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Hi, Cynthia & Neville!
 Posted by: Jonathan
 Date: 02/21/2005, 18:34:01
 Original URL: Click here (However, the link may be stale.)

If what Mike Finch says is true, that Rawat honestly believes in his transcendental nature, then maybe that's why Rawat harbors such contempt for his followers, meaning, nothing can be perfect enough for his perfect master almighty.

On the other hand, in one event I attended in Miami, Rawat reminisced, in a very human way, about his trepidation prior to speaking in front of a packed crowd in India. Rawat seemed to be conscientiously portraying himself in a self-deprecating, humble tone as he conveyed his fear in "poking his wide eyes through the curtain" to face such an enormous audience.

So, one wonders: does Rawat consider himself a mere performer who plays the sat-guru role 24/7; or, does he consider himself the other-worldly being that occassionally dons human traits, to acquiesce his followers?

Either one is sick, but I would put money on the former. My understanding is limited, but Rawat seems like the eternal showman, always performing, always selling, always camera-ready.

Rawat's method of selling spirituality on television is not too different from the real estate tycoon Carleton Sheets whose paid television advertisements market overpriced get-rich-through-realty kits to cash-poor insomniacs.

To me, Rawatism smacks of showboat salesmanship. But, my perception might be different because my involvement began later than most people here. I did not "grow up" with Rawat, so my historical lens is limited. And, being a cash-poor insomniac myself, sometimes while watching television late at night, it's hard to see any difference at all between Maharaji, The Burger King, and Carleton "infomercial-billionare" Sheets.


Related link: Testimonial = Expression?
Modified by Jonathan at Mon, Feb 21, 2005, 20:29:01

Two interesting questions about M
 Posted by: Mike Finch
 Date: 02/22/2005, 00:54:42
 Original URL: Click here (However, the link may be stale.)
Various posts in this thread have pointed out two interesting questions about Maharaji:

1) How does he see himself? Does he think he is really the Perfect Master, and his Knowledge the only way to 'enlightenment'? Or does he privately accept that it is all a scam, and he is in it only for the money? Or has he changed from the first view to the second, and if so, when did this change occur?

2) Whatever the answer to (1) above is, to what extent is he responsible for what he has done? How much is he accountable? How much responsibility can be laid at the door of others - cult manipulators, family, environment etc?

I agree with JHB's post above that M still believes he is the Perfect Master with a divine right to rule his empire; and like Neville says, I do think that Maharaji believes he is really Satguru, that he has a message for the human 'heart' that no one else can deliver.

And Jonathan, this is not inconsistent with him playing the eternal showman, always performing, always selling, always camera-ready as you put it. On the contrary, since he believes he has divine agya (instruction) from his master (his father) to spread this Knowledge, then there is no reason why he should not use all the showman's tricks, including portraying himself in a self-deprecating, humble tone.

In fact, he has often said things like this - that he does not consider himself bound by the behavior of any former Perfect Masters; since he has 'more power than ever before' then he can use any method to further the spread of Knowledge.

Of course, this is only an opinion, I don't really know. I don't think anyone really knows, since Maharaji is good at playing parts, and will say things for effect in a particular situation. One of his favorite tricks, which I have seen many times, is that he will behave with one or two people as if he is very close to them, betraying confidences, and seeming to let his mask down. The favored guest will be ecstatic at this familiarity, only to be ignored and dropped stone cold sometime later.

In essence, he is very private, and I have never seen him let his guard down on what he really thinks about himself - ever, even when drunk.

So my best guess is that he still believes he is el supremo, and that he is addicted to adoration and money, in that order.

As for his level of responsibility, I accept what NikW says below: To argue that Rawat is uniquely responsible for the con that is Rawat world simply creates the mirror image of Rawat as uniquely divine.

He may not be uniquely responsible, but for my money he still has the majority share. He may have listened to those 'family, mahatmas and honcho westerners', but the decisions he took were his and his alone.

-- Mike

5 Brighter than 1000 suns as seen through night vision goggles
4 As bright as the lights on Maharaji's jet
3 As bright as a 60 watt light bulb
2 As bright as a pile of burning ghi on a swinging arti tray
1 As bright as the inner light as seen by the third eye

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