Where does Transcendental Meditation come from?
The technique of Transcendental Meditation is based on ancient yogic wisdom. Among the sages in India, meditation has been practiced for thousands of years – the different techniques transmitted through generations from a master to his disciples. The most powerful practices have traditionally been accessible to a relatively small, elected group of people.
That changed in 1953.
Before his death, a famous meditation master in Northern India, Brahmananda Saraswati – called Guru Dev by his disciples – assigned one his students the task of not only keeping the technique alive but making it available all over the globe. This student, so successful in carrying out the task, became known and honoured by the name Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Maharishi, the sage in sandals
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born 12th of January 1917 in India. He studied Physics at Allahabad University and received his Master’s degree there in 1940. After finishing his academic studies, he started yoga and meditation practice with Guru Dev.
Maharishi began his first Transcendental Meditation tour in the Far East, then crossed the ocean in 1958 – taking Transcendental Meditation to the USA and Europe. Ten years later, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had become the teacher of The Beatles (who travelled to study with him in Rishikesh, India in 1968) and many other Western celebrities.
In the hindsight, this was a period of a massive cultural shift. Meditation in the West came to be seen as normal a practice as taking vitamins or doing aerobics.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi kept working tirelessly – touring the world, writing books, certifying over 40 000 meditation teachers, setting up Transcendental Meditation centres and academic institutions.
He died February 5, 2008, having made the teachings on Transcendental Meditation available in almost every corner of the world and having touched the lives of millions of people.