Life of the master
Although his birth details are not clear, accounts suggest that the founder of Transcendental meditation, Mahesh Yogi, was born as Mahesh Prasad Verma in 1917 (Allahabad University says it’s Mahesh Srivastava, also the year of birth varies between 1911, 1917 and 1918).
He was born in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh into a Hindu Kayastha family(some say Kshatriya). He had a schooling in British India and completed his master’s degree in Physics in 1940 from Allahabad University.
After his post graduation he sought for a deeper meaning in life and found refuge in Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, shankaracharya of Jyotir math, Uttarakhand. He took the name Bal Brahmachari Mahesh, lived with the master in his ashram. There he learnt the meditation technique which he later spread as TM, besides Vedic teachings.
In 1953, Brahmananda died and before dying, had given Mahesh the responsibility of travelling and teaching meditation to the masses. Mahesh left the ashram in 1953 and lived as a recluse in Uttarkashi for 2 years, doing his own sadhana. In 1955, Mahesh left Uttarkashi and began publicly teaching the meditation technique that he had learnt from his guru. He initially called it “Transcendental Deep Meditation” but later called it “Transcendental Meditation”. He travelled around India for 2 years, interacting with people. Impressed with his brilliance, Indian pandits gave him the title “Maharishi”.
In 1959, Maharishi reached Los Angeles, USA, on his mission to spread “something which is useful to every man”. He stayed at the home of a fellow devotee named Helena Olson, where he gave his teachings. His spiritual movement became known as Transcendental Meditation. In the same year, Maharishi established International meditation society and other organisations to propagate his teachings.
In 1964, he published the book “The Science of Being and the Art of living”.
From then on, he embarked in World tours, spreading his meditation techniques and Vedic teachings.
In 1967, his fame increased when he became known as the spiritual advisor to the Beatles. By 1971, the Maharishi had completed 13 world tours and visited 50 countries, given numerous interviews, appeared in Magazines and TV.
In 1974, the Maharishi International University was founded. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar learnt joined him in 1975, but soon left because he started teaching people his Sudarshan Kriya and found his own organization.
The Maharishi founded Maharishi Ved Vigyan Vishwa Vidyapeetham, a self-described educational institution located in Uttar Pradesh in 1982. The institution reports that it has trained 50,000 pundits in traditional Vedic recitation.
In 1985, Deepak Chopra got joined the TM movement under Maharishi but he left the movement in 1994. The Maharishi died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes on 5 February 2008 at his residence in Vlodrop, Netherlands.
Mahesh yogi found the Transcendental meditation movement which also became the name of his organisation. There are schools, TM centres, colleges, management schools, universities, agriculture communities established by Mahesh Yogi. Currently there are hundreds of TM centres in 126 countries of the world.
The core teaching of Mahesh yogi is “transcendental meditation” a mantra based meditation technique to be practiced twice a day. This can be learnt online or from any of his TM Centres worldwide. Though there are no apps by the institution, they have a strong social media presence in YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc.