Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1973
Born Mahesh Prasad Varma
12 January 1917
Jabalpur, Central Provinces and Berar, British India
Died 5 February 2008(2008-02-05) (aged 91)
Vlodrop, The Netherlands
Years active 1955–2008
Parents Sri Ram Prasad (father)

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (Sanskrit महर्षि महेश योगी maharṣi maheśa yogī), born Mahesh Prasad Varma (12 January 1917 – 5 February 2008), developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of the TM movement, characterised as a new religious movement and also as non-religious.[1][2][3] His given name was Mahesh; Maharishi and Yogi are honorifics.[citation needed]

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi became a disciple and assistant of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya (spiritual leader) of Jyotirmath in the Indian Himalayas. The Maharishi credits Brahmananda Saraswati with inspiring his teachings. By 1955, the Maharishi had introduced the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and other related programmes and initiatives to the world. His first global tour began in 1958.[4]

He began to be known as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi around the year 1955.[5] His devotees referred to him as His Holiness,[6] and because he often laughed in TV interviews he publicly became known as the giggling guru.[7][8][9]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Maharishi achieved fame as the guru to The Beatles and other celebrities. He started the TM-Sidhi programme, in the late 1970s that claimed to offer practitioners the ability to levitate and to create world peace.[10] The Maharishi's Natural Law Party was founded in 1992, and ran campaigns in dozens of countries. He moved to MERU, Holland, near Vlodrop, the Netherlands, in the same year.[11] In 2000, he created the Global Country of World Peace, a country without borders, and appointed its leaders. In 2008, the Maharishi announced his retirement from all administrative activities and went into mauna (spiritual silence) until his death three weeks later.[citation needed]

The Maharishi is reported to have trained more than 40,000 TM teachers, taught the Transcendental Meditation technique to "more than five million people" and founded thousands of teaching centers and hundreds of colleges, universities and schools. [12][13][14] while TM websites report tens of thousands learned his advanced meditation techniques. His initiatives include schools and universities with campuses in several countries including India, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.[15] The Maharishi, his family and close associates created charitable organisations and for-profit businesses including health clinics, mail-order health supplements and organic farms. The reported value of the Maharishi's empire has ranged from the millions to billions of dollars and in 2008, the organization placed the value of their United States assets at about $300 million.[12]




The birth name, birth date, and caste of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi are not known with certainty, in part because of the tradition of ascetics and monks to renounce family connections.[16]

Many accounts say he was born Mahesh Prasad Varma (Hindi: महेश प्रसाद वर्मा) into a family of the Kayastha caste[17][18] living in the Central Provinces of British India.[19] A different name appears in the Allahabad University list of distinguished alumni, where he is listed as M.C. Srivastava.[20] Srivastava is the name of his nephews and cousins,[16] and an obituary says his name was "Mahesh Srivastava".[21]

Mahesh's father is identified as a local tax official in the civil service.[9][22] One source says he worked in the department of forestry.[19]

Various accounts give the year of his birth as 1911, 1917 or 1918.[9] Biographies by Paul Mason and William Jefferson say that he was born 12 January, 1917 in Jabalpur, Central Provinces. The place of birth given in his passport is "Pounalulla", India and his birth date as 12 January 1918.[citation needed]

While a few sources say Mahesh came from a lower-caste family,[23] the predominant view is that he was a member of the Kayastha caste, a high-status caste whose traditional profession is writing.[24]

Early life

Mahesh studied physics at Allahabad University and earned a degree in 1942. Some accounts say that he worked in a factory following graduation.[25][26] In 1941, he became a secretary to the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, and took a new name, Bal Brahmachari Mahesh.[27][28] Coplin refers to bala brahmachari as both a title and a name, and considers that it "identified him as a fully dedicated student of spiritual knowledge and life-long celibate ascetic".[28] Brahmachari Mahesh remained with Swami Brahmananda Saraswati until the latter died in 1953, when he moved to Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand in the Himalayas. He was trusted to take care of the bulk of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati's correspondence without direction, and was also sent out to give public speeches on Vedic (scriptural) themes.[29] Although Brahmachari Mahesh was a close disciple, he could not be the Shankaracharya's spiritual successor because he was not of the Brahmin caste.[30][31] The Shankaracharya, at the end of his life, charged Brahmachari Mahesh with the responsibility of travelling and teaching meditation to the masses, and named Swami Shantananda Saraswati as his successor.[32][33]

Honored with “Proud Past Alumni" in the list of 42 members, from "Allahabad University Alumni Association", NCR, Ghaziabad (Greater Noida) Chapter 2007-2008 registered under society act 1860 with registration no. 407/2000[34].

Tour in India (1955-1957)

In 1955,[9][35][36][37] Brahmachari Mahesh left Uttarkashi and began publicly teaching what he stated was a traditional meditation technique[38] that he learned from his master Brahmananda Saraswati, which he called Transcendental Deep Meditation and later renamed Transcendental Meditation.[39] He travelled around India for two years.[40][41] At that time, he called his movement the Spiritual Development Movement, but renamed it the Spiritual Regeneration Movement in 1957, in Madras, India, on the concluding day of the Seminar of Spiritual Luminaries.[9] According to J. Lynwood King, in his dissertation Fundamentals of Maharishi Vedic Science, the feedback Brahmachari Mahesh received from the diverse population that learned his technique suggested to him that it could be of wide benefit.[42] In his visits to southern India, he spoke in English rather than the Hindi spoken in his home area to avoid provoking resistance among those seeking linguistic self-determination and to appeal to the "learned classes", according to Coplin.[43]

World tours (1958-1968)

In 1959, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi began his first world tour,[9][13] writing: "I had one thing in mind, that I know something which is useful to every man".[7]

The Maharishi's 1986 book, Thirty Years Around the World, gives a detailed account of his world tours, as does a later biography, The Maharishi by Paul Mason.[44] The first world tour began in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) and included the countries of Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and Hawaii.[45][46][47] The Honolulu Star Bulletin reported: "He has no money, he asks for nothing. His worldly possessions can be carried in one hand. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is on a world odyssey. He carries a message that he says will rid the world of all unhappiness and discontent."[48] In 1959, the Maharishi lectured and taught the Transcendental Meditation technique in Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York and London.[13][45][49][50][51]

When the Maharishi came to the U.S. in 1959, his movement was renamed Transcendental Meditation.[7] That same year he began the International Meditation Society with centres in San Francisco and London.[22] Maharishi was a frequent guest at the Los Angeles home of Roland and Helena Olson and their daughter Theresa, who wrote several books about their experiences. He continued to visit the Olsons' home over the next few years.[45][52]

In 1960, the Maharishi travelled to many cities in India, France, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.[53][54] He lectured, taught the Transcendental Meditation technique, and established administrative centres where practitioners could gather for meetings in his absence.[citation needed]

While in Manchester, England, the Maharishi gave a television interview and was featured in many English newspapers such as the Birmingham Post, the Oxford Mail and the Cambridge Daily News.[55] This was also the year in which the Maharishi trained Henry Nyburg to be the first Transcendental Meditation teacher in Europe.[56][57]

In 1961, the Maharishi visited Austria, Sweden, France, Italy, Greece, India, Kenya, England, USA and Canada.[40][58] While in England, the Maharishi appeared on BBC television and gave a lecture to 5,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall in London.[40][59] In April 1961, the Maharishi conducted his first Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course in Rishikesh, India with sixty participants from various countries.[13][60] Teachers continued to be trained as time progressed.[61] During the course, Maharishi began to introduce additional knowledge regarding the development of human potential, and began writing his translation and commentary on the first six chapters of the ancient Vedic text, the Bhagavad Gita.[62][63]

At this time, the Maharishi began to recommend the daily practice of yoga exercises or asanas to accelerate growth through meditation. "For good health it is necessary for everyone to do something with the body so that it remain flexible and normal," Maharishi said. "The advantage of YOGA ASANAS over other eastern and western systems of physical posture is that they do not consume energy. They help restore life force, promote health and maintain normal conditions in the body." His organisation produced an introductory publication on yoga asanas in cooperation with a professor of yoga at the University of Travancore, India, K.B. Hari Krishna.[64]

His 1962 world tour included visits to Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand. The year concluded in California where the Maharishi began dictating his book The Science of Being and Art of Living.[65][66] In Rishikesh, India, beginning on 20 April 1962, a forty-day course was held for "sadhus, sanyasis, and brahmacharis" to introduce TM to "religious preachers and spiritual masters in India".[67]

The Maharishi toured cities in Europe, Asia, North America and India in 1963, and also addressed ministers of the Indian Parliament.[68][69] According to his memoirs, twenty-one members of parliament then issued a public statement endorsing the Maharishi's goals and meditation technique.[70] His Canadian tour[71] generated news articles in the magazine Enjoy and in the Daily Colonist, Calgary Herald and The Albertan.[72]

The Maharishi's fifth world tour, in 1964, consisted of visits to many cities in North America, Europe and India.[73][74] During his visit to England, he appeared with the Abbot of Downside, Abbot Butler, on a BBC television show called "The Viewpoint".[75][76] In October of that year, in California, the Maharishi began teaching the first Advanced Technique of Transcendental Meditation to some experienced meditators.[77][78] While travelling in America, the Maharishi met with Robert Maynard Hutchins, the head of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, and U Thant, the Secretary General of the United Nations.[79][80] During this same year, the Maharishi finished his book The Science of Being and Art of Living, which sold more than a million copies and was published in fifteen languages.[81]

In 1966, the Maharishi founded the Students' International Meditation Society, which The Los Angeles Times later characterised as a "phenomenal success".[9][82]

In 1967, the Maharishi gave a lecture at Caxton Hall in London which was attended by Pattie Boyd, George Harrison's wife,[22] as well as Leon MacLaren, the founder and leader of the School of Economic Science (SES).[29] That same year, an article in Time magazine called the Maharishi the "soothsayer for everyman" and reported that he "has been sharply criticised by other Indian sages, who complain that his program for spiritual peace without either penance or asceticism contravenes every traditional Hindu belief".[83] Religion and culture scholar Sean McCloud says that Newsweek reported that "many Indian sages contend that his rather simplified system of meditation is without basis in the Bhagavad-Gita—the epic poem that is Hinduism’s most exalted scripture". McCloud also writes that Look magazine "asserted that tradition-minded gurus, angrily citing the Bhagavad Gita, say that self-abnegation and suffering along with rigid concentration are the prescribed pathway to Enlightenment", in contrast to the Maharishi's "belief that Enlightenment was compatible with active living and easily available to everyone."[84]

Interaction with The Beatles

In 1967, the Maharishi's fame increased and his movement "really took off" when he became the "spiritual advisor to The Beatles".[81][85] The Beatles met him for the first time in London in August 1967, and studied with him in Bangor, Wales, before travelling to Rishikesh, India in February 1968 to "devote themselves fully to his instruction".[86] Starr and his wife Maureen left after ten days because they missed their children and Ringo’s body was sensitive to the spicy food, perhaps attributable to his childhood illnesses. [86][87][88] McCartney left three weeks later. Both Beatles said later that they enjoyed the ashram experience and planned to continue with their meditation.[89] Lennon and Harrison departed two weeks later after hearing a rumour that the Maharishi had made sexual advances towards Mia Farrow and a few other women.[86][90]

Lennon wrote the song "Maharishi" (with the lines: "what have you done? You made a fool of everyone") as he was leaving.[91] George Harrison argued that the title was disrespectful and possibly libelous.[86][92] The title and lyrics were changed from "Maharishi" to "Sexy Sadie."[86][92] On the Tonight Show a few months later, Lennon said that "We believe in meditation, but not the Maharishi and his scene".[93] McCartney said The Beatles' association with the Maharishi was "a public mistake",[94] and Lennon "an error of judgment".[95][96]

The New York Times and The Independent reported that the influence of the Maharishi, and the journey to Rishikesh to meditate, weaned The Beatles from LSD and inspired them to write many new songs.[22][86] It was "an extraordinary period of creativity for them," during which they wrote almost all of the songs that would appear on both the White Album and Abbey Road, said biographer Barry Miles.[86][89]

Alexis Mardas, head of The Beatles' Apple Electronics, declared the Rishikesh ashram to be luxurious,[82] though Ringo Starr likened it to "a kind of spiritual Butlins",[97] a low-cost British holiday camp. Nancy Cooke de Herrera lists many privations and says, "Dripping pipes, broken windows, and dirty rooms seemed to be the common complaints."[98] She quotes the Maharishi as saying,"Our primitive conditions here are not good enough for Westerners; however, once they get into the bliss of good meditation, all else will be unimportant."[99]

Neil Aspinall, The Beatles' road manager, recalled his opinion in reference to obtaining rights for a feature film that, "This guy knows more about making deals than I do. He's really into scoring, the Maharishi".[82]

The New York Times reported in 2008 that Harrison and McCartney reconsidered the accusations. McCartney said that the rumours of sexual impropriety were raised by Alexis Mardas who "had agendas of his own, and may have fabricated (or at least exaggerated) the story".[86] In a press conference on April 3, 2009, prior to his performance at the David Lynch Foundation benefit concert "Change Begins Within", Paul McCartney commented that Transcendental Meditation was a gift The Beatles had received from Maharishi at a time when they were looking for something to stabilise them.[100] Harrison commented, "Now, historically, there's the story that something went on that shouldn't have done — but nothing did".[101] Farrow's autobiography is ambiguous about the incident: she describes "panicking" and fleeing after the Maharishi put his arms around her in a dark cave, immediately after a private meditation session.[102] Deepak Chopra, who met and became a "disciple of the Maharishi's" in the 1990s before later splitting, said in 2008 that the Maharishi had a "falling out with the rock stars when he discovered them using drugs".[85][103][104] In their obituaries of the Maharishi, Rolling Stone and Bloomberg news service stated that the rumour of impropriety was "unfounded" and never proven.[7][105][106] Yoko Ono said in 2008 that if Lennon were alive he probably would have reconciled with the Maharishi.[105]

Further growth of his TM movement (1968-1990)

The Maharishi during a 1979 visit to Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

In 1968, the Maharishi announced that he would stop his "public activities" and instead begin the training of TM teachers at his new global headquarters in Seelisberg, Switzerland.[82]

In 1970, the Maharishi held a TM teacher training course at a Victorian hotel located in Poland Springs, Maine with 1,200 participants. Later that year, he held a similar four-week course at Humboldt State College in Arcata, California. About 1,500 people attended and it was described as a "sort of a crash program to train transcendental teachers".[107] Following tax troubles in India, he moved his headquarters to Italy and then to Austria.[106] That same year, the City of Hope Foundation in Los Angeles gave the Maharishi their "Man of Hope" award.[108]

In 1971, the Maharishi held a press conference with American inventor, Buckminster Fuller, in Amherst Massachusetts.[109][110]

A 1972, a TM training course was given by the Maharishi at Queens University and attended by 1,000 young people from all over the USA and Canada. At the start of the course the Maharishi encouraged the attendees to improve their appearance by getting haircuts and wearing ties.[111]

In March 1973, Maharishi addressed the legislature of the state of Illinois. That same year, the legislature passed a resolution in support of the use of Maharishi’s Science of Creative Intelligence in Illinois public schools.[112][113]

In 1974, Maharishi International University was founded. In October 1975, the Maharishi was pictured on the front cover of Time magazine. He made his last visit to the Spiritual Regeneration Movement centre in Los Angeles in 1975, according to film director David Lynch, who met him for the first time there.[114]

In 1975, the Maharishi embarked on a five-continent trip to inaugurate what he called "the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment". The Maharishi said the purpose of the inaugural tour was to "go around the country and give a gentle whisper to the population".[115][116] He visited Ottawa during this tour and had a private meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, during which he spoke about the principles of TM and "the possibility of structuring an ideal society."[117] [118][119] That same year, the Pittsburg Press reported that “The Maharishi has been criticised by other Eastern yogis for simplifying their ancient art.”[120] The Maharishi appeared as a guest on The Merv Griffin Show in 1975 and again in 1977 and this resulted in "tens of thousands of new practitioners” around the USA.[9][121][122][123]

In the mid 1970s, the Maharishi's U.S. movement was operating 370 TM centres manned by 6,000 TM teachers.[7] At that time, the Maharishi also began approaching the business community via an organisation called the American Foundation for SCI (AFSCI), whose objective was to eliminate stress for business professionals. The Maharishi's message was a promise of "increased creativity and flexibility, increased productivity, improved job satisfaction, improved relations with supervisors and co-workers".[115] His TM movement came to be increasingly structured along the lines of a multinational corporation.[82]

The Maharishi's headquarters in Seelisberg, Switzerland

The teaching of TM and the Science of Creative Intelligence in a New Jersey public school was stopped when a US court, in 1977, declared the movement to be religious, and ruled adoption of TM by public organisations in breach of the separation of church and state (First Amendment).[124]

During the 1980s, the organisation continued to expand despite making claims that grew more and more outlandish and accusations of fraud from disaffected former disciples.[82] However, his meditation technique continued to attract celebrities.[7]

The Maharishi made a number of property investments with the funds he amassed. In England, he bought Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire, Roydon Hall in Maidstone, Swythamley Park in the Peak District and a Georgian rectory in Suffolk.[82] In the United States, resorts and hotels, many in city centres, were purchased to be used as TM training centres. Doug Henning and the Maharishi planned a magical Vedic amusement park, Vedaland, and bought large tracts of land near Orlando, Florida and Niagara Falls, Ontario to host the park. The Maharishi commissioned plans from a prominent architect for the world's tallest building, a Vedic-style pyramid to be built in São Paulo, Brazil, and to be filled with Yogic Flyers and other TM endeavours.[125] In later years, the Maharishi directed the purchase of properties in locations such as islands and land at the geographic centre of the continental United States and other countries.[citation needed]

In January 1988, the Maharishi's offices in India were raided by Indian police, who reportedly confiscated cash, securities and jewels. News reports varied widely as to the dollar value of the goods seized. One source said $500,000,[126] while two others put the figure at $60,000 and $30,000, respectively.[127][128] A fourth newspaper article, quoting Maharishi's Age of Enlightenment News Service[129] reported that nothing at all of value was confiscated.[130] The raid occurred amidst a conflict with authorities over taxes and the movement was accused of lying about expenses.[131] The Maharishi moved out of India following the tax audit.[132] That same year the Maharishi created a "Master Plan to Create Heaven on Earth", a plan for reduced crime, longer life spans and increased prosperity and happiness.[106] Following an earthquake in Armenia, the Maharishi trained Russian TM teachers and set up a Maharishi Ayurveda training center in the Urals region.[133]

Years in Vlodrop (1991-2008)

The Maharishi in 2007
The Maharishi's headquarters at MERU, Holland
A detail of the Maharishi's headquarters

In 1990, the Maharishi relocated his headquarters from Seelisberg, Switzerland to a former Franciscan monastery in Vlodrop, the Netherlands, which became known as MERU, Holland on account of the Maharishi European Research University (MERU) campus there.[104][134] A building, called the "largest wooden structure" in the Netherlands, was built for Maharishi, reportedly at "vast expense".[135] During his time in Vlodrop, he communicated to the public mainly via video and the internet. He also created a subscription-based, satellite TV channel, called Veda Vision, which broadcast content in twenty-two languages and 144 countries.[82]

In 1991, the Maharishi called Washington D.C. a "pool of mud" after a decade of attempts to lower the rate of crime in the city, which had the second-largest TM community in the US. He told his followers to leave and save themselves from its "criminal atmosphere".[136] The Maharishi is believed to have made his final public appearance in 1991, in Maastricht, the Netherlands.[135] Deepak Chopra, described as "one of the Maharishi's top assistants before he launched his own career",[9] wrote that the Maharishi collapsed in 1991 with kidney and pancreas failure, that the illness was kept secret by the Maharishi's family and that he tended to Maharishi during a year-long recovery. According to Chopra, the Maharishi accused him, in July 1993, of trying to compete for the position of guru and asked him to stop travelling and writing books, which led to Chopra's decision to leave the movement in January 1994.[137]According to Mozambique's President Chissano, the result of inviting the Maharishi to Maputo in 1992 was balance and peace.[138]

The Maharishi inaugurated the Natural Law Party (NLP) as a means for achieving a "natural government" to enact his plans.[106] His adherents, led by Maharishi University of Management president Bevan Morris, founded the NLP in 1992.[139] It was active in forty-two countries.[140] John Hagelin, the NLP's three-time candidate for U.S. president, denied any formal connection between the Maharishi and the party.[141] The chief plank in the NLP's platform was funding the Maharishi's plan for thousands of Yogic Flyers who could create the Maharishi Effect and thereby insure invincibility for every nation.[142] According to spokesman Bob Roth, "The Maharishi has said the party has to grow to encompass everyone".[140] Critics charged that the party was an effort to recruit people for Transcendental Meditation,[143] and that it resembled "the political arm of an international corporation" more than a "home-grown political creation".[144] The Indian arm of the NLP, the Ajeya Bharat Party, achieved electoral success, winning one seat in a state assembly in 1998.[145] The Maharishi shut down the political effort in 2004, saying, "I had to get into politics to know what is wrong there."[146]

In 1992, the Maharishi began to send groups of Yogic Flyers to India, America, China and Brazil in an effort to increase global peace through a "coherent world consciousness".[106]

In 2000, the Maharishi founded the Global Country of World Peace (GCWP) "to create global world peace by unifying all nations in happiness, prosperity, invincibility and perfect health, while supporting the rich diversity of our world family".[18][147] The Maharishi crowned Tony Nader as the Maharaja (king) of the GCWP in 2000. The GCWP unsuccessfully attempted to establish a sovereign microstate when it offered USD 1.3 billion to the President of Suriname for a 200-year lease of 3,500 acres (14 km2) of land and in 2002, attempted to choose a king for the Talamanca, a "remote Indian reservation" in Costa Rica.[148][149]

In 2001, followers of the Maharishi founded Maharishi Vedic City a few miles north of Fairfield, Iowa in the United States. This new city requires that the construction of its homes and buildings be done according to the Maharishi Sthapatya Veda principles of "harmony with nature".[150]

In a 2002 appearance on the CNN show, Larry King Live, the first time in twenty-five years that the Maharishi had appeared in the mainstream media, he said "Transcendental Meditation is something that can be defined as a means to do what one wants to do in a better way, a right way, for maximum results".[81] It was occasioned by the reissue of the Maharishi's book The Science of Being and Art of Living.[151] That same year, the Maharishi Global Financing Research Foundation issued the "RAAM" as a currency "dedicated to financing peace promoting projects".[82]

In 2003, David Lynch began a fundraising project to raise USD 1 billion "on behalf of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi" to build a meditation centre large enough to hold 8,000 skilled practitioners.[152]

The Maharishi ordered a suspension of TM training in Britain in 2005 due to his opposition to Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to support the Iraq War.[153] The Maharishi said that he did not want to waste the "beautiful nectar" of TM on a "scorpion nation".[153][154] He lifted the ban after Blair's resignation in 2007.[155]

In 2007, the GCWP purchased the American Bank Note Company Building near the New York Stock Exchange for its Maharishi Global Financial Capital. Its purpose is to create funding that will support the construction of 3,000 "peace palaces" around the world.[7]

During this period, sceptics were critical of some of the Maharishi's programmes, such as a $10 trillion plan to end poverty through organic farming in poor countries and a $1 billion plan to use meditation groups to end conflict.[104] In 2008, BBC news reported that "The Maharishi's commercial mantras drew criticism from stricter Hindus, but his promises of better health, stress relief and spiritual enlightenment drew devotees from all over the world".[95][156]

Swami Swaroopananda, one of the people who claim to be[157] Brahmananda Saraswati's undisputed successor, told a German filmmaker in 2010 that "Mahesh Yogi instigated [Swami] Shantanand [Saraswati] to fight the court case" and that as a member of the trader class and Saraswati's bookkeeper, the Maharishi had no right to teach meditation or to give mantras, and that "Gurus don't sell their knowledge, they share it."[23][158] Other sources say that Maharishi worked closely with the Shankaracharya and was considered a "great disciple" and his "right (hand) man".[21][159] According to biographer Paul Mason, Swami Shantanand Saraswati (whom Brahmananda Saraswati had named as his successor) "publicly commended the practice of the Maharishi's meditation," referring to it as a 'master key to the knowledge of Vedanta.'[160] Sociologist J.R Coplin, who conducted interviews in India as part of his research on the TM organisation, says that Swami Shantanand's successor as Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Swami Vishnudevanand, "speaks highly of Maharishi and sees his teaching as a reflection of their master's (Brahmananda Saraswati)".[161]


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on 12 January 2005

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, concerned about his health,[162] became increasingly secluded in two rooms of his residence.[104] He communicated with even his closest advisors by closed-circuit television.[18]

On January 12, 2008, the Maharishi declared: "It has been my pleasure at the feet of Guru Dev (Brahmananda Saraswati), to take the light of Guru Dev and pass it on in my environment. Now today, I am closing my designed duty to Guru Dev. And I can only say, 'Live long the world in peace, happiness, prosperity, and freedom from suffering.'"[163][164][165]

A week before his death, the Maharishi said that he was "stepping down as leader of the TM movement" and "retreating into silence" and that he planned to spend his remaining time studying "the ancient Indian texts".[81][85] Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes on February 5, 2008 at his residence in Vlodrop, Netherlands.[166] The cremation and funeral rites were conducted at the Maharishi's Allahabad ashram in India, overlooking the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.[167][168] The funeral, with state honours,[169] was carried by Sadhana TV station and was presided over by one of the claimants to the seat of Shankaracharya of the North, Swami Vasudevananda Saraswati Maharaj.[citation needed] Also in attendance were state and local officials, thirty-five Rajas of the Global Country of World Peace, one-time disciple Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and David Lynch.[170] A troop of uniformed policemen lowered their arms in salute.[170] A memorial building, the Maharishi Smarak, is now under construction near the same site. With a projected height of about 80 feet (24 m) and a golden roof topped with kalashas, it is expected to be "visible everywhere from the city of Prayag (Allahabad)".[171][172]

The Maharishi was survived by a number of nephews and nieces.[173] One nephew, Brahmachari Girish Chandra Varma, is chairman of the Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools Group,[174] president of Maharishi Institute of Management, chancellor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Vedic University and chancellor of Maharishi University of Management and Technology in India. Varma is also Director General of Maharishi World Centre of Gandharva Ved and Maharishi World Capital of Peace, Brahmasthan of India.[175][176][177] Other nephews include Anand Shrivastava, chairman of the Maharishi Group,[178][179] and Ajay Prakash Shrivastava, president of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools.[180][181]

After his death, Indian spiritual guru and former disciple Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, said "Maharishi laid the foundation for a new world based on the knowledge of Vedas and spirituality" and that "there was none like him and none shall ever be again." Paul McCartney also commented saying that "Whilst I am deeply saddened by his passing, my memories of him will only be joyful ones. He was a great man who worked tirelessly for the people of the world and the cause of unity."[182]

