Remembering His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ji

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced transcendental meditation (TM) to the West and gained fame in the 1960s as the spiritual guru, died on February 5, 2008 at his home and headquarters in Vlodrop, the Netherlands. Maharishi studied physics at the University of Allahabad later left for the Himalayas, where for 13 years he studied under Guru Dev, the founder of TM. His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ji, the most dedicated disciple to Shri Guru Dev Swami Brahmanand Saraswati ji, Shankaracharya of Jyotirpeeth, Badrikashrrma Himalaya, is widely regarded as the foremost scientist in the field of consciousness and is considered the greatest teacher in the world today. Over more than five decades ago Maharishi’s infinite love drew him out of isolation in the Himalaya to relieve the world from suffering, to provide people joy and peace and create Heaven on Earth. Having learnt from his Guru Dev, Maharishi ji completely revived and restored, ancient Vedic Science that is capable of creating perfect life and guiding individuals to the path of Enlightenment. When Guru Dev died in 1952, the Maharishi organized a movement to spread the teachings of TM throughout the world.
TM is a type of meditation, practised twice a day, in which the subject mentally recites a special mantra (sacred sound or phrase). Concentration on the repeated utterances decreases mental activity, and as a result, the subject is expected to reach a higher state of consciousness. The movement grew slowly until the late 1960s, when the Beatles, an English rock-music group, and numerous other celebrities began to join his following. Since then, many have left the movement, but TM remains a popular form of relaxation, especially in the United States. The principles of transcendental meditation are discussed in the Maharishi’s books The Science of Being and Art of Living (1963) and Meditations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1968).
In 1959 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi  founded the Spiritual Regeneration Movement and popularized the technique known as Transcendental Meditation or TM. Transcendental Meditation was also represented as a “scientific” method for obtaining both personal and social peace and harmony; it centred on the repetition of and concentration on an individualized mantra imparted to the initiate by the guru.
Maharishi and his teachings gained great fame and attracted celebrities such as the American film star Mia Farrow, the American engineer and architect R. Buckminster Fuller, and the English rock group the Beatles.  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi followed a pattern established earlier by Vivekananda and Paramahamsa Yogananda (1893–1952), who emphasized to Western audiences the nonsectarian and philosophical teachings of Hinduism and taught that meditation, yoga, and parts of the Vedantic texts were compatible with any religious tradition. Mahesh Yogi presented Transcendental Meditation as a technique for improving health and reducing stress. These benefits were also connected with the practice of Yoga.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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