Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
|Maharishi Mahesh Yogi|
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1978
|Born||Mahesh Prasad Varma
12 January 1918
Jabalpur, British Raj (now in Madhya Pradesh, India)
|Died||5 February 2008
Vlodrop, Limburg, Netherlands
|Parents||Sri Ram Prasad (father)|
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (Sanskrit महर्षि महेश योगी maharṣi maheśa yogī; 12 January 19181 – 5 February 2008), was born Mahesh Prasad Varma and obtained the honorifics Maharishi (meaning "Great Seer")2 3 and Yogi as an adult.45 He developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of a worldwide organization that has been characterized in multiple ways including as a new religious movement and as non-religious.678
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. In 1955, the Maharishi began to introduce his Transcendental Deep Meditation (later renamed Transcendental Meditation) to India and the world. His first global tour began in 1958.9 His devotees referred to him as His Holiness,10 and because he often laughed in TV interviews he was sometimes referred to as the "giggling guru".111213
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.14 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.15 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 silence until his death three weeks later.16
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,171819 while TM websites report tens of thousands learned the TM-Sidhi programme. His initiatives include schools and universities with campuses in several countries including India, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.20 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 organization has ranged from the millions to billions of U.S. dollars and in 2008, the organization placed the value of their United States assets at about $300 million.17
- 1 Biography
- 2 Philosophy and teaching
- 3 Characterizations
- 4 Other initiatives, projects and programmes
- 5 Published works
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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.21 Many accounts say he was born Mahesh Prasad Varma (Hindi: महेश प्रसाद वर्मा) into a family living in the Central Provinces of British India.22 233 A different name appears in the Allahabad University list of distinguished alumni, where he is listed as M.C. Srivastava.24 and an obituary says his name was "Mahesh Srivastava".25
Various accounts give the year of his birth as 1911, 1917 or 1918.13 Authors Paul Mason and William Jefferson say that he was born 12 January 1917 in Jabalpur, Central Provinces.2627 The place of birth given in his passport is "Pounalulla", India and his birth date as 12 January 1918. 28Mahesh's father is identified as a local tax official in the civil service132930 though some sources say he worked in the department of forestry,222731 and others that he was a schoolteacher.32 Srivastava is the name of his nephews and cousins,21 Mahesh came from a upper-caste family,33 a member of the Kayastha caste, a high-status caste whose traditional profession is writing.273134
Mahesh studied physics at Allahabad University and earned a degree in 1942.26 While a few sources say that he worked in Gun carriage Factory Jabalpur for some time2935 most report that in 1941, he became an administrative secretary to the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati (also known as Guru Dev)2326313637 and took a new name, Bal Brahmachari Mahesh.4:22 38 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".38 The Maharishi recalls how it took about two and a half years to attune himself to the thinking of Brahmananda Saraswati and to gain "a very genuine feeling of complete oneness".39 At first the Maharishi performed common chores but gained trust and became Guru Dev's "personal secretary"40 and "favored pupil".26 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.4:22
Brahmachari Mahesh remained with Swami Brahmananda Saraswati until the latter died in 1953, when he moved to Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand in the Himalayas. Although Brahmachari Mahesh was a close disciple, he could not be the Shankaracharya's spiritual successor because he was not of the Brahmin caste.3641 The Shankaracharya, at the end of his life, charged Brahmachari Mahesh with the responsibility of travelling and teaching meditation to the masses, while he named Swami Shantananda Saraswati as his successor.2942
In 1955,13434445 Brahmachari Mahesh left Uttarkashi and began publicly teaching what he stated was a traditional meditation technique46 learned from his master Brahmananda Saraswati, and that he called Transcendental Deep Meditation.47 Later the technique was renamed Transcendental Meditation.48 It was also then that he was first publicly known with the name "Maharishi" an honorific title meaning "great sage" after the title was given to him according to some sources from "Indian Pundits" and according to another source the honorific was given along with Yogi by followers in India. Later in the west the title was retained as a name.549
He travelled around India for two years5051 interacting with his "Hindu audiences" in an "Indian context".52 At that time, he called his movement the Spiritual Development Movement,31 but renamed it the Spiritual Regeneration Movement in 1957, in Madras, India, on the concluding day of the Seminar of Spiritual Luminaries.13 According to Coplin, in his visits to southern India, Mahesh spoke 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".53
