last definition that truth involves two systems linked by mapping. If the telepathic information can be confirmed as being accurate because there is feedback that shows it to be true, then they know what the signal is and that it is an accurate reading.

If, on the other hand, they find that their interpretation of the signal is wrong, then they have to go back and find out if it was a misreading, a false signal, or whatever.

Only in this way will they be able to build a solid, repeatable basis for interpreting signals from the environment first, and the theorized higher reality second.

It's rather like learning a completely new language. There are many aspects to a language that are important. There is the alphabet, there are the rules for how the letters may go together, how words may go together, pronunciation, inflection, and so on; all of these can crucially affect communication.

All of this has a relationship to the work of a achieving a state of Gnosis. Such work, cannot be done alone. Furthermore, if there is anyone at all involved in the project who is "holding back" or not being forthcoming, it can throw everyone's "reading mechanism" off. They will be getting signals that they cannot interpret because someone is not being sincere.

This is the beginning of the work of Gnosis. Those readers interested in learning more are encouraged to read the three volume work Gnosis by Boris Mouravieff and any of the articles about this process on our website.

Note as well that none of this information is secret. It is there for anyone who wishes to take the time to look for it. In learning and applying it, you are not forced to sign non-disclosure agreements or take vows to kiss the feet of the author.

Is Maharaji's Way Really the Way of the Heart?

The teachings of Maharaji have been called "the way of the heart". This naming obviously comes from the important role of experience and the all important devotion to the master. But is this teaching really the way of the heart? Or has Maharaji once again taken an existing term with a definite and specific meaning and, emptying it of its true content, used it to con innocent, ignorant, and gullible people who do not have sufficient real knowledge to know the difference?

There are, according to Tradition, three paths of access to the Way, the way of the fakir, for those dominated by their moving centres, the way of the monk, for those dominated by their emotional centres, and the way of the yogi for those dominated by their intellectual centre.

Gurdjieff has this to say about the way of the monk, that is, the way of the heart:

The second way is the way of the monk. This is the way of faith, the way of religious feeling, religious sacrifice. Only a man with very strong religious emotions and a very strong religious imagination can become a 'monk' in the true sense of the word.

The way of the monk also is very long and hard. A monk spends years and tens of years struggling with himself, but all his work is concentrated on the second room, on the second body, that is, on feelings.

Subjecting all his other emotions to one emotion, that is, to faith, he develops unity in himself, will over the emotions, and in this way reaches the fourth room.

But his physical body and his thinking capacities may remain undeveloped. In order to be able to make use of what he has attained, he must develop his body and his capacity to think. This can only be achieved by means of fresh sacrifices, fresh hardships, fresh renunciations.

A monk has to become a yogi and a fakir. Very few get as far as this; even fewer overcome all difficulties. Most of them either die before this or become monks in outward appearance only." [p. 53]

Maharaji certainly stresses the emotions at the expense of the other centres, but he never mentions the part about needing to work on the motor centre or the intellectual centre when one has finished with the emotional centre. He tells us that all is needed is the heart.

Gurdjieff also discusses the importance of the teacher in the way of the monk:

On the way of the monk a man has a teacher, and a part of his duty, a part of his work, consists in having absolute faith in the teacher, in submitting to him absolutely, in obedience. But the chief thing on the way of the monk is faith in God, in the love of God, in constant efforts to obey and serve God, although, in his understanding of the idea of God and of serving God, there may be much that is subjective and contradictory. [p. 54]

Here we see some important differences with Prem Rawat's teaching. As we have seen, for the Guru, the teacher and God have become one. To obey and serve the teacher is to obey and serve God.

Another important difference is the relationship between the monk and his teacher. Yes, the monk must have absolute faith in his teacher, but that is within a real relation, one where the teacher and the student know one another. The teacher will be able to see when the monk is failing in his devotion to God. He will serve as a mirror, a means of bringing the monk back on track.

In other words, there is no one application of that way for each and every one who takes it up. There must be a constant feedback between teacher and student.

Prem Rawat offers no such give and take, no such road assistance plan. Once his students set off down the road, they are on their own. He teaches the four techniques and then turns them loose. And we have already looked at his idea of "free".

Gurdjieff also has this to say about the role of the teacher in any of the three schools:

According to the three ways the methods of each guru may approximate either to the way of the fakir, the way of the monk, or the way of the yogi. And it is of course possible that a man who is beginning work will make a mistake, will follow a leader such as he cannot follow for any distance. It stands to reason that it is the task of the leader to see to it that people do not begin to work with him for whom his methods or his special subjects will always be alien, incomprehensible, and unattainable. But if this does happen and if a man had begun to work with a leader whom he cannot follow, then of course, having noticed and realized this, he ought to go and seek another leader or work independently, if he is able to do so. [p. 381]

Here, again, is another important difference. The teacher must be able to see whether or not a specific form of work is appropriate for the student. If the work is not fitting, then he will help the student understand that he needs to look elsewhere and find an appropriate teacher. Will a man whose teaching includes that of true devotion be able to put the needs of the students before his own need to be worshipped? As we saw in the cases of "gifts given in love", he is unable to do so.

What does that say about his qualifications to teach anyone, if he is unable to place his students needs above his own?

But there is even more to the so-called "Way of the Heart" that will give the reader a better idea of how completely Maharaji has co-opted and twisted this term (not to mention a host of other "New Age" types).

In our normal state of running on auto-pilot, we generally just seek a comfortable, conflict free existence. Our momentum carries us along a certain path, and it is only when we hit impediments or even unforeseen attractions that we are forced to change direction. These are shocks. It is through shocks to the system that we are aroused from our state of sleep. Because we are conditioned to seek a conflict free life, we generally seek to move past these shocks with as little disturbance to the system as possible. In short, we seek to go back on auto-pilot as quickly as possible. As a result, if we are forced to turn off our autopilot and deal with the world in real-time, we try to find the quickest and easiest way to accommodate the shock with as little disturbance to our way of life as possible.

However, when things do not go as we would like them to, when the world does not act or react according to our desires, our wishes, our predictions, our anticipation, we then receive an even greater shock. It is in such conditions that human beings become aware of the false assumptions that get us into situations that our programming can't handle. In short, it is during these moments of shock that all the different parts within are momentarily aligned while we seek to create a "new program" that will, in future, manage such situations.

This means that, for that period of time that we are seeking a solution, we face a choice: to "take a drug" for the pain, or to fully experience it so that the body itself (and here we refer to the spiritual body) will produce its own "chemical" that will properly "heal" the wound.  In other words, in those moments of such shock, we have the opportunity to break our habits, eliminate the assumptions we have acquired by rote, and stop the mechanical ways in which we do things. In other words, the key to fusing the self consists in using these shocks, these moments of self-awareness, as aids in becoming less mechanical. The shock can make us aware for a brief instant of where we are, how we got there, what our assumptions were, or, in other words, of the program that we were running, if we seize it during the brief instant it exists.

However, the moment during which we can override the autopilot is narrow because we have back-up systems in place that can kick-in, programs for dealing with shocks, (spiritual drugs, beliefs, etc) and these programs are every bit as mechanical as the others. So one must learn to discern the moment when the transfer of the programs takes place and consciously step in before the new program.

As we are mechanical in all aspects of our lives, the shocks that can awaken us can also be found in all areas of our lives: at work, at home with our spouses, children, or parents, in reports about the day's news, or even at the movies. But we must know how to put them to work. One must be able to stop when one is shocked and properly observe our reactions as they take place. This process is referred to in the Tradition as "The Doctrine of the Present."

In the process of applying certain aspects of the Doctrine of the Present, the seeker can observe the physiological changes brought on by the shock: a quickening of the pulse, a shortening of the breath, perhaps a tightness in the chest. It happens in an instant. The physiological changes are always accompanied by an emotion, perhaps fear, the sense that one is being attacked. Fear can lead to a response of attack or flight, either physical or simply mental, closing oneself off or letting off a string of angry words.

In time and with practice, we can watch all of this happen as if it is not happening to us. We can become more and more objective about ourselves. Of course it takes time to develop, to be able to separate oneself from the physical manifestations, the emotional reaction, and the subsequent intellectual justifications that we elaborate to explain our reaction to the shock. In this respect, a network or a group proves invaluable because we can easily fall into extremely subtle intellectual rationalizations, fuelled by "colored" emotional energy.

As we gain practice, through proper utilization of a network of like-minded seekers, an esoteric group, we can begin to identify the different small "I's" as they react. Some of these are physical, some are emotional, and others are intellectual. In the terms of esoteric Christianity, they are defined as the motor center (the physical and instinctive aspects), the emotional center, and the intellectual center. The work of aligning these centers is the work of understanding them, stepping outside of them to watch them work, and then, eventually, changing the habitual and mechanical responses they engender to something controlled by the essence - the objective observer. Rather than reacting to shocks as the chemicals race through the system and carry us away, we are in control, and can, for once, begin to truly act instead of merely reacting to stimuli.

This is what Gurdjieff means when he says that as we are we are incapable of action. We are merely reacting mechanically until we "crystallize" or "grow" that spiritual body that can control our programs.

Through this work of self observation and self-mastery, we are in a sense rewiring ourselves, creating new circuits, physiologically. And it isn't easy. It hurts. You will suffer. You will suffer physically, emotionally, and mentally. To grab control of the emotions while the chemicals are pumping through the body is going to hurt, but this is the necessary and unavoidable part of the process. It is the body that is the alchemical crucible, and the proper use of mental and emotional and physical energies is the process that transmutes lead into gold. 

Gurdjieff spoke of intentional suffering. We see now how suffering can be used, if one is conscious and has made the choice, for transmutation. Using the model of the many small "I's", we can say that the heat of the crucible, the fire engendered through our suffering, becomes the fuel needed to fuse together the many small "I's" to one purpose: Truth. This activity is mirrored in the chemicals in the body that affect DNA. The word "fuse" is used to good purpose because the self becomes a furnace in which the repetitive process of heating and cooling the personality is analogous to the heating and cooling used to forge and temper iron. If it is done all in one blow, the iron becomes brittle and will crack, the seeker will go mad, but if it is done slowly and carefully, heating and cooling over and over again, the iron becomes stronger, able to resist ever stronger shocks.

And so it goes with the inner work on the self.

You may have to go through the process for each of the small "I's" - each thought loop of reactions learned from society, family, experience - as each kicks and screams when it does not get its way, a process that will occur and reoccur as each is aligned and fused with your overriding will for the Truth that will set you free; true liberation: the mastery of the Self.

This process is the Quest that leads to the Holy Grail of the self transmuted both psychically, and physically via DNA. These battles with the self are the tests of the Knight, tests of his commitment, designed to fell the Knight, either through force or distraction or seduction. Each choice we make is a test. Do we continue to live in the old way, or are we beginning to live in a new way? Do we continue to react to the shocks as we have always reacted? Or do we move on, understanding why we have always reacted thusly (under the illusion that we were in fact acting) and working to change, to no longer be mechanical, dependent upon our chemistry? Do we fall into confluence with the world, slipping out of awareness and into patterns of habit or mechanical activity? When we are walking into a trap, can we identify it in time or are we caught? If we are caught in a trap, do we recognized we are caught, or do we find excuses to justify to ourselves that we are free?

These choices will of necessity be difficult and painful. I know in my life there were times that I felt as if my heart was being crushed with the pain of facing the truth, of accepting it, and acting on it! And all the while the pain was unleashed and running wild through my system, a little voice was telling me that nothing was worth this pain, that the whole quest was nothing but an illusion, begging me to stop, to change course, to return to the comfort of the old life.

But the old life was never comfortable. The old life had driven me to the desperation of being willing to do anything to get out, so in the midst of the pain one must continue to see through the illusion, must hold onto the ultimate aim, the objective truth.

That is the thought that I needed to keep in mind when my body and my emotions were telling me to quit, when my mind was using my emotions to elaborate stories on how my old situation wasn't that bad after all, on how things could be different if I would just make a teeny change, a miniscule compromise of what was right. It took enormous will to remain connected to that part of me that knew the truth, that knew I could not continue on in the old ways, the part that knew compromise was just another lie.

That continual barrage of shocks is the fuel for the work, and the emotions are the fire that heats the crucible. That fire must be stoked over and over. Just because one has passed one test is no guarantee that one will pass the next. In fact, it is easy to become overconfident and complacent and forget that we are not in control of our own minds.

Conscious suffering, the ability to sit in the fire while it burns and look at it objectively, that is, to see it for what it is without trying to put it out, to damp it, to cover it over, is the means by which we fuse our small "I's". This is the true "Way of the Heart" and why the Jesus and Mary – ancient esoteric symbols – are often represented with "bleeding hearts."

Clearly, the teachings of the Maharaji have nothing to do with a true Way of the Heart.


After having a life-changing mystical "experience", it is not uncommon for the individual to begin to put one's life into question and to eventually decide to begin some work of service to others. It is normal. If one has truly experienced the momentary dissolution of the ego and has experienced the transcendent experience of "We are all One", it is natural to seek a means of applying that new awareness in one's life.

Here, too, Prem Rawat has his own unique view of the idea of what that service should be:

What is service?

Service is an experience that you get, via Knowledge, when you perform an act for Guru Maharaj Ji in any way - even if it's in Australia, if it's in the North Pole, if it's in the South Pole, if Guru Maharaj Ji is there or not there, but your heart is there.

(Rome Italy; March 28, 1977)

Service, then, is service to the "Master", performing "an act for Guru Maharaj Ji in any way".

And how can this service be expressed? The "Master" gives some rather explicit directions:

And Guru Maharaj Ji invites the people who have received this Knowledge to accompany him in the adventure of revealing this Truth, revealing this Knowledge, to the whole world. And that's his mission. I have invited premies to join me, to give me their love, to give me their devotion, to give me their strength, so that people can understand, and this Knowledge can be spread to thousands and millions of people who are just confused, who are just going around in circles and will keep on going. For generations and generations before them, people have been going around in circles, and have not been given a fair opportunity to get out of there and to realize the simple aim of human life.

(Lima, Peru; November 18, 1976)

A second break for fresh air may be necessary; I am fresh out of sick bags.

It is one of the rules of esoteric work that the seeker must, having crossed the first threshold, become involved in esoteric work. One must begin to give back to the Universe for the knowledge and understanding one has acquired. Notice, however, that such work is not devotion to the Master, it is not a form of feeding the guru, it is applying the knowledge one has learned to help others; to pass it on. In the Maharaji's world, only he can directly help others and only he can be paid. The rest of us must pass through his beneficent wisdom. That could mean joining his organisation and taking part in recruiting and preparing new victims. But the goal is the feeding of the "Master", from the bottom of the pyramid to the top.

Energy does not circulate in a hierarchy. In a true esoteric school, there is no hierarchy with low grades at the bottom feeding the top. There is no pyramid. Rather than a pyramidal hierarchy, it is a circle, a network, and the energy can move from any one node to any other node. The energy moves wherever it is needed, as it is needed, in a free and fluid manner.

Service is defined as doing what needs to be done, whatever is in front of you. One moment, you may need to help another; another moment, one must take care of oneself; still another, a member of the network will help you.

In the Maharaji's world, it all goes straight to the top.

Dependence Upon the Guru

It should be clear by now to any reader not fully under the sway of this scam artist and spiritual predator that the entire teaching is aimed at supplying Prem Rawat with a continual and never-ending supply of energy from his followers – emotional and material. He is a spiritual vampire sucking dry the faithful to feed his ego, his bank account, and if our hypothesis about the workings of hyperdimensional reality and the evil magician are correct, his handlers in what we call 4th density, the next rung on the reality ladder.

In a videocassette of a speech given before loyal cult members in India in 2000, the Great One speaks of the absurdity of offering gifts to God, as is done in temples in India, because God is everywhere and everything is God, therefore there is nothing you can offer to him that he doesn't have. He illustrates his point with the following story: How would it be if for his son's birthday he went into his son's room, took all of his son's clothes, wrapped them up in a box, put a ribbon around it, and then gave it back to his son as the birthday present? That is what he says people who make offerings to God are doing. And he has a good laugh at the whole idea and at the stupidity of those caught in it.

And yet, the former Lord of the Universe does exactly the same thing with his students, claiming that it is only through and by him that they can come to what he calls "Knowledge". However, if this "Knowledge" is within each of us, and the so-called keys of the Maharaji are in reality techniques taken from yoga, techniques that are taught by teachers the world over, then isn't Maharaji doing the same thing? He is worse than the Gods of the temples. They remain silent. They never speak and tell us what they think of the offerings. Prem Rawat, on the other hand, sits in front of his followers repeating that without him and his extraordinary presence, they would have nothing.

But where would he be without the gifts and the idolatry of his disciples? For forty years now he has fed off of their adoration, permitted his devotees to kiss his feet in appreciation for all He has given them (after having left the envelope on the side), proclaimed himself more powerful than Krishna, and has enriched himself in a truly heinous betrayal of the trust of his flock. Do we think for a moment that he could survive without the adulation? Without the gifts?

Can Dracula survive without fresh blood?

The key in maintaining his hold is his open assault on real knowledge and the ability of his acolytes to think.


As stated above, our concept of esoteric work is to achieve the most objective view possible of ourselves and of the world; the goal is to master oneself. To attain this goal, the help of others is an absolute necessity. We are incapable of seeing ourselves as we truly are without the help of a mirror offered by others actively engaged in the same work. This mirror permits us to recalibrate our reading instrument so that it can register reality ever more accurately. A real teacher is able to do just that, as are other students. Knowing the student, the group can see him or her as they are and can offer experiences to help the student learn.

But to do this, the student must be known. His or her programmes, blind spots, and sacred cows must be seen and given the chance to manifest so that they can be identified and dealt with through personal intervention.

In Prem Rawat's case, he never actually meets the vast majority of his students. Individual students who can afford to travel may be blessed with the occasional personal appearance, amounting to seeing their object of devotion on a dais in front of hundreds or thousands of others. Knowing full well the power of a group in provoking mass hysteria of feel-good experience, such appearances reinforce the allegiance to the God. But clearly he cannot be a teacher in a serious way. The student is by and large left on his or her own to do the practice, or meets with a small group of other devotees, to make their way.

This isolation encourages and reinforces the growing subjectivity of the student. Added to the very nature of the "Master's" product — an intensely subjective "experience" that he misnames "Knowledge", as if it were the same thing as the Gnosis of the esoteric Christian Tradition — and it is a certainty that his students will become mired down in an ever more subjective vision and illusion of themselves and of the world. How could it be otherwise? We have seen that their capacity for rational thought has been, first denigrated, then silenced, that their will has been given over to the "Master", through whom all truth is received, and that they never again will have to think because they have "Guru Maharaj Ji's knowledge".

An example of this subjectivity and how it affects the disciple's ability to see objective reality is the following:

If we are striving for an objective view of reality, it would include an objective view of Maharaji himself. Such a view would include looking at his wealth, his connections in the halls of power, his relations with his students, all of his students, his pronouncements about his divinity, his teaching, his ability to live what he teaches, and his transformations and repackagings over the years. And that would be a start. The picture, as this article demonstrates, is not pretty. There can be no doubt that he is a spiritual predator.

