Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji? - The Life and Career of Prem Rawat (Maharaji)
Excerpts from the Bantam book, Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
This book was published by Bantam Books for the Divine Light Mission and edited by Charles Cameron with a forward by Rennie Davis, a somewhat famous anti-Vietnam war crusader, who was Prem Rawat's most famous devotee at the time. It gave the bona fide version of Prem Rawat and his Knowledge at the time with lots of personal testimony by Prem Rawat (Maharaji), his Holy Family and some selected followers.
Guru Maharaj Ji was born in Hardwar, India on December 10, 1957. His father, Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, was recognized by thousands of Indian devotees as Satguru: the one living master who reveals the ancient Knowledge of the inner self. Walking from village to village, he illumined the hearts of all seekers with the experience of divine Light and the holy Name of God - the essence of all religions. Yet in time this Perfect Master was to offer his full prostration to the Lotus Feet of his youngest son.
At two years of age, Guru Maharaj Ji had astonished his family by giving holy discourses, speaking simply but directly to members of his father's household about the importance of realizing God. He soon joined his mother, Shri Mata Ji, and his three elder brothers, Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Shri Bhole Ji, and Shri Raja Ji, at public programs where his father was addressing his disciples. Taking the microphone himself, the young Maharaj Ji began giving satsang (holy discourse), speaking in Hindi.
"When I was six," Guru Maharaj Ji said, "my Father gave me Knowledge with my brothers in the same room. I was given Knowledge and didn't realize it right away. I knew it was my duty, and I began to meditate, and in about a month I realized it." He then delivered his first English discourse, speaking for over thirty minutes with a strength and authority that moved his audience to tears. His father declared that although Guru Maharaj Ji was small in age, he was great in wisdom and enlightenment, and would one day shine over the whole world as brightly as the sun shines in the sky.
Later his father wrote a letter in Kashmir, sending it to his wife in Hardwar: "Give my blessings to Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Shri Bhole Ji, and Shri Raja Ji Maharaj, and give my pranams (prostration) to Shri Sant Ji Maharaj." It was his first declaration that in fact Maharaj Ji was the chosen descendent of Satguru. On July 19, 1966, after a lifetime devoted to bringing the Knowledge of God to his followers, Guru Maharaj Ji's father left his mortal, body in perfect peace.
"I didn't want to be Satguru. I didn't understand why it is me. I would have been satisfied to be the humblest servant of the Satguru and not to be one myself. It was not my desire. That (my father) sent his love to his oldest three sons and complete prostrations to his youngest. So they crowned me with the crown of Rama and Krishna and put the tilak on my forehead, and again the voice came: '… You are he. You must take this Knowledge out to the world.'"
This is the way Satguru Maharaj Ji describes the experience of realizing the task that was before him at the age of eight.
On the day Shri Maharaj Ji left his body, a disciple tearfully begged to speak once more with his master. The young Guru Maharaj Ji had replied, "Shri Maharaj Ji has only left his body, but his spiritual body is still here, and he will appear again after a few days." At the time, he did not fully realize that this power was within him.
"I went home (from school) and everyone was, weeping. I was just sitting there not weeping and something began to happen to me. I began to feel that I am not this body; that I could not move these lips. I always thought that the soul would leave by the mouth, but my mouth was shut. Still I felt like I was leaving my body and my soul was everywhere going out. And this voice came to me saying, 'You are he, you are the one to continue.'"
"Then I puzzled over the voice. Thirteen days later, I was doing pranam to my Father's ashes and bones. You know, in India they burn the bodies and thirteen days later you go and collect the ashes. I bent down to touch the ashes, the voice came: 'You are he. You are the one to go and give this to the world.'"
On August 1st, Guru Maharaj Ji, eight years old, stood in front of the thousands of devotees present at his father's funeral. The voice came again, saying: "This is the last I will tell you. You are he. You must take this Knowledge out to the world."
"For the first time," says Guru Maharaj Ji, "I did not give satsang. The satsang just came and I began to speak: Dear children of God, why are you weeping? Haven't you learned the lesson that your master taught you? The Perfect Master never dies. Maharaj Ji is here, amongst you now."
Immediately his mother, three elder brothers and all the mahatmas present, prostrated at the feet of the Perfect Master and received his blessings.
A few months later, Guru Maharaj Ji delivered his first satsang as Satguru before hundreds of thousands of people in Delhi, India. He announced: "I have not come to establish a new religion. I have come to reveal the truth, knowing which you will be free. If you come to me with a guileless heart and sincere desire, I will give you eternal peace."
In one of his early discourses, Satguru Maharaj Ji promised to spread the Knowledge of God to the entire world in his lifetime. Before a million devotees in New Delhi, he revealed his plan for a great "Peace Bomb." After weeping for some moments, he said:
"These tears are not because I am remembering my Father, but because I am feeling so much power in me. They are tears of strength. I have come so powerful. I have come for the world. Whenever the great come, the worldly oppose them. Again I have come and you are not listening. Every ear should hear that the savior of humanity has come. There should be no chance for anyone to say they haven't heard of Guru Maharaj Ji. Those who come to me are already saved. Now it's your duty to save others. Shout it on the streets. Why be shy? Give me your love, I will give you peace. Come to me, I will relieve you of your suffering. I am the source of peace in this world. All I ask of you is your love. All I ask is your trust. And what l can give you is such peace as will never die. I declare I will establish peace in this world. But what can I do unless men come to me with love in their heart and a keen wish to know peace and Truth?"