Of praise and criticism of Maharaji, and
the purpose of this site
Maharaji has been both publicly praised and
publicly criticized since he was very young. Even
before he was proclaimed a living Master at the age
of eight, thousands in India would listen with
amazement while he spoke with profound
understanding about human life and its
I used to think his satsangs from back then were
profound and amazingly precocious as well. I don't
any longer. Indeed, far from being filled with any
kind of understanding about anything, they're
simply run-of-the-mill spiritual slogans, cliches
and hoary old stories parroting his guru father.
When he actually ventured out of the mold to try to
comment on the real world, he revealed how young
and immature he really was. Here, for example, is
Maharaji at 14 on diet:
The root is the consciousness, but where does
the consciousness actually lie ? Because root, if
you take root itself, it's in a seed. You see,
there is a little explanation to that. If you are
eating meat, you are eating out of a being, right ?
Like supposedly, some people eat cow, right? Cow
comes from life, a mother. Right ? And that also
come from a life, and it's a life to a life to a
life circle. But a plant does not come from a life.
It comes from dead, from a seed which is dead. It
doesn't need any nutrition. It's a dead seed. When
you plant it, and that's when it becomes (alive),
for it to grow, and to give you fruits.
or this disposition on life and 'karma':
A man did some sins and he dies. His ego
flies with the sins. His soul flies with the things
which are good. Right? Now these two things fly and
this ego jet tries to follow where the soul goes.
Now this soul goes and lands in that little boy -
right? - And these bad actions that were being
carried by ego also go into that little boy. As
soon as he is taught 'I', you know, and he
understands 'I', right from there he has done a
mistake. And 'I' means ego. Because he understood
'I' he has done a mistake. He does not know it
then, but after some time he does know it. And then
all these other things start, because he has
accepted that ego. And by now that ego has
completely landed. First it had not landed, it was
just flying around. Soul had landed. It took a
birth. But as soon as he said 'I', ego said O.K,
land now. And at that moment it has landed.
Pure balderdash, both. Or do you think
He spoke with an ease and conviction that
defied rational explanation and attracted the
highest of praise, even reverence, on the one hand
and skepticism or even harsh criticism on the
The 'ease and conviction' made perfect sense
given the fact that he grew up in such bizarre
circumstances where his father was reverred as God
incarnate. Maharaji merely siezed the mike and
played at daddy's game. The skepticism and harsh
criticism came from outside the cult. Those inside
were wrapped up in a fairly-tale existance wherein
Shri Hans' whole family was divine. Hardly
After one of his presentations given before
an audience of tens of thousands of people in New
Delhi, a news article was published claiming that
'the boy guru' was a fraud and was not speaking the
words being heard at all, but simply mouthing them
while a tape recorder was playing through the
I'm sure that theory wasn't true. Rather,
Maharaji was just adept at performing daddy's
vaudeville routine. Any transcripts of Maharaji's
early talks prove the point handily. There's nary
an original thought. It's all hindu boilerplate.
The explanation was offered that the
charismatic boy was being used as a mere circus
attraction for his parents and to promote a
particular brand of Hinduism. Such was an early
attempt to explain a phenomenon that did not lend
itself easily to rational explanation. After a few
years, the young Maharaji, while still attending
grammar school and speaking only on weekends and
holidays, was earning a growing reputation. It was
not unusual for hundreds of thousands of people to
travel long distances to hear him deliver a
timeless, yet confronting message.
It's no defense at all to say that Shri Hans'
own cult followers started worshipping Maharaji on
cue. Really, what's that? Indian's love their
religion, that's a fact, and they love their gurus.
It matters little to say that Maharaji was so
reverred. So were his brothers. So was his mother.
What about them?
Reduced to its simplest form, his message was
extremely simple, 'What you are truly looking for
can be found within.' It was at least obvious to
most who listened to him that his speaking was his
own and not a trick. He was neither lip-synching
his discourses nor even memorizing prepared
statements, but was speaking his own words
Again, what is the big deal about this? The
kid's father trained them to give these sermons and
they did. Big fucking deal, already!
