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Charan Anand

“Prem Rawat sent me to England on 16 August 1969. At the time he was 11 years old. He advised me that mostly young people who embraced a unique lifestyle would come and listen. ‘Neither criticise nor support what they do in their personal lives. If you criticise them, they will never come again to listen; if you support them, the authorities will arrest you and throw you out of England. Just share my message of peace and knowledge of the self. That alone will bring them real joy and transform their lives.’

“I stayed in England for over a year. In accord with Prem’s advice, I tried to keep it as simple as possible in conveying his message. People enjoyed what I had to share and some learned the techniques of Self-Knowledge, particularly in London and Leicester. There was a lot of enthusiasm amongst them and naturally they wanted to see and hear Prem Rawat in person. They had only seen his photographs. It was difficult for some of them to comprehend how someone that young could be an accomplished teacher of peace.

“In November 1970, I returned to India to attend a large event held at India Gate, Delhi (what later became known as ‘Peace Bomb’). Some of these English people accompanied me by plane, including Sandy Collier’s mother, while others travelled by road all the way from England. Many of the people who came to India at that time remain to this day students of Prem Rawat and actively participate in his activities.

“Prem was really happy to see these English people and could feel their fervour. He invited us to spend some time with him at his residence in Dehradun and his centre in Hardwar. It was an exciting time for all of us. He told us to enjoy the practice of Self-Knowledge, to inform others about his message and to prepare for his visit. Soon after, he sent me back to England.

“I stayed in England from November 1970 through to March 1971. He called me back to India to attend Baisaki festival that takes place in April. After this event, I was touring with Prem in different parts of India. When in a city called Nasik near Bombay, he asked me, ‘How do you feel about me coming to England?’ I said, ‘It would be wonderful. Everyone would love to see you. Most of the people who have heard your message there could not come to India in November because of their financial situation.’ He replied, ‘OK. Then tell them to prepare for my visit.’ It was meant to be a short exploratory visit during his summer school holidays. He was 13 years old.

“I immediately called England and arranged his ticket and events. From the day I had come to England, I wanted to be there when Prem arrived and welcome him. So I returned to London three days before him and, along with Sue Barker, had the privilege to garland and welcome him when he first set foot in England on 17 June 1971. He arrived with Bihari Singh as his guardian. There was a crowd of enthusiastic people to welcome him as well. They were singing songs and also offered him garlands. It was such an overwhelming reception. “On the front page of the Daily Mirror appeared an article ‘Boy Guru Coming to England Straight from Heaven.’

“After his arrival, Carol’s Cortina was the only mode of transport we had at that time. He was very happy to be in London, explore the culture and see the sights. Within the first few days, even though he was not fully rested or acclimated to the time, he received an invitation to attend the Glastonbury Fayre. Initially, he was not keen, but people’s humble requests inspired him to go.

“When we arrived, it was amazing to look at the gathering from the pyramid stage. There were so many young people, singing and dancing and having a good time in their own way. For us, it was a unique situation. Prem had never previously spoken to such a gathering in India, but he was not distracted and spoke with great passion and certainty. In his simple message he expressed, ‘There is something within you that is imperishable. I can help you get in touch with that.’ As soon as he began speaking, people started listening and appreciating what he said. Many of them after the festival became interested in his message and participated in his activities whilst he was in London.

“To this day I am still very proud and inspired by many of those young people – their understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of Prem’s gift of Self-Knowledge and their wholehearted support to convey his message to people throughout the world: for example, Vanesha and Belkis travelled to Japan, David Lovejoy to Australia, John Berzner to America, Janet Wallace to Canada, Lena to Germany, Ron to South Africa and, in England, Ron Geaves, Sandy Collier, Glen Whittaker, Peter Lee, and many others. From these humble beginnings, today with their kind support, enthusiasm and love for Prem, his message has spread throughout the world.

“I was so very happy and moved to watch the ceremony in which the Mayor of Glastonbury gave Prem the Key to Avalon. I also enjoyed hearing the recollections of the beautiful speakers who have remained friends throughout these years. This is our time. How privileged and grateful I feel to help and be part of Prem’s amazing life story. Prem Rawat has been a constant inspiration to me from an early age. I find his message simple and profound. I always enjoy listening to him. It is very touching and encouraging. I am extremely proud of Prem and admire his unwavering passion and brilliant efforts in conveying his message which touches the hearts and transforms the lives of countless human beings throughout the world. This incredible journey with him continues.”