He's ashes on the winds aside the Ganges now, after being observed in state by 20,000 in Allahabad, India.
Naturally, his people have elevated him to a monumental and glorious sainthood, helped considerably by a global world press seeking sales over truth and substance. Typically, the dupes are still duped, now believing they are getting the goods from beyond his grave:
“We were in constant communion with the Guru Deva in transcendence. It kept us in high spirits,” said Paul Morehead, a teacher at the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, the US."Constant communion" spells p-l-a-c-e-b-o e-f-f-e-c-t in our book. It's the sauce that keeps the entire spiritual community alive, irrespective of belief or ideology.
As our own send off to the most hellaciously grandiose guru of the last century, we offer the thoughts of perhaps the second most grandiose guru of modern times. It may be a case of the pot calling the kettle stinking black, but here's what Osho, the Bhagwan Rajneesh, had to say about the Maharishi once:
Cheechli was the birthplace of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He never mentions it. There are reasons why he does not mention where he was born, because he belongs to the sudra class in India. Just to mention that you come from a certain village, certain caste, or profession -- and Indians are very uncultured about that. They may just stop you on the road and ask you, "What is your caste?" Nobody thinks that this is an interference.Thanks once again, Sarloji!
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born on the other side of the station, but because he is a sudra, he can neither mention the village -- because it is a village of only sudras, the lowest caste in the Indian hierarchy -- nor can he use his surname. That too will immediately reveal who he is.
His full name is Mahesh Kumar Shrivastava, but "Shrivastava" would put a stop to all his pretensions, at least in India, and that would affect others too. He is not an initiated sannyasin in any of the old orders, because again, there are only ten sannyasin orders in India. I have been trying to destroy them, that is why they are all angry with me.
These orders are again castes, but of sannyasins. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi cannot be a sannyasin because no sudra can become an initiate. That's why he does not write "Swami" before his name. He cannot, nobody has given him that name. He does not write behind his name, as Hindu sannyasins do, Bharti, Saraswati, Giri et cetera; they have their ten names.
He has created his own name -- "Yogi." It does not mean anything. Anybody trying to stand on his head, and of course falling again and again, can call himself a yogi, there is no restriction on it.
A sudra can be a yogi, and the name Maharishi is something to replace "Swami," because in India things are such that if the name "Swami" is missing, then people would suspect something is wrong. You have to put something else there just to cover up the gap.
He invented "Maharishi." He is not even a rishi; rishi means "seer," and maharishi means "great seer." He can't even see beyond his nose. All he can do when you ask him relevant questions is giggle. In fact, I will call him "Swami Gigglananda," that will fit him perfectly. That giggling is not something respectable, it is really a strategy to avoid questions. He cannot answer any question.
I have met him, just by chance, and in a strange place -- Pahalgam. He was leading a meditation camp there, and so was I. Naturally my people and his were meeting each other. They first tried to bring him to my camp, but he made so many excuses: that he had not time, he wanted to but it would not be possible.
But he said, "One thing can be done: you can bring Bhagwan here so that my time and my scheduled work is not disturbed. He can speak with me from my stage." And they agreed.
When they told me I said, "This is stupid of you; now I will be in unnecessary trouble. I will be in front of his crowd. I don't have to worry about the questions; the only problem is that it will not be right for the guest to hit his host, especially before his own crowd. And once I see him I cannot refrain from hitting him; any decision I make not to hit him will be gone."
But they said, "We have promised."
I said, "Okay. I'm not bothered, and I am ready to come." It was not very far, just a two-minutes' walk away. You just had to get in the car, and then get out again, that was the distance. So I said, "Okay, I will come."
I went there, and as I had expected he was not there. But I don't care about anything; I started the camp -- and it was his camp! He was not there, he was just trying to avoid me as much as he could. Somebody must have told him because he was staying in the hotel just nearby. He must have heard what I was saying from his room. I started hitting him hard, because when I saw that he was not there, I could hit him as much as I wanted to, and enjoy doing it. Perhaps I hit him too hard and he could not stay away. He came out giggling.
I said, "Stop giggling! That is okay on American television, it won't do here with me!" And his smile disappeared. I have never seen such anger. It was as if that giggling was a curtain, hiding behind it all that was not supposed to be there.
Naturally it was too much for him, and he said, "I have other things to do, please excuse me."
I said, "There is no need. As far as I am concerned you never came here. You came for the wrong reasons, and I don't come into it at all. But remember, I have got plenty of time."
Then I really hit him because I knew he had gone back into his hotel room. I could even see his face watching from the window. I even told his people:
"Look! This man says he has much work to do. Is this his work? Watching somebody else work from his window. He should at least hide himself, just as he hides behind his giggle."