'ROOTS OF TM'
enables readers to better understand how and why Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
spread the teaching of Transcendental Meditation around the world.
'ROOTS OF TM'
provides background information on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his
master, Guru Dev, Swami Brahmanand Saraswati, and provides a source
book of information about their teachings and techniques.
'ROOTS OF TM'
is not intended as a general guide to Indian philosophy, or as a study
of the many ancient spiritual practices of India, nor as a mantra
'ROOTS OF TM'
offers information about Maharishi's 'missing years', from the time
when his master passed away through to the gradual build up of his
stated mission to spiritually regenerate the world; 'Why can't we
spiritually regenerate the world through this technique?' he asked.
'ROOTS OF TM'
contains numerous quotations and rare transcripts of lectures by Guru
Dev and by Maharishi. Furthermore, it details the course of events that
would eventually find Maharishi lecturing at the Masquers Club, an
actor's social club in Hollywood. It also tells how Maharishi came to
adopt a businesslike attitude to financial matters, and how he planned
to create a headquarters in the Himalayas where he
intended to train others to teach transcendental meditation.
'ROOTS OF TM'digs
deeply into rare materials in order to give detailed profiles of the
teachings of both master and disciple, thus affording readers an
opportunity to make informed comparisons of both these teachers'
methods and their objectives.
Author Paul Mason explains:-
"By the mid-1960's the term 'Transcendental Meditation'
became fixed after Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had already spread the message
of meditation far and wide across the free world. Maharishi then became
very famous himself, largely due to his public association with
celebrities and in particular the world-famous pop group The Beatles
who in 1968 attended an advanced training course with him in India.
When I travelled to India in 1970 I did so by hitch hiking from
Britain, and, having travelled across many countries, finally found
myself in North India. Possibly because The Beatles had done so before
me, I decided to visit the ashram
of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, for 'a cup of cocoa and a chat about
philosophy', and therefore made my way to the pilgrimage town of
Rishikesh, close by the foothills of the Himalayas. Having crossed the
River Ganges and climbed up to Maharishi Ashram, I was introduced there
to a practice referred to as 'transcendental' meditation.
The teaching of this 'Transcendental Meditation' or 'TM' is preceded by a short ceremony called a puja,
conducted before a portrait of an Indian teacher, an ascetic called
Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, known to TM meditators as 'Guru Dev'.
Surprisingly, despite the fact that Swami Brahmanand Saraswati was a
prominent and influential public speaker, Maharishi's organisations
share but scant information about Guru Dev's life story and disclose
nothing about his teachings.
Very little seemed to be known about the early life of Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi or about the origins and history of the teaching of
Transcendental Meditation, so I set myself to discover as much information
as could be found.
In the 1990's I was commissioned by Element Books to write the biography of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, which was published as 'The Maharishi: The Biography of the Man Who Gave Transcendental Meditation to the World'.
Later, in 2007 an ambition was fulfilled when a three-volume set of
books on Guru Dev was published, all based on my translations of Hindi
works on Swami Brahmanand.
Then, in 2013, I compiled a book entitled 'Dandi
Swami: Tales of meetings with Dandi Swami Narayananand Saraswati, the
Guru's Will, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi & the Shankaracharyas of Jyotir
'Roots of TM' is really the distillation of decades of research into the teachings of Maharishi, Guru Dev, and the Shankaracharya tradition."
This tome by Paul Mason is truly a remarkable book of great depth and tremendous compassion.
It is like taking a retreat in the 1960’s directly with Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi as your guide. The book definitely shows the very roots of
TM and the significance and power of the TM technique itself.
Indeed in the very first few pages of the book you get a wonderful
overview, in Maharishi’s own words, on the TM methodology itself.
For someone like me who was initiated into my sitting mantra by my
fantastic and late Aunt Initiator Effie Neville in 1976 it was like
taking a shower in a cool stream. It reawakened in me the whole
approach of effortlessness and naturalism that is at the very root of
TM. Immediately upon absorbing the words that Paul relayed I found my
meditation progressing at a much deeper level than before. These first
few pages would be worth ten times the price of the book alone they
were that valuable!
As if this wasn’t enough the book touches on the greatness,
majesty and compassion of the late Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath Swami
Brahmanand (better known as “Guru Dev”). The book shows
just what type of devoted devotee Maharishi was to Guru Dev and that
his love of Guru Dev motivated his entire effort at spreading the
“TM technique”. Mr. Mason shows that Maharishi’s
whole being and life was devoted to distilling the truth as espoused by
Guru Dev and not just his “own” cobbled together theories.
In this way the author subtly address Maharishi’s various
detractors with aplomb. Those who frequently claim that
“Maharishi just made up the TM technique as some kind of pop
meditation technique which is designed to lure the uniformed and to
enrich his own personal fortune.“ That by showing the deep
spiritual connection that Maharishi had with Guru Dev and that he could
have hardly started such activities without other authorized devotees
of Guru Dev knowing precisely what Maharishi was teaching.
Through Mr. Mason’s exposition we gain an appreciation of the
deep power of Guru Dev in a way that finds him very approachable but
still awe inspiring. In this way Mr. Mason, without interjecting his
own interpretations, skillfully distills from the very words of Guru
Dev and Maharishi their deep and unbounded love for all of humanity.
I was and am so moved by this book and cannot recommend it highly
enough for any devotee of Maharishi, TM or even a practitioner of
Buddhist Mindfulness, for there is something for all in this book that
is sure to enrich your life and spiritual practice.
Another excellent book from Mr. Mason. In many ways this may be his most engaging
so far. Mr. Mason flushes out the background out of which Maharishi and his teachings
emerged. You observe how Maharishi developed and modified his presentation of Transcendental
Meditation. It's refreshing and inspirational to hear how clearly the spiritual aspects of the
teachings were presented and embraced in the early phase of Maharishi's mission.
If you have any interest in the spiritual side of TM don't pass this book by. The details
Mr. Mason's research turn up are truly amazing. This could be part of a larger book we
might title, "Everything you wanted to know about Transcendental Meditation but we're
afraid to ask."