Fast Pace Hits Teenage Guru
By MALCOLM S. CARTER
DENVER (AP) - Guru Maharaj Ji, the 15-year-old "Perfect Master" from India, has an ulcer. His doctor says the teenage guru's body is showing the stresses of a middle-aged executive.
The guru was discharged from a hospital here Sunday after tests showed the presence of an intestinal ulcer. He entered the hospital Thursday, curtailing his extensive nation-wide tour which his doctor says hurt his health.
Dr. John Horton said the guru may have had the "mild post bulbar" ulcer - just below the duodenum in the digestive tract - since he became "Perfect Master" when his father died seven years ago.
Horton, a 30-year-old graduate of Duke University Medical physician, said the leader of the Divine Light Mission may also have suffered a gall bladder attack.
The guru, who claims six million followers, appeared earlier this summer in Boston, New York and Chicago but canceled appearances in Detroit, Atlanta, Kansas City and Denver.
He entered Saint Luke's Hospital for tests, occupying a $70 a-day private room on the fourth floor of the Episcopal institution. His room was filled with flowers and a mission security guard sat down the hall.
"His body has become weakened by the pace," Horton said. The doctor spoke of the strain of leading the movement and of the guru's irregular eating and sleeping schedule because of continual travel.
He said there was no contradiction between the concept of the guru's being master of perfection and the vulnerability of his body.
"His body obeys physics laws just perfectly," Horton continued. "He's here to show what perfection is, and he's here to show what's human too. Some people expect physical miracles in him."
The guru has said that the perfection to which he guides his followers is a unity with the spirit of God. Knowledge of that experience brings peace and harmony, the guru teaches.
Robert Mishler, the mission's executive director, said that in many ways, "this illness is going to make Guru Maharaj Ji more human to people."
Horton said the guru's body showed the stresses of middle-aged executive. Because of a lack of exercise, the guru is now weighted with 160 pounds on a 5-foot, 41/2 inch frame, Horton said.
Horton said the guru may been delirious at times since he entered the hospital, but added that by Friday the pain subsided.
“He slept all night for the second night in a row, and he has no temperature" Mishler reported. "He looks really good. Today, there's no telling he was sick at all."
Nurse Lynette Aden said it made her a little nervous to administer a hypodermic needle under so many watchful eyes but otherwise treating the guru has been just like treating any other patient.
"I'll look back on it and I'll tell my grandkids and giggle about it," she said.