Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru to the Beatles who introduced the West to transcendental meditation, died Tuesday at his home in the Dutch town of Vlodrop, a spokesman said. It is believed he was 91 years old.
According to his spokesman Bob Roth, "He died peacefully at about 7 p.m." The eternal Beatle’s first guru, introduced to the band by George Harrison in 1967 was the founder of the Transcendental Meditation movement. He also referred to his death as the result of "natural causes” due to his age.
Once dismissed as hippie mysticism, the Hindu practice of mind control that Maharishi taught, called transcendental meditation, gradually gained medical respectability.
There is no doubt his name is eternally linked to The Beatles due to George Harrison’s need of emotional balance, which made him seek for alternatives that led him to Maharishi.
His decision to attend a Transcendental Meditation teacher-training course in India attracted the other 3 Beatles to Rishikesh, Uttar Pradesh, India, studying with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Such period was marked by controversy surrounding the Beatles and their relationship with Maharishi.
John Lennon left the course with a "bad taste" in his own words, and described his "partings" as "not always as nice as I'd like them to be." Lennon’s decision to walk out resulted in inspiration for him to write the song "Sexy Sadie", a classic tune from the White Album, which contains the harsh verse "What have you done? You made a fool of everyone".
A trendy rumor of the time involved Mia Farrow, although her autobiography is ambiguous on the subject. According to several authors including Cynthia Lennon in 1978, Alexis Mardas (the head of The Beatles' Apple Electronics) deliberately spread these rumors since he was determined to undermine the Maharishi's influence on the Beatles. George Harrison stated in support the Maharishi, "Now, historically, there's the story that something went on that shouldn't have done—but nothing did." This statement was supported by comments made by Paul McCartney in his approved biography. Despite the controversy, there was no truth in the hypothesis that Maharishi was womanizing.
Apparently, John Lennon got really angry about Maharishi when The Beatles learned about the death of Brian Epstein on August 27, 1967 and the remarks Maharishi made over his passing. Maharishi said at that time “forget it, be happy”. John could not understand the Guru’s words due to his grieving.
John Lennon admitted to "an error of judgment", writing the sarcastic "Sexy Sadie" about him. George Harrison deserted to the Hare Krishna movement, though he continued supporting the Maharishi's Natural Law party in Great-Britain.
Brief and to the point, if only Brian Epstein had not taken six Carbitral pills in order to sleep…Who knows? The Beatles might still be together after all.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi