Prem Rawat's Speech to His Most Devoted European Ashram Residents
Complete Transcript: Ashram Satsang, June, 1979
This video records a speech made by Prem Rawat or Guru Maharaj Ji as he then called himself in Lingfield in 1979 to ashram premies and premies wishing to move into an ashram. At this time the ashrams in which his most devoted, unmarried followers lived and dedicated all their time and income to him and Divine Light Mission and their practise of Rawat's "Knowledge" were still the mainstay of his organisation. He told them that to be granted an opportunity to be in an ashram was a precious blessing and that his real devotees had no choice but to live in an ashram. However he stressed again and again the importance of sincerity for a premie in the ashram and that those with sincerity would be rewarded but those without sincerity would reap bitter fruits.
Three years later he summarily closed the ashrams and sent his "real devotees" out into the street with no savings from their 10 years of voluntary, celibate ashram lives.
In front of an audience of his most dedicated European followers Rawat stressed the evil of the Mind which he taught was a Manichean power that had led even the best of his followers into devastation and that this Mind became more powerful the more sincerity and effort the premie made in following Guru Maharaj Ji's (Prem Rawat) agya and that only more effort and sincerity can prevent that devastation and that extra effort and sincerity makes the mind try harder to get in …
He unequivocally states that agya (Maharaji's commandments) has to be obeyed implicitly at all times and that the ashram is the place "to dedicate your lives to Guru Maharaj Ji, to satsang, service and meditation, period". But it was not just the ahram premies that needed His Grace, everyone in the world needed His Shelter and that "the world" ie normal human life that was not dedicated to Him had nothing to offer anyone.
Rawat appears to have deep insecurities. Many of his more charismatic followers had become "initiators" - people proselytising publicly and initiating the small number of new interested people and inspiring the faithful. Many of these people were overall far more impressive in appearance, intelligence, charisma and interpersonal skills than Rawat himself and he took many opportunities to denigrate them to the "rank and file" followers under the guise of humour. This is a complete transcript of the speech
Bolie Shri Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai repeated quite a few times with cheering
So, it's nice to see there's a lot of ashram premies, perhaps not enough though. The reason why I wanted to see you all to me always has been a thing, always will be, ashrams are very special place. In the ashram there's a real experience to be had in the ashram is really a shelter that Guru Maharaj Ji provides (laughter) and uh we need some translation ?? here And yet I can't say and I don't think anybody in this world can say that they don't need Guru Maharaj Ji's shelter. I mean all of us, everyone of us needs that shelter and to me ashram can be a really beautiful experience for everyone of us if we are sincere about it, if we are sincerely seeking a shelter, if we sincerely want a shelter, if we really want to be saved from something, if we really want to be sheltered from something. I know a lot of premies move into the ashram maybe perhaps because of unemployment (laughter) or they don't have a place to stay, you know, one evening wandering through cities, the towns of your street and you having exhausted all means of cheap accommodations and still couldn't find anything so you end up in the ashram, right? And somehow it catches on to you the idea and another thing the conditions of all of you, I hope not, well at least some of you and you end up in the ashram. People want to stay in the ashram first of all one of the things and the reason why I also called this meeting is I don't like to clarify a few important points.
Premies who want to live in the ashrams have to be sincere about living in the ashrams. There's no point to live in the ashram just because you want a shelter over your head. There's no point to live in the ashram if you just want to live in the ashram for the sake of it because there is a real experience in the ashram that you can have, there really is and it is a very important aspect, it's a very important way, it's in fact such an incredible thing because it can ike to really assist us, it can really boost us in the experience of our Knowledge, in the experience of Guru Maharaj Ji cause there's so many premies in this world who really have to make it, who really try to make it, who put so much effort into it and perhaps they could be putting the same exact effort to their own experience of satsang, service and meditation but they can't because all that effort has to go in day to day to day to day to day survival in this jungle, in this wild thing, in this wild world. And what Guru Maharaj Ji offers is a shelter from it all, in where you can really be in satsang, you can really be in service, you can really be in meditation.
