Prem Rawat Hospitalised with Gastric Ulcer

Prem Rawat, then known as Guru Maharaj Ji, the 15-year-old "Perfect Master" from India, was admitted to hospital on the 30th August, 1973 suffering from fatigue, a liver disorder and a bleeding "mild post bulbar" ulcer - just below the duodenum in the digestive tract. Dr John Horton, his personal doctor and devotee, said the teenage guru's body was showing the stresses of a middle-aged executive. He entered Saint Luke's Hospital for tests, occupying a $70 a-day private room on the fourth floor of the Episcopal institution. His room was filled with flowers and a mission security guard sat down the hall. He said the guru weighed 73 kilograms (160 pounds) on a 5-foot, 4 inch frame because of a lack of exercise, though this seemed to be exaggerating his height and minimising his obesity.

Horton said the guru may been delirious at times since he entered the hospital, but added that by Friday the pain subsided. The guru was discharged from a hospital on Sunday the 2nd September. At least one commentator suggested there was something incompatible between being a god incarnate - as the claimed 6,000,000 Divine Light followers regard him - and an ulcer. The Guru's personal physician, Dr. John Horton, explained that the Perfect Master's duodenal ulcer must be understood on three different levels:

1) the habitual physical level: constant jet lag, changes of diet, fatigue, stress;
2) the spiritual level: it is a sign of his compassion for mankind, like the stigmata on Christ's feet;
3) the cosmic level, as a revelation of universal suffering.

Glen Whittaker, general secretary of the Divine Light Mission in England said, "His body is mortal. He can get colds and everything else you can get. But being perfect he is detached from the world. Physical illness would not make him suffer." Whittaker denied reports that the Guru ate a lot of ice cream. "His diet is very frugal and healthy", he said, which contradicted the reports of Rawat's physician.

The news that a 15 year old Indian Guru had an ulcer was the source of much sarcastic humour. Rawat's ulcer provided evidence that the guru's teachings and secret "Knowledge" were valueless if they were unable to reduce even his stress levels as the correlation between ulcers and stress was well-known. It also provides corroboration of the reports of the young Rawat's alcohol and drug abuse.

Nurse Lynette Aden said it made her a little nervous to administer a hypodermic needle under so many watchful eyes but otherwise treating the guru has been just like treating any other patient. "I'll look back on it and I'll tell my grandkids and giggle about it," she said. However, Rawat is now forgotten by the world's press and probably by Ms Alden also.

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