The U.S. Navy said its guided missile destroyer collided with a Japanese-owned oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz early Sunday morning.
No one was injured in the collision that occurred about 1 a.m. local time when the USS Porter collided with the Panamanian-flagged bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan, the Navy said in a statement.
“Both vessels are okay and the Strait of Hormuz is not closed, and business is as usual there,” an Oman coastguard official told Reuters, declining to be named.
The Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet said the Panamanian-flagged, Japanese-owned bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan collided with the USS Porter, a guided-missile destroyer, in the early hours of Sunday.
The navy vessel remained able to operate under its own power after the collision, which was not combat-related, the statement added without elaborating on how the accident happened. An investigation was underway.
Photographs released by the U.S. Navy showed a large dent, several meters (yards) high, in the starboard side of the USS Porter just in front of the ship’s superstructure and above the waterline. Personnel hung over the side inspecting the damage.
Tensions have risen in the Gulf this year as Iran has threatened to close the strait to international shipping if its dispute with the United States over its nuclear program escalates. Washington says it maintains naval forces in the Gulf to ensure security in the region.
The oil tanker, owned by Japan’s Mitsui OSK, was bound for the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah from Mesaieed in Qatar, according to ship tracking websites.
The Navy did not provide details about the collision, saying only the accident was not related to combat. It said the incident is under investigation.
Damage to the USS Porter was being evaluated, “but the ship is able to operate under its own power,” the statement said.
The Navy did not say what, if any, damage the Otowasan incurred in the collision.
The USS Porter, in the Persian Gulf on a scheduled deployment, is assigned to the U.S. 5th Fleet. It is conducting maritime security operations, the Navy said.
A fire has claimed another privately owned Fisker Karma, the second such incident in just over three months.
Our friends at Jalopnik snagged the first image of the plug-in hybrid ablaze in a Woodside, California, parking lot as the owner stopped to buy groceries. No one was reportedly injured during the episode.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but the damage to the Karma appears to have consumed the driver’s side section of the hood, right above where the exhaust outlet protrudes underneath the bodywork.
The fire is the second such incident to take place this year, with another Fisker engulfing an owner’s garage in Sugar Land, Texas, this past May. The cause of that fire is still under investigation, and comes less than two months after the automaker and its battery partner — A123 Systems — recalled over 600 Karmas due to a possible battery defect.
Another recall was issued in December to reposition a hose clamp that could potentially cause coolant to leak onto the battery, creating a short and possibly starting a fire. Some 239 Karmas were recalled for that defect, with more included in an additional recall in June.
Karma has released an updated statement saying:
Fisker Automotive can confirm that one of its Karma models was involved in a vehicle fire during a roadside incident in Woodside, California. No injuries were reported; the vehicle was parked; and the fire was extinguished safely by the emergency services. Fisker understands damage was limited to the driver’s side front corner of the car, away from the lithium ion battery and electric motors. The car was not being charged at the time.
We have more than 1,000 Karmas on the road with a cumulative 2 million miles on them. There are more than 185,000 highway vehicle fires in the US every year. In an electric vehicle, immediate suspicion is focused on the battery and high voltage components. The location of the damage to the vehicle in this incident appears to rule out that suspicion. Fisker has not had any battery or high voltage fire incidents with any of its vehicles.
Safety remains our primary concern at Fisker, and is integral to the design, engineering and technology of the Karma, a model in which we have absolute confidence. Fisker staff have been in contact with the customer and are investigating the cause of this incident. We are also employing an independent fire expert to assist the investigation. A further statement will be issued once the investigation has been completed and the cause determined.
Four bears walked into a Norwegian cabin…and the result was one heck of a party.
According to The Local, a mother and her three cubs ripped open a wall and forced their way into a cabin in Finnmark, in northeastern Norway, earlier this week – reportedly consuming more than 100 cans of beer along with a supply of marshmallows, honey and chocolate spread.
Cabin owner Even Borthen Nilsen told NRK. “The cabin has the stench of a right old piss up, trash, and bears.”The bear, and three cubs, are reported to have forced their way into the cabin by ripping a wall off.”The entire cabin was destroyed,” Nilsen told the local Finnmarken.no daily.Nilsen told of how his mother and grandmother were the first to discover the carnage left by the beer-thirsty bears, when they arrived at the cabin in Jarfjord in Finnmarken only to find the place turned over.”The beds and all kitchen appliances, stove, oven and cupboards and shelves were all smashed to pieces,” he said.And furthermore the bears had finished off all the food and drink in the house – including all the marshmallows, chocolate spread, honey and over 100 cans of beer.Nilsen explained that excrement on the outside of the cabin left him in no doubt that it was a family of bears which had taken over his cabin for night of feasting and drunken revelry.”You can see footprints on the windows,” he said.
“The entire cabin was destroyed,” cabin owner Even Nilsen told the local Finnmarken.no daily. “The beds and all kitchen appliances, stove, oven and cupboards and shelves were all smashed to pieces.”
And yes, says Nilsen, the carousing marauders left calling cards: excrement outside the cabin and footprints on the windows.
In other trespassing bear news, Time reports that surveillance video from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Estes Park, Colo., shows a black bear went in and out of the store multiple times late last month to snag such goodies as English toffee, caramel-dipped chocolate-chip cookies and milk chocolate “cookie bears”.
“The bear took the comestibles without breaking a thing in the store, ate the stolen goodies outside, and then returned to the shop for more,” says Time. ” All told, the well-behaved bear made seven trips in roughly 15 minutes,” and the thief “left for good after a passing car scared him away.”
Anti-Islamist activists distributed statements Tuesday advocating a second revolution on 24 August against the Muslim Brotherhood and calling for the downfall of President Mohamed Morsy and the Freedom and Justice Party.
Morsi and the Heads of the Ikhwan Muslim Brotherhood Party
The statements, distributed next to Fateh mosque in downtown Ramses Square, coincided with messages circulating on Facebook for the so-called “Second Revolution Movement.”
The movement claimed in a statement that the armed forces supported the people’s demands, but then Islamist groups took over the revolution and made the real revolutionaries step aside. It also accused Islamists of manipulating unrest for their own gains.
Morsy won office through a fraudulent election, the statement alleged, and his decisions as president have conformed to Brotherhood interests, while neglecting social and labor issues.
Ayman Yaqoub, the movement coordinator, said the group is made up of revolutionaries from Tahrir Square who joined the 2011 uprising with specific goals that they are still waiting to see realized.
They claim Morsy has achieved nothing during his short time in office and that the Brotherhood is destroying Egypt.
Pro-military activists have also joined calls for the 24 August demonstration against what they describe as Islamist domination over the state.
Eissa Sadoud, the secretary general and spokesperson of The Egyptian Front for the Defense of the Armed Forces, said his group would coordinate with former lawmakers Mohamed Abou Hamed and Mostafa Bakry as well as supporters of former presidential candidate and once-Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, two pro-Mubarak groups and anti-Islamist political forces.
في ظل تصاعد دعوات الحركات والاحزاب السياسية وبعض من الرموز والشخصيات العامة لثورة غضب في24 أغسطس وفيما انقسم عدد كبير من السياسيين والحزبيين حول المشاركة في هذه الثورة.
قرر حزب التجمع أن يشارك في التظاهرات والوقفات الاحتجاجية يومي20,24 أغسطس تحت شعار لا لدولة المرشد ويشكل الحزب لجنة تدرس آلية المشاركة وتعد مشروع بيان لتوزعيه في هذا اليوم والشعارات التي سيتم رفعها, وفي نفس الوقت أدان الحزب بقوة اي دعوات لاستخدام العنف ضد جماعة الاخوان المسلمين وضد مقارهم.
وأكد حسين عبدالرازق نائب رئيس حزب التجمع أن الحزب له موقف ثابت من جماعة الاخوان المسلمين وحزب الحرية والعدالة منذ البداية مشيرا إلي أن الاخوان اعتبروا وجودهم في السلطة تقويضا لهدم الدولة المدنية المصرية التي ناضل الشعب المصري في تأسيسها منذ أيام محمد علي وثورة19, و52 وإلي ثورة25 يناير.
وقال عبدالرازق انهم لم يعتبروا فوزهم في انتخابات مجلسي الشعب والشوري الاخيرتين وكذلك رئاسة الجمهورية أختيارا من الشعب لتداول السلطة, انما اعتبروها فرصة لتأسيس دولة دينية أو أخوانية او دولة مرشد.
وأضاف لابد من التصدي لحكم الاخوان في هذا المفهوم ولكن ليس باستخدام العنف والانصياع وراء عمليات التحريض ضدهم.
كما أعلن حزب مصر القومي, عزمه المشاركة في مليونية يوم24 اغسطس من الشهر الحالي, والتي تدعو إلي اسقاط جماعة الاخوان المسلمين وحزب الحرية والعدالة, مؤكدا الحفاظ علي سلمية التظاهرات, ورفضهم لاي عمل تخريبي سواء من قبل الموافقين علي هذه التحركات أو رافضيها, وأوضح الحزب, أسباب مشاركته في تلك المليونية,المتمثلة في اتخاذ الدكتور محمد مرسي رئيس الجمهورية للكثير من القرارات التي تصب في صالح جماعة الاخوان المسلمين, بالاضافة إلي استقبال الدكتور محمد بديع المرشد العام لجماعة الاخوان المسلمين.
وأكدت صفحة مليونية24 أغسطس علي موقع التواصل الاجتماعي فيس بوك, أنه لاعلاقة للمليونية بدعوة كل من النائب محمد أبو حامد والاعلامي توفيق عكاشة بالتظاهر للمطالبة باسقاط الرئيس وحل جماعة الاخوان مشددة علي أن دعوتهم للمليونية جاءت احتجاجا علي تباطؤ الرئيس مرسي في انجاز مهامه.
من جهته قال صابر أبو الفتوح رئيس لجنة القوي العاملة بمجلس الشعب المنحل, القيادي في حزب الحرية والعدالة, ان شباب الاخوان سيتكفلون بحماية مقار الجماعة وحزبها خلال مليونية24 أغسطس, التي دعا اليها محمد أبو حامد النائب البرلماني السابق.
ومن جانبه طالب عبدالمنعم عبدالمقصود محامي جماعة الاخوان المسلمين بتوفير حماية أمنية لجميع مقار الجماعة وذراعها السياسية حزب الحرية والعدالة درءا لاي اعتداء يقع عليه بحسب قوله وحفاظا علي هيبة الدولة ومكانتها.
وأضاف أنه قام بالاتصال بنجل المشير عبدالحكيم عامر وتجري حاليا مفاوضات علي تولي الدكتور عمر مسئولية المكتب التنفيذي للجبهة, مشيرا إلي انه حصل علي وعد منه بقبول المنصب لحين الجلوس والتفاوض مع مسئولي الجبهة.
وفي أول رد فعل من شباب الاخوان لدعوات التظاهر ضد الجماعة في مليونية24 أغسطس المقبلة فقد دشنت صفحة الاخوان المسلمين علي الفيس بوك دعوة للثورة ضد النظام القديم والاعلام الفاسد والدولة العميقة ودعت للمشاركة في هذه المليونية رغم ان الدعوة لاتزال غير واضحة حتي الآن.
وفي المقابل قال محمد أبو حامد ان اجتماعات الاخوان لافشال مليونية24 أغسطس دليل علي رعبهم, ومعرفتهم بخطرها وحجم مشاركة الشعب فيها لافتا إلي ان الاخوان لم يكونوا يتوقعون الاستجابة الشعبية لـ ثورة.24
وأضاف ان التجاوب الشعبي مع دعوات الثورة, أظهر الوجه القبيح للجماعة وقياداتها وهو ما دفعها إلي محاولة تشويهها, والتحرك بعشوائية ضدها مؤكدا ان24 أغسطس لن يكون مليونية وانما ثورة حقيقية لن تقل عن ثورة25 يناير ضد جماعة غير قانونية تريد اقامة دولة داخل الدولة, وتتعامل بعنصرية مع الشعب المصري بأكمله حسب قوله.
يذكر انه من الحركات الرافضة للمشاركة, حركات شباب6 ابريل جبهة أحمد ماهر وكفاية ورابطة مصابي الثورة واتحاد شباب الثورة و28 يناير وجبهة انا مصري المستقلة وثوار وامسك فلول وتحالف ضد العسكر والاخوان واتحاد الثورة المصرية ورابطة معتقلي الثورة والائتلاف الشعبي لارض اللواء,.
ومن جانبه أعلن حمدين صباحي المرشح السابق في انتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية عدم مشاركته في مليونية يوم24 أغسطس من الشهر الحالي, التي تدعو إلي اسقاط جماعة الاخوان المسلمين وحزب الحرية والعدالة, مشيرا إلي ان سبب عدم المشاركة في هذه الدعوة انها ليست سلمية وتهدف إلي العنف وحرق مقار حزب الحرية والعدالة كما انه يجب اعطاء رئيس الجمهورية فرصته في المائة يوم.
ومن ناحيتها أكدت حركة ثورة الغضب المصرية الثانية عدم مشاركتها في المليونية التي دعا اليها النائب محمد أبو حامد والاعلامي توفيق عكاشة.
ومن جانبه أكد هشام الشال المنسق العام للحركة رفض الحركة الشديد للدعوات التي تطالب بحرق مقار الاخوان المسلمين مشيرا إلي انه علي رغم اختلاف الحركة مع الاخوان المسلمين فإنهم لن يشاركوا وناشد الشال كل الثوار عدم المشاركة في هذه المليونية.
ومن جانبه قال الدكتور شوقي السيد الفقيه الدستوري أن هناك فرقا دقيقا ومهما بين حرية الرأي وحرية التعبير والنقد وهذه حقوق من الحقوق الاساسية الدستورية المرتبطة بحقوق الانسان في التعبير والنقد مهما كان لاذعا وبين القذف والسب والتحريض وتعريض مصالح الدولة العليا والمواطنين للخطر فالدعوة لمليونية8/24 اذا وقفت عند حد التعبير الجماهيري الجماعي الجامح للتعبير عن سخطها ضد سياسة وادارة شئون البلاد سواء كانت بمعرفة الرئيس أو الحكومة لو كانت خضوعا لحزب الحرية والعدالة او جماعة الاخوان المسلمين فهذا حق الرأي العام في التعبير بشرط ألا ينقلب إلي الاضرار بمصالح الدولة وتعريض مصالح المواطنين للخطر وقطع الطرق أو التهديد والتحريض.
وقال المستشار أحمد الخطيب رئيس محكمة استئناف الاسكندرية ان هذه الدعوات تنطوي علي قدر كبير من الخروج عن السياق القانوني والانحراف عن المسار الديمقراطي فينبغي ان نفرق أولا بين حق التظاهر السلمي والاعتراض والتعبير عن الرأي والمطالبة بتصحيح الاوضاع السياسية وهذا حق مكفول دستوريا وقانونيا أما الشق الثاني فهي دعوات للحرق والتخريب والانقلاب علي الشرعية في أمور مخالفة للقانون تدخل دائرة التجريم وتخضع للعقاب الجنائي لفاعلها ويستوي معه ايضا كل من اشترك فيها بنشر هذه الدعوات التحريضية والدعوة لقيام هذه الاعمال والاتفاق والمساعدة والامداد بالادوات اللازمة لذلك.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (Sanskrit महर्षि महेश योगी maharṣi maheśa yogī) (12 January 1917 – 5 February 2008), born Mahesh Prasad Varma, developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of the Transcendental Meditation movement characterized in multiple ways including as as a new religious movement and as non-religious. The honorifics Maharishi (meaning “enlightened spiritual one”) and Yogi were added to his given name, Mahesh.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi became a disciple and assistant of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya (spiritual leader) of Jyotirmath in the Indian Himalayas. The Maharishi credits Brahmananda Saraswati with inspiring his teachings. By 1955, the Maharishi had introduced the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and other related programmes and initiatives to the world. His first global tour began in 1958
He began to be known as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi around the year 1955. His devotees referred to him as His Holiness, and because he often laughed in TV interviews he publicly became known as the “giggling guru”.
