Learning English - Words in the News
06 February, 2008 - Published 14:00 GMT
Indian yoga guru dies
The man who brought the appeal of Eastern meditation to the Western world has died. In the 1960s, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi became world famous almost overnight and, over the years, he has built up a following of about six million people worldwide. This report from Chris Jones:
The Maharishi's promises of better health and spiritual enlightenment struck a chord with many celebrities. The Beatles were spending a weekend with him in north Wales, when their manager, Brian Epstein, killed himself in 1967. John, Paul and Ringo soon tired of his message, while George Harrison switched to the Hare Krishna movement, but the Maharishi's business empire spread from Delhi to America.
His vast home in the Netherlands became a tourist attraction and transmitted courses on meditation via a global cable channel. British and European elections in the 90s were brightened by the yogic-flying candidates of the Natural Law Party, closely allied to the Maharishi's beliefs.
His movement, officially non-profit-making, is said to be worth at least two billion pounds. Any questions to the guru about the contradictions of his lifestyle brought a simple answer: "Just be yourself".
Chris Jones, BBC
spiritual enlightenment struck a chord with many celebrities
soon tired of his message
transmitted courses on meditation
closely allied to
contradictions of his lifestyle
Just be yourself
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