From a blog post at https://tmfree.blogspot.be/2009/12/transcendental-meditation-and-tm-sidhis.html dated December 24, 2009:
About 1965, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi promised that “TM, 15-20 minutes twice a day, will make you enlightened in 5 to 8 years.” Yet, around 1975, he introduced the TM-Sidhis program, whose purpose was to speed us on the road to enlightenment. Well, it’s now been over 30 years since people started practicing the TM-Sidhis, but I still haven’t heard of many people getting enlightened.
Why did Maharishi state that meditators would reach Cosmic Consciousness (CC) in 5 to 8 years? One or more of the following reasons may apply:
- At the time, Maharