Prem Rawat's Teaching About Liberation, Realisation & Devotion
Prem Rawat, or Maharaji (the Ultimate Ruler) as he calls himself or Guru Maharaj Ji as he called himself until the 1980's says he is the one and only living Perfect Master teaching the Knowledge that provides liberation and infinite and eternal God realisation. These concepts were what his early target group - disaffected counter-culture youth of the early 1970's - were interested in and expected that Indian gurus could provide. They may not have known exactly what it meant but it sure sounded good … man. It was claimed that the 6 year old Prem Rawat had realized the Knowledge of God a few weeks after being initiated. As time went on his teachings evolved to to stress the absolute need for faith in him and devotion and surrender to him and obedience to him for the Knowledge to work. The promises that practising the Knowledge would definitely provide total bliss and joy, liberation, enlightenment and infinite and eternal God realisation were quietly dropped and soon forgotten and adoration and worship of Prem Rawat's physical form took priority - believe it or not.
In my collection of Prem Rawat's speeches and other forms of his spoken words, he mentioned:
- realisation/realization app. 1500 times (he was referring to the need to realise how crucially important He and His Knowledge were
- devotion app. 2350 times
- surrender app. 2000 times
- Lord (capitalised) app. 1200 times
- Master (capitalised) app. 1085 times
- Darshan app. 1000 times
- Perfect Master (capitalised) app. 835 times
- Satguru app. 650 times
- Faith app. 650 times
- worship app. 500 times (refers to worshipping Prem Rawat Himself)
- liberation app. 265 times
- agya app. 200 times (agya refers to obeying the commandments of Prem Rawat
- enlightenment app. 55 times.
This gives a good indication of what his priorities are and what he wanted his followers to think about and believe. In 1978 he began to explicitly preach that devotion is far superior to liberation and from then the mention of any permanent higher form of consciousness for his followers was dropped. Devotion to Him now became defined as the source of joy and bliss amongst those practising His Knowledge. The belief that practising the Knowledge provides liberation, enlightenment and infinite and eternal God realisation was quietly forgotten.
In Indian religions and Indian philosophy, moksha (Sanskrit: मोक्ष mokṣa), also called vimoksha, vimukti and mukti, means emancipation, liberation or release. In soteriological and eschatological sense, it connotes freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth. In epistemological and psychological sense, moksha connotes freedom, self-realization and self-knowledge. a state of perfection. the state that liberates a person from all causes of sorrow and suffering. However, in modern era literature, these concepts have different premises in different religions. Nirvana, a concept common in Buddhism, is the realization that there is no self nor consciousness; while moksha, a concept common in many schools of Hinduism, is acceptance of Self, realization of liberating knowledge, the consciousness of Oneness with all existence and understanding the whole universe as the Self.
In the western world the concept of (spiritual) enlightenment has begotten a romantic meaning. It has become synonymous with self-realization and the true self, being regarded as a substantial essence being covered over by social conditioning.
Shri Maharaj Ji, Delhi, India, August 7 1952
St. Kabir says that many lives have passed by talking beads, but the mind could not get peace, so he advises that you should discard the rosary of beads and take up the rosary of the mind, which can be obtained from the Guru. Though this is taught in schools and colleges, can any professors or teachers tell you how to use the rosary of the mind? It is comprised of the Mahamantra, which is "the Name which has neither beginning nor ending." Nobody can attain liberation without knowing the true and Holy Name. St. Kabir says that whatever is done without the guidance of Guru, goes astray. Many people believe today that Lord Rama or Lord Krishna, or a flag, or the Gita, or the Ramayana, etc … should be taken as Guru, but nobody bothers to think over what has been written in the scriptures. Guru Nanak writes, in the Granth Saheb that nobody should be mistaken, because one cannot get liberation without a Guru. One who was misguided can discard hypocracy upon getting the guidance of a Guru, and attain devotion to God. Guru is he who can transform a man into a god in no time, and can show an inner light which is more brilliant than the light of a hundred suns put together. The darkness of night cannot fade away without the rising of the sun. Similarly, until we find the Satguru, the darkness of our hearts cannot vanish. All the prophets, Guru Nanak, St. Tulsidas, Lord Jesus Christ, Lord Krishna preached about the Holy Name and Divine Light and told the public that this is the only way of getting peace and happiness. It cannot be attained by any other means. One can get relief from miseries by meditation and attain happiness. Ultimately he can attain God's Light. So the Name is the only way to lead one to liberation. … But all saints have remembered the Name. All saints and Vedas speak with one voice, that you should have love for the Holy Name. So the best act is to meditate on the Holy Name. By the Holy Name, your body will become fruitful, your spirit will be pleased, you will be free from the cycle of regeneration, and you will get liberation. You cannot get such a fate by reading scriptures. When you will remember the Name and meditate on the Divine Light while alive, you will merge with it after death.
