Prem Rawat's Lilas
Lila in Sanskrit refers to creative play by the divine in both non-dualistic and dualistic Hindu schools of thought. Prem Rawat, who claims to be God in human form, said his divine lilas are required to bring man into perfection.
Premies used 'lila' to explain/excuse all the things Prem Rawat did that were stupid, mean-spirited or inexplicable for someone with a "higher consciousness." They also spoke of Rawat's freeing us of our concepts or smashing our concepts when he did something particularly inappropriate like eating meat, marrying at 16 years old, getting drunk, driving dangerously at ridiculous speeds and breaking with his family and being repudiated by his Indian followers.
Whatever you pick up, so you become. Because it's all the little lila, or play, of mind that brings you into all the confusion and everything of this world. And that's why a man needs the lila of the Perfect Master. Because that brings him into something that is completely perfect. - San Francisco, California, February 10, 1974
Prem Rawat was blunt when speaking in front of his devotees. He could, if he wanted, perform divine lilas so mind-boggling and magical that everyone in the world would practise his Knowledge:
When we say Perfect Master, when we say this, this person who is infinite, call him Guru Maharaj Ji, call him Perfect Master, call him Lord, call him anything you want, he doesn't need to come into this world. You see? He doesn't. Because he is perfect. All he has to do is one day get up and just scream through the blue skies, and say, "You! Everybody! Realize Knowledge. Otherwise I am going to do something to you guys you never dreamed of." And then he could do something that would sort out every person who realized Knowledge and is meditating, and every person who has not realized Knowledge.
And so premies, the Perfect Master comes, and he comes in the human body. I mean, he doesn't have to. All he has to do is have a body that's as huge as the world – and even bigger, as the universe – and then pick up the whole world on his little finger and say, "You guys want to live, or should I blow you away?" He could do that, because we call him Almighty. And if we call him Almighty, it's a jazz for him to do this. It wouldn't take him anything. Because he's perfect. And he could just very well do that and say, "Look. If you don't realize this Knowledge, all I am going to do is -- boomp! -- and you are never going to know what hit you." But he doesn't do that. - Guru Puja Festival Caracas, Venezuela, July 23, 1975
There were quite a large number of female premies who were nick-named gopis back in the 1970s. The gushingly devotional types who were often obnoxiously single-minded in getting into close physical proximity to the Guru Maharaj Ji or anything related to Him. None of those who knew Prem Rawat well have ever said he had orgies with his female premies as Krishna is said to have done with his gopis. Prem had to get his personal assistant, Michael Dettmers, to interview premies that Rawat expressed an interest in (all blonde shiksas apparently, because he just wasn't that sort of Perfect Master - he didn't have the James Bond look or special skills.
The concept of Guru Maharaj Ji's lilas were commonly used to explain just about anything that occurred in a premie's life in the 1970's Divine Light Mission but when referring to His actions they were also often used to "explain" or at least excuse his wealth, his materialism, his unreliability, his poor behaviour.
I have never heard or read of lila being used to explain something amazing or even something charitable that Prem Rawat did, like donating his excess wealth to the poor or opening his unused houses to the homeless, or even picking up cold and wet hitch-hikers because he has never done anything like that.
Prem Rawat's lilas were even written about in Penthouse magazine in connection with the near-fatal hammer attack on Pat Halley who had dared to throw a shaving-cream pie into Rawat's face. Rawat's spokesman and No. 1 premie at the time, Rennie Davis, was quoted as saying:
Davis admitted that Misra was Mahatma Fakiranand, that Fletcher was St. Peter, and that both were back in the guru's good graces. Fletcher was in Denver and Fakiranand had not even been demoted from mahatmadom. He was, in Davis's words, "shipped off to Germany, where he's still giving Knowledge." When asked to explain the incident, Davis giggled in the peculiar manner common to most premies when in a state of divine bliss. "I really feel Guru Maharaj Ji is doing everything," said Davis. "He had the pie thrown in his face, and he had Fakiranand do that -the whole thing is just one gigantic lila that operates on so many levels. I saw it more as a test for the premies than anything else. Lila, in guruspeak, means "divine game."
Halley said. "I Always Wanted To Throw A Pie In God's Face