Famous guru dies

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who became an icon of 1960s' hippie mysticism, has died at his home in the Netherlands. He was thought to be 91.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who became an icon of 1960s' hippie mysticism, has died at his home in the Netherlands. He was thought to be 91.

He died on Tuesday, just three weeks after telling his followers that his work was done and retreated into silence. He said he wanted to dedicate his remaining days to studying the ancient Indian texts that underpinned his movement.

For over 50 years, he had parlayed his meditation techniques into a global empire that he controlled by video link from his Dutch headquarters.

His teachings helped gain medical respectability for the ancient Hindu practice of mind control, called transcendental meditation or just TM, in the West.

He began teaching TM in 1955, but his movement took off after the Beatles attended one of his lectures in 1967 and also visited his Indian retreat.

Later, Maharishi turned to larger themes with grand designs to harness the power of group meditation to create world peace and also mobilising his devotees to banish poverty from earth.

Born Mahesh Srivastava, he studied physics at Allahabad University. He then became a secretary to a Hindu holy man. After his guru {teacher} died, he went into a two-year silent retreat in the Himalayan foothills. - Sapa-AP

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