So who followed Maharaj Ji ? His straightforward method of teaching and the simple techniques of meditation that he revealed appealed to people all across the social spectrum, from maharajahs to beggars. His followers included business people, professionals, aristocrats, entertainers, policemen, soldiers, shopkeepers, homemakers, office workers, farmers and laborers.
As a general rule, the priestly class, the Brahmins, regarded Maharaj Ji with supercilious indifference, thinking they had nothing to gain from him, since he had no formal knowledge of Sanskrit or classical religious training. As he criticized their traditional modes of worship, more specifically their own practices and false pride in bookish knowledge, their numbers in the Mission were few.
The western educated, sophisticated upper classes were also not generally attracted to Maharaj Ji, because they were too engrossed in the pursuit of material possessions and tended to be skeptical about the very existence of God. Moreover, they were against the idea of Guru, too full of their own pride to have the innocence of heart which makes devotion possible. Echoing Christ’s analogy, Maharaj Ji believed, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to attain the kingdom of heaven.”
Generally the devotees came from the middle classes living in the cities, as well as workers, laborers and farmers from the villages. Maharaj Ji glorified the innocence and humility of the poor. He said the world is for the wealthy, but God is for the poor. Poverty becomes a blessing in disguise, he said, keeping the mind aloof from the snares of the material world, The poor, those ignored by society, the abused and forgotten were given the divine gift of Maharaj Ji’s grace. Their life was enriched by his love and light, their misery removed by the radiance of the Inner Light. They rose above their poverty to the inner fountain of bliss which made them immune to the outward sufferings of life. Maharaj Ji was the support of the faltering, struggling section of humanity. He showed them ‘Ram Nam’, the divine force within, and asked them to meditate upon it.