|Journeys: Jane Rees|
|Date: January 11, 2005|
|I received knowledge in the 70s while I was still at school. I
was searching for love, and wanted to find a spiritual teacher who could
help me get answers to the void I felt inside. When I heard about this
guru from a fellow flute student, I immediately leapt at it and went
off on my journey.
I never entered an ashram - I was too young, and never able to go out to work and earn enough which seemed the main task of ashram premies. I enjoyed the feeling of being involved in something that seemed exciting and meaningful, but from the very first I noticed something; being a devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji separated me from my friends and family and made me feel uncomfortable - I had a secret, and they didn't! This is one of the most destructive things about cults of all sorts, although I didn't realise this was a cult until over twenty years later!
So I went to programmes, spent all my money on getting there, and never got closer than 50 rows back in the hall. Maharaji used to talk about how important it was to have a living master, but towards the end of my premie career, I finally realised I'd never actually talked to him or had any access to this living master at all - it was every true premie's dream to be with him, but that was a closed little elite that got there and you had to surrender everything - career, friends, family, earnings - to do it.
I did get something out of meditation, but later learned that the techniques we had to keep secret are in fact well known in India and available free in many places. That was another piece of needless secrecy which kept us bound to Maharaji. I also noticed that the closer you got to him, the more unpleasant and insensitive the people got; security at early events was really bad. This element of insensitiviy, almost brutality, meant that mothers and children were treated badly; the caring that I would have expected from the Lord of Love just wasn't to be found! I used to dismiss this as being the fault of the people close to Maharaji - now I see it was his influence on them and his real personality was showing through.
I was going to book tickets online for a programme in England a couple of years ago, but couldnt get onto the site; instead I did a search and found this site, and on reading the stories of many ex-premies I knew to be honest and truthful, I realised I didn't want to be involved with Maharaji any more! I immediately felt a surge of creative energy released as the presence of Maharaji in the back of my mind disappeared. I really felt free for the first time! Lots of little things fell into place - I remembered rumours about the accident in India when he killed someone, and other scandals which were hushed up. Now I see the truth behind the facade and it's all rotten! I'm fortunate I was never good at earning a living or getting up early, so I didn't enter the ashram and give too much away; but I still regret parting with my LPs of the George Harrison at the Bangladesh concert, my favourite early Elton John album and John Lennon's Imagine, which I gave to the Divine Sales shop in Harringay! Ah well. I learned that the Love I felt is still inside, more available than ever without the interference of Maharaji's ever-changing teachings, and has nothing to do with anyone else. He definitely said 'I am the Lord' when I started following him, although he denies it publicly now. I was waiting for him to save the world, but looks like we're going to have to get on and do that ourselves!