All God's Children


36 The New Religions … Why Now?


The Divine Light Mission is attempting to take a more respectable approach in its efforts to attract new premies (as the devotees are called), and it will be no coincidence if the new methods are also more financially advantageous for the Mission. Once Divine Light proselytized among druggies and dropouts, promising a constant high without drugs, much as the Krishnas did. But a contemporary premie recruit is more likely to be a student, musician, artist, lawyer, or teacher - a well-educated man or woman who is, or is destined to become, a solid member of the community.

Some of the communal houses where premies live have been closed, but five of the largest and most successful remain open. Many of today's young premies are scattered about cities in communal apartments, rather than together in one large communal house. However, their physical dispersion seems in no way to have altered their communal dedication to the Mission. But a whirlpool of controversy swirls around the system of ashrams (the communal houses where devotees live together).

In the beginning the group looked for followers who wanted to devote all of their time to Mission work and their newfound meditative techniques. Complaints began, charging that the group was a religious cult out to capture the minds and spirits of unaware young men and women who had wanted only to expand their minds and improve their psyches, but instead fell into a full-time premie trap.

Enthralled by the guru's meditative techniques, young people by the score succumbed to the entreaties of newfound Mission friends to move into an ashram and devote their lives to Mission work. Once inside an ashram, they often became as fanatical and as single-minded as members of the most extreme religious cults. It wasn't long before the Guru Maharaj Ji's Divine Light Mission was being called a pernicious religious cult on the order of the Unification Church, Love Israel's Church of Armageddon, the Krishna Consciousness Movement, and others around the country that persuade converts to give up everything for lives of sacrifice and concentration on new group goals.

In order to evaluate charges that Divine Light is a destructive religious cult, it is important to compare the Mission to both the most deceitful religious cults and to the self-help programs which neither offer communal life structures nor encourage practitioners to give up all outside interests. Some compare Divine Light's meditative "knowledge" techniques to the meditation practices of Transcendental Meditation, explaining that both are do-it-yourself systems that can be used to enrich one's life.

But the comparison does not work. The Mission's three-pronged program does not depend solely on the techniques of meditation, but also on satsang, or reinforcement of a belief in the benefits of meditation through discussion with others who do it, and on service work performed for the Mission without pay.

To get the most out of being a premie, a follower is encouraged to practice vegetarianism and celibacy as well as abstention from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Premies will say that nothing is forbidden in Divine Light, but they will also emphasize that each follower ought to give his first allegiance to the Mission. Consequently fervent believers form new friendships with fellow believers, eventually cutting ties with disapproving friends outside of Divine Light and ultimately breaking with their families who do not condone or endorse their new lifestyles. A college student who sets up an altar to Guru Maharaj Ji in his dormitory room and sits quietly meditating may be the subject of derision and scorn. He can be no more comfortable with his practices while living at home with parents who are obviously antagonistic toward his new beliefs. The final step in disassociation with the outside world often comes when a premie leaves his home and friends to move into the communal living structure provided by the Mission. Here, with other likeminded premies, he can practice "knowledge" fulltime and devote his life to the service of his guru and the Mission.

While the ashrams have often been self-supporting they have not been a good source of income for the Mission. Unlike the Moonies, the Children of God, or the Hare Krishnas, Divine Light Mission members do not sell anything. They do not solicit on street corners, selling candy, flowers, peanuts, or literature. And unlike the Church of Scientology, Guru Maharaj Ji's group does not charge for the courses or the teaching of the techniques of "knowledge." The group gets its money through gifts and the tithing of its members. The more gainfully employed a premie is, the higher the tithe the Mission receives.

The Divine Light Mission knows that to close all the ashrams, which are not only communal residences but also serve communities as a central meeting place where premies can come for nightly satsang, would seriously disrupt the group's cohesion. Instead, today's premies, whether they live in ashrams, communal apartments, or in their own homes, are encouraged to come regularly to the ashram for satsang or reinforcement of their beliefs. They are encouraged to remember what Mission spokesman Joe Anctil told us, "The ashram is a state of mind, not a place to live."

Premies recruit to their ranks by personal witnessing to friends and to strangers. A young woman premie who works as a full-time secretary at a Catholic college says she feels confident that some of her associates at work will become interested in Divine Light once they are impressed with her gentle ways and peaceful demeanor, qualities she is sure are fruits of her Divine Light practice.