What would you conclude, then, if in looking at this picture, a devotee of the Most Holy Lord of the Universe was unable to go any further than the reaction, "But he gave me the Knowledge"? That is, the student was incapable of seeing the guru through anything other than his or her own limited and subjective experience of the "Master"?

What kind of "Knowledge" is it that actually blinds one to reality? Is it really "knowledge", or is it ignorance and self-deception enshrined as ecstasy and bliss?

It would be hard not to conclude that such a person was completely in the grip of the man and incapable of rising above his or her subjectivity to see the teacher, and, therefore, the world, as it is. If such a person was incapable of seeing such an obvious spiritual predator for what he is, what trust could one have in his or her other perceptions?  What possibility would exist for him or her to even see the self objectively?

An objective view of reality needs knowledge and the input of all of one's faculties at once. If a teaching increases and anchors ever more strongly one's subjective view of the world, then it is not Knowledge. True knowledge comes from the use of all of one's faculties in the same moment, when heart and head are One and the body can do nothing else than act upon that knowledge.

But, what, then, is a moment?

The Gift of the Present

One of the great New Age and Eastern religion memes is that of "living in the moment" or that "the present is all we have". Concretely, that often gets interpreted as "if it feels good, do it", if you are feeling "love" for someone, profit from it, benefit from it, live it while it lasts. Whatever you do, don't waste it. It is special, so live it now and don't worry about the future. Allow it to consume you. "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."

But what if one has a different experience of the "Present" or the "Moment"?

Eugène Canseliet writes in the preface to the second edition of Fulcanelli's Dwellings of the Philosophers:

According to the meaning of the Latin word adeptus, the alchemist has then received the Gift of God, or even better, the Present, a cabalistic pun on the double meaning of the word, underlining that he thus enjoys the infinite duration of the Now.

So Canseliet speaks of the "infinite duration of the now". What can that possibly mean? Surely "now" is just a brief instant?

Mouravieff writes about the duration of the Present in Gnosis:

In reality, the Present is not known to endure, and in fact it has no duration. It does not last; all that lasts extends in Time, and so in fact automatically exists in the domain of the Future-Past. The expression: 'duration of the Present' is a convention. It gives easier access for our intelligence — which takes Time as an absolute category — to the notion of the Present, a category which is actually situated outside Time. From now on, whenever we use the conventionalized term 'the duration of the Present', we must take care not to lose this factor from view.

[...] It is in fact correct to measure the individual Present by means of units of Time; but when we do so we do not measure the Present itself, which has no measure, but the breadth of the slot through which we observe the film of the kaleidoscope, the film of life.

This is a very interesting comment: measuring the present is not done directly, but via the "breadth of the slot through which we observe the film of the kaleidoscope, the film of life." What can that mean?

Mouravieff continues:

Here is another example, chosen to help us better understand this mechanism which rules us.

Let us imagine a being without dimension, a living point endowed with the intelligence of the first dimension. Let us agree that this being lives on a geometrical line, let us say a curve. To him, his whole notion of space is reduced to three representations: what is in front, what is behind, and what is here. In addition, because his mind has no notion of a second dimension, which is necessary to visualize a curve, he believes that the curve on which he lives is a straight line.

The human being, three dimensional in space, is monodimensional in Time. He lives on a straight line in Time, and perceives nothing outside that line. All his notion of Time is reduced, in analogy to the above example, to three representations: ahead - the Future; behind him – the Past; and lastly here - the Present, which he conceives as without extension. But if, by appropriate exercises, our living point could acquire a sense of the second dimension, and if he is torn away from the geometrical line on which he lives, believing there is nowhere else - he would realize at that moment, very surprised, that it is possible for him not only to observe the point here, but simultaneously to observe two fragments of the line, one in front, and the other behind him.

How is it possible for us to tear ourselves away from the geometrical line on which we live? Is he talking about astral travel or some other form of paranormal experience? He is speaking of nothing of the sort. So how can we get this higher view on ourselves, a point from whence we can see both the past and the future so to speak?

