Sep 8, 2018

Swami Lakshmanjoo and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Lakshmanjoo Academy
Published on Mar 24, 2013

In 1952, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math, Himalayas, travelled to Kashmir with his entourage. Almost certainly, Bal Brahmachari Mahesh, as Maharishi was then known, was amongst the disciples who witnessed their beloved Gurudeva perform a seven-day yagya in the temple of Mother Divine atop Hari Parbhat hill in Srinagar. This same shrine is reputed to be the very place where almost 2,000 years earlier Adi Shankara first glimpsed the Shri Yantra that was naturally formed at the base of the large stone.

Maharishi's next visit to Kashmir seems to have been in 1962. At that time, he visited a number of sacred sites dedicated to Mother Divine, and also the cave at Amarnath, with its naturally formed Shiva lingam of ice.
In 1967 and 1968, Maharishi again visited Kashmir from Rishikesh, bringing with him the participants of the Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training Courses. His reputation as a world teacher preceded him, and, within a short period, he initiated many of the younger generation of Kashmiri Brahmins into TM.

One day in 1968, while en route to a proposed academy site, Maharishi inquired of the driver if he knew the whereabouts of one Swami Lakshmanjoo who apparently lived in that area. The driver requested Maharishi to redirect his inquiry to the young initiate whom he had chosen to accompany him on that journey, Inder Krishan Raina, indicating that the young man was in fact Swami Lakshmanjoo's nephew.

The young man shyly replied: "We can visit my uncle just now if you wish, as his residence is quite nearby and I know he is home today." Maharishi, somewhat surprised, replied, "No, I must make a formal request for his audience and receive his formal invitation, as that is the proper procedure for visiting saints."

That evening Inderji conveyed the formal request to his uncle, who said he would be pleased to meet with Maharishi. Inderji says Swamiji was also pleased to hear that he had been initiated into TM and encouraged him to be vigilant in his practice.

The next day the two saints met, and all present on that occasion immediately perceived the wonderful appreciation and respect they held for one another.

This short film clip is from the following year, when Maharishi again visited Kashmir. The film was taken by Wulf Wemmje, a course participant from Germany, who very kindly made it available to John Hughes. The first part was taken on the site of a proposed academy overlooking Dal Lake and the entire Srinagar Valley. The second part was taken during Swami Lakshmanjoo's 62nd birthday celebration which was attended by more than 10,000 people over a period of three days. In the third part, Maharishi and Swamiji visit the academy site with all the course participants.

During that visit, Maharishi requested Swamiji to explain the meaning of one of the most revered texts of Kashmir Shaivism, the Vijnana Bhairava, a dialogue between Bhairava and Bhairavi detailing 112 ways to realize one's divine nature.

In the days and weeks that followed, Swamiji expounded each of the 112 techniques, leaving Maharishi to explain in English to those present. At the same time, far away in England, Dr Vernon Katz, who had worked with Maharishi on his translation and commentary of the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras, was conducting the 'NMGTC', to train new teachers of TM. Course participants still remember well one particular weekend, held at the Grail Retreat Centre in Pinner, Middlesex, when Maharishi, inspired by this knowledge of the Vijnana Bhairava, had spoken with Dr Katz by telephone from Kashmir at the last minute asking him to tell his trainee teachers all about "The 112 Ways of Transcending", the name Maharishi always used to refer to this text.

Also, around this time, Swamiji organized for one of his scholarly disciples to translate into English Swamiji's earlier Hindi translation of the Shiva Sutras, another very important text of Kashmir Shaivism. This same translation was subsequently distributed on various advanced courses for those who were already teachers of TM. The heading read: "Shiva Sutras (by: Shri Brahmachari Lakshman Joo) Guptaganga, (Nishat), Kashmir, India" (although, later, when told about this, Swamiji said that the translation had not actually been his).

Attending that same TTC in 1969 were two young Americans, John and Denise Hughes. John went on to become a member of the original faculty of Maharishi International University. In 1972, both he and Denise, with Maharishi's blessings, would return to Kashmir to study Kashmir Shaivism under Swami Lakshmanjoo. Subsequently Swamiji entrusted John with the task of making available to the world hundreds of hours of his translations and commentaries on the most important scriptural texts of Kashmir Shaivism, including the Vijnana Bhairava and the Shiva Sutras (published by )

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