Transcendental Meditation in the New Millenium (Part One)

Article ID: JAT262-1 | By: John Weldon

This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal, volume 27, number 5 (2004). For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.org

SYNOPSIS

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is one of the more popular forms of meditation in North America, and probably the most well known. TM’s influence has exploded since the Beatles and other celebrities took up the practice in the 1960s. Well funded, TM boasts of some 40,000 teachers worldwide and 20,000 teachers in the United States. The TM university has been awarded more than $32 million in federal grants for medical research. The Natural Law Party, active in more than 80 countries, fronts TM’s attempt to introduce its teachings in all aspects of national life, such as medicine, economics, environment, education, and national defense. In widely publicized statements, the official TM organization assures prospects that TM is not a religion. This claim, however, is easily shown to be false. TM is really a garden variety form of Hindu meditation developed for mass consumption by its founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was trained in Hinduism. Maharishi’s teachings in his books clearly demonstrate his allegiance to Hindu philosophy. TM manuals, ceremonies, and even the mantras recited by TM practitioners may glorify various Hindu deities as well as Maharishi’s mentor, Guru Dev. Several U.S. courts, moreover, have declared TM to be a religion. Finally, despite TM’s claims to be Christian friendly, its underlying Hindu philosophy denies central Christian doctrines, such as the atonement, arguing, for example, that Jesus was a good Hindu guru who never would have suffered for the sins of another. TM’s consciousness-altering practices and anti-Christian religious philosophy pose a serious danger to those who adopt them.

The cover article for Time, August 4, 2003, was “The Science of Meditation.” The article stated that the practice of meditation in North America has had significant influence on people “because it works.” Meditation, however, can be either good or bad, depending on several factors. Unhappily it seems that New Age/Eastern forms of meditation are the most popular and are being practiced by people who are largely unaware of the dangers.1

In 1976, as a former meditator, I wrote a major critique of Transcendental Meditation (TM).2 TM was exploding in popularity, claiming millions of meditators globally. Today it seems little has changed. If anything, the influence of TM appears to be greater as there are even more meditators. Little did I know that the guru I once trusted would become the leader of an international empire whose worth is conservatively estimated at $2–3 billion.3 I recently updated my original analysis by thoroughly examining many of the interim publications, new books by founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and Internet analyses. I came to the same conclusion I had reached in 1976: few religions are as deceptive or defective as TM.

First, consider some illustrations of the influence of TM in recent years:

· TM sports a 24-hour global satellite subscription TV channel in 22 languages in 144 countries.4

· An alleged 40,000 TM teachers operate worldwide, about 20,000 in the United States; 1,200 centers are claimed in 108 countries. Trancenet.org lists more than 50 front groups and subsidiaries linked to TM.5

· According to promoters, thousands of medical doctors practice TM, and many of them prescribe it to their patients; hundreds of companies, including major corporations, encourage it for their employees.

· The Natural Law Party (along with other subsidiaries) is TM’s attempt through politics to introduce Hindu teachings to all aspects of national life: medicine, science, economics, environment, criminal justice, energy, education, business management, national defense, physical rehabilitation, and so on. Active in more than 80 nations, the party fielded some 300 candidates for Germany’s general elections in 1998. In the United States in 2000, it ran Harvard-trained quantum physicist John Hagelin as a Reform Party presidential candidate, plus 1,000 candidates for other offices in all 50 states, receiving some 1.4 million votes. The Seventh International Convention of Natural Law Parties, held in Bonn-Koenigswinter, Germany, from July 14–16, 2000, convened 400 party leaders from 53 countries.

· The TM university, Maharishi University of Management (management of the universe), formerly Maharishi International University, has been awarded more than $32 million in federal grants for medical research from several sources, including the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In 2004, there were some 1,400 students. The school stresses “consciousness-based education,” which interprets academic disciplines in light of the Hindu beliefs of Maharishi.6

· TM uses famous personalities to expand its influence. One of the most popular authors of all time, Deepak Chopra, is an ardent promoter of TM and its antirealist Ayurvedic medicine. In late 2003, film director David Lynch launched a $1 billion fundraising campaign to build 100 TM “peace palaces” across North America to forever end war, violence, and crime.7 Ironically, Lynch is perhaps best known for films that graphically portray violence, sex, and the grotesque, such as in Blue Velvet.