Public image

The Maharishi was reported to be an entrepreneur, a monk and "a spiritual man who sought a world stage from which to espouse the joys of inner happiness". [12] Diminutive at a little over five feet tall, the Maharishi was often wore a traditional cotton or silk, white dhoti and carrying or wearing flowers.[18] He often sast cross-legged on a deerskin and had a "grayish-white beard, mustache and long, dark, stringy hair".[18][183] Barry Miles described the Maharishi as having "liquid eyes, twinkling but inscrutable with the wisdom from the East".[89] Miles said the Maharishi was a man in his seventies who looked much younger than his age.[184] He had a high-pitched voice.[184] Newspapers, detractors, and even followers began often referred to him as the "Giggling Guru", in part due to his habit of laughing during television interviews.[153][185] TV personality Merv Griffin described him as having "a long flowing beard and a distinctive, high pitched laugh that I loved to provoke".[123]

The Maharishi attracted scepticism because of his involvement with wealthy celebrities, his business acumen, and his love of luxury, such as his habit of touring in a Rolls-Royce.[82] However, others have noted his comparative moderation, personally and financially. Said an Economist obituary: "He did not use his money for sinister ends. He neither drank, nor smoked, nor took drugs. . . . . He did not accumulate scores of Rolls-Royces, like Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh; his biggest self-indulgence was a helicopter."[186][187] And the Maharishi is also credited with helping to "inspire the anti-materialism of the late 60s".[13] When some observers questioned how his organisation’s money was being used, the Maharishi said, "It goes to support the centres, it does not go on me. I have nothing."[188]

Private Eye ridiculed the guru as "Veririchi Lottsa Money Yogi Bear".[22] The Maharishi was also parodied by comedians Bill Dana and Joey Forman in the 1968 comedy album "The Mashuganishi Yogi",[189] and by comedian Mike Myers in the film The Love Guru[190] and in the character "Guru Maharishi Yogi" featured in the BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me.[citation needed]

Scientist and futurist Buckminister Fuller, after spending two days on the stage with Maharishi at a symposium at the University of Massachusetts in 1971, said, "You could not meet with Maharishi without recognizing instantly his integrity. You look in his eyes and there it is."[191]

Philosophy and teaching

When the Maharishi first began teaching he had three main aims: to revive the spiritual tradition in India, that meditation was for everyone and not just for recluses, and to show that Vedanta is compatible with science.[192] The Maharishi had a message of happiness, writing in 1967, that "being happy is of the utmost importance. Success in anything is through happiness. Under all circumstances be happy. Just think of any negativity that comes at you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss".[81] His philosophy featured the concept that "within everyone is an unlimited reservoir of energy, intelligence, and happiness".[13] He emphasised the naturalness of his meditation technique as a simple way of developing this potential.[193]

He also taught that practising Transcendental Meditation twice a day would create inner peace and that "mass meditation sessions" could create outer peace by reducing violence and war.[81] According to a TM website, the performance of yagyas by 7,000 pandits in India, plus hundreds of Yogic Flyers in Germany, brought "coherence and unity in the collective consciousness of Germany" and caused the fall of the Berlin Wall.[194] One religion scholar, Michael York, considers the Maharishi to have been the most articulate spokesman for the spiritual argument that a critical mass of people becoming enlightened through the practice of "meditation and yogic discipline" will trigger the New Age movement's hoped-for period of postmillennial "peace, harmony, and collective consciousness".[195]

Religious studies scholar Carl Olson writes that the TM technique was based on "a neo-Vedanta metaphysical philosophy in which an unchanging reality is opposed to an ever-changing phenomenal world" and that the Maharishi says it is not necessary to renounce worldly activities to gain enlightenment, unlike other ascetic traditions.[193]

Some religious studies scholars have further said that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is one of a number of Indian gurus who brought neo-Hindu adaptations of Vedantic Hinduism to the west.[196][197][198] Author Meera Nanda calls neo-Hinduism "the brand of Hinduism that is taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Deepak Chopra, and their clones".[199] J.R. Coplin, a sociologist and MIU graduate, says that the Maharishi saw his own purpose as "the 'revival' of the knowledge of an integrated life based upon Vedic principles and Vedantist reality".[28]

Author Barry Miles writes that, in spite of the media's scepticism for the Maharishi's spiritual message, they seized upon him because young people seemed to listen to his pro-establishment, anti-drug message.[89]

Transcendental Meditation

During a CNN interview in 2002, the Maharishi said "Transcendental meditation is something that can be defined as a means to do what one wants to do in a better way, a right way, for maximum results".[81] Over a thirty-year period, the Maharishi held many advanced, in-residence courses and assemblies in North America, India and Europe for practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique. These courses consisted of long meditation sessions, lectures by Maharishi, discussions based on personal experiences of meditation, questions from course participants, and organisational meetings. This type of in-residence course style continues to this day.[200] By the time of his death, there were nearly 1,000 TM training centres around the world.[82]

In the mid 1970s, the Maharishi began the TM-Sidhi programme, including Yogic Flying, as an additional option for those who had been practising the Transcendental Meditation technique for some time. According to Coplin, this new aspect of knowledge emphasised not only the individual, but also the collective benefits created by group practice of this advanced programme.[201] This new programme gave rise to a new principle called the Maharishi Effect, which is said to "create coherence in the collective consciousness" and to suppress crime, violence, and accidents.[202]

Maharishi Vedic Science

Entrance to the Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic University campus in Vlodrop, Holland

Maharishi Vedic Science, or MVS, is based on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's interpretation of the ancient Vedic texts. MVS includes two aspects, the practical aspect of the Transcendental Meditation technique and the TM-Sidhi programme, as well as the theoretical aspect of how MVS is applied to day to day living.[203]

These applications include programmes in: Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health (MVAH);[204][205] Maharishi Sthapatya Veda, a mathematical system for the design and construction of buildings; Maharishi Gandharva Veda,[206][207] a form of classical Indian music; Maharishi Jyotish (also known as Maharishi Vedic Astrology),[207][208] a system claiming the evaluation of life tendencies of an individual; Maharishi Vedic Agriculture, a trademarked process for producing fresh, organic food; and Consciousness-Based Education.[209]

According to educator James Grant, a former Maharishi University of Management Associate Professor of Education and the former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Maharishi brought out a "full revival of the Vedic tradition of knowledge from India" and demonstrated its relevance in many areas including education, business, medicine and government.[210]


The Maharishi has written more than twenty books on the Transcendental Meditation technique and Maharishi Vedic Science.[211]

In 1955, the organisers of The Great Spiritual Development Conference of Kerala published The Beacon Light of the Himalayas, a transcribed, 170-page, "souvenir" of the conference. Authors Chryssides, Humes and Forsthoefel, Miller, and Russel cite this as the Maharishi's first published book on Transcendental Meditation, although Transcendental Meditation is not mentioned in the text of the book.[212][213][214][215][216] The book is dedicated to Maharshi Bala Brahmachari Mahesh Yogi Rajaram by his devotees of Kerala and contains photographs, letters and lectures by numerous authors which appear in various languages such as English, Hindi and Sanskrit.[212]

The Maharishi audiotaped the text of the book Science of Being and Art of Living, which was later transcribed and published in fifteen languages in 1963.[81][217][218] The book is described by its author as "the summation of both the practical wisdom" of "Vedic Rishis" and the "scientific thinking" of the "Western world".[219]

In his 1967 publication, Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation and Commentary, the Maharishi describes the Bhagavad Gita as "the Scripture of Yoga". He says that "its purpose is to explain in theory and practice all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level."[220] In 1964, the Maharishi attended the All-India Yogic Conference held in Calcutta, India, where he said that the teachings contained in the Bhagavad Gita were misunderstood in the current age, and "the practice of yoga was misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misapplied", resulting in "weakness in the fields of thought and action".[221] The Maharishi said that the source of his commentary was his master: "We are just an innocent means for the spontaneous flow of that knowledge—that's all."[222] Authors Douglas E. Cowan and David G. Bromley write that the Maharishi did not claim any "special divine revelation nor supernatural personal qualities".[223]

Other initiatives, projects and programmes

Maharishi International University (renamed Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in 1995), the first university Maharishi founded, began classes in Santa Barbara, California, in 1973. In 1974 the university moved to Fairfield, Iowa, where it remains today. The university houses a library of the Maharishi's taped lectures and writings, including the thirty-three-lesson Science of Creative Intelligence course, originally a series of lectures given by the Maharishi in Fiuggi, Italy, in 1972. Described in the MUM university catalogue as combining modern science and Vedic science,[224] the course also defines certain higher states of consciousness, and gives guidance on how to attain these states.[42]

The Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools (MVMS), an educational system established in sixteen Indian states and affiliated with the New Delhi Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), was founded in 1995 by the Maharishi.[225] It has 148 branches in 118 cities with 90,000 to 100,000 students and 5,500 teaching and support staff.[226]

In 1998, Maharishi Open University was founded by the Maharishi. It was accessible via a network of eight satellites broadcasting to every country in the world, and via the Internet.[227]

The Maharishi also introduced theories of management, defence, and government,[42] programmes designed to alleviate poverty, and introduced a new economic development currency called the RAAM.[228] In 2000, the Maharishi began building administrative and teaching centres called "Peace Palaces" around the world, and by 2008 at least eight had been constructed in the US alone.[229]

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in his farewell message on January 11, 2008, announced the establishment of the Brahmananda Saraswati Trust (BST), named in honour of his teacher, to support large groups totalling more than 30,000 peace-creating Vedic Pandits in perpetuity across India.[230] According to Bevan Morris, the Prime Minister of the Global Country of World Peace, the BST is an endowment fund to "support the Vedic Pandits to perform Yagyas and Graha Shanti for all 192 countries of the world generation after generation".[163] The Patron of the Brahmanand Saraswati Trust is the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math.[163]

Organisations and businesses

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is credited with heading charitable organisations, for-profit businesses, and real estate investments whose total value has been estimated at US$ 2 to 5 billion. The real estate alone was valued in 2003 at between $3.6 and $5 billion.[231] Holdings in the United States, estimated at $250 million in 2008, include dozens of hotels, commercial buildings and undeveloped land.[229] The Maharishi Group, an international conglomerate created by the Maharishi in 1959, is controlled by members of the Maharishi's family including his nephew, Anand Shrivastava (also spelled Srivastava).[178] The group, which includes schools, solar power factories, health supplements, organic farms, software, jewelry, and many other businesses, was reported in 1999 to be worth $700 million.[232] The Maharishi "amassed a personal fortune that his spokesman told one reporter may exceed $1 billion".[233] According to a 2008 article in The Times, the Maharishi "was reported to have an income of six million pounds".[82] The Maharishi's "worldwide network" is primarily financed by course fees for Transcendental Meditation as well as real estate holdings and donations.[234]

In his biography of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Story of the Maharishi (published 1976), William Jefferson suggests that the financial aspect of the TM organisation was one of the greatest controversies it faced. He says the paradox that a movement whose concern is spiritual growth should have generated so much controversy about finances is unfortunate, and notes that other organisations handled finances differently from the TM organisation. Jefferson says that the concerns with money came from journalists more than those who have learned to meditate. The controversy circled around the Maharishi's mission, the comments from leaders of the movement at that time, and fees and charges the TM organisation made. According to Jefferson, Maharishi said in response to concerns about finances in the TM organisation that, "Money is never on my mind. When I created the world plan to establish centres in every country on earth, I didn’t consider whether we had the necessary money to do it, I saw only the possibility…". The Maharishi also said, "We cannot take away the economic aspects of the movement…even though my message concerns the non-economic fulfilment of life. If initiations were free we could not cover the overhead for spreading the movement through out the world."[235] According to The Times obituary, the Maharishi said he had no interest in wealth: "It goes to support the centres, it does not go on me. I have nothing."[82]

Notable followers

According to the movement, four to six million people have been trained in the TM technique since 1959. Among the notable practitioners (see full list in main article noted above): The Beatles, David Lynch, John Hagelin, Mia Farrow, and Doug Henning. Followers who became spiritual teachers or self-help authors include Deepak Chopra, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, John Gray, and Barbara De Angelis.[citation needed]

Published works

  • Beacon Light of the Himalayas, Azad Printers, 1955
  • Meditation : easy system propounded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi., International Meditation Centre, 1962
  • Science of Being and Art of Living – Transcendental Meditation, Allied Publishers, 1963 ISBN 0-452-28266-7
  • Love and God, Spiritual Regeneration Movement, 1965
  • Yoga asanas, Spiritual Regeneration Movement, 1965
  • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita – A New Translation and Commentary, Chapters 1-6, Arkana 1967 ISBN 0-14-019247-6
  • Meditations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Bantam books, 1968
  • Alliance for knowledge, Maharishi International University, 1974
  • Creating an ideal society: a global undertaking, International Association for the Advancement of the Science of Creative Intelligence, 1976
  • Results of scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program, MERU Press, 1976
  • Enlightenment to every individual, invincibility to every nation, Age of Enlightenment, 1978 ISBN 99911-608-9-2
  • Freedom behind bars: enlightenment to every individual and invincibility to every nation, International Association for the Advancement of the Science of Creative Intelligence, 1978
  • Dawn of the age of enlightenment, MVU Press, 1986 ISBN 9789071750021
  • Life supported by natural law : discovery of the Unified Field of all the laws of nature and the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, Age of Enlightenment Press, 1986 ISBN 9780891860518
  • Thirty years around the world: dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, Maharishi Vedic University, 1986 ISBN 9789071750014
  • Maharishi's Programme to create world peace: global inauguration, Age of Enlightenment Press, 1987 ISBN 9780891860525
  • Maharishi's master plan to create heaven on earth, Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1991 ISBN 9789071750113
  • A Proven program for our criminal justice system: Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and Corrections, Maharishi International University, 1993
  • Vedic knowledge for everyone: Maharishi Vedic University, an introduction, Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1994 ISBN 90-71750-17-5
  • Maharishi's Absolute Theory of Government – Automation in Administration, Maharishi Prakshan, 1995 ISBN 81-7523-002-9
  • Maharishi University of Management – Wholeness on the Move, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1995 ISBN 81-7523-001-0
  • Constitution of India Fulfilled through Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1996 ISBN 81-7523-004-5
  • Inaugurating Maharishi Vedic University, Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1996 ISBN 978-81-7523-006-4
  • Maharishi's Absolute Theory of Defence – Sovereignty in Invincibility, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1996 ISBN 81-7523-000-2
  • Celebrating Perfection in Education – Dawn of Total Knowledge, Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1997 ISBN 81-7523-013-4
  • Maharishi Forum of Natural Law and National Law for Doctors – Perfect Health for Everyone, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1997 ISBN 81-7523-003-7
  • Maharishi Speaks to Educators – Mastery Over Natural Law, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1997 ISBN 81-7523-008-8
  • Maharishi Speaks to Students – Mastery Over Natural Law, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1997 ISBN 81-7523-012-6
  • Celebrating Perfection in Administration, Maharishi Vedic University, 1998 ISBN 81-7523-015-0
  • Ideal India – The Lighthouse of Peace on Earth, Maharishi University of Management, 2001 ISBN 90-806005-1-2
  • The master speaks, World Pacific Records, 1967


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  3. ^ Chryssides George D. Defining the New Spirituality One possible suggestion is that religion demands exclusive allegiance: this would ipso facto exclude Scientology, TM and the Soka Gakkai simply on the grounds that they claim compatibility with whatever other religion the practitioner has been following. For example, TM is simply – as they state – a technique. Although it enables one to cope with life, it offers no goal beyond human existence (such as moksha), nor does it offer rites or passage or an ethic. Unlike certain other Hindu-derived movements, TM does not prescribe a dharma to its followers – that is to say a set of spiritual obligations deriving from one’s essential nature.
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  15. ^ "Gifts of the Global Country of World Peace: Education Products Services". Archived from the original on 2010-08-28. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  16. ^ a b Coplin, J.R. (1990). "Chapter Two: Socio-Historical Context for SRM's Emergence". Text and Context in the Communication of a Social Movement's Charisma, Ideology, and Consciousness: TM for India and the West (Ph.D. thesis). University of California, San Diego. p. Footnote #73. "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's caste background is a matter of some uncertainty because it is the tradition of yogis, ascetics, and renunciants to relinquish their family ties. His education and family status are known by many long-time movement members, however. Shrivastava is the family name of his cousins and nephews, and that name can be traced to the Hindu Kayasthas." 
  17. ^ Humes, C.A. (2005). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Beyond the T.M. Technique". In Forsthoefel, Thomas A.; Humes, Cynthia Ann. Gurus in America. SUNY Press. p. 61. ISBN 079146573X. 
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  20. ^[unreliable source?]
  21. ^ a b Kalambakal, Jupiter (February 6, 2008). "Transcendental Meditation Founder Maharishi Dies". All Headline News. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  22. ^ a b c d e Leigh, Spencer (February 7, 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Spiritual leader who introduced millions, including the Beatles, to transcendental meditation". The Independent (London). 
  23. ^ a b Simon, Alyssa (February 14, 2010). "David Wants to Fly". Variety. 
  24. ^ Coplin, J.R. (1990) p. 48 Note: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi . . . was most likely born into a family of Hindu Kayasthas, a well known and high status literary caste of Hindustan - with reference to varna, a kshatryia not a brahmin jati.
  25. ^ "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". Encyclopedia of World Biography (2nd ed ed.). Gale Research. 1998. 
  26. ^ Coplin (1990) Ch.2, fn 74
  27. ^ Mason, Paul (1994). The Maharishi—The Biography of the Man Who Gave Transcendental Meditation to the World. Shaftsbury, Dorset: Element Books Ltd.. p. 17. ISBN 1-85230-571-1. 
  28. ^ a b c Coplin, J.R. (1990). "Chapter Three: SRM as Cultural Revitalization Text". Text and Context in the Communication of a Social Movement's Charisma, Ideology, and Consciousness: TM for India and the West (Ph.D. thesis). University of California, San Diego. "While his association with the illustrious Shankaracharya tradition served as vital letter of introduction throughout India, his title, "bala brahmachari" identified him as a fully dedicated student of spiritual knowledge and life-long celibate ascetic. Literally, the name means "childhood or boy" (bala) "student of sacred knowledge" (brahmachari), and it has signified from Vedic times one who has taken the vow of chastity." 
  29. ^ a b Mason (1994) p. 22
  30. ^ Williamson, Lola (2010). Transcendent in America. New York University Press. p. 84. ISBN 9780814794494. "Guru Dev represented the tradition well, for he did not allow anyone who was not of the Brahmin varna, the caste of the priesthood, to teach. Since Mahesh was born into a scribe caste (kayastha), he was not allowed to join the order of monks. Thus when Saraswati died in Calcutta in 1953, Mahesh would not have been considered a candidate to replace him." 
  31. ^ Coplin, J.R. (1990) p. 49 Note: "Because he was not a brahmin, Mahesh could not become a member of the dandi sannyasi order and succeed his master as Shankaracharya; the honor passed to Swami Shantanand Saraswati in June, 1953." (This from an interview by the author with the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Swami Vishnudevananda Saraswati on June 12, 1983.)
  32. ^ "Obituary: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". BBC News. February 6, 2008. 
  33. ^ Mason (1994) pp. 23-24
  34. ^ "He is Proud Past Alumni Allahabad University". Allahabad university Alumni Association web page say
  35. ^ AP (February 5, 2008). "Beatles guru dies in Netherlands". USA Today. 
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  38. ^ Rooney, Ben (February 6, 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru to Beatles, dies". The Telegraph (London). 
  39. ^ Russell, Peter (1977). The T.M. Technique: An Introduction to Transcendental Meditation and the Teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 9780710085399. 
  40. ^ a b c Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986). Thirty Years Around the World: Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment. Maharishi Vedic University Press. p. 199. ISBN 9071750027. [Need quotation to verify]
  41. ^ Mason (1994) pp. 27-34
  42. ^ a b c King, Jeams Lynwood (2007). Fundamentals of Maharishi Vedic Science (Thesis). Maharishi University of Management. pp. 14–15. [Need quotation to verify]
  43. ^ Coplin, J.R. (1990). "Chapter Two: Socio-Historical Context for SRM's Emergence". Text and Context in the Communication of a Social Movement's Charisma, Ideology, and Consciousness: TM for India and the West (Ph.D. thesis). University of California, San Diego. "In South India Maharishi spoke in English because his Hindi would not only be little understood outside of the North, but it would provoke hostility among many who were fighting for linguistic self-determination in the period immediately following Independence. The use of English, however, had greater connotations, as it presumed an audience of Indians familiar with British administration and education. More significantly, it appealed to the "learned classes," mostly brahmins, but also lower caste officials whose families had escaped their more humble backgrounds by means of acquiring an English education." 
  44. ^ Mason (1994)
  45. ^ a b c Devi, Priya (February 21, 2008). "Naturally In Self; Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". One India. 
  46. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 237 "Summary 1958: The first countries he visited on his first world tour were Burma, Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and the USA (Hawaii)."
  47. ^ Mason, p. 34 (1994)
  48. ^ Mason, p. 37 (1994) "He has no money; he asks for nothing. His worldly possessions can be carried in one hand. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is on a world odyssey. He carries a message that he says will rid the world of all unhappiness and discontent..."
  49. ^ Mason, pp.41 - 46 (1994)
  50. ^ Blume, Mary (July 8, 1995). "A Little Meditation on the Bottom Line". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2004-04-25. [dead link]
