DLM/EV History: 1977 - 1978

The demand for devotion continues

Throughout 1977 and 1978, many programs were held, and each one was more elaborate than the one before. Premies began moving back into the ashrams, and ashrams re-opened in cities where they had been closed. The first national "Holi" Festival was held in Miami in the spring of 1977. This festival, in which Maharaji sprayed colored water and dye on premies (left), became a yearly occurence, and was held several times in the Orange Bowl,in Florida

Hosing down the faithful with a water cannon.

Maharaji began talking less and less about the practice of Knowledge and instead began saying that the true purpose of life was to experience devotion to Maharaji, and that premies should "surrender" to him. The actual practice of Knowledge, including the practice of meditation, was considered secondary to this devotion.

In 1978, the programs became even more elaborate and, Maharaji began "dancing" in his Krishna outfit at programs to the delirious delight of the premies. He also introduced new costumes, including a Krishna outfit in which he was naked from the waist up.

Maharaji selected more western initiators during this period and accepted applications from ashram premies for the initiator positions. The initiators began emphasizing that premies should send money directly to Maharaji, via a post office box in Malibu, in addition to tithing 10% of their income to DLM. Premies were instructed to make the checks out to "Guru Maharaj Ji", as he was then called. In addition, premies were encouraged to donate money when Maharaji gave darshan, and many did.

Maharaji in robe sewn by premies.

It's been estimated that hundreds of thousands of dollars were collected at each of these darshan events at large, international festivals. These funds went directly to Maharaji himself. Various "special" fundraising campaigns were also organized for specific projects, such as the acquisition of additional land around his Malibu mansion, the purchase of additional luxury cars, a helicopter, a luxury yacht and other items for his personal use.

He also predicted dire consequences if a premie ever stopped practicing Knowledge:

"Guru Maharaj Ji has not only promised us, but given us more than he has promised. Always. Always. And as that battle begins, things get even more intense. And if that faith is not there, if that faith is not completely in Guru Maharaj Ji, you're going to fall in so many fragments that you wouldn't be able to count them yourself". (Maharaji in Philadelphia, PA.- August 1978)

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