Transcendental Meditation

The Science of Being and Art of Living by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

In his very first book, titled The Science of Being and Art of Living, the world renowned sage Maharishi Mahesh Yogi systematically dealt with vitally important philosophical, scientific and practical questions. 

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THE SCIENCE OF BEING AND ART OF LIVING: Since its first publication in 1963, the book has sold over one million copies and has been translated into 15 languages. This here is a cover of the Japanese edition. See the book in Amazon store

The scope and depth of this book is so vast that perhaps it is best to let it speak for itself. Here are some quotes from its great treasure-house.

On doing the right thing

“Every thought, as has every spoken word, has some influence on the thinker and on his surroundings. Just as a stone thrown into a pond produces waves that reach all the extremities of the pond, any thought, word or action produces waves in the atmosphere, and these waves travel in all directions and strike against everything in the atmosphere. They produce some influence in every level of creation. The whole universe is influenced by every thought, word, and action of every individual.”

“The consideration of action and its influence is highly complicated. It virtually goes beyond the capacity of the human mind to fathom the influence of an action at any level of creation.”

“In view of this understanding of the individual and his influence on the cosmos, it can be seen that it is highly important that every individual should develop his consciousness in such a manner that he is always right and good.”

“Know what you want, decide when you want it, figure your plan of action, follow through on it, and never doubt.”

On the condition of the modern individual

“On one side, the individual feels lack of energy and an increase of tensions, and, on the other hand, the fast tempo of modern life does not allow him a moment of real silence. The individual is torn between pressing activity and lack of energy to cope with it. The result is an increase of heart disease and suffering.”

“There is nothing in the world which could possibly give lasting contentment to the mind because everything is perishable and ever-changing and phenomenal. Therefore, the quest of the mind for happiness is not satisfied, and the mind wanders all the time, seeking a point where it can rest in eternal bliss. A man with such a mind gains lasting satisfaction and contentment only when he comes in tune with the bliss consciousness of Being.”

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MEDITATION TEACHER: How did Maharishi Mahesh Yogi become the man who taught the Transcendental Meditation technique to milliions of people? Read more

“If it is left without the basis of the bliss of unity within, the mind is as though it were being tossed about like a football, from one point to the other, having no stable status of its own.”

On life’s purpose

“Man’s life is to cultivate and give—cultivate the divine power, the divine intelligence, happiness and abundance, and give it out to all of creation. This is the high purpose of the life of man, and it is fortunate to find that every man is capable of reaching this by improving the conscious capacity of his mind and consciously contacting the field of the absolute energy, peace, happiness, and abundance of the eternal, divine consciousness.”

“The essential nature of Being is absolute bliss consciousness. Without the knowledge of the fundamental of life, absolute consciousness, life is like a building without a foundation. All relative life without the conscious basis of Being is like a ship without a rudder, ever at the mercy of the tossing sea. It is like a dry leaf on the ground left to the mercy of the wind, drifting aimlessly in any direction the wind takes it, for it has no roots to anchor it. The life of the individual without the realization of Being is baseless, meaningless, and fruitless.”

“Man’s life is meant to be a bridge of abundance between divine intelligence and the whole creation. Man’s life is to cultivate and give — cultivate the divine power, the divine intelligence, happiness and abundance, and give it out to all of creation. This is the high purpose of the life of man, and it is fortunate to find that every man is capable of reaching this by improving the conscious capacity of his mind and consciously contacting the field of the absolute energy, peace, happiness and abundance of the eternal, divine consciousness.”

On the true nature of experiences

“Similarly, when the mind goes in the direction of the absolute bliss of transcendental Being, it finds increasing charm at every step of its march. The mind is charmed and is led to experience transcendental Being. Thus we find the practice of Transcendental Meditation is a pleasant practice for every mind. “

“With more and more practice, the ability of the mind to maintain its essential nature while experiencing objects through the senses increases. When this happens the mind and its essential nature, the state of transcendental Being, become one, and the mind is then capable of retaining its essential nature — Being — while engaged in thought, speech, or action.”

