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[1980: 1 of 7 Chapters]


Eastern religions and meditation systems are attracting an increasing number of followers in the federal republic of Germany in recent years. One of these is Transcendental Meditation (T.M.). Emerging from a religious subculture, the T.M. movement has achieved a great deal of success through its claims to be scientific and efficient in all areas of society, as well as its very effective advertising methods and organized public appearances.

While in public the T.M. movement only reports on positive effects of transcendental meditation, a rather different story has become known through parents and ex-meditators. The INSTITUTE FOR YOUTH AND SOCIETYS' research branch has for some years occupied itself in a study of youth- oriented religious organizations, their world-view, teachers and practices; in particular transcendental meditation. In addition to that, the counseling and welfare of ex-meditators and their parents become of increasing importance. Out of this theoretical as well as practical involvement with them, evolved the particular standpoint and aim of the research.

The following study was commissioned by the Government Ministry of Youth, Family, and Health, the physical and social implications of the practice of T.M. being of primary interest. The investigation has as its aim to systematically establish the motives of an individual for beginning T.M., the implications of the practice for this individual and his social circle, as well as to pinpoint the reasons for a voluntary or involuntary ceasing of the practice of T.M. meditation, or, in some cases, individuals distancing themselves from the movement. Moreover the relationship between the underlying world view, inherent in T.M., and the practice as presented to the public was analyzed as to its effect on some individuals. Besides this analysis, a statistical evaluation was carried out, which, owing to a shortage of time, has not be included in this study. The study offers an introduction into the teaching and practice of T.M. based on the movement's own presentation of itself and its aims, which in turn lead to the hidden religious background. In a further part of the study our findings (based on the collected data), will be presented with emphasis on various areas, for example the career and social fields, physical and mental health, perception of reality.

The interviews were carried out throughout the entire country with the assistance of the accumulated bodies for the protection of youth. (Interessem Gemein - Schaft Jugendschutz).

Our thanks are due to professor Bernherd Kraak of the Institute for International Educational Research (Institut Fur Internationale Padagogische Forschung), for his help in the construction of the questionnaires. Our special thanks to Christe Fleck, who was responsible for the transcription of taped interviews, and who, together with Renata Habsapfe and Gurter Becker, prepared the manuscripts. Thanks are also due to Angela Ludwig, Maria Kaipling and Cornelia Geister for proof-reading. It is our hope that this study will be able to be used in the counseling of ex-meditators, and those indirectly affected by the practice of T.M.


Only a concise representation of the teachings and practice of T.M. can follow in the framework of this study. A more elaborate portrayal can be found in the following: "Die Macht der Suber Worte, die Beweging der Transendentalen Meditation" (The Power of the Sweet Words, the T.M. Movement) by M. Milderburger and A. Scholl, Wuppertal l977. "Indische mission und neue Frommingkeit in Westen" (Indian missions and new religiosity in the West) by R. Hummel, Stuttgart, 1980.


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the T.M. movement, describes himself as a disciple of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati (1869 - 1953), who, for the last twelve years of his life was the Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, the most northerly of the four Indian monasteries which are traced back to Shankara. Only a small amount of information concerning the earlier life of Mahesh Yogi have been made public. He was born Mahesh Prasad Varma in 1918 in Jabalpur, into a Kayastha family. He studied physics in Allahabad and won a Bachelor's degree in 1940. Physical-technological thinking (though not in its modern guise), stamped his interpretation of Hindu texts. He speaks in his commentary to the Bhagavad Gita repeatedly of "the mechanics" of liberation, "the mechanics" of evolution, of nature, etc. In his The Science of Being and the Art of Living" the "mechanical path of God- realization" (possible through T.M.), is the highest and most complete path. His interest in the role of physics in the functioning of inner pressures deeply influence this understanding of meditation. (Compare R. Hummel 1980, page 93F)


Mahesh Yogi spent twelve or thirteen years as a disciple of Swami Brahmananda. After his death in 1953, Mahesh Yogi returned for two years to Uttar Kashi, to there begin public appearances in Madras and other parts of India. In 1953 he founded the "Spiritual Regeneration Movement", which he traced back to the inspiration of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati. This embodied a thousand year old tradition, or so it recounted in the T.M. movement.

