Why Rajas? An interview with Raja Chancellor
Back in January, Tony Nader, MD, PhD, Maharaja Adhiraj Rajaraam announced he would like to see new Rajas trained and crowned by Guru Purnima Day this July. This is significant for many reasons, but especially because it will be the first time new Rajas have been crowned since Maharishi passed away in 2008.
In the below interview, I discuss this announcement with Raja Chancellor and ask him why Maharishi chose the term ‘Rajas’ to describe the leaders of his organisation.
For those who don’t know Raja Chancellor, he is a graduate of Harvard University with a PhD from the Maharishi University of Management. He taught TM in India for four years and then meditated in the Himalayas for another five years before becoming a Raja in 2005. He now works closely with Maharaja and is involved in many projects around the world, particularly Enlightened Leadership International.
Rebekah: Let’s get into the topic of Rajas, and why Maharishi chose this term to describe some of the leaders in the organisation. The first question is simply, what is a Raja?
RC: ‘Raja’ is from Sanskrit roots and means king or prince. Raja and Raj Rajeshwari are terms Maharishi chose to describe the chief administrators of his Global Country of World Peace.
Rajas and Raj Rajeshwaris are responsible for overseeing and coordinating global activities by formulating the Global Council’s policies and guidelines and by generally guiding and advising the national organisations. Most significantly, we are responsible for quality control with regard to Maharishi Vedic Science and its applied technologies such as Transcendental Meditation.
‘Rajas were responsible for the well-being of society, just as our leaders and organisations are ensuring that people everywhere are able to develop their full potential.’
Rebekah: For many Westerners, the idea of a king or prince leading a country probably seems a bit outdated. Can you explain why Maharishi wanted to appoint kings and not something democratic?
RC: Successful organisations always have clear lines of leadership and decision-making, which in a company might be Chairman or CEO. I believe Maharishi chose the form of a Maharaja, Rajas, and Raj Rajeshwaris because he wanted to uphold the Vedic tradition that is the source of Transcendental Meditation, Ayur-Veda, Vastu, and all these Vedic technologies.
And in this Vedic tradition, Rajas were responsible for the well-being of society, just as our leaders and organisations are devoting their time and resources to creating a better world and a more ideal society by ensuring that people everywhere are able to develop their full potential.
Now, as far as the crowns and coronations and all that, Maharishi established this as a tradition, and we have fun with that at these festive occasions. But, more importantly, the coronation ceremony is designed to utilize Vedic sound to strengthen the ability of the Raja to successfully administer from the level of nature’s intelligence.
Rebekah: Maharishi spoke about how Rajas would rule with ideal administration – that is, problem-free, mistake-free administration. For many people this idea will seem quite impressive, if not impossible — so how can we have administration without mistakes? Do you think we have reached this point of ideal administration within the Global Country of World Peace?
RC: The possibility of mistake-free administration lies in the ability to think, speak, and act from the level of nature’s intelligence, which administers all life. Such enlightened administration is developed by transcending the boundaries of individuality and awakening to the universality of Transcendental Consciousness. When our mind is able to function from that level, then spontaneously our thoughts, words and actions are attuned with all of life.
Everyone practising TM is going to make fewer and fewer mistakes as time passes and their consciousness develops — so the joy of our Global Country of World Peace is that we are all together growing rapidly towards a brighter and brighter future.
‘Everyone practising TM is going to make fewer and fewer mistakes as time passes and their consciousness develops.’
Rebekah: It seems quite significant this is the first time Maharaja has crowned new Rajas himself. Is there something special about this moment that Maharaja decided to crown new leaders now?
RC: Worldwide we are experiencing a tremendous expansion of interest and demand for the knowledge and programmes of Maharishi Vedic Science. So I think Maharaja is responding to this need of the time by creating more experienced leaders to support this global growth.
Rebekah: You are quite involved with Enlightened Leadership International, and I wanted to ask if this is in some way the ultimate goal of ELI — to produce leaders who are essentially ready to become Rajas. Is that the end objective?
RC: Everyone is different, and so the ‘best’ path for everyone will be unique to them. The ultimate goal of all of our organisations and activities, ELI included, is to provide knowledge and practical programmes that empower people to lead from within — to lead their own life in such a way that they achieve optimal happiness, success and prosperity for themselves, their families, and their society.
And, certainly, we want to create an easy path and welcoming environment for those who want to participate in the Global Country of World Peace, in whatever capacity that may be.
‘The ultimate goal of all of our organisations and activities, ELI included, is to provide knowledge and practical programmes that empower people to lead from within.’
Rebekah: Thank you so much, Raja Chancellor. We’re looking forward to seeing you in July for these very special celebrations.
Would you like to be there for this important moment in our movement’s history?
There is still time to join the Guru Purnima Short Summer Assembly, where you can attend three days of the special Vedic recitations and Raja Coronation, the grand Coronation ceremony on 25 July, Guru Purnima Day on 27 July, special knowledge and Q&A sessions with Maharaja, and other festivities.
Need housing? We have only a few rooms left.
Photos, from top: Burkhard Meissner, Miklos Lammel, Burkard Meissner