Volume 2, Issue 2, And It Is Divine Magazine
Prem Nagar Ashram, Hardwar, India, September 22nd 1967
And all premies should practice meditation. Guru Nanak said, "Meditate upon the Holy Name yourself and inspire others to meditate also. In this way, you will definitely attain liberation." A student first completes his own studies. Only then does he become a teacher, and teach others how and what to study. First he must acquire his own skill and certainty. In the same way, Guru Nanak tells us, "First you should meditate. Do not feel ashamed, just meditate. Because you don't have to do anything, really. Liberation is attained by itself."
And It Is Divine Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 1, Spring 1977
"Peace Bomb" speech, 8 November, 1970 in front of 1 million people at India Gate, Delhi
So, dear premies, receive this Knowledge, and those who have received this Knowledge must meditate and have Guru Maharaj Ji's darshan. He who learns to love Guru Maharaj Ji, Guru Maharaj Ji gives him peace. Subash Chandra Bose used to say, "Give me your blood and I will give you independence." Likewise, I too have a slogan: give me your love and I will give you peace. Surrender the reins of your life unto me and I will give you such peace as will never die. Come to me, and I will give you liberation. Place the reins of your life in my hands, and I will relieve you of your suffering. First, be capable of giving the reins of your life to me, then give them. And if I do not give you peace, I will give them back to you.
The Golden Age November 1978 Number 49
Questions & Answers, Morgantown, West Virginia, August 31 1971, Noon Session
In reincarnation, does the soul alternate reincarnating as male and female, or does it stay one sex for awhile? What do you mean, incarnations? After you receive liberation, why would you do that? You never come back again. Liberation. When your consciousness goes to the Supreme Consciousness . . When you are going and merging with this consciousness, what are you? What is that? You lose everything! You lose your senses here. In the graveyard. Mind - your "I" - remains in the graveyard. Sleeping. Will you think by yourself, "Yes. This is that; that is this"? In the graveyard your senses will be resting.
Élan Vital, Volume 4, Issue 3, Fall 1980
Denver Ashram, Colorado, 18 September 1971
Hell and heaven are on earth, and liberation is just beyond all these points. There are two types of liberation. One is not to be concerned with this world. The other liberation is to be concerned with this world, but not this world directly, but to the Perfect Master: to be a devotee. Devotion. When you go to the Judge and He weighs your balance, right? and only your one balance is good, only good, and bad has been finished away with this Knowledge, He will ask you, "Okay, what do you want, liberation or devotion?" People who ask liberation just go there and sit there. They can do nothing. But people who ask for devotion come again onto this earth, but they don't suffer. It is always heaven for them, and they always stay with Perfect Masters. It is so very beautiful to be with the Lord. Whenever a Perfect Master will come, they'll come with Him. … Liberation? - where a man cannot return back again to this world, it is the place of God. Rivers come for so long, running, running, running, running, right? But when they reach their destination, which is the sea, they are completely satisfied. Then you cannot take out the river water from the sea. Can you take it out? That is liberation. When this soul is attached to God and is one with It, that's called liberation.
And It Is Divine, Volume 1, Issue 1, November 1972
Prem Nagar Ashram, Hardwar, November 24, 1971
A man who has been meditating upon this knowledge, at the last moment, he will try to remember this knowledge, without any pain, absolutely perfect and with a calm impression he will leave the body and directly be one - achieve liberation, without any doubt.
Reflections on an Indian Sunrise, 1972
people are receiving the True Knowledge so quickly that one can hardly believe the speed of its progress. That is why it is said that in Kaliyuga things will happen so fast that you will not even have to wait to get to God. You just have to know that Name and meditate on it. Only by immersing your concentration in that Holy Name will you achieve liberation from the phenomenal world. This is the mystery of the Word. Saints have said that the Word is the sky, the Word is everything and the Word is light. So all the universe is resting on one single sound, the Word. See people sleeping, how they still remain alive.
Divine News, Autumn 1977, Volume I, Issue 1
Patna, Bihar, India, December 25, 1971
Similarly, to see God, you have to wake up at His time. You have to wake up and recognize who your Father is, who your God is, and who will show you the path, which will bring liberation if you follow it. Saint Kabir says in his poems that Guru Maharaj Ji and God both are standing and he has to think to whom he should prostrate, God or Guru Maharaj Ji. And he decides that he has to prostrate before Guru Maharaj Ji, not before God, because he was crying so much for God, but God could not save him from worldly miseries. But Guru Maharaj Ji saved him immediately from all the troubles, and liberated him. And now God Himself is also visible by the meditation on the Knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji. If I had made this poem, then you might object, but I have not made this poem. This poem repeatedly says that Guru is greater than God. Think and decide in your heart. By remembering God, you cannot be liberated. But if you remember Guru Maharaj Ji, you will immediately cross the vast ocean and be liberated.
If you have got the Knowledge of that Word, then meditate constantly. Do service under the Lotus Feet of your Lord, and listen to satsang patiently. It is written in the Ramayana that when a man is very fortunate, only then does he find satsang, and when he finds satsang and attends it, he is liberated without any effort. Again, it is said, "Have darshan of Guru Maharaj Ji." Why? Because it is written in all Vedas and Ramayanas to have darshan. So touch the Lotus Feet. "Lay yourself down in the vast, unbounded ocean of Mercy underneath. Bathe and swing on the waves and sink inside. Drink the nectar of Mercy and Grace and Blessings, and be free from all sins."
Élan Vital, Autumn 1977, Volume I, Issue 1
Questions & Answers, New York, 10 June 1972
Is there an end to birth and death? And will man ever reach the stage where he doesn't fall? Yes, that is liberation. Liberation means the end of birth and death.
The end to birth and death? Does that mean it doesn't reoccur? Yes. It doesn't reoccur. Actually, for birth and death you could substitute the word suffering. And when a man comes he has to suffer, because this materialism has always meant suffering. This is why we always say, "Have the highest goal, and that is liberation." Because once you have liberation, you are one with God. … I have just told you what is the meaning of liberation. You go somewhere and never return back. And that place is called liberation. That process is called liberation. And devotion is something emotional that flows out of you towards the Lord, and you become a devotee. That's devotion. And there's a lot of difference there. Don't you feel so?
Divine Light magazine Volume 2, Number 4, January 1973
Public Program, Boston, Massachusetts, August 4, 1973
See, what I want to tell you is, maybe you can't get Peace through me. But I want to tell you that you must get Peace. That's the one basic factor I want to describe to you, I want to tell you, that you need Peace! And Peace is the only salvation to your life. If you want, if you want real liberation in this life, the Knowledge is the only … And get it! That's what I say.
Élan Vital, Volume II, Issue 2, Summer 1978
San Francisco California, February 10 1974
After receiving this Knowledge and meditating and being one with it, when a person leaves his body, instead of going and actually suffering for these things, he is now bound to go and merge with that infinite power, that infinite Grace - which is called liberation.
Élan Vital, Volume IV, Issue 4, Winter 1980
Guru Puja Festival, Caracas, Venezuela, July 25, 1975
But let me tell you what Kabirdas thinks of this. He thinks that by diving in the holy river, you cannot be liberated. The reason why you cannot be liberated is because fish stay in that holy water all the time, and they never ever get liberated. So what's so special about you that you dive in and get liberated? He thinks that peacocks have very long hairs. They never get liberated by having them. What's so special about man that if he has long hair he will get liberated? He says that the woman who cooks all day long in the fire and gets ash all over her body, she never gets liberated. So what's so special about you? But, he says, the people who realise this Holy Word, who become one with that vibration, always get liberated, always get to the point that they want to be. You've got to become one, so that wherever that perfection goes, you'll go, so that you can always be in that vibration.
The Golden Age Number 23, September, 1975
Development '76 Fundraising Conference, Executive Towers Hotel, Denver, January 25 1976
Is it possible for us to stay in constant contact with that God who is omnipresent, to be constantly in contact with the source?
Maharaj Ji: Well, the thing is, we already are.
I mean, consciously.
Maharaj Ji: Then there's a difference. And the difference is, if you want to know consciously, "I am doing meditation, I am doing meditation, I am one with God, I am one with God," then you won't be one with God. You will be one with something else. See, those things are so tricky because they sort of look like they come on at the same angle, but they don't; they are quite a bit different. We can always be in that Holy Word. And if we are one with that Holy Word, why would we want that to pause and another idea to come in telling us constantly that we are one with God or one with that omnipresent power? It's just that, when that happens, we know it. We know it. We don't even have to make an effort to try and figure out, "Am I doin' meditation or not?" We are doing it. I don't sit down and say, "Am I doin' meditation?" or even try. Because, so far as I am doing meditation, I'll know I am doing meditation, and it won't be with my mind knowing it. It's just because I'll feel it, I'll really see that. When you become one with it, you'll find out the way it works. It's very tricky, because, see, we are always used to our external perceptions: "Is it cold or is it warm?" But when it's the perfect temperature, just that right temperature, which is not cold and not warm, then what do we say?
