Maharishi Funeral part 1.wmv





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Published on Jul 4, 2010

Rose petals rained down from a helicopter on tens of thousands of mourners at the lavish funeral of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the 93-year-old Indian guru who inspired the Beatles and introduced transcendental meditation to the West.

The elderly mystic's embalmed body was laid on an enormous pyre of sandalwood on a hilltop in the grounds of his ashram, overlooking the "sangam" -- what is said to be the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers with the mythical river Saraswati.

Preparations for the rites began early, as volunteers plastered sticky cow dung -- sacred to Hindus -- on the funeral platform, and decorated it with marigold flowers and hundreds of yellow and saffron flags.

Maharishi's body, which had lain in state, was daubed with ghee, or clarified butter, and saffron vermilion.

His relatives lit the pyre, as mourners from the global religious order he founded clashed cymbals, pounded drums and chanted Vedic hymns. A police guard added to the cacophony with a gun salute.

The 35 newly anointed leaders, or "rajas", of the order wiped away tears as they watched, dressed in gold crowns and flowing cream robes. Many mourners meditated as the flames engulfed the body, and the chanting crescendoed to a peak.


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