Prem Rawat despises intellectuals or at least he pretends to but he believes he is the greatest intellectual and since 1987 when he was told about him (by his wife who was going to Community College was the story I heard) he loves to quote Socrates. I don't mean he actually knows anything about Greek philosophy but he loves to parrot those famous two words "Know Thyself."
His first attempts in the 1980s at mentioning Socrates just got him in a terrible muddle but Prem got better at public speaking and was finally able to successfully deliver short sentences with both 'Socrates' and "Know Thyself" in them without mistakes
It was no mistake that Socrates said, "Know thyself." *
One thing we can be sure of. Socrates did not mean that you know yourself by using "Rawat's 4 meditation techniques." Socrates did not teach poking your fingers in your eyes, squeezing your thumbs into your ears, thinking about your breathing and trying to ram your tongue up past your uvula. These methods neither reveal an ocean of joy dancing in your heart nor any significant information about you except that you're far too gullible. Socrates was at least talking about a level of understanding that transcends Rawat's cheap fallacious arguments from authority and baseless claims about the possibility of Prem providing peace.
The first record I have of Prem Rawat mentioning Socrates was on the "Selected Listening '87" audio tape:
When you are in a strange town and when things are unfamiliar it feels uncomfortable, it feels uncomfortable because you don't know where to go and all it is is a big discussion with somebody, you have the map in your hand and you're saying "Where is this?" and you don't understand the language and you go from one guy to the other guy to the other guy to the other guy. Before you know most of your time has been spent talking to somebody and figure out to get there instead of getting there and you finally realise you can't get there because you've got the wrong map, you're in the wrong city and it's not, this life can't be that, can't be that but when does the familiar decome (sic), the familiar decomes like Socrates said "Know Thyself." Know who you are. Before you go around figuring out where you wanna get, know who you are and it can be and the only thing I am offering is a tool, is a way to be able to access inside that feeling, that you, that's there.
That doesn't make a lot of sense but that's what Rawat sounded like when he was trying to mature from being a ranter, shouting simplistic Hindu ideas and threats to being an entertaining inspirational speaker and raconteur delivering his own concepts of very little and dubious content. Unedited transcripts of Rawat's speeches were pretty messy and sometimes unintelligible which is why Ole Grünbaum long-time premie and Rawat's editor looks so old and unhealthy.
In the 1970s' devotees of Rawat's (then known as Guru Maharaj Ji) tried to shoehorn Socrates into the list of Perfect Masters that both went before and somehow were the Satguru.
- Perfect Masters Throughout the Ages - And It Is Divine magazine, Volume II, Number 2, December 1973
- Plato's Secret Doctrine- And It Is Divine Vol. 3 Issue 1
The usual technique for these mis-attributions was to confuse the literal and the metaphorical meanings of the word 'light'.
* Inspire Electronic Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 107, 20 July 2006