THE CAT'S WHISKER
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|Posted: Fri, Nov 14, 2003 at 12:45:33 (EST)|
|Posted by: one-reality|
Subject: Right on the mark, Doc!
Here's an offering that just arrived in the mail. It's quite relevant, given the nature and content of mm's ranting. I think Gerry & co keep berzerkers like mm caged, and let them out in rotation.
Elan Vital, the organisation which helps Prempal Rawat (Maharaji) promote his work, is called by some, a cult. Certain people wish to call it a cult because they know the word cult has negative connotations and they want to spread a negative message about Maharaji and his work.
To a casual observer Elan Vital can be a whole host of things. It can be seen as a group, an organisation, a class, a company, a fan club, a club, a motley crew, whatever fits their perception.
In fact, it is a wide variety of little groups of people all over the world who co-operate together to present little or large meetings where anyone interested is invited to come into a respectful, safe environment to sit down and listen to a simple message. The message is delivered by an interesting, entertaining and often humourous speaker, either on a video screen or for those who happen to be in the same town as he is, in person.
The critics of Elan Vital say that it is merely a front for Maharaji to collect funds from innocent, gullible people. In fact, 99% of new people who attend EV events go because a friend or family member has asked them to come and check Maharaji out. People generally do not just wander down the street and stumble into an Elan Vital event. Sometimes a person in the area of the event is attracted by the excitement and asks to be admitted but the general rule is that pre registration is required to attend an event with Maharaji in person. This is because numbers of interested people are large and there are often not enough seats to go around. When people register they are making a commitment to go to the event in exactly the same way as they make arrangements to go and see a group perform or organise tickets for an Opera night. The difference between an Elan Vital event and the others is that no-one is ever turned away from an Elan Vital event because they do not have the money to pay for a ticket.
When he began touring at the age of thirteen, Maharaji asked that no-one be forced to pay anything to come and hear him speak. Today, in his mid forties, Maharaji still says that no-one should ever be forced to pay to come and hear him speak. If there is a reason that Elan Vital enjoys a tax status because it meets certain standards required by Government bodies then surely that would be it. It is, on financial generosity levels alone, a model of what a charity is all about - offering a service or product for a donation or for free, depending entirely upon the circumstances of the person benefiting from the service or product.
For thirty years, events at which Maharaji has spoken have 'lost' money. They have lost money because the donations rarely, if ever, meet the expenses incurred in staging such events. Generous individuals make up the shortfall. Despite numerous struggles and tremendous financial challenges, the small body of people who work under the international umbrella known as Elan Vital have managed to pull together many fine events over the years. There is a video/cassette/CD collection that would impress even the most skeptical observer considering the small budget they were created with. Maharaji knows that his legacy will be his work. A glance at the storage facilities which houses copies of his talks would leave most people breathless at the sheer effort such a body of work would require.
Some critics of Maharaji say that because he is financially comfortable he should pay for all the events himself and prop up any shortfall in funds incurred by Elan Vital events. They say he has no right to own property and investments, many of which have been given to him by people out of their gratitude towards him. People give because they can, many who enjoy his talks and practice his Knowledge are wealthy, yet they are not required to or expected to donate. Maharaji has never said it is not fun to have and to enjoy money, in fact he has encouraged it and always says that if people can and want to help financially then great, if not, then great. Money isn't the issue, it's just another way of helping out. The allegation that Elan Vital is some sort of money making machine is quite preposterous.
There has never been a guilt feeling put about by Maharaji, that those who do not contribute are somehow not worthy of his gift or his teachings. In India, almost all his followers are poor and cannot contribute anything towards his work, yet today he is speaking to and inspiring more people in India than ever before, over 300,000 on the 2003 tour. The grueling schedule statistics would make the most seasoned performer wince. These tours happen because Maharaji gets a tremendous thrill from seeing so many people and being able to share his inspiring message with them. The feeling is mutual. They enjoy each others company in a unique but very simple way, much the same as any inspiring performer connects with their audience.
Looking at his extraordinary workload and lifestyle for the last 30 years it is a comfort to Maharaji's older supporters that he was well looked after by some people when he was a young boy. Company directors and privately wealthy individuals, inspired by his extraordinary maturity, courage, conviction and integrity offered him small shareholdings in their companies or financial deposits. One would assume that over the last three decades these holdings would have accrued not insubstantial interest and gratuities. On reaching maturity Maharaji took an interest himself in the possibilities open to him to secure a financial base for his work and for his family. It is therefore with some considerable pride and admiration that his less well heeled followers note his success in this area. For were it not for his efforts to remain solvent, he would certainly not have been able to afford to travel constantly around the world, year after year for so long. They may not have seen him at all but for his effort, at his expense.
Most places Maharaji has traveled to are a business negative, he goes there at a loss. So it is a credit to the Government and State authorities around the world who look at the facts and figures presented to them and decide for themselves whether Elan Vital is a negative cult or a thoroughly admirable and deserving recipient of financial assistance in the areas they can offer it.
Millions of people all over the world would happily testify to the fact that Maharaji, with the help of Elan Vital, has brought them untold joy and inspiration though his efforts.
THE CAT'S WHISKER A Funky little spot for anyone feeling free and easy
Keep feeding me, one-reality. You're the ***BEST*** motormouth-piece ever!