I re-watched a combination of two videos of Guru Maharaj
Ji, or Maharaji, last night, and again, it was eerily
familiar. I probably have watched and listened to thousands
of hours of Maharaji's satsangs, or speeches, over the 10
years I was a premie.
The first segment started out with a sequence of a flower
(undoubtedly a lotus) opening, first in black and white, and
then in color, with new age music in the background. The
rest of the video consisted of shots of clouds and a bird
flying and with Maharaji walking, with the video ALWAYS in
slow motion and always shot on his back.
Occasionally, his squeaky voice would interrupt the music to
talk about "that place," "that love," and "that joy." I got
the impression that showing him walk in real time would be
less "spiritual," and it appeared that the back shots were a
compromise: his big ass was considered less unflattering
than his protruding gut, which did, nevertheless, warrant a
side shot near the end.
Speaking-wise, he still talks very, very slowly, and still
basically says the same things over and over. For example,
he might say: "That love is within you" (long pause).
Then he repeats: "Within you" (long pause). Then he
turns it around: "It is YOU it is within" (long
pause). Then he repeats with another emphasis: "It is
WITHIN you" (long pause). Then he repeats again: "It
is within you ALL the time" (long pause). Repeats:
"ALL the time" (long pause). "It has never NOT
been within you all the time" (long pause).
Well, anyway, you get the idea. This goes on for most of his
speech and such sequences usually end with the words, rising
even higher in pitch: "...and it's so beautiful".
Accordingly, he says very, very, little, very, very, slowly
with a lot of pauses, and no "ums" or "ahs," and so what he
says sounds profound, or something that might come from "the
Master." (In this video, he referred to himself as "The
Master". He did not use the word "perfect" in connection
with "the master," but, by using the word "the" - as opposed
to "a" - he has much the same effect.) He said a total of
about twenty or fewer statements throughout his speech, and
for each one, he paused, repeated, paused, re-stated,
paused, re-emphasized, paused, repeated.
That was basically it. That, and talking about the soap
operas he used to watch "every day" until he got
bored, and a television commerical he saw for popcorn that
refelected, he thought, the false concepts people have about
heaven which they get from religions, which he denigrated as
the beliefs of dead perfect masters.
And that's also how I always remembered him speaking at
programs. He apparently learned that speaking process as a
young "perfect master," or as a
"perfect-master-in-training," and he appears to have not
wavered from it, as far as I can tell. As for the minuscule
"content" in what he says, he still basically says that you
experience a "beautiful place" when you meditate on your
breath, and that you should do that as much as possible.
But there is apparently a big contradiction here. He says it
is extremely easy to do this, and it is so pleasurable and
beautiful, but we get easily distracted, even from something
so plesurable and beautiful, and so it is very hard to do
this. So, we have to turn to "The Master" to help us. So,
therefore, we REALLY need HIM -- (to do WHAT is never really
He did not say, like he used to all the time, that we should
PRAY to him for his "grace" to be able to do this, but since
he didn't otherwise say how HE fit in, except as an object
of devotion, I think the praying and grace parts are
implied. In fact, he said that one should do this to the
exclusion of other things.
He said: "why would people want to get involved with
other things when there is something so beautiful
inside?" Well, probably because there is other stuff to
do. But also, in my experience, Maharaji is a poor example
of following this guideline - getting "involved" in things
as petty as soap operas, cars, planes, expensive clothes,
flying kites and watching TV.
By my experience is also that many premies follow his
example and do almost zero to help others or the world. They
tend, as he suggests, to focus ONLY on themselves and THEIR
experience, and, of course, on Maharaji, with justification
from him as to why that is okay. It is also clear from the
video that Maharaji and a lot of the premies are still VERY
much into devotion to, and worship of, Maharaji.
Except I noticed that what Maharaji used to call "devotion,"
he now calls "gratitude." He used to say that when you
receive knowledge from Maharaji, you don't get the COMPLETE
and REAL experience until you DEVOTE (and SURRENDER)
yourself 100% to him. Only then do you get the COMPLETE
experience of the "so beautiful" knowledge. He even
went through a period when he hardly talked about KNOWLEDGE,
and only talked about the path of DEVOTION which required
SURRENDER to him. Now he says that you receive knowledge
from "The Master" and then you express "GRATITUDE" (to him)
and that gives you a more complete experience of
The equivalence of these two terms is emphasized by the
songs sung to Maharaji by the premies during the program,
all but one of which premies were singing to him 15 or 20
years ago during his blatant "devotion and surrender"
One such song is that One Fountation number that goes:
"please, please, please teach me
Oh Maharaji, please, please, please, I'm ready to
He is pure and his love is deeper than the
Another song is even older, but one word has been
changed: the word "satguru" has been changed to "maharaji,"
apparently in line with the obliteration of the word "guru"
everywhere, including in Mahraji's name. It goes, in
"He's our own Maharaji
(satguru) and we love him.
He is brighter than a thousand seas shining in the
He is pure and fresh as the early morning dew.
He is lila, lila, and his game has just begun.
We are streams flowing down to his ocean.
And all we feel for him is pure devotion."
So, get the idea? Maharaji doesn't use the word
"devotion" as much anymore, but it's still the basic
principle of his trip that you don't really get what he
offers, unless you have devotion (aka gratitude) to
him. Some things don't change, just the window-dressing
Kim did get to sing the lead on "When Will I Dance With You
Again," that reggae song we also sang to him 20 years ago.
She sang for awhile and the premies stood and waived their
arms in the air and pleaded with Maharaji to dance, and he
acted coy for awhile and then he stood up, threw his hands
up in the air, and did a very awkward, 30-second, "dance."
The premies in the half-empty hall went ape-shit just like
they used to. Then he waddled off the stage.
A pan of the audience showed some people crying with their
faces in their hands. My basic impression is that he is
trying in some limited ways to be more relatable by not
wearing crowns or krishna costumes, and he didn't sit on a
throne like he used to (although he still sat in the middle
of the stage on a dais, but the chair did not have a high
back on it like a throne). He also did not call himself
"perfect" or use words like "devotion," and he didn't say
SURRENDER even once, which was a real mantra of his for
But the basic idea is still the same: "I am THE MASTER and
you are not. You are the devotees and you are somewhat less
stupid than most of the rest of the people in the world, who
are even more stupid than you because they do not recognize
me for what I am, which is THE (only) (PERFECT) MASTER, and
you should recognize me, receive knowledge and have ETERNAL
GRATITUDE (aka "devotion") to me, or you will not experience
the true, complete, "so beautiful" love within, inside, you.
And, of course, "gratitude/devotion" can be demonstrated by
coming to programs, kissing my feet, buying videos, sending
money, and responding to "fund-raisers" for various things
that I want."