First of all let me clarify one thing. A lot of initiators have approached me and wanted ashram manual a new ashram manual, you know, and I feel what is an ashram manual gonna do? What is a set of books gonna do? I mean what would be the purpose of those set of books? I could have made a manual. A huge manual if you like (laughter), a very small manual if you like but that's not gonna do you any good. It's because all that experience, all that commitment to living in the ashram has to come from your own heart. A book cannot enforce it. We used to have an ashram manual. Some people would go, you know, they're coming back from their jobs or wherever or satsang and they'd go into a confectionery and see something they'd like and then go back to the ashram
You know, I'd like to see a great quality of ashram, not quantity, quality. Everyone of us needs ashram, everyone, there's nobody who can say "I'm fine without it." And so, some of you, whoever you are, from whichever country you are and you have an opportunity to live in an ashram all I can say is "Don't blow it," like some of you already did. Once ??? Maybe the mind has come in, maybe whatever has come in because what has this world gotta offer? What do you think this world, this world is gonna give you? You know, I mean this is always something that every ashram premie goes through sometime or the other maybe and it's always like the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. Is it?
You know sometimes it's like you crawl and you crawl and you crawl on this side of the hill, so-called, get on top of the hill, slip and fall into cow manure all over the place and there it is your grass is greener on the other side of the hill or full of cow dung and sometimes that's the way it is. And you know it's like what are you supposed to do in an ashram, what is an ashram for? So you can concentrate on Guru Maharaj Ji, you can concentrate on Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge, you can concentrate on your own experience instead of concentrating in this world instead of concentrating on, on something else that we usually get into so many times.
There is an opportunity, there is a place where you can sincerely just dedicate your life to to Guru Maharaj Ji. To me ashram is the next thing to being an initiator cause that's where I choose my initiators from. There's not one single initiator that is now, was or will ever be who has not stayed in the ashram. Cause that's where the experience can be gained. Ashram is not a thing, I mean tell me, tell me, is it that you're gonna be 43 years old and one day you're gonna realise that you don't need the shelter of the ashram anymore. You don't need Guru Maharaj Ji's shelter anymore, you're perfectly OK to walk into this world and everything will be hunky dory, everything will be great for you. It just isn't that way, it doesn't work like that, does it?
Sooner or later we find out. Maybe it's the hard way we find out sometimes. And what is Guru Maharaj Ji trying to provide? I mean so far I'm concerned, I am really concentrating on ashrams, I have been, you know, and very soon there will be a day where I'll visit everyone of the ashrams (attempts at applause) with a white glove. And perhaps not a white glove, a grey glove or (laughter) same colour as the dirt, you know. Oh look it's clean (loud laughter). No I won't, I won't, definitely I won't walk in there with a glove. I will walk in there but I won't walk there with a glove.
(small fault in the video)
Specific house mothers, how many of you are house mothers here? You know I sympathise with you. (loud laughter) I do. You know like accountants, people who do accountantcy all their life long and then they retire, they're still thinkin' the same terms. That's the same with house mothers. The job of being a house mother gets you sooner or later, doesn't it? I've had some experience where I've said that "Look you should eliminate the system of having house mothers." This was a long time ago and I just said "Look, premies should just take care of themselves." Why can't they clean their own beds and keep everything clean themselves? And you know who were the first ones to freak out? The ashram mothers, the house mothers "But what about us? We're the house mothers," you know. Nevertheless you know some some sometimes that's just a, that's just a crazy example, that's what it is. That's true, it's definitely true but it is a crazy example. But you have to understand that a lotta things like that, simple little things like that always keep on coming in front of me. You know, lotta times it's just "What about this?" and "What about that?"What about the clothes and I still very distinctly remember the girl in the elevator literally shaking, you know, and had the ideal dress on for the ashrams you know, just shaking herself and I was in the elevator and she was in the elevator and she was wearing this dress. To me, what are we trying to do in the ashram? Live a puppet's life? No. You have to be clear why you are in there. Does the inspiration from you, ??? inspiration from with you, within you will be clear, then you will be able to enjoy an ashram life. Then you will be able to experience the dedication to Guru Maharaj Ji. you will be able to experience the experience of Knowledge. Then then there will be a reason for the whole thing, instead of because it's in the vogue.
