Though largely forgotten in recent years, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a major media star in the 1960s and ’70s whose lasting impact on Western popular culture is both subtle and profound. He captured the covers of national magazines for playing guru to the Beatles, putting the moves on a then-groovy Mia Farrow at a meditation retreat and inspiring songs by the Fab Four, Donovan and the Beach Boys. More significantly, he helped introduce several generations to key aspects of Eastern spirituality and set the stage for the proliferation of everything from meditation and mind-body health to veganism. He once said, “The important thing is this: to be able, at any moment, to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi did just that on Tuesday at age 91.
—Posted by David Gianatasio