The group also appeals through newspaper and Yellow Page advertising in cities where it has centers. Theirs is a soft-sell approach, and it seems to work.

There is a heightened interest in mind-expansion techniques in the United States, so it isn't surprising that continuing numbers of young people are finding their way to Divine Light centers to hear about the knowledge. We have attended the introductory lectures that come before the techniques of meditation are taught to recruits and we were amazed by two things. There were, each night, more than twenty new people at the lectures, all of whom were there because a friend had marveled to them about the fruits of the experience of meditation. And the lectures were so vague, filled with so much profundity and so little concrete information that we wondered how the lecturers were able to keep the attention of the recruits, let alone convert them.

But meditation is intriguing and mysterious and the Divine Light premies are, individually, compelling witnesses for their faith. True premies say they are happier than before. They believe that the liquid they taste when they put their tongues to the back of their throats in one technique of the knowledge is indeed nectar, not the mucus of a post-nasal drip. They believe the light they experience when they press on their eyes is sight through a "third eye," the pineal gland, which the guru contends is the vestige of an extra eye humans had at some point in their evolution. Premies don't allow that the sensation of light might simply be a physiological reaction to pressure on the cornea. They also believe that the vibrations they feel and hear when they cup their hands over their ears put them in touch with the source of all life.

What the premies really have may not be the truth of all truths, but just another effective method for meditating, for altering one's consciousness. What they may not understand is that they could learn to meditate for free and with no continuing obligations from a book at the library. Meditation, when practiced as a calming, leveling device, is a method of attaining a degree of inner peace and tranquility that should not be discounted. However, it does stand scientifically as a consciousness-altering technique and under its influence a mind is susceptible to suggestion. It is a medically accepted means of alleviating the ravages of stress. But when practiced to excess, meditation can "bliss out" a person to the point of inactivity and inertia, stifling creativity much the same way overindulgence with alcohol or marijuana can. These excesses are the major fears of Divine Light's opponents.

Recruiting 65

Guru Maharaj Ji claims to understand the key to the essence and spirit of knowledge and truth. He says he is in touch with the force of life that lurks in the inner recesses of all living things. He promises the same to those who will follow him. "He who seeks truth, finds it," the young guru tells his disciples. If by chance a new devotee doesn't find what the guru promises when he practices the guru's meditative techniques, the fault of course is not the guru's but the premies. A disappointed premie will be told that he "hasn't grown enough" to experience the "knowledge." Consequently, he will keep coming back to the oracle for a taste of the truth he has been promised, and so desperately seeks. It is mystifying to see young people become so dependent on the praise and promises of a cult or its leader that they will do nearly anything they are told to do.

Some cult critics, including the controversial deprogrammer and hero of most anticult parents, Ted Patrick, charge religious cults with using hypnotism to recruit young men and women into their ranks. Patrick told the California State Senate Subcommittee on Children and Youth that these groups use "on-the-spot hypnosis," when recruiting." … A person can come up to a person on the street and talk about anything. They can be singing or playing a guitar and the only thing they want you to do is look them straight in the eyes for five or ten minutes and you believe everything and go with these people."

We have yet to meet a cult member, or former cultist, who has convinced us that he was hypnotized into a new religion. But it does seem apparent that some religious cults use recruiting practices that in the world of business would be labelled "deceptive marketing practices." An honest contract between religion and convert cannot be made if information about the group, its identity, and the degree of committment necessary for members to belong is withheld.

Theology 77

The Divine Light Mission (from its Denver offices in a Victorian building resembling a turn-of-the-century department store that has been remodeled, but never renovated) is trying to tell the world that it is not a religion. While the philosophy of the young Guru Maharaj Ji, leader of the movement, has no elaborate theology, what theology is has reflects Hinduism, not Christianity and Judaism, from whose ranks come the masses of its membership.

The Divine Light Mission gives equal billing to all well-known religions and their scriptures, the Torah and all the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Koran, and the Bhagavadgita. Perhaps because the movement originated in India it emphasizes the teachings of the Hindu scriptures, the Bhagavadgita. The God of Divine Light resembles the impersonal concept of infinite power and energy of the Hindu omnipresence more than it does Western man's image of a rational and willful God who created the Universe and has a plan for it.