Living in the ashram is the new fashion. That's not true, that's not the new fashion. What an ashram is so far I'm concerned, ashram is the backbone of my work, what I have to do here in this world. And that's how important an ashram is. It's the spine, it's the backbone, of what has to be accomplished in this world. And if you are the ashram premies who live in the Europe you have to be clear, you have to really understand. Do you really want to dedicate yourself? And that's what you wanna that's you, that's what you wanna focus on, that's what you wanna be clear on. Do you really wanna dedicate your life? You know or is it simply because the rest of the thousand are doing it too. You know. Really. We sometimes get into the ashrams and it's like "Oh what about this and what about that and what about this and what about that" All our nitty witty things that we always love to pick on and why is that? And sometimes ashram premies will take that very seriously But don't you understand that's nothing else but a manifestation of your own mind? That mind will still haunt you if you leave the ashram or if you're in the ashram and the chances of you getting rid of it, the chances of you concentrating on the destruction of it you have much much thousands of times better in the ashram than there out there. What difference does it make? It's the dedication of life to Guru Maharaj Ji or the dedication of life to that particular little house that you love so dearly. You know, what is it? I lived in an ashram before I got married. (Laughter) That's true. I lived in 1516 Race Street, that was a pure ashram. I've lived in Boulder, Colorado, that was an ashram, Alta Loma Terrace that was definitely an ashram. The whole place only had one bathroom, you know and, you just sorta queue up and try to hit and miss, you know. That kind of a situation, every time I had to go premies would get in there and clean it up. I had a little room to myself, all it was, all it had was a waterbed in it that I used to pop holes in all the time, had a living room which was always stuffed with premies and non-premies at that time, aspirants, overnight aspirants, fly-by-night aspirants, come in, hang around and split in the morning. And this is true and though I mean, I mean compared to some of the things that premies go through now even that trailer is a lot better than the Alta Loma Terrace but to me still the, the memory's very, very precious of Alta Loma Terrace.
You know because there is there was something that everyone was trying to do same thing in 1516 Race Street. The house I think is sold you know and perhaps it was a very bad old house and yet it was such a beautiful experience for me while I was staying there because everybody was trying to focus on one thing. You can go to peoples' house and that's not what's happening. This cheap wah wah going along everybody's into their own little trips and here's an ashram and you can see how beautiful it is when everybody is really there for one purpose. It's like the little festival ground and that's what it can be if it isn't, it can be that little festival site, it's just like everyone of us here, 9,000 people come to live in an ashram. It's almost like an ashram, if 9,000 people come for one purpose, They all have one purpose to listen to Guru Maharaj Ji. For the four days that they come here, to do satsang, service and meditation and perhaps some of these people will go back to their situations and would be, would be perhaps cause of the circumstances denied satsang, service and meditation. But you have that opportunity where you can be in satsang, service and meditation. And you have to be aware of mind, be still aware of mind whether you are in the ashram or not and yet your chances grow so stronger because you have the Grace of Guru Maharaj Ji, you have the shelter of Guru Maharaj Ji.
You can't let your mind walk all over you in any circumstance, in any situation. OK it's all so great to just sit there and complain and complain and complain perhaps cause nothing is right, you know, perhaps nothing is right but the what is right anywhere else. Tell me one other place where everything is right. And it isn't and we are just have to all again realise what oportunity, what a precious blessing and in fact it is to be granted an opportunity to be in an ashram. And people who were insincere, who really don't wanna be there, who really don't want be in an ashram shall get their own fruit. Ashram will bear fruit for everybody. People who have been sincere living in an ashram have gotten sweet fruits.
