Swami Prem Paras

Swami Shrila Prem Paras

By Reza Ganjavi 

"Swami Prem Paras" showed up in a Krishnamurti gathering and wanted to do a concert. Being Indian and having the right looks, the organizer agreed. If a Westerner had just showed up to do a concert, it probably would not have been agreed. That's the bias some gullible Westerners have for everything India, and that bias is equally abused by some Indians.

Prem played some chants on his guitar. I think he was accompanied by a good looking Swiss lady, who is apparently now his wife and they have several children. I believe she's called Rebecca.

The lady is apparently a good marketer, and it seems much money was spent on promoting Prem as some kind of a guru or something, or as a second Osho or something to that effect, since he is very fond of Osho and has often associated himself with Osho, including his looks and appearance. 

Speaking of Osho who seems to be Prem's hero, let's establish the fact that Osho was a convicted criminal who was deported from USA after being convicted.  His assistant Sheila was also convicted and served prison time. A Swiss documentary called "Guru: Bhagwan, His Secretary & His Bodyguard" well documented how Osho destroyed his followers and himself. I wrote a review on the movie which can be found here: https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/law-ethics/spiritual-cults-frauds/rajneesh-oshos-fraud-a-review-of-the-movie-guru-bhagwan

Osho (Rajneesh) amassed misled many people by his fraud, while he collected many riches including 100 Rolls Royces!! 

Prem's YouTube user ID is: Osho Prem Paras! (oshopremparas)

Despite a professional, heavy marketing, posing him as the next best thing to sliced bread, Prem apparently never took off in Switzerland. He had a "spiritual" concert in Zurich's Volkshaus. I happened to be attending another event there and I stopped by. The hall was totally empty. Perhaps there were one or two people up front and all the rest of the seats were empty. I didn't stay long.

I believe he just never took off because looks is not enough, and marketing also can't add substance to make a person another "star" like Osho which seemed to be Prem's goal, but of course, given Osho's checkered history, I would never want to be another Osho. 

Interestingly enough, his website does not say what he is -- so by default one can assume he's just a musician -- but it seems like he's posing himself as a guru, or someone who a special wisdom, or someone who can help the gullible Westerners cross the stream of enlightenment, and other such nonsense. 

Yet, without making any direct claims, his website and event publicity material set such expectations that one would get from fake and real gurus. 

Publicity for an event says: "Celebration is the key to a fulfilled life. In this spirit the Love & Celebration Retreat was born!"

So a retreat is a party! I don't think that's how retreats were born. They were born for retreat, which means an act of withdrawing from the daily rat race to recuperate. Retreat was never meant to be just a party.

He goes on: This Retreat welcomes everybody who is interested in Meditation, spiritual music and spiritual growth."

Celebration, party, and what he calls "Osho meditation" -- I'd never want to do a meditation such a manipulator and crook as Osho who amassed 100 Rolls Royces by manipulating gullible Westerners. Of course the followers were to blame as well. If they were not so unintelligent and gullible, Osho would never become so filthy rich.

Prem sets the expectation that in his retreats, people can grow spiritually. That entire topic is very questionable, and requires opening the questions of what does "spiritual" mean, and what spiritual growth means. Regardless, someone who solicits donations, and you pay to go to his retreat and he supposedly offers spiritual growth, is typically considered to be a guru, or guru-wannabe, especially when he associates himself with a very famous and wealthy guru, and looks like him, and appears like him... 

On his website from the early days of promoting him, he was also offering Zen. But that seems to have dropped off. 

Beside "OSHO Meditations" in his retreat he also offers mantra chanting, and Tantra. What would such a retreat be without Tantra ?! 

He goes on to promise that the practices he offers "will cleanse our body, our Aura and allow our energy to uplift. It clears our vision and answers our questions: Who am I? What is my Soul purpose? It silences the ever-chattering mind and creates space for meditation."

Sounds woowoo enough with lots of unexplored cliché phrases that I am willing to bet Prem has not deeply explored, just as Osho did not deeply explore. 

Why is your mind ever chattering? Is it? Who is the silencer of the ever chattering mind and is the silencer different than the chatter? Why even chatter if there is understanding and order and clear thinking and thought understanding its right place. Have the contents of the chatter been understood? Is there awareness and emptying of the consciousness of its content? Who is asking "who am I?" What is the concept of "soul" which is such an ambiguous word that is used in different ways and abused such as the words "love" and "god". And so many other deep questions that require exploration.

"The beauty of this Retreat is the deep transformation process that takes place in one of the world’s spiritual epicentres."

So you pay to attend and Prem promises you will deeply transform. Why does that sound so familiar? Another cliché by Prem because it sounds good. Deep transformation requires a deep understanding of what is. You can chant all you want, and do yoga night and day and still be the same mediocre person who is caught in the network of thought and its divisiveness, and fragmentary action. Without insight there is no possibility of transformation, liberation from what-is. And Prem gives no indication whatsoever on the basis for his promise of transformation. There is no evidence that any of the activities listed would lead to a fundamental "transformation". Yes you may feel good after a week of partying, good food, exercise, but that does not mean fundamental transformation. 

"We meditate in a Buddhafield where many enlightened Masters have meditated."

What is enlightenment? Another cliché it seems. Prem's marketing just had to mention that phrase to complete the picture. Is enlightenment a final event in time, which is an idea created by thought's limitations -- or it's moment to moment? 

"Swami Shrila Prem Paras"

The title gets bigger. Maybe in a few years he will call himself Paramahansa (also spelled Paramahamsa).

Prem also offers that you will "find the goddess who is your spiritual protector" in a visit to a temple. 

Prem promises that "you will leave this Retreat empowered, enriched and intune with your Soul and its purpose" -- and of course "spiritual growth".

And you can "DONATE FOR BLISS". Always. Money in caps, and you get "BLISS" for donating. Sounds like Catholic priests who sold a piece of heaven in next life for a fee you paid them in this life !!

He calls Osho his "beloved Master".