“The experiencer lives in the complete freedom of fullness of Being and at the same time experiences the outside world around him. In a state where Being is fully maintained, the process of experience becomes powerful and the experience of the object becomes much deeper and fuller than before.”

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MODERN COMMENTARY ON ANCIENT VEDIC WISDOM: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s translation and commentary on the first six chapters of the great Bhagavad-Gita. Read more

“When Being is maintained, then the impression of the object on the mind is not very deep. It is like the impression of a line on water which is drawn but simultaneously erased.”

On the art of thinking

“This will be the aim of the art of thinking: the least amount of exertion and the maximum results. The thought should not only be powerful but it should be right as well. The art of thinking also means that no useless or wrong thought should occupy the mind.”

“Thinking without art will mean that any thought could come at any time: a useless thought, a wrong thought, a weak thought, a misleading or degenerate thought; these are barriers to evolution. Evolution will be secured only when the process of loose thinking is replaced by the art of thinking.”

“The art of archery is to draw the arrow back on the bow as far as possible and then to release the arrow, sending it ahead with great force. Likewise, the mind should be drawn back to the source of thinking and, from there, released to bring the thought out in a forceful manner supplemented by the power of Being. It will bring out a powerful thought that will succeed in the relative world.”

“It is essential that one should be well trained in the art of thinking. All the efficiency of any kind of action depends upon the efficiency of thinking.”

On the art of speaking

“The practical formula will be: Speak according to the time. Speak in accordance with the surroundings — to the level of conscious receptivity of your surroundings. Speak in accord with your own circumstances. Do not speak as and when you feel.”

“Such a manner of speech, however, cannot possibly be cultivated on an intellectual basis, because if one strains himself in trying to adjust the way of speech — measuring and gauging his expressions all the time — he will continuously be straining within himself and will appear unnatural to the surroundings.”

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THE MASTER OF SPEECH: Maharishi had a great way with words, often using gentle yet powerful metaphors to explain our human life and Being. Read some of his most memorable quotes

“Speech is the expression of both the heart and the mind together. Therefore, for the speech to be right, it is necessary that the man be right in his heart and mind. Speech is the expression of one’s state of evolution. One word from the mouth of a man reveals his inner quality. The softness of speech gives an expression to the culture of the heart, and the logic, imagination, or creativity expressed through the speech reveals the culture of his mind.”

On the key to good health

The problem of health is the most vital problem of life. Everything depends upon health. The peace and happiness of man within himself, his accomplishments in different spheres of life, his attitude and behavior with others, and above all, the very significance of his existence depend upon health.”

“In order to determine the nature of good health, we must consider:
1. Being
2. Mind
3. Body
4. Surroundings
5. Coordination of Being and mind
6. Coordination of mind and body
7. Coordination of body and surroundings
Unless all these seven points are taken into account, the consideration of health will always remain incomplete and cannot provide a complete solution.”

“Thanks to the recent advances in scientific medical treatment, inquiry and research into the cause of diseases have revealed that for a great majority of ailments, although the disease may be of a physical nature, its cause is not physical. Such medical research findings have brought to light the validity of mental phenomena as the cause of disorders on the physical level of the body.”

“When a boil rises on one’s finger, a good doctor tries to investigate in what subtle part of the body the cause lies. Whether the cause lies in the blood or only on the surface of the skin, a good doctor will start treatment from the level of the cause, even though he also attends to the boil on the surface. This brings out a certain principle — that one who is interested in prevention or cure of diseases should have a knowledge of all the aspects of the body, both gross and subtle.”

“The system of Transcendental Meditation is beneficial in the field of health in two ways. It is both preventive and curative:
(1) It is a means of preservation of mental and physical health.
(2) It is a means of providing complete rest and relaxation to body and mind, which restores energy and greatly aids medical treatment toward a speedy recovery from ill-health.”

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THEORY AND PRACTICE: While it remains a must-read for everyone practicing or considering to practice Transcendental Meditation, a reviewer of “The Science of Being and Art of Living” correctly reminds us: “Anyone can INTELLECTUALIZE the concepts within this book; but with the EXPERIENCE from a routine TM practice–you will really UNDERSTAND the concepts and incorporate them (and the benefits) into your life without effort.”