Positive Effects of the Meditation and Adherence to Prem Rawat
Current followers of Prem Rawat attest to the benefits they have received as a result of their practice of the four techniques of meditation which Rawat refers to as 'Knowledge'. Many say that 'Knowledge' and the continued guidance of Prem Rawat has created a profound transformation in their lives for which they are eternally grateful.
There is an unknown number of people who no longer follow Prem Rawat, but who continue in some form to practise the meditation they originally learned through Rawat and the Divine Light Mission/Elan Vital. Indeed outside India the number of people in this category probably exceeds the actual number of those who are loyal Rawat followers. Other former followers have gone on to learn other methods of meditation and of course many stop meditating altogether. It is important to make a distinction between the effects of 'Knowledge' as part of the broader phenomenon of meditational practice and the claims of exclusivity or specialness made by Rawat about his 'Knowledge'. All forms of meditation can contribute to feelings of relaxation, clarity of mind and elation as subjectively felt by the practitioner. A multitude of scientific studies have also demonstrated measurable changes in brain wave patterns and mental states during and after meditation.
The place of Prem Rawat's prescribed techniques within the wider spectrum of meditation practices is a matter of debate, however the four techniques, especially the breath technique, can be found in numerous variations in the curriculum of many schools of yoga and other spiritual, psychological and health-oriented disciplines.
Prem Rawat insists that his 'Knowledge' is more than just meditation. Prem Rawat presents the process of coming to 'Knowledge', of receiving it and continuing to practice it as being both revelatory and transcendent. To explain the 'experience' of 'Knowledge' Prem Rawat uses a stream of metaphors and anecdotes with which he seeks to describe the process as unveiling the very mystery of life and the thing for which all humans essentially strive - a deep-seated 'peace' for which we all yearn. He also uses words like contentment, fulfilment and joy, though he maintains that the experience can not be described with words.
In the early 1970's, before the "conversion effect" and millenial and spiritual liberation hopes faded, premies believed that research into their consciousness and themselves would demonstrate and prove the effectiveness and benefits of Knowledge. This idea soon dissapeared from the public claims fo Divine Light Mission publications though Prem Rawat himself liked to quote from a newspaper article. Dr John Horton, (Prem Rawat's personal physician for decades) and Dr Robert Hallowitz were certain they would discover the purification of the pineal gland by Prem Rawat's techniques of meditation but Horton has become a supposed expert on stress (followers of Prem Rawats suffer enormous stress) and Hallowitz was jailed and de-registered when he realised the benefits of being a a Guru and convinced some of his female followers and patients to have sex with him. No clinical research proving any positive effects of Prem Rawat's "Knowledge" has ever been published. Some sociological research showed there were some (possibly temporary) benefits from becoming part of Divine Light Mission's activities but no more than, for example, the much derided "Moonies."