Home India News Maharishi’s movement will only grow stronger, say devotees

Maharishi’s movement will only grow stronger, say devotees

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS

Allahabad : Setting aside speculation that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s spiritual movement may lose steam after his death, his followers say that it will only grow stronger and has in place a well-knit system of kingship.

The Maharishi, who introduced transcendental meditation to the West as a mechanism to relieve stress and to hone the power of the mind in 1959, died in his retreat at Vlodrop, the Netherlands, Feb 5. He was cremated in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh Monday.

The seer, who gained fame in the 1960s as the guru of the Beatles and has over five million disciples worldwide, was an all-pervasive figure, sometimes even larger than life. It kindled fears that after his demise, the movement might suffer.

“His blessings will always be with us. How can the movement suffer? The Maharishi has trained so many administrators who can steer the movement to greater heights. He had prepared the ground for heaven on earth or Ram Rajya (rule of justice) before his death. There is no way the expansion of the movement can be halted. It will only grow stronger,” a Canadian follower christened Raja Paul told IANS.

Spiritual pundits attribute the momentum and continuity of the movement to the unique organisational structure the seer had put in place. A believer in Vedic monarchy of ancient India wherein the king was hailed as god’s representative on earth, the Maharishi created a 48-member governing body with 35 rajas or nation heads, in-charge of seven countries each.

There is also a global council of 13 ministers handling portfolios as diverse as Vedic education, science and technology, health, agriculture, law and order, and defence without arms to manage Maharishi’s enterprises in 192 nations.

They would be led by Tony Abu Nadar who was crowned Maharajadhiraj Raja Ram.

He also set up a 24-member core group to look after women’s empowerment and education in consonance with Vedic traditions. Since the Maharishi retreated into silence last year after retiring from active organisational work, the 48-member governing body has been gradually taking charge of the movement.

Kingship is integral to the Maharishi’s movement and perhaps the key to its future momentum, said Mahant Narayan Giri, president of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Hindu Mahasabha.

“If he has managed to inculcate the ethics and concept of Ram Rajya among his followers, they will do us a world of good,” the Hindu leader said.

Members of the organisation feel the same. “The ancient Vedic kings stood for peace, prosperity and justice. But the kings lost their relevance because they failed in their duties. We want people to repose faith in Vedic kingship. Our kings will act as peacemakers in a strife-torn world by promoting meditation and traditional Indian knowledge,” said an aide of the Maharishi.

People have a natural tendency to owe allegiance to a king, he added.

Devotees say they continue to connect with their spiritual guru despite his demise.

Said Gary Nelson, a teacher of transcendental mediation from Australia: “He has been freed from his earthly trappings. The Maharishi is in transcendence now and I empathise with him better. My relationship with him is transcendental now, on a higher plane of universality.

“I would not be true if I said he is still here, but when people meditate for some time, the physical personality ceases to attract. It’s all in the mind then. The Maharishi was pure ‘Brahmn’ (universal consciousness). Moreover, he has left behind a unique structure that will carry on his mission under the able guidance of Maharaja Ram.”

Fellow ‘meditator’ Viola Kuhl from Germany agreed: “He has trained so many people, including Raja Ram. I feel full as if the Maharishi’s consciousness is expanding in all of us.”

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at [email protected])