DLM/EV History: 1972

The dawning of the Millennium

Divine Light Mission (DLM) was founded in India by Maharaji's father, Hans Ji Maharaj, and was incorporated in the US in 1972 in Colorado. Denver was selected as the new international headquarters, and ashrams (a Hindi term meaning "shelter") were established in major cities throughout North America, Australia, and Europe.

The main room of each ashram had a large altar on which pictures of Maharaji were placed. The devotees sang a 14-verse devotional song ("Arti") to these pictures each morning and evening, prostrating themselves in front of the altar afterwards.

Premies who were accepted into ashrams were required to:

  • take vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience
  • live by the strict ashram schedule
  • do satsang; service and meditation
  • turn over all income to Maharaji's organisation
  • do any "service" requested of them

Maharaji on bilingual poster with modest claim.

The ashram premies were to be totally dedicated to Maharaji, and were to follow his Commandments:

  • Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today
  • Constantly meditate and remember holy name
  • Never delay in attending satsang
  • Never leave room for doubt in your mind
  • Always have faith in god

In 1972, a large program (or "festival", as they were then called) was held in Montrose, Colorado, at which over 2,000 people received Knowledge. Later that year, premies were encouraged to travel to India for the Hans Jayanti Festival celebrating the birthday of Shri Hans, Maharaji's father. Charter flights were arranged from North America and Europe to transport premies to the festival, and thousands from the west attended.

After the festival, premies from the West were asked to return to their countries, enter the ashram if they could, and do service and propagation. The goal of this would be a large program in the U.S. at which Maharaji would officially reveal his plan to bring peace to the world.

The "Holy Family". From left, Bal Bhagwan Ji, Raja Ji, Maharaji, Bhole Ji, and Mata Ji.

Maharaji's family began accompanying him on his tours, or touring separately. Collectively known as the Holy Family, his mother, Mata Ji, and brothers, Bal Bhagwan Ji, Bhole Ji, and Raja Ji, were also regarded by premies as incarnations of God, and their pictures were placed on the altars at many ashrams.

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