Prem Rawat Reviewed

Prem Rawat Welcome to a site that provides an incisive critique of the background, career, teachings and promotional activities pursued by Prem Rawat and his various organisations, such as The Prem Rawat Foundation and Words of Peace Global (WOPG). We also expose their attempts to hide the truth and bend the truth about these activities.

Prem Rawat and his supporting organisations present themselves as being concerned with education, spirituality and philanthropy, however the promotional activities that they pursue are unusually aggressive in comparison to the common standards of the "not for profit" sectors in which Rawat and his organisations seek to operate. In the light of this unusually aggressive stance, Prem-Rawat-Revealed places a particular emphasis on the legal and ethical aspects of the promotion of Prem Rawat. Prem Rawat appears to have no distinctions nor background that qualify him for the central and exalted position he is held in by his 'students.' In fact, his background and past are so controversial these supporting organisations attempt to keep them secret and his activities so questionable that he does not merit the accolades he is given by the organisations created to support and aggrandize him.

BACKGROUND, INHERITANCE & EARLY TEACHINGS:

Shri Hans Rawat Hans Ram Singh Rawat (November 8, 1900 - July 16, 1966) was a successful Godman in Northern India within the Sant Mat tradition. He was Prem's father and Spiritual Master. He taught a syncretic belief system focussed on devotion to and worship of himself rather than high-falutin' doctrines.

"The Master gives us self-Knowledge. You should serve him with love and devotion, worship him and give him all your respect and attention." - Hans Yog Prakash p59

It incorporated elements of classical Hinduism moderated by the influence of the early Arya Samaj, aspects of Hatha Yoga that accord with the formulation presented in 17thC and 18thC works such as the Gheranda Samhita, Sikhism, and most significantly the Sant Mat [1] and Advait Mat[2], [3] traditions. If Prem Rawat's father hadn't been a successful Indian Godman then Prem would probably be a mechanic or a used car salesman.

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. Recognize him, obey him, and worship him." - Prem Rawat, Peace Bomb speech

Mahatma Gurucharanand applies a Tilak to the young Satguru Maharaji (Prem Rawat) Hans Rawat died in 1966 and his spiritual mantle, titles and devotees passed to his youngest son in slightly murky circumstances about which there has been considerable disagreement since Prem was disinherited and deposed by the administrators of Divya Sandesh Parishad (the Indian Divine Light Mission) for drunkeness and a playboy lifestyle in 1975. Nevertheless everything he knew about being a Satguru was taught him by his father or his father's inner circle of administrators, mahatmas and devotees or was picked up on the job.

The background to and events of his early life until around 1982 were exotic, astonishing and unique though he isn't. He was in the right place at the right time and though he was the wrong person for the role of Incarnation of God, True Revealer of Light and Perfect Master he went along for the ride and has done very nicely thank you very much. The later and longer adult part of his life is not so interesting though it contains considerable controversy.

THE SELLING POINT AND THE SALES PITCH:

Tony Robbins: Inspirational Speaker Prem Rawat: Inspirational Speaker Prem Rawat is just one of many 'gurus' who became briefly popular in the 1970s, Rawat's claim to a unique selling point was the unremarkable meditation that he calls Knowledge. Rawat's main overall public activity has been selling the idea of his Knowledge. This was first promoted as an easy method of God realisation and creation of a millenium of peace on earth with Himself as the Incarnation of God who would rule the world. When this proved a little too ambitious he changed his name and persona and retreated out of the limelight. Since the early 1990's he has been attempting to repackage himself as an inspirational speaker with a unique method to attain the possibility of peace and bliss in anyone's life. The core religious doctrines he teaches and the techniques he uses to make his sales pitch are revealing.

ENHANCING LEGITIMACY:

The promotional effort of Prem Rawat's supporting organisations since the year 2000 has been focussed on the Legitimacy Project. This is a long term, high cost attempt to create for himself the reputation, not of a failed 1970's Boy God cult leader, but of a respected worker for international peace and philanthropist in tandem with his attempts to gather a larger following of people attaining the possibility of peace by practising his techniques of meditation under his singular direction. A key aspect of this has been a concerted attempt to create this perception by repeating it constantly and to spuriously link Prem Rawat with respected institutions such as universities, third world NGOs and charities and the United Nations. Since 2010 they have also been trying to create a market for him as an inspirational teacher providing a method of improving life with training techniques taught to prisoners, organisations, students etc. They're not stupid enough to try to charge for these teachings yet as Rawat is no Anthony Robbins but to beg people to try them for free.

REWRITING THE PAST:

Prem Rawat Any success of this "legitimacy project" would be undermined by wider knowledge of his brief 15 minutes of fame that imploded in a sordid pit of divine delusions, impossible expectations, family scandal, massive debt, financial impropriety, opulent decadence and hubris. His followers, organised under the banners including:

  • Divine Light Mission
  • Élan Vital
  • The Prem Rawat Foundation
  • Words of Peace Global

have been engaged in a re-presentation of many strands of the history of the Prem Rawat movement.

SUPPRESSING BAD NEWS:

Prem Rawat's Elan Vital organisation (now defunct) twice employed the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (USA) against websites that carry information that Prem Rawat and his supporters consider to be damaging. In 2003 the Ex-premie organisation site was served with a DMCA notice and in 2005 Elan Vital, Inc. (EVI) slapped a DMCA notice on the hosting company for Prem-Rawat-Maharaji.info (PRMI) resulting in that site being forced off-line. PRMI's hosting company accepted that the DMCA notice submitted by Elan Vital was groundless and. PRMI was summarily reinstated - Forum 8 has been replaced by Prem Rawat Forum. A further notice against Prem-Rawat-Maharaji.info was submitted by EVI, which as in the earlier Ex-premie organisation case EVI declined to pursue. Further details and commentary of this action by EVI can be found here.

PRE-EMPTING CRITICISM:

Prem Rawat and his supporting organisations are concerned to ensure that individuals who become involved with Rawat's "teaching" should not subsequently offer public criticism of Rawat or his organisations. Issues of free expression, promotion of stigma and institutional obfuscation are dealt with in an examination of Rawat's promotional device The Keys.

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Notes:

[1] Wikipedia: Sant Mat

[2] Wikipedia: Advait Mat

[3] BIO: Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
EPO: Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj Published by Divine Light Mission, India,  1970