I first heard about Guru Maharaji when i was at Uni some 20 years ago. I saw a 2nd hand book with a pudgy smiling Indian boy and a pink cover with the caption "The Love Bomb has exploded" (or something like that - it was very 60s-ish). Thought it a bit of a laugh, the cover that is. I didn't read the book though, was never into love bombs and flower power....
Many years later when I hung around for a short while with people in the occult community (O.T.O.) this thing about Divine Light Mission and "the knowledge" kept coming up. They were all into it. Not into Maharaji or the Guru scene, with which they agreed with me, but this particular technique, which seems to involve meditation on sound and light, perhaps not unlike Radha Soami (Sant Mat) and elements of Tantra. Obviously it is an underlying element of Indian yoga and esotericism.
I've only heard Guru Maharaji speak once, some years ago. It was in a big auditorium. I was invited there by a friend, a fellow by the name of Keith who was also a devotee of Swamiji . Listening to Guru Mahaji talk, I felt he was a nice guy (or at least he had a nice manner about him) even if a little too slick. He certainly didn't strike me as enlightened. He was no more Guru than you or I. The audience were almost all devotees ready to jump up kiss his backside in an instant. When one woman, an middle aged lady, stood up and said something critical to Maharaji. He quickly put her in her place with some reply (I dont even remeber what the question was, or his reply, except it was nothing fancy). The whole auditorium laughed and cheered and clapped at that. Sad really....
I looked up some stuff on the Web for links when I was making this page. Seems like everything on Mahaji is pretty negative. That fellow has a PR problem alright! ;-)
Cult Watch - Guru Maharaji - this is a really excellent site! - includes The Contradictions of Maharaji - which just goes to show Maharaji doesnt know anything! Here is their coverage of "the knowledge"
The Indian Background of Divine Light Mission - Elan Vital - another excellent critique on Maharaji. To quote:
For more info, visit this superb site!
"When Maharaji first began giving Knowledge in the West, the above claims were proclaimed loudly by both Maharaji and his followers. Now these claims are not made, except subtly, in the introductory videos that Maharaji distributes. Instead, they are gradually made clear to aspirants as they complete the process of learning about Knowledge.
The purpose of the pages on this site, which focuses on the traditional Indian background of Maharaji's status and teachings, is to show that none of these claims are true. In fact:
- There are several other gurus and cult leaders today who also claim to be the one and only "Master", or Satguru. One of these is Maharaji's brother, Satpal. The disciples of these "masters" report having the same kind of experiences that Maharaji's followers have
- Maharaji's teachings have been inherited from a well known and well documented modern 'progressive' group of Punjabi 'sects'.
- The Knowledge techniques are common knowledge shared by many teachers, and these teachers have other practices that are very similar to Maharaji's: darshan, satsang, and service, for example. What one can experience through the bond with 'The Master' can simply be experienced through meditation for those who enjoy it."
(Incidentally, I had long suspected a connection between Divine Light Mission and Radha Soami, the fopormer being a ripoff of elements of the latter. Material on this site reveals the explit connections)
Maharaji related sites - useful links - mirror
page historypage uploaded 9 September 1999