Biographical Entries for Prem Rawat
Divine Light Mission
Religious movement founded in India in 1960, which gained a prominent following in the USA in the 1970s. It proclaims Guru Maharaj Ji as the present age's successor to the gods or religious leaders Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. He is believed to be able to provide his followers with the knowledge required to attain salvation.
Maharaj Ji, also known as Maharaji, originally Prem Pal Singh Rawat 1957 -
He was born in India and succeeded his father as Perfect Master of the Divine Light Mission when still a teenager. The movement has an ecstatic and erotic devotion to Krishna and attracted a large following in the West. On moving to the USA in 1971, he adopted an increasingly lavish lifestyle while the movement lost much of its original Hindu ethos. Many Eastern followers grew disillusioned and links with the Indian ashrams were severed in 1974. There remains a reduced but devoted following for the cult, now known as Elan Vital, based in the USA.
Ruth Tucker, Strange Gospels (1989)
Chambers Biographical Dictionary, © Chambers Harrap Publishers Limited 2003