Let us imagine an example.

Two people meet. They are both, from all appearances, on a spiritual path. Everything is wonderful, they enjoy a Love between them that neither has ever known before. It all seems perfect. However, as they get to know each other, one discovers that the words they share have different meanings, that the other is interpreting everything everywhere through the false and subjective "spirituality" of Maharaji.

No matter the arguments brought, the data presented, the person caught in the thrall of Maharaji is incapable of seeing the "Master" in his true colours.

The first may well have different forces pulling and pushing him. The heart, the emotional centre, full of this never-before-experienced Love will be wanting to paper over the differences, denying that they are important in the face of what it is feeling.

The intellectual centre, however, remembers previous experiences when small differences at the beginning, differences that were pushed aside and ignored, later emerged to create great pain and suffering to both individuals involved. It is able to project into the future and see the results of ignoring these lessons, so hard-won in the past.

That seeing of past and present is alive and vivid, so alive and vivid that it can't be shrugged off by saying to oneself "Ah, well, maybe this time it'll be different" or "the high I'm on now, so strong, so beautiful, will certainly be worth the problems later".

And all of this, the pleadings of the heart and the knowledge of the head are going on at the same moment. And if the intellectual centre can stay firm in the face of the emotional kicks, those kicks can be tempered and the emotional centre can be made to "see" the truth of the intellectual centre's wider view of past and present. The energy of the emotional centre changes its colour and a harmonious understanding of heart and head occurs.

At that moment, the slot through which the individual views the film of his or her life has widened — past, present and future merge to become the Present.

The Present expands by an expansion of our awareness, of what we can retain while the emotions are pulling us into a narrow view. Can the intellectual centre see what is real at the same time as the emotional centre and the moving centre just want it to find excuses and justifications? Can the work of all the centres be merged together into Knowledge?

We must regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. 

Consider an intelligence which, at any instant, could have a knowledge of all forces controlling nature together with the momentary conditions of all the entities of which nature consists.  If this intelligence were powerful enough to submit all this data to analysis it would be able to embrace in a single formula the movements of the largest bodies in the universe and those of the lightest atoms; for it, nothing would be uncertain; the future and the past would be equally present to its eyes.

Pierre Laplace

Consequences of Maharaji's Teaching on an Individual's Esoteric Development

After reading through the horror story that comprises the life and teachings of the Guru Maharaj Ji, one might be tempted to think that no one could really fall for this, and if they did, certainly one day they would wake up and see the truth. When they do, they can get on with their lives and their search.

Would it were so easy. Unfortunately, engaging in the wrong work, especially over a long period of time, can have extremely damaging effect on one's potential for esoteric development. To explain why, we will need to go into the basics of our personality structure.

We are not integrated. There are many different little 'I's within us, struggling to be heard and to have their way. The tradition gives us the image of a container filled with iron filings. Give the vessel the slightest nudge and the filings change position. So it is in our inner lives. We are constantly changing from one moment to the next. The goal of esoteric work is through the fire of our work and conscious suffering to fuse these filings into a solid whole, the real 'I'.

However, if we become strongly identified with anything before this fusion occurs, lumps can form in the cup, lumps where small numbers of the iron filings have fused together. The Personality is no longer fluid in these areas. It is solid. The trouble is that such a partial fusion will prevent a later complete fusion. Once a lump is formed, further esoteric progress can only be made by going back and breaking it up. The shocks needed to do so are extremely painful as large and important parts of our lives must be put into question. Whatever it is that we have so identified with that it has created the lump must be analysed, understood, seen for what it is, and discarded.

