There is little doubt that when Prem Rawat first came to the West he was publicised by his followers as a God-like, divine figure. They acclaimed the tubby teenager as the "Lord of the Universe" and countless times they sang to Him: "Your glory fills the world," "Heavenly hosts sing your praises" and that nectar from His Lotus Feet cleans us of our sins and he sat there listening and smiling. However over the past decades Rawat and his current followers and organisations have been stating that he did not claim to be God and his exalted status in the eyes of his followers was a mistake caused by the influence of "Indian ideas" mainly promulgated by his family and the Indian "mahatmas." If so, why didn't he explain the truth to them then?
A devotee of Maharaji made the following argument claiming that this proved that Prem Rawat stated categorically that he wasn't God. He provided the following quotes from some of Rawat's speeches claiming that they were unequivocal, unambiguous, crystal clear statements that Prem Rawat wasn't/isn't God:
In most cases, these very speeches also contain unequivocal, unambiguous, crystal clear statements that explain Rawat, himself, is God incarnated in a human body:
It's not a difficult concept to understand. Reporters with minimal interest in Prem Rawat grasped the idea easily. You can even use logic. Prem Rawat says "my Knowledge is God". Prem Rawat says he is He is Knowledge. ergo Prem Rawat is God.
Prem Rawat has never written a book or clearly and concisely defined his concepts. Virtually all his teachings have been imparted in speeches that are mainly extemperanous though there is considerable repetition. Quotes taken out of context can be bandied about and prove nothing without an overview of his teachings. In Prem Rawat's teachings "God is energy," it cannot be created and cannot be destroyed and God is the power that creates the universe, sustains it and destroys it when appropriate and this has been going on since time immemorial. A spark of that energy exists within inside each human being and is the source of life, the energy keeping you alive and the Élan Vital though it cannot be found by mere scientists. The purpose of each human life is to return to that energy and as humans are controlled by their Minds and are sunk in illusion, the lineage (parampara) of Perfect Masters or Masters or Guru Maharaj Jis or Satgurus incarnate, manifest, come into this world or are embodied whenever necessary (which is all the time) to teach humans the Knowledge and to save them. Those verbs are self-explanatory and Rawat also talks about God which is formless and God with a form ie with a human body. Prem Rawat has never exactly defined how this identity of God, the infinite eternal power and the incarnation as a human being occurs and is maintained but then it is a very difficult thing to explain and understand and as far as I know he hasn't tried. Countless thousands of human beings have already been killed trying to agree on this very topic. Among the past Masters are Ram, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed and Prem Rawat's father, Hans Rawat. Rawat said that Guru Maharaj Ji (The Revealer of Light and Ultimate Ruler) could just appear as a giant disembodied head in the clouds and appear to all human beings at once and order them to receive and practise Knowledge or go to hell but he has never done that and never will because that's just the way it is.
The following links are to collections of his teachings about his divinity (ergh His Divinity)- in His own words:
Rawat also said different things depending on the audience to which he was talking. When speaking to the media or to audiences not composed of his followers he usually said he didn't claim to be a Messiah or prophet but only a humble servant of God. He explained to his followers that Perfect Masters had reasons for being born but that they didn't like to explicitly state they were the Perfect Master even though he said he was the Perfect Master many times:
But something that is perfect will never have to express itself, because it's perfect by itself. To whom - to whom will it express? To whom will it go and say, "Well, here I am, perfectness. Realize me; I am the perfectness." So, this is the reason that always why Perfect Master is born into this world. To actually make us - He doesn't come and say, "Well, I am the Perfect Master." He doesn't come and say, "I am this" or "I am that." Because when even Jesus Christ was asked - you know? - it's like, He said, "I am the humble servant." He is the humble servant. He was the one who was like "Son of God", and He came here - San Francisco California, February 9 1974
We can see from the following quotes that Rawat was not consistent in his claims and made contradictory statements:
"And we must go to this Perfect Master who comes to this Earth just to help us. I don't claim myself to be any Perfect Master or to be God or to be anything like that. I just claim to be a humble servant" - Miami Beach Florida, June 16 1972
interviewer: "How would you describe yourself? As a prophet, or a son of God, or what?" Guru Maharaj Ji: "As a Perfect Master." - Sydney Australia, October 1972
They come to me and say, "Why do you say you are God?" "Why do you say you are Perfect Master?" I just tell them, "Are you having daydreams these days?" I don't declare myself to be a Perfect Master. - Denver Colorado, June 26 1973
And as a matter of fact, I am the Perfect Master because I can reveal them this peace." - Guru Puja festival, Alexandra Palace London, July 13 1973
However to the right audience he often spoke of his divinity and unique power and of his incarnation:
So who is Guru? When God Himself incarnates in this body, He is called Guru - Swiss Alps Festival, 26 August 1972
When God takes human form He is Perfect Master. Perfect. Because, except for God, nobody's perfect. So when He is the Perfect Master, He is Himself. - Denver Ashram, Colorado, 18 September 1971
His father wrote in his book "Hans Yog Prakash" that "We should understand that Guru is the most powerful manifestation of the Lord."
There were times when Rawat got a bit carried away and said things that could be construed as an overt admission of his divinity. In these cases his followers always erupted with "Bolie Shris" and cheering. Some of these moments are recorded here.
The were occasions when Prem Rawat said he wasn't God and in those he was referring to 'God' as infinite formless energy. If you actually read even some of the hundreds of transcripts of his speeches you would see that these are red herrings. There were many times he actually claimed to be the incarnation of God in a human body or Perfect Master in exactly the same way as Jesus, Krishna, Ram etc were Perfect Masters. The list below links to hundreds of quotes from his speeches where his teachings on these subjects are specified though it is not always possible to separate them into discrete categories:
Renowned and respected academics of religion reported the closing of the ashrams and that his followers had been instructed to no longer worship him as God. They are unsure whether he simply encouraged the belief that he was no longer to be worshipped as God or that he insisted upon it. This does beg the question as to how you can resign from being God but it does confirm that he once was worshipped as God by his followers, worship he had not formerly discouraged.
Newspaper articles referring to Prem Rawat as God:
Even journalists with little interest in Prem Rawat quickly understood he taught he was God Incarnated in a human body.
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