Divine Times, Brotherly Love and Sacred Journeys
Guru Puja Festival, Miami Beach, Florida July 29, 1977
Then Hanuman reaches such a stage that Lord Ram asks him, "What do you want, Hanuman? Whatever you want, I will bestow upon you. Whatever you want. Whatever you desire." And at that time, Hanuman just didn't do a flashback and say, "Oh boy, maybe I shouldn't desire anything, and I'll get it - what I want!" But he did go ahead and desire something. He did go ahead and want something. (And I'm just explaining to you the complexity of this whole thing.) So when he does desire something, what does he desire? He says, "I do not want any liberation. I do not want to be liberated. I want to come again and again, as you come into this world, with your body, to serve you. I do not want liberation. All I want is to be able to serve you every time you come."
Élan Vital, Summer 1980, Volume IV Number 2
Malibu, California, June 11, 1978
Look, it's beyond liberation. It's beyond all those things. Beyond all our concepts. In this lifetime, we have the opportunity to realize, to be with, Guru Maharaj Ji. Be it not Guru Maharaj Ji - you know, maybe they didn't call him Guru Maharaj Ji - maybe they called him Lord. Anything. To be with that power. To be with that thing. To be not infinite, and yet to be with the infinite. To be here as individuals, and yet to be able to be next to the person who is everything; in which everything is, and he is in everything. Guru Maharaj Ji. The Lord. All-powerful. We are here. And only by Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace can we realize that, and see how divine this whole plan really is.
Divine Times - June/July 1978 Volume 7, Number 4
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Saturday, 26 August, 1978
And when Guru Maharaj Ji comes, when we open our hearts to Guru Maharaj Ji and let Guru Maharaj Ji in ourselves, then Guru Maharaj Ji takes us away, takes us beyond liberation. Because liberation is a state of being. And Guru Maharaji takes us to a state where there is no being. He merges you in himself. And by doing that, you leave what you are and you become what you should be. And that's the shortcut to all the chakras in this whole universe. That's the shortcut to all this "pazzaz" that people put up. That's the shortcut to liberation, if you say it in that way. Or that is the short cut to the Way. Or that is the Way in itself. And that's what we have to understand. Guru Maharaj Ji is here. That Knowledge is here. And you are here.
Hanuman was asked, "What do you want? Would you like liberation?" Ram said, "I'll give you anything that you want." And he said, "I don't want liberation. What I am going to do with liberation? I want devotion." Because when Hanuman could have merged with Ram, then it would have been above and beyond any best situation. It's just like that one example where they were building a bridge. (Now when I say this, there's no certification behind it. It's just, that's the way it goes in Ramayana. And I haven't read that.)
The Golden Age, April 1979, Number 52
Hans Jayanti Festival, Kissimmee Florida November 8, 1978
If all these concepts that Mata Ji used to have about throwing a dime … Every time she would drive by this temple, coming and going, she would open the window and throw money out. And just after that I was thinking about this, and it was like - so incredible. Shri Maharaj Ji, who had every power - the person, the liberator on this Earth - says to her, "Why don't you give me the money instead of throwing it out the window, and I'll liberate you?" I mean, that's the most incredible offer anybody could have ever gotten.
Élan Vital, Volume II Issue 4 Winter 1978
Holi, Miami, afternoon, 8th April 1979
And to have faith in Guru Maharaj Ji, to believe Guru Maharaj Ji, and to have that devotion towards Guru Maharaj Ji, is to me the most ultimate experience of this Knowledge. Devotion. Never, ever has a Perfect Master gone up to his devotee and said, "Listen devotee, because you have meditated enough, I grant you a wish." No. "You have been a devotee. You had devotion. You have surrendered. You have done service. I grant you a wish." And what wish did Hanuman ask when Ram said, "Okay Hanuman, I give you a wish. You may have anything you want"? Did he say, "May I, every time I come in this world, have Knowledge?" No. He said, "Look, I don't want liberation." He said, "I want devotion."
Divine Times, May/June 1979, Volume 8, Number 3
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 10, 1979 -- Evening
Yet remember one thing: that that Guru Maharaj Ji, who is creator, who is the Sustainer, and who is the Destroyer, has love enough for his devotees to come onto this Earth for his devotees; then absolutely, unquestionably, there are no bounds to what can happen. All we have to do is to become that devotee, to have that devotion. That's all: that faith, that surrender, to Guru Maharaj Ji, that love that is sincere, that comes from our hearts for Guru Maharaj Ji. Not in our imagination, but in reality. If we can become a devotee … If there is Guru Maharaj Ji and then a devotee, when they join, then there is devotion. And it is said that when that happens, when Guru Maharaj Ji and a devotee are bound together by devotion, then the purpose of that soul that devotee has been completed. That's it. There is no more to be done. There is nothing left to be done. It has received the stage beyond liberation. It has received, it has joined, it has merged in the state which is beyond, above and beyond - joined its Creator. It has joined its Owner. It has joined where it came from; it has joined back to its own. … When Hanuman and Ram were there, Ram asks Hanuman, "Okay, I grant you a boon. Ask what you would like to ask. Would you like something? Would you like salvation? Would you like liberation?" And all Hanuman could say was, "What am I going to do with salvation? What am I going to do up there? I want to be with you. That's where I shall find my salvation, that's where I shall find my liberation: in your Feet."
Affinity, February 1980
Sao Paulo, Brazil, January 30, 1980
What is that? What is that? That is everywhere. That's in everything. It never changes. Things come, things go. But it never changes - always constant, always consistent, always real. There will be a time when the sun will disappear. Definitely. Slowly and slowly - poof! There'll be a time when the Earth will stop. Definitely. And yet the power that created it - the sun, the moon, the Earth - that will never stop. And if we can just plug into that source, if we can just plug into that power, then what are we? We go to the stage beyond liberation, beyond salvation, beyond everything and be in that permanent stage. If you call it happy, then it's happiness. You call it peace, then it's peace. But whatever that thing, whatever the stage of that thing is that created this everything, that sustains everything - that stage is what we want to be in. Because it's motionless, it's timeless. There is no sun; there is no moon, in that stage. There is no heat; there is no cold. There is no hunger; there is no thirst. There is no death and there is no birth. And it always is. When we plug into that, then only will our sufferings be taken away.
Affinity, June 1980
Rome, Italy, 25 June 1980
"My heart that has been constantly been pouncing in the waves of this world will be then docked at Guru Maharaj Ji's feet. You know. Then that will be my salvation, that will be my liberation, that, then, then I will be content. Then I don't have to make any more journeys because then it becomes my destination and it is my destination."
Ashram Members Satsang Video
Miami Florida, 31st July 1982
My father was sitting in the front, Shri Maharaji was sitting in the front and so she got her little coins in her hand to throw this then he asked her, "What are you going to do with this?" "I'm going to throw it at the temple." He said, "Why?" "Well because you know maybe I'll have salvation, or I'll be free. I'll have liberation." "So do you know by throwing this coin you'll get it? " She said, "No, everybody does it." He said, "Give me the coin I'll make sure you do have liberation." (applause) And uh, she didn't give him the coin (laughter) she just tossed it out the window (laughter) and I just about died laughing. (Laughter) And there goes the liberation, poof, right out the window and this I witnessed myself.
Inspire Electronic Newsletter, 12 July 2008
This is the opportunity for every living being to spend time with the Beloved within, to feel gratitude for life and rejoice. When that happens, you feel alive, and you begin to live. And the most magnificent movement is the coming and going of the breath. It needs no proof, no buildup. Its blessing is obvious. Is it obvious to you? You exist. You are alive. Gather your strengths, not your weaknesses. What are your strengths? Your strengths are consciousness, kindness, understanding, acknowledging, rejoicing, loving. And when you walk with these, the outcome is beautiful. Every second you spend with the beauty inside of you, you are liberated. You are free.
Inspire v5 i152, 12 July 2008
So, are you not curious, what is this self? Are you not curious to understand your true nature? Are you not curious to understand what is this realm of existence? People talk about liberation, and I wonder. What liberation? This body comes from dust. This is what it came from. These simple elements. And it'll go back to these elements and it'll be re-used again and again and again. And again, and again, and again. And then they go, "But the soul. Your essence will come back." My essence cannot be separated from the essence of the infinite. It's one and the same. This is where in me resides the infinite. This body is finite, and what lives inside this finite shell is infinite.
Voice of Maharaji website (downloaded 1st April 2012)
Inspire Electronic Newsletter, 26 January 2009
Let me tell you about a possibility as one human being to another. I propose that what you want in your life does not need a name. You can call it peace, you can call it happiness, you can call it liberation, you can call it joy – not a problem. Why? Because these are just different names for the same thing. When the heart is content, there will be joy. When the heart is content, there will be peace.
Inspire v6 i164