Millennium '73 - Afterwards - Impact


Thomas Pilarzyk described the festival as the "most important development" in the American movement's history. James V. Downton opined that the movement ultimately failed in achieving its millennial dream of world peace. The failure to meet expectations, along with the debt and bad press, led to significant changes in the movement.

Scholars describe 1973 as the peak year of the movement, or mention a significant drop in new followers. However, Roger E. Olson wrote that "the movement continued to attract large numbers of mainly counterculture followers" despite the disappointments. The financial crisis required retrenchment and reorganization. After the festival, Maharaj Ji began taking greater responsibility in the movement; he took administrative control of the DLM's US branch within a month of turning 16. The following year he got married and became an emancipated minor. Disagreements between Maharaj Ji and his family led to the movement being split between a Western branch, led by Maharaj Ji, and an Indian branch, run by his mother and Bal Bhagwan Ji.

The failure of Millennium '73 led the Western branch to shift away from Indian influences and trappings, according to some observers. Sikh scholar Kirpal Singh Khalsa wrote that the DLM "no longer projected itself as a movement that would include all of humanity in its membership." The Western DLM moved away from its ascetic, "world-rejecting" origins and adopted a "world-affirming position". Beginning in 1982, Guru Maharaj Ji changed the DLM into the more loosely organized Elan Vital. Michael York wrote that, as result of poor attendance and financial failure, Maharaj Ji changed the name of the movement and "distanced himself from his status as a divine guru". He became known as Maharaji or Prem Rawat and was presented as an inspirational speaker and teacher. Bal Bhagwan Ji became known as Satpal Maharaj or Satpal Rawat, and his branch is now known as Manav Utthan Seva Samiti. Both branches have celebrated Hans Jayanti again since 1973.

Read more about this topic:  Millennium '73, Afterwards

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