For those of you who don’t know, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the founder of the Transcendental Meditation Movement and was the man who brought it to the western world. His name was ‘made’ in the wider world when the Beach Boys and Donovan and most famously The Beatles became his "celebrity" students. The closeness didn’t last – John Lennon fell out with him and wrote "Sexy Sadie" (originally entitled "Maharishi") as a parting dig at his alleged antics with the ladies.
But before it all went wrong, the teachings of the Maharishi were the height of hip and it was the ultimate statement of hippy cool to head off to India to "find yourself". And if you couldn’t afford that, the pocket-sized Meditations Of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the next best thing.
This 188-page "bluffer’s guide" was published in 1968 and features five chapters – Eternal Freedom, Creation, The Division Of Labour, Suffering and an extensive question and answer section. And at just $1 (not sure how much that was in the UK back then), it was in reach of all pockets.
The fascination didn’t last and doubtless most of these books will have ended up in the bin by the early 70s. Which is why they’re so valuable today.
The copy pictured cost me just 70p from a local charity shop recently. If you want to buy a copy of this book today, expect to pay around £70+ for one in even decent condition. Certainly a book to look out for in the secondhand bookshops.