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The Beatles' tryst with India
by Nandini Gosine-Mayrhoo

The Hindu    Translate This Article
25 August 2017

On 25 August 2017 The Hindu reported: These events in August 1967, fifty years ago, made a mark on western culture. In August 1967, a wildly popular rock band called the Beatles attended a lecture by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the London Hilton on Park Lane. They were given front row seats and invited to meet the Maharishi in his hotel suite after the lecture.

During their private meeting, the Maharishi invited the Beatles to be his guests at a training retreat in Wales. It was there that the band members, who were already exploring ways to expand their consciousness . . . , were initiated into the basics of Transcendental Meditation. It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring fulfilment to the fields the arts and culture.

Some months later, in February 1968, the Beatles travelled to the Maharishi's training centre in India. Their spiritual training there led to their single most creative period—with them reportedly penning 48 songs in less than seven weeks. . . .

Transformational touch

That eclectic mixture of Hindu mysticism and iconic music exposed the Western public to Hindu philosophy in an exciting new way. The world's ears were tuned to the Beatles, and with the band embracing all things Indian, Western hearts were being transformed by that mystical land's ancient wisdom. . . .

When the Beatles travelled to the Maharishi's ashram in India, it was big news. The world was gripped by 'Beatlemania', and what the Beatles did the world did. . . . when the Beatles showed an interest in yoga the world paid attention. . . .

The Beatles helped make words such as mantra and guru familiar to westerners, and their interest fuelled a desire to learn about Eastern philosophy. That interest continues to grow. In 2016, Forbes reported on the growing popularity of yoga in the U.S. and an increasing number of celebrities attest to practising Transcendental Meditation. . . .

Enduring message

The Beatles were together for ten years from 1960. Although Beatlemania may explain why even many years later they remain a household name, perhaps to a large extent their music endures for its messages of love and understanding.

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Copyright © 2017 The Hindu

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