· TM’s influence can be seen in local political initiatives. In late 2003, Initiative 101 on the Denver ballot, entitled “Safety through Peace,” would have obligated the city government to execute “scientifically proven” stress-reduction programs, which were really TM methods. It failed by a two-to-one margin (53,000 against, 25,000 for), but the number of votes “for” constituted surprising support for such a radical proposal.8

Promoters of TM promise world peace and happiness if just one percent of the population adopts the TM program. The TM organization has announced that it fully intends to achieve this goal: “On Guru Purnima Day 1997, Maharishi Global Development Fund, with a projected budget of U.S. $100 billion was inaugurated as a perpetual fund to finance the reconstruction of the whole world.”9

The influence of TM, while considerable, also aptly illustrates a major problem in our culture today: an unwillingness to examine things factually, which frequently leads to the acceptance of dangerous myths. These myths are then defended as fact because it is what one wishes to believe. In the case of TM, as is so often true, the deceptions of a few, supported by the naiveté of many, lead to the con of millions.


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THE HISTORY OF TM

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born Mahed Prisad Varma in India, sometime around 1917. He was not born into an upper caste (i.e., social class), but a lower caste, an important fact that, as we will see in part two, brings into question his authority according to his own Hindu tradition. The late Brahmananda Saraswati, known as Guru Dev (Divine Teacher), eventually became Maharishi’s master for 13 years. A leading Hindu teacher in India, Guru Dev spent some 60 years meditating in Himalayan caves and jungles. When he returned to take the venerated northern seat of Shankara, Maharishi approached him and asked to become his disciple. Maharishi claims that he became a favorite disciple of Guru Dev, and that, prior to Guru Dev’s death in 1953, he commissioned Maharishi to devise a simple method of Hindu God-realization for the masses (see more on this in part two). By 1955, Maharishi had lectured on his “new” meditation technique (TM) in southern India. The TM movement officially began in 1957 when Maharishi founded the Spiritual Regeneration Movement. He soon came to the West, where he eventually gathered such notable disciples as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and many other famous entertainers, authors, government officials, and academians.

THE PURPOSE OF TM

Despite claims that TM is unique, it’s really just a garden variety form of Hindu meditation. Transcendental meditation is a simplified yoga technique designed to alter one’s consciousness in order to achieve the realization of one’s personal divinity. After three introductory lectures and a payment of around $1,000, one is eligible for initiation into TM. One could easily spend $50,000 a year on all the services and products TM offers, as the rich often do. During a subsequent 15-minute Hindu puja (i.e., initiation ceremony), the initiate receives his or her supposedly unique, secret mantra, the mysterious sound on which he or she will meditate. In fact, the 17 or so mantras that are used aren’t unique at all, but are dispensed according to a 5-year block age category (so that hundreds of thousands of meditators all have the same mantra); further, they aren’t “meaningless sounds” as is claimed, but bear or seem to bear a relationship to Hindu gods.10 (In 1970, I received the mantra “aing,” which is related to the Hindu goddess Saraswati. There are advanced TM mantras, for example, “Shri aing Namah,” which is said to mean “O most beautiful Saraswati, I bow down.”)

After receiving a mantra, the new devotee is to meditate twice daily, for 15 to 20 minutes each time, solely on the mantra. The idea here involves an easy-going effortless “awareness” of the mantra, not an intense concentration on it. As one effortlessly repeats the mantra, distracting thoughts are naturally dissipated. This process supposedly takes the mind through increasingly subtle levels of conscious thought down to the most subtle. It is at this point an alleged transcendence occurs, a going beyond, to “the field of pure creative intelligence” or “absolute bliss consciousness.” These phrases are simply other names for Brahman, the ultimate Hindu diety. The purpose or goal of TM is that the one practicing it might realize that he or she is one essence with Brahman in his or her true nature; that is, he or she is God.

