Who was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi?
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was an Indian guru and spiritual teacher credited with introducing the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) to the West. Born in 1918 in the village of Raipur, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded the Transcendental Meditation movement and Global Country of World Peace.
Guru of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Due to his interest in spirituality early on, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi left for the Himalayas and became a disciple of Guru Dev Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math in the Himalayas and studied under his guidance for 13 years. As per the instruction of his Guru, who wanted Mahesh Yogi to complete his education before making him his disciple. Maharishi Yogi following his Guru’s direction, earned a degree in Physics from Allahabad University in 1942. His devotion towards Swami Brahmananda and his eagerness to learn made Maharishi a favourite pupil of his Guru. He stayed with his Guru until the latter died. He then went to Uttarkashi and lived in seclusion for two years. Due to caste constraints, he could not succeed his Guru Shankracharya, so he was asked to travel extensively and teach meditation to the masses.
Transcendental Meditation technique
After the death of his Guru in 1952, Mahesh Yogi embarked on a worldwide journey to spread the vision of his Guru and share the Transcendental Meditation technique, besides speaking with world leaders and lecturing widely. During the 1960s and 1970s, the TM movement proliferated, attracting millions worldwide, including the Beatles, an English rock band seeking a simple and effective way to reduce stress, improve their health and achieve inner peace. According to Mahesh Yogi, the practice of TM could help people to overcome anxiety, improve their physical and mental health, and achieve greater self-awareness and spiritual fulfilment.
Mahesh Yogi’s teaching is centred around the practice of Transcendental Meditation, which involves the repetition of a mantra or sound, to promote deep relaxation and inner peace. He also taught that through the practice of TM, individuals could attain a state of “transcendental consciousness, ” leading to a higher state of awareness and spiritual growth. His teachings centred on “consciousness-based education,” which emphasizes the development of higher states of consciousness and incorporating spirituality into education and daily life.
In 1961, Maharishi held his first international Teacher Training Course in Rishikesh, with participants from India, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Malaya, Norway, the United States, Australia, Greece, Italy, and the West Indies.
Founder of Maharishi University of Management
He founded the Global Country of World Peace. This non-profit organisation promotes peace beside the Maharishi University of Management, which offers business, arts and sciences programmes based on his teachings.
Mahesh Yogi wrote more than 20 books on meditation and spirituality, including “The Science of Being and Art of Living,” “Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy,” and “The Dynamics of Consciousness.”
Awards Mahesh Yogi was honoured with several awards for his contributions to spirituality and education, including the International Leadership Foundation’s Global Leadership Award and the Mahavir Mahatma Award from the Mahavir International Peace Foundation.
Mahesh Yogi’s legacy
Mahesh Yogi’s legacy continues through the Transcendental Meditation movement and its various branches, including the Maharishi Foundation, the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centers, and the Maharishi University of Management. Today, the Transcendental Meditation technique is practised by millions of people in over 150 countries. The medical and scientific communities recognize its benefits in reducing stress and improving health and well-being.
On 5 February 2008, Mahesh Yogi died at 90 at his residence in Vlodrop, Netherlands.