An Unwilling Messiah for the New Age

Raj Patel

Fascinating story about the man who would not be messiah, in the New York Times:

Raj Patel’s desk sits in a dusty, cement-floored nook in his garage, just beyond a parked gray Prius, near the washer and dryer. They are humble surroundings for a god.

Followers of Share International, a New Age religious sect, claim Raj Patel is the messiah Maitreya. He denies the claim, but he cannot persuade them.

“It is absurd to be put in this position, when I’m just some bloke,” Mr. Patel said.

A native of London now living on Potrero Hill in San Francisco, Mr. Patel suddenly finds himself an unlikely object of worship, proclaimed the messiah Maitreya by followers of the New Age religious sect Share International.

He was raised as a Hindu and had never heard of the group. He has no desire for deification. But he may not have a choice.

Mr. Patel’s journey from ordinary person to unwilling lord is a case of having the wrong résumé at the wrong moment in history. For this is a time when human yearning to find a magical cure for the world’s woes can be harnessed to the digital age’s instant access to a vast treasure-trove of personal information.

I have known Mr. Patel for four years — he keeps an office down the hall from mine. He is charming, and as a graduate of Oxford, Cornell University and the London School of Economics, he is considered brilliant, although he is self-effacing. He readily admits to being imperfectly human.

People began to believe otherwise on Jan. 14 in London when Benjamin Creme, the leader of Share International, who is also known as the Master, proclaimed the arrival of Maitreya. The name of the deity has Buddhist roots, but in 1972, Mr. Creme prophesied the coming Maitreya as a messiah for all faiths called the World Teacher…

[continues in the New York Times]

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  • GHJohn

    Mr. Patel's story does not fit the scenario that Mr. Creme has long stated. Share International recently sent out a press release stating that Maitreya has appeared for the first time on TV in January on an American TV network. That may account for the excitement of the reporter.

    Mr. Creme also has indicated that Maitreya is in a Pakistani body, not Indian. Share International stated that Maitreya resides in London, not San Francisco, having arrived in London in July 1977. He has maintained residence in London since that time.

    Beyond this, nobody in the Share International organization has made any claim that Raj Patel is Maitreya. It is good that this article raises the idea that the World Teacher Maitreya is in the world but it would be better to have articles that do not make claims that a certain person is the one expected by those involved with Share International when they do not fit the parameters. Particularly since Maitreya has indicated that this coming Chinese year of the Tiger would find rising public interest in hearing him speak.

    Why not air/publish an interview Mr. Creme – who has always made himself available for interviews of all types – and have him answer the questions raised?

  • 5by5

    For anyone who's actually read the sanskrit writings about Maitreya (as opposed to listening to some cheesoid New Age cult that uses convenient bits and pieces of Buddhism as though it were equal to crystal worship and “psychic” parlor tricks, not a major world religion), the third Buddha (Padmasambhava was the second) is supposed to appear only after Buddhism and the knowledge of the Dharma is nearly extinct on the planet, during a VERY dark time in human history FAR into a future that by comparison, makes today's little challenges look like a paradise. We're a long way off from that.

    Most encyclopedias will state there are 500 million Buddhists in the world, and none of them count the roughly 1 billion Chinese Buddhists (this omission alone is interesting for other reasons). And Buddhism is only growing in the West, not diminishing.

    So basically, this entire thing is bullpucky. That the New york Times would even report on it is a measure just how little most in the West understand about Buddhism.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Yeah OK, now where the fuck is Jesus?

    • Tuna Ghost

      He'll be here soon, I saw him over at the 7/11 picking up some smokes and a chili-dog a few minutes ago…his beard looks great, btw, tell him I said that when you see him

    • Butter Knife

      Oh, he already came. Even took away the faithful in a genuine, bona fide Rapture.

      It would seem there are a lot fewer of them than claimed, by the relatively large number of people who stayed and the relatively low number who left.

      But hey, on the bright side, it’s Armageddon: let’s party!

  • http://www.hiddencodes.com/patel.htm knowledge is power

    Raj Patel is being used as a mouthpiece for maitreya. Don't be fooled by any of these smooth talking liars.

  • Butter Knife

    Oh, he already came. Even took away the faithful in a genuine, bona fide Rapture.

    It would seem there are a lot fewer of them than claimed, by the relatively large number of people who stayed and the relatively low number who left.

    But hey, on the bright side, it’s Armageddon: let’s party!

  • Butter Knife

    Oh, he already came. Even took away the faithful in a genuine, bona fide Rapture.

    It would seem there are a lot fewer of them than claimed, by the relatively large number of people who stayed and the relatively low number who left.

    But hey, on the bright side, it’s Armageddon: let’s party!

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