According to William Jefferson, In 1958 the Maharishi went to Madras to addresses a large crowd of people who had gathered to celebrate the memory of Guru Dev. It was there he spontaneously announced he planned to spread the teaching of TM throughout the world. According to the book, hundreds of people immediately asked to learn TM.27 In 1959, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi began his first world tour,1318 writing: "I had one thing in mind, that I know something which is useful to every man".11
The Maharishi's 1986 book, Thirty Years Around the World, gives a detailed account of his world tours, as do two biographies, The Story of the Maharishi, by William Jefferson, and The Maharishi by Paul Mason.427 The first world tour began in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) and included the countries of Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and Hawaii.545556 He arrived in Hawaii in the spring of 1959 31 and 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."57 In 1959, the Maharishi lectured and taught the Transcendental Meditation technique in Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York and London.1854585960 While in Los Angeles the Maharishi stayed at the home of author Helena Olson,5461 and during this period he developed a three-year plan to propagate Transcendental Meditation to the whole world.31 Though most of his audience was average middle class individuals, he also he attracted a few celebrities such as Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Nancy Cooke de Herrera and Doris Duke.5
When the Maharishi came to the U.S. in 1959, his Spiritual Regeneration Movement was called Transcendental Meditation.11 That same year he began the International Meditation Society and other organizations to propagate his teachings62 establishing centres in San Francisco and London.30 For years the sole teacher of Transcendental Meditation in America was a San Diego woman named Beulah Smith.5
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.65 This was also the year in which the Maharishi trained Henry Nyburg to be the first Transcendental Meditation teacher in Europe.6667
In 1961, the Maharishi visited the USA,26 Austria, Sweden, France, Italy, Greece, India, Kenya, England, and Canada.5068 While in England, the Maharishi appeared on BBC television and gave a lecture to 5,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall in London.5069 In April 1961, the Maharishi conducted his first Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course in Rishikesh, India with sixty participants from various countries.1870 Teachers continued to be trained as time progressed.71 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.7273
His 1962 world tour included visits to Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand. In Britain, he founded a branch of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement.26 The year concluded in California where the Maharishi began dictating his book The Science of Being and Art of Living.7475 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".76
The Maharishi toured cities in Europe, Asia, North America and India in 1963, and also addressed ministers of the Indian Parliament.7778 According to his memoirs, twenty-one members of parliament then issued a public statement endorsing the Maharishi's goals and meditation technique.79 His Canadian tour80 generated news articles in the magazine Enjoy and in the Daily Colonist, Calgary Herald and The Albertan.81
The Maharishi's fifth world tour, in 1964, consisted of visits to many cities in North America, Europe and India.8283 During his visit to England, he appeared with the Abbot of Downside, Abbot Butler, on a BBC television show called "The Viewpoint".8485 In October of that year, in California, the Maharishi began teaching the first Advanced Technique of Transcendental Meditation to some experienced meditators.8687 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.8889 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.90
In 1966, the Maharishi founded the Students' International Meditation Society, which The Los Angeles Times later characterised as a "phenomenal success".1391 The organization had branches at Harvard University, Yale university, UCLA and other schools.5 In the 1970s, SIMS centers were established at "over one thousand campuses".92
In 1967, the Maharishi gave a lecture at Caxton Hall in London which was attended by Pattie Boyd, George Harrison's wife,30 as well as Leon MacLaren, the founder and leader of the School of Economic Science (SES).4:22 He also lectured at UCLA, Harvard, Yale and Berkley.93 That year, an article in Time magazine reported that he "has been sharply criticised by other Indian sages, who complain that his programme for spiritual peace without either penance or asceticism contravenes every traditional Hindu belief".94 Religion and culture scholar Sean McCloud also reported that traditional Indian Sages and gurus were critical of Maharishi, for teaching a simple technique and making it available to everyone, and for abandoning traditional concepts of suffering and concentration as paths to enlightenment."95
During 1967 and 1968 the Maharishi appeared on the magazine covers of Life, Look, Newsweek, Time, Esquire, Saturday Evening Post, The New York Times Sunday Supplement, Ebony and "many others".96 He gave lectures to capacity crowds at the Felt Forum in New York City and Harvard's Sanders Hall.5 He also appeared on the Tonight Show and the Today TV shows.5 At the end of 1968 the Maharishi said that his ten years of teaching and world tours was coming to an end and he returned to India and began training TM teachers.96 Thereafter, his tours were short and occasional, coordinated with new initiatives in the 1970s (below), including appearances in large rented urban auditoriums.
In 1967, the Maharishi's fame increased and his movement gained greater prominence when he became the "spiritual advisor to the Beatles".9097 Thought it was the fact that he was already well known among young people in the UK and had already had numerous public appearances that brought the Maharishi to the Beatles'attention.98 They met in London in August 1967, and they went to study with him in Bangor, Wales, before travelling to Rishikesh, India26 in February 1968 to "devote themselves fully to his instruction".99 Starr and his wife Maureen left after ten days99100101 McCartney and Jane Asher left after five weeks,102103104 and Lennon and Harrison departed 16 days later.102 During their stay, the Beatles heard that the Maharishi had made sexual advances towards Mia Farrow.105 "Sexy Sadie" is the name of a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon in India and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Lennon originally wanted to title the song "Maharishi",106 but changed the title to "Sexy Sadie" at George Harrison's request. Harrison commented years later, "Now, historically, there's the story that something went on that shouldn't have done – but nothing did"107 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,3099 including Lennon's condemnation of the Maharishi in a song called Sexy Sadie.99108109 In 2009, McCartney commented that Transcendental Meditation was a gift the Beatles had received from the Maharishi at a time when they were looking for something to stabilise them.110 The Beatles' visit to the Maharishi's ashram coincided with a 30 participant Transcendental Meditation teacher training course that was ongoing when they arrived. Graduates of the course included Prudence Farrow and Mike Love.111112113
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.91 In 1969 he "inaugurated" a course in his Science of Creative Intelligence at Stanford University which was then offered at 25 other American universities.26
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 with 1500 participants at Humboldt State College in Arcata, California.114 In 1970 after having "a little trouble with Indian tax authorities" he moved his headquarters to Italy, returning to India in the late 1970s.115116 That same year, the City of Hope Foundation in Los Angeles gave the Maharishi their "Man of Hope" award.117
By 1971 the Maharishi had completed thirteen world tours and visited 50 countries and held a press conference with American inventor Buckminster Fuller at his first International Symposium on SCI at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts.2636118119 Between the years 1970 and 1973 about 10,000 people attend the Maharishi sponsored symposia on his modern interpretation of Vedanta philosophy called Science of Creative Intelligence. During these conferences held at universities, the Maharishi dialogued with "leading thinkers" of the day such as Hans Selye, Marshall McLuhan, and Jonas Salk.5
The Maharishi announced his World Plan in 1972, the goal of which was to establish 3,600 TM centers around the world.2631 That year, a TM training course was given by the Maharishi at Queens University and was attended by 1,000 young people from 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.120 He also "persuaded" the U.S. Army to "offer courses in TM to its soldiers"26 and made video taped recordings of what was thought to be the West's first comprehensive recitation of Rig Veda.121
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.26122123 Later that year he organized a world conference of mayors in Switzerland.26 In that same year he also addressed 3000 educators at an American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) conference on quality of life and higher education.2124
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.125
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".126127 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."128129130 That same year, the Pittsburg Press reported that “The Maharishi has been criticised by other Eastern yogis for simplifying their ancient art.”131 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.13132133134
In the mid 1970s, the Maharishi's U.S. movement was operating 370 TM centres manned by 6,000 TM teachers.11 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. His TM movement came to be increasingly structured along the lines of a multinational corporation.91
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).135
During the 1980s, the organisation continued to expand and his meditation technique continued to attract celebrities11 despite its "outlandish claims" and accusations of fraud from disaffected former disciples.91 The Maharishi made a number of property investments. In England, he bought Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire, Roydon Hall in Maidstone, Swythamley Park in the Peak District and a Georgian rectory in Suffolk.91 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.136 The Maharishi founded Maharishi Ved Vigyan Vishwa Vidyapeetham, a self described educational institution located in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1982. The institution reports that it has trained 50,000 pundits in traditional Vedic recitation137138 In 1983 the Maharishi invited government leaders to interact with his organization called "World Government".31
