Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

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Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 2007

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (* January 12, 1918 as Mahesh Verma Shrivastava or Mahesh Prasad Varma in Pounalulla, India ; † February 5, 2008 in Vlodrop , Netherlands ), also known as Maharishi , was an Indian guru , author of books on Vedic philosophy and Founder of Transcendental Meditation .


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 1967 in Amsterdam
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 1978 in Huntsville , Texas

According to unsecured information, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born the third of four children of a Hindu Kayastha family in the small town of Chichli near Gadawara near Jabalpur , India. His birth name was Mahesh Verma Shrivastava. Other sources give Mahesh Prasad Varma as the birth name.

He studied physics and mathematics at the University of Allahabad and around 1950 became a student and secretary of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati , who had been Shankaracharya for the north Indian Jyotir Math , Himalaya , from 1941 to 1953 . Swami Brahmananda gave him the name Bal Brahmachari Mahesh . Maharishi is controversial among today's Shankaracharyas. Since he was not ordained a monk, he did not call himself "Swa mi". After 1953, Maharishi is said to have lived in the Himalayas for a few years before he founded the Spiritual Regeneration Movement (SRM) in Madras at the end of 1958 . In doing so, he referred to a spiritual commission from Brahmananda. Since his SRM was not well received, he left India and traveled via Kuala Lumpur , Singapore , Hong Kong and Hawaii until arriving in San Francisco in 1959 . In 1960 he visited Germany for the first time.

In his two small writings, The Thirsty Fish in the Lake (1961) and The Treasury and the Market (1962), he developed his basic idea that there is a meditation technique as a simple, comfortable way to happiness and fulfillment. This meditation technique leads to the “source of creation”, enables “cosmic consciousness” and enables people living in the modern world to persist in parallel in the realm of the absolute and relative and to act continuously without errors. This means that all problems can be solved, which automatically transforms humanity as a whole towards the divine. This simple meditation had been forgotten and was only called back to mankind's memory by innovators like Krishna , Buddha , Christ and Guru Dev . With this religious message rooted in Hinduism, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi first went public with his so-called Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1955.

His book The Science of Being and the Art of Life (1963) was an attempt to convey his religious message especially to people in the West who were “believers in science”. In his commentaries on the first six chapters of the “ Bhagavadgita ” published in 1966, on the other hand, he justified his new path of meditation and his spiritual roots on the basis of Indian tradition as a revival of old knowledge.

The TM had its first successes in the mid-1960s, primarily among students. In 1965 he founded the Students International Meditation Society (SIMS). Shortly thereafter, all the already established branches of work and activities of the Maharishi movement came together under the name International Meditation Society (IMS). In the spring of 1968 he brought together pop and film greats such as the Beatles , Beach Boys , Donovan , Clint Eastwood and Mia Farrow for meditation courses in India. The initiation of the Beatles was used for advertising purposes. However, the Beatles soon left and distanced themselves in May of the same year with harsh criticism of Maharishi and their TM experience. Film director David Lynch has also campaigned for Maharishi's cause since 2000 . In addition to transcendental meditation, he was also known for his interpretation of ancient Indian texts and for the so-called " Yogic Flying ".

He barely survived a poison attack on August 1, 1991. A perpetrator was never convicted.

In a speech on January 11, 2008, he announced his withdrawal from day-to-day business. On February 5, 2008, as one witness reported, he is said to have “put himself in the perfect yoga position” and “fell asleep peacefully”. His body was transferred to Allahabad , India on February 9 , public display and cremated with state honors on February 11. Tens of thousands said goodbye. The ashes of the deceased were given to several rivers in India and also distributed in 192 countries.

His successor is Maharaja Adhiraj Rajaraam , real name Tony Nader, a Lebanese neurophysiology professor. Nader was crowned "First Regent of the Global Country of World Peace" by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 2000 and was given the honorary title Nader Raam . For the continuation of Maharishi's teaching, he announced the construction of 48 "Towers of Invincibility" in 48 countries.


