Sacred Journeys (book)
Sacred Journeys: The Conversion of Young Americans to Divine Light Mission is a sociological
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

  book about the adherents of the Divine Light Mission
Divine Light Mission
The Divine Light Mission was an organization founded in 1960 by 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 Ji...

 in the 1970s. In the work, author James V. Downton, Jr. analyzes a sample group of young Americans
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and their conversion process to the ideals of the Divine Light Mission and their relationship with Guru Maharaj Ji, currently known as Prem Rawat
Prem Rawat
Prem Pal Singh Rawat , also known as Maharaji and formerly known as Guru Maharaj Ji and Balyogeshwar, teaches a meditation practice he calls Knowledge....


Downton, a sociologist and professor emeritus of Sociology at the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado...

, spent one month in an ashram
Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage. Additionally, today the term ashram often denotes a locus of Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instruction, the moral equivalent of a studio or dojo....

  and relied on interviews with eighteen followers, presenting a "vivid picture of the social and psychologically dynamics which led to their spiritual awakening".