RollingStone Magazine Cover

RollingStone Magazine.
(Issue No145 - October 11, 1973, page 8)

Page 8

Perfect Master on the Ropes ?

In the fast-moving and highly competitive world of spiritual enlightenment and true knowledge, Guru Maharaj Ji, the 15-year-old Indian Lord of Creation and Perfect Master, was generally credited as being a bright up-and-coming Holyman. As early as 1971, this publication marked the young guru, then 13, as a major contender. We were particularly impressed with a press release that read, in part: "[The Perfect Master] has returned from his World Peace Mission deeply moved by the incredible hopelessness and suffering experienced by great masses of human individuals. He will be spending some time in seclusion." Then and there we decided that the kid had class and style. "Let's hear it for the little guy," we wrote, expecting him to have a clean shot at the title.

Some insiders who have been around the game for years liked to compare the youngster's quick punching parables to those of the Sufistic welterweight Mulla Nasruddin. Others thought the boy should take to the corners and telegraph his best shots in the manner of the late great Meher Baba. Critics of the young Indian's style concede the boy may indeed be a heavyweight contender; but say that unlike the legendary Chinese bruiser, Buddha, whom he outwardly resembles, the boy bas a glass psyche and can't take a truly damaging punch.

The guru, however, has taken some good shots in the past two years. First came the reports that the plump and apparently pubescent Master was closer to 19 or even 28 than to his announced age. Then Indian customs officials seized some $35,000 worth of jewelry, watches and foreign currency when the guru and some disciples, arriving in chartered jumbo jets, failed to properly declare the items. He was charged with smuggling, is currently under investigation and was forced to post a $13,300 bond before being allowed to leave lndia for an English-American tour to spread Perfect Knowledge.

Prem Rawat 1973 Even before he reached America, reports from England suggested the boy was out of shape, that he was riding around in a silver Rolls Royce and was seen wearing a cowboy hat. Then, in a highly publicized match in Detroit last month, Pat Halley, a religious unknown and a reporter for the Fifth Estate scored a TKO by lobbing a shaving cream pie in the over-confident guru's face. Slightly dazed, the Perfect Master told the assembled press that, "this is nothing compared to the nails driven into the hands of Jesus." He was apparently referring to a catastrophic near-defeat, suffered by one of the great Jewish heavyweights nearly 2000 years ago. The Jerusalem Slugger, however, came back off the canvas and not only went the distance, but, according to some who know the Game, sewed up the title in perpetuity.

After the Detroit bout, the weary Perfect Master went into a seclusion similar to the one that followed his recognition of the incredible hopelessness and suffering experienced by the great masses of human individuals. He canceled an Atlanta appearance and refused to appear on The Dick Cavett Show. Six days after the cream-pie incident, two Detroit heavies from the Motor City Divine Light Mission, posing as disaffected followers of the guru, arrived at Pat Halley's apartment and offered to demonstrate a secret training exercise designed to produce a blinding inner flash of light accompanied by overwhelming illumination. In point of fact, the two allegedly sat Halley in a chair, asked him to close his eyes and meditate, whereupon they cracked him brutally over the head with a hammer. He was critically injured and has since undergone brain surgery. The two believers are charged with "assault to do great bodily damage." One bas been apprehended. The other is still at large.

Two weeks after the incident, the Perfect Master showed up at St. Luke's hospital in Denver suffering from fatigue, a liver disorder and an ulcer.

So the Perfect Master is down and the Scorekeeper is counting, but no one in the Game figures the little guy is down for the count. Just last week a true believer arrived in our offices to remind us of the most significant event in history: the Perfect Master's return bout with the world to be held at the Houston Astrodome on the eighth through the tenth of November. Seven 747s, full of the gurus fans and supporters, will be flying in to watch the little guy try to take the title in a flurry of parables. Our informant told us that the teenaged Holy Person may, in fact, finally reveal to the world who he actually is. Some of us have speculated on the possibility that he may announce flat-out that he is God. Others feel that this may be presumptuous in a 15-year-old and point out that Jesus didn't announce until he was 30. A consensus opinion is that the guru will opt for an interim status such as Son of God, or Chosen Speaker. A viable alternative involves various reincarnations: Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha or some cosmic combination.

In this big comeback bout, the smartest money, in our opinion, is on the cosmic combo. And though we probably won't make it to Houston for the most significant event in history, we feel that if the Perfect Master just closes his eyes for a moment and concentrates on San Francisco, he will be able to pick up a hopeful message from this office.

"Let's hear it for the little guy!"

- Tim Cahill

Associate editor Cahill has been referred to as "the Nat Loubet of rock."