"Unlike so many other techniques, which emphasize how difficult it is to achieve pure consciousness, this tradition has always maintained that this experience was easily open to all. According to the tradition, the knowledge about the technique has been spread only a few times in known history, i.e. during the times of Krishna, Buddha, and Shankara (Transcendental Meditation by Harold H. Bloomfield, M.P. Caine, D.T. Jaffe and R.B. Kroy. Dussaldorf-Wen P 59)

It was the idea of Mahesh Yogi's to make this easy technique available to all people in our time: this is how the development of the T.M. movement is presented to its followers today. Out of this comes what T.M. now claims to be: "...the world movement, which teaches a universal meditation technique, that can bring to everyone increased health, achievements and fulfillment". (p. 64)

In India itself Mahesh Yogi had little success. As against that, he won a growing following in the west, especially among students in the United States. Because of this, he transferred more and more of his sphere of activities to the United States and Europe. S.I.M.S., the "Students International Meditation Society" was founded. Around 1967 the previously little-known yogi enjoyed a brief spell of publicity through the interest and involvement of the "Beatles". After that the T.M. movement developed without any great success. It was only as a result of the rising interest in meditation generally that the big upsurge came. This can best be seen in the growing numbers of meditators who enrolled in three to eight month teacher training courses, in order to spread further the meditation technique of T.M. and the "Science of Creative Intelligence".

The first teacher training course in India in 1961 had sixteen participants, among them five Germans. The second did not take place until 1966. Since 1970 three courses a year have been held, first on Maker, where Maharishi rented twelve hotels, and in more recent years, in Seelisburg, Switzerland. By the middle of 1973, six thousand meditators had become teachers.

In the beginning of the western phase of the movement, Mahesh Yogi appears to have transmitted his message largely in a religious context. It is only in the book "The Science of Being and the Art of Living" (published in India in 1963, and in English 1966) that a determined attempt is seen to interpret Transcendental Meditation in the context of western scientific thought. In order to gain access to American schools and universities, the propagation of T.M. adapted itself to the needs and methods of the West. T.M. was recommended as a method to combat stress, everyday situations etc. and was taught in courses, for which fees were paid. The religious practices and content were restricted into the esoterical central core of the movement, where they continued to play an important role. T.M. presented itself to the public increasingly as a scientifically proven method of relaxation. It succeeded in obtaining open public funding in the U.S.

To this end, a private high school was founded in Fairfield, Iowa (U.S.A.) the "Maharishi International University" (M.I.U.).

The high point of the T.M. movement was reached in 1975, when the "Age Enlightenment" was proclaimed, and in 1976, when the "World government of the Age Enlightenment" was set up in Seelisburg. The World government would like to play the role of parents in the family of nations, to stand beside governments and aid them as advisors, and it promises to condition the trends of the time, and in doing so, to create ideal society. The following ten ministries are designed to serve in this task:

Ministry for:
Development of Consciousness
Natural Order and Justice
Cultural Integrity, Invincibility and World Harmony
Education and Enlightenment
Festivities and Fulfillment
Wealth and Progress
Information and Inspiration
All Possibilities: Research and Development
Capitals of the Age of Enlightenment
Health and Immortality
Apart from the T.M. ministers in their ministries, there are also governors who are responsible for the "capitals" of the age of enlightenment.

In 1977/78 the sidhi program was presented to the public: this constituted blundering into the area of the para- psychological and the occult. Pictures were published of people flying in defiance of gravity. It was further promised that meditators, through the practice of the sidha-program, would be able to fly, go through walls, have contact with outer space, etc., and that the program would lead to a better development of consciousness. This propagation of the inner-movement concepts of T.M. did however lead to public skepticism as to scientific character and reliability of the method of meditation, billed as a relaxation technique. On the other hand, the sidhi courses offered caused many meditators to become more deeply involved in T.M. and expose themselves much more to its theory and practice. (According to the evidence of the chairman of the T.M. association of lawyers, there were 20,000 sidhas in 1979, 3,500 of those from West Germany).

The movement had to undergo a severe backlash in 1977, when a court in New Jersey (U.S.A.) confirmed the religious character of T.M. and the teaching of T.M. in its verdict and this paved the way to an end of public funds for T.M. in that state. That did not stop the "Union of German doctors for the promotion of health through transcendental meditation", in a memorandum of the federal government, to demand the introduction of T.M. into preventive medicine, thereby, informal and formal education. By July 1978: up to one thousand people a month were being initiated into T.M. After that, initiation figures sank steadily and reached their lowest ebb in January 1980, when only one hundred started the practice. On account of the drastic reduction in figures for newcomers, the T.M. Organization now recruits above all from meditators, who are obliged to further courses and work in the organization. Since 1979 there have been aspirations to set up so-called 'Sidha-lands", economically self-sufficient co-operatives. They offer meditators the opportunity to retire from the realities of social intercourse, and to secure a modes of livelihood through work in one of the firms or ventures run by the T.M. movement, and outside of work they can meditate without the disturbances of social obligations. Planned as well are their own schools, which will teach curricula structured in accordance with the T.M. program and its teaching.


The organization is rigidly aligned to the international headquarters in Seelisburg Switzerland, the "World Plan Executive Council" (WPEC) and "the world government for the age of enlightenment", as well as the throne/seat of Mahesh Yogi. The actual basis of the movement are the world-plan centers, the local centers in which one or more T.M. teachers and "governors" spread the T.M. program. Centers of regional importance are called "capitals of the age of enlightenment". Apart from these, there are so- called "forest academies", in which further courses are offered.

The T.M. movement is split up into different individual organizations, which are however closely co-ordinated. They represent different functions and aspects of the program. The most important are:

-G.T.M. - Society of the World Government of the age of enlightenment (umbrella organization)

-SIMS - Students International Meditation Society

-The German MERU Society (a registered society), attached to the Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in Weggis, Switzerland, which represents the "scientific" Program-of the movement.

-IMS - The International Meditation Society, German association.

-SRM -Spiritual regeneration movement.

-SFSI -"Stifturgsfonds Schofferischer Intelligence" (The trust fund of creative intelligence).

-"The Association of German doctors for the promotion of health through transcendental meditation", Schledehauser.

-Association of lawyers: Institute for natural law and order.

-The union of German educationalists for ideal education through the program of transcendental meditation.


According to its own estimates (of spring 1979), there were then about one thousand five hundred centers, with fourteen thousand teachers and four thousand "governors" in one hundred and forty countries. The number of those initiated into T.M. was judged to be near two million.

In the Federal Republic of Germany there were over seventy centers with approximately one thousand teachers and three thousand five hundred Sidhas. About seventy three thousand five hundred people were initiated into T.M., 28.8% of which were under twenty five years of age. (see diagram 1)

The number of active participants is actually much smaller. On the one hand about 50-80% of those initiated give up T.M, for various reasons, on the other, many meditate without contact of any kind with the organization, and have no part in its many activities.


The T.M. movement gives as its aim the spreading of the T.M. technique "in order bring about the full potential of everyone and to create an ideal society, under the auspices of the World Government of the age of enlightenment".

The local world plan centers organize public lectures on the principles and effects of T.M., they bring those interested through a religious-ritual ceremony, check the meditation of those who wish it (called "checking") and organize social gatherings of meditators. There exists an abundance of further courses which are then on offered; additional techniques (called advanced techniques) more intensive and extended meditation, more in-depth theory, etc. Theses are supposed to lead to higher states of consciousness and increased success. To those belong the "Sidhi-course' (costing six thousand German marks) and the T.M. teacher training course, leading to "governorship" (each costing about twenty thousand marks).

Publicity and advertising constitute a wide range of activities. These range from the spreading of expensive posters, brochures and information news-sheets, for example "Weltregierung Aktuall" (world government latest) to huge lobbying efforts, such as the appeal by T.M. doctors for the reform of the health system. Also, medicinal, psychological and sociological research is used for promotional purposes. They are meant to prove the positive affects of T.M. and to substantiate its theory, the "Science of Creative Intelligence". The investigational researching is instigated by the "Maharishi European Research University" (MERU), and is conducted mostly by scientists who themselves belong to the T.M. movement. The results, used in such publicity campaigns, promise above all better social integration, more mental and physical well-being, reduction in crime, as well as in drug and alcohol dependency, and less mental and nervous system related disease; it promises a truer view of reality, development of the personality in cognitive, emotional and pragmatical respects, increased and better performance in school and at work, up to the realization of an ideal society.

A research on T.M., conducted by Christa Kriffki "Transcendental Meditation and Autogenic Training" (Munich 1979), came to the following conclusion:

"The participants in the T.M. group developed positively in the sense of 'greater psychosomatic stability' (less nervousness) more 'satisfaction and confidence' (less depression) and 'a narrowing down of neurotic tendencies'. Also they were more sociable, lively, more active and accomplished than the "AT group"; altogether, they had become more extrovert."

One does not learn anything about the development of a participant in terms of a full length sectional investigation over a long period of time, rather solely from two tests conducted after 7-8 weeks and 14-16 weeks. The report does not say anything about counseling in possible conflict situation, about therapy during disease manifestations, but rather, equates the process of relaxation with a healing process and a resolution of conflict when no such link necessarily exists. The Foreward[sic] stresses, moreover, that "far-reaching solutions....only become possible, when we leave the immediate level of the problem.' As far as the authors are concerned, a relaxation thereby is not being discussed, but "an experience of the inner universe".

Damning above all else is the fact that, during the first test after six weeks, only sixty-two of the original ninety-nine participants took part, after another six weeks, in the second test, only thirty-seven took part. A high drop-out rate like this rules out completely the claim that the statistical evaluation is valid.

The above investigation of Krifflis' does not show which and how many of the positive effects of T.M. would be recognizable as a result of simply 40 minutes rest, and which effects the meditation itself shows.

In an epilogue there is a propaganda-like report on the "T.M. Sidhi-program" from which a "flowing state of mind" comes into being, in which those doing it can see concealed objects, fly or hover.

"The concluding remarks,...and the general attitude, denegrates[sic] the work to the level of being cult propaganda in the guise of a scientific investigation". (Transcendental Meditation: dock was dran? from a"Artliche Praxis" ("Medical Practice") of July 31st 1979, by Klaus Thomas).

In spite of these restrictions and the criticisms thereof, all of the results of the investigation appear in T.M. publications as being scientifically proven. Possible contra-indications, i.e. possible negative effects, are either not mentioned at all in the investigations, or are barely mentioned. There is a complete absence of any systematic investigation in this area, although the T.M. organization has published numerous research reports on the "positive effects" of transcendental meditation.


In a documentation of teaching and practice of T.M. it is necessary to distinguish between two differing levels.

On the public level, advertising is carried on in a language suited to western customs, couched in scientific terminology. Beside and beyond that there is an esoteric level, which is made up of both Hindu tradition and their own modern interpretations. Generally, the teaching and practice of T.M. can only be understood in the context of Hinduism.


Whoever begins the practice of T.M. receives a mantra during an initiation (puja). The mantra is a sequence of letters taken from Sanskrit, allegedly without meaning, which the T.M. teacher chooses for the individual student - at least this is what is told to the student. With its help he meditates for 20 minutes twice a day and through the practice he is supposed to reach a different state of consciousness, different from waking, sleeping and dreaming by virtue of a deep rest which exists side by side with mental alertness and wakefulness. During the meditation thoughts, feelings, and sense impressions are absent. According to T.M. a person is not conscious of anything, but consciousness: this state or condition is called "pure consciousness" or "transcendental consciousness". Furthermore they say that on this path, the meditator, with the help of his mantra, arrives "completely automatically" into finer states of consciousness, until a supposedly unlimited potential of creative intelligence, harmony, and energy opens up in the depth of his being. These statements are theoretically founded on the "Science of Creative Intelligence". It claims to be an all-embracing epistemology of the human mind, a basic science, the findings of which provide the basis of all other scientific disciplines. The "Science of Creative Intelligence" has its foundations in the Vedas, (an ancient Indian religious literature). By a natural switching of rest and activity, (so promise T.M. Representatives), this unlimited potential becomes more and more permanently lifted into consciousness, and has positive results in all areas of life: the reduction of stress, improvement in health, mental equilibrium, confidence, creativity, and a positive and harmonious relationship to the surrounding world, therefore an altogether far-reaching increase in happiness and enjoyment of life, both for the meditator and the whole society.

