New light on BeatlesÂ’ split with maharishi
New Delhi, Feb. 19: The spat between the Beatles and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968 became an instant pop legend as perhaps the most bitter bust-up in the era of Free Love.
Now, after almost four decades of rumour and counter-rumour, a confidant of both sides has gone public with revelations that could upset many of the bandÂ’s fans.
The spiritualist and author Deepak Chopra, a former maharishi disciple and a friend of the late George Harrison, has said that contrary to popular myth, the row was nothing to do with claims that the maharishi made sexual advances on Mia Farrow, the actor and friend of the band.
Instead, he said, the maharishi had objected to the group taking drugs at his home in Rishikesh, northern India. Chopra told the Sunday Telegraph: “What isn’t generally known is that the maharishi had got fed up with the Beatles taking drugs while they were at his ashram.”
The group had gone to the ashram in search of spiritual enlightenment, meditating during the day and writing songs in the evening.
A few weeks into their much-publicised sojourn, however, relations soured between the guru and the bandÂ’s entourage. In a subsequent television interview, John Lennon and Paul McCartney said they had lost interest in the maharishiÂ’s teachings.
Chopra said of the rumour that the guru had misbehaved with Farrow, who was part of the entourage: “There was never any truth to stories about the maharishi’s womanising....”
“As for the stuff about Mia Farrow, that was complete nonsense. I met her years later and she asked me to tell the maharishi that she still loved him,” he said.


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