The Maharishi during a 1979 visit to Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Maharishi achieved fame as the guru to The Beatles and other celebrities. He started the TM-Sidhi programme, in the late 1970s that claimed to offer practitioners the ability to levitate and to create world peace. The Maharishi’s Natural Law Party was founded in 1992, and ran campaigns in dozens of countries. He moved to MERU, Holland, near Vlodrop, the Netherlands, in the same year. In 2000, he created the Global Country of World Peace, a country without borders, and appointed its leaders. In 2008, the Maharishi announced his retirement from all administrative activities and went into silence until his death three weeks later.
The Maharishi is reported to have trained more than 40,000 TM teachers, taught the Transcendental Meditation technique to “more than five million people” and founded thousands of teaching centers and hundreds of colleges, universities and schools, while TM websites report tens of thousands learned the TM-Sidhi program. His initiatives include schools and universities with campuses in several countries including India, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. The Maharishi, his family and close associates created charitable organisations and for-profit businesses including health clinics, mail-order health supplements and organic farms. The reported value of the Maharishi’s organization has ranged from the millions to billions of dollars and in 2008, the organization placed the value of their United States assets at about $300 million.
The birth name, birth date, and caste of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi are not known with certainty, in part because of the tradition of ascetics and monks to renounce family connections Many accounts say he was born Mahesh Prasad Varma (Hindi: महेश प्रसाद वर्मा) into a family living in the Central Provinces of British India. A different name appears in the Allahabad University list of distinguished alumni, where he is listed as M.C. Srivastava. Srivastava is the name of his nephews and cousins, and an obituary says his name was “Mahesh Srivastava”.
Various accounts give the year of his birth as 1911, 1917 or 1918. Authors Paul Mason and William Jefferson say that he was born 12 January, 1917 in Jabalpur, Central Provinces. The place of birth given in his passport is “Pounalulla”, India and his birth date as 12 January 1918. Mahesh’s father is identified as a local tax official in the civil service though some sources say he worked in the department of forestry. While a few sources say Mahesh came from a lower-caste family the predominant view is that he was a member of the Kayastha caste, a high-status caste whose traditional profession is writing.
Mahesh studied physics at Allahabad University and earned a degree in 1942. While a few sources say that he worked in a factory following graduationmost report that in 1941, he became an administrative secretary to the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati (also known as Guru Dev) and took a new name, Bal Brahmachari Mahesh. Coplin refers to bala brahmachari as both a title and a name, and considers that it “identified him as a fully dedicated student of spiritual knowledge and life-long celibate ascetic”.The Maharishi recalls how it took about two and a half years to attune himself to the thinking of Brahmananda Saraswati and to gain “a very genuine feeling of complete oneness with Guru Dev”.At first the Maharishi performed common chores but gained trust and became Guru Dev’s “personal secretary”. He was trusted to take care of the bulk of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati’s correspondence without direction, and was also sent out to give public speeches on Vedic (scriptural) themes.
Brahmachari Mahesh remained with Swami Brahmananda Saraswati until the latter died in 1953, when he moved to Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand in the Himalayas. Although Brahmachari Mahesh was a close disciple, he could not be the Shankaracharya’s spiritual successor because he was not of the Brahmin caste. The Shankaracharya, at the end of his life, charged Brahmachari Mahesh with the responsibility of travelling and teaching meditation to the masses, while he named Swami Shantananda Saraswati as his successor.
Tour in India (1955-1957)
In 1955, Brahmachari Mahesh left Uttarkashi and began publicly teaching what he stated was a traditional meditation technique learned from his master Brahmananda Saraswati, and that he called Transcendental Deep Meditation. Later the technique was renamed Transcendental Meditation. It was also then that he was first publicly known with the name “Maharishi” an honorific title meaning “great sage” after receiving the title from “Indian Pundits”.
He travelled around India for two years. At that time, he called his movement the Spiritual Development Movement, but renamed it the Spiritual Regeneration Movement in 1957, in Madras, India, on the concluding day of the Seminar of Spiritual Luminaries. According to J. Lynwood King, in his dissertation Fundamentals of Maharishi Vedic Science, the feedback Brahmachari Mahesh received from the diverse population that learned his technique suggested to him that it could be of wide benefit. According to Coplin, in his visits to southern India, Mahesh spoke English rather than the Hindi spoken in his home area to avoid provoking resistance among those seeking linguistic self-determination, and to appeal to the “learned classes”.
World tours (1958-1968)
In 1959, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi began his first world tour, writing: “I had one thing in mind, that I know something which is useful to every man”.The Maharishi’s 1986 book, Thirty Years Around the World, gives a detailed account of his world tours, as does a later biography, The Maharishi by Paul Mason. The first world tour began in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) and included the countries of Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and Hawaii. He arrived in Hawaii in the spring of 1959 and the Honolulu Star Bulletin reported: “He has no money, he asks for nothing. His worldly possessions can be carried in one hand. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is on a world odyssey. He carries a message that he says will rid the world of all unhappiness and discontent.” In 1959, the Maharishi lectured and taught the Transcendental Meditation technique in Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York and London. While in Los Angeles the Maharishi stayed at the home of author, Helena Olson and during this period he developed a three-year plan to propagate Transcendental Meditation to the whole world.
When the Maharishi came to the U.S. in 1959, his Spiritual Regeneration Movement was called Transcendental Meditation. That same year he began the International Meditation Society and other organizations to propagate his teachings establishing centres in San Francisco and London.
In 1960, the Maharishi travelled to many cities in India, France, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.
While in Manchester, England, the Maharishi gave a television interview and was featured in many English newspapers such as the Birmingham Post, the Oxford Mail and the Cambridge Daily News. This was also the year in which the Maharishi trained Henry Nyburg to be the first Transcendental Meditation teacher in Europe.
In 1961, the Maharishi visited Austria, Sweden, France, Italy, Greece, India, Kenya, England, USA and Canada. While in England, the Maharishi appeared on BBC television and gave a lecture to 5,000 people at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In April 1961, the Maharishi conducted his first Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Course in Rishikesh, India with sixty participants from various countries. Teachers continued to be trained as time progressed. During the course, Maharishi began to introduce additional knowledge regarding the development of human potential, and began writing his translation and commentary on the first six chapters of the ancient Vedic text, the Bhagavad Gita.
At this time, the Maharishi began to recommend the daily practice of yoga exercises or asanas to accelerate growth through meditation. “For good health it is necessary for everyone to do something with the body so that it remain flexible and normal,” Maharishi said. “The advantage of YOGA ASANAS over other eastern and western systems of physical posture is that they do not consume energy. They help restore life force, promote health and maintain normal conditions in the body.” His organisation produced an introductory publication on yoga asanas in cooperation with a professor of yoga at the University of Travancore, India, K.B. Hari Krishna.
His 1962 world tour included visits to Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand. The year concluded in California where the Maharishi began dictating his book The Science of Being and Art of Living. In Rishikesh, India, beginning on 20 April 1962, a forty-day course was held for “sadhus, sanyasis, and brahmacharis” to introduce TM to “religious preachers and spiritual masters in India”.
The Maharishi toured cities in Europe, Asia, North America and India in 1963, and also addressed ministers of the Indian Parliament. According to his memoirs, twenty-one members of parliament then issued a public statement endorsing the Maharishi’s goals and meditation technique. His Canadian tour generated news articles in the magazine Enjoy and in the Daily Colonist, Calgary Herald and The Albertan.
The Maharishi’s fifth world tour, in 1964, consisted of visits to many cities in North America, Europe and India. During his visit to England, he appeared with the Abbot of Downside, Abbot Butler, on a BBC television show called “The Viewpoint”. In October of that year, in California, the Maharishi began teaching the first Advanced Technique of Transcendental Meditation to some experienced meditators. While travelling in America, the Maharishi met with Robert Maynard Hutchins, the head of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, and U Thant, the Secretary General of the United Nations. During this same year, the Maharishi finished his book The Science of Being and Art of Living, which sold more than a million copies and was published in fifteen languages.
In 1966, the Maharishi founded the Students’ International Meditation Society, which The Los Angeles Times later characterised as a “phenomenal success”.
The Maharishi’s headquarters in Seelisberg, Switzerland
In 1967, the Maharishi gave a lecture at Caxton Hall in London which was attended by Pattie Boyd, George Harrison’s wife, as well as Leon MacLaren, the founder and leader of the School of Economic Science (SES). That same year, an article in Time magazine called the Maharishi the “soothsayer for everyman” and reported that he “has been sharply criticised by other Indian sages, who complain that his program for spiritual peace without either penance or asceticism contravenes every traditional Hindu belief”. Religion and culture scholar Sean McCloud says that Newsweek reported that “many Indian sages contend that his rather simplified system of meditation is without basis in the Bhagavad-Gita—the epic poem that is Hinduism’s most exalted scripture”. McCloud also writes that Look magazine “asserted that tradition-minded gurus, angrily citing the Bhagavad Gita, say that self-abnegation and suffering along with rigid concentration are the prescribed pathway to Enlightenment”, in contrast to the Maharishi’s “belief that Enlightenment was compatible with active living and easily available to everyone.”
During 1967 and 1968 the Maharishi appeared on the magazine covers of Life, Look, Newsweek, Time, Esquire, Saturday Evening Post, The New York Times Sunday Supplement, Ebony and “many others”. At the end of 1968 the Maharishi said that his ten years of teaching and world tours was coming to an end and that he would return to India.
Interaction with The Beatles
In 1967, the Maharishi’s fame increased and his movement “really took off” when he became the “spiritual advisor to The Beatles”. The Beatles met him for the first time in London in August 1967, and studied with him in Bangor, Wales, before travelling to Rishikesh, India in February 1968 to “devote themselves fully to his instruction”. Starr and his wife Maureen left after ten days because they missed their children and Ringo’s body was sensitive to the spicy food, perhaps attributable to his childhood illnesses. McCartney left three weeks later. Both Beatles said later that they enjoyed the ashram experience and planned to continue with their meditation. Lennon and Harrison departed two weeks later after hearing a rumour that the Maharishi had made sexual advances towards Mia Farrow and a few other women.
Lennon wrote the song “Maharishi” (with the lines: “what have you done? You made a fool of everyone”) as he was leaving. George Harrison argued that the title was disrespectful and possibly libelous. The title and lyrics were changed from “Maharishi” to “Sexy Sadie.” On the Tonight Show a few months later, Lennon said that “We believe in meditation, but not the Maharishi and his scene”. McCartney said The Beatles’ association with the Maharishi was “a public mistake”, and Lennon “an error of judgment”.
The New York Times and The Independent reported that the influence of the Maharishi, and the journey to Rishikesh to meditate, weaned The Beatles from LSD and inspired them to write many new songs. It was “an extraordinary period of creativity for them,” during which they wrote almost all of the songs that would appear on both the White Album and Abbey Road, said biographer Barry Miles.
Alexis Mardas, head of The Beatles’ Apple Electronics, declared the Rishikesh ashram to be luxurious, though Ringo Starr likened it to “a kind of spiritual Butlins”, a low-cost British holiday camp. Nancy Cooke de Herrera lists many privations and says, “Dripping pipes, broken windows, and dirty rooms seemed to be the common complaints.” She quotes the Maharishi as saying,”Our primitive conditions here are not good enough for Westerners; however, once they get into the bliss of good meditation, all else will be unimportant.”
Neil Aspinall, The Beatles’ road manager, recalled his opinion in reference to obtaining rights for a feature film that “[t]his guy knows more about making deals than I do. He’s really into scoring, the Maharishi”.
The New York Times reported in 2008 that Harrison and McCartney reconsidered the accusations. McCartney said that the rumours of sexual impropriety were raised by Alexis Mardas who “had agendas of his own, and may have fabricated (or at least exaggerated) the story”. In a press conference on April 3, 2009, prior to his performance at the David Lynch Foundation benefit concert “Change Begins Within”, Paul McCartney commented that Transcendental Meditation was a gift The Beatles had received from Maharishi at a time when they were looking for something to stabilise them. Harrison commented, “Now, historically, there’s the story that something went on that shouldn’t have done — but nothing did”. Farrow’s autobiography is ambiguous about the incident: she describes “panicking” and fleeing after the Maharishi put his arms around her in a dark cave, immediately after a private meditation session. Deepak Chopra, who met and became a “disciple of the Maharishi’s” in the 1990s before later splitting, said in 2008 that the Maharishi had a “falling out with the rock stars when he discovered them using drugs”. In their obituaries of the Maharishi, Rolling Stone and Bloomberg news service stated that the rumour of impropriety was “unfounded” and never proven Yoko Ono said in 2008 that if Lennon were alive he probably would have reconciled with the Maharishi.
The Maharishi’s headquarters at MERU, Holland
Further growth of his TM movement (1968-1990)
In 1968, the Maharishi announced that he would stop his “public activities” and instead begin the training of TM teachers at his new global headquarters in Seelisberg, Switzerland.
In 1970, the Maharishi held a TM teacher training course at a Victorian hotel located in Poland Springs, Maine with 1,200 participants. Later that year, he held a similar four-week course at Humboldt State College in Arcata, California. About 1,500 people attended and it was described as a “sort of a crash program to train transcendental teachers”. Following tax troubles in India, he moved his headquarters to Italy and then to Austria. That same year, the City of Hope Foundation in Los Angeles gave the Maharishi their “Man of Hope” award.
In 1971, the Maharishi held a press conference with American inventor Buckminster Fuller in Amherst, Massachusetts.
The Maharishi announced his World Plan in 1972, the goal of which was to establish 3,600 TM centers around the world. That year, a TM training course was given by the Maharishi at Queens University and was attended by 1,000 young people from the USA and Canada. At the start of the course the Maharishi encouraged the attendees to improve their appearance by getting haircuts and wearing ties.
In March 1973, Maharishi addressed the legislature of the state of Illinois. That same year, the legislature passed a resolution in support of the use of Maharishi’s Science of Creative Intelligence in Illinois public schools.
In 1974, Maharishi International University was founded. In October 1975, the Maharishi was pictured on the front cover of Time magazine. He made his last visit to the Spiritual Regeneration Movement centre in Los Angeles in 1975, according to film director David Lynch, who met him for the first time there.
In 1975, the Maharishi embarked on a five-continent trip to inaugurate what he called “the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment”. The Maharishi said the purpose of the inaugural tour was to “go around the country and give a gentle whisper to the population”. He visited Ottawa during this tour and had a private meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, during which he spoke about the principles of TM and “the possibility of structuring an ideal society.” That same year, the Pittsburg Press reported that “The Maharishi has been criticised by other Eastern yogis for simplifying their ancient art.” The Maharishi appeared as a guest on The Merv Griffin Show in 1975 and again in 1977 and this resulted in “tens of thousands of new practitioners” around the USA.
In the mid 1970s, the Maharishi’s U.S. movement was operating 370 TM centres manned by 6,000 TM teachers. At that time, the Maharishi also began approaching the business community via an organisation called the American Foundation for SCI (AFSCI), whose objective was to eliminate stress for business professionals. The Maharishi’s message was a promise of “increased creativity and flexibility, increased productivity, improved job satisfaction, improved relations with supervisors and co-workers”. His TM movement came to be increasingly structured along the lines of a multinational corporation.
The teaching of TM and the Science of Creative Intelligence in a New Jersey public school was stopped when a US court, in 1977, declared the movement to be religious, and ruled adoption of TM by public organisations in breach of the separation of church and state (First Amendment). In 1978, the Maharishi began a “world peace campaign” and sent more than five hundred “World Governors” to meditate and neutralize global tension in Lebanon, Iran, Thailand, Zimbabwe and Central America.
During the 1980s, the organisation continued to expand and his meditation technique continued to attract celebrities despite its “outlandish claims” and accusations of fraud from disaffected former disciples. The Maharishi made a number of property investments. In England, he bought Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire, Roydon Hall in Maidstone, Swythamley Park in thePeak District and a Georgian rectory in Suffolk. In the United States, resorts and hotels, many in city centres, were purchased to be used as TM training centres. Doug Henning and the Maharishi planned a magical Vedic amusement park, Vedaland, and bought large tracts of land near Orlando, Florida and Niagara Falls, Ontario to host the park. The Maharishi commissioned plans from a prominent architect for the world’s tallest building, a Vedic-style pyramid to be built in São Paulo, Brazil, and to be filled with Yogic Flyers and other TM endeavours. In 1983 the Maharishi invited government leaders to interact with his organization called “World Government” that same year he organized a two week “collective meditation” at Maharishi International University in Iowa with the goal of purifying world consciousness .
In January 1988, the Maharishi’s offices in India were raided by Indian police, who reportedly confiscated cash, securities and jewels. News reports varied widely as to the dollar value of the goods seized. One source said $500,000, while two others put the figure at $60,000 and $30,000, respectively. A fourth newspaper article, quoting Maharishi’s Age of Enlightenment News Service reported that nothing at all of value was confiscated. The raid occurred amidst a conflict with authorities over taxes and the movement was accused of lying about expenses. The Maharishi moved out of India following the tax audit. That same year the Maharishi created a “Master Plan to Create Heaven on Earth”, a plan for reduced crime, longer life spans and increased prosperity and happiness. Following an earthquake in Armenia, the Maharishi trained Russian TM teachers and set up a Maharishi Ayurveda training center in the Urals region.
Years in Vlodrop (1991-2008)
In 1990, the Maharishi relocated his headquarters from Seelisberg, Switzerland to a former Franciscan monastery in Vlodrop, the Netherlands, which became known as MERU, Holland on account of the Maharishi European Research University (MERU) campus there. A building, called the “largest wooden structure” in the Netherlands, was built for Maharishi, reportedly at “vast expense”. During his time in Vlodrop, he communicated to the public mainly via video and the internet. He also created a subscription-based, satellite TV channel, called Veda Vision, which broadcast content in twenty-two languages and 144 countries.
In 1991, the Maharishi called Washington D.C. a “pool of mud” after a decade of attempts to lower the rate of crime in the city, which had the second-largest TM community in the US. He told his followers to leave and save themselves from its “criminal atmosphere”. The Maharishi is believed to have made his final public appearance in 1991, in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Deepak Chopra, described as “one of the Maharishi’s top assistants before he launched his own career”, wrote that the Maharishi collapsed in 1991 with kidney and pancreas failure, that the illness was kept secret by the Maharishi’s family and that he tended to Maharishi during a year-long recovery. According to Chopra, the Maharishi accused him, in July 1993, of trying to compete for the position of guru and asked him to stop travelling and writing books, which led to Chopra’s decision to leave the movement in January 1994. According to Mozambique’s President Chissano, the result of inviting the Maharishi to Maputo in 1992 was balance and peace.
The Maharishi inaugurated the Natural Law Party (NLP) as a means for achieving a “natural government” to enact his plans. His adherents, led by Maharishi University of Management president Bevan Morris, founded the NLP in 1992. It was active in forty-two countries. John Hagelin, the NLP’s three-time candidate for U.S. president, denied any formal connection between the Maharishi and the party. The chief plank in the NLP’s platform was funding the Maharishi’s plan for thousands of Yogic Flyers who could create the Maharishi Effect and thereby insure invincibility for every nation. According to spokesman Bob Roth, “The Maharishi has said the party has to grow to encompass everyone”. Critics charged that the party was an effort to recruit people for Transcendental Meditation, and that it resembled “the political arm of an international corporation” more than a “home-grown political creation”. The Indian arm of the NLP, the Ajeya Bharat Party, achieved electoral success, winning one seat in a state assembly in 1998. The Maharishi shut down the political effort in 2004, saying, “I had to get into politics to know what is wrong there.”
In 1992, the Maharishi began to send groups of Yogic Flyers to India, America, China and Brazil in an effort to increase global peace through a “coherent world consciousness”.
A detail of the Maharishi’s headquarters
In 2000, the Maharishi founded the Global Country of World Peace (GCWP) “to create global world peace by unifying all nations in happiness, prosperity, invincibility and perfect health, while supporting the rich diversity of our world family” . The Maharishi crowned Tony Nader as the Maharaja (king) of the GCWP in 2000. The GCWP unsuccessfully attempted to establish a sovereign microstate when it offered USD 1.3 billion to the President of Suriname for a 200-year lease of 3,500 acres (14 km2) of land and in 2002, attempted to choose a king for theTalamanca, a “remote Indian reservation” in Costa Rica.
In 2001, followers of the Maharishi founded Maharishi Vedic City a few miles north of Fairfield, Iowa in the United States. This new city requires that the construction of its homes and buildings be done according to the Maharishi Sthapatya Veda principles of “harmony with nature”.
In a 2002 appearance on the CNN show, Larry King Live, the first time in twenty-five years that the Maharishi had appeared in the mainstream media, he said “Transcendental Meditation is something that can be defined as a means to do what one wants to do in a better way, a right way, for maximum results”. It was occasioned by the reissue of the Maharishi’s book The Science of Being and Art of Living. That same year, the Maharishi Global Financing Research Foundation issued the “RAAM” as a currency “dedicated to financing peace promoting projects”.
In 2003, David Lynch began a fundraising project to raise USD 1 billion “on behalf of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi” to build a meditation centre large enough to hold 8,000 skilled practitioners.
The Maharishi ordered a suspension of TM training in Britain in 2005 due to his opposition to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to support the Iraq War. The Maharishi said that he did not want to waste the “beautiful nectar” of TM on a “scorpion nation”. He lifted the ban after Blair’s resignation in 2007.
In 2007, the GCWP purchased the American Bank Note Company Building near the New York Stock Exchange for its Maharishi Global Financial Capital. Its purpose is to create funding that will support the construction of 3,000 “peace palaces” around the world. The building was sold in 2010 for a $5.5 million profit.
During this period, sceptics were critical of some of the Maharishi’s programmes, such as a $10 trillion plan to end poverty through organic farming in poor countries and a $1 billion plan to use meditation groups to end conflict. In 2008, BBC news reported that “The Maharishi’s commercial mantras drew criticism from stricter Hindus, but his promises of better health, stress relief and spiritual enlightenment drew devotees from all over the world”.
Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Dwarka and one of three claimants to Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math told a German filmmaker in 2010 that “Mahesh Yogi instigated [Swami] Shantanand [Saraswati] to fight the court case” and that as a member of the trader class and Saraswati’s bookkeeper, the Maharishi had no right to teach meditation or to give mantras, and that “Gurus don’t sell their knowledge, they share it.” Other sources say that Maharishi worked closely with the Shankaracharya and was considered a “great disciple” and his “right (hand) man”. According to biographer Paul Mason, Swami Shantanand Saraswati (whom Brahmananda Saraswati had named as his successor) “publicly commended the practice of the Maharishi’s meditation,” referring to it as a ‘master key to the knowledge of Vedanta.’ Sociologist J.R Coplin, who conducted interviews in India as part of his research on the TM organisation, says that Swami Shantanand’s successor as Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Swami Vishnudevanand, “speaks highly of Maharishi and sees his teaching as a reflection of their master’s (Brahmananda Saraswati)”.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, concerned about his health, became increasingly secluded in two rooms of his residence. He communicated with even his closest advisors by closed-circuit television.
On January 12, 2008, the Maharishi declared: “It has been my pleasure at the feet of Guru Dev (Brahmananda Saraswati), to take the light of Guru Dev and pass it on in my environment. Now today, I am closing my designed duty to Guru Dev. And I can only say, ‘Live long the world in peace, happiness, prosperity, and freedom from suffering.'”