T.M. is introduced to the 'modern' westerner as a scientifically proven technique: it is claimed that T.M. is a natural method for the reduction of stress and for psychosomatic regeneration; it co-ordinates in a previously unattainable fashion the mind and body functions. Everyone can meditate according to this method and experience immediately the positive effects. There will be no detrimental consequences for the meditator. Serious occurrences of negative reactions to the meditation practice are not known. On this level, T.M. concentrates increasingly on the medical and therapeutic aspects. The movement tries to introduce it as an "accompanying therapy". Everywhere the "scientific" level is abandoned, and T.M. presents itself to the public as a meditation for higher states of consciousness and a means of achieving supernatural abilities, the message is still spread in a language dressed up with scientific terminology, so that it becomes difficult to distinguish between the two, as the same phraseology is used for both contexts.

The uncountable investigations, (billed as scientific) which the T.M. movement has instigated or have been conducted by active T.M. meditators, show the determination of the movement to keep up the image of "the scientifically proven relaxation technique with a high therapeutic success rate", and to deny the general public an insight into the completely different meaning of T.M. for the "insider".


Mahesh Yogi developed his teaching and practice from Hinduism. For him, meditation is a path to enlightenment. The human mind and spirit becomes one with the absolute, the divine origin. Through Transcendental Meditation, a life lived in accordance with "the laws of nature" is made possible, a life without suffering and problems. The following is an excerpt from "Der Gottliche Plan" (The Divine Plan):
Therefore remove this ignorance and begin to enjoy the blissful nature of life! The world should be taught according to the Divine Plan of our time, that it is easy, natural and effortless to begin to enjoy the inner divine nature of his own being, and that this happens automatically. Only this small teaching is needed, that man's inner nature is divine, wholly and completely divine, that it is blissful, has unlimited joy, potential, strength, power and wisdom. All this is present, internally in his being. And not only this knowledge is given, but also together with it the technique. Begin to enjoy! That is the entire teaching. It is complete when it is said: You are divine, your personality is in itself blissful. Why do you suffer in life? You have no reason to suffer....if you find that you cannot accept what has been said here, then learn in a practical way - instead of trying to understand it from the point of view of the conscious mind - how deep one dives into his own self; learn the technique of deep meditation. The system is easy. It is a natural process, which diverts our attention from the gross material level and turns it towards the finer divine nature in our inner self. This natural system of deep meditation is the teaching which opens up the divine plan to the world of today...

I give you the key, the technique, with the help of which you can begin to enjoy the magnificence of the life which belongs to you. (Divine Plan, page 8)

Mahesh Yogi has "tuned" or developed his theory and practice (particularly the practice), to appeal to the emotions. Feelings like happiness and blissfulness, satisfaction and well-being play a big part in the meditation and its surroundings. It is not without reason that many meditators remain faithful to the practice of T.M., because of the fact that in the first meditations they experienced happiness and blissfulness, or at least feelings of a pleasant nature. With meditators who become more involved with T.M. these feelings are often used to bind them ever closer to the philosophy of the movement, and the 'tradition of masters". This seems to have been intended, despite public statements to the contrary by the movement. In a
secret handbook for T.M. teachers (only available to teachers), Mahesh Yogi cites the goal of all their efforts:

"...the hearts of the seekers, and especially the enlightened, swell with love for the great master and fill with an overwhelming devotion for him..." (Mahesh Yogi, "Holy Tradition" page 8)

The deliberate emotional pitching is expressed even more clearly in the following excerpt:

"Even those who are not so highly developed mentally can become innocent instruments in the hands of the Almighty, and fulfill his plan...not a great deal of learning is required, only complete self-deliverance to the master. This gives us the key to success." ("Holy Tradition" page 13).