  51. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 275 "Summary 1959: In January Maharishi travelled to the [mainland] USA for the first time, establishing the movement in Hawaii and then moving on to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Towards the end of the year, he once again visited Hawaii, the flew to the East Coast cities of Boston and New York"
  52. ^ Olson, Helena, Hermit in the House, p.44, Los Angeles, 1967[unreliable source?]
  53. ^ Mason, pp. 52-54 (1994)
  54. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) pp. 318-320 Note: The source contains a 3-page itinerary of 40+ cities visited by the Maharishi with corresponding dates of visit ranging from 1/1/60 and 12/30/60, "Summary 1960: Maharishi brought TM to the countries of Europe and in his many lectures in England, Scotland, Norway, and Germany he...""In the first half of the year he visited France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany." "...then travelled to the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Denmark and Sweden."
  55. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 305 "In Manchester, Maharishi gave a television interview which reached millions of people in the north of England" "In Cambridge, the Daily News carried headline: 'Maharishi shows a simple method of meditation', while the Oxford Mail reporter who asked Maharishi ...."
  56. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 302 "Maharishi made Henry Nyburg his personal representative for Europe and gave him the training and authority to teach Transcendental Meditation, thus making him the first European teacher."
  57. ^ Mason, p. 52 (1994)
  58. ^ Mason, pp. 54-55 (1994)
  59. ^ Mason, p. 55 (1994)
  60. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) pp. 318-344 "From Chapter Titled '1961' pg 328 "The following day, BBC Television interviewed Maharishi and chose as the setting for the interview the Acropolis, one of the glories of ancient Greece." "On 20 April Maharishi inaugurated..."Maharishi then conducted the first international course to train teacher of TM" "The graduation ceremony of the course was held on 12 July and 60 new teachers of TM returned to their countries...."
  61. ^ Seven-step course in How to Learn the Transcendental Meditation program[dead link]
  62. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 400 " was on this course that Maharishi started his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita--a commentary later to be published..."
  63. ^ Mason, p. 62, 69 (1994)
  64. ^ Mason, p. 59 (1994)
  65. ^ Mason, p. 62 (1994)
  66. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 490-491 and p.503 "And in the final days of 1962, in the silent surroundings of Lake Arrowhead, California, Maharishi brought out yet another gift for the world--The Science of Being and Art of Living--a treasury of pure knowledge to guide mankind in its evolution to perfection."
  67. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 414 "Chapter Titled "1962": On 20 April, Maharishi in the presence of His Holiness Swami Shantanand Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of northern India, inaugurated a special course" "In the Prospectus, this special 40-day course was announced for 'sadhus, sannyasis and brahmacharis, and retired persons of energetic calibre'."
  68. ^ Mason, pp.66 - 67 (1994)
  69. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) pp. 544-545 "Twenty one members of the parliament, representing each of the Indian states, issued a statement entitled a 'timely Call to the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow' for the speedy introduction of the system [of TM] into the daily routine of national life." NOTE: the text of the 3-page statement from the parliament is also included in the book on pages 504-507
  70. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 504-507 "Twenty one members of parliament, representing each of the Indian states, issued a statement entitled a 'timely Call to the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow' for the speedy introduction of the system [of TM] into the daily routine of national life." NOTE: the text of the 3-page statement from the parliament is also included in the book on pages 504-507
  71. ^ Mason, p.69 (1994)
  72. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 530-536 "Tributes were later printed in the Canadian magazine, Enjoy"--"A front page news article in the local Daily Colonist newspaper" "The Calgary Herald reported an entertaining incident, which took place during an interview in Maharishi's hotel room". "The Albertan newspaper of Wednesday, 25 September quoted Maharishi as saying that there were now 1,000 meditators in Canada."
  73. ^ Mason, pp. 71-75 (1994)
  74. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) pp 587-588 "ON his fifth world tour, Maharishi conducted a Meditation Guides Course in Norway, a course in London, where advanced techniques of TM were given for the first time, and Meditation Guides Courses in Austria, Canada, and Germany/"
  75. ^ Mason, p.72 (1994)
  76. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 553 "But the highlight of this London visit was the popular BBC television interview with Robert Kee, featuring Maharishi and the Abbot of Downside, Abbot Butler."
  77. ^ Mason, p.75 (1994)
  78. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 572 "On his fifth world tour, Maharishi conducted a Meditation Guides Course in Norway, a course in London, where advanced techniques of TM were given for the first time, and Meditation Guides Courses in Austria, Canada, and Germany"
  79. ^ Mason, p.79 (1994)
  80. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) pp 576-577 "On the 17th Maharishi went to Santa Barbara to meet with Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins, head of the Centre for Democratic Studies. Maharishi left for NYC on 19 December to meet with U Thant, Secretary General of the United Nations."
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  160. ^ Mason (1994) p. 57 Note: "On Tuesday, 30 May 1961, eight years to the day after his master's death, the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Swami Shantanand Saraswati graced the teacher training course with his presence and was received with all due ceremony. Arriving at the site where the new Academy was being built, he addressed the Maharishi and the gathered meditators . . . . He commended the practice of the Maharishi’s meditation, describing it as a 'master key to the knowledge of Vedanta' and added, 'There are other keys, but a master key is enough to open all the locks.'
  161. ^ Coplin, J.R. (1990) p. 62-63 Note: "Maharishi, though a devoted and favored disciple, was not eligible to become Shankarachaharya due to his caste background (non-brahmin). Nontheless, he shares with the last two Shankaracharyas of Jyotir Math (who succeeded Brahmanand Saraswati) a brotherly relationship, known as guru-bhais to one another. Even today, Swami Vishnudevanand (the current Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math) speaks very highly of Maharishi and sees his teaching as a reflection of their master's. Both he and Swami Shantanand (his immediate predecessor) are frequent guests of Maharishi's both in India and abroad, personally endorsing his mission."
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