Maharishi claims he belongs to the “blessed tradition” of Shankara,11 founder of the highly influential nondualist or advaita school of Vedanta, which teaches the unity of the Self (Atman) with Brahman. In private ceremonies he personally worships Shankara’s preferred deity, Shiva.12 Maharishi ties himself to this tradition and terms it “the holy tradition.”13 “For all this knowledge,” says the guru, “my indebtedness is to the holy tradition of Jagadguru Bhagwan Shankaracharya, the main source of all my inspirations and activity.”14 Advaita, unfortunately, is a fundamentally nihilistic philosophy that clearly left its blemish on Maharishi, not to mention his homeland. The detached thinking can be seen in the following statements:

· “Indifference is the weapon to be used against any negative situation in life.”15

· “Can there be grief in the mind of a wise man either for the living or for the dead?”16

· “By virtue of My Being, this mighty universe of huge and contrasting elements eternally and spontaneously exists, while I remain uninvolved.”17

· We are to “abandon the whole field of right and wrong for the field of the transcendent” where we do only right.18

· “A man in cosmic consciousness cannot, in principle, be judged by what he does.”19 Maharishi, for example, says of Arjuna, a character in the Bhagavad Gita (i.e., Hindu scriptures), that he has to “attain a state of consciousness which will justify any action of his and will allow him even to kill in love, in support of the purpose of evolution.”20

· “The form of the cow and the form of the dog fail to blind [the man who has transcended] to the oneness of the Self, which is the same in both. Although he sees a cow and a dog, his Self is established in the being of the cow and the Being of the dog, which is his own Being.”21

Given the monistic (monism is the view that all is one), amoral, self-centered nature of advaita philosophy, it’s not surprising that the social implications of TM’s moral outlook are quite troubling. Jack Forem, an early TM leader, said, “No morals, no codes, no ‘do’s and don’ts!’ No standards of behavior are given to meditators.”22 It was maintained that the meditation itself would easily transform the “sinner” into a virtuous person.23 Critical groups such as TM-Ex (former TM members) and TranceNet, however, have reported on the alleged criminal activity of some TM members. 24

NOT A RELIGION?

When I was initiated in 1970, my TM teacher assured me that TM is not a religion and had nothing to do with religion. In a November, 1993, Science of Mind magazine interview, Maharishi declared, “Transcendental Meditation…is not…a religion.”25 In their attempts to obtain tax money for various TM programs, high-ranking TM officials assure everyone that the TM program is not religious in nature and that its efficacy is fully established scientifically through rigorous independent testing.26 For close to half a century, Maharishi and those leading the TM movement have repeated “not a religion” to the public like a mantra.

This is one of TM’s most deceptive claims, however, and several lines of evidence clearly document that Maharishi has known this all along. His writings, in fact, are so overflowing with documentation of the Hindu nature of TM that it is little short of astonishing that this claim is made at all. He states, for example, “The path to God-realization is this meditation. Transcendental Meditation is a path to God.”27 He describes the goal of TM as follows, “Having gained the state of Brahman [i.e., the realization that one is God], a man has risen to the ultimate Reality of existence. In this state of enlightenment he has accomplished eternal liberation.”28 During TM initiation ceremonies the TM instructor will chant the following portion of the puja:

To LORD NARAYANA, to lotus-born BRAHMA the Creator to… GOVINDA, ruler among the yogis…to SHANKARACHARYA the redeemer, hailed as KRISHNA and BADARAYANA, to the commentator of the BRAHMA SUTRAS I bow down. To the glory of the LORD I bow down again and again, at whose door the whole galaxy of gods pray for perfection day and night…GURU [Dev] in the glory of BRAHMA, GURU in the glory of the great LORD SHIVA, GURU in the glory of the personified transcendental fullness of BRAHMAN, to Him, to SHRI GURU DEV adorned with glory, I bow down…with Brahman ever dwelling in the lotus of my heart…to That [Brahman], in the form of Guru Dev, I bow down.29

