The Indian sage, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of TM (Transcendental Meditation) has died. The Maharishi, thought to have been 91 years old, died in his sleep on 5 February 2008 at his home in the Netherlands. He introduced the Transcendental Meditation movement to the West in 1959, with the intention of creating individual peace and enlightenment. By the time of his death, it had grown into an impressive global movement.

The Maharishi announced his retirement and retreat into silence at his home in Vlodrop last month, saying his work was done and that he wanted to dedicate his remaining days to studying ancient Hindu Vedas texts. "He had been saying he had done what he set out to do", his spokesman, Bob Roth, told the Associated Press. Mr Roth said the Maharishi died peacefully in his sleep at around 1900 (1800 GMT), due to "natural causes - his age".

Mantras

Born in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the Maharishi trained as a physicist before devoting himself to spiritual enlightenment. After studying in the Himalayas under Guru Dev during the 1940s and 1950s, he spread the teachings of transcendental meditation throughout the world. Based on the theory and practice of yoga, transcendental meditation involves a mental technique that can be learnt and practiced by anyone to reach a state of pure consciousness and gain deep rest.

By repeating in the mind a Sanskrit mantra, a short word or phrase, a practitioner is able to find deep relaxation, which in turn leads to enhanced inner joy, vitality, and creativity. "Don't fight darkness. Bring the light, and darkness will disappear", the Maharishi said in an interview in 2006, repeating one of his own mantras. The Maharishi introduced the technique to the US in 1959, but it did not become widely known in the West until 1968, when the Beatles traveled to India to meditate with him.

Implementation of TM and natural law in education, business and government

Despite this, transcendental meditation's 20-minute routine came to be widely used in the worlds of education, business and welfare to reduce stress and improve concentration, eventually building a following of five million people. Donations and introduction fees to learn the technique helped finance the construction of meditation centers, in dozens of cities around the world, as well as several universities.

The above is an abbreviated version of the BBC-report. We have taken out all negative references, spin and hints. The report was apparently written by someone who, consciously or unconsciously, set out to discredit the man. By calling him a ‘guru', in the West you already set a negative tone, to mention just one example. The Maharishi, being human, will have had his faults. But he has given the world a system, a technique and a spiritual/political philosophy based on ‘natural law'. Although ARCO has no direct links to TM, only a complete bonehead can fail to appreciate this man's great contribution to humanity.  

In today's video a tribute to the Maharishi by ‘Brief and to the Point' blogspot. The Maharishi influenced the Beatles. They dedicated at least one song (‘Within you and Without you') to him. The song (with video images) is a fitting tribute to one of the great spiritual leaders of our time.

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