Shri Vethathiri Maharishi was born in 1911 in the village of Guduvancheri, 30 km south of Chennai, India, into an indigent weaver’s family. From his youth he was driven by the desire for knowledge and in particular strove to find answers to three questions: “What is God?” “What is life?” “Why is poverty in the world?” The search to find these answers as well as to further his lot in life led him into various fields of endeavor, including becoming a qualified practitioner of two systems of Indian indigenous medicine, Ayurveda and Siddha, and certified practitioner Homeopathy as well.
After spending several years in various minor employments, he established a textile concern that grew to employ over 2000 workers on a profit sharing basis that would be thought progressive even today. Although constantly busy with family and business matters, he always found time to pursue his deep desire to achieve self-realization and realization of Truth. Several years of intense meditation and introspection brought him full enlightenment at the age of thirty five. At the age of fifty he closed his commercial ventures and devoted himself solely to spiritual service so as to guide sincere spiritual aspirants by transmitting and sharing with them his experiences and revelations of Truth. Even though his life has long been dedicated spiritual and social service he has remained a “householder”, i.e. he has not broken his family ties and taken vows of renunciation, but rather lived in the indigenous Siddha tradition, maintaining family ties and fulfilling his duties.
From his enlightenment till today, Shri Vethathiri Maharishi has received knowledge of the origin and functions of the cosmos and all aspects of life, as Nature revealed to his inner vision. During these years he has spontaneously written over 2000 poems on philosophical subjects. He remains dedicated to serving his fellow beings by conveying his understanding of universe and the One Supreme Power through his speeches and writings. In the Indian Philosophical tradition, his philosophy corresponds to pure advaits; it may be called pantheistic monism. His language and attitudes are contemporary, non-sectarian and non-dogmatic. As of date, he has authored about 70 books in Tamil and English.
Shri Vethathiri Maharishi gives us a comprehensive and integrated revelation of the existence and functions of the One Reality; his exposition from the origin of the cosmos to the observed natural phenomena comprises the Vethathiriyan Model of the Universe. With this comprehensive view, science and religion are reconciled and unified, to their mutual enhancement and completion. By integrating science and religion, global harmony and peace will follow, based on universal understanding of One Truth, and reverence and respect for all its manifestations.
The human being is a combination of the physical body, mind and life force. To acquire and maintain inner peace and harmony, self knowledge and systematic physical and psychic practices are essential. The complete system, referred to as “SKY”, evolved by Maharishi consists of the following.
Simplified Physical Exercise: To maintain health and prevent disease;
KayaKalpa Yoga: An ancient Siddha practice for enhancement of life energy;
Simplified Kundalini Yoga: A system of meditation clarity and strength of mind;
Introspection: A practical methodology for sublimating the negative emotions of greed, anger, vengeance, worries, etc.
Understanding of the Laws of Nature as well as one’s relationship with Nature and with society is rationally and practically elucidated, providing a holistic education which is essential for every human being.
Maharishi has been striving for World Peace for over four decades. In his book entitled World Peace published 1957; he has reviewed the condition of humanity, identified the problems affecting mankind and delineated a comprehensive plan for bringing about total transformation in society so as to achieve peace, prosperity and harmony. His is a global perspective covering the fields of politics, economics, education, science, medicine, psychology and philosophy.
In 1958 Shri Vethathiri Maharishi founded the World Community Service Centre (WCSC), a non-profit registered society with a view to work towards World Peace through individual peace. As of today, more than 200 trusts and about 1000 meditation centers have been registered and affiliated to WCSC in India, and thousands of people have benefited physically, mentally, socially and spiritually from the teachings and practices. From 1972 to 1993, he traveled abroad annually, lecturing and teaching extensively in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and U.S.A.
In 1984 he founded the “Vethathiri Maharishi Kundalini Yoga and KayaKalpa Research Foundation” based in Aliyar, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu. Facilities are provided for large groups to stay and undergo SKY courses of several days duration in a peaceful and beautiful natural environment. The Temple of Consciousness is the centerpiece of the campus. Unlike other temples, this one is consecrated to realization of consciousness solely trough meditation and contemplation; no deities are installed nor are rituals of any kind performed. Consciousness is recognized as the universal, integrated order of function: the omniscient, omnipresent quality of the entire cosmos – time, space and quality invariant.
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