blackball.GIFCLICK HERE! 
Support Our Sponsors -- Support Us!

Ad Info

TranceNet Home Page
[home] [research] [getting started] [law] [personal stories] [secrets] [news] [about TranceNet]

(Prev | Top | Next)


The Illustrated Weekly of India, July 17, 1988
by Anuradha Dutt

He's the ultimate dream merchant. Rajneesh may offer you the eternal orgasm. Sathya Sai Baba may touch away your blues. Chandra Swami may relieve you of your wallet. But Maharishi Mahesh Yogi offers you, on a 70 mm screen, the biggest, brightest and most colourful dream of all time: peace. Merchandised under his trade name TM, short for Transcendental Meditation -- the shortcut to nirvana. But, suddenly, it appears that the Maharishi himself has lost his peace of mind. A fortnight back, the sleuths of the finance ministry suddenly swooped on his ashram in New Delhi and its branches and offices all over the country, claiming that the fabled guru had stashed away a fortune abroad and violated the fiscal laws of the land. This may or may not be true. But the raids on the Maharishi have certainly created a furore, for the high-flying guru with a penchant for the megabuck was never seen as a law breaker in the sense that Rajneesh or Chandra Swami may have been. In fact, he was in many ways seen as numero uno, with a gaggle of distinguished Indian devotees and international celebrities offering testimonial to his amazing powers. It will be interesting to watch whether these powers stand him in good stead now, as the stubborn law enforcers dig their heels in.

In an age where spiritual succour is in short supply, a legion of god men has mushroomed to attend to that want. The affluent society in particular, has proved to be a lucrative hunting ground for them. Personality cults and spiritual empires alike have flourished there. Empires that, in monetary terms, are equal to the giants of commerce and industry. And which, in terms of influence, extend their reach to every part of the globe.

It is not surprising that amongst this multiplying band of saviours, many hail from India, the supposed land of nirvana. Bhagwan Rajneesh, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada have carved their niche in history as frontiersmen in the commercialisation of spiritualism, counselling the rich and powerful.

Even amongst them, one man, the founder of transcendental meditation (TM), with followers in over a hundred countries, numbering over four million and increasing rapidly, can claim pride of place: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Beatles and the flower children cult of the sixties made him into a legend. And he, from his humble beginnings in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh converted himself into a billionaire whose worldwide assets, at a conservative estimate, are well over Rs 4,000 crores [roughly $3.5 billion in 1997 US], with TM centres in more than a thousand cities.

The Maharishi, who claims to have been a disciple of Swami Brahmanand Saraswati, the late Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath. departed for the West in the late fifties, a time especially propitious for the spread of eastern philosophies. Egged on by ennui, western youth was in a state of rebellion against the middle-class ideal of materialism and conformism. The interest in eastern cultures was a symptom of the widespread drift and the search for the intangible. The Maharishi, with his promise of salvation through TM, became the rage and terms such as "guru", "sidhi", "nirvana", became a part of common parlance.

(Prev | Top | Next)

[home] [research] [getting started] [law] [personal stories] [secrets] [news] [about TranceNet]

Internet Link Exchange
Member of the Internet Link Exchange

To comment on this or any other page, go to trancechat.

This page was last built with Frontier on a Macintosh on Fri, Sep 19, 1997 at 5:35:53 PM .

Creation has two sides: intelligence, which is the cause of everything, and the manifestations of intelligence, which are the physical and psychological features of the everyday world. Because Transcendental Meditation directly approaches intelligence, rather than the manifestations of intelligence, it solves problems by introducing harmony and well-being at the most basic level, and not by dealing with problems themselves. That's why it is so effective.

Consider this example: The gardener supplies water to the root of a tree. That water, that nourishment, then reaches all parts of the tree - leaves, branches, flowers, fruit - through the sap. We can think of the sap as analogous to intelligence and the green leaves or yellow flowers as analogous to the manifestations of the intelligence. The leaves and flowers are the intelligence of the sap, after it has been transformed. So intelligence - like the leaves and flowers of a tree - appears as the many different forms of manifest life. Those manifestations include every aspect of existence, from the material and physiological, through the psychological, intellectual, and spiritual. All of those features of life come from transformations of intelligence. In meditation, we directly meet this essential intelligence. Therefore, we have the possibility of nourishing all of its other levels, and thus all levels of manifestation, in a way that is harmoniously related to the whole universe.

How is Transcendental Meditation different from the various other forms of meditation?

Maharishi: The basic difference is that Transcendental Meditation, in addition to its simplicity, concerns itself only with the mind. Other systems often involve some additional aspects with which the mind is associated, such as breathing or physical exercises. They can be a little complicated because they deal with so many things. But with Transcendental Meditation there is no possibility of any interference. So we say this is the all-simple program, enabling the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence.

Transcendental Meditation ranges from active mind - or performing mind - to quiet mind - or resting mind. In this resting mind, one has purity and simplicity, uninvolved with anything other than the mind, uninvolved with any other practice. In Transcendental Meditation, because we deal only with the mind, we nourish all expressions of intelligence.

The mind meditates, gains Transcendental Consciousness and brings about transformation in different fields of manifestation. All fields of life, which are the expression of intelligence, are nourished or transformed and made better through experiencing Transcendental Consciousness.

The mind, of course, is always concerned with other aspects, such as the physiology of the body, the environment, and the whole universe for that matter. But since Transcendental Meditation deals only with the performance of the mind, from its active states to its settled state, it remains unconcerned with those other aspects, though it deals with them all, because intelligence deals with them all. -- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, unknown interview, copyright presumablyheld by Maharishi Vedic University, The Maharishi Foundation, or another group within the TM family.

Cults come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Categories of cults that are recruiting successfully today include:

Eastern meditation: characterized by belief in God-consciousness, becoming one with God. The leader usually distorts and Eastern-based philosophy or religion. Members sometimes learn to disregard worldly possessions and may take on an ascetic lifestyle. Techniques used: meditation, repeated mantras, altered states of consciousness, trance states.

Religious: marked by belief in salvation, afterlife, sometimes combined with an apocalyptic view. The leader reinterprets the Scriptures and often claims to be a prophet if not the messiah. Often the group is strict, sometimes using physical punishments such as paddling and birching, especially on children. Members are encouraged to spend a great deal of time proselytizing. (Note: included here are Bible-based neo-Christian and other religious cults, many considered syncretic since they combine beliefs and practices). Techniques used: speaking in tongues, chanting, praying, isolation, lengthy study sessions, many hours spent evangelizing, "struggle" (or criticism) and confession sessions.

Political, racist, terrorist: fueled by belief in changing society, revolution, overthrowing the "enemy" or getting rid of evil forces. The leader professes to be all-knowing and all-powerful. Often the group is armed and meets in secret with coded language, handshakes, and other ritualized practices. Members consider themselves an elite cadre ready to go to battle. Techniques used: paramilitary training, reporting on one another, guilt, fear, struggle sessions, instilled paranoia, long hours of indoctrination. -- Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, Lalich and Tobias, Hunter House, 1993.