Rome 1980 Ashram Satsang
This video records a speech made by Prem Rawat or Guru Maharaj Ji as he then called himself in Rome 1980 to ashram premies and premies wishing to move into an ashram. Much of it is ephemeral but some of the central dogmas of his teachings are restated.
- He is the latest incarnation in a lineage of Perfect Masters that includes his father, Jesus Christ, Krishna and Buddha and if He didn't incarnate the planet would be devastated.
- He is the incarnation of God in a human body.
- He is the only Real Solution for Peace on Earth and political leaders are a joke.
- He should be worshipped with real commitment.
- He explains the Last Supper and taking communion.
- Human life, without being His devotee, is meaningless and purposeless.
- Human life, without being His devotee, is joyless.
- He defines 'premie', the word used to denote the living Master of his day's devotees/followers/students.
Rawat appears to have deep insecurities. Many of his more charismatic followers had become "initiators" - people proselytising publicly and initiating the small number of new
followers and inspiring the faithful. These people were overall far more impressive than Rawat himself and he took many opportunities to denigrate them to the "rank and file"
followers. He also blames the premies for the failure of 'propagation' ie attracting more followers. He acknowledges that his followers must show some form of positive impact
on their lives from practising his Knowledge for the ten years prior to 1980 else people will be unimpressed and dismissive and derisive of Rawat, himself. 28 years later nothing has changed in
A full transcript of his speech is available as is a transcript of the Questions and Answers session following the speech.
"You know. Look when there is going to be Guru Maharaj Ji in this world, whenever Guru Maharaj Ji is going to come in this world, and has, and will, and you know by His grace will keep coming again and again and again. Cause it's not guaranteed either. He can skip a term and that'll be the devastation of this entire planet."
When Prem Rawat refers to himself coming again and again and he does, again and again, he is not referring to his returning to some favoured destination in his latest personal, executive jet. He is referring to being the incarnation of God in a human body that comes again and again by His "grace" and should he decide not to come then "that'll be the devastation of this entire planet". That's pretty straightforward, isn't it?
"When Guru Maharaj Ji Ji Himself, like I said, that power Himself, accepts and will and does, take a human form, so that you can relate, for every individual human being, then what do you think is left that you can't understand? Do you think He'll come in this world, do you think Guru Maharaj Ji comes in this world to make the most incredible thing the simplest thing and then take the simplest things and make them so incredible that nobody can understand them."
Speaking to a group of his most devoted followers, premies living in ashrams, working for free or donating all their wages to him, Prem Rawat felt free to say things he wouldn't in a public setting. He used the term "Guru Maharaj Ji" sometimes to mean the power of God and sometimes himself: Prem Pal Singh Rawat. His followers understood which he was referring to by the context. Here he explicitly states that He has "taken a human form", he is that Power manifest in a human body so that "every individual human being" can relate to Him. That's pretty straightforward, isn't it?
"it's like what Michael was saying and, you know, he was giving satsang and I was listening to it, in the residence, and he was saying, yeah, there is one joke going on in
Venice. It's like yeah, it is a big joke, it has no purpose, it has no meaning, you know, cause the other day we landed in Ciampino, and you know, there's these two Airforce One airplanes sitting
"Those ideas aren't going to be any good if there isn't some substance that can replace the darkness in everyone's heart. That's what's needed, a real solution, not talk, you know. Oh there's enough talk, there's plenty of talk and what we need is that real solution and always has been, always will be, and is now. Knowledge is the only solution, really Guru Maharaj Ji is the only solution to bring that peace into this world. That's why Guru Maharaj Ji Ji comes in this world."
After sneering at the 1980 G7 summit meaning as a joke, Rawat goes on to explicitly state that He and His Knowledge is the only real solution to humanity's political and social problems and that He specifically "comes in this world" to bring peace into this world.
"Your commitment, that's, you know, that's basically what I have to say nothing new probably to what I said at the last satsang or last to last satsang or last to last satsang. You know. In essence, what I'm trying to say is that when you get up and say "Bhole Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai" mean it! Not just say it because uh 9,000 other people are saying so, so you say it too. You know. And when you sing Arti, mean it."
Rawat has continually demanded worship from his followers. Arti is the song of devotion and worship that was sung daily in the ashrams and at DLM meetings. "Bhole (Shri) Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai" was chanted in peak moments of group excitement akin to the "Heil Hitler" chant of the Nazis.
