Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Spiritual Luminary and Scientist

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Spiritual Luminary and Scientist

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi began his journey as a seeker of spiritual wisdom and blossomed into the status of a great spiritual leader, foremost Vedic scholar, and scientist of consciousness.

After earning a degree in physics at Allahabad University in 1942, Maharishi spent 13 years studying with his teacher Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, also known as Guru Dev, to whom Maharishi always gave credit for the wisdom of life that Maharishi then brought to the world.

Upon Guru Dev’s passing in 1953, Maharishi sought deep peace in the remote silence of the Himalayas. After some time, Maharishi had a strong impulse to step out of this peaceful sanctuary and he left Uttar Kashi in the Himalayas to visit Rameshwaram, a pilgrimage site in Southern India.

As he traveled throughout India, he said “Coming from the Himalayas, I had the thought—it was very fresh in my mind—that it is not necessary for man to suffer.” All the spiritually enlightening Vedic literature in India is full of beautiful exaltations, such as “Of bliss all this is born, in bliss all this is sustained, and to bliss all this is going.” But where is this reality in the day-to-day life of the people?

Transcendental Reality

Based on his own experience, Maharishi saw that there exists a huge gap between what life could be and the completely wretched level most people were living. Maharishi recognized that every human being has the infinite source of bliss, creativity, and peace within. By experiencing that Transcendental reality, it is so simple for the individual to be without suffering, on a level of universality and inner bliss. “It’s so simple that something should be done so that people don’t suffer,” he said.

Spiritual development is the birthright of everyone, it is the unfoldment and manifestation of one’s transcendental nature—inner bliss consciousness. The precious knowledge that Maharishi brought out inspired others, who along with him created a worldwide movement that would change destiny from suffering and ignorance to bliss and enlightenment. The foundation of this movement was the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique which is the most natural and effortless meditation to experience the transcendent.

This unique method of meditation could be adopted by anyone, anywhere. Together with the beautifully simple way it’s taught, TM quickly appealed to thousands of people as a very practical means to spiritual development along with proven practical benefits, like a clearer mind, less stress/anxiety and improved health.

Nothing from outside can stop a man from enjoying lasting peace and permanent joy in life, for it is the essential nature of his own soul.

– Maharishi

Maharishi’s Gifts to the World

Maharishi founded thousands of teaching centers and hundreds of colleges, universities and schools. He trained more than 40,000 TM teachers, who in turn taught the Transcendental Meditation technique to more than six million people.

Maharishi’s legacy includes a revival of India’s ancient spiritual tradition of meditation, which he made available for the benefit of everyone. He demystified the timeless knowledge of meditation and corrected many misunderstandings about correct meditation. The assumption that the full benefit of meditation is available only through many years of arduous practice by recluses or monks was shown by Maharishi to be erroneous. In fact, the Transcendental Meditation technique is an effortless procedure that anyone can practice with immediate, as well as long-term, benefits.

The Transcendental Meditation technique that Maharishi brought to the world continues to this day to fulfill the aspiration of millions of individuals seeking spiritual development, self-discovery, well-being, and a more harmonious world.

Throughout his life, Maharishi was committed to bridging the gap between ancient spiritual wisdom and modern scientific understanding. Under his guidance, hundreds of research studies were conducted to explore Transcendental Meditation’s physiological, psychological, and sociological benefits. Published research findings illustrated the positive impact of the practice on reducing stress, improving cognitive function, and promoting inner peace and wellness. Since the first research study was published on TM in 1970 in Science magazine, over 400 studies have been conducted at more than 200 independent universities and research institutions and published in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded over $26 million to research TM’s effectiveness on stress and stress-related conditions.

Maharishi is widely considered responsible for the popularization of meditation in the West, largely due to the fact that TM instruction is readily available, is immediately and effortlessly effective, and is open to scientific scrutiny. He brought meditation out of the shrouded realm of mysticism to the practical life of all people everywhere. Self-realization or enlightenment is everyone’s birthright.

“Life is bliss. It is unbounded, deep within; and it is full of boundaries outside. So we advise the people to turn the attention within, experience that unbounded wholeness of life, and bring the mind out fully saturated with that–start to live unboundedness in the field of boundaries.”

– Maharishi

About the Author

Vanessa Vidal is the national director of TM for Women in the USA

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