Maharishi became an icon in hippie mysticism of the 1960s largely because of the Beatles. His teachings also gained medical recognition for the revival of an ancient Indian yoga technique under the (new) name of Transcendental Meditation. He started doing this in 1955 and brought the practice to the United States in 1959. The movement only gained greater popularity when the Beatles attended one of his lectures in Wales in 1967, only to travel to him in Rishikesh in northern India a year later . However, the encounter between the “Great Seer” and the superstars did not go smoothly. The argument broke out after a friend of John Lennon's , "Magic Alex", spread rumors that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had sexually molested Mia Farrow - an accusation Farrow never confirmed. George Harrison and Paul McCartney denied, Harrison later apologized to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.


In retrospect, the book author Deepak Chopra calls him “one of the most important personalities of the century”, ex-Beatle Ringo Starr “one of the really wise men I have met in life”. For Paul McCartney he was "a great person who worked tirelessly for people and the cause of unity." According to film director David Lynch , Maharishi Mahesh Yogi “laid the foundation for global peace”. Rolling Stone magazine , in retrospect, called him a "great spiritual leader."


In October 2000 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded the Global Land of World Peace (Sanskrit: Vishwa Shanti Rashtra ) as a "country without borders for all peace-loving citizens of the world". The Global Country of World Peace is not a country in the traditional sense because it does not have its own territory . According to Maharishi, the purpose of this country is to create global peace by uniting all nations in happiness , prosperity , invincibility and perfect health , and promoting rich diversity in the family of nations. The global land should create heaven on earth by raising the quality of life of each individual and bringing full fulfillment and prosperity into enlightenment . The currency of the Global Country of World Peace is the Raam, which is in limited circulation in the Netherlands and the USA.

The many other organizations founded by Maharishi include the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, 1957, the Students International Meditation Society (SIMS, 1968), the World Government of the Age of Enlightenment (1976), the Natural Law Party ( formerly represented in many countries) ( Natural Law Party, 1992) and Global Administration through Natural Law (1997).


  • The science of being and the art of living. Kamphausen, Bielefeld 1998, ISBN 3933496403 . (Original: Science of Being and Art of Living: Transcendental Meditation. )
  • The Bhagavad Gita, chapters 1-6, translated from Sanskrit and re-annotated. Kamphausen, Bielefeld 1999, ISBN 3933496411 . (Original: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita - A New Translation and Commentary, Chapters 1–6. )
  • Enlightenment to Every Individual, Invincibility to Every Nation. Age of Enlightenment Publications, New Delhi 1978, ISBN 9062690319 .
  • Maharishi's Master Plan to Create Heaven on Earth. Maharishi Vedic University Press, India 1991, ISBN 9071750116 .
  • Maharishi Vedic University Introduction - Vedic Knowledge for Everyone. Maharishi University of Management Press, Fairfield 1994, ISBN 9071750175 .
  • Maharishi's Absolute Theory of Government - Automation in Administration. Maharishi University of Management Press, Fairfield 1995, ISBN 8175230029 .
  • Maharishi Forum of Natural Law and National Law for Doctors - Perfect Health for Everyone. Maharishi University of Management Press, Fairfield 1995, ISBN 8175230037 .
  • Maharishi University of Management - Wholeness on the Move. Maharishi University of Management Press, Fairfield 1995, ISBN 8175230010 .
  • Inaugurating Maharishi Vedic University. Maharishi Vedic University Press, New Delhi 1996, ISBN 8175230061 .
  • Maharishi's Absolute Theory of Defense - Sovereignty in Invincibility. Age of Enlightenment Publications, New Delhi 1996, ISBN 8175230002 .
  • Constitution of India Fulfilled through Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation. Age of Enlightenment Publications, New Delhi 1996, ISBN 8175230045 .
  • Maharishi Speaks to Students - Mastery Over Natural Law. Age of Enlightenment Publications, New Delhi 1997, ISBN 8175230126 .
  • Maharishi Speaks to Educators - Mastery Over Natural Law. Age of Enlightenment Publications, New Delhi 1997, ISBN 8175230088 .
  • Celebrating Perfection in Education - Dawn of Total Knowledge. Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1997, ISBN 8175230134 .
  • Celebrating Perfection in Administration - Creating Invincible India. Age of Enlightenment Publications, India 1998, ISBN 8175230150 .
  • Ideal India - The Lighthouse of Peace on Earth. Maharishi University of Management Press, Fairfield 2001, ISBN 9080600512 .