Despite their denials, TM teachers know that TM is a religion. The oath to Maharishi that each teacher signs for the TM Teacher Training Phase III contains these words: “It is my fortune, Guru Dev [i.e., Maharishi’s deceased master], that I have been accepted to serve the Holy Tradition and spread the Light of God to all those who need it.”30

TM has always been spoken of as a religion in Maharishi’s writings. In his first book, he said of his message, “It is nothing new….It is the same age-old voice…Shri Sankara gave it out to the world more than 2,000 years ago [it was actually in the ninth century AD]….It is the same principle of anandam [divine bliss] that the Eternal Vedas and Upanishads have been singing down the ages.”31 More than 40 years later, in Maharishi’s Absolute Theory of Government, he stated again that TM theory is based on Hinduism; for example, “Rig Veda places this supreme skill of leadership [controlling the universe] in the hands of Brahm [Brahman], the Ultimate Reality.”32 The Maharishi Vedic University-Introduction states, “The truth is that the Light of God is eternally the same…and the direct path to it is always transcendental meditation”33 Maharishi is crystal clear in books such as Transcendental Meditation and On the Bhagavad Gita that TM is intended to be a fundamental method of Hindu spiritual enlightenment.

In 1959, TM’s initial umbrella company, the Spiritual Regeneration Movement Foundation, was incorporated with these words: “This corporation is a religious one”; moreover, it identified Maharishi as “the Spiritual Head of this corporation.” In 1964, the International Meditation Society was incorporated as a separate religious corporation, although its letter of incorporation was amended in 1970 to remove the words “religion” and “religious.”34

In 1997, TM began encouraging yagya performances (i.e., Hindu sacrifices costing hundreds to thousands of dollars) in which are named many Hindu deities, including Ganesh, Vishnu, Radha, Hanuman, Kali, and Shiva.35 Maharishi explains the pagan/occult aspect of these sacrifices: “The gross aspect [of yagya] deals with ritualistic performances to please different Vedic gods and win their blessings, while the subtle aspect [of yagya] deals with training the mind to contact higher powers and receive their blessings…”; thus promoting “coordination between…man and angels, between man and God in heaven.”36

Finally, several pivotal court cases have legally established the Hindu nature of TM. In Malnak v. Yogi (1977), District Judge H. Curtis Meanor concluded, “In light of the prior judicial recognition of teachings such as those of [the TM] defendants as religious, no inference was possible except that the teaching of SCI [the Science of Creative Intelligence]/ TM and the puja are religious in nature.”37

In a sworn affidavit for the Malnak case, religion expert Robert N. Bellah with the University of California at Berkeley, testified that Robert Winquist, a prominent TM insider and MIU professor, affirmed (in Bellah’s words), “It is certainly true that TM is religious” but that its religious nature was not admitted “for public relations reasons.”38

The TM organization appealed Judge Meanor’s decision, but in 1979 it was upheld by the Third District U.S. Court of Appeals. In 1996, moreover, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia also ruled that TM is a religion in Hendel v. World Plan Executive Council.39 The fact that the organization has never challenged the rulings in these cases by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court seems an admission to the strong evidence of its religious nature.

TM AND CHRISTIANITY: BEST OF FRIENDS?

TM advocates claim not only that TM is not a religion, but also that it assists and supports the religion of every meditator. They argue that meditators become better integrated and successful individuals at all levels, therefore, they can’t help but become better practicing members of their various religions. In conversations with several TM teachers, for example, I was told: “We have found support for TM everywhere in the Bible.” “TM helps the Christian faith, not harms it.” “TM and Christianity are the best of friends.” Such claims, nevertheless, are just as false and deceptive as the ruse that “TM is not a religion.”

