Allahabad, Feb 11: Hundreds of thousands of followers of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi attended his cremation on Monday on the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers in Allahabad.
The Maharishi, a spiritual guru, had died in his sleep last week at his home in The Netherlands. He was 91. At the weekend, the Maharishi's followers paid tribute to him as his body was placed in traditional cross-legged meditative posture, draped in white. Born in Madhya Pradesh, the Maharishi trained as a physicist before devoting the rest of his life 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.
The movement really took off after the Beatles visited his ashram in India in 1968.
After 50 years of teaching, the Maharishi had unveiled plans to use the power of group meditation to create both world peace and end poverty.
Last month, he said he wanted to dedicate his remaining days to the studying of the ancient Indian texts that underpinned his movement.
He lived in a 200-room mansion in the southern Dutch village of Vlodrop.