A week before his death, the Maharishi said that he was “stepping down as leader of the TM movement” and “retreating into silence” and that he planned to spend his remaining time studying “the ancient Indian texts”. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes on February 5, 2008 at his residence in Vlodrop, Netherlands. The cremation and funeral rites were conducted at the Maharishi’s Allahabad ashram in India, overlooking the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. The funeral, with state honours, was carried by Sadhana TV station and was presided over by one of the claimants to the seat of Shankaracharya of the North, Swami Vasudevananda Saraswati Maharaj. Also in attendance were state and local officials, thirty-five Rajas of the Global Country of World Peace, one-time disciple Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and David Lynch. A troop of uniformed policemen lowered their arms in salute. A memorial building, the Maharishi Smarak, is now under construction near the same site. With a projected height of about 80 feet (24 m) and a golden roof topped with kalashas, it is expected to be “visible everywhere from the city of Prayag (Allahabad)”.
The Maharishi was survived by a number of nephews and nieces. One nephew, Brahmachari Girish Chandra Varma, is chairman of the Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools Group, president of Maharishi Institute of Management, chancellor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Vedic University and chancellor of Maharishi University of Management and Technology in India. Varma is also Director General of Maharishi World Centre of Gandharva Ved and Maharishi World Capital of Peace, Brahmasthan of India. Other nephews include Anand Shrivastava, chairman of the Maharishi Group, and Ajay Prakash Shrivastava, president of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools.
After his death, Indian spiritual guru and former disciple Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, said “Maharishi laid the foundation for a new world based on the knowledge of Vedas and spirituality” and that “there was none like him and none shall ever be again.” Paul McCartney also commented saying that “Whilst I am deeply saddened by his passing, my memories of him will only be joyful ones. He was a great man who worked tirelessly for the people of the world and the cause of unity.”
Philosophy and teaching
The Maharishi had come out to teach with the “avowed intention” to change “the course of human history”. When he first began teaching he had three main aims: to revive the spiritual tradition in India, that meditation was for everyone and not just for recluses, and to show that Vedanta is compatible with science. The Maharishi had a message of happiness, writing in 1967, that “being happy is of the utmost importance. Success in anything is through happiness. Under all circumstances be happy. Just think of any negativity that comes at you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss”. His philosophy featured the concept that “within everyone is an unlimited reservoir of energy, intelligence, and happiness”. He emphasised the naturalness of his meditation technique as a simple way of developing this potential .
He also taught that practising Transcendental Meditation twice a day would create inner peace and that “mass meditation sessions” could create outer peace by reducing violence and war. According to a TM website, the performance of yagyas by 7,000 pandits in India, plus hundreds of Yogic Flyers in Germany, brought “coherence and unity in the collective consciousness of Germany” and caused the fall of the Berlin Wall. One religion scholar, Michael York, considers the Maharishi to have been the most articulate spokesman for the spiritual argument that a critical mass of people becoming enlightened through the practice of “meditation and yogic discipline” will trigger the New Age movement’s hoped-for period of postmillennial “peace, harmony, and collective consciousness”.
Religious studies scholar Carl Olson writes that the TM technique was based on “a neo-Vedanta metaphysical philosophy in which an unchanging reality is opposed to an ever-changing phenomenal world” and that the Maharishi says it is not necessary to renounce worldly activities to gain enlightenment, unlike other ascetic traditions.
Some religious studies scholars have further said that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is one of a number of Indian gurus who brought neo-Hindu adaptations of Vedantic Hinduism to the west. Author Meera Nanda calls neo-Hinduism “the brand of Hinduism that is taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Deepak Chopra, and their clones”. J.R. Coplin, a sociologist and MIU graduate, says that the Maharishi saw his own purpose as “the ‘revival’ of the knowledge of an integrated life based upon Vedic principles and Vedantist reality”
Author Barry Miles writes that, in spite of the media’s scepticism for the Maharishi’s spiritual message, they seized upon him because young people seemed to listen to his pro-establishment, anti-drug message with one TM participant saying the Maharishi “signaled the beginning of the post-acid generation”.
During a CNN interview in 2002, the Maharishi said “Transcendental meditation is something that can be defined as a means to do what one wants to do in a better way, a right way, for maximum results”. Over a thirty-year period, the Maharishi held many advanced, in-residence courses and assemblies in North America, India and Europe for practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique. These courses consisted of long meditation sessions, lectures by Maharishi, discussions based on personal experiences of meditation, questions from course participants, and organisational meetings. This type of in-residence course style continues to this day. By the time of his death, there were nearly 1,000 TM training centres around the world.
In the mid 1970s, the Maharishi began the TM-Sidhi programme, including Yogic Flying, as an additional option for those who had been practising the Transcendental Meditation technique for some time. According to Coplin, this new aspect of knowledge emphasised not only the individual, but also the collective benefits created by group practice of this advanced programme. This new programme gave rise to a new principle called the Maharishi Effect, which is said to “create coherence in the collective consciousness” and to suppress crime, violence, and accidents.
Maharishi Vedic Science
Maharishi Vedic Science, or MVS, is based on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s interpretation of the ancient Vedic texts. MVS includes two aspects, the practical aspect of the Transcendental Meditation technique and the TM-Sidhi programme, as well as the theoretical aspect of how MVS is applied to day to day living.
These applications include programmes in: Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health (MVAH); Maharishi Sthapatya Veda, a mathematical system for the design and construction of buildings; Maharishi Gandharva Veda, a form of classical Indian music; Maharishi Jyotish (also known as Maharishi Vedic Astrology), a system claiming the evaluation of life tendencies of an individual; Maharishi Vedic Agriculture, a trademarked process for producing fresh, organic food; and Consciousness-Based Education.
According to educator James Grant, a former Maharishi University of Management Associate Professor of Education and the former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Maharishi brought out a “full revival of the Vedic tradition of knowledge from India” and demonstrated its relevance in many areas including education, business, medicine and government.
The Maharishi has written more than twenty books on the Transcendental Meditation technique and Maharishi Vedic Science.
The Beacon Light of the Himalayas
In 1955, the organisers of The Great Spiritual Development Conference of Kerala published The Beacon Light of the Himalayas, a transcribed, 170-page, “souvenir” of the conference. Authors Chryssides, Humes and Forsthoefel, Miller, and Russel cite this as the Maharishi’s first published book on Transcendental Meditation, although Transcendental Meditation is not mentioned in the text of the book. The book is dedicated to Maharshi Bala Brahmachari Mahesh Yogi Rajaram by his devotees of Kerala and contains photographs, letters and lectures by numerous authors which appear in various languages such as English, Hindi and Sanskrit.
Science of Being and Art of Living
The Maharishi audiotaped the text of the book Science of Being and Art of Living, which was later transcribed and published in fifteen languages in 1963. The book is described by its author as “the summation of both the practical wisdom” of “Vedic Rishis” and the “scientific thinking” of the “Western world”. The book is divided into 4 sections: “Science of Being”, “Life”, “Art of Living” and “Fulfillment”. The first section, “Science of Being”, “is a deep and practical philosophy of life.” The other 3 sections “present the most practical wisdom of day-to-day life”, “based on the deep philosophical significance contained in the section on the Science of Being.” Section 2 covers the topis “What is Life?”; “Purpose of Life”; “Normal Life”; and, “Individual and Cosmic.” Section 3 describes the “Art of Living”, which the Maharishi explains “enables a man to live full values of life, accomplish the maximum in the world, and at the same time, live a life of eternal freedom in God consciousness.” In the final section, Section 4, the Maharishi presents the idea of “Fulfillment”, and how fulfillment can be brought to various aspects of life – religion, psychology, philosophy – through the application of the “Science of Being”. Section 4 also contains a discussion of the “Paths to God Realization”.
The 2001 edition, published by Plume (a division of Penguin), contains a new Foreword written by Dr. Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management. In it, Morris lays out a historical account of the Maharishi’s contribution in the field of knowledge and the technologies for the development of human consciousness.
Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation and Commentary
In his 1967 publication, Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation and Commentary, the Maharishi describes the Bhagavad Gita as “the Scripture of Yoga”. He says that “its purpose is to explain in theory and practice all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level.” In the Preface, the Maharishi writes: “The purpose of this commentary is to restore the fundamental truths of the Bhagavad-Gita and thus restore the significance of its teaching. If this teaching is followed, effectiveness in life will be achieved, men will be fullfilled on all levels and the historical need of the age will be fulfilled also.”
