Lighthouse Trails has now added Death of a Guru written by former Hindu Rabi Maharaj with Dave Hunt to our collection of important and needed books for the body of Christ. The book has been in print for many years and is published by Harvest House Publishers (we are glad that HH is still publishing some books that warn about spiritual deception). While Lighthouse Trails editors read Death of a Guru many years ago, it was brought to our attention again when Lighthouse Trails author Warren B. Smith made reference to the book in his own book “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs Are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer.
The following description of Death of a Guru shows why this is a necessary book for today’s church in view of the contemplative prayer (i.e., spiritual formation) movement that has swept in:
Rabi R. Maharaj was descended from a long line of Brahmin priests and gurus and trained as a Yogi. He meditated for many hours each day, but disillusionment gradually set in. In Death of a Guru, he vividly and honestly describes Hindu life and customs, tracing his difficult search for meaning and his struggle to choose between Hinduism and Christ. At a time when Eastern mysticism, religion and philosophy fascinate many in the West, Maharaj offers fresh and important insights from the perspective of his own experience. (source)
Here is the section from “Another Jesus” Calling where Warren B. Smith warns about mystical meditation and references Death of a Guru:
Meditation and Contemplation
The New Age/New Spirituality has made great inroads into the church—particularly in the area of meditation and contemplative prayer. Despite grave warnings from many of us who came out of the New Age movement, the church remains extremely vulnerable to deceptive supernatural experiences that appear to come from God.
We knew from our own New Age involvement that powerful, seemingly “meant to be” spiritual experiences had often been used to draw us into the New Age and its various spiritual practices, which included meditation and contemplation. And we knew that the same seductive experiences, which had led us into the New Age, continued within our meditations and contemplations. Because our spiritual experiences felt so good, we just assumed that what we were experiencing was coming from God. Our spiritual practices soon became the primary connecting force that gave us “the feeling” we were on the right track. These daily meditations and contemplations served to reinforce our emerging New Age beliefs, and had the effect of leading us deeper and deeper into the teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality.
For most of us in the New Age, meditation was an integral part of daily life. Because it was so relaxing and felt so good, we, like Sarah Young and her readers, had no idea that our meditations and contemplations were opening us up to great deception. Looking back on it now, meditation was the major pipeline through which deceptive spirits impressed upon us their New Age thoughts and teachings. The spiritual “high” that often accompanied our meditations and contemplations even seemed to corroborate the teaching of the New Age that we were all “one” because God was “in” everyone and everything. In fact, in my very first meditation, I experienced a “mysterious sense of oneness” that I perceived to be my “divine connection” to that oneness. One of the daily lessons I contemplated from A Course in Miracles was: “Let me remember I am one with God.”1
Ironically, even biblical meditation can be manipulated into a form of New Age contemplative prayer. One of the clever ploys of our spiritual Adversary has been to repackage eastern/mystical New Age meditation as “Christian” meditation and contemplation. In his powerful book Death of a Guru: A Hindu Comes to Christ, former Hindu Rabrindranath R. Maharaj describes how even seemingly benign and relaxing forms of meditation and contemplation can be used by the spirit world to provide an experience of cosmic oneness:
“Though popularized in the West under many names, the aim of all Eastern meditation is to ‘realize’ one’s essential union with the Universe. It is the doorway to the ‘nothingness’ called nirvana. Generally sold as a ‘relaxation’ technique, meditation really aims at and ultimately leads to the surrender of oneself to mystical cosmic forces.”2
1. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Workbook), op. cit., p. 222.
2. Rabindranath R. Maharaj with Dave Hunt, Death of a Guru: A Hindu Comes to Christ (New York, NY: A. J. Holman Company: Division of J. B. Lippincott Company, 1977), pp. 219-220.