Re: Is this helpful?
Re: Is this helpful? -- dant Post Reply Top of thread Forum
Posted by: fluster
04/23/2003, 19:36:36

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Congratulations, Dant. Your wife sounds both compassionate and understanding about your experience with Maharaji.

For me, last night's dinner did not unfold as productively as yours.  While we both cooked, my wife requested that I simply not talk about it anymore. As she kneaded her frustrations into bread dough, in her calmest voice possible, she requested me to just not bring up Maharaji anymore. Sauteing onions for the curry, I thought, how long can a relationship like this last? Distrusting the internet, she refuses to read "Enjoyinglife.org," let alone my posts, saying her relationship is with Maharaji and nobody else, including premies. She even dislikes our local Instructor, who, she says, is stingy with lending videos. We ate dinner in front of the television, watching a documentary on children who survived Nazi Germany through being fostered into British homes. It added some much needed perspective.

There is a quote from the Talmud that says, "A heavenly voice proves nothing. The law of Sinai commands us to 'decide according to the majority.'" Perhaps this means that, throughout our lives, different leaders will attempt to portray themselves as messianic. But,  it is encumbent upon the majority, not the leader's interpreters or instructors, to decide whether or not this person embodies divinity.

In Miami, before Maharaji came onstage, a video showed images of his latest trip to India, where attendees packed Nehru Stadium. The voice-over said, "In every age, a leader has risen to give people meaning in their lives. Maharaji offers that possibility...." Dramatic images depicted Maharaji in front of his audience, portraying Maharaji as nothing less than a Messiah facing his minions.

After the video, Maharaji stepped onstage and remarked on the success of the Indian tour. He gloated how an attentive audience filled the stadium  to capacity. His recollections contained more braggart than a football player being interviewed immediately after winning the championship. One must wonder, if Maharaji truly is a Messiah, why does he feel compelled to gloat about his "trophies"? If he really is a Messiah, his stature would not need to be self-advertised; if he really is a Messiah, a majority of people would declare him such.

I'm not a firm believer in majorities, but, in this case, I will seek refuge in numbers.  If Maharaji is divine, why has he not positively affected the lives of more people than those who claim him to be the next Jesus? In fact, why has he ruined the lives of so many disillusioned people, who donated their hard-earned money and labor, only to have him ask for more? If he really has something for everybody, why does he only selectively give knowledge, even among those that want it? Why does he feel compelled to hide his enormous wealth behind a non-profit, tax-exempt status?

Clearly there have been periods when the majority proved wrong. Nazi Germany is a perfect example. Yet, in a lecture where the leader ridicules the elderly and the young, where the leader scapegoats some staff, but not others, decrying insufficient teamwork, and where the leader demands absolute allegiance to a concept that is never fully revealed, I must ask, is this a Dictator or a Messiah?

 






Modified by fluster at Wed, Apr 23, 2003, 21:01:13

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