Above all it is the officers of the movement, those who represent and spread the practice of T.M who are required to accept the teaching and practice without question, and to follow Mahesh Yogi's instructions in complete obedience. The "declaration of loyalty" is to be seen in this context, which the T.M. teacher gives to "His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi":

"It is an honor for me, Maharishi, to promise, that I will teach the principles and techniques of transcendental meditation only as a pupil of ....., who acknowledges me herewith as a teacher that I will always keep the teaching faithfully for you, beloved Maharishi and ..., that I will never use the teaching outside of being a teacher in .... or in other organizations founded by you to spread transcendental meditation for the service of mankind, that I will earn a salary as a teacher in .... on the amount of which I and .... have a written agreement. Apart from the amount in the agreement I expect no money, rather I am completely rewarded by the love and joy which I will receive through my work, the alleviation of suffering, which I would like to achieve, and the wisdom which I receive, will expound and cherish; that before my training I did not have any previous knowledge of such a teaching, that there is no other source from which the knowledge about this teaching should be allowed to be received, that this teaching has been given to me in trust, that this teaching is secret and unique. Furthermore, I acknowledge that I am, as a teacher and initiator into meditation, a link in the chain of the organization which you have founded; and in order to maintain the purity of the teaching and movement, you have given the wise commandment that I will be restrained by any appropriate method from using this secret teaching of transcendental meditation which has been given to me if I should ever stop teaching in .... or any other organization founded for the purpose of spreading transcendental meditation.

It is my good fortune, Guru Dev, to have been accepted in order to serve the holy tradition, and to give the light of God to all who need it. It is a joy for me to undertake the responsibility to represent the holy tradition in all its purity, as it has been give me by Maharishi, and I vow to you, Guru Dev, before your altar, that I will dedicate myself with all my heart and strength to the organization which Maharishi has founded. And to you, Maharishi, I promise that I will satisfy the trust which you have placed in me.



Altogether, a decrease in the capacity for critical thought and reflection can be found during intensive involvement in T.M. If any meditators in the beginning are skeptical or critical about some of the rituals and secretive statements of the movement, they nevertheless unreflectingly accept more and more T.M. assertions during the course of their practice of meditation. For the T.M. teacher, for instance, the significance of the initiation ceremony is completely transformed. In public it is claimed to be a ceremony of thanksgiving, somewhat like the Hippocratic oath. As far as the T.M. teacher is concerned, however, it has a central importance, which amounts to being a traditional Hindu Puja. In the understanding of the teacher, the meditation cannot function correctly without the Puja. He has learned from Maharishi: "The effects of the teaching depends on its purity". Only the Puja, (in the sense of a magical formula) can take the learner into the "Holy tradition", where the meditation will begin to work effectively; nowhere else. During the Puja, which takes place according to a strictly adhered to ritual in front of an altar with Guru Dev's picture, a holy chain of Hindu deities and gods are invoked, from Brahma to Guru Dev. Between them is Shankara (approx. 800 A.D.), one of the most important religious figures of India. He represents a widespread belief of Hinduism that the Divine power (Brahma) - the essence of the world, is identical with the self (Atman), the deepest core of the individual human being. This understanding on unity is the real reasoning for the meditation practice of T.M., which is based on the opinion that the further one penetrates into his inner being, the nearer he comes to the essence of all things, and the infinite; until finally there is a transformation into absolute being.

The "governors" and "ministers" of the " World Government of the Age of Enlightenment" also have a completely different understanding of reality, which is derived from that of Mahesh Yogi's. This concept of Mahesh Yogi's is clearly expressed in his publications. ("The Science of Being and the Art of Living", "Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita", "The Divine Plan"), but is not, however, put forward in the presentations of T.M. to the public. It can be deduced from this, that the above conception only becomes intelligable when a person seriously accepts its religious, i.e. Hinduistic character. It is precisely this which T.M. avoids in its public presentations, which classify T.M. as scientific and dismiss any religious affinity. The initiative by the T.M. movement to clothe their basically Hindu-religious concepts in a scientific terminology was underway even in the sixties (for publicity reasons) in the U.S.A. The "Science of Creative Intelligence" is simply Hindu teaching and ideology (Dharma) in modern form and western dress.

In the following it is proposed to individually go into some of the aspects of Maharishi's teachings, since it is only by such a method that the practice (as it operates today) can be understood and viewed in a correct relationship to the whole T.M. movement. The next five sections follow closely the article by Reinhart Hummel: "World betterment and Ideal Society: Towards an Understanding of Indian Meditation Movements in the West." (Zeitschrift fur Religions - und geistesgeschichte) Periodical for Religious and Spiritual History, Volume 2, 1978. THE INDIVIDUAL-COSMOS-SOCIETY

The relationship of the individual to the cosmos is the theme which occupies Mahesh Yogi most, and in the context of which he claims to have the answer to the problems of society. He compares the unity of the individual and cosmos with the unity of waves and the sea, cells and body. (Science of Being and Art of Living, 1979) Mahesh Yogi therefore begins with the individual, who, with the help of transcendental meditation, achieves peace and happiness, brought forth by the vibrations of the mantra. This in turn leads to more harmonious vibrations, which themselves, in a sufficient number of meditators, will positively influence the whole cosmos, including its own vibrations. In this way, according to Mahesh Yogi's predictions, and with the help of the "Maharishi-effect". "a society will automatically come into being without disease, suffering, unemployment, inflation, accidents or problems, or to put it much more carefully, a society with far less disease, far less suffering...-an ideal society in the Age of Enlightenment." (from an advertisement) MEDITATE AND BE ACTIVE!

Mahesh Yogi has tailored his meditation to suit the "busy" person in the west, who all experience stress. Contrary to historical or classic yoga, he emphasizes the ease and effortlessness of the life of a meditator, and avoids any forms of austerity in his writings. In his discourses, progress on the path of yoga does not increasingly distance the person from worldly life, or life in the world, but rather leads to an integrated lifestyle, either that of a "householder or a hermit". This oscillation between meditation practice and active daily life is, according to him, only possible on the level of "cosmic consciousness". He differentiates between three levels over and above the ordinary "waking" state of consciousness. They are defined by identifying on each level the relationship between the self (which rests in itself), and the activity (in the world outside) .
In transcendental consciousness, silence is devoid of any activity. In cosmic consciousness, the silence of self- awareness co-exists with activity. In God-consciousness, the co-existence of activity and silence is transformed into oneness and awareness of God. (Bhagavad Gita Page 392)

According to this conception, the highest goal of the path of yoga is a Karma-Yogi (understood in modern terms), a person who remains in God-consciousness and acts from it. (Hummel p. 136)

Of course the twice daily 20 minute meditation is no longer really capable of reaching this goal. Further courses are offered, which aim towards a reorientation of the nervous system, and mental and physical aspects of life. (commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, p. 431)

T.M. wants unity with Divine action itself, and makes the human being into a tool, so that there will be arrived at a unity of Divine and human activity, or God and man in action. (Hummel, page 137)

The theoretical assertions of Mahesh Yogi's do not seem to be confirmed in practice. In practice, there is more a retreat into meditation, then a healthy balance between rest and activity. Also, Mahesh Yogi's attitude seems to have changed: he has become increasingly more, what he in fact always was; an exceptionally old-fashioned Hindu, who therefore does expect a retreat from the activities of living. DIRECT MANIFESTATIONS

Whoever in the T.M. movement wishes to become a "minister" or "governor", i.e. achieve the position of being a "minister" or "governor", must have attained a level of consciousness described as "Ritam Bharapragyan" or in a shortened form "Ritam". He lives in the highest state of wisdom, because "Ritam" is the level "which only accepts the truth". Spontaneous impulses should no longer be controlled, since meditators are no longer capable of negative impulses, and therefore desires which are positive and in accordance with the laws of nature and evolution will be automatically fulfilled. The desired object can be enjoyed by the person with all five senses or it appears to him usually on higher levels and is believed so by others. This is called a "direct manifestation" and its import is no less than that of a state of fulfillment or paradise, because a direct link exists between the desire and its concrete manifestation." (Hummel page 138)

To this area belongs the "Sidhi Program", or Parapsychological phenomena. From this train of thought comes Maharishi's comments on the world's starving.

"Give a starving man meditation, and he will no longer worry about bread, and will be happy."

Since the persons who exists in "Ritam" can literally wish the bread for himself, then he is naturally happy, if we use Maharishi's logic. The following remarks of Maharishi's are also in accordance with this entire concept.

"There is no place, and will never be a place for the weak. The strong one will lead, and if the weak one does not wish to follow, then there will be no place for him. Where light dominates, is no place for darkness. There is no room in the Age of Enlightenment for ignorant people. The ignorant will become enlightened by a few of these already enlightened. Nature will not allow ignorance to survive. She cannot. The non-survival of the weak has always been the law or axiom of nature." (From Inauguration of the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, M.I.U. Press, 1975, page 47.) THOUGHTS AND DESIRES

During the process of the increasing manifestation of "pure consciousness" or "transcendental consciousness" in the field of reality, thoughts arise out of which desires develop, which finally lead to action. (Bhagavad Gita p. 236) In the teaching of Maharishi "the justification of desires equates, or is the same as the justification for wishing and desires, in so far as only the self remains untouched by both. And as on the level of cosmic consciousness the divine intelligence does everything for the acting person, in the same way, the mind and senses use in this condition their full potential in order to fulfill desires which promote the well-being of the world". (Hummel, page 139).

The main emphasis is, therefore, that "it" as "nature" in me does the desiring. This is the main occupation of the "dignitaries" of the 'World government', i.e. to wish, and to let "it" in themselves wish. THE LAWS OF NATURE AND DHARMA

According to Mahesh Yogi, all the laws of nature have their basis in cosmic law, which is identical with the "pure self". This is the "home of all the laws of nature" over which the meditator is to achieve mastery. Dharma, or individual dharma, is credited in Maharishi's Bhagavad Gita with a significance equal to that of the laws of nature.

Dharma guarantees the balance of the three gunas, the three aspects of nature. Disease is caused by a disturbance in this balance. The absence of the "three gunas" is the basis for proper or correct life (a life also without disease). "Be without the three gunas", - this sentence holds the essence of the Bhagavad Gita, according to Maharishi. (Hummel, 1980, page 100). It must be clearly stated here, that the "Laws of Nature" of Maharishi's have absolutely nothing to do with the modern discipline of natural science.

"Whoever wishes to lead a life in accordance with the laws of nature, allows himself to be carried by the stream of evolution, his ego becomes an instrument of the 'divine intelligence", since the support of cosmic law makes possible the accomplishment of any aspiration and the ultimate fulfillment of life". (Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, page 472).

Because the path of meditation leads into the field of the "laws of nature", therefore meditation gives power over nature. The meditator feels himself to be an instrument of these "laws of nature". Therefore in a sense, he becomes the "creator" and "co-creator" of paradise. The essential point is the view of reality depicted here out of this understanding of reality the T.M. organization derives its high opinion of itself; its central role in the process of creative evolution. This central function is also the basis for the endlessly repeated phrase "easy and effortless", which is a formula for the optimistic world view of the T.M. movement. The next bewildering sentence of Maharishi's can be understood in the light of this context:

"The answer to every problem is, that there is no problem. Let a man perceive this truth, and he is without problems." (Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, page 66).

Whoever does not stand in the way of the evolutionary powers of the "Divine intelligence", has of course no problems anymore. THE MANTRA AND STANDARDIZATICN OF THE PROCEDURE OF THE MEDITATION

Meditation with the help of a mantra is a common method and one in great demand in Hinduism. This is because of the belief in the magical power of certain sounds or words, by the use of which the initiated can attain godly powers. On account of this the mantra must be kept secret. Although it is said in the T.M. movement that the mantra is a sound without meaning, the belief in the magical power of the mantra is still maintained. It may not be exchanged, and has to be a certain one chosen from Hinduism, which, according to its origin, also does have a traditional meaning: (for example a Hindu God). In order to resolve the conflict between religiosity and scientific appearances, Maharishi has deliberately mechanized and standardized his meditation procedure. He has made it useful for the needs of the westerner. The type of mantra given depends on age, and the mantra is supposed to function automatically. The checker of mistakes in the practice of the meditation, (called "checking") also follows a thirty point procedure. This standardization finds its theoretical expression in the description. "The mechanical path to God-realization." It is the highest and most complete path to God-realization, which in public is often paraphrased as self-realization by the T.M. movement.

This interest in the occult and parapsychological phenomena, as well as the central role of evolution is their epistemology. This shows an inner relationship with Aurobindo's teachings. A more detailed analysis would almost certainly lead to the conclusion that T.M. is very closely related to particular strands of neo-Hinduism, more than would appear at first glance. But a strong westernization has been intended from the start, evident up to the standardization of the meditation process.

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