The Pictorial Pre-History of Prem Rawat
Prem Rawat did not arise from a void free of the past, culture and family. Prem Rawat's teachings are rooted in the Sant Mat tradition of Northern India as interpreted by his father but singularly includes a multi-ethnic lineage of reincarnated Masters which include (in alphabetical order) the following:
Prem Rawat is just one of the many East Asian men who have come to the West to transmit their religious/spiritual traditions and in many cases create and recruit people into specific new religious movements led by them. This began in 1893 with a speech by Swami Vivekananda to the so-called "World Parliament of Religions." It is quite difficult to separate the sincere or the credulous from the charlatans on the make. Prem Rawat inherited his guru role as a young boy so he has had a long career and has changed his teachings and persona far more than any other self-styled Spiritual Masters.
In 1936 when Swarupanad died, Hans became an itinerant preacher recruiting men and women to his cult. In 1950 Hans Rawat married again to Rajeshwari Devi. By 1957 they had 4 sons, the eldest became Satpal Maharaj and the youngest was Prem.
By 1960 he was successful and wealthy and set up the Divya Sandesh Parishad (Divine Light Mission) to formalise his movement. Hans Rawat was no joyless ascetic but a man who enjoyed dressing up and dancing.
He also loved processions with Himself at the head.
Bihari Singh was a onetime bandit who settled down and became first Hans' chauffeur and bodyguard and later Prem's.
On the 19th July, 1966 Prem Rawat's father died and at the end of the mourning period, whether by design or spontaneously, the youngest son and not the eldest or a senior disciple was acclaimed as the new Satguru. He became probably the most spoiled and undisciplined kid in India.
After Hans' death Prem's mother began to take an important role in the administration of her dead husband's cult and family business.
This was probably when she got the steel in her backbone she used to disinherit Prem when he went off the rails.
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