Christians should be concerned that a significant number of their brothers and sisters may be practicing TM, having been persuaded by TM’s deceptive claims. One professedly Christian TM teacher, high in the TM organization, claimed that there were literally thousands of Christians practicing TM. Whether this teacher’s claim is true or not, the fact remains that Christians should not practice TM because it is an un-Christian Hindu practice that uses an unbiblical form of meditation. They should also abstain because they would be giving their financial and moral support to an organization that lies about its true nature and purposes. More importantly, it is potentially dangerous in several respects, as I will show in part two of this series. No Christian should take part in assisting any organization to promote its deceptions, especially if it may harm people spiritually, psychologically, or physically. Converting people to Hinduism through deception is hardly “assisting” those people’s own religion. This deception can clearly be illustrated by examining TM teachings concerning central Christian doctrines.

Jesus Christ

Maharishi believes that Jesus Christ was not the second Person of the biblical Trinity, uniquely God-incarnate, and the atoning Savior; instead, Jesus was a “God-realized” Hindu who promoted the same philosophy and practice (TM) that Maharishi does.40 In sum, Maharishi reinterprets biblical doctrines through Hindu eyes, happily redefining them according to Hinduism. He asserts, for example, “[Christ] has two types of status, and both are in his person: one status is that of an [illusory] individual bound by time and space and causation…[Jesus’] other status…is that of the Universal Being [the Christ, or Christ Consciousness, i.e., Brahman]…. These both go together for a realized man.”41 In their true nature, all men and women are the same as Jesus, who realized He was Brahman through meditation; they, too, need only to realize they are God through the practice of TM.

According to Maharishi, “Christ said, ‘be still and know that I am God.’” Through Hindu eyes, he interprets this Bible verse to mean that Jesus taught all men and women to “be still and know that you are God” (emphasis added).42 Jesus, of course, never taught this. The quote comes from Psalm 46:10 where God is speaking only of Himself being known as God, not all men and women. Maharishi claims to “love Jesus,” but his Hindu theology actually causes him to deny the true Christ and even to substitute himself as the true path to God when he states, for example, “the world is the abode of Thy [God’s] Grace. I [Maharishi] am the way to Thee.”43

Salvation and Atonement

According to TM philosophy, the human spirit cannot be regenerated or saved. Proponents argue that the human spirit is already one essence with God; therefore, it needs nothing: “The spirit cannot be regarded as either the subject or object of any action.”44 This means that one cannot be saved by God in a Christian sense; one can only realize inwardly that one is already God, which is enlightenment. Consider the following statements: “The realization of the omnipresent almighty impersonal God is the natural state of one’s Being.”45 “The realization of the Impersonal is merely arriving at one’s own Being….There exists no ‘path.’”46 “Each man has to rise to this state by himself. Nobody else can possibly raise the standard of another’s consciousness….The responsibility of raising one’s consciousness lies in oneself. Everyone has to work out his own destiny.”47

This teaching helps explain why, according to TM philosophy, the atonement of Christ is considered impossible, even a deception. No teaching is more vital to the Christian faith than Christ’s atonement for sin on the cross; without it everyone is headed for the lake of fire. TM philosophy, however, is based on Maharishi’s advaita Vedanta Hinduism, which by definition rules out the Christian doctrine of the atonement. In advaita Vedanta, all reality is one; all duality — everything in the world, including good and evil — is an illusion.48 According to this view, there is no sin to “atone” for, therefore, Christ, an enlightened Hindu, would never have taught that He was to die (an illusion) for sin (another illusion). A Hindu teacher would never sacrifice himself on the cross for illusions. The impersonal Brahman of Hinduism, moreover, is all bliss — it could never suffer. According to Maharishi, therefore, those who believe Jesus “suffered” on a cross are ignorant of reality and simply mistake Jesus’ bliss for suffering.

Maharishi clearly tells Christians that they are in serious error if they trust in the death of Christ. When asked why Christians emphasize the suffering of Christ, he replied, “It is a wrong interpretation of the life of Christ and the message of Christ. It is wrong. How could suffering be associated with the One who has been all joy, all bliss, who claims all that? It’s only the misunderstanding of the life of Christ” (emphasis added).49

Maharishi’s words, of course, are in direct conflict with the clear teachings of Jesus: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28 niv). “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28 niv). “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected…and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this” (Mark 8:31–32 niv, emphasis added). “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things…‘Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms…This is what is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day’” (Luke 24:26, 44, 46 niv, emphasis added).

The TM teachers I have talked with, who are sensitive to reaching Christians for TM, respond to Maharishi’s quote by saying it was of an “unofficial” nature. They also point out that the book was written by Charles Lutz,50 who had taken Maharishi’s teachings out of context and “distorted” them. Maharishi, however, has never officially repudiated this book, which bears his name predominantly on the cover; and, although the book is now out of print, one wonders whether Maharishi would have permitted Bantam to publish for many years a book that supposedly distorts his teachings.

The statement denying Christ’s atonement, nevertheless, fits perfectly with Maharishi’s religious philosophy. According to this philosophy, when unenlightened Christians talk about Christ’s suffering for their sins on the cross, it is evidence of an abject decline in their own state of consciousness: “The acceptance of suffering by religion is the indication of the complete decline of Natural Law [i.e., enlightened consciousness and truth] in daily life.”51 Maharishi elsewhere says, “Suffering is foreign to Thee [God], it is foreign to Thy field.”52 The guru, who claims to “love Christianity” when speaking to Christians, also says, “The two-thousand-year old gospel of suffering is soon coming to an end.”53 When, therefore, Maharishi says, “The Cross does not represent suffering and it is not meant to,” he is being consistent with his Hindu philosophy.54

Maharishi’s principal deity is Shiva, not Jesus. Commenting on Beacon Light of the Himalayas, one author wrote, “When the Maharishi speaks, as he does often in this discourse, of bringing souls to his lord, he means bringing converts to Shiva just as literally as any tent-revival preacher brings souls to Jesus in the U.S.”55

In sum, despite TM advocates’ claims that TM is consistent with Christianity, its underlying religious philosophy is opposed to the Christian faith and denies the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for all humans.

In part two, I will examine the spurious nature of TM’s alleged scientific confirmation, as well as some dangers of the practice.56

notes

1. See John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1997) for documentation of the potential harm.

2. John Weldon, The Transcendental Explosion (Irvine, CA: Harvest House, 1976).

3. Andrew Osborn, “Holy Man of Maastricht,” Guardian, December 6, 2001.

4. Ibid.

5. “Maharishi in the World Today,” Maharishi’s Programmes in India, http://www.maharishi-india.org/ maharishi/maharishi_today.html; yogicflying.org, http://www.yogicflying.org.

6. “About the University,” Maharishi University of Management, http://www.mum.edu/introduction/.

7. “David Lynch’s $1 B Peace Plan,” New York Post, October 22, 2003.

8. “Stress Measure Pushes Quack Science,” Denver Rocky Mountain News, October 2, 2003.

9. “Maharishi Mahesh Yogi,” The Transcendental Meditation Program, http://www.tm.org/main_pages/ maharishi.html.

10. “What’s Your Mantra Mean?” TranceNet, http://www. trancenet.org/secrets/mantras.shtml.

11. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Meditations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (New York: Bantam, 1973), 106.

12. Look, February 6, 1968.

13. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, On the Bhagavad Gita (Baltimore: Penguin, 1974), 9, 11, 256.

14. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Transcendental Meditation (New York: Signet, 1968), xvii.

15. Yogi, Gita, 157.

16. Ibid., 90.

17. Ibid., 414; cf. 341, 449.

18. Yogi, Transcendental Meditation, 294.

19. Yogi, Gita, 309.

20. Ibid., 76.

21. Yogi, Transcendental Meditation, 112.

22. Jack Forem, Transcendental Meditation: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Science of Creative Intelligence (New York: Bantam, 1976), 174.