Many began referring to him as Perfect
Master, Satguru, or true guru of the times.
This only occurred after Maharaji was annointed
accordingly by his mother and the cult leadership.
Why do you lie like this? Who do you think you're
Others said that some who were praising him
were more interested in proclaiming Maharaji's
identity in terms of the Hindu cosmology than they
were in taking his message to heart.
How about Maharaji's own interest in
doing so? Why else would he say things like:
'Who is Guru? The highest manifestation of
God is Guru. So when Guru is here, God is here, to
whom will you give your devotion? Guru Maharaj Ji
knows all. Guru Maharaji is Brahma (creator). Guru
Maharaji is Vishnu (Operator). Guru Maharjai is
Shiva (Destroyer of illusion and ego). And above
all, Guru Mahraji is the Supremest Lord in person
Again, who do you think you're fooling? New
people? Only so long as they don't find EPO. I'm
sure you'll one day regret the fact that you posted
all these lies under your own name, Mr. Strait.
Most premies who do so lie anonymously, either with
psuedonyms, first names only or, in the case of the
EV Frequently Asked Questions, unmaned entirely.
You, however, have put your own name and integrity
on the line here. Too bad for.
While Maharaji was being praised with the
highest of accolades offered by Indian tradition,
new criticisms began to be leveled against him in
the press. An article designed to discredit the
young boy in the eyes of Hindus appeared in the
Times of India under the sensationalist banner
headline, 'I am not a Hindu!' The quote had been
taken out of context from a press conference in
which Maharaji had been asked by a reporter, 'Do
you follow the Hindu religion?' Maharaji had
responded to the question by saying that he was not
a Hindu, nor was he a Muslim, nor a Christian, and
that while he respected all faiths, he was not here
to proclaim any particular religion or to start a
new one. He simply wanted to offer people an inner
experience he called Knowledge.
Your point, if I read you right, seems to be
that Maharaji was once slightly misunderstood by
the media. Sorry, but if that's your example of
sensationalistic lies and distortions, it isn't
much. It is, in fact, an arguably accurate
inference from Maharaji's own words. Beside that,
though, even assuming for argument's sake that this
was a terrible misrepresentation, so what? All
public figures, especially, I'd imagine, those who
claim, as in the quote above, to be 'the highest
infestation of God' (joke!), get a little flack
from time to time. Deal with the Combat
article allegation by allegation if you really want
to meet your cult leader's criticisms face-on.
That's my advice.
A few years later, by the time Maharaji
declared his intention to take his message to the
West, his reputation had grown beyond the
boundaries of India and began attracting the
interest of many from Europe and America. But his
detractors were also growing in vigor. He became
the target of slander and sometimes violent
demonstration by an organization that believed all
gurus were unnecessary frauds. Now, over thirty
years later, Maharaji has traveled to most
countries of the world offering the same
Why are you so maddeningly vague about
everything? Are you referring to the Aryan Samaj or
whatever that Indian political group was called?
But that was an Indian organization and that
challenge arose during Maharaji's father's days,
not after. Unless there's another, similar
'organization' I'm unaware of, that sentence is
extremely misleading. You make it sound as if
Maharaji met this opposition after he began
spreading his 'teaching' outside India. That's
Moreover, you're forgetting to mention that
Maharaji breathlessly courted the media when he
first came to the west. Remember 'Who Is Guru
Maharaj Ji?' He wanted all the media attention he
could get. What happened? The truth is, you don't
really know. Well, guess what, Mr. Strait. The
answer's readily apparent in the comic documentary,
'Lord of the Universe', a video clip of which can
be found on EPO. Maharaji's last press conference
was at Millenium and, if you watched the clip,
you'd know why. Even a 'hate-filled ex-lover' like
myself had to feel a little pity for the poor,
little boy stuck in such an awkward moment. There
he was, confronted by the world and for al intents
and purposes lost and frightened. You can tell he
was almost ready to cry. Why? Because he couldn't
handle the press' extremely fair and respectful
His programs have attracted audiences large
and small from the widest range of cultural
backgrounds and interests. His message still evokes
the highest forms of genuine praise in some, while
it is dismissed as unimportant or even dangerous by
Fine. So let's forget about the popularity
contest and get into the substance. We all know
that cult members like their cult leader. What does
that add to the analysis? The real question is,
'what exactly is he saying and what should we make
of that?' But, no, we don't expect you guys to
actually examine Maharaji's words that way. He's
your cult leader and such a venture is strictly
taboo. You can only talk around these
matters. Don't forget, only last month Maharaji
ordered you to 'NEVER QUESTION THE PURITY OF THE
MASTER!' Harsh, eh?
Typical criticisms are both varied and
contradictory: 'He is a fraud, claiming to be
something better than the rest of us.'
Nothing contradictory about that. I stand by it.
Want to discuss it? When? Where?
'He should not be rich.'
The point, Mr. Strait, is that he should not be
rich on account of exploiting the trust of his cult
members and dipping deeply into their pockets. I
understand that Maharaji has become a millionaire
many times over since the early seventies. Do you
have any idea how much money he has? Do you have
any idea how he's gotten whatever wealth he
possesses? If not, how can you even comment on
'He should not fly his own plane around the
'He should make the message more intelligible
to the intellect.'
No, not at all. Rather, he should answer the
questions and criticisms that suggest that his
message is empty.
'He should have a better
None of the critics I know, including ex-premies
and informed outsiders, looks at his organization
as anything but an extension of the cult leader
himself. We're well aware of the pathetic and
cowardly attempt Maharaji's making to scapegoat his
followers but that's your trick, not ours.
If the organization's flawed, it's only because
Maharaji's made it so.
'He should have more followers by
That's merely a reasonable take on the fact that
he did, after all, promise to bring peace to the
Therefore, dear premies, the time has come.
See how peace will be established in the world.
There will be peace on earth. That peace which
disappeared shall prevail again. It will come, and
once again the world will understand. So listen to
me and act accordingly. Bow down before Guru
'He shouldn't have followers at all.'
'He is not a spiritual master.'
'He should live the life style of a spiritual
No, he should resign.
'He shouldn't live in a large house.'
The wealth issue, as I said, is all about how
much he's got and how he got it. Being that we were
all pressed countless times in countless ways to
give him, personally, money (e.g. envelope
guantlets at darshan lines), we're 'stakeholders'
in his fortune. Especially, if he's NOT the Lord of
the Universe as he lead us to believe. Is he?
'He shouldn't have started ashrams in the
West in the '70s.'
'He shouldn't have closed those ashrams in
No, he should most certainly have closed them.
But he should have closed them with more respect
and support for the residents. Moreover, he should
have spoken openly and honestly with them about why
he'd earlier threatened them with eternal damnation
should they ever leave, only to close them himself
a few years later.
'He shouldn't have gotten married and had
Whatever. Perhaps more interesting is the
criticism about his longtime mistress, Monica
Lewis, his other affairs and numerous attempts to
fuck premie women. I mean, if you're going to spell
out the criticisms, you might as well get them on
the table. Similarly, I notice nothing here about
Maharaji's alcoholism or drug use. Nothing about
his real involvement in the Fakiranand incident,
nor anything about his killing the bicyclist in
India and letting someone else take the rap for it.
Why not? Too hot to even mention?
'Having a family, he shouldn't travel so
Big fucking deal.
'He should talk more about God.'
Now come on! Who in the world says this? Maybe
you do, can't think of anyone else I know. Most
people I know think he should just shut up.
'He shouldn't talk so much about
'He should be more humanitarian.'
