At Least Maharishi Never Claimed to be God
That was a comment I made to a former TMer. I was comparing the teachings I received from Maharishi with the teachings of other gurus who had come from India to the West. I was suggesting that in this particular area, we former TMers had less recovery work to do than former members of other groups who had been told that their guru was actually God.
My friend replied incredulously, "Never claimed to be God! Mahesh claimed to be greater than God!"
Oh. Oops. Did I miss something? My friend soon supplied me with the following quotation, from:
The above is not a TMO site. When and where this conversation took place is not recorded. Read it and decide for yourself.
"MMY on Role of A Guru
Dr Hagelin: ‘Maharishi, there is a question on the special role of the teacher, the Guru, in gaining the full awakening of enlightenment. The reporter asks, “In every news conference, Maharishi pays tribute to his teacher and to the tradition of Vedic teachers for giving the knowledge and technique of Transcendental Meditation to gain enlightenment. Is the technique of Transcendental Meditation and other advanced programmes sufficient to gain enlightenment, or is there an indispensable role that a teacher plays to guide an individual on the path to enlightenment? And if so, what would that role be?” ’ Maharishi: ‘The role is that the teacher is absolutely woven into this knowledge. And when the knowledge is in our awareness, it is the total teacher that is in our awareness. It says in the Vedic Literature about the teacher, “Na Guror Adhikam, Na Guror Adhikam, Na Guror Adhikam.” There is nothing greater than Guru; there is nothing greater than Guru; there is nothing greater than Guru, because Guru is the embodiment of all that is greatest.
‘Guru is Brahm. “Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnur.” These are not the words of adoration; this is the description of the reality of Guru. Guru is on the level of Totality personified. When Guru speaks, it is the Totality that speaks. Words of the Guru are the words of the Veda. Veda is only heard from the Guru. So Guru means the Totality. If one is in the sense of Guru all the time, one is in the sense of total Natural Law and its total organizing power; there is nothing greater than that.
‘That is why Guru is completely natural in our awareness. It is not a matter of anything that is from outside or anything. It is completely natural. It is simple. It is Totality. It is a great thing. One knows it in being that level of relationship. “Na Guror Adhikam”—there is nothing greater than Guru, nothing greater than Guru.
‘Guru Purnima is the Full Moon of the Guru—one day of the year. In the Vedic Calendar, each day is attributed to some Devata, to some special creative intelligence—Sun, Moon, Shiva, Vishnu, and all. There are an enormous number of Devatas, embodiments of the Kriya Shakti. “Kriya Shakti” is the power of action. There are two things, basically: the silence and action, silence and activity, infinite silence and infinite activity, and both in perfect accord with each other. Perfect silence, perfect dynamism: this is Brahm—this is Totality.
‘The Guru is Totality. He has, as it is said in the Vedic Literature and with reference to what Dr John Hagelin just said, “Pripad Asyamritam Divi”. That means three-fourths is Amrit. “Amrit” means eternal. Three-fourths is eternal; one-fourth is juggling around.
‘Three-fourths is eternal. This is what makes us stand on our own feet eternally. We are embedded in the three-fourths of the unmanifest, as Dr Hagelin said. This unmanifest, this Avyakta, is three-fourths, and the manifest is one-fourth. Three-fourths is unmanifest; one-fourth is manifest. The changes take place in the unmanifest. What continues in the field of flow is three-fourths. So the dominant factor is three-fourths of Totality....We are announcing a very, very effective program where the achievements will be a matter of much shorter time. Centuries have gone and in every generation, the wise have been searching for it, searching for it, searching for it. But now, with the blessings of our Master and the spiritual Vedic Tradition of Masters, we are blessed. We are offering ourselves and all our achievements and all our understandings and all our knowledge and all our future programs to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev. Jai Guru Dev.’ "
I also recall Mahesh saying on one of my courses, "Guru is greater than God, for without him I would never have met my God." But then, I also heard Sat Guru Maharaj Ji (aka "the little fat boy," an Indian child-guru who came to the West circa 1973) say those words too.
What do you think? Was Mahesh just speaking in hyperbole about his own guru - or about himself, or was he actually trying to instill in his followers a belief that he himself was greater than God? Have you wrestled with the belief that Maharishi might be God?