As most readers know, I started my path through Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He’s had a strong influence on my perspective as he brought great clarity to ancient philosophy and enlightenment.
Maharishi spent a great deal of time translating the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutra in the 60s and early 70s (they have not published most of it). But it turns out much of Maharishi’s later programs came out of the Yog Vasishtha.
The Yog Vasishtha is an ancient text describing the teachings of the sage Vasishtha to prince Rama. It is the core text of the Ramayana, the story of Rama’s life. Astronomical events suggest this unfolded about 8,000 years ago. Physical evidence of some events remain, like the bridge from India to Sri Lanka, found underwater in satellite imagery.
Recently, I’ve been researching the full text of the Yog Vasishtha (over 3,000 pages) further. The abridged version that focuses on the main stories is reasonable reading, such as the book I mention on the Recommended tab. However, when the full text explores process details, the topics are barely recognizable in the translations I’ve seen.
I heard a talk recently by scholar Peter Freund who had gone back to the original Sanskrit and was exploring the text in light of what Maharishi taught.
The text evidently describes the benefits of having 5% of the population meditating, the structure of the modern TM-sidhis program, the benefits of having groups of people practicing yogic flying together, explores the stages of flying and how to support them, and the establishment of Ram Raj, an ideal society.
Yet most of that is lost in translation. In my copy, the translator even objects to the possibility of yogic flying, concluding they were “flying” in their mind. That makes little sense of the text. For example, why would the queen express concern about flying in front of her dismissive husband if it was all in her head?
We’ve lost much of the understanding of this old science of consciousness. Maharishi did a major revival of its principles but most of those enacting it are unaware of this source. It will be fascinating to see how this evolves. There is so much wisdom yet to be revived.