In January 1988, offices at the Maharishinagar complex in New Delhi were raided by Indian tax authorities and the Maharishi and his organization were accused of falsifying expenses”.139 Reports on the value of stocks, fixed-deposit notes, cash and jewels confiscated, varies from source to source140141142143 The Maharishi, who was” headquartered in Switzerland” at the time, reportedly moved to the Netherlands “after the Indian government accused him of tax fraud".144) Following an earthquake in Armenia, the Maharishi trained Russian TM teachers and set up a Maharishi Ayurveda training center in the Urals region.145 Beginning in 1989, the Maharishi's movement began incorporating the term "Maharishi" into the names of their new and existing entities, concepts and programs.146
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.147148 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.91
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".149 The Maharishi is believed to have made his final public appearance in 1991, in Maastricht, the Netherlands.150 Deepak Chopra, described as "one of the Maharishi's top assistants before he launched his own career",13 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 1994.151
The Maharishi inaugurated the Natural Law Party (NLP) as a means for achieving a "natural government" to enact his plans.116 His adherents founded the NLP in 1992.152 It was active in forty-two countries.153 John Hagelin, the NLP's three-time candidate for U.S. president, denied any formal connection between the Maharishi and the party.154 According to spokesman Bob Roth, "The Maharishi has said the party has to grow to encompass everyone".153 Critics charged that the party was an effort to recruit people for Transcendental Meditation,155 and that it resembled "the political arm of an international corporation" more than a "home-grown political creation".156 The Indian arm of the NLP, the Ajeya Bharat Party, achieved electoral success, winning one seat in a state assembly in 1998.157 The Maharishi shut down the political effort in 2004, saying, "I had to get into politics to know what is wrong there."158
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 "coherent world consciousness".116 In 1993 and 2003, he decided to raise the fees for learning the TM technique.159160161
In 1997 the Maharishi's organization built the largest wooden structure in the Netherlands without using any nails.91150162163 The building was the Maharishi's residence for the last two decades of his life. In later years, the Maharishi rarely left his two-room quarters in order to preserve his health and energy.164 He used videoconferencing to communicate with the world and with his advisors.164165 Built to Maharishi Sthapatya Veda architectural standards, the Maharishi is reported to have said that it helped him infuse "the light of Total Knowledge" into "the destiny of the human race".166167
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".3168 The Maharishi crowned Tony Nader, a physician and MIT-trained neuroscientist,36 as the king or Maharaja of the GCWP in 2000. The GCWP unsuccessfully attempted to establish a sovereign micronation 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.169170
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".171
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".90 It was occasioned by the reissue of the Maharishi's book The Science of Being and Art of Living.172 That same year, the Maharishi Global Financing Research Foundation issued the "RAAM" as a currency "dedicated to financing peace promoting projects".91
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.174 The Maharishi said that he did not want to waste the "beautiful nectar" of TM on a "scorpion nation".174175 He lifted the ban after Blair's resignation in 2007.176 During this period, skeptics 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.147
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, concerned about his health,177 became increasingly secluded in two rooms of his residence.147 During this period he rarely had "face-to-face" meetings and instead communicated with his followers "almost exclusively by closed-circuit television."3
On 12 January 2008 – his ninetieth birthday – 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.'"178179180
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".9097 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes on 5 February 2008 at his residence in Vlodrop, Netherlands.181 The cremation and funeral rites were conducted at the Maharishi's Allahabad ashram in India, overlooking the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.182183
The funeral, with state honours,184 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.36 Indian officials who attended the funeral included central minister Subodh Kant Sahay; Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal; and fomer Uttar Pradesh assembly speaker and state BJP leader Keshri Nath Tripathi, as well as top local officials.185 Also in attendance were thirty-five Rajas of the Global Country of World Peace, one-time disciple Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and David Lynch.186 A troop of uniformed policemen lowered their arms in salute.186 The funeral received its status as a state funeral because the Maharishi was a recognized master in the tradition of Advaita Vedanta founded by Shankara.185
The Maharishi is survived by a brother and "a number of nephews".187 One nephew, Girish Chandra Varma,188 is chairman of the Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools Group189190 and a "senior functionary of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement in India."187 Other nephews include Prakash Shrivastav,191 president of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools192dead link and Anand Shrivastava,193 chairman of the Maharishi Group.194
In their obituary, BBC News reported that the Maharishi's master had bequeathed him "the task of keeping the tradition of Transcendental Meditation alive" and 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".29195 Paul McCartney 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."196
