Journeys: Bill Cooper

Date: April 8, 1997

I was a teenager in 72 when I first heard of Maharaji. I was practicing TM at the time but I felt an instant pull to guruji. The next few years were pretty mixed up as I was a pretty mixed up kid and the drugs certainly didn't help but they were interesting times. I attended satsang reasonably regularly when I was a student at Leicester university UK but I also remember being harassed by Christians at the time for getting into a satanic cult .

The first time I saw Maharaji was in Copenhagen and he didn't really do much for me I was disappointed but I didn't have knowledge at that time. I received knowledge from Gurucharanand and for the next few years my whole life circled around knowledge . No TV no meat satsang most nights and try to scrape the pennies together to see Maharaji.

I have had quite powerful experiences when I've seen Maharaji even though I've been riddled with doubts. For example It was my first year as a science teacher when my girlfriend (now my wife) and I decided to go to see Maharaji in Florida for Hans Jayanti ( I think ). I left my job without asking for time off and new that Id get the sack when I got back .

I fried in Orlando and towards the end of the week I had decided to chuck the whole thing in and go off to India to find a real Guru. I went for darshan because it was there and to sort off say goodbye to the whole trip. As I was walking through the line my mind was working on the possibilities of going out and trying an American burger or going to Disneyland and then I saw Maharaji and Bang a real out of the head experience that had me in tears .

So there is that side but also there was also the whole trip of we need more money premies from the heavy duty mob with their rather nice suits and aspirations of position in DLM. There were the stories that kept filtering down about Maharaji which you could interpret as a sort of cosmic thing or the action of an arrogant youth used to getting his own way e.g. when one of the premies tried to argue with Maharaji he punched him in the stomach eg Maharaji imparting cosmic energy so as to change this guys karma.

Then came the rift with the family. A friend, Cambell McQueen, went to see Bablagwanji and came back with a very different story and he got to meet Ashokanand who had recently left Maharaji and was apparently undergoing a nervous breakdown. Cambell became PNG in the premie community. I started to question the whole thing all over again and sort of just drifted away.

The problem is that intellectually I tend towards atheism which unfortunately does not sit well with me and so I get bouts of depression. I've tried looking for another way forward Christianity, shintaido ( yes even Jehovah's witnesses) but I have so little faith in religions .

I'm living in Singapore now aged 42 with a wife and two kids. I started going to satsang again, and I saw Maharaji in Miami last Summer. I was impressed with how organized everything was and simple . Maharaji seems to have got rid of a lot of the crap that used to go with programs. I really enjoyed the satsangs that Maharaji gave and I was really reassured by the way he's still talking about knowledge in the same way, but I came away from the program feeling depressed and empty.

I got on the Internet a few weeks ago and while I was surfing I came across your site. It was like a buzz of electricity I read everything there was there and all the ambiguity that I've felt about Maharaji came to the surface again. Like nearly all premies I've never been physically close to Maharaji, I never got to speak to him . Id really like to talk to anyone who has spent time around Maharaji .

Some one on this site compared it to the O.J. trial and I really understand that and I know that at the end of the day I have to make my own mind up despite all the ambiguity but I feel it's really good to talk and listen to other peoples experiences and I'm just grateful that something like this exists on the Internet. Its taken me all this time to get over the guilt of writing about Maharaji.

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