And people who have not been sincere living in an ashram have gotten very sour fruits. Very bitter fruits and in one way it's really all up to us, to really understand that and treat that as a place of Guru Maharaj Ji. To really have that consciousness in our hearts. To really have that understanding of dedication. To really have that, to really see that moment again of satsang, service and meditation and how it can really manifest if we all really try and it can happen. I mean if it can't happen I wouldn't be telling you, you know. And I feel that you're lucky and yet let me tell you that ashram is not just gonna be a place where you can just walk in and out of. Perhaps it was like that, you know, you just walk in and walk out and walk in and walk out. Self proclaimed ashrams with self proclaimed ashram premies. People wanna go do some of their stupid things so they would step out of the ashram, straighten out their ties and say "I'm not an ashram premie anymore." Goo do and go and do whatever they want to do and stand in front of the ashram door and straighten out their ties again and say "I'm an ashram premie again" and walk right in.
Remember every ashram is associated with Guru Maharaj Ji and Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace and Guru Maharaj Ji's premies and those premies are trying to dedicate their lives to Guru Maharaj Ji. I mean really maybe I have said it too many times but you really are lucky to be in the ashrams. And, and then there is this whole trauma about following the ashram rules. How many of you are boggled by that? I thought every hand was gonna go up. And how many of you aren't boggled by that? A lot of neutral ground, huh? How many of you think the ashram rules aren't great? ???? Are you French, right? There is a French revolutionary. Before actually I realised that he was, he had applied for an, to be an initiator. Just the way he is, he raised his hand, it just looked like French. A revolutionary on top of it.
Tell me, how many of you would like if there were no ashram rules? Nothing, just there's two there, three, anyone from that side, there's another one. Tell me is the reason why you would like no ashram rules because it would make it easier for you to live in the ashram. Then your mind won't have to snare you so much. About those things bother you so much about those things. (Male in audience speaks) What about the other factors? Straightening out the tie. The ones that don't fall under the category of satsang and I don't think you could call it service, it isn't and it ain't meditation either.
What would you do? See, this is, I understand one thing, I agree with one thing, that there should be no ashram regulations, none at all. There should be no regulations. In an ashram there should only be an agya of Guru Maharaj Ji. Nothing should be looked at as regulations, nothing should be treated as regulations and that's the step I'm moving towards, definitely. You know, and there is going to be a little pamphlet coming out for the ashram premies and it'll be just basically probably some of this satsang and some of the satsang that I've given about ashrams and just very simple explanation. But the only thing is that your sincerity, your determination will have to be three times as strong cause one bad mistake and I can assure you, that'll be it. That's the way it should have been the very first time and that's the way it'll be now.
You're in there, not to entertain mind. Remember that. If you think you move into an ashram to entertain your mind then you are absolutely wrong. Ashram is not a place to entertain your mind. Ashram is a place to dedicate your lives to Guru Maharaj Ji, to satsang, service and meditation, period. And none of this mind will be tolerated in an ashram. Because there, there can only be a place for either Guru Maharaj Ji in that ashram or for your mind in that ashram. That's it. I know that one day when there is a book made, when there's laws made, laws are made to be broken, same thing with the regulations and that's the attitude of a lots of ashram premies. Laws are made to be broken but agya is not made to be broken because agya is never made, agya is given, a law is made and there's a lot of difference. And we have to always follow Guru Maharaj Ji's agya in our lives all the time, implicitly.
