Friday, June 6, 2008

Stop whinning, get even!

As the Maharishi Remembered site simultaneously crosses the two thresholds of 100 pages to the site and 100 visitors in a single day, I thought it might be interesting to start debate on some of the issues that have surfaced from the submissions and researched items presented.

I have taken the title of the post Stop Whining, Get Even from a comment by chuck posted on the guruphilliac blog in response to a post describing Maharishi's pleasure in acquiring real estate at below market prices

What I have found most remarkable in reading the many articles and blog posts about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi which can be found on the internet, is how diverse they are.

Just yesterday someone called Gina posts on TMFree describing Maharishi as "..a brilliant scam artist" and says "I still cannot help but wish M (Maharishi) had never touched my family's life."

By contrast another Indian teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar claims "Maharishi laid the foundation for a new world based on the knowledge of Vedas and spirituality”, and adds "He remains unparalleled."

It is natural to ask which of these opposing views ranged against each other is true? Will the real Maharishi Mahesh Yogi please stand up?

I was thinking about these contradictions today when I suddenly realised that it is quite possible that they are all true! Or lets say .. most of them.

After all, one of Maharishi's favourite expressions in the 1970s was 'Knowledge is structured in Consciousness'. We all have our own reality built up not only from what we see and hear but how we connect those experiences with our emotions and inner logic.

This will certainly be true in the field of personal development and search for God realisation.

Someone who has a positive experience following the directions of a teacher will want to imbue that teacher with divine power and make him worthy of reverance. Someone whose experience is more negative or neutral will dismiss the accounts of the other as nonsense and highlight the human frailties and weaknesses of the very same teacher.

One of the most contentious items on the site is the account of Linda Pearce describing an alleged sexual relationship with Maharishi in the 1960s. We re-publish an account by David Fiske, a former TM leader who knew her well, that he did not consider she would fabricate such a story. A number of other TM teachers however who did not know her at all, contacted the site contacted the Maharishi Remembered site to ask or demand that the story be removed. But why?

If Maharishi really delivered the goods to those TM teachers and TM practitioners who remain loyal to him today, why get upset if other people have a different reality and feel let down and cheated?

Similarly those who had bad experiences as TM teachers, and there seem to be many of them, might best extract their revenge on those who stayed loyal by enjoying the most glorious freedom and spiritual advancement they can conjure. Just as the best revenge on an old boyfriend or girlfriend who cheated, is to be happy in a new relationship, so the best revenge for someone let down by a teacher is to gain that very enlightenment he failed to deliver. So maybe there is hope in Chuck's advice to 'Stop whining and get even!'

A similar sentiment is very well expressed in a blog post by Harshada describing the whole phenomenon of spiritual movements from the 60s and 70s whilst reflecting on Maharishi's death in February:

    For the millions of us who were initiated by the rishi's -whichever rishi- it's now up to us to become rishis. Its now up to us to stop enshrining them and stop enshrining their techniques.

    It's high time we take the initiation fire they ignited in us and stoke it to completion.

    We may have to do this alone. For sure we have to leave the safe confines of the temple and wander into the wilderness. We need to explore for ourselves what is inside us.

    The masters' teachings are there to guide us, but they cannot hold our hand the whole way. We have to take what they have given us and make it our own.

    Our bodies are different, our minds are different, our samskaras- our latent impressions - are different so our path will also be different.

    One technique, one asana practice, one philosophy will do to shape our buttocks or make us a little happier or give us somewhere to go on Sundays, but it wont give us enlightenment if that's what we want.

    That no one can give.

Join the debate.