How We Present
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's early initiatives for peace bear fruit in Khmer Rouge era Cambodia
by Global Good News staff writer
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17 August 2013
Marking the publication of a new book about Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia, Dr Lee Fergusson spoke about the establishment of the university in the early 1990s in a recent interview.
Dr Fergusson and his wife, Dr Anna Bonshek, were founding rectors of Maharishi Vedic University and together coauthored the book, Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia: Educational Reconstruction and Social Renewal.
Maharishi Vedic University was established in Cambodia in 1993, explained Dr Fergusson, adding that though the first class was made up of 557 students, they had about 5,500 applicants in the university's first year.
The first class was held on 1 January 1993, meaning the university has been operating for more than 20 years. But when asked about the background of Maharishi Vedic University, Dr Fergusson explained that its history goes back much further.
It was part of a longstanding initiative that began in 1978, conducted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Founder of the university and of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation organization.
Dr Fergusson explained, 'Maharishi had a longstanding and deep concern for Cambodia all the way back to 1978 when he launched an initiative to bring coherence and peace to Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime.'
The Khmer Rouge regime, led by Pol Pot, killed millions of people through social engineering policies that sent the country into famine, disease, and terror.
Deeply concerned about what was transpiring, Maharishi sent a group of 200 experts who were practising Transcendental Meditation and the advanced Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme to Thailand in 1978,' said Dr Fergusson, explaining that neighbouring Thailand was as close as the group could get to war-torn Cambodia.
This was part of the global world peace project launched by Maharishi that year, through which similar groups practising his peace-creating technologies of consciousness went to some of the world's worst trouble-spots, with the aim of calming down the social stress and violence through their daily group meditation practice.
Scientific research has shown that when such groups are large enough—equivalent to the square root of 1% of the population—they reduce stress and radiate a peaceful, coherent influence throughout the whole society. This phenomenon was named by scientists the Maharishi Effect in honour of Maharishi, who first predicted it in 1960.
What were the results for Cambodia from this peace project in Thailand?
'Within one to two months of the group assembling in Thailand, the Vietnamese army actually overthrew the Khmer Rouge and that was the beginning of the current period of stability in Cambodia,' said Dr Fergusson.
A further article will feature Maharishi's subsequent peace projects in Cambodia and the founding of Maharishi Vedic University.
More about Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia:
∙ Cambodia: Book about Maharishi Vedic University celebrates decades of Consciousness-Based Education
Previous articles in this series describe scientific research on the positive effects of Maharishi Vedic University on national life in Cambodia:
∙ Researchers link Cambodia's relative prosperity and peace since 1993 with the Maharishi Effect
∙ Maharishi Effect had 'powerful and salutary influence' on Cambodia
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