Maharishi was an emperor and an ascetic – Article by H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

February 11, 2008 at 12:57 pm 41 comments

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Article by H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Rediff

During my late teens, a few of us were sitting with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Switzerland . Maharishi was being briefed about some problems in the Transcendental Meditation movement in America. He said, “Once you are at the top, the peak, there is no plateau. So whoever reaches the peak has to come down.” I quipped, “There is no competition for depth.” At this, Maharishi chuckled with a twinkle in his eye.

I have never seen someone as deep as Maharishi. Perhaps that is the reason why everyone– young and old, scientists and simpletons, could relate to him. When Maharishi would meet with Baba Muktananda or Anandamayi Ma, people would wait to hear philosophical discussions. However, to everyone’s amazement, they would just exchange pleasantries — it was more a joyful occasion to be together. They never discussed about atma or paramatma.

Maharshi had great enthusiasm and would speak for hours at a stretch. Sometimes he would speak on abstract Vedanta or the unified field theory of modern science, concepts that many would not be able to grasp. Nevertheless, his presence would hold people there.

Though seemingly engaged in mundane activities all day, he always maintained such a depth of dispassion. Maharishi did not care for praise or criticism. He was gracious with all saints and swamis, even those critical of him. Whenever someone would express concern about bad publicity, he would reply with a smile, “Badnam to kab ke ho gaye.”

Maharishi always dreamt big and made grand plans to such an extent that people would think it was insane. Perhaps this was a technique to transcend the logical mind. He would quote the Bhagwat Gita, “Yo Buddhe Para Tattva Saha,” (The self is beyond the intellect). Once, just a day before the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya (the third day after new moon in the month of May), Maharishi summoned the Vedic pundits. He asked them to depart at once and perform Bhoomi Puja (ground breaking ceremony) to establish new Vedic centres all across India. Though the organisation had no land in any of these areas, he insisted that Bhoomi Puja be done immediately. He would never take ‘no’ for an answer. Though such tasks would seem mind boggling and appear completely impractical, it would help a sadhak, if he rightly understood, to move beyond doership. He would want people to act at once and his deadline was yesterday!

Maharishi often said, “Hathi ke do daant, ek dikhane ke liye aur doosra khane ke liye,” (An elephant has different sets of teeth, one for show and one to chew with). As an acharya in public life, he would speak about meditating to achieve world peace — but to those very close to him, he spoke in terms of maya, pure consciousness and the Vedas. While his scientific discourses nurtured the intellect, in his heart, Maharishi was a pure Vedantist, soaked in Advaita.

Spiritual seekers often make affirmations such as “Aham Brahmasmi,” (I am the self, in the name of self-awareness or spiritual realisation). Maharishi was against such affirmations, explaining that these were only at the level of thought, which is at the gross level, not in the realm of experience. His expression of Vedanta was so exquisite and subtle that only those who could perceive the subtlety could appreciate it. He would say, “Like oil is present in the seed, Vedanta is present in the Vedas.”

Meditation is the gift he gave to the world. Fifty years ago, meditation was not the household name that it is today. He popularised meditation and the Vedas. Though many would find it difficult to digest his style of functioning, his unique contribution to the field of spirituality remains unparalleled.

It was not always easy to be around Maharishi. He had his own way of explaining and interpreting the Vedas, which many scholars would find hard to accept. Only one who practised meditation and had a deep understanding of consciousness could appreciate it. He often said that being with the Guru is like being in a cocoon — you are completely protected in the Guru’s aura, and you emerge as a butterfly soaring high.

Maharishi was a unique combination of an emperor and an ascetic, a perfect disciple and a Jagadguru, a modern scientist and a deep traditionalist.

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Entry filed under: Thus Spake... Tags: , , , .

July 22, Guru Purnima Evening Satsang, 2002 Gurudev on Maharishi – Part II

41 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ami patel  |  February 11, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    brilliant

    Reply
  • 2. kamal  |  February 12, 2008 at 2:54 am

    Really We are fortunate to Be in the Presence of Such Noble Spirit1

    Reply
  • 3. Shobha Bagrecha  |  February 12, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I feel so fortunate that I m in this world with the great noble souls

    Reply
  • 4. cliff  |  February 12, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Cool article

    Reply
  • 5. ved prakash gupta  |  February 12, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    FANTASTIC

    Reply
  • 6. Basanth  |  February 12, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    The disciple is no less !

    Reply
  • 7. Prema  |  February 13, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Feel so protected, treasured and loved!

