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Meditation Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Dies

February 08, 2008 10:34 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Celebrity spiritual adviser and founder of the transcendental meditation movement Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died Tuesday, aged 91, at his mansion in the Netherlands.

30-Second Summary

Although he originally planned to be a physicist, the Maharishi decided to make a career of introspection after studying under the Guru Dev in the 1940s.

He then developed his trademark transcendental meditation, a method of relaxation centered on silently focusing on a mantra, a word or sound used to aid concentration. The practice gained international popularity after the Beatles took it up in 1967.

Many other celebrities of the era, including fellow musicians Donovan, Marianne Faithfull, and the Rolling Stones soon began to follow the Maharishi’s teachings.

However, many of them jumped ship when rumors began to circulate in 1968 that the yogi had made improper advances towards actress Mia Farrow.

The Beatles’ song “Sexy Sadie” is about the incident. The lyrics mention a person who “made a fool of everyone."

The yogi continued to attract followers, however, including such big names as Indian medical doctor and self-help author Deepak Chopra and film director David Lynch, who says transcendental meditation affords him an “ocean of tranquility.”

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two surviving members of the Beatles, spoke kindly of the Maharishi in the days following his death. In an official statement on his Web site, McCartney said, “I will never forget the dedication that he wrote inside a book he once gave me, which read; ‘radiate, bliss, consciousness.’”

The Maharishi was jeered in 2002 when he claimed he could fight war and terrorism if he had $1 billion to train expert meditators. According to the BBC, courses in transcendental meditation led by followers of the Maharishi cost $2,500 each.

Headline Link: 'Founder of Meditation Movement Dies'

Background: From guru to object of ridicule

Opinion & Analysis: Remembering the yogi

Reference: The Yogi’s works

Related Topics: Maharishi University of Management


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