It isn't a matter of what we think. How are we going to try to dedicate our lives to Guru Maharaj Ji? Are we conditionally dedicating our lives to Guru Maharaj Ji? Guru Maharaj Ji, you eliminate the rules and I'll dedicate my life. No, OK I agree and I've said that I agree that 'Roolz' when you start having rules quote, it's not so nice. I agree with that but are you dedicating your life on that principle? Guru Maharaj Ji eliminates the rule and I'll dedicate my life to you. Oh Guru Maharaj Ji state the rules and I'll dedicate my life to you. Oh Guru Maharaj Ji let me eat eggs and I'll dedicate my life to you. Guru Maharaj Ji can we have cigarettes in our ashram and I'll dedicate my life to you. What are you doing? Are you entertaining mind or are you really trying to dedicate your life to Guru Maharaj Ji? If you're, if you're trying to dedicate your life to Guru Maharaj Ji then there will be no problems. Because these things become irrelevant. Everything else becomes irrelevant. The only thing that exists within you is you and Guru Maharaj Ji and that's in the whole world disappears for so far you're concerned.
But when you try to create a mixture of yourself, a little bit of mind, a little bit of Guru Maharaj Ji, a little bit of vogue. What do you end up with? A confused premie.
And one thing I see that I definitely, you know, I mean so far I'm concerned I love ashrams and as I've already said in a very strong statement ashrams are pretty much the backbone of my purpose in this world. But it's your, it's your prerogative if you wanna be a part of it or not. If you sincerely are a devotee, if you sincerely are a premie then you don't have a prerogative as a matter of fact. You don't have a choice and you don't have an option cause that's exactly what you wanna do you know but if you have your own ideas then that's exactly what you wanna pursue then that's a different story. And there are definitely a lot of changes coming for the ashram but I don't believe in any radical changes. And the radical changes should be slow and should be right. And they're not changes, nothing is gonna change. It's only the Guru Maharaj Ji's agya will come through for you, to direct you more, to guide you more, to help you in the purpose that you're trying to solve.
So you understand that much. (looks from side to side, shakes his head, no, nods his head, yes, laughter). How about this side? (laughter) Ashrams have always been very sophisticated. You know why? Cause you make them sophisticated. Otherwise ashrams are very simple. A group of very dedicated premies who want to dedicate their lives to Guru Maharaj Ji in satsang, service and meditation. How simple can you get? That's the definition of an ashram. A group of premies who want to dedicate their lives to Guru Maharaj Ji by His Grace and living in His agya. That's it. So how many of you would like to do that? (general hilarity begins)
Well there's not too many of you wanna do that, is there? How many of, how many French premies, French ashram premies? How many UK? How many German? How many Spanish? Any Israelis? You have an ashram in Israel? (someone answers) Yugoslavia? Italia? Not too many Italian ashram premies are there? What happened? Bruno? (laughter) What happened to all the Italian premies? Have I left out a country? Switzerland, that's right, Switzerland. Australia. Australia! Not all Australian ashram premies. Ireland. You know it's really interesting on the weather map there's the whole of Europe and there is England and England is about the same size as Europe and that's just not true. England is about this big (holds finger and thumb apart), Europe is this big (holds hands apart) and yet they take that England and stretch it until England's sitting this big and Europe right next to it.
Yes, so how many Irish premies? Irish (nods head). Any other country? Greece. Greece. Africa, yes Africa. Where? Sri Lanka. Where? Portugal. All the minorities are coming through. Shweden, yes. Only one ashram premie? What happened? The rest of them jump out of the window? Sweden is a perfect place for ashram actually, the sun never comes up, you can just do meditation all ???. Holland? How many premies from Holland? How about Scotland? If they can be Ireland they can be Scotland, right? One, two, three. How about Welsh? North Wales. Austria. Denmark, yes, Denmark.
