Maharishi Yogi dies in Netherlands

Feb. 5, 2008 at 11:02 PM

VLODROP, Netherlands, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whose meditation techniques to increase spirituality once attracted the Beatles, died Tuesday night at his home in the Netherlands.

"He died peacefully at about 7 p.m.," said Bob Roth, a spokesman for the Transcendental Meditation movement the Indian guru founded.

Roth said it appeared he died of "natural causes, his age," though the official cause had yet to be determined, The Daily Telegraph reported. The Maharishi, whose given name was Mahesh Prasad Varma, was believed to be 91, though his exact age was not clear, the British newspaper reported.

In the 1960s, the Maharishi became the spiritual guide to the Beatles and Clint Eastwood, and his pupils went on to include the Beach Boys and film director David Lynch, The Times Online reported. He preached the use of a Hindu-based mind-control technique he called Transcendental Meditation that eventually became a multimillion-dollar enterprise with an estimated 5 million practitioners, though some followers, including the Beatles, with the exception of George Harrison, became disenchanted, the Telegraph said.

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