Title: New Yoga Position
Subtitle: Foot in Mouth
Notes: Fifth Estate #40, October 15–31, 1967
SKU: FE-0040-00024942-0005-00024994

LOS ANGELES (UPS)—Transcendental Meditation came to UCLA September 30 and October 1 in the person of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. However, the Beatles’ famous Himalayan guru blew some of his believers’ minds during the two sessions at Royce Hall.

As soon as the Maharishi was seated Saturday night, a student appeared onstage and commenced to verbally hassle His Holiness. Immediately, several aides attempted to drag him away but the audience protested. The student was allowed to leave by himself.

The Maharishi then lectured that if one-tenth of the world would meditate, the world’s vibrations would be raised to god-like consciousness and war would end.

The evening ended with a request that everyone “dress up” the following night as a documentary would be filmed.

Sunday night the Maharishi was warm and articulate in relating to the assembly the many facts of Transcendental Meditation and how it can elevate the consciousness of every man. After the lecture, the audience asked His Holiness questions.

“Maharishi, is it true that you told the Beatles that the Ban-the-Bomb movement was silly?”

“Yes, I told them that. We must concern ourselves with meditation. Besides if one country bans the bomb, it will then be helpless and defenseless.” The hall became very quiet and finally someone asked:

“Maharishi, how do you feel about the hippies and people who drop out of school?”

“It is not good to quit school. We should stay in school and learn.”

“Maharishi, many parents don’t approve of weird clothes and long hair, but a lot of kids are doing this. What are your feelings on this?”

“We should obey the parents. They know what is best.”

At this some students appeared indignant and fired question after question to the Guru.

“Maharishi, there is a great deal of opposition to the Vietnam war. Many students are under the threat of the draft. Should we resist?”

“We should obey the elected leaders of the country. They are representatives of the people and have more information at their disposal and are more qualified to make the right decisions.”

“Maharishi, Jesus said that we should not kill. What do you say?”

“Jesus meant that we should not kill ourselves. Obey the law and meditate and life will be yours.”

“You are endorsing obedience to the law. What if tomorrow Lyndon Johnson passed a law which made your method of meditation illegal, will you continue to meditate or will you obey the law?”

The Holy Man looked perplexed and after an exceptionally long pause answered:

“I teach Transcendental Meditation and it should be understood that my opinions are those of a layman.”

A student in the front of the audience cried out:

“And as a layman you have the right to be wrong!”

The Maharishi smiled serenely. The audience was tense and students began walking out. Almost immediately it was announced that the lecture was ended and that the Maharishi would speak during the week at Berkeley.

One student commented: “If his opinions reflect what 20 years of meditation will do for you, I estimate that 40 will raise you to the stature of Hitler!”