Films about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Web links

The TM movement documents Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's life path 1957–2008 in a 20-page PDF : Maharishi's Achievements 1957–2008 .

Commons : Maharishi Mahesh Yogi  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Photo of the ID of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Retrieved July 28, 2013
  2. see also: The Maharishi Cult: TM, TMO, Transcendental Meditation, World Peace Foundation, Natural Law Party and Ayurveda blend. At: Aktion für Geistige und Psychische Freiheit - Bundesverband Sekten- und Psychomarktberatung eV, accessed on July 28, 2013
  3. ^ Philip Goldberg: American Veda. From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation. How Indian Spirituality Changed the West . 1st edition. Harmony Books, New York 2010, ISBN 978-0-385-52134-5 , p. 153.
  4. ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Thirty Years Around the World, Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment . ISBN 90-71750-02-7 , p. 134.
  5. ^ 1 - Shankara, 788-820, Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion, Schuhmacher, Woerner Editors, Shambhala, Boston 2 - The Illustrated Weekly of India, September 13, 1987
  6. The Beatles in India . In: Veda magazine
  7. The Beach Boys' Mike Love: From 'Good Vibrations' to transcendental meditation . In: ReligionNewsBlog , May 25, 2006
  8. Getting better with age: Clint Eastwood and Transcendental Meditation . Transcendental Meditation Blog, May 12, 2010
  9. Beatles spiritual guru 'never made a pass at Mia Farrow' . In: The Telegraph , September 19, 2006
  10. ^ Message from David Lynch . The David Lynch Foundation, homepage
  11. ^ The Maharishi Years - The Untold Story: Recollections of a Former Disciple . In: Huffington Post , February 13, 2008
  12. ^ Inauguration of Maharishi's Year of Invincibility - Global Raam Raj. In: Global Good News , January 12, 2008
  13. His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi establishes the Brahmanand Saraswati Trust on January 11, 2008. In: Global Good News , January 11, 2008
  14. Beatles guru Maharishi Yogi is dead . In: Handelsblatt , February 6, 2008
  15. "Maharishi was well prepared for death" . In: Neue Luzerner Zeitung , February 7, 2008
  16. ^ Followers pay tribute to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Allahabad . In: Thaiindian News , February 9, 2008
  17. Mahesh Yogi cremated with state honors . In: Hindustan Times , February 11, 2008
  18. ^ Tens of thousands attend Maharishi's funeral . In: Times online , February 11, 2008, via WALRUSGUMBOOT BEATLE NEWS, February 11, 2008
  19. Ashes of Beatles' guru Mahesh Yogi immersed in Allahabad . In: Thaiindian News , February 12, 2008
  20. ^ Body of Maharishi lies in state in India . In: NBC News , Feb. 10, 2008
  21. Tony Nader to lead Maharishi's mission . In: Times of India , February 10, 2008
  22. ^ Human Physiology - Expression of Veda and the Vedic Literature .
  23. ^ Nancy Cooke de Herrera: The Wise Men, Aquamarin-Verlag, 1995, pp. 231f. ISBN 3-89427-068-3
  24. ^ Mia Farrow: What Falls Away, Bantam, 1991. ISBN 0-553-56466-8
  25. Beatles spiritual guru 'never made a pass at Mia Farrow'. In: , February 19, 2006
  26. Maharishi ushered in spiritual renaissance. In: Times of India , February 7, 2008
  27. ^ Ex-Beatle pays tribute to Maharishi. In: Daily Star , February 7, 2008
  28. The Guru from Seelisberg is dead. Zisch, Neue Luzerner Zeitung online , February 6, 2008
  29. ^ The Late Maharishi's Impact on Music. In: Rolling Stone , February 6, 2008
  30. ^ Maharishi's Achievements 1957-2008 . Global Good News (PDF; 1.6 MB)