The Maharishi died at home in his sleep at about 7 p.m. yesterday local time. John Hagelin, a U.S.-based spokesman, said the cause of death was “natural causes.” The guru lived in a hermitage in Vlodrop, the Netherlands, since the 1990s and made it his international headquarters.
The Maharishi was one of the first to bring Eastern religious teachings to Western popular culture. The “giggling guru” — so named for his tendency to laugh in television interviews — appeared on the cover of Time magazine in October 1975, when almost 1 million people around the world practiced TM twice daily, including an estimated 600,000 in the U.S.
“He brought meditation to the West, out of mysticism, into where it is mainstream and widely researched,” Hagelin said. “He created a momentum dedicated toward peace that was so irreversible that he retired three weeks ago because he felt his work was done.”
Though the Maharishi’s popularity waned in the 1980s, his brand of meditation continued to attract devoted celebrity practitioners, including actor Clint Eastwood, filmmaker David Lynch, radio host Howard Stern, Beach Boys singer Mike Love, songwriter Donovan, magician Doug Henning, singer Sheryl Crow and British musician Sting.Maharishi and Vedic Maths
Mathematics provides the language and the tools to study precision and orderliness through the careful definition and analysis of abstract mathematical concepts and to apply the results of this analysis to understand and quantify the orderliness of the physical world. Mathematicians usually explain that the goal of mathematics is to increase our understanding of this orderliness in its theoretical and its applied values. This article introduces Maharishi’s Vedic Mathematics and the Absolute Number and shows that they do not just provide another step towards this goal through an increment in our understanding of orderliness. Rather, together they complete all areas of mathematics through providing full knowledge of the entire range of orderliness and hence of the entire range of all the laws of nature governing the universe. Even more importantly, Maharishi’s Vedic Mathematics and the Absolute Number provide a technology for everyone to live in full accord with these laws and gain their support for every aspect of life, individual and collective, to become mistake-free and lived in complete coherence and harmony.
In order to see the profundity of Maharishi’s Vedic Mathematics and the Absolute Number, it will be necessary to consider two defining and central historical themes of mathematics; we call these sensory-based mathematics and intellect-based mathematics. Roughly speaking, sensory-based mathematics is mathematics that uses the senses to count and measure physical objects to generate and validate its statements. In contrast, intellect-based mathematics or modern mathematics uses the logical abilities of the intellect to form chains of deductions leading to universally accepted mathematical results, the theorems of mathematics.
Inherent weaknesses in these two types of mathematics limit their power to benefit mankind, but these weaknesses can be overcome through Maharishi’s Vedic Mathematics and the Absolute Number. The major weakness of sensory-based mathematics is that it cannot deal with the abstract concepts essential for today’s mathematics and its applications. For instance, this type of mathematics cannot deal with the concepts of infinity and infinite processes, concepts which run throughout modern mathematics. The weaknesses of intellect-based mathematics are more subtle. One problem is that it must proceed using discrete steps, whereas the laws of nature that govern the universe are instantaneous and all-encompassing. Another problem is that intellect-based mathematics can only passively observe and describe the laws of nature and therefore can never fulfill the goal of providing a technique for everyone to gain the spontaneous support of all the laws of nature by living in full accord with them.
When examined from the perspective of Maharishi Vedic Science, sensory-based and
intellect-based mathematics can be seen as steps leading to the fulfillment of mathematics in Maharishi’s Vedic Mathematics and its central component, Maharishi’s Absolute Number. Maharishi Vedic Science presents the essential insight that the entire universe is the expression of a fundamental, unified field of pure intelligence, of pure consciousness. The laws governing the eternal self-referral or self-interacting dynamics of this field Maharishi refers to as the Constitution of the Universe. (See Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1996, pp. 77–149) for a full discussion of the discovery of the Constitution of the Universe within the structure of this unified field.) It is this dynamics that gives rise to all the laws of nature that structure creation and guide its evolution. In his Vedic Science, Maharishi explains how evolution for human life incorporates the development of higher states of consciousness in which the experience of self-referral, pure consciousness is increasingly integrated into daily life so that life becomes in harmony with the Laws of Nature and mistake-free. “Life according to natural law,” Maharishi (1986) explains, “will always be orderly, evolutionary, and nourishing to everyone” (p. 98). In the highest state of consciousness, unity consciousness, the field of pure consciousness is experienced to be the underlying reality not only of one’s subjective nature, but of every specific area of activity (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1995a, p. 506). Maharishi’s Vedic Mathematics is the mathematics of this field of pure consciousness. “Vedic Mathematics,” Maharishi (1996) points out, “is the mathematics of the absolute, self-referral field of pure consciousness, where everything is simultaneous, where everything is simultaneously administered on the level of perfect order” (p. 372).
Maharishi’s Vedic Mathematics is not a branch of mathematics such as geometry or analysis, but a totally new level of mathematics. It provides the means to describe the totality of all the Laws of Nature and is, at the same time, the structure of pure consciousness actually responsible for their harmony and orderliness. “Vedic Mathematics is the structuring dynamics of Natural Law; it spontaneously designs the source, course, and goal of Natural Law—the orderly theme of evolution” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1996, p. 338).