Maharishi left a legacy that includes the revival of India’s ancient spiritual tradition of meditation, which he made available to everyone. 197 He is considered responsible for the popularization of meditation in the west,198 199 something he accomplished by teaching Transcendental Meditation worldwide through a highly effective organization he developed.197 Maharishi is also credited with “the proposal of the existence of a unique or fourth state of consciousness with a basis in physiology” and the application of scientific studies to research on the physiological effects of Transcendental Meditation and the development of higher states of consciousness, areas previously relegated to mysticism.200201202203 Partly because of this, Newsweek credited him with helping to launch "a legitimate new field of neuroscience."204 201 According to the Times of India his "unique and enduring contribution to humankind was his deep understanding of—and mechanics of experiencing—pure consciousness".205 A 108 foot memorial building in the city of Prayag (Allahabad), called Maharishi Smarak, is reported to be nearing completion. 206207 It was inaugurated by Shankaracharya Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati in February 2013.208209
The Maharishi had come out to teach with the "avowed intention" to change "the course of human history".96 When he 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.201 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".90 His philosophy featured the concept that "within everyone is an unlimited reservoir of energy, intelligence, and happiness".18 He emphasised the naturalness of his meditation technique as a simple way of developing this potential.210
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.90 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.212213214 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".215 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.210
According to author Jack Forem, Maharishi stated that the experience of transcendence, which resulted in a naturally increasing refinement of mind and body, enabled people to naturally behave in more correct ways. Thus, behavioral guidelines did not need to be issued, and were best left to the teachings of various religions: "It is much easier to raise a man's consciousness than to get him to act righteously" Maharishi said.216
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.217218219 Author Meera Nanda calls neo-Hinduism "the brand of Hinduism that is taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Deepak Chopra, and their clones".220 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".38
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 with one TM participant saying the Maharishi "signaled the beginning of the post-acid generation".96103
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".90 His movement offered in-residence style TM advanced courses.221 By the time of his death, there were nearly 1,000 TM training centres around the world.91
Maharishi is credited as having contributed to the western world a meditation technique that is both simple and systematic as well as have introduced the scientific study of meditation.222
In the mid 1970s, the Maharishi began the TM-Sidhi programme, which included 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.223 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.224
Maharishi Vedic Science (MVS) is based on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's interpretation of the ancient Vedic texts based on his master, Brahmananda Saraswati's teachings.23 MVS aims to put forward traditional Vedic literature in the light of Western traditions of knowledge and understanding.225 According to Roy Ascott, MVS also explains the potential for every human being to experience the infinite nature of transcendental consciousness, also defined as Being or Self, while engaged in normal activities of daily life.226 Once this state is fully established an individual is no longer influenced by outer aspects of existence and perceives pure consciousness in everything.226 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.227 These applications include programmes in: Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health (MVAH);228229 Maharishi Sthapatya Veda, a mathematical system for the design and construction of buildings; Maharishi Gandharva Veda,230231 a form of classical Indian music; Maharishi Jyotish (also known as Maharishi Vedic Astrology),231232 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.233 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.234
The Maharishi wrote more than twenty books on the Transcendental Meditation technique and Maharishi Vedic Science.235
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.236237238239240 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.236
In 1963, the Maharishi audiotaped the text of the book Science of Being and Art of Living, which was later transcribed and published in fifteen languages.90241242 K.T. Weidmann describes the book as the Maharishi's fundamental philosophical treatise, one in which its author provides an illustration of the ancient Vedic traditions of India in terms that can be easily interpreted and understood by the scientific thinking of the western world.2 In the Science of Being, the Maharishi illustrates the concepts of relative existence as the experience of everyday reality through one's senses, and absolute reality as the origin of being, and the source of all creative intelligence.243 The Maharishi describes this absolute reality, or Being, as unchanging, omnipresent, and eternal. He also identifies it with bliss consciousness. The two aspects of reality, the relative and the absolute, are like an ocean with many waves.244 The waves represent the relative, and the ocean beneath is the foundation of everything, or Being. Establishing oneself in the field of Being, or unchanging reality, ensures stability.244
In his Science of Being the Maharishi introduced an additional concept: that of fulfillment, viewed as something to be obtained not through exertion or self effort, but through the progressive settling of the mind during the practice of TM.243245 This was the first full systematic description of the principles underlying the Maharishi's teachings.246
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."247 According to Peter Russel, the Bhagavad-Gita deals with the concept of loss of knowledge and subsequent revival, and this is brought out by the Maharishi himself in the introduction.248 In the Preface, the Maharishi writes: "The purpose of this commentary is to restore the fundamental truths of the Bhagavad-Gita and thus restore the significance of its teaching. If this teaching is followed, effectiveness in life will be achieved, men will be fulfilled on all levels and the historical need of the age will be fulfilled also."247
A second concept, that of freedom, presented as the antithesis of fear, is also prevalent in the book, according to Jack Forem.249 Forem states that in his interpretation of the Gita, Maharishi expressed several times that as man gains greater awareness through the practice of Transcendental Meditation, he gradually establishes a level of contentment which remain increasingly grounded within him and in which the mind does not waver and is not affected by either attachment or fear.250
The Maharishi was reported to be a vegetarian,26 an entrepreneur, a monk and "a spiritual man who sought a world stage from which to espouse the joys of inner happiness".17 He was described as an abstemious man with tremendous energy who took a weekly day of silence while sleeping only two hours per night.26 He did not present himself as a guru or claim his teachings as his own. Instead he taught "in the name of his guru Brahmananda Saraswati"2336 and paid tribute to him by placing a picture of Saraswati behind him when he spoke.26 He was on a mission to bring the ancient techniques of TM to the world.62 Scientist and futurist Buckminister Fuller spent two days with Maharishi at a symposium at the University of Massachusetts in 1971 and said, "You could not meet with Maharishi without recognizing instantly his integrity."251 Authors Douglas E. Cowan and David G. Bromley write that the Maharishi did not claim any "special divine revelation nor supernatural personal qualities"252 still others said he helped to "inspire the anti-materialism of the late 60s" and received good publicity because he "opposed drugs".18253 According to author Chryssides,"The Maharishi tended to emphasize the positive aspects of humanity, focusing on the good that exists in everyone."254
According to The Times Maharishi attracted scepticism because of his involvement with wealthy celebrities, his business acumen, and his love of luxury, including touring in a Rolls-Royce.91 A reporter for the The Economist calls this a "misconception" saying: "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. "255256 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."257
He was often referred to as the "Giggling Guru" because of his habit of laughing during television interviews.32174 Diminutive at a little over five feet tall, the Maharishi often wore a traditional cotton or silk, white dhoti while carrying or wearing flowers.3 He often sat cross-legged on a deerskin and had a "grayish-white beard, mustache and long, dark, stringy hair".3258 Barry Miles described the Maharishi as having "liquid eyes, twinkling but inscrutable with the wisdom from the East".103 Miles said the Maharishi was a man in his seventies who looked much younger than his age.259 He had a high pitched voice and in the words of Merv Griffin "a long flowing beard and a distinctive, high pitched laugh that I loved to provoke".134259
Biographer Paul Mason's web site says that Swami Swaroopananda, one of three claimants to the title Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, is "an outspoken critic" of the Maharishi. According to Swaroopananda, the Maharishi "was responsible for the controversy over Shankaracharya's" because he gave Shankarcharya Swami Shantanad encouragement and assistance in fighting the court case which challenged Shantanand's inheritance of the title.260 In a review of the documentary film David Wants to Fly, Variety magazine reported Swaroopananda's assertion that "as a member of the trader class" the Maharishi "has no right to give mantras or teach meditation".33 According to religious scholar Cynthia Humes, enlightened individuals of any caste may "teach brahmavidya"261 and author Patricia Drake writes that "when Guru Dev was about to die he charged Maharishi with teaching laymen... to meditate".262 Mason says Shantanand "publicly commended the practice of the Maharishi's meditation"263 and sociologist J.R Copli, says that Shantanand's successor Swami Vishnudevanand, also "speaks highly of the Maharishi".25264
The British satirical magazine Private Eye ridiculed him as "Veririchi Lotsamoney Yogi Bear".30 The Maharishi was also parodied by comedians Bill Dana and Joey Forman in the 1968 comedy album The Mashuganishi Yogi,265 by comedian Mike Myers in the film The Love Guru,266 and in the BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me.267 He was portrayed by actor Gerry Bednob in the 2007 film Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.
