Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the student of a man called simply Guru Dev. Guru Dev was a highly revered Holy man or Saint in India.
(photograph: the Guru Dev Legacy Trust website: http://gurudevenlightens.com/index.htm)
Guru Dev insisted that Maharishi – or Mahesh Prasad Shrivastava as he was named in childhood by his family – attend Allahabad University to complete his Physics degree.
After that time Mahesh Prasad Shrivastava abided in the company of Guru Dev based at the monastery of Jyotir Math in Northern India.
Guru Dev passed away in 1953.
Mahesh Prasad Shrivastava then went into silence in the area of Uttarkashi otherwise known as the Valley of the Saints.
(photograph: source unknown)
He then felt moved to go to Southern India and begin the work of his Life.
The work of his Life?
This was simply to bring to everyone everywhere the practice and experience of “transcendence.” A unique 4th state of consciousness alongside the 3 states everyone already knows by virtue of birth and being alive – namely waking, dreaming and sleeping.
Maharishi’s contention was that a very simple mental technique designed for everyone of every profession and religion could bring individuals automatically to a state of “restful alertness” and this would be profoundly beneficial for individual and group health of mind and body.
That this technique would begin to wake up people to a better state of consciousness of mind and body. That this technique would release the stress which we all know is inherent within ourselves and humanity – if not, why the fighting? Within (inner life and mental health) and/ or without (warfare & the unnecessary killing of human life). Everywhere. Most people.
This technique, passed down the generations by the holy men of Maharishi’s tradition, was now to be available for all people for all time.
This technique came to be known as transcendental meditation or TM.
It was at this time in Southern India that he became known as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
(photograph: Charles Lutes Collection from the website: http://www.maharishiphotos.com/index.html)
In 1958 Maharishi left India and begun ultimately a life long journey around the World promoting the benefits of transcendental meditation. Of developing teaching centres and training individuals to become transcendental meditation teachers.
Maharishi always knew that Science would back his position that TM produced this state of deeply restful alertness and this begun to be confirmed spectacularly by the research at the University of Los Angeles department of Physiology lead by Robert Keith Wallace.
This research was published by among others Science magazine in 1970.
This was the major work of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was very simple – to promote TM throughout the World as a “global initiative to improve quality of Life.”
He has had his detractors but the reality is that in the fullness of time it will be very clear that here was a man who dedicated his life to the well-being of the World and the people within it and that he did this tirelessly.
He also notably collaborated with leading Ayur Vedic vaidyas (doctors) to see a renewal and regeneration of Ayur Veda – known as Maharishi Ayur Veda.
“The purpose of Creation is expansion of happiness until one become infinite happiness: Universal Life. All the innumerable laws of Nature are only to uplift Life, help the process of Evolution. A tremendous, inconceivable force of Nature is all the beings upwards. Joyfulness is a quality which cultivates and spreads Love. If we are Joyful and full of Kindness and Love for the whole World, we will receive Love from every quarter.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Ringo Starr states on YouTube in film about the Beatles and transcendental meditation that meeting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was
“one of those mind altering moments of your life because the man was so full of Joy and Happiness. It just blew me away. I want some of that…”
Paul McCartney allegedly said this of Maharishi when he passed away in 2008.
“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.”
After Maharishi Mahesh Yogi passed away in 2008 a woman called Mallika Chopra (daughter of Deepak Chopra MD) shared this childhood memory.
“I will always remember the laughter around Maharishi. Around him, I felt happy and free and timeless. Even though I was shy, I could laugh with abandon – a laughter that was so uplifting.”
I will leave those 3 individuals with the final words about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; 3 individuals who had direct, meaningful real life interaction with this man.