So, I hope you have a beautiful experience in your ashrams, ha, ha. Is that an overstatement? Of course, as I said in satsang, we have a shortage of initiators. Any one of you like to apply for initiators? Tell me, are the rest of you scared of becoming an initiator? Are you?. Oh, cluck, cluck, cluck. You think I'll eat you or something? Look, these initiators certainly have it made. You know, when an initiator comes to your ashram and all the things you have to do for them. If you become an initiator and go back in the ashram you can get even with all those ashram premies who didn't give you a nice time. Covered water. Covered food. I mean, they have it made. They don't do anything, pretty much. One of the main things that they portray an image of is Knowledge Reviews and that they always have an assistant with them, he does most of the work, they just sit there. So there's nothing to be afraid about becoming an ashram, I mean an initiator. It's perfectly normal. It's just, you know, you, you just get a promoted. Lot of travelling and lotta nice stuff. I mean certainly in the ashram not even on your own birthday do they give you water that's covered. They get it every time. So if you just wanna move up in your life, apply now ha ha he he. A little commercial for initiators. For the better life you've always wanted, apply now. So anyway, how many of you would like to become initiators? Well that was a very effective ad, we should run it in Divine Times. And why do you wanna become initiators for anyway? You think they serve me? You see, this is when the initiators stop laughing. It's a very serious, serious thing. Ah it's true, once in a while they do. They do serve me once in a while when they're in good mood. Dimitri he didn't want to come here to get his private plane and his helicopter and then he said "I'll come if no Knowledge Reviews and no Knowledge Sessions just satsangs." Sure, come on in. Anyway, how many of you would you like to move out of the ashram? Every don't don't turn your heads around. Everybody turns their heads around to mumble mumble.
How many of you have already applied to be initiators? Sincerely want to become initiators? How many of you really think that you have been selected? Who knows maybe one day everybody, everyone of you will be initiator, would you like that? We're gonna have a mass initiator thing right here, you know. Ashram premie, initiator, whatever, either one of those. You have an opportunity to dedicate it to yourself. It's up to you if you really make that effort. You know I mean to me always what I have seen of ashram premies is that they really have a chance, they really have that potential and now that you have the opportunity don't let your mind come in, just let really Guru Maharaj Ji flow through you, cause that's what you want anyway. Mind will come in, mess you up, takes a minute and I've seen the best of 'em go out the window, you know, and there's nothing left then we gets devastated, it's like a string, you know, we make those little telephones and so far that string is straight and it's beautiful, everything's OK, that message, that connection can be there but if you break it and you tie a knot then the sound doesn't travel when the connection isn't made. And this is what we all have to understand. Sometimes we all are willing to take a chance, why not and yet what does this chance bring us of mind, a complete devastation perhaps, you know.
If you have any problems being in the ashram you can write to me. I won't give you the address but you can write to me. And the fact what we, we have a very good, in fact, a very good uh mail perception system where pretty much every mail gets opened and promptly replied.
If you have any problems don't hesitate to talk to an initiator. If your mind starts coming in, cool it. Don't jump into it. Give it about (pauses) 30 years (pauses) before you do something because after all that's what you wanna do is to let Guru Maharaj Ji come in and more effort you make perhaps more mind will try to come in. More you open your heart, maybe mind will try to fill it and yet your sincerity is the only thing that can stop it. Your effort is the only thing that can stop it and really let Guru Maharaj Ji come in instead of the mind.
Okay. And so maybe Hans Jayanti festival we'll have an international ashram meeting, perhaps. (applause) And also it is true we do have a shortage of initiators, you know. If you feel is there simple rules you should have followed initiator I mean ashram lifestyle, not hanking panking around, not getting into your mind, not letting the mind get its own way out. And sincerely want to become an initiator. And then there are little uh eight ball things, you know. You should be over 21 and uh you should definitely know how to speak English or if you don't you should learn how to speak English. And don't hesitate to apply because if you don't qualify it'll be rejected, as simple as that. No, we don't reject any applications, we keep the, who knows? So, maybe there'll be another conference we'll have, not a conference, ss ss another get together, perhaps before Hans Jayanti but if we don't have one before we'll have one at Hans Jayanti, right? Okay premies, thank you very much.
Bolie Shri Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai (9 times then car horn toots then) Bolie Shri Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai (another 4 times)