TurquoiseB wrote:

>As usual when I post an honest, heartfelt, and
>*non*-putdown opinion of Maharishi, one of the
>terribly attached TBs reacts to it as if it was
>a putdown (not true), and as if she were feeling
>terribly threatened by the opinion itself (true).
>Allow me to clarify, for those who are less anal
>retentive about the things they believe.
>In the past on this forum, we have discussed 
>whether it would really *matter* to people with
>regard to the benefits they have received from
>TM if Maharishi had, in fact, had sex with a 
>bunch of his female students. The general 
>consensus was No, it wouldn't matter.
>Why then are so many people so attached to the
>idea that he is enlightened? 
>Would it really *matter* if he wasn't? Would
>the benefits they have received from practicing
>TM be any less? By their actions -- overreacting
>almost any time this subject comes up and getting
>all defensive about their belief (and that is all
>it is) that he is enlightened -- one really has 
>to assume that it *would* really matter to them. 
>My question is, Why?
>My completely honest, no bullshit, pondered-over-
>for-almost-40-years opinion is that Maharishi is
>*not* enlightened, and never has been. In all the
>time I spent in the TM movement, I never once 
>heard him claim that he was, and based on reports
>here, I don't think he ever has. And yet people
>persist in believing that he is. Again, why, and
>more important -- *what difference would it make?*"
>My perception of Maharishi is of a well-meaning
>ordinary guy who had the fortunate experience of
>spending some time around someone who *was*
>enlightened, was inspired by that experience, 
>and who decided *on his own*, and against the
>advice of that teacher, to try to spread the 
>inspiration that he felt around, so that other
>people could feel as inspired as he did.
>This is *NOT* a putdown; it's a compliment. I 
>*commend* Maharishi for his devotion to this 
>desire to inspire. By contrast, I've worked with 
>several other teachers who periodically threw 
>tantrums and decided to *stop* teaching; Maharishi 
>never has. That, in my book, makes Maharishi far 
>more devoted to his desire to inspire others 
>than the other teachers were.
>I *do* believe that he went against the direct
>advice of his own teacher in making this decision
>to teach, and at his own peril. Spiritual teaching
>is a perilous task; there are pitfalls and dangers
>in it, especially for those who still have a strong
>ego that would be easy prey for these pitfalls and
>dangers. *That* is what I believe that Guru Dev 
>had in mind when he told Maharishi not to teach,
>and to follow his *own* example and spend his time
>in meditation, far away from the teaching process.
>(This information came from Sattyanand, many years
>ago.) We are talking, after all, about a guy (Guru
>Dev) who tried as hard as humanly possible to *avoid* 
>being forced into the position of being a teacher 
>himself. He *understood* the pitfalls and dangers.
>When they tried to make him the Shankaracharya, he
>literally disappeared for 21 days, hoping that they
>would change their minds and choose someone else.
>I think he had Maharishi's best interests in mind
>when he made the suggestion that he *not* teach;
>he must have known that Maharishi was not *ready*
>to teach, and *would* fall victim to the pitfalls
>and dangers that awaited him if he chose that path.
>And I believe that Maharishi did, in fact, fall
>prey to them. 
>But that doesn't mean that I don't feel gratitude
>to him for what he taught me. TM, as cobbled-together
>and untested as it was, helped to start me on a 
>spiritual path, and I am grateful to Maharishi for 
>having made it available. But at the same time, unlike
>most of the other TM teachers I have met, I have never 
>really considered him enlightened, and still don't.
>Many people would *like* Maharishi to be enlightened.
>They have various reasons for why they believe that.
>I have my own reasons for believing that he is not.
>My reasons may be correct or they may not, but it 
>doesn't really matter, because it wouldn't *matter*
>to me whether he was enlightened or not. The benefit
>for me was in learning a useful beginner's technique
>of meditation, one that left me open to more inter-
>esting experiences with other techniques and other
>traditions. Maharishi didn't need to be enlightened 
>to accomplish that. 
>Haven't you ever considered the possibility that 
>Maharishi coined his "learning to read" analogy (you 
>remember the one -- the kid goes to school and learns 
>"A, B, C" and then goes home and teaches his younger 
>brothers and sisters "A, B, C") to describe *himself*?
>I guess my questions for the group as a whole are:
>1. *Is* it important to you to believe that Maharishi
>   was/is enlightened?
>2. If so, *why*?
>3. What *difference* do you think that would have
>   made in his ability to teach you what you have
>   learned from him?
Enlightenment is an ongoing process.  Having been around Maharishi and 
seen his aura I would say his kundalini has risen and is at least in a 
state of CC.  But as far as Nirvikalpa Samadhi (or beyond) goes who can 
tell?  Many people who do or have done TM are at least experiencing CC 
and then I have bewilderedly talked to people who have practiced TM for 
30 years or more and felt they've yet to transcend.  I wonder if they 
have ever thought about trying something else?

What is important is if he has the ability to teach and teach proper 
techniques.  Many gurus will tell you how to teach someone meditation 
early on but they may not allow you to do it until they feel you are 
ready.  After all a guru is someone who has *mastered* a certain 
technique(s) or tradition.  And just like you go to a certain guitar 
teacher to learn the techniques they have mastered likewise you go to a 
spiritual master to learn they techniques they have mastered.  That 
doesn't mean that the guitar teacher may be world renown nor does the 
spiritual teacher have to be either.  They just have to be capable of 
teaching the techniques.

Yup, when I saw the recent threads once again debating whether Maharishi 
is enlightened or not I thought "who cares" and "they're are still 
debating the same thing they were 30 years ago."  People need to break 
away from the TM movement as their sole source of spiritual teaching.  
There is much there but it is at the same time limited.  I have taken 
many things from what I learned in TM and also reading and listening to 
other teachers heard the same things.  How many here who have TM as 
their sole source can tell you what Hinduism is and what the practices 
are?  I bet very few.  Yet there are wonderful books that explain 
clearly what it is.  Or one can visit a local Hindu temple (if you have 
one) and chat with the priest there to learn about it and they are 
usually happy to speak with westerners.  And if you have been practicing 
TM for all these years yet have never made it to the land of its origin 
you owe yourself a visit to India.  You'll learn many things including 
that it is *not* a land of spiritual people.  There are more shysters 
and charlatans there than you can shake a stick at.  Indians in reality 
are very materialistic which can come as a shock to a spiritual neophyte.

One of the joys I had during the 1990s was making many friends at Bay 
Area astrology and ayurveda workshops who came from many different 
spiritual backgrounds: Iskon, Buddhism, Swami Rama, Vedanta Society, 
Muktananda, Sai Baba, and many who learned from personal unknown gurus.  
Many of them had a spiritual depth that was not found in TM practitioners.

Enlightenment is both important and not important at the same time.  It 
is a goal worth striving for but not a goal worth obsessing over.  Once 
one stops obsessing about it (and what level of enlightenment ones 
teacher has obtained) then one is well on their way down the road.

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