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The Late Maharishi's Impact on Music

February 6, 2008 4:20 PM ET

As we reported this morning, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died Tuesday night at the approximate age of ninety-one. As well as being the founder of Transcendental Meditation (TM), Maharishi also inspired musicians like the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Donovan and filmmakers like Clint Eastwood and David Lynch (who toured with Donovan in October 2007 to spread the teachings of TM). Some of the many songs inspired by this great spiritual leader can be found below.

  • The Beatles' "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey": The song's title derives from a quote by the Maharishi, sans the "and My Monkey."
  • The Beach Boys' "TM Song": Written by Brian Wilson and featured on the band's 15 Big Ones, the song makes reference to Maharishi and Transcendental Meditation, thus the "TM."
  • The Beatles' "Mother Nature's Son": Inspired by a Maharishi lecture. The same lecture also spawned another the song "Child of Nature," which eventually morphed into the Lennon's hit "Jealous Guy."
  • Donovan's A Gift from a Flower to a Garden and Hurdy Gurdy Man: Flower to a Garden features a picture of Donovan visiting Maharishi on its back cover, and Hurdy Gurdy Man, with its Indian influences, was recorded after Donovan returned home after studying (alongside the Beatles) under Maharishi in 1968.
  • The Beatles' "Across the Universe": Heavily influenced by Transcendental Meditation, the song's chorus "jai guru deva om" roughly translates to "salutations to the guru."
  • The Beatles' "Sexy Sadie": This song, originally called "Maharishi" but changed to avoid litigation, paints the guru in a scathing light, after Maharishi allegedly made a pass at a female member of the Beatles' entourage during their trip to India.

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