Premies learn that their guru is a messiah in a direct line of Perfect Masters that includes Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Lord Krishna, Shri Hans (the young guru's late father), and the guru himself. The issue of conflict between Divine Light teachings and Christianity or Judaism is seen in the answer to a premie's question: "Just who is the Guru Maharaj Ji?"

The answer often given by other premies is, "The Guru Maharaj Ji is God." Sometimes he is told that the Hindu faith, the springboard of Divine Light, holds that God can have many manifestations, many incarnations.

A rabbi reminds us, "For Jews there can be no other God but God." Christians, who have accepted the divinity of Jesus Christ as the son, of God and savior of man, do not accept the idea of many incarnations.

Leaders of the Divine Light Mission contend the movement is not a religion. They now say their work has been impeded by the Hindu trappings that many followers have invoked to "enrich the experience of meditation." But whether premies have promoted "Hindu trappings and their guru's divinity," in much the same way many Americans and Europeans have sought the life explanations in Eastern religion and writing, or whether the Guru Maharaj Ji himself claims that he is God is a question of some importance.

The methods of self-discipline practiced by premies are (other) aspects of Hinduism which have found their way into Divine Light philosophy. Celibacy, abstention from the use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, and the mission's highly touted vegetarian diet are stepping stones on the divinely lit path to enlightenment. And in true Hindu fashion, the Mission acts, not as a lawgiver but as a dispenser of advice. The disciplines are recommended, not commanded.

Maharaj Ji teaches that God is the source of all life. "God is an omniscient power that is hidden in the secret recesses of all living things. …" The guru claims that he alone has the key to the knowledge of the source of God. He has promised his premies that with this key (his meditative techniques), they can get in touch with this source. His God is, then, an energy that is always present and cannot be removed by temporal circumstances. Maharaj Ji does not claim to give God to his devotees, but to put them in touch with the God that has been present in them all along.

Armed with the knowledge of his own private God, a premie should be able, according to the guru, to handle any situation with maturity and strength. "The mind and the thoughts are obstacles to the experience of God," the guru says. His interpretation of the knowledge is an experience rather than an intellectualization of the deity.

The young "Perfect Master" of the Divine Light premies, whose full name is Prem Pal Singh Rawat, was a tiny boy when his father, Shri Hans Ji, traveled about India spreading the word of the knowledge. Although he was the son of a wealthy family, Shri Hans took his ministry to the poor. When little Prem's father died, his mother, ignoring the Western tradition of primogeniture, named the youngest of her four sons as the inheritor of his father's mission.

Together the family continued to minister to the poor for several years and the widow and her four sons became known in their region of India as the "holy family." Divine Light came to the United States after a drug-dealer, in India to close a deal, tumbled upon the ministry and persuaded the teen-age guru to visit him in the United States. The discoverer of Guru Maharaj Ji (Great King) put a strong arm on his cohorts, back in Boulder, Colorado, to finance the trip, and they obliged. Maharaj Ji's benefactors had no apparent intention to capitalize on the crusade they designed for him, but they did provide the boy guru with all the public relations acumen known to the world of pop culture. One of the members of the group had worked for the rock group "The Grateful Dead" and was well-versed in the promotional tactics of the recording industry.

And so the chubby holy boy and his religion were "sold" to the American people using the same gimmickry Procter & Gamble employs to sell soap. More than 80,000 "souls" have, during the past few years, received the guru's knowledge. He has become wealthy. The Divine Light Mission grew from a tiny band of missionaries to a massive business empire. The guru began leading a life that was not in keeping with his image as a holy man, and his mother fumed. He countered by saying that the "souls" in the United States were "poor in spirit but not in body," which by implication says one must live frugally only when trying to evangelize among the poor, and not the affluent.

Today the Mission of Maharaj Ji stands mired in controversy. Joe Anctil, spokesman and public relations director for the group, seems determined to lift the Mission from the muck, even if it means changing its doctrine, as well as its image. At one time the premies called their guru "Lord of the Universe". Now the Mission tells them to call him a teacher.

Anctil and his staff are using the same high-powered public relations techniques to change the Mission's image that the guru's original benefactors used to promote the movement in the first place. Divine Light leaders seem to think their Mission has more of a future if it concentrates on becoming a business which trains people in the techniques of meditation and discipline than it does if it continues as a religion, worshiping the contemporary incarnation of God.