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,268 the course also defines certain higher states of consciousness, and gives guidance on how to attain these states.269
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.270 It has 148 branches in 118 cities with 90,000 to 100,000 students and 5,500 teaching and support staff.271
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.272
The Maharishi also introduced theories of management, defence, and government,269 programmes designed to alleviate poverty, and introduced a new economic development currency called the RAAM.273 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.274 The Maharishi Institute, an African university that is part of a group of schools around the world that are named after him, was founded in 2007 and uses his Transcendental Meditation technique in their teaching.275276
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in his farewell message on 11 January 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.277 The Patron of the Brahmanand Saraswati Trust is the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math.178
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.278 Holdings in the United States, estimated at $250 million in 2008, include dozens of hotels, commercial buildings and undeveloped land.274 The Maharishi "amassed a personal fortune that his spokesman told one reporter may exceed $1 billion".279 According to a 2008 article in The Times, the Maharishi "was reported to have an income of six million pounds".91 The Maharishi's "worldwide network" is primarily financed by course fees for Transcendental Meditation as well as real estate holdings and donations.280
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 fulfillment of life. If initiations were free we could not cover the overhead for spreading the movement throughout the world."281 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."91
- 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 978-90-71750-02-1
- 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 978-0-89186-051-8
- Thirty years around the world: dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, Maharishi Vedic University, 1986 ISBN 978-90-71750-01-4
- Maharishi's Programme to create world peace: global inauguration, Age of Enlightenment Press, 1987 ISBN 978-0-89186-052-5
- Maharishi's master plan to create heaven on earth, Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1991 ISBN 978-90-71750-11-3
- 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
- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Bhagavad-Gita – Chapter 7, 2009, Maharishi Foundation International-Maharishi Vedic University, The Netherlands
- The master speaks, World Pacific Records, 1967
- Picture of Yogi's passport
- Weidmann, K.T. (1999). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". In von Dehsen, Christian. Philosophers and Religious Leaders: An Encyclopedia of People Who Changed the World. Greenwood. p. 120. ISBN 978-1573561525.
- Koppel, Lily (February 6, 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Spiritual Leader, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Mason, Paul (1994). The Maharishi—The Biography of the Man Who Gave Transcendental Meditation to the World. Shaftsbury, Dorset: Element Books Ltd. p. 28. ISBN 1-85230-571-1.
- Goldberg, Philip (2010). American Veda: from Emerson and the Beatles to yoga and meditation. Harmony Books, Crown Publishing/Random House. p. 362.
- Beckford, James A. (1985). Cult controversies: the societal response to new religious movements. Tavistock Publications. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-422-79630-9.
- Parsons, Gerald (1994). The Growth of Religious Diversity: Traditions. The Open University/Methuen. p. 288. ISBN 978-0-415-08326-3.
- Chryssides George D. Defining the New Spirituality http://www.cesnur.org/conferences/riga2000/chryssides.htm 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.
- Oates, Robert M. (1976). Celebrating the dawn: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the TM technique. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-399-11815-9.
- Carlton, Jim (15 April 1991). "For $1,500 a Head, Maharishi Promises Mellower Inmates --- Transcendental Meditation Goes to Prison as Backers Try to Lock Up Contracts". Wall Street Journal (New York, N.Y.). p. A.1.
- Shankar, Jay (6 February 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
- Richardson, Mark (12 October 1993). "A leap of faith". The Ottawa Citizen. p. A.1.
- Woo, Elaine (6 February 2006). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". Los Angeles Times.
- Warren, Jenifer (27 October 1995). "Party Asks Voters to Put Their Faith in Meditation; Politics: Skeptics scoff at Natural Law Party's answer to nation's ills, but backers say they have more to offer.". Los Angeles Times. p. 1.
- Koppel, Lily (8 October 2006). "Encounter: Outer Peace". The New York Times.
- Srinivasan, 2008. Hinduism For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.
- Koppel, Lily (8 February 2008) Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Spiritual Leader, Dies The New York Times
- Hudson, Alexandra (6 February 2008). "Beatles Indian Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". Reuters. Archived from the original on 30 August 2010.
- Page, Jeremy; Hoyle, Ben (6 February 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Dies a Recluse". The Times (London).
- "Gifts of the Global Country of World Peace: Education Products Services". Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
- 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 (PhD 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."
- Ruthven, Malise (6 February 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- 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 0-7914-6573-X.
- http://web.archive.org/web/20061011132039/http://allduniv.edu/hostels/gnjha/gnjha_alumni.htmunreliable source?
- Kalambakal, Jupiter (6 February 2008). "Transcendental Meditation Founder Maharishi Dies". All Headline News. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
- Kroll, Una (1974) John Knox Press, The Healing Potential of Transcendental Meditation, chapter 1: The Guru, pp 17–25
- Jefferson, William (1976) Pocket Books, The Story of The Maharishi, pp 7–21
- Passport image Paul Mason web site
- "Obituary: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". BBC News. 6 February 2008.
- Leigh, Spencer (7 February 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Spiritual leader who introduced millions, including the Beatles, to transcendental meditation". The Independent (London).
- Lewis, James (2001) Prometheus Books, Odd Gods, New Religions and the Cult Controversy, pp 230–233,
- Tresniowski, Alex (1998). "Feeling Guru-Vy". People (Time Inc.). Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Simon, Alyssa (14 February 2010). "David Wants to Fly". Variety. [Swami Swaroopanand, successor to Guru Dev, in a village near Tibet. The swami tells Sieveking that the Maharishi, from a trader caste, was merely Guru Dev's bookkeeper and. Besides, he notes, "Gurus don't sell their knowledge, they share it."]
