A Pictorial History of Prem Rawat: The Dance Video Clips
A true believer can have their faith deepened and intensified every time they accept another new and difficult challenge to their belief. For Prem Rawat's premies a new chapter began in 1978 when He began dancing on-stage, often dressed in a Krishna costume with flabby, bare chest and a wreath or flowers.
Grown men screamed and fainted (well a few) at his first appearance in his mala in 1978. Scenes of him dancing were included in the Divine Light Mission videos produced at the time and we have scenes from Hans Jayanti 10th November 1979, You Are My Savior - 1980 on this website.
Below are some video clips of these astonishing moments which have continued to, at least, the year 2000. I do not have any official video of Rawat dancing at Hans Jayanti at Kissimmee in November 1978 but recently (2015) I got a copy of a brief video filmed by an enthusastic devotee from the crowd. I suspect some tweaking has been done to the film as he has a fluidity and rhythm in this clip (though it is taken from a distance) that is certainly not evident in the better quality video filmed from close-up. There was a tremendous build-up throughout the premie communities before this festival with word that Guru Maharaj Ji was saying something incredible would happen there being repeated. An astonishing percentage of premies from Australia attended despite the distance and the cost.
Hans Jayanti festival, November 1978 Vic Marsh, initator from Australia, expressed himself in a rather un-Australian manner on Rawat dancing in 1978 in The Secret and Open Pictures of God:
The Love affair which grew hour by hour climaxed when Guru Maharaj Ji danced with us. After dancing in the Krishna suit on Saturday night, blowing our hearts with little touches like Hansi handing him the Krishna flute, Maharaj Ji pushed the festival into an extra day and took us absolutely flying with him by dancing again on Sunday night, this time in a beautiful flower mala. The measured, full majesty of his dance, the power and authority in his every movement, lifted us higher and held us there as he continued to dance. Now from the chair, he invited us all with gestures, motioning us to rise up to him, to keep going, to dance on, to go beyond ourselves and join him.
To me Rawat's dancing in those nights was ridiculous, unrhythmic, out-of-time, embarrassing and ponderous. Thankfully, while my mind fought on for a while trying to keep me doing satsang, service and meditation my heart had seen the light and I gave up the practice of Rawat's "Knowledge" shortly thereafter and began to enjoy life in all it's richness.
Guru Puja Festival, 1979
Dance, Dance, Dance
by Rich Neel with One Foundation
Maharaj Ji you are the Lord
You've shown us by your Word
You've taken us from darkness to Light
Your wish is our delight
Cheering - Bolie Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai! Bolie Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai!
All Night Long - One Foundation
The only thing that I can feel within my heart to play
As long as there is air that I may breathe
Is the praises of my Lord, my everything to me
And the joy of merging in his feet
All night long, Let us stay with you Lord, All night long, Let us play with you Lord
All night long, Let us worship you Lord, All night long, Let us gaze at your Form
All night long, Let us sing to you Lord, All night long, Let us dance with you Lord
All night long, Till we're totally gone
Holi festival, Miami Florida, 11th April 1980
Whatever It Is That's Between Us
Whatever it is that's between us
Take it all away
For the loneliness and the longing for You
Is growing more every day
Like the waves of an ocean
I feel Your love washing over me
Whispering Your Holy Name to purify me
Guru Puja festival, July 25, 26 & 27 1980
At Divine Light Mission religious festivals he danced to different tunes, usually after an initial coy period. Excitement built as the crowd waited the return of their Master dressed in a bizarre costume and the beginning of their Guru Maharaj Ji's performance. They expected some divine darshan dancing because the band would be playing 'I Just Want To Dance With You' or something similar.
Prem Rawat returns to the stage dressed in one of his Krishna costumes with a frontal section designed to hide his flabby man boobs, bows his head in "meditation" for 2 or 3 seconds, fiddles with some controls built into his throne, then chews on some courage enhancers or his lips while looking uncomfortable for some minutes before standing up and commencing waving his arms and moving slightly from side to side while the band continue to play 'I Just Want To Dance With You' even though everybody is dancing with him. He seems to be waving his arms to the beat of a different drummer, maybe to the sound of universes being created and destroyed.
It seems very unlikely that practising the techniques of meditation revealed in Maharaji's Knowledge could directly alter the artistic or aesthetic sense of Prem Rawat's devotees. It appears that their extremely enthusastic, orgiastic reaction to his dancing and public singing is conditioned by their religious faith and concepts about the supernatural qualities of his person.
India, 1988, the Birthday Gift film. A full moon satsang ends with the Lord dancing (only just) while many of his devotees, especially up front near the stage, dance deliriously and then it ends with Rawat's head dissolving into the Divine Light on stage. Now that's not something you see every day.
In 1996 he ends his 25th Anniversary of Coming to the West celebrations dancing in a suit.
The 'premies' are now mature age 'students' but they think they can still get down and boogie
Below are pictures from the 1996 Boundless video of Maharaji dancing in the USA. The video clip of Rawat dancing to the song Dance, dance, dance is probably from the 1979 Hans Jayanti festival.
Below is the dancing scene from the 1997 World of Knowledge video of Maharaji dancing in India and at the 25th Anniversary of Maharaji Coming To The West Celebration in 1996. You remember it don't you? It was bigger than the Olympics, the World Cup and The Orange Bowl all put together.