It’s never too late for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The 92-year-old Yogi, who turned his Transcendental Meditation (TM) into a thriving industry in the United States and elsewhere in the West, is now on to a new project: a university of world peace at a cost of $1 billion.
His high-profile followers have launched an endowment and are busy raising funds. The rich and the famous who are passing the hat around include such notables as film director David Lynch, real estate developer Jeffrey Abramson and former Ziff-Davis CEO Robert Brown.
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On Wednesday, the celebrity trio outlined the grand project at the ‘Maharishi Peace Palace’ in Bethesda.
“The road to peace is not B-2 bombers, bunker busters or Patriot Acts. The road to peace is actually a lighthouse of peace – a university of world peace – where 8,000 specially-trained experts will accomplish what no military force can do,” they said.
Lynch may be better known as the master of disturbing cinema (after making such violent films as ‘Blue Velvet’ and ‘Mulholland Drive’), but he wanted all doubting Thomases to know that he has been a practitioner of Yogi’s TM for 30 years now.
There has been some talk that Washington DC may be the site for the peace university, where 8,000 meditation experts will “enliven world consciousness and produce peace in the atmosphere”. But Lynch was unsure about the location, saying the first batch of experts coming from India will be better off in a warmer place.
Is not a billion dollars a lot of money for peace?
Reacting to questions of the type from sceptics, Lynch says: “Nonsense. One billion dollars is the price of a wing and a tailfin of a single B-2 bomber. Here is a chance to create permanent peace for a small fraction of the $ 500 billion the government spends every year on weapons and war.”
Yogi’s followers have already raised $ 88 million.
Brown says more money will be needed to endow 8,000 scholarships to spread Yogi’s TM techniques far and wide. Since Yogi arrived in America, the number of TM practitioners, it is claimed, has climbed to 1.5 million.
But TM can be a costly affair for the average citizen.
Three of the seven steps in TM lessons come free, but the other four that include one-on-one consultations over four days can cost $ 2,500, an instructor at a Maharishi school in Falls Church, Virginia, admitted in an interview to the Washington Times.
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