'He should teach values.' 'He shouldn't teach
I'll deal with these together. The real
criticism is even more fundamental; it's that he
shouldn't teach anything. He's obviously a very
weak, flawed personality and not in any position to
offer any leadership or wisdom in any realm.
'He should be a leader, responsible for the
actions of those who listen to him.' 'He shouldn't
be a leader at all.'
No, it's not either. It's more like, if he's
going to be a leader anyways, which he is, he
should be an honest one. That he's not. He
scapegoats his followers mercilessly. YOU'll know
what I'm talking about first-hand if you fuck up,
'He should state his message so it can be
more easily understood.'
No, he should openly dialogue with people so
that his 'message', such as it is, can be better
understood and evaluated by anyone interested.
In short, he and his message should be
something we can label, fit into a definite
category, and get our minds around. As someone put
it succinctly, 'He should walk our talk.'
Try this: he should talk in such a way that
people understand him. If that means dialoguing
openly, he should do it. Of course, the moment he
does that, it's game over. Let me dialogue with
Maharaji in public for half an hour and you'll see
what I mean. Same with any informed ex-premie.
Maharaji's a paper lion and you know it.
There is a new factor in the old equation of
criticism - one being faced by almost all public
figures - and that is a new means of delivery. The
technology of the Internet makes possible the
widespread distribution of false rumors and
allegations by anyone who feels so inclined with a
minimum standard of responsibility.
Why the bias? The internet makes possible the
widespread distribution of all sorts of stuff, true
or false or mixed up this way or that. As for
responsiblity, hey, WS, SUE ME if you like. Can't
imagine taking any more responsibility than that.
But really, if I'm wrong, talk with me. Set me
straight. Other than that, fuck off with this
'responsibility' shit. You're projecting.
Such critics can malign individuals and
groups they hate without having to make their
statements to anyone's face, or even use their real
names. They can be as irresponsible as they like
with minimum accountability.
The name's Jim Heller. You can call me at (250)
360-1040. You can sue me at 7-547 Herald Street,
Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 1S5. Email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. You guys, on the other hand, who
are you? What are all your names? Where can we find
you? When will you talk with us?
Coupled with the principle of free speech,
the Internet makes possible the spread of damaging
misinformation just as it makes possible the wide
dissemination of useful information. It is easy to
take something that has a kernel or semblance of
truth and under the guise of 'information' put it
forth as 'the whole story.' In this new
environment, those of us who have initiated this
site feel that a response is called for. Yet, at
the core of what Maharaji teaches is the premise
neither that the truth of his message about the
possibility of Knowledge nor the authenticity of
its messenger need be a matter of conceptual belief
or rational persuasion. They can be discovered only
by means of direct experience and personal
recognition. In short, people make up their own
minds and hearts, not based on what others say for
better or for worse, but on the basis of personal
experience and all the powers of human
understanding that give a valid basis for arriving
at one's own conclusions.
If that's all true what the hell you doing with
this website? Transcend, friend, before it's too
So if this site succeeds in the uncovering of
misconceptions and misinformation whether in the
name of praise or criticism, it serves a valid
purpose. In fact, it may be true that much false
criticism arose out of false praise. The error of
each is the same - to attempt to explain or label
what cannot be explained or labeled. Often, in
reaction to the discomfort of 'not knowing' or not
understanding, people take a fragment of truth and
create from it a belief system (negative or
positive) and then defend it as the whole
Your consistent vagueness is tiring. Is this
almost over yet? All your site is succeeding in
doing is placing us ex-premies front and centre in
the cult membership's minds. Thanks for that and
William, I really mean that. Thanks. Thanks a
We are also aware that there is nothing that
gives us a special grasp of what is true nor
immunity from error but our effort to be conscious
and our commitment to clarity of thought. And as
with all other things, those who choose to read our
words will be the judge.
You want to defend Maharaji but your'e afraid to
interview your 'client' to get the real facts.