Prem Pal Singh Rawat (born on 10 December 1957), is an Indian American also known as Maharaji, and formerly as Guru Maharaj Ji and Balyogeshwar. Rawat's teachings include a meditation practice he calls "Knowledge", and peace education based on the discovery of personal resources such as inner strength, choice, appreciation and hope.
Rawat is the youngest son of Hans Ji Maharaj, an Indian guru and the founder of the Divya Sandesh Parishad (later known as Divine Light Mission, or DLM) After his father's death, eight-year-old Rawat, became the new "Satguru" (True Master). At age 13 Rawat travelled to the West, soon taking up residence in the United States. Many young adults took interest in the claim that Rawat could impart direct knowledge of God to his followers. News media were nonplussed by his youth and supposed divine status, and he was criticized for a lack of intellectual content in his public discourses, and for leading an opulent lifestyle. Tens of thousands were initiated in Knowledge techniques, and hundreds of DLM centers opened worldwide. Some Western followers took up communal life in dozens of ashrams, guided by DLM "Mahatmas".
In November 1973 the Millenium '73 festival was held in the Houston Astrodome, and although this was near the height of Rawat's media fame, attendance was far lower than expected. When he turned 16, Rawat became emancipated and got married. He cut ties to his mother and eldest brother, and with the original Indian DLM organization. He retained control of the DLM everywhere else (at this point it was established in 55 countries)...
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