- 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.
- Coplin (1990) Ch.2, fn 74
- Williamson, Lola (2012) New York University Press, Transcendent in America, pp 80–105 (page 81)
- Goldberg, Philip (2011). American Veda. Harmony Books. p. 154.
- 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 (PhD 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."
- 'Thirty Years Around the World- Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment', MVU, 1986, pp185-6
- Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring new religions London: Cassell. pp. 293–296. ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6. Page 293
- 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 12 June 1983.)
- Mason (1994) pp. 23–24
- AP (5 February 2008). "Beatles guru dies in Netherlands". USA Today.
- Epstein, Edward (29 December 1995). "Politics and Transcendental Meditation". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Morris, Bevan (1992). "Maharishi’s Vedic Science and Technology: The Only Means to Create World Peace" (PDF). Journal of Modern Science and Vedic Science 5 (1–2): 200.
- Rooney, Ben (6 February 2008). "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru to Beatles, dies". The Telegraph (London).
- Williamson, Lola (2010) NY Press Williamson, Lola, Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion ISBN 0-8147-9450-5, 9780814794500, pp. 97–99
- Russell, Peter (1977). The T.M. Technique: An Introduction to Transcendental Meditation and the Teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-7100-8539-9.
- Bajpai, R.S. (2002) Atlantic Publishers, The Splendours And Dimensions of Yoga 2 Vols. Set, page 554, "received the title Maharishi, from some Indian Pundits"
- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986). Thirty Years Around the World: Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment. Maharishi Vedic University Press. p. 199. ISBN 90-71750-02-7.need quotation to verify
- Mason (1994) pp. 27–34
- Gablinger, Tamar (2010). The Religious Melting Point: On Tolerance, Controversdial Religions and The State. Germany: Tectum Verlag Marburg. p. 76.
- 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 (PhD 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."
- Devi, Priya (21 February 2008). "Naturally in Self; Maharishi Mahesh Yogi". One India.
- 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)."
- Mason, p. 34 (1994)
- 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..."
- Mason, pp.41 – 46 (1994)
- Blume, Mary (8 July 1995). "A Little Meditation on the Bottom Line". International New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- 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"
- Olson, Helena, Hermit in the House, p.44, Los Angeles, 1967unreliable source?
- Hunt, Stephen (2003). Alternative religions: a sociological introduction. Aldershot, Hampshire, England ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate. pp. 197–198. ISBN 978-0-7546-3410-2.
- Mason, pp. 52–54 (1994)
- 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."
- 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 ...."
- 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."
- Mason, p. 52 (1994)
- Mason, pp. 54–55 (1994)
- Mason, p. 55 (1994)
- 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...."
- Seven-step course in How to Learn the Transcendental Meditation programdead link
- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1986) p. 400 "...it was on this course that Maharishi started his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita—a commentary later to be published..."
- Mason, p. 62, 69 (1994)
- Mason, p. 62 (1994)
- 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."
- 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'."
- Mason, pp.66 – 67 (1994)
- 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
- 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
- Mason, p.69 (1994)
- 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 TM meditators in Canada."
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- 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/"
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- 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."
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- Coplin, J.R. (1990) p. 61-63 Note: "Maharishi, though a devoted and favored disciple, was not eligible to become Shankarachaharya due to his caste background (non-brahmin). Nonetheless, he shares with the last two Shankaracharyas of Jyotir Math (who succeeded Brahmanand Saraswati) a brotherly relationship, known as "guru-bhais". 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.".... "When Maharishi began teaching during his South Indian tour in the mid-1950s, he arrived as an informal representative of the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, being a 'great disciple of Shri Swami Brahmananda Saraswati (former Shankaracharya)'".
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- MUM Catalog of courses 2012-2013 (Page 23)
- King, Jeams Lynwood (2007). Fundamentals of Maharishi Vedic Science (Thesis). Maharishi University of Management. pp. 14–15.need quotation to verify
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- Harris, Chris (13 November 2003). "The Maharishi's Hotel of Emptiness:Will the Beatles' former guru leave Hartford with a permanent blemish, or is there hope for the Clarion Hotel?". Hartford Advocate.
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-  NY Times, Maharishi's Minions Come to Wall Street, Maria Aspan, 2 July 2007
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