In 1964, the Maharishi attended the All-India Yogic Conference held in Calcutta, India, where he said that the teachings contained in the Bhagavad Gita were misunderstood in the current age, and “the practice of yoga was misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misapplied”, resulting in “weakness in the fields of thought and action”. The Maharishi said that the source of his commentary was his master: “We are just an innocent means for the spontaneous flow of that knowledge—that’s all.” A list of the masters of the “Holy Tradition” is printed in the appendix of the Maharishi’s translation and commentary of the Bhagavad-Gita. The Appendix of the Maharishi’s Gita also contains a detailed discussion of the “Six Systems of Indian Philosophy”, namely, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Yoga, Karma Mimansa, and Vedanta. The Maharishi teaches that any knowledge is “true” only when it is acceptable in the light of all these six system, and that the truth of the Bhagavad-Gita can be proven this way. He then illustrates this principal by showing how Chapter 1, Verse 2 gives “expression to each of the six systems in detail.”
In the “Introduction”, the Maharishi states that his commentary is “supplementary to the unique vision and profound wisdom of the great Shankara, as set forth in his Gita-Bhashya.” He invites every man to use the “practical wisdom” in Chapter 2, Verse 45 to “gain eternal freedom in divine consciousness;” which reads:
The vedas’ concern is with the three
gunas. Be without the three gunas,
O Arjuna, free from duality, ever
firm in purity, independent of possessions,
possessed of the Self.
The Maharishi comments that in this verse Lord Krishna gives Arjuna the technique for “instant realization” – be without activity, be your Self. Also in his commentary on this verse, the Maharishi adds that the Self is within and that Krishna has revealed the “secret of arriving at the state of pure consciousness.” A footnote directs the reader to see the section in the Appendix on Transcendental Meditation.
The Maharishi was reported to be an entrepreneur, a monk and “a spiritual man who sought a world stage from which to espouse the joys of inner happiness”. He was on a mission to bring the ancient techniques of TM to the world. Scientist and futurist Buckminister Fuller spent two days with Maharishi at a symposium at the University of Massachusetts in 1971 and said, “You could not meet with Maharishi without recognizing instantly his integrity.” The Maharishi reportedly emphasized “the positive aspects of humanity” and “the good that exists in everyone”. Authors Douglas E. Cowan and David G. Bromley write that the Maharishi did not claim any “special divine revelation nor supernatural personal qualities” still others said he helped to “inspire the anti-materialism of the late 60s” and received good publicity because he “opposed drugs”.
According to The Times Maharishi attracted scepticism because of his involvement with wealthy celebrities, his business acumen, and his love of luxury, including touring in a Rolls-Royce. A reporter for the The Economist calls this a “misconception” saying: “He did not use his money for sinister ends. He neither drank, nor smoked, nor took drugs. . . . . He did not accumulate scores of Rolls-Royces, like Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh; his biggest self-indulgence was a helicopter.” When some observers questioned how his organisation’s money was being used, the Maharishi said, “It goes to support the centres, it does not go on me. I have nothing.”
He was often referred to as the “Giggling Guru” because of his habit of laughing during television interviews. Diminutive at a little over five feet tall, the Maharishi often wore a traditional cotton or silk, white dhoti while carrying or wearing flowers. He often sat cross-legged on a deerskin and had a “grayish-white beard, mustache and long, dark, stringy hair”. Barry Miles described the Maharishi as having “liquid eyes, twinkling but inscrutable with the wisdom from the East”. Miles said the Maharishi was a man in his seventies who looked much younger than his age. He had a high pitched voice and in the words of Merv Griffin “a long flowing beard and a distinctive, high pitched laugh that I loved to provoke”.
During the wave of publicity surrounding the Beatles’ attendance, an unsympathetic press lampooned the guru and the band and the British satire Private Eye, ridiculed him as “Veririchi Lotsamoney Yogi Bear”. The Maharishi was also parodied by comedians Bill Dana and Joey Forman in the 1968 comedy album “The Mashuganishi Yogi”, by comedian Mike Myers in the film The Love Guru and in the BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me.
Other initiatives, projects and programmes
Maharishi International University (renamed Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in 1995), the first university Maharishi founded, began classes in Santa Barbara, California, in 1973. In 1974 the university moved to Fairfield, Iowa, where it remains today. The university houses a library of the Maharishi’s taped lectures and writings, including the thirty-three-lesson Science of Creative Intelligence course, originally a series of lectures given by the Maharishi in Fiuggi, Italy, in 1972. Described in the MUM university catalogue as combining modern science and Vedic science, the course also defines certain higher states of consciousness, and gives guidance on how to attain these states
The Maharishi Vidya Mandir Schools (MVMS), an educational system established in sixteen Indian states and affiliated with the New Delhi Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), was founded in 1995 by the Maharishi. It has 148 branches in 118 cities with 90,000 to 100,000 students and 5,500 teaching and support staff.
In 1998, Maharishi Open University was founded by the Maharishi. It was accessible via a network of eight satellites broadcasting to every country in the world, and via the Internet.
The Maharishi also introduced theories of management, defence, and government, programmes designed to alleviate poverty, and introduced a new economic development currency called the RAAM. In 2000, the Maharishi began building administrative and teaching centres called “Peace Palaces” around the world, and by 2008 at least eight had been constructed in the US alone. The Maharishi Institute, an African university that is part of a group of schools around the world that are named after him, was founded in 2007 and uses his Transcendental Meditation technique in their teaching.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in his farewell message on January 11, 2008, announced the establishment of the Brahmananda Saraswati Trust (BST), named in honour of his teacher, to support large groups totalling more than 30,000 peace-creating Vedic Pandits in perpetuity across India. According to Bevan Morris, the Prime Minister of the Global Country of World Peace, the BST is an endowment fund to “support the Vedic Pandits to perform Yagyas and Graha Shanti for all 192 countries of the world generation after generation”. The Patron of the Brahmanand Saraswati Trust is the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math.
Entrance to the Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic University campus in Vlodrop, Holland
Organisations and businesses
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is credited with heading charitable organisations, for-profit businesses, and real estate investments whose total value has been estimated at US$ 2 to 5 billion. The real estate alone was valued in 2003 at between $3.6 and $5 billion. Holdings in the United States, estimated at $250 million in 2008, include dozens of hotels, commercial buildings and undeveloped land. The Maharishi Group, an international conglomerate created by the Maharishi in 1959, is controlled by members of the Maharishi’s family including his nephew, Anand Shrivastava (also spelled Srivastava). The group, which includes schools, solar power factories, health supplements, organic farms, software, jewelry, and many other businesses, was reported in 1999 to be worth $700 million. The Maharishi “amassed a personal fortune that his spokesman told one reporter may exceed $1 billion”. According to a 2008 article in The Times, the Maharishi “was reported to have an income of six million pounds”. The Maharishi’s “worldwide network” is primarily financed by course fees for Transcendental Meditation as well as real estate holdings and donations.
In his biography of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Story of the Maharishi (published 1976), William Jefferson suggests that the financial aspect of the TM organisation was one of the greatest controversies it faced. He says the paradox that a movement whose concern is spiritual growth should have generated so much controversy about finances is unfortunate, and notes that other organisations handled financedifferently from the TM organisation. Jefferson says that the concerns with money came from journalists more than those who have learned to meditate. The controversy circled around the Maharishi’s mission, the comments from leaders of the movement at that time, and fees and charges the TM organisation made. According to Jefferson, Maharishi said in response to concerns about finances in the TM organisation that, “Money is never on my mind. When I created the world plan to establish centres in every country on earth, I didn’t consider whether we had the necessary money to do it, I saw only the possibility…”. The Maharishi also said, “We cannot take away the economic aspects of the movement…even though my message concerns the non-economic fulfillment of life. If initiations were free we could not cover the overhead for spreading the movement throughout the world.” According to The Times obituary, the Maharishi said he had no interest in wealth: “It goes to support the centres, it does not go on me. I have nothing.”