"This is not India," say Divine Light leaders today. "The Hindu trip is all right there, but for Americans it's phony." And yet the Guru Maharaj Ji says, as Vedantic Hinduism also purports, that the creator-god (Brahman) has incarnated Himself many times in human forms, and will do so again and again. Vedantic Hindus call these incarnations, "avatars," or super-saviors.

"The truth is one, sages call it by various names," Ramakrishna, a leader of the Vedantic Hindus once told his followers. Maharaj Ji and the Divine Light Mission seem to agree.

And so the Mission denies no God, but asserts that its guru is on an equal plane with all Gods. The group says it is compatible with other religions. But for those who recognize the God of the Israelites or the Divinity of Christ, Divine Light is surely a compromise.

Messiahs and Gurus 103


Thousands of sunsets had faded behind the Rocky Mountains since a small band of acid dealers brought a pudgy thirteen-year-old Indian holy boy to a teepee on a mountainside in Boulder so he could teach them and their friends how to meditate and get high without drugs.

Since 1971 the young guru has grown into a less rotund but far richer young man. He's moved from the mountainside teepee, first to a large $86,000 house with a pool in Denver, and then to a half-million-dollar Malibu estate complete with pool, tennis court, and ocean view. He's owned Mercedes Benzes and Maseratis and has been stopped for speeding. He's had ulcers and has married and become a father. In his early twenties, he's in control of a multimillion-dollar-a-year religious business, the Divine Light Mission.

He had some trouble hanging onto his religious enterprise in 1975, after he married his tall, blonde, and older secretary, Marolyn Lois Johnson, a former United Airlines stewardess from California. Maharaj Ji's mother back in India didn't approve of the marriage, or the young man's gaudy lifestyle. At sixteen he was not old enough to marry without parental permission in Colorado, so he petitioned the court.

The judge agreed that the boy guru was old enough to marry, saying that he had an income and appeared mature beyond his years, a point confirmed by his most devout followers and disputed by others who tell of water pistol battles and legendary bouts of childish temper. The couple married in 1974 in a posh ceremony at a nondenominational Christian church outside Denver. They now live at the California estate with their two small children when they are not traveling on Mission business. The organization still maintains the Denver home as a place for Maharaj Ji to stay when he is in the city. But most of the time, premies live in the house. When their guru comes to Denver, they move out.

After his marriage, the young guru's mother, Rajeswari Devi (known as Mata Ji to premies) disowned her youngest son, saying she had made a mistake when she named him to succeed his father as head of the religious movement, and named the guru's older brother Bal Bhagwan Ji to direct the Mission. Maharaj Ji's reaction was to fight for his place as spiritual master of the Mission, and he went to India, where he and his brother became entangled in a series of legal suits and countersuits. Ultimately the two young men agreed, in a New Delhi court, to drop all charges. Now it appears that while Maharaj Ji is firmly in control of the Divine Light Mission in the United States, his mother and brother have taken the reins of the movement in India.

The Mission's tax-free annual income, revealed by Mission spokesman Joe Anctil as about $3.78 million in 1976, came from gifts, tithings, and annual business earnings. Robert Mischler, the Mission's executive director, has said the group considers itself a religion only for tax purposes. As a religion it is exempt from taxation. Under the Internal Revenue Service regulation no part of the net earnings of a religion may go to a private individual.

Anctil says that 60 percent of the Mission's $315,000 monthly income goes to support the international headquarters in Denver, the homes around the country where the guru and the 250 member staff live. The Mission makes the mortgage payments on both of Maharaj Ji's homes and spends about $200,000 annually from the Mission coffers to support the Mission's full-time premies, its guru, and its business activities.

Michael Garson, a former premie who worked in the Denver headquarters, has a different idea. In an affidavit presented in a British Columbia court he said, "My analysis of the accounts of the Divine Light Mission indicated that approximately 60 percent of the gross receipts are directed to maintain the lifestyle of the Maharaj Ji and those close to him."

In photostats of Mission financial records submitted with his testimony, Garson pointed out an entry of $139,925 marked "special projects." He said it was money "advanced directly to the Maharaj Ji for purposes related directly to his own maintenance."

It is no secret that the Mission has overspent in its brief history and has run up some monumental debts. The guru's millennium celebration at the Houston Astrodome in 1972 left the group sadly in arrears in making payments on debts it incurred at that time. Anctil says at one time the Mission owed more than $650,000 but had been able by late 1976, to reduce that debt to $80,000.

However, the Divine Light Mission is still feeling a financial squeeze. In selling real estate around the country the Mission has closed ashrams. With the closing of ashrams came a decline in income. Where premies move out of the ashrams they no longer turn over their weekly paychecks to the Mission. It must then rely on their voluntary contributions. In December 1976, Anctil said the monthly income from contributions had dropped from a high of more than $100,000 a month to $80,000.

In response to the declining income the Mission has had to consolidate its operations. In addition to the disposal of real estate in Denver and elsewhere the Mission has sold its printing business. The business was sold to a premie who, operates it in Denver and charges the Mission for printing work. The computer, which the Mission once used to keep track of its membership around the country, is gone. It was dropped when the costly lease expired.

With the printing business gone and some of the other Mission business activities shut down, premies who worked in those enterprises have had to reconsider their life's work. Many are being encouraged to go back into the world, get a job, and contribute to the Mission by tithing.

But the Mission doesn't show any signs of closing. As Joe Anctil says, "We are changing our image." It appears that the Divine Light Mission and its guru will be around as long as they can determine what the public wants and give it to them. And the guru has what looks like a long life ahead of him.

Contrasts 181


Meditation is enjoying an immense popularity these days and it isn't something that goes on only in the ashrams of Asiatic gurus like Maharaj Ji. It is happening in the living rooms, family rooms, and bedrooms of affluent middle-aged housewives and executives as well. Why then are these same people incensed when their children want to practice meditation?

In the case of the Divine Light Mission, the question seems to be complicated by one of the oldest questions in history: How can intelligent, rational people prostrate themselves at the feet of self-proclaimed gods or those who claim to be representatives of God? And why do human beings allow others to direct their spiritual and temporal lives?

What then makes the lives of the young premies in the ashrams of the Guru Maharaj Ji so suspect, so criticized? Do premies give the control of their lives to the group, or to their guru? Or is "knowledge" nothing more than a system to enrich and deepen spiritual lives? We went quietly into the ashrams to study the Divine Light techniques and to observe the way of life.

The house the premies chose for the ashram in one large Eastern city is a lovely Victorian mansion with leaded glass windows and intricately carved woodwork that reflect the home's original use as the city seat of a turn-of-the-century industrial magnate. It sits on the edge of the city, in a neighborhood that is "changing" and therefore affordable. The streets are still safe enough for the area to be inhabitable and it is well kept enough to be respectable, bordering on one of this country's most affluent and sprawling landscaped hospital grounds and college campuses.

The mansion has seen both better days and worse. It was being used as a day-care center when the Mission negotiated to buy it a few years ago. They paid a modest figure considering the building's size, location, and condition.

The interior architectural detail is reminiscent of convents, rectories, and the manses that are often part of church properties. There is a definite religious feeling in this house, but instead of pictures of Christ and crucifixes, it is now adorned with the signs of the Divine Light Mission and the young people who live here. In every room, including pantries and bathrooms, there are portraits of Guru Maharaj Ji, the premies' Perfect Master.

The young people have left their mark in other ways. Huge bay windows now hold jungles of houseplants. Just inside the massive carved oak and leaded glass entrance door is a cloakroom, always filled with shoes: leather boots and sneakers along with high-heeled platforms and sandals. Premies, like Moonies and Krishna devotees, do not wear shoes indoors. They pad around the house quietly in socks and slippers.

On one side of the enormous wainscoted entry hall is a staircase that leads to sleeping rooms for the fifteen permanent ashram dwellers. Premies, we are told, sleep two to a room here. On the other side of the hall are floor-to-ceiling carved-oak sliding doors that lead to the living room where nightly satsang is conducted. Here, premies meet to discuss their experiences with Maharaj Ji's knowledge to reinforce their own practice and to convert visitors to the practice of Divine Light meditation.

Beyond the hall is a dining room, with tables set for far more than the handful of premies who live here. Food is important to premies. Vegetarianism is a way of separating them from their previous lifestyles and their families. It is a factor that gives them a sense of commonality. Nearly all the meals here are prepared by Alice, the ashram housemother, and Carol, her assistant. The two are sisters. Alice is in her mid-to-late twenties and says her life as cook and housekeeper is the most satisfying she has ever had. She devotes full time to directing the housekeeping, the grocery shopping, and running the kitchen. The quality of the diet in the ashram is dependent on her skill, and one suspects the kitchen is a gathering place because Alice encourages it. Alice says that as housemother she feels appreciated and important in this group she needs and loves. According to her, the life she led before Divine Light was not a directed or purposeful one. In and out of schools, Alice says she was not the daughter her mother wanted. Although Alice and Carol's mother does not approve of the "religious part" of their premie existence, she does profess to approve of the newfound order the two young women have instilled in their lives.

Carol, too, wants an ashram life. She transferred to the East when her Midwestern ashram closed as part of the Mission's effort to consolidate their holdings. Alice, who had been the assistant housemother, took over her new responsibilities when the old housemother decided to live outside the ashram with another premie and to continue her practice of "knowledge" on a part-time basis. The former housemother now works as a secretary at a Roman Catholic college just down the street from the ashram. She still visits the ashram regularly and she is almost as involved as she was before she got her own apartment.

The day of our visit was the Guru's birthday celebration, and premies had traveled from ashrams in other cities to this big home and its day-long festivities. While Carol served lunch to a houseful of visitors, we washed dishes. And we observed the young men and women who were diligently working at cooking and cleaning the kitchen. Their own mothers would have been impressed by the dedication and concentration surrounding this "thankless" work. Not that the kitchen help was behind-the-scenes. Here, premies wandered in and out of the room, helping themselves to tea, helping with dishes and other chores. The normal isolation of the housewife and cook became a communal, everyone-pitch-in-and-help festival.

In the butler's pantry between the kitchen and dining room there was a constant supply of hot water. Spiced and flavored teas, honey, milk, and cups were set out for convenience and the pantry was, for many, the hub of the day's events.

During the visit and on previous occasions when we visited ashrams as undeclared aspirants, there was no persuasion or cajoling for us to become part of this group. We did feel a sense of calm and peace in the ashrams. Most of the premies seemed sincere and rational. They appeared to be in control of their own lives and seemed to be achieving some measure of peace as a by-product of a lifestyle they feel is constructive and healthy.

Yet one week later the Guru Maharaj Ji came to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the same young people were there too. In their guru's presence they lost control, sobbed, swayed, and knelt to kiss his feet. They say he is their guru, not their God.

The program for the celebration said, "Guru Maharaj Ji, my life is within you. From you I was born and to you now I go. Forever I'm yours. My longing is endless."

The chubby little man, whose corpulence suggests he hasn't nearly the self-discipline he inspires in his followers, came to Atlantic City to minister to his devotees and to receive their adulation. (There is always a hubbub of anxiety when the guru is scheduled to appear, since he has often failed to show up at celebrations and festivals in his honor.)

The guru entered the ballroom of the Atlantic City Convention Hall - where the annual Miss America pageant is held - and mounted a satin throne his premies had set there for him. The assembled devotees welcomed their master with frenzied screams, sobs, and outstretched arms. The young Indian's followers came one by one to bow before him and to kiss his feet.

They heard the little guru tell them, "You cannot battle the mind. It is too complex, too sophisticated. You'll lose. To beat the mind you must ignore it." Our newfound friends were ecstatic, entranced - as though they were not the same people we'd visited a week earlier.

264 Cult Life

The second of Lifton's conditions is Mystical Manipulation, and it is evident in nearly all religious cults. Here the potential convert is convinced of the higher purpose within the special group and is shown his individual responsibility in the attainment of that goal. He must be convinced that he is of those chosen by God, or the group leader, for this work for the greater glory of the world.

Never is this condition more apparent than in a satsang lesson of the Guru Maharaj Ji. He has told his devotees, "So whatever extra you have got, give it to me. And the extra thing you have got is your mind. Give it to me. I am ready to receive it. Because your mind troubles you give it to me. It won't trouble me. Just give it. And give your egos to me because egos trouble you, but they don't trouble me. Give them to me. So whatever extra you have in your mind, or your mind itself even, give it to me. I can bear it. It won't affect me. So just try to be holy and try to be a good devotee, a perfect devotee of the guru, who is himself perfect, who is really perfect.