Satpal Maharaj

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Satpal Maharaj
Constituency Garhwal
Personal details
Born (1951-09-21) 21 September 1951 (age 63)
Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand)
Political party Bhartiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Amrita Rawat
Children Shradhey ,Suyesh
Residence Dehradun, 2/12 East Punjabi Bagh, Delhi
Religion Hindu

Satpal Singh Rawat (born 21 September 1951), also known as Satpal Maharaj, was a member of the lower house of the Parliament of India (15th Lok Sabha) for the Indian National Congress party. He left Congress Party and joined Bharatiya Janata Party BJP on 21 March 2014.[1]

He is a founder of the Manav Utthan Seva Samiti, an off-shoot of the Divine Light Mission, later registered as a non-for profit organization registered under Society Registration act of India, 1961. He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on 21 March 2014. His wife still continues to be a member of Indian National Congress (INC) party.


Satpal Maharaj was educated at St. George's College, Mussoorie.[citation needed]. Satpal Maharaj was born in Kankhal. Satpal's father Hans Ji Maharaj had two wives, Sinduri Devi and Rajeshwari Devi. He had a daughter from his first wife Sinduri Devi, and four sons (Prem, Satpal, Bhole, and Raja) from his second wife Rajeshwari Devi. Satpal Maharaj is the eldest son of late Hans Maharaj and his wife Rajeshwari Devi.[citation needed] He married to Amrita Rawat, who is also a member of State Assembly, Uttrakhand, on 8 February 1981.[2]

Divine Light Mission[edit]

The Divine Light Mission (DLM) (Divya Sandesh Parishad) was an organization founded in 1960 by Satpal Maharaj's father, 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 Prem Rawat.

During the customary 13 days of mourning following Shri Hans's death, the succession was discussed by DLM officials. The youngest son, 8-year-old Prem Rawat, addressed the crowd and was accepted by them, as well as by his mother and brothers, as the "Perfect Master". Though Prem Rawat was officially the leader of the DLM, because of his youth authority was shared by the whole family.

For the next eight years Hans Maharaj's family supported Prem Rawat as his successor but the latter's decision to marry a Westerner in 1974 precipitated a struggle for control of DLM. Mata returned to India and appointed her oldest son Satpal as the new head of DLM India, claiming that Prem Rawat had broken his spiritual discipline by marrying a foreigner. The Western premies remained loyal to Prem Rawat, but the marriage led to a permanent rift within the family and was also credited with causing a profound disruption in the movement.

After the split, Satpal became the new head of the organization in India following a legal battle with his brother Prem Rawat.

The self-published history of the Manav Utthan Seva Samiti though reports a smooth transition and succession from his father, and omits any mention of the scandal around the family feud that split the movement.[3]

Manav Utthan Seva Samiti[edit]

As of 2014, Maharaj is the head of the Manav Utthan Seva Samiti.[4] He teaches the meditation techniques called "Knowledge".[4] The movement has students and ashrmas all across the globe with its head office in India. It claims millions of members and has events that regularly draw 100,000 people or more to its ashrams in Haridwar and New Delhi.[4] According to Lise McKean in the book Divine Enterprise: Gurus and the Hindu Nationalist Movement, in the Samiti cult of the holy family, Maharaj, his wife Amrita Rawat and their two sons are worshiped as divine beings, with individual members of the holy family held to represent diverse aspects of divinity.

The MUSS has an associated volunteer organisation, the Manav Sewa Dal, founded by Maharaj in 1976.[5][6]

On Aug 13th, 2014, Haridwar Development Authority (HDA) sealed Satpal Maharaj's ashram near Muni ki Reti in Rishikesh, after having served a notice in this regard on August 7,2014 saying that it was constructed allegedly in violation of the August 2013 high court ban on any construction within 200 metres of the state's rivers. [7]

Lok Sabha Results[edit]

1989 - Lost Pauri Garhwal against Chandra Mohan (Janata Dal)

1991 - Lost Pauri Garhwal against Bhuwan Chand (BJP)

1996 - Won Pauri Garhwal (1,63,528 votes) against Shri Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri(BJP) (1,48,508 votes).

1998 - Lost Pauri Garhwal (1,05,311 votes) against Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri( 2,80,258 votes)

1999 - Lost Pauri Garhwal (2,10,063 votes) against Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri( 2,39,745 votes)

2004 - Lost Pauri Garhwal

2008(By elections) : Lost Pauri Garhwal Lok Sabha to TPS Rawat(BJP) when Khanduri quit his Parliamentary seat to enter the state Assembly.

2009 - Won Pauri Garhwal Seat(236949 votes) against Tejpal Singh Rawat(219552 votes)

2014 - Did Not contest the Lok Sabha elections and shifted loyalty from Indian National Congress to Bharatiya Janata Party.

Political career[edit]

In 1989, Satpal Maharaj started his political career in as a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) party.

In 1995, he split from the Congress along with Narayan Dutt Tiwari and joined Congress (Tiwari).

He served as Union Minister for Railroads in 1996 and for Finance in 1997.

1n 1999, rejoined Congress when Sonia Gandhi took over the reins of the Congress Party.

In 2010, he was the head of the 20-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.[8]

in 2012, being close to Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Satpal was nominated by his political party to pacify Narayan Dutt Tiwari, who had threatened to work against the party during the 2012 election. They believed that by nominating Satpal, as well as three other followers of Tiwari, that Tiwari would not follow through on his threats.[9] Narayan Dutt then campaigned for Satpal and his wife Amrita in 2012 elections[10]

After the 2012 elections, there was infighting within the Uttarakhand Congress and Harish Rawat hit back at Satpal Maharaj and said Satpal Maharaj should feel happy that he lost the race of Chief Ministership of the state.[11] Vijay Bahuguna was made the chief minister after all the infighting ended.[12]

In Feb 2014, Satpal openly criticised Harish Rawat’s elevation as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.[13]

In Mar 2014, Satpal decides not to contest the Lok Sabha elections blamed chief Minister Harish Rawat forced him to take the extreme step.[14] Due to the numerous scams and corruption done by Congress during its rule a number of congress candidates are shying from fighting the elections.[15]

On March 21, 2014, he quit the Indian National Congress and joined Bharatiya Janata Party.[16]


  1. ^ "Shri Satpal Maharaj: A brief introduction to his life and works". Retrieved 209-08-15.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^
  3. ^ McKean 1996, p. 54
  4. ^ a b c McKean 1996, pp. 53-57
  5. ^ Faquiranand, Mahatma (2008-09-21). "Shri Satpal Maharaj". Daily Excelsior. Retrieved 2009-08-18. [dead link]
  6. ^ Manav Sewa Dal. Retrieved 2009-08-18.[dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^ LATEEF, SAMAAN (15 June 2010). "Parliamentary committee on assessment tour to Ladakh". Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  9. ^
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  16. ^ "Satpal Maharaj quits Congress to join BJP". Hindustan Times. March 21, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 

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