Reach into the jar for what Maharaji has to offer

It's been said that you can trap a monkey by placing a shiny trinket in a jar tied to a tree. The jar opening must be large enough for the monkey to put his hand in, but small enough that he can't remove it after closing his fist around the bait. We are people who have reached into the jar, been trapped there, and ultimately walked away with the trinket by breaking the jar that trapped us.

The shiny trinket offered was the experience of "Knowledge" of one's life-force via the four meditation techniques taught by Prem Pal Rawat - currently known to his followers as "Maharaji". Hailed by his entourage as "The Lord Of The Universe" and boldly stating "I declare that I will establish peace in this World", he first came to the West from India in 1971 as a 13-year-old boy who went by the name "Guru Maharaj Ji". Professing himself to be "greater than God", Maharaji built a following of "premies" by offering to reveal the supposedly-free experience of Knowledge to anyone who would reach "within inside".

The jar that held us was the belief instilled in us by Maharaji, through a slow and careful exposure to it, that experiencing this Knowledge is only possible for those who become devoted to him personally.

In the years since his arrival, Maharaji has changed. The former Lord Of The Universe has become "The Master". Devotion has been re-bottled under the label "Gratitude". His earlier Divine Light Mission has evolved into "Elan Vital". No longer needing to be driven to borrowed lodgings in premies' cars, he now parks his fleet of Rolls-Royces within the walls of his estates located around the world. The young boy who needed his devotees to pay his airfare from India is now a middle-aged man who owns a luxury jet which he pilots himself - after commuting to the airport in his own private helicopter.

And many of us who contributed our services, our money, and our devotion to his professed "mission" of establishing World peace have grown disgusted with his having used those contributions for his personal enrichment, and we have broken free of the personality cult surrounding him.