    Reply
  • 8. Art of Living Greece’s Weblog  |  February 13, 2008 at 6:00 am

    […] Maharishi was an emperor and an ascetic – Article by H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar […]

    Reply
  • 9. Romana Markovic  |  February 13, 2008 at 7:18 am

    JAI GURU DEV
    PUURNAM ADAH PUURNAM IDAM PUURNAAT PUURNAAM UDACYATE! PUURNASYA PUURNAMADAYA PUURNAM EVA VASISYATE! JAI SRI GURU DEV OM

    Reply
  • 10. ahmed  |  February 13, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    consciousness to super consciousness-oneness………so deep…

    Reply
  • 11. Lena  |  February 13, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    It is simple but true , the mere presence of a satguru can transform your whole life and burn sooo much
    karma.THANK YOU GURUJI
    PLEASE GUIDE US AND PROTECT US
    GREECE LENA

    Reply
  • 12. naveen  |  February 14, 2008 at 6:00 am

    jgd … two times i have gone thru the article

    Reply
  • 13. Arun Jha  |  February 15, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Simply Great!

    Reply
  • 14. Subhash  |  February 22, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    May I Bloom like a Butterfly from Gurus Cocoon. Have no other words.Simply Mind Blowing Talk. Emperor and Ascetic.

    Reply
  • 15. Natalya  |  March 24, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Thank you very much! It’s perfect!
    I also have never seen someone as deep as Maharishi.

    Reply
  • 16. neelam verma  |  August 14, 2010 at 7:16 am

    My eyes read and heart lived it twice for a second saying,”nothing”.

    Reply
  • 17. mahesh  |  October 6, 2011 at 1:02 am

    nothing else to say!

    Reply
  • 18. sriniram70  |  June 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    This is just a perfect note. I’m impressed by simple, lucid and powerful expressions used in the article which leaves the reader spellbound

    Reply
  • 19. Trilokinath Gupta  |  August 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I am in awe….. Jai Gurudev!

    Reply
  • 20. Neelam  |  August 1, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Beautiful …

    Reply
  • 21. pallavi wagh  |  August 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    so simply yet profoundly expressed….beautiful

    Reply
    • 22. guruvaani  |  August 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Pallavi – Aptly said. Like Kriya – Simple yet profound !

      Reply
  • 23. vam  |  August 2, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Reblogged this

    Reply
  • 24. Bhavesh  |  August 2, 2013 at 10:03 am

    GREAT ……….ARTICLE …..FELLING VERY BLESSED BY GURUJI … LOVE U GURUJI

    Reply
  • 25. syed malik  |  August 2, 2013 at 10:37 am

    it is amazing and wonderful to be with Sri Sri

    Reply
  • 26. Girish  |  August 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Wow Guruji, you explain it in such a way…I am getting lot of vibrations and feeling about what a Guru is

    Reply
    • 27. guruvaani  |  August 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Girish. We are blessed to have a Guru

      Reply
  • 28. N.V. Sudhakar  |  August 3, 2013 at 12:58 am

    This piece is supercalifragilistic.

    Reply
  • 29. Ramesh Purohit  |  August 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Amazing to hear one great master talk about another……we are
    fortunate to share time with him as he walks on the same plant… Thank you…

    Reply
  • 30. Santosh Vijayan  |  August 5, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Love you GURUJI…

    Reply
  • 31. Juan  |  August 2, 2016 at 12:11 am

    each paragraph soaking in that depth…

    Reply
  • 32. Anuradha Arora  |  August 2, 2016 at 3:41 am

    So beautiful. read again. Jai Gurudev!

    Reply
    • 33. guruvaani  |  August 7, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Glad to hear Anuradha

      Reply
  • 34. K.N.poduval  |  August 2, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Jai gurudev..The world makes us believe that sun rises in the east and sets at west but it is not true.So is everything MAYA!!!

    Reply
    • 35. guruvaani  |  August 7, 2016 at 7:57 am

      Everything including your question and my answer 🙂

      Reply
  • 36. Ashwini kapadnis  |  August 2, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Superb article…

    Reply
  • 37. Jay  |  August 3, 2016 at 6:11 am

    Sri Sri is my cocoon…

    Reply
  • 38. Sailaja  |  August 3, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Jai guru dev.

    Reply
  • 39. Murali  |  August 3, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    “Maharishi was a pure Vedantist, soaked in Advaita”. Well, Ravi should have read Love and God by Maharishi. On TTC MMY declared Krishna Consciousness as highest state of consciousness. Or what about Kumbha Mela 1966 where MMY stated that the Absolute has a Form. Why is the Puja mentioning Pundarikaksham instead of a formless Absolute? Jai Guru Dev

    Reply
  • 40. Manisha  |  August 3, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful article!!! Grateful to have you in my life, as it has really made my life more meaningful n joyful.

    Reply
  • 41. Dr Anju Jagasia  |  August 4, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Had read about Maharishi’s meditation techniques as a teenager…. Used to think he is unreachable, would wonder what meditation would be like…..
    Abb toh pyaasa he kuaan bann gaya ho jaise… ..

    Reply

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