Netherlands, Feb 6: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the guru who introduced the Beatles to transcendental meditation, has died at his home in Vlodrop, in the Netherlands. He was believed to be around 91 years old.
''He died peacefully at about 7:00 pm, due to natural causes, his age,'' The BBC quoted a spokesman, as saying. His funeral arrangements were not immediately announced. Born in Madhya Pradesh, the Maharishi trained as a physicist before devoting himself to spiritual enlightenment. He began teaching transcendental meditation in 1955 and brought the technique to the United States in 1959. By the time of his death, it had grown into a multi-million dollar empire.
But the movement really took off after the Beatles visited his ashram in India in 1968, although he had a famous falling out with the rock stars when he discovered them using drugs at his Himalayan retreat.
After 50 years of teaching, the Maharishi unveiled plans to use the power of group meditation to create both world peace and end poverty.
Just last month, the Maharishi retreated into silence at his home in the grounds of a former Franciscan monastery close to the German border, saying he wanted to dedicate his remaining days to studying the ancient Indian texts that underpin his movement.
In 1990, he moved into a 200-room mansion in the southern Dutch village of Vlodrop.
Concerned about his fragile health, he secluded himself in two rooms, speaking only by video link even to his closest advisers in the same building.