Transcendental Meditation and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

By Dr. Ron Carlson

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation, died February 6, 2008 in his Dutch home in Vlodrop, Netherlands. For nearly five decades he had promoted throughout the world the Hindu practice known as T.M. He built T.M. into a multi-million dollar organization, which includes Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa. The Natural Law Party, active in American politics, also came out of his movement.

Maharishi, who promoted the Indian Hindu schools of Vedanta and Yoga philosophy, sought to sell his Hinduism to the West under the veiled deception of pseudo-scientific language. Using terms like “the Science of Creative Intelligence” and “Natural Law”, he sought to make acceptable his Hindu religion to the western scientific mind. In reality, his writings and teachings show these terms to be merely a pseudo-scientific euphemism meaning Hindu Monism and Pantheism, that All is One and All is Impersonal. Transcendental Meditation was in reality a “short cut” version of Raja Yoga or the meditative technique of Astanga Yoga.

In his commentary, “On the Bhagavad-gita”, Maharishi said, “The aims of each system of Indian philosophy are fulfilled through the practice of transcendental meditation.” What is this philosophy that Maharishi brought to the West? Following the Vedanta school of Hinduism, Maharishi taught the unity of all things: that the entire universe and all existence are of one impersonal essence or nature. Maharishi teaches that the physical, personal world is illusion; only the transcendent and spiritual are real. Man in his true nature is said to be impersonal. The illusion of the physical, personal existence of man merely produces suffering in life. To eliminate suffering, says Maharishi, one must eliminate the physical, personal realm of existence.

In order to transcend this illusory, physical world and achieve a state of enlightenment, or oneness with the impersonal cosmos, Maharishi said a person must use the yoga technique of Transcendental Meditation. Though it was claimed by followers not to be religious, the entire teaching and practice is clearly Hinduism. In order to practice T.M., a follower is required to go through an initiation ceremony bowing before an altar of a Hindu guru. At the ceremony they receive a Hindu “mantra” or word on which they are to meditate on during the practice of transcendental meditation.

The bottom line is that Maharishi and Transcendental Meditation promote the ultimate rebellion against the Creator. They deny the infinite personal Creator/God and replace Him with an impersonal All or Brahman/Atman of Hinduism. They also deny the physical personal creation and replace it with an impersonal spiritual cosmos. The sad reality of T.M. is that an impersonal universe never loved or cared about anyone. Only a personal Creator loves and cares for His creation. True Biblical Meditation is not an inward, subjective descent into yourself as T.M. promotes, but an outward objective ascent to the personal Creator who “so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life!”