Maharaji's Teaching about His School Days - In His Own Words
If a person makes numerous mostly extemperaneous speeches during which they reminiscence about their lives there are bound to be some recurring themes. Maharaji was often drawn to his childhood, understandably so as he was initiated into and 'realised' his father's "Knowledge" at age 6 and inherited the title of Guru Maharaj Ji and Lord of the Universe at the age of 8 when his father died. On the one hand he claimed and claims that just practising this Knowledge brings infinite bliss and joy and he had "realised it" when only 6 years old in about a month. His family was wealthy, he had 3 older brothers and a loving mother and he was surrounded by devoted servants who worshipped him. Sounds like a recipe for a happy childhood. However the mature Rawat returned time and again to the same theme, his youthful life of constant fear. He used the words 'phobia' and 'paranoia' and the monster of homework. His Sundays especially were full of fear and tension as on Monday he would have to show his teacher his completed homework and if he couldn't produce it he faced the terror of having his parents informed of his failure. He talks about his miserable childhood Sundays having to do his homework and worrying about the next week in school. These would be charming childhood confessions except he also claimed to "realise Knowledge" when he was 6 and he became Perfect Master at 8 years old. These attainments would have raised him out of mere childhood fears if, in fact, the claims made by Rawat about the constant divine joy and bliss that the Knowledge provides were true.
On November 5th 1978 he got into his homework fears at greater length. I was there but I don't remember any of his speech, actually I can't remember anything he said over those 5 days, just the horror of seeing him dance on stage. Inspired by a childhood photo he'd recently seen he recalled those tension filled moments just before the bell rang to leave waiting to see if the teacher would remember to give some homework. Rawat makes no mention of remaining calm and blissful through meditation on the Holy Name, just the desperate wish for the bell to ring. He even recalls being involved in a homework cheating ring and the satisfaction and the relief if the teacher didn't ask about the homework the young Satguru hadn't done. He talks about the negative Kundalini, the chill of fear running up his spine when his teacher says "I wanna talk to your parents." He makes another interesting observation about his dislike of some of teachers that "he didn't really care for." If he really was a realised Perfect Master in constant pure bliss and truth then it seems that even Perfect Masters dislike some people nor does constant bliss, if he actually had attained it, prevent you from getting bored or fearful and desperately waiting for school to end. He claims that with every breath that comes in and out, you can dive into an ocean of joy (Inspire electronic magazine v1 i42, 17 December 2004) but he would dive into an ocean of misery every day in school. He was so fat and lazy that he was extremely unfit and even school PT would leave him breathless in the slough of despondency instead of the ocean of joy.
Montreal, Canada, April 29, 1977
And I have explained this a lot of times but I'm just explaining you the circumstance: that - here it is, being said clearly that there is no knowledge in this world that is greater than this Knowledge which is within inside of us. And then you say, "Well, why do I gotta go to school for?" you know? "Why have I gotta do, sit and do my homework, take my homework down, and if I don't do it, somebody's going to come and beat me." And why have the fear, the threat and so on and so forth? A lot of times it was just like, "Okay. Well, I'm going to graduate this school. And this poem that I'm supposed to learn in this class: very important. If I don't do it," I mean, the whole paranoia of. "If I don't do it. I'm going to get beaten up. Somebody's going to take a stick and beat me up."
Divine Times, July 1977 Volume 6, Number 6
Hans Jayanti, Rome, Italy, 9th November, 1977
Because I know that I was attending satsang programs since I was very little. And I didn't understand much. You know, you sit there and you just look around and play, or you go to sleep. But then, the more and more it started to register, the more and more it started to make sense to me, more and more I really tried to appreciate what was being said. I mean, it's like, I started to notice. And I started to also see that: "Okay, it's all great, but where is my life at?" Well, where was my life at, at that time? My life was at a constant fear of: "What is going to happen tomorrow if you don't finish your homework?" You know? And it was just like a fear of Saturday. "Okay, really man, this is really nice. I've really got to plan this right, so I can enjoy Saturday." And, you know, we used to even have classes on Saturday. And it was like, okay, Saturday you study, and Sundays are really nice. You get up early in the morning on Sunday. And then as you could see the sun dropping down, it started to all like get so involved again, so involved again, so involved again, so involved: "Do your homework, do your homework, do your homework, do your homework, do your homework."
The Golden Age Number 42
Hans Jayanti Festival, Kissimmee, Florida, November 5, 1978
I just remember: homework, homework, homework. And it was this paranoia about it. Homework was this monster. And this monster would come in the shape of these teachers: their sticks, their canes. And it was, "Homework, homework." And sometimes here would be this whole class and it would be really fun. It would be Saturday. And everybody would be really excited about Sunday, and the teachers were really excited about Sunday. I guess they wanted a break from the kids and the kids wanted a break from them. And everybody was excited, everybody would be excited. And the teachers would forget to give the homework! And there's all these teachers who have forgotten about it. And all of a sudden this smart kid in this class would get up and say. Everybody has packed their bags. Everything is done. We're all waiting for that bell to ring, so we can zoom out of the classroom. We could care less about everything. Just zoom out. And everybody's looking at their watches and just, "Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick." And wondering. And all these thoughts going on: whether the guy who's going to ring the bell, if his watch is correct or not. Slow or fast. And then somebody would get up and say, "You want to give us some homework?" All these kids would look at this kid like they could eat him up! They could literally eat him up! And the teacher would sometimes say, "Oh yes! I'm glad you reminded me. I almost forgot." And here everybody had to pull their books back out. Take the homework down. And while you'd be taking your homework down, the bell would ring. All these kids would start rushing out. And here you were. And all the kids would then turn around and look at that kid again.
And it was like this phobia. And right after you'd leave school it was the homework, homework, homework. Nighttime you sat down to study and it was homework, homework, homework.
It was this whole arrangement. (It was flashing to me really fast.) And we had this whole arrangement worked out. A lot of kids had this whole arrangement worked out where if one kid didn't want to do his homework, and
this kid had something that another kid wanted, he would do his homework for it and come to the classroom with his homework all done. (And of course it was ridiculous, because your copy was done in his handwriting.)
And you would be really counting on it. And you would usually come to school really right at the verge of the time when school's going to start, and be all settled, and everything is fine. You walk over to your friend
and say, "Oh, can I have my copy back? Did you do my homework?" You'd be really counting on this. And all of a sudden he would say, "No! I forgot!"
And it was: "Oh my God! What have you done? You crazy kid! What are you?" And you try to do everything, you know, take all your books out and sit there and try to do the whole homework at that point.
And at that period … say it was algebra. And the algebra teacher would walk in. And he had given you some homework and you hadn't done it. So he would walk in and he would be teaching. And he wouldn't ask about the
homework and the bell would ring. And everybody would go, "Oh!" It would be such a satisfaction. It would be such relief. Because he didn't ask about your homework! And all these things were happening. All these crazy things that would always go on in the school: Parade. March around. Carry dummy-guns. Wear a uniform.
Nine years. Nine years. (Of course the first few I don't remember. But nine years.) Slash a couple of them. Seven years. Eight years. That's what happened. And I can imagine, I would still be there, doing even more homework.
Élan Vital, Spring 1979, Volume III, Issue 1
Guru Puja festival, Lingfield, England, June 22 1979
We haven't come here for a festival where people make believe that they're happy and every day they retire to the bed. They know it's going to end and it'll be the miserable life again. That's the way always it was with me on Saturdays. We didn't get all of Saturday off when I was in school. And I enjoyed Saturday the most after classes because I knew the next day was a Sunday and I didn't have to go anywhere. Yet on Sunday evening, most of my time was spent thinking, "Tomorrow is school again." Here you are and all you want to do is play and have your games and there you just have to sit down and do your homework. And that's the way it is with those festive occasions. You come. "Hey! Hurrah!" Lights. Balloons. This and that. You all come together, have a party. And you know that when it's all over, everybody will be miserable. It's over. That's it.
Guru Puja Lingfield, England video
On the 10th Novemebr 1979 in the warm afternoon sunshine Rawat began to reminisce about his school days and they had not been happy days.
Hans Jayanti, Kissimmee Florida, afternoon of Thursday 8th November 1979
I was just in school and I was getting fairly good grades at that time. First, second: first, second - always: 90-95 marks. Seventy was my lowest. I was involved in it. That was it. I was completely focused in it. To me that was it. To me, there was nothing else that was really even there. And I completely tried to isolate - as much as I could - myself from that whole school even. Study and go back home and study and go back home, and even though I was so involved in the whole thing, I was bored sick with it. I mean, I was very little when I received Knowledge.
The Golden Age, May 1980, Number 56
Hans Jayanti festival, Kissimmee, Florida, November 10 1979
twice a week we used to have these classes called PT, Physical Training, and you go out there and jump up and down and do your hand stands and do all these things and then there would be all these recreational activities in the in the I don't know what, what was so recreational about it but you know you run around this whole huge track a few times so by the time you get there you're breathless and you fall down I mean it happened to every kid and the sports activities is to enhance people in sports
I mean all these dreadful things would happen with homework, you know … if you didn't do the homework or if he forgot his book or he was going to get it this day or I was going to get it this day. You know I would do his homework and he would do my homework and you know work it out in that scene and and it was incredible you know "Will you do me a favour, I'll buy you, you know we used to have this thing, this, these samosas and buns and every lunchtime you go eat these things, you feel hungry and it was like "Oh would you buy me a bun samosa, I'll do your homework for you" and say "Oh sure I'll buy you a bun samosa and you do my homework for me." And sit there early in the morning, get to the schoolroom and take some, the guy who's already done his homework, take his book, sit down at the desk and copy it all down and you are sitting there, working it all out in your head. I guess, you know, even those are the signs of laziness but then even if you are very, very alert, what would you do?
Hans Jayanti '79 video
Olympia, London, Guru Puja 22nd August 1980
And even to understand the realm of happiness, the happiness that I talk about we have to just sit down for one minute, just a moment, let go. Just like you have to do in a class, just like you had to do in a school, you know. You could only read the comic books so much behind your book, you know, have your comic books then have your real book, reading and the teacher looks very impressed and it works. But then came the time for the exam, you know. And I'm not saying that this is a education of any sort. I'm pretty sure a lot of people would be intimidated to be educated at this point in time. Education. But I know that, you know I mean I I I've tried to teach myself so many things, you know. I was even interested in getting a curricular for high school and I uh sent out a person, you know, to see if they could find a curriculum for me and I know that a lot of times you can sit down and try to study something, try to read something and it'll never click, it'll never happen, it will not make any sense, it doesn't make any difference whether you read it or you don't read it, if you chuck it away or if you sit there and read it because it won't penetrate.
Olympia, London, Guru Puja video
Follow-Up Program, Washington DC, 26th November 1981
I know for myself there were and I'll frankly put it there were some teachers in my school that I really didn't care for. I'm sure they didn't care for me but I didn't care for them and yet and I'll tell you cause I'll put another statement in front of it that I think will put it into context that and yet you have to call them sir. To me sir became an abusive thing when you just wanted to say I mean it's almost like your heart wasn't there and your soul isn't there but your mouth has to blab it.
Perfect Master Tape #216
New York, 10th November 1982
I didn't need any proof that homework was a drag, I knew that. I didn't need any proof that the teachers were teachers because never there would be a role reversal ha ha where I'd be stand sitting on the other side of the desk and the teacher would be sitting in my on my desk going like this teachers are the ones that never bring the books with them you know its view that brings the books so always ??? you don't know anything, they know everything, fine and school there was never any question I was uh I still remember the first day I cried when I had to go to school, all little children do sometimes. There was once I cried so I had no, I had no illusions or any doubts or questions in my mind about what this was or that was what this is or that is.
Perfect Master Audio Tape 253
Miami Florida, 9th December 1983
However it happens and whatever happens I mean of all the things that I was made to feel guilty about, of all the things that I was poked and feared into I mean how do you get a kid to do the homework? What is the, what is the I mean isn't it in all schools a very basic reasoning used. No, no teacher sits down with the kids and tries to explain why he should do homework because that's impossible to explain the logic why that person should do homework. It is utterly easy to tell the person "You'll be expelled out of the school if you don't do your homework." It works and if you're expelled out of your school you'll just think what your parents are gonna say. What are it doesn't matter who the kid is or what it is, one report card goes home and you've got a D on it and boy or an F on it and it's just like "mmm I wanna talk" then the teacher comes out "I wanna talk to your parents" and that is just like this cool chill just shoots right through your spine "Oh my God!" Even though, even though mind you some of that fear and guilt is because you love your parents and you don't want your parents to be disappointed in you but that love is taken and re-channeled, reshaped into something utterly useless
"Birthday Program", Perfect Master Tape 256
When I received this experience, when I received the tools to be able to have this experience I was fairly young. I was not, the world was not a fiasco, my fiascos were little. Homework and no homework were my fiascos at that point.
Selected Listening '87 audio tape
"Get over it Prem, nobody believes this bullshit. Stop making rubbish excuses. It's all your own fault. Oh and you're crap and your Knowledge is Crap."