A few words from Srila Prabhupada on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Hare Krishna.

Following the death of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, I wrote a little about how his teachings were not bona fide, and some of his followers came here and expressed their disapproval.  For example I was told that MMY was respectful to the Hare Krishna movement, and we should also respect him.

I’ve never paid much attention to the teachings of MMY, and most of what I know about it has been through what Srila Prabhupada has said about him.  My impression from Srila Prabhupada is that MMY was a bogus guru.  Srila Prabhupada often characterized him as such.  Just a moment ago I inadvertently found one such example:

 Interviewer: The whole world has heard of the Maharishi Mahesh. Is he part of your order?

Prabhupada: No. I have heard so much in the paper.

Interviewer: He is the world’s most famous guru at the present time.

Prabhupada: He’s not guru. But he’s advertised his name like that (laughs)…

Interviewer: So many of the people are going to him for meditation. Is meditation part of your philosophy?

Prabhupada: Yes. But meditation as this Maharshi or any other swami or…, are professing, that is not exactly the process of meditation. The standard meditation is described in Bhagavad-gita. That is very difficult job. You have to select a solitary place, you have to sit in a certain posture, you have to regulate your life, complete celibacy, eating, sleeping… There are so many rules and regulations that that sort of meditation is absolutely impossible for the present way of life. For the present generation, the chanting, vibration of holy name of God, is recommended in the scriptures.


Srila Prabhupada specifically said that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is a false guru, and describes his teachings as contrary to Bhagavad-gita.  Do the MMY followers expect me to contradict Srila Prabhupada?  If so, what does that say about their disciplic succession, if they have one?

Hare Krishna





4 comments to A few words from Srila Prabhupada on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

  • Happyme

    There is so much jealousy and ignorance against MMY. TM is such a great spiritual practice. It’s when you pratice it that you realize how great it is. So simple to do.
    Jai Guru Dev.

  • Hare Krishna, Prabhu,

    one of my favourite quotes from Maharishi Mahesh yogi is:
    Tvadiyam vastu Govinda tubhyam eva samarpaye: ‘Whatever you have offered to me, Govinda, I am offering to you.’ [Thy gift, my Lord, I surrender to Thee].
    Unfortunately there is so much misunderstnading about the transcendental art of meditation. Mostly people have heard from somebody who has heard something about it or taken the information from the press as mentioned above.
    A recommended source is the vedic literature especially where Lord Krishna speaks Himself like in Bhagavad Gita.
    Maharishi always mentioned that the source of TM is in Lord Krishna’s advice in Gita, II.45:

    nistrai-gunyo bhavārjuna
    nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho

    Be without the three gunas, free from duality.

    And II.48
    Yogastha Kuru Karmani
    Established in Yoga perform action (service)

    Hari Bol
    In your service

  • Abhijit

    Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ji’s brilliance is unfathomable. He caught my fascination when I stumbled upon a Youtube video of His (Merv Griffin interview).

    My guru Sri Sri speaks so highly of Him. He showered so many praises for Maharishi ji -> “He was respectful towards everyone, even those who were very critical of Him… I had never seen anyone so deep as Maharishi… He was unaffacted by praise or criticism… He would make plans which would seem absurd to the logical mind… That was a way to transcend the mind… ‘The self is beyond the intellect,’ Maharishi would quote from Bhagvad Gita… He was an emperor and an ascetic… There was none like Him and none shall ever be again… He was unique… He remains unparalleled… We cannot imagine how much He has done for this world… etc. etc.”

    In Maharishi ji I see a reflection of my Guruji. Maharishi ji attained the highest possible state for human consciousness. There’s no doubt about it. I can just go on eulogizing Maharishi ji but to see His brilliance one needs special eyes.

  • Why does the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi teach a false philosophy (which does a lot of good).

    Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 7.110

    tanhara nahika dosha, isvara-ajna pana
    gaunartha karila mukhya artha acchadiya

    tanhara — of Sri Sankaracarya; nahika — there is none; dosha — fault; isvara — the Supreme Lord; ajna — order; pana — receiving; gauna-artha — indirect meaning; karila — make; mukhya — direct; artha — meaning; acchadiya — covering.

    “Sankaracarya is not at fault, for it is under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead that he has covered the real purpose of the Vedas.

    The Vedic literature is to be considered a source of real knowledge, but if one does not take it as it is, one will be misled. For example, the Bhagavad-gita is an important Vedic literature that has been taught for many years, but because it was commented upon by unscrupulous rascals, people derived no benefit from it, and no one came to the conclusion of Krishna consciousness. Since the purpose of the Bhagavad-gita is now being presented as it is, however, within four or five short years thousands of people all over the world have become Krishna conscious. That is the difference between direct and indirect explanations of the Vedic literature. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, mukhya-vrittye sei artha parama mahattva: “To teach the Vedic literature according to its direct meaning, without false commentary, is glorious.” Unfortunately, Sri Sankaracarya, by the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, compromised between atheism and theism in order to cheat the atheists and bring them to theism, and to do so he gave up the direct method of Vedic knowledge and tried to present a meaning which is indirect. It is with this purpose that he wrote his Sariraka-bhashya commentary on the Vedanta-sutra.
    One should not, therefore, attribute very much importance to the Sariraka-bhashya. In order to understand Vedanta philosophy, one must study Srimad-Bhagavatam, which begins with the words om namo bhagavate vasudevaya, janmady asya yato ‘nvayad itaratas cartheshv abhijnah sva-rat: [SB 1.1.1] “I offer my obeisances unto Lord Sri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, who is the Supreme All-pervading Personality of Godhead. I meditate upon Him, the transcendent reality, who is the primeval cause of all causes, from whom all manifested universes arise, in whom they dwell and by whom they are destroyed. I meditate upon that eternally effulgent Lord, who is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations and yet is fully independent.” (Bhag. 1.1.1) Srimad-Bhagavatam is the real commentary on the Vedanta-sutra. Unfortunately, if one is attracted to Sri Sankaracarya’s commentary, Sariraka-bhashya, his spiritual life is doomed.
    One may argue that since Sankaracarya is an incarnation of Lord Siva, how is it that he cheated people in this way? The answer is that he did so on the order of his master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed in the Padma Purana, in the words of Lord Siva himself:
    mayavadam asac chastram pracchannam bauddham ucyate
    mayaiva kalpitam devi kalau brahmana-rupina
    brahmanas caparam rupam nirgunam vakshyate maya
    sarva-svam jagato ‘py asya mohanartham kalau yuge
    vedante tu maha-sastre mayavadam avaidikam
    mayaiva vakshyate devi jagatam nasa-karanat
    “The Mayavada philosophy,” Lord Siva informed his wife Parvati, “is impious [asac chastra]. It is covered Buddhism. My dear Parvati, in Kali-yuga I assume the form of a brahmana and teach this imagined Mayavada philosophy. In order to cheat the atheists, I describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be without form and without qualities. Similarly, in explaining Vedanta I describe the same Mayavada philosophy in order to mislead the entire population toward atheism by denying the personal form of the Lord.” In the Siva Purana the Supreme Personality of Godhead told Lord Siva:
    dvaparadau yuge bhutva kalaya manushadishu
    svagamaih kalpitais tvam ca janan mad-vimukhan kuru
    “In Kali-yuga, mislead the people in general by propounding imaginary meanings for the Vedas to bewilder them.” These are the descriptions of the Puranas.
    Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments that mukhya-vritti (“the direct meaning”) is abhidha-vritti, or the meaning that one can understand immediately from the statements of dictionaries, whereas gauna-vritti (“the indirect meaning”) is a meaning that one imagines without consulting the dictionary. For example, one politician has said that Kurukshetra refers to the body, but in the dictionary there is no such definition. Therefore this imaginary meaning is gauna-vritti, whereas the direct meaning found in the dictionary is mukhya-vritti or abhidha-vritti. This is the distinction between the two. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends that one understand the Vedic literature in terms of abhidha-vritti, and the gauna-vritti He rejects. Sometimes, however, as a matter of necessity, the Vedic literature is described in terms of the lakshana-vritti or gauna-vritti, but one should not accept such explanations as permanent truths.
    The purpose of the discussions in the Upanishads and Vedanta-sutra is to philosophically establish the personal feature of the Absolute Truth. The impersonalists, however, in order to establish their philosophy, accept these discussions in terms of lakshana-vritti, or indirect meanings. Thus instead of being tattva-vada, or in search of the Absolute Truth, they become Mayavada, or illusioned by the material energy. When Sri Vishnu Svami, one of the four acaryas of the Vaishnava cult, presented his thesis on the subject matter of suddhadvaita-vada, immediately the Mayavadis took advantage of this philosophy and tried to establish their advaita-vada or kevaladvaita-vada. To defeat this kevaladvaita-vada, Sri Ramanujacarya presented his philosophy as visishtadvaita-vada, and Sri Madhvacarya presented his philosophy of tattva-vada, both of which are stumbling blocks to the Mayavadis because they defeat their philosophy in scrupulous detail. Students of Vedic philosophy know very well how strongly Sri Ramanujacarya’s visishtadvaita-vada and Sri Madhvacarya’s tattva-vada contest the impersonal Mayavada philosophy. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, accepted the direct meaning of the Vedanta philosophy and thus defeated the Mayavada philosophy immediately. He opined in this connection that anyone who follows the principles of the Sariraka-bhashya is doomed. This is confirmed in the Padma Purana, where Lord Siva tells Parvati:
    srinu devi pravakshyami tamasani yatha-kramam
    yesham sravana-matrena patityam jnaninam api
    apartham sruti-vakyanam darsayal loka-garhitam
    karma-svarupa-tyajyatvam atra ca pratipadyate
    sarva-karma-paribhramsan naishkarmyam tatra cocyate
    paratma-jivayor aikyam mayatra pratipadyate
    “My dear wife, hear my explanations of how I have spread ignorance through Mayavada philosophy. Simply by hearing it, even an advanced scholar will fall down. In this philosophy, which is certainly very inauspicious for people in general, I have misrepresented the real meaning of the Vedas and recommended that one give up all activities in order to achieve freedom from karma. In this Mayavada philosophy I have described the jivatma and Paramatma to be one and the same.” How the Mayavada philosophy was condemned by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers is described in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Antya-lila, Second Chapter, verses 94 through 99, where Svarupa-damodara Gosvami says that anyone who is eager to understand the Mayavada philosophy must be considered insane. This especially applies to a Vaishnava who reads the Sariraka-bhashya and considers himself to be one with God. The Mayavadi philosophers have presented their arguments in such attractive, flowery language that hearing Mayavada philosophy may sometimes change the mind of even a maha-bhagavata, or very advanced devotee. An actual Vaishnava cannot tolerate any philosophy that claims God and the living being to be one and the same.

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