Worse, if the lump is strong enough and the influence which led to its creation is active in one's life for long enough, a black magnetic centre can be formed within the individual. Boris Mouravieff, in his work Gnosis, describes the formation of the black magnetic centre this way:

This … figure, with black magnetic centres, represents the situation where man deludes himself and, believing he is absorbing Esoteric influences and making the necessary selection all the while, he in fact absorbs Deception influences, those of the black arrows that are in some way parallel to the white arrows of the Esoteric influences. This will put him into contact with people who possess magnetic centres of the same nature: who are themselves duped or who dupe others, and who have no direct or indirect link with the esoteric Centre.

To understand Mouravieff's comment on "believing he is absorbing Esoteric, or 'B' influences and making the necessary selection all the while, he in fact absorbs Deception, or'A' influences, those of the black arrows that are in some way parallel to the white arrows of the 'B' influences", one needs to study the following diagram:

Here we see many small, black arrows pointing in many different directions. The large white arrows are all pointing in the same direction. The small, black arrows represent the influences of the material world, what Mouravieff calls the 'A' influences: sex, success, money, riches, etc. The white arrows represent the 'B' influences, that is influences that put us in touch with our higher nature.

Black arrows are those 'A' influences that mimic or appear to go in the same direction as the 'B' influences. However, they are false teachings, teachings such as that of the Maharaji that lead the person further into that which he believes he is attempting to escape. They move the person towards the 'A' influences under cover of moving him or her towards the 'B' influences.

This problem can result in a magnetic alignment with the Entropic force. Under such an influence, real 'B' influences will be seen as 'A' influences. Remembering back to our discussion of gnosis above, the metaphysical reality is not seen. The veil is not pierced.

There is little or no hope for individuals so aligned, at least in this life.


There are many worrisome aspects to the life and teachings of Prem Rawat. That he began teaching at such a young age may well be an indication of hyperdimensional influences in his life, and that is in no way meant as a good thing. He may have been chosen as the channel for some noxious ideas. There are also his claims to divinity and the titles he took, Lord of the Universe, the Perfect Master, and such, that indicate a megalomania that was fed as his disciples kissed his feet and showered him with "gifts of love" to the point that his ego could easily be depicted as Jabba the Hut in Star Wars.

By his teens, the patterns were in place: the demands for complete devotion and the idea that he, and he alone, could save you, that is, give you "The Knowledge".

From there, he succeeded in building up tremendous wealth. He was well promoted in the media, received the keys to many US cities. This success, too, indicates that he was well connected to the Powers That Be. Those connections continue to this day with his speeches at various UN Conferences. [Note: October 8, 2006. I have been contacted by a number of former Premmies who have explained to me that Prem Rawat has no official connection to the UN. It seems that he rents the facilities for his conferences, and that he can then, in his usual slimy way, make people believe that he has official connections. I would like to thank all of the people who have contacted me.]

Obviously, he teachings do not strike fear into the hearts of those controlling our world, and from our analysis, we can understand why. People are being taught an effective way of shutting down their capacity to think. It is easy to perceive the main beneficiaries of such a program: those who wish to control others.

Maharaji ties "Knowledge" to his personal being, the direct connection with his own divinity, trapping people in their own subjectivity. He dispenses with the need for a network, promoting instead the dangerous idea that they can do it alone, of course, with His Highness's help. Maharaji shows the pitfalls of turning inward to one's subjectivity as the basis for "knowledge".

In the worst cases, those who come under his influence may well have blocked themselves from any true esoteric development. When they come across a true and vital teaching, their inability to see reality will blind them to Truth.

In conclusion, it should be clear that the path of "Knowledge" from and devotion to Prem Rawat, Guru Maharaj Ji, former Lord of the Universe and Perfect Master, has nothing to do with a genuine esoteric work. He is a fraud and deceiver: a Predator on the ignorance of the masses.

The following sites are very useful resources for those wanting to know more about Prem Rawat. The first group are sites set up by ex-premies that look at the real Prem Rawat. The second group are two "official" Maharaji-Prem Rawat sites.

[1] Apparently this claimed letter has never been produced as evidence.

[2] Obviously, passing this information along is not that difficult and has nothing to do with an individual "guru."

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