"this whole act has to clean up, has to come to a point where the propagation can really begin to happen. Where there can be that demonstration, where there can be that "Yes! Knowledge! Yes! Guru Maharaj Ji!" Where people can see, like I said in the satsang, you know, people are gonna look at me, then they're gonna look at you, and if they see something there, then they're gonna look at me again and say "Can I have your Knowledge?". When people look at me, then they look at you, and they don't see anything, they're gonna look not look at me either. Why should they? There is nothing there. You know. Because it reflects in every single thing we do in one sense."
He blames his premies (devotees) for the failure of propagation in attracting more followers. He acknowledges that his followers must show some form of positive impact on their lives from practising his Knowledge for ten years prior to 1980 else people will be unimpressed and dismissive and derisive of Rawat, himself. How many decades will it take? 28 years later nothing has changed in this respect.
"There was one day Jesus decided to have dinner so he called all his devotees called it a farewell party sort of called everybody together and said "Here, enjoy the meal." Since that day to now, I mean of course the bread's changed to little cookies, you know, but that's all it is. That becomes the peak, you know and that becomes the whole thing, and you know of course then you have these priests who love that blood so much that they won't put the glass down, you know "More, more!". You know or then you get somebody hungry and says, "More flesh, more flesh, more blood, more flesh.""
Rawat's statements about Christianity or other religions are publicly respectful but in front of his followers they are disrespectful, distasteful and astonishingly ignorant.
"I mean we can live in this world without the inspiration of Knowledge, sure, but that life is quite meaningless, that life is very purposeless and Knowledge brings us that inspiration home, brings us that contentment in our life through which we can live life. Through which it has meaning, through which it has a purpose through which it has a reason, through which it can motivate us inside to exist for a purpose. It brings us love because without love, life itself would be quite meaningless. And yet, where does that love come from, that can truly inspire us within. Where does that love come from?"
Rawat has continually stated that the lives of normal human beings are joyless, meaningless and purposeless. "Where does that love come from?" Why Prem Rawat and His Knowledge, naturally.
"Because when we come in this world, we come for a reason. We live, we exist, we breathe, we have this entire world around us to give it all a meaning, to give us a meaning, to give us a purpose, to give us a motivation. And when we get into all these different trips, the true essence, the true meaning is lost and then all that exists is a very barren life. I mean I, you know, you see so many people out there. What do they do every day? They've got their routine, they get up, get into their routine, come back home and their whole life is just a routine, there is no deviation from that routine, it's just one simple thing, that's all. They don't enjoy it, they can't enjoy it and nobody who else around them enjoys it either. You know it's like, you know, it becomes such a, it can become such a devastating experience and we have to recognize that opportunity in our lives which Guru Maharaj Ji gives us to have a meaning, to have a purpose."
He claims that he is the only source that can give real meaning and purpose in human life.
"A premie is not just somebody who has received Knowledge. The word 'premie' again is a Hindi Word - premie mean lovers - but what is a premie? What is, what is a premie in this day and age and what has been a premie since ever since a human being was created? What is a, what is a premie, what is the definition of a premie? And the definition is one, you know, who has received the gift that Guru Maharaj Ji has bestowed upon that being, practices that gift, has that love, has that faith, and has surrendered in his heart towards Guru Maharaj Ji, towards the living Master of his day. Then you may say that's getting close enough to a definition of 'premie'."
The basis of Prem Rawat's authority was that he is the only living (Perfect) Master, the last in a long line that includes his father Hans Rawat, Jesus Christ, Krishna and Buddha and others "since ever since a human being was created". By 1980 he was claiming/explaining that His Knowledge only "works" if the person practising "his" techniques of meditation loves him, has faith in him and obeys him.
"What's a good premie, join the ashram and every time the initiator comes by, grease him a little bit.
Really, you know when he asks for water, be there, bring him the water. When he feels like chit-chatting support him in that. You have to understand that initiators are regular ordinary dumb human
beings. … they're nobodies. And in their very basic training, you may say, they're taught one simple thing, what is it? … An initiator has to be nobody, has to lose yourself, your identity. And I
can say very openly, they haven't. It's going to take them years at hacking away, hacking away, hacking away, hacking away. I mean Grand Canyon wasn't made overnight, you know. And yet, you know,
when they, their mind comes in and they want to chit-chat, there you are, so to get in the good, good white book of initiators, you know, and then once you have that, you have all the areas covered
and then you are the quote good premie, never argue with initiator, every time he asks for water, cover the glass, you know, just be around him, act good, play it straight while he is in town after
that, you can, you can do anything you feel like."
Prem Rawat is very short, slightly over 5 feet. He was a fat kid who's now an obese, sick looking 50 year old. The success of his career has depended upon inheriting his father's large following as an Indian Godman just before the enormous wave of interest in Indian gurus in the 1960's and 1970's. It was the enthusiasm, drive and faith of his early Western followers that created his following in the early 1970's and once he took control that success quickly dried up. Rawat disparaged his most devoted and charismatic followers and has preferred to promote himself and not utilise their talents publicly despite this preventing him gaining more than a handful of new followers during the enormous growth of the "New Age".
After a 45 minute speech Rawat begins another 45 minutes of questions and answers.
"Well, you probably don't know this but it's not all a piece of cake, it isn't. Initiators make a lo-o-o-o-ttttttaaaa mistakes, a lo-o-o-otttaaa mistakes, they probably make an average of a mistake an hour or something like that, you know, and uhh. I mean it's like, they're in a very peculiar position and so much is expected of them and yet there's some of these people sitting here received Knowledge after some of you did, you know. Their own experience. It is not like they're solid as a rock, it isn't like every they feel all the love that even they are ready to re-receive all the love, that they can feel all the love. It isn't like they even ready to be initiators. We had an acute shortage, we just had to put out an entire surplus whatever we had, pump 'em on the road."
Most of the initiators that I saw were inspiring, intelligent, charismatic even eloquent people who were also much taller and more attractive than Rawat. He nearly always disparaged them in his speeches and you certainly don't have to be a Jung or a Freud to understand why.
"Huh? No to tell you the truth I'm not prepared any more, to make any more initiators. Still if you want to become an initiator go ahead and put your application in I'm pretty sure you'll become an initiator someday. But uh, right now I have to see the effectiveness of the initiators I already have. It isn't like if I get a hundred initiators then I'm gonna get my first rank, you know, haha, first stripe on the side. If I don't see any effectiveness I, I don't, I don't see any purpose to keep on just making all these initiators you know, that, first I have to just see that yes, there is an effectiveness that they can do something because after all how did you, how did you think this whole, I mean all of you are sitting here, very, very few initiators."
Nearly everyone of the people listening to this speech "received Knowledge" from a "mahatma" ie an Indian "great soul" all but a handful of whom went back to India in 1975 and followed Rawat's mother and elder brother rather than the meat-eating, drug-taking former Satguru. So actually there were no initiators involved in inspiring and initiating "all you are sitting here".
"When the initiators come everything is very good. Yeah and then what happens. Then it all turns, all goes bad, huh?"
One of the ashram premies in the audience says that when initiators come everything is very good. This audience is Rawat's most devoted followers. In front of these people he is arrogant and dismissive of his "initiators", the most devoted of the devoted. There is a marked lack of laughter at his "joke" and this crowd laughs at nearly anything he says.
Rawat sucks the mucus out of his nose, swallows it and clears his throat.
Rawat suffered from colds frequently, probably due to a poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle, and often could be seen and heard clearing his nose and throat of mucous and swallowing it in his videoed speeches. His 4th technique of meditation, formerly called Divine Nectar, uses a method where the tongue is curled backward and as taught in the 1970's and 80's the tongue was meant to curl up behind the uvula and extend toward the sinuses. Exactly where the snot stopped and the nectar began was always difficult for devotees to discern.
"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."
Here Rawat is talking as if he is a premie. He often used the metaphor of His Knowledge as a boat crossing the ocean of life with Himself as the captain. Here he extends the metaphor with the premie's heart "pouncing" in the waves of this world. His English wasn't very good and he probably meant "bouncing". But, he explains, the proper destination for the human heart is His feet, the source of salvation, liberation and contentment.
"Someday, with Guru Maharaj Ji's grace, there'll be ashram everywhere is what because I just, you know, just see that there has to be a necessity for an ashram, it isn't just like, hah, that's a good plot, nobody lives in it, how about opening up an ashram? You know. But a necessity, yes there is something to back the ashram up and yes that there is something happening in that area that the ashram can back it up. Then I can see that, yes, there will be it. A good reason, you know."
Within 2 or 3 years Rawat ordered all the ashrams closed.
"More than anything, as a human being, we have to learn a little humbleness. Just to be that little humble, that, that carries us further in this life than we know. Just to learn that little, know how to be, just that little humble. And we can just have that, you know, have Guru Maharaj Ji's grace, be worthy of that. Have that love for Guru Maharaj Ji, you know, satsang, service and meditation, know what what we are doing in the ashram, that'll carry us a long long way, you know, not to get into relationships and not to get into ego trips and not to get into any one of those things but to just stay in that space, just to stay with Guru Maharaj Ji."
Rawat provides his recipe for life, humbleness for his followers.