According to the movement, four to six million people have been trained in the TM technique since 1959. Among the notable practitioners (see full list in main article noted above): Donovan, The Beatles, David Lynch, John Hagelin, Mia Farrow, and Doug Henning. Followers who became spiritual teachers or self-help authors include Deepak Chopra, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, John Gray, and Barbara De Angelis.
Beacon Light of the Himalayas, Azad Printers, 1955
Meditation : easy system propounded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi., International Meditation Centre, 1962
Science of Being and Art of Living – Transcendental Meditation, Allied Publishers, 1963 ISBN 0-452-28266-7
Love and God, Spiritual Regeneration Movement, 1965
Yoga asanas, Spiritual Regeneration Movement, 1965
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita – A New Translation and Commentary, Chapters 1-6, Arkana 1967 ISBN 0-14-019247-6
Meditations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Bantam books, 1968
Alliance for knowledge, Maharishi International University, 1974
Creating an ideal society: a global undertaking, International Association for the Advancement of the Science of Creative Intelligence, 1976
Results of scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program, MERU Press, 1976
Enlightenment to every individual, invincibility to every nation, Age of Enlightenment, 1978 ISBN 99911-608-9-2
Freedom behind bars: enlightenment to every individual and invincibility to every nation, International Association for the Advancement of the Science of Creative Intelligence, 1978
Dawn of the age of enlightenment, MVU Press, 1986 ISBN 978-90-71750-02-1
Life supported by natural law discovery of the Unified Field of all the laws of nature and the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, Age of Enlightenment Press, 1986 ISBN 978-0-89186-051-8
Thirty years around the world: dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, Maharishi Vedic University, 1986 ISBN 978-90-71750-01-4
Maharishi’s Programme to create world peace: global inauguration, Age of Enlightenment Press, 1987 ISBN 978-0-89186-052-5
Maharishi’s master plan to create heaven on earth, Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1991 ISBN 978-90-71750-11-3
A Proven program for our criminal justice system: Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and Corrections, Maharishi International University, 1993
Vedic knowledge for everyone: Maharishi Vedic University, an introduction, Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1994 ISBN 90-71750-17-5
Maharishi’s Absolute Theory of Government – Automation in Administration, Maharishi Prakshan, 1995 ISBN 81-7523-002-9
Maharishi University of Management – Wholeness on the Move, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1995 ISBN 81-7523-001-0
Constitution of India Fulfilled through Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1996 ISBN 81-7523-004-5
Inaugurating Maharishi Vedic University, Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1996 ISBN 978-81-7523-006-4
Maharishi’s Absolute Theory of Defence – Sovereignty in Invincibility, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1996 ISBN 81-7523-000-2
Celebrating Perfection in Education – Dawn of Total Knowledge, Maharishi Vedic University Press, 1997 ISBN 81-7523-013-4
Maharishi Forum of Natural Law and National Law for Doctors – Perfect Health for Everyone, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1997 ISBN 81-7523-003-7
Maharishi Speaks to Educators – Mastery Over Natural Law, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1997 ISBN 81-7523-008-8
Maharishi Speaks to Students – Mastery Over Natural Law, Age of Enlightenment Publications, 1997 ISBN 81-7523-012-6
Celebrating Perfection in Administration, Maharishi Vedic University, 1998 ISBN 81-7523-015-0
Ideal India – The Lighthouse of Peace on Earth, Maharishi University of Management, 2001 ISBN 90-806005-1-2
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Bhagavad-Gita – Chapter 7, 2009, Maharishi Foundation International-Maharishi Vedic University, The Netherlands
مصدر عسكري: حملة نسر ستداهم مواقع بجبل الحلال خلال ساعات
اكد مصدر عسكري أن القوات المسلحة في اطار حملتها العسكرية لتطهير سيناء نسر ستداهم المواقع الارهابية خلال الساعات المقبلة حيث ان هناك حملة أمنية موسعة لمسح وتطهير جبل الحلال بسيناء من جميع العناصر المسلحة الإرهابية التي تستغل الكهوف والجيوب الجبلية الصعبة في هروبها من الملاحقات الأمنية.
وأشار المصدر العسكري إلي ان التطهير الكامل والنهائي لسيناء من جميع تلك العناصر الإرهابية يحتاج الي وقت طويل نظرا لان تلك العناصر أسست قواعد لها منذ سنوات طويلة واعدت لها الكثير من المخابئ والدروب التي تنتقل فيما بينها بمجرد رصد وصول حملات أمنية لسيناء.
وأشار المصدر العسكري بدعم أهالي سيناء بجميع قبائلها وعوائلها الذين يساندون القوات المسلحة والشرطة ويقومون بدور كبير في المساهمة في الوصول إلي العديد من العناصر الارهابية لرغبتهم في عودة الأمن والاستقرار لسيناء حتي يمارسون حياتهم اليومية وهم في امان مع انفسهم وأموالهم و اولادهم وأوضح المصدر ان التعزيزات
العسكرية التي يتم الدفع بها من حين الي اخر يأتي طبقا للخطة الأمنية وطبيعة المنطقة الجبلية التي تحتاج الي نوعية خاصة من الأسلحة الثقيلة التي تعود الي سيناء لأول مرة منذ عام.1973حيث تم الدفع باعداد من القوات والمدرعات والدبابات وقاذفات الصواريخ وناقلات الجنود بالاضافة الي الاستعانة بالمعدات العسكرية الثابتة لسلاح المهندسين للقوات المسلحة والتي وصلت إلي سيناء للمساهمة في اغلاق وتدمير فتحات انفاق التهريب إلي غزة من الجانب المصري.
أوردت صحيفة “لونوفال أوبسرفاتور” الفرنسية خبرًا يُفيد بأن هجوم سيناء الذي أودى بحياة ستة عشر جندياً من قوات حرس الحدود المصرية قد أنهى شهر العسل الذي لم يدم طويلًا بين قادة حماس والرئيس المصري الجديد الإسلامي محمد مرسي ، وفقًا للمحللين.
فبعد انتخاب محمد مرسي في يونيو الماضي والذي رحبت به حركة حماس ، بدت العلاقات بين الحركة الإسلامية الفلسطينية تسير على الطريق الصحيح ، حيث قرر الرئيس المصري الجديد تخفيف القيود على الحدود بين مصر وقطاع غزة.
ولكن انقلب الحال مساء الأحد الماضي عندما قتل مسلحون ستة عشر جندياً من قوات حرس الحدود المصرية في سيناء وألمحت مصادر في القاهرة إلى أن منفذي الهجوم جاءوا من قطاع غزة الفلسطيني.
وأوضح المحلل مخيمر أبو سعدة ، أستاذ العلوم السياسية في جامعة الأزهر في غزة ، أنه على الرغم من أن حماس أدانت سريعًا الهجوم وأغلقت أنفاق التهريب التي تمر تحت الحدود ، فإن علاقاتها مع القاهرة تعاني بصورة خطيرة وستحتاج المزيد من الوقت لتعود مرة أخرى”.
وأشار أبو سعدة إلى أن “شهر العسل” بين حماس ومحمد مرسي “لم يدم طويلًا” بسبب ضغوط شعبية وعسكرية على مرسي والتي قد تجعله يتراجع عن وعده بتمديد ساعات فتح معبر رفح.
وأضاف مخيمر أبو سعدة أنه على الرغم من ذلك ، فإن الخلافات قد لا تستمر إذا ثبت عدم تورط أي شخص من قطاع غزة في الهجوم.
وفي الواقع ، تعد جماعة الإخوان المسلمين التي ينبثق منها الرئيس الجديد محمد مرسي “المقر الرئيسي” لحركة حماس. ولكن ، تتعرض حماس لضغوط من أجل السيطرة بصورة أفضل على حدودها مع مصر ، حيث أنها تواجه حدوث تدهور في العلاقات مع القاهرة إذا فشلت في ذلك.
وقد أوضح غازي حمد نائب وزير الخارجية في حماس أن الحكومة الفلسطينية يجري مناقشات مكثفة مع مصر لاحتواء تأثير الهجوم الإرهابي وتجنب حدوث أزمة إنسانية بسبب إغلاق الأنفاق التي تعد بمثابة الرئة الحيوية لقطاع غزة.