Steps of Initiation
as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
These "steps" are memorized by prospective
TM initiators during the last 3 to 5 days of Teacher Training Course, Phase
III (TTCIII). Prior to being
made teachers, course participants (CPs) are tested by course leaders for
verbatim knowledge of this procedure, its wording, and the
precise time intervals as quoted below. CPs must pass such a test three
mistakes or even hesitations in order to be eligible to become TM teachers.
The dictated text is represented by course
leaders as being a direct quote from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi -- including
grammar and phrasing
-- and is said to be the only process by which his Transcendental Meditation
may be taught successfully.
According to the restrictions imposed
by TTCIII course leaders, they may only be "inscribed in
-- that is, memorized from dictation -- and may never be written
down, in order to preserve the "purity of the teaching."
text below represents the "steps" as they
were taught in the mid-to-late
70s and may differ somewhat from earlier and later TTCIII courses. They have
been transcribed from a qualified, practicing TM teacher's memory and then
with several other
TM initiators' memories to confirm the
precise wording and timed intervals.
striking similarities to the
Checking, Group Check"
procedures have been cross-referenced.
Teacher has prepared
an altar to Guru Dev, lit a candle and incense, and spread camphor, sandalwood
paste, rice, and other ritual offerings in the appropriate ritual containers
prior to student's entrance.
Two comfortable chairs are also provided directly
in front of
the altar, leaving room for teacher and student to stand before the altar.
initiation room is always prepared behind a
closed door so that no student may see the altar before entering. Maharishi has
said the element of surprise is important for insuring a smooth and deep
experience for the student.
student enters the room, teacher
accepts fruit, flowers, handkerchief, and
from student -- the items are usually
carried in a wicker basket by the student. Teacher briefly glances at
form to check the criteria for mantra selection (age and/or sex) and to
preserve the illusion of personal mantra selection. Then the teacher
begins speaking to the initiate,
as they both sit in front of the altar:
this personal instruction, you will receive a
and then the procedure how to use it properly. Once you know the mantra
by tradition, we keep it to our self. Also the actual procedure of meditation
that you receive is to be kept private. For maximum results, all that we learn
in private, we keep private.
Do you agree?"
Teacher must wait for
student's assent before continuing.
Teacher rises, stands in front of altar,
and indicates where student should stand.
here. You would like to have a flower?..."
offers one of student's flowers back to student. The student
must take and hold it for the
ceremony to continue.
"...and witness the ceremony
which I perform in gratitude to the tradition of Masters who have given us
this wisdom of integration of life.
"This is a picture of Guru
Dev, His Divinity Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Maharishi's Master, from whom we
have this meditation.
"Now, I'll begin -- and you just witness."
the end of the puja, the
teacher sinks to his knees in front of altar while sweeping his right arm --
indicating to initiate that he, too, should kneel. The ceremony may continue if
the initiate does not kneel, or "bow down." After a moment, the
slowly rises, slowly and softly repeating the initiate's mantra
-- without explaining to the
initiate that this is his mantra. For the purposes of testing on TTCIII, before
prospective teachers actually are given their list of TM mantras, the word
"flower" was substituted.
The teacher beckons to the individual
to repeat with hand motions. If he doesn't begin repeating the mantra,
then the teacher
"Repeat: Flower, flower, flower, flower...."
teacher ceases repeating the mantra, indicating with hand motions that the
student should continue. The teacher waits for the student to repeat the mantra
3 or 4 times on his own, then motions him to sit in the provided chair.
"Now, close the eyes and continue."
the teacher softens the voice each time "more quietly" is repeated)
mentally -- without moving tongue or lips."
"Open the eyes."
for him to open the eyes.
repetition is not a clear
pronunciation, it's a faint idea.
And if at any time
you seem to be forgetting the mantra, don't try to hold on. Let it go.
the eyes and continue."
Wait for him to open the eyes.
easy? You feel some relaxation? This is Transcendental
how simple it is? It goes almost by itself. We don't concentrate. We don't
the mind. Just think the mantra easily, effortlessly. And if at any time you
seem to be forgetting the mantra, don't try to hold on. Let it go. If a thought
comes, easily come back to the mantra. Now, close the eyes and
"Open the eyes slowly."
"It's good? Relaxing?
See how simple it is? Did you
feel sometimes the mantra was forgotten and thoughts came? How many times this
happened -- two, three times? It's good.
we forget the mantra, we quietly come
back to it.
a very simple, natural process.
you'll sit in this room
and meditate for a while.
After some time I'll come and then
we'll talk more about it."
The Teacher closes his
eyes as an example and after a minute leaves the room as the meditator
to meditate by himself for 20 minutes -- or if he is under 18, one minute
for every year of age. When the teacher returns, he offers the meditator
Day Questionnaire to fill out and discusses experiences
with him -- based on the
of the Checking Procedure.
He tells the new initiate to meditate in this way in the afternoon at
home, and then again in the morning and afternoon of the next day. Finally, he
reminds him of the time and place of the First Day's Checking meeting.