Beatles' Indian guru Maharishi Yogi dies

Wed Feb 6, 2008 1:50am EST
 
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By Alexandra Hudson

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The guru to the Beatles who introduced transcendental meditation to the West, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, died at his Dutch home overnight, aides said on Wednesday. He was said to be 91.

The reclusive Indian mystic shot to international prominence when the Beatles -- John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr -- visited him in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1968 to learn his transcendental meditation techniques.

Film footage of the four Beatles sitting cross-legged and dressed in white robes with garlands of flowers was beamed round the world. Beach Boy Mike Love, British singer Donovan and U.S. actress Mia Farrow joined the sessions.

After teaching other 1960s and 70s icons, the Maharishi with the flowing hair and white beard gained a worldwide following and had more than five million people studying his methods.

"His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi... passed away peacefully," his Global Country of World Peace movement said in a statement.

"Maharishi's work is complete. He has done what he set out to do in 1957 -- to lay the foundation for a peaceful world. Now, Maharishi is being welcomed with open arms into heaven," said the statement.

The Maharishi moved his headquarters to the small southern Dutch village of Vlodrop in 1990.

WORLD PEACE   Continued...