Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying - 17 Jun 11

I recently gave a chakra workshop for the first chakra, the root chakra. I talked about knowing one’s roots, told how important it is to be connected with mother earth and explained the necessity of being grounded.

I mentioned a few examples for people who are definitely not grounded and told the group that there are many yogis who are actually trying to fly. They believe this would in some strange way bring peace to this earth. The movement that created and spreads this theory was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He developed a meditation technique called ‘TM’, Transcendental Meditation, which is supposed to make you fly.

On my journeys in the west I have heard of Transcendental Meditation and have met many people who teach or practice it. They are all fascinated about flying but when you ask them whether they have had success in flying, you always get the answer that they have seen pictures or know someone who has seen someone else fly. I never met anybody who could fly himself or had even seen it himself.

Whenever I heard about this idea, I had to smile and thought about how many ways there are to fool people.

Recently friends recommended a documentary about this movement and we watched it together. It is called ‘David wants to fly’. I would really recommend this film to anybody who would like to understand more about Transcendental Meditation by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

In this movie, there is a young student who searches inspiration for his first movie and finds out that one of his idols, the Hollywood film producer David Lynch, is a follower and big fan of TM. He gets in touch with him and with his interest manages to get close into the group, travels to meetings of the organization in the US, to India for the guru’s funeral and to see what is happening there. He slowly discovers that there are many aspects of this organization that are not really as nice as it sounded in the beginning and his interest in meditation shifts towards an interest to find out more about these dubious parts of the organization.

The movie shows the two former Beatles members who are still alive, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, at a program organized by David Lynch. I mentioned two days ago already that they were connected with this movement and helped it to become popular. Hundreds or thousands of people went to the Ashram that they had been to and this was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram.

The student directing the movie, David Sieveking, has interviews with many different people and this makes the documentary really very interesting. The organization has a hierarchy and everybody who pays 1 Million Dollar is eligible for a course to become the ‘Raja’, which means king, of a country. In the movie you get to see several of them and I really had to laugh, seeing that they have a special getup, with a crown on their head and playing to be kings. The king of Switzerland was asked in an interview why Maharishi Mahesh Yogi never demonstrated publicly that he could fly. The answer was that he was too humble.

The training for learning to fly is to sit in Padmasana, the Lotus Seat and jump. At this point of the movie we all could not stop ourselves from laughing. It looks very funny how those students jump as high as they can, as if they were frogs, and also as fast as they can and get honoured for being the best although nobody manages to actually fly.

Another interview showed a more serious aspect. They talked to a man who had donated more than 150 Million Dollar to this movement and was disappointed that nothing actually happened with this money. He expected a big center to be built where the 10000 yogic flyers would meet and create world peace. I did not quite understand how this should happen anyway but this is what the basic idea had been: defying gravity and floating in the air for world peace.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi himself said he had renounced the material world and lived in abstinence in order to be a real spiritual man and yogi. He was however not always very strict with this idea. The documentary shows the interview with a woman who had sex with him and talked freely about it. For her it was as if she met Jesus until he started to be interested in others at the same time. According to her, when she asked what would happen if she got pregnant, he answered ‘Get married to someone, quick!’

After watching this movie I wondered about who would give money to this nonsense? Who would like to become a king of a democratic country, who would be interested to learn flying? There obviously are people who do! They told they needed 400 Million Dollar for building a TM center in India and 200 Million were already collected. This center was never built but they had made the money.

I just and only want to recommend everyone to stand with both feet on the ground of this earth. Why do you want to fly? God gave this job to the birds, let them fly around while you use your legs! Work on peace in your own heart and you will do a much better contribution to world peace than by jumping in the Lotus seat, waiting to actually levitate someday.

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Remco

    Maybe it’s a coincidence but the documentary that’s mentioned is tonight on the TV channel Arte. I’m interested to see it. I once was at a TM congress just out of curiosity and it struck me that Maharishi had so much women around him, all western women in Indian dress and make up. That confirms the stories about his affairs with women a little for me.
    This unexpected behaviour also struck the Beatles when they were at his ashram in 1967. They left dissapointed and John Lennon wrote a song about the Maharishi. George Harrison asked John to change the title, so he made it ‘Sexie Sadie’. You can watch it on youtube and imagine ‘Maharishi’ when John sings ‘Sexie Sadie’.