23. Yogi, Meditations, 119.

24. See, for example, “Kropinski’s List of TM Casualities,” TranceNet, http://www.trancenet.org/personal/40.shtml; “The Troubled Guru,” TranceNet, http://www.trancenet. org/news/weekly/.

25. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, interviewed by Kathy Juline, “Settled Mind, Silent Mind,” Science of Mind, November, 1993 (http://www.tm.org/news/science_ mind.html).

26. Erik Gable, “Vedic City Officials Meet with Supervisor,” Fairfield (Iowa) Ledger, November 3, 2003, http:// www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10454285.

27. Yogi, Meditations, 59.

28. Yogi, Gita, 291.

29. Maharishi MaheshYogi, The Holy Tradition (n.p., n.d.), 5. This secret 20-page TM teachers’ manual/puja commentary is reproduced in full in Weldon, The Transcendental Explosion, and online at TranceNet, http://www.trancenet.org/secrets/puja/tradt.shtml.

30. This secret document was used in the late 1970s and might vary somewhat in today’s versions. It is available online at “TM Initiator’s Oath,” TranceNet, http:// www.trancenet.org/secrets/puja/oath.shtml, which also cites its public availability in the court records of Malnak v. Yogi (U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, Civil Action No. 76-341) and Doe [Kropinski] v. Yogi (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, Consolidated Civil Action Nos. 85-2848-852854).

31. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Beacon Light of the Himalayas, TranceNet, http://www.trancenet.org/secrets/ beacon/ beacon1.shtml.

32. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Maharishi’s Absolute Theory of Government, 2nd ed. (Delhi, India: Maharishi Prakashan, 1995), 553.

33. Maharishi Vedic University: Introduction, 2nd ed. (Delhi, India: Maharishi Prakashan, 1995), 230. No author is listed for this book; however, the quotation on page III seems to imply it is Maharishi.

34. “Yes, We Are No Religion!” TranceNet, http:// www.trancenet.org/secrets/yagyas/index.shtml, emphasis added.

35. Ibid.

36. Yogi, Gita, 340, 351.

37. Spiritual Counterfeits Project, TM in Court (Berkeley, CA: SCP, 1978), 72, 74. See the full text of Malnak v. Yogi at TranceNet, http://www.trancenet.org/law/nj/ nj1.shtml.

38. Robert N. Bellah, “Declaration of Robert N. Bellah,” TranceNet, http://www.trancenet.org/personal/bellah. shtml. Bellah’s affidavit is at Malnak v. Yogi, 440 F.Supp. 1284 (1977).

39. “Diane Hendel vs. WPEC, MIV 01,” TranceNet, http://www.trancenet.org/law/hendel01.shtml.

40. Yogi, Meditations, 178.

41. Ibid., 122–23.

42. Ibid., 178.

43. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Love and God (Fairfield, OH: MIU Press, 1973), 29.

44. Yogi Gita., 94, cf., 95–100.

45. Yogi, Transcendental Meditation, 268.

46. Ibid., 268.

47. Ibid., 73.

48. See Swami Nikhilananda, “A Discussion of Brahman in the Upanishads,” The Upanishads, A New Translation, vol. 1 (New York: Bonanza/Crown Publishers, Harper and Brothers, 1949).

49. Yogi, Meditations, 123–24.

50. See the irrelevance of this argument in Yogi, Beacon Light, n2, TranceNet, http://www.trancenet.org/ secrets/beacon/notes.shtml.

51. Maharishi Vedic University, 220.

52. Yogi, Love and God, 39; Yogi, Beacon Light.

53. Maharishi Vedic University, 281.

54. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, quoted in Meditations by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi with Questions and Answers (London: International SRM Publications, 1967), 140, cited on “Transcendental Meditation,” Dialogue Center International, http://www.dci.dk/en/ ?article=1107.

55. Yogi, Beacon Light, TranceNet, http://www.trancenet. org/secrets/beacon/index.shtml.

56. Thanks to Elliot Miller for additional research materials.