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A small number of people practising Transcendental Meditation can produce an orderly, harmonious influence for the whole society - Maharishi, 1975
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12 January 2017
Today organizations teaching Transcendental Meditation in many countries held an annual conference celebrating the achievements of the worldwide programmes founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The conference also highlighted a previous celebration of the new year, on 12 January 1975. On that occasion Maharishi inaugurated the dawn of a new era of harmony and peace in society that would come to full fruition through the adoption of his technologies of consciousness by just a small percentage of the population.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Founder of the Transcendental Meditation Programme
In his inaugural address, Maharishi noted the growing body of scientific research validating the beneficial effects of Transcendental Meditation for individuals, including more orderly brain functioning, reduced stress, and better health.
At that time, researchers had also recently found that in 12 American cities where only 1% of the population practised the TM technique, this orderly, harmonious influence was being reflected in improved social trends: a statistically significant reduction in crime rates when the 1% threshold was reached.*
Reflecting on these scientific results, Maharishi described this new era as the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment:
'We are inaugurating the Age of Enlightenment today on the basis of the inevitability that the world will become better, because of one beautiful thing that we have found: the nature of life is to grow. Ninety-nine people can violate their own nature to grow and maybe weave around non-growth. One man, having a desire to evolve, having a desire to progress, having a desire to grow, by nature, he'll take up Transcendental Meditation. On that basis, he will start producing a harmonious influence around him. Without knowing how he does it, without knowing the mechanics of how the radiations go from a more orderly mind to influence the less orderly minds around him—without knowing it, invariably he'll be producing a harmonious influence in the whole society. Then the whole society will find a trend in the direction of evolution.
Maharishi continued, 'What is necessary is just a small area in the whole room to become lighted and the whole room becomes lighted. What is a bulb? It is a very small filament. How much is that in relation to the whole volume of the room? It's a very insignificant area. Yet it becomes lighted and the whole room becomes lighted. One simple, single individual brain becoming a little bit more orderly—how much more orderly could one become in fifteen minutes, with all the chaos and disorderliness of the whole day?—but that little orderliness increasing in the mind of an individual is good enough to radiate its influence. One small filament becoming lighted is enough to light the whole room.
'Like that, one person, one slightly enlightened person, is good enough for the whole society. It's a blessing for the whole society. And it's this strength that makes us today inaugurate this Age of Enlightenment.
'The personal advantages of Transcendental Meditation are so enormous, and now they are validated by the scientific experiments. And therefore, any intelligent man will not be able to resist this for very long. There are enough intelligent people in the world who will start Transcendental Meditation for their own individual benefit, even not believing in the process,' Maharishi said. But when they begin the practice, brain functioning begins to become more orderly, 'and that influence will radiate in society, and the whole society will become better and better and better'.
Maharishi proclaimed to all the governments and countries of the world: 'Stop suffering. . . . It's not necessary to continue living with problems. Have about one per cent of the people meditating, and you'll find yourself coming out of problems.'
* In subsequent years, research found that when Transcendental Meditation and the advanced Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme were practised in groups, the beneficial effect was so greatly magnified that as little as the square root of 1% of the population was needed to reduce social stress and violence and create a powerful upsurge of harmony and positive trends in society.
Scientists named this phenomenon the Maharishi Effect—reduced negative trends and rising coherence and positivity in society, resulting from a relatively small number of people practising Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes—in honour of Maharishi who first predicted it in 1960.
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