  2. Deniz

    As we see in the news all the time, people who might seem very intelligent and well functioning in every other way can be transformed into complete lunatics by three main things: sex, religion, and money. If people are lunatic enough to believe that jumping around in the lotus position is flying, there’s probably nothing that you could tell them that would convince them otherwise, because they are too far gone. Enterprising gurus know about this frequent weakness in human nature and take full advantage. Apparently this guru had one basic technique that could really be helpful to some people, but he saw opportunities for further exploitation and took full advantage. When you see grown people making fools of themselves like this, it’s can make you think that our species is really just a stepping stone to the real homo sapiens, like neanderthal and cro magnon men. How could people so capable of such lunacy ever evolve past their condition and collectively arrive at real wisdom, one might ask.

  3. Jagdeep Kaur

    wow. don’t know if it is sad, or funny. both, i think. i wonder if it’s the abundance of money that leads one astray, makes the mind…numb so to say, that you are not able to see what’s right there in front of you. dear universe, just to check this theory, why don’t you give me loads n loads of money. hehehehe!! no seriously, it’s not funny. so many people on this earth can be helped with all that money. money that people “donate” to those who don’t really need it, but just want it, and keep collecting it. it is sad. but i wonder it mahesh yogi did it just to make a mockery of the world/west…one fine day, he said, you know what, i bet they will…and they did… 🙂

  4. Swami Balendu

    Dear Remco,Thank you for your comment. Yes, this is a coincidence that they showed it on that channel on the same night.
    I also heard that the Beatles were disappointed. I was however wondering very much that I saw they both recently participated in this program for TM.
    Much love!

  5. Swami Balendu

    Dear Deniz,Yes, sometimes you have to wonder where people left their mind and what happened to evolution. How come people believe that they could maybe fly? In the same way, how come they believe that another person can materialize gold?
    But still there are many people who believe in this nonsense! They try and try by hopping around on the floor and trust that some day, they will fly! And some people even believe that they have seen others fly or felt themselves float a bit… What can you do if people are ready to get exploited?
    Lots of love!

  6. Swami Balendu

    Dear Jagdeep,Yes, it is both, funny and sad. Funny also the idea that he just wanted to try and see how far people would go. In that case however you would expect him to leave a note behind to be found after his death, explaining that he fooled everyone. 🙂

  7. Cristobal Arenas

    Dear Swami Balendu, I’m absolutely agree with your ideas and comments. I believe that one of the key functions of meditation is to attract positive Energy and this is already an important and big success. The success in meditation is not to fly. A big hug of Universal Light to you. Much Love.

  8. Swami Balendu

    Dear Cristobal, yes, it is true, the aim is not flying but still this man was able to gather a lot of people who were fascinated and wanted to fly and even spent their money for this. I really don’t understand this. Love to you too!

  9. Yogesh

    Swami ji, I am not sure if you know or not that the very big Guru “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar” is also a disciple of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. But he never tells anybody this. He never tells anybody who is his Guru. I do not know why he hides this? I find Sri Sri Ravi Shankar dishonest, why does he not accept and announce that Mahesh Yogi is his Guru? Some old people I met from the same group also tell that the famous Sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar was also a disciple of Mahesh Yogi. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was named Ravi Shankar by his parents but after coming to Mahesh Yogi and getting to know the Sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar, he also started calling himself Pandit Ravi Shankar. Then Pandit Ravi Shankar objected that he is using his name to make himself famous and known. This is how Ravi Shankar had to change his name from Pandit Ravi Shankar to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
    I still find it very funny how anybody can title himself as “Sri Sri”? As far as I know it is not the right way.

  10. Swami Balendu

    Dear Cristobal, yes, it is true, the aim is not flying but still this man was able to gather a lot of people who were fascinated and wanted to fly and even spent their money for this. I really don’t understand this. Love to you too!

  11. manish

    well said, as SRi Sri Ravi shankar never said who is his Guru but many people from our movment they know Maharishi Mahesh yogi is his Guru. and he is using all his knowledge tell to people by him. he is using all the world of maharishi ji like his holliness maharishi mahesh mahesh yogi and now he is writing by him self his hollines sri sri ravi shankar maharishi never said it is his knowledge he always said it is from his master Gurudev but he is telling to people it is from him. i never like him he not a good person i think

  12. Sudarsha

    I know David Sieveking and actually appeared in his film. It would be very interesting to know more about Mahesh’s guru, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati and whether or not Mahesh was as close to Swami Brahmananda Saraswati as he claims and led people to believe. The people I knew in India who had known Swami Brahmananda Saraswati were obviously very impressed by him; but when I asked about Mahesh, they wouldn’t respond as if they were afraid of something.

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