Maharaji's Teaching about Pranam - In His Own Words
Maharaji or Maharaji ("the Ultimate Ruler") as he calls himself or Guru Maharaj Ji as he called himself until the 1980's kept aloof from the overwhelming majority of his followers. Should he approach them the appropriate action was for them to pranam: lie down on the ground (dirt, road, mud, floor, whatever) and touch his feet if this could be done without any danger or inconvenience to the Master. This was also the appropriate way to address him in speech or writing.
"Peace Bomb" speech, November 8, 1970
No, I understand that my fellow Indians still have the same blood that they had before and have complete faith that they will know this Name, realize this Knowledge and make others realize it too. Look, doesn't Guru Maharaj Ji give you darshan from time to time? It is for you to sacrifice every drop of blood for Him. Once, Guru Maharaj Ji pretended to His disciple Shiva Ji that His eyes were sore. He said, "What should I do? Once when I was young, my eyes were sore, and someone gave me the milk of a lioness. I put that on my eyes and they were alright." Shiva Ji left that place, doing his pranam to Guru Maharaj Ji and saying in his heart, "O Guru Maharaj Ji, you are all powerful. What can you not do? You can do anything. I surrender myself at your Lotus Feet. Protect me, please," as you should pray in your heart when you do pranam before Guru Maharaj Ji or His picture.
Golden Age, November 1978, Number 49
Alta Loma Terrace, Los Angeles, August 15, 1971
Why do people surrender themselves? Why do people do pranam? Indication that they want to surrender themselves. One pranam, and one year's whole karma out! And do more and more pranam, and more and more karmas out. People will say that "If you are God, if you are Guru, why don't you say?" If I will say, then people will kill me. How will I be able to give this Knowledge to more and more people? What faith I have, I can't describe it with words. I can't describe with words. I was so much confused before I got this Knowledge, so much confused, that remember, sometimes I used to hate the works which my father was doing! I used to hate them. I used to hate God; I used to hate all the creation of God. "What is this? Nothing. Nonsense." But as soon as I got this Knowledge, I even started loving my enemies! So how can I repay Him? And at what moment He has saved me, I can't say. Each and every moment He has saved me. That's why I call Him a Savior.
Élan Vital, Spring 1978, Volume II, Issue 1
Hans Jayanti festival, Toronto Canada, 9th November 1974
It's like saying "Where's Raja Ji?" and I say "Oh, there he is" and you come up to my finger and say "Oh Raja Ji, pranam, how are you Raja Ji?" (not much laughter) But this is not Raja Ji, Raja Ji is there that this is what this world has done today that all these Scriptures and all these things always say, they say "Look God is within yourself" and the way to God there is you know and they try to point that look "God is there" and you say "Oh this is God huh oh great man. That wasn't much"
Perfect Master Tape #026
Guru Puja Festival, Caracas Venezuela, 23rd July 1975
So enjoy and realize, and just be in one bliss and harmony. And there will be satsang tomorrow, and day after tomorrow. And so, be there because you want to be there. What other good reason can be given to any of you about why should you be there? Because you're supposed to be there. So be there, and realize, and be one with the great harmony and bliss. And of course there is going to be a darshan program where everybody will be able to come and do pranam, and have Holy Breath. Premies who haven't had Holy Breath, they will be able to have Holy Breath. So this is just the first day, and there is a lot more in Dr. Lord's one more show. And if you have got the brain, come on in. It'll be sure to be blown out.
Élan Vital Summer 1978 Volume II Issue 2
Frankfurt Germany, 28 November 1976
You see, you have to look at what does society permit. Both pros and cons about what does this society, the local society permit. So you look at it and of course in France there is a sect thing going on. And what does society permit? Very limited. But something like in America, Canada, England, society permits exclusive exercise of religion, where it's like Catholic, you know, and rosaries, monasteries, monks, social affairs done by churches and schools, hospitals, very exclusive exercises. That's really in America a lot, and in England and Canada. There is really no problem. Of course if there is a lot of bad publicity about the mission, then that is the way people are going to look at it. But then when people actually come and they start becoming frequently premies and then start to go back into society, they are accepted very well. It turns out that they are less weird than people think they are. Because there is a much greater freedom of religion, and of the exclusive practices, than people actually think. I mean, whatever people look at us as - you know, pranams and arti and using a few hippie terms, that's nothing compared to what even the Catholic religion exercises. Everything. So it's like it's really interesting; I was looking at that. And in France and those countries where that isn't so, it is very hard for the mission.
The Frankfurt Conference
29 November 1976, Frankfurt, Germany
Well, this kind of satsang hall trip hasn't happened in years. There's a lot of love. But also premies have to understand that 50,000 premies trying to do this, I'm pretty sure that somebody would get killed. Small programs like this, two hundred people here, doesn't hurt - except I almost got squashed against the stage. These security guys have got very bad names. They don't need bad names, they do a pretty good service. They try to do their best. Before it was a little bit crazy, I must admit: premies got thrown around everywhere. But now it's really beautiful, you don't get rushed through darshan. Before it was like, you either could do pranam or you could see me, but now you can at least do both, and have Holy Breath if you need it.
The Golden Age April 1977 Number 37
Atlantic City New Jersey, December 18 1976
So, it's getting close to twelve, but - big deal. It's not a big deal. This thing (watch) is made to tick. if it stops, you throw it away - that's it's duty, to tick. Not a big deal. But there is one big deal - that you get enough rest tonight so that you can be awake for the darshan line tomorrow. There is no point to be so sleepy that you just go around doing pranam to everybody.
And It Is Divine Magazine, Spring 1977, Volume 4, Issue 1
Community Coordinators Meeting, Denver, Colorado, February 21 1977
Pranam, Maharaj Ji. Your last statement was spread this Knowledge -- and I'd just like to know, do you mean to, like, activate prachar? And in what form?
Yeah. But you see, the word is 'launch the rocket.' Or, the word is 'let's go to the moon.' That's what it is. The word is: let's go to the moon. And you have to look at what's involved in going to the moon. And it's a huge operation. It's not as simple as just: pop! You go to the moon. There's a lot of ground work that has to be gotten together. The premies that are in your communities: this is the groundwork that you have to prepare. I'll come out with the strategy of prachar. This is why I have these initiators. I'll come out with a strategy of how to do prachar. I'll come up with different suggestions. I'll come up with different strategies.
And It Is Divine, Summer 1977, Volume 4, Issue 2
Montpellier, France on April 3, 1977
But because so many premies were attending, I said, "No, we are going to have darshan one day and we are going to have satsang one day." And then it came to the point where it was like, "Which one first?" And I said we should have satsang first. And as a matter of fact, Marolyn recommended we should have satsang first, because premies come from all these different concepts, premies come from all these different places in their minds, and they're confused. And they come, and they don't know what's going on and then all of a sudden they are there at that darshan stage, that place to do pranam, and maybe they can't really express their feelings. Maybe they really can't express what they end up feeling the next day, after the satsang is over. So maybe it's a good idea to have satsang first so that they can really understand what is the meaning of doing pranam, what is the meaning of us all coming here together. So this is an experience and I hope you have enjoyed this experience. I hope you've liked this program. It was nothing ultra-fantastic. But it was very fantastic in its own way, very beautiful in its own way. Divine Times, June 1977 Volume 6, Number 5
Malaga, Spain, Sunday, 26 March 1978
When premies walk through darshan line, there's so much experience that happens. I mean. it's really incredible. And those premies come to do pranam by their experience. And it a person does come by and puts on a show as he's doing pranam, you can pick him off three people behind or four people behind. Or even in the tunnel, you can feel him. But when that love is there, when that understanding is there, and when that flow is there, than it's just like, who dares stop that sun from shining? Even the clouds might come between us, but all we have to do is go above those clouds and there it is: the beautiful sunshine
Golden Age, April 1978 Number 44 and Divine Times, Holi Issue, 1979 Volume 8, Number 2
Guru Puja, Tucson Arizona, Sunday, July 16, 1978
And only that pure and humble soul can then in fact turn around and surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji. Because Guru Maharaj Ji is that perfectness. Guru Maharaj Ji is that purity. Guru Maharaj Ji is that Knowledge. Guru Maharaj Ji is infinite. And nothing finite can come into infinite and still stay finite. That finite thing has to become infinite before it can actually merge in infinite. Because how can the finite become infinite and the infinite become finite? The identity has to be given up: it has to, in fact, change. And then that process happens - when we come away from all that. Right now, okay, you guys haven't eaten. And maybe you're feeling a little strange in your stomach, or you're feeling really good, or something like that, right? High, beautiful. And rea I listened to Raja Ji's satsang; I listened to Marolyn's satsang. And it was really beautiful, because this morning when I got up, I turned on the TV to listen to the live feed from here. And the first thing when the TV came on was, "Pranam, Guru Maharaj Ji." It was David Smith starting, and the first thing was, "Pranam, Guru Maharaj Ji." And it was just like synched almost. But anyway, okay, this is incredible. And those satsangs were incredible.
The Golden Age No. 48, September/October, 1978
Ventura, California, 21st January, 1979
Yesterday I was reading this card some premies sent me. I opened it up and it's got this guy. And then it's got this whole story. It's a characterized story of this person who spaces out. And it's done pretty good and it's like … "Great. Fantastic." There is this guy and he is coming to satsang. And all of a sudden he decides that the person who is giving satsang is a bore, and this person isn't in the vibe, and they don't know what they're talking about and stuff like that. "I'm going to go back home and do some meditation." He goes out to his home and he says, "Oh, I better go have something to eat, that'll keep my stomach quiet, and then I can have something to …" Then he goes on this whole thing and he has a checklist in his head. Are the white pajamas on? incense on? Lights off? Baragon - $50 baragon or something like that (and it had a really nice name called a "Clear Light" baragon). And there's all these things. And then this guy gets into meditation. But then he dozes off and he leans against the wall. He goes to sleep, and he has a dream. And in this dream he has a monster. This monster is the mind. He's got this great big tongue sticking out. This guy's bald by now, he's got a sword. "I'm going to kill you. I can destroy you." And there is this mind. "I'm going to kill you, you monster!" And the mind goes, "What are you talking about? I could just swallow you with my one concept." And it's like, "No, I'm going to kill you. I'm going to murder you." And then the next illustration there is this monster with his tongue out, rolled up, and this guy right in the middle moving inside the monster's mouth! And then all of a sudden the guy screams, "Help, Guru Maharaj Ji!" In the next illustration he's lying in front of the altar doing pranam. What a great story, you know? All I could think of was, "Poor premie who had to go through all that."
The Golden Age, April 1979, Number 52
Holi, Miami, 8th April 1979, afternoon
And I'll give you this one example. I've given this before. And maybe this is putting it a little bit differently. There was one mahatma and he had Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge. And this mahatma meditated and meditated and meditated, and I guess finally took control of whatever he took control of. And so he was able to lift water and bring it to his lips to drink it just by looking at it, and perform this and perform that. He used to live in Prem Nagar. (For whoever has been to Prem Nagar, at that time the big building wasn't there. There was only the little building, with the arches and the little kitchen-type set-up.) And Guru Maharaj Ji came and everybody got up and did pranam. Except for this one. And it was like, "Come on man, what are you guys doing? Look at me, I have realized it!" Just like that, mind comes, "Yeah, you've got it man. You've got it." I mean, yes, he had been revealed the Knowledge. He had brought his realization to such an incredible level to be able to control the elements of nature. He could have, at that point, just split. And actually he did. His mind segregated him from being a devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji. Now remember. He still had Knowledge. He was still at the ashram. And yet when Guru Maharaj Ji came, he didn't do pranam. He didn't get up and do pranam. So Guru Maharaj Ji took one look at him and said, "What are you doing? What's up?" Guru Maharaj Ji I guess had heard the story and Guru Maharaj Ji said, "Listen, that's my Knowledge through which you think you have attained so much. And when you can't surrender to me, ciao. 'That's it, kiddo. Finished." And Guru Maharaj Ji walked away. And this guy sat there and tried to make that water come up to him and nothing happened! He tried to perform all his miracles and nothing manifested. And that's the difference, right there.
Divine Times, May/June 1979, Volume 8, Number 3
Guru Puja Lingfield England June 22 1979
Some of the premies don't care what this festival is like. It's more like, "Look. You are a premie. You have received Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge. You have joined the club. And this is one of the things that you do as a club member. Every year. So you have to go. It doesn't matter." And the premies come from every different aspect, every different idea and every different theory that they have. Some come to just see Guru Maharaj Ji. Nothing else. They don't want to see anybody else. They don't want to see the initiators. They don't want to see how pretty the place looks. They have nothing to do with America or England or France or Switzerland or any place. All they want is to come and hear some satsang, come for this one experience of darshan. And today in darshan here was this premie and she did pranam and all of a sudden she just stood there and she said "Do you love me? Do you love me?" She was holding - the line had been moving quite consistently - and a pile up started to happen. But she kept saying, "Do you love me? Do love me? Do you love me?" And I didn't say anything. And then I started thinking about it. Then what does she think am doing here? Why does she think I am sitting on this chair for five hours? Doesn't she know that it's not the easiest thing to do?
Divine Times - July/August 1979 Volume 8, Number 4
Hans Jayanti Festival, Kissimmee Florida, November 9 1979 - Afternoon
So dear premies, again for us it's a precious moment, again for us a chance to take a step further, again for us a way to look out, a way for us to enter Guru Maharaj Ji's world. I guess one of our shortcomings is that we always let our mind, let our concepts, let our ego, let our - the negative self of us, really - infiltrate. Always. Every morning I come out there and turn on the television and watch these guys fire up their cameras and … it's pitch black at that time on the television. And finally they start up their test patterns and fire up their cameras and start rolling and put a little sign up. They have a little sign that says, "Pranam Lord, good morning." Watch that for a little while, and then slowly things start to happen. Some of these guys come here, try to set up and music starts playing and they pan the audience all the time.
There are so many premies who own cars. You see them parked: Cadillacs or Pontiacs or little beaten-up Volkswagens or vans. Okay. There's nothihg wrong with having cars. But then every day, if you get up and do pranam to the cars, if every day you get up and love your car, then for even that moment that you could be with Guru Maharaj Ji, it isn't there. It isn't existent. Guru Maharaj Ji isn't; the car is. Then there is a definite problem. Affinity magazine, February 1980
Rome, Italy, 25 June 1980
Yah, I mean, obviously everyone of us like to have the whole thing in a platter, silver platter if preferred. How to do propagation, you know, have a book. How to do propagation. How to live in the ashram. How to do pranam you know. How to be with Guru Maharaj Ji . How to be in the ashram. How not to be in the ashram. Makes it so simple because every time you wanna do something, just pull your little book out (mimics pulling book out of suit, pocket, opening, reading it and replacing in pocket)
Ashram Members Questions & Answers Video