The Beatles' guru dies

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was 91

The Beatles Pic: PA Photos
The Beatles' famed guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, died today (February 5). He was thought to be 91.

The Maharishi, who was born Mahesh Prasad Varma in India, died at his home in the Dutch town of Vlodrop, apparently of natural causes.

"He died peacefully at about 7pm," a spokesman for the Transcendental Meditation movement told the Associated Press.

Maharishi is best known for teaching The Beatles transcendental meditation, and introducing the practice to the west. It was originally viewed with scepticism but eventually gained worldwide acceptance.

The Beatles helped further his teachings by touting the benefits of meditation after visiting his ashram in India in 1968, but they had a notorious falling-out with him after they were reportedly discovered doing drugs at his retreat. There were also rumours that the guru had made sexual advances to one of the band's party.

It's often been reported that 'Sexy Sadie', the track written by John Lennon which appears on the band's 1968 album 'The Beatles' (aka 'The White Album'), is about the alleged incident.

Maharishi also counted The Beach Boys' Mike Love and actor Clint Eastwood among his pupils.

After more than 50 years of teaching mediation and working toward world peace through mediation, Maharishi reportedly announced his retirement last month, saying, "My work is done."

--By our Los Angeles staff.
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