The Divine Light Mission (DLM) (Divya Sandesh Parishad) was an organization founded in 1960 by guru Shri Hans Ji Maharaj for his following in northern India. During the 1970s, the DLM gained prominence in the West under the leadership of his fourth and youngest son, Guru Maharaj Ji (Prem Rawat). Some scholars noted the influence of the Bhagavad Gita and the Sant Mat tradition, but the western movement was widely seen as a new religious movement, a cult, a charismatic religious sect or an alternative religion. DLM officials said the movement represented a church rather than a religion.
When Shri Hans Ji Maharaj died in 1966, he was succeeded as guru by Prem Rawat, then just eight years old, despite rival claims from other family members. Although Prem Rawat was accepted as his father's successor, because of his age his family retained effective control of the DLM. In 1971, Rawat defied his mother by travelling to the UK and the US, where local branches of DLM were established and rapidly expanded. By 1973, DLM had over a million followers in India and tens of thousands of followers in the West, along with dozens of ashrams and hundreds of centers.
As Rawat grew older, he began to take a more active role in the movement and, when he turned sixteen, following the financially disastrous Millennium '73 festival, he took administrative control of the US branch. His increasing independence and his marriage to a non-Indian in 1974 caused a permanent rift with his mother and two of his brothers. They returned to India, where his eldest brother Satpal Maharaj gained control of the Indian DLM.
In the early 1980s, Rawat began disbanding the western DLM. He closed the ashrams and eliminated the remaining Indian influences from his presentation to make it independent of any specific culture or religion. In the US, UK, France and Australia, Elan Vital was formed to replace the DLM in supporting Rawat in his role as teacher.
Other articles related to "mission, divine light mission":
... an Air India Boeing 747 to accompany him and stayed in the mission's ashrams ... Rawat said, "It has nothing to do with me, it is an attempt to harm the Divine Light Mission ... When someone grows, others get jealous of him, and the Divine Light Mission has just blasted like an atomic bomb all over the world.” A DLM spokesman said that the money had been pooled by 3,00 ...
... The Conversion of Young Americans to Divine Light Mission is a sociological book about the adherents of the Divine Light Mission in the 1970s ... and their conversion process to the ideals of the Divine Light Mission and their relationship with Guru Maharaj Ji, currently known as Prem Rawat ... He followed the mission for a period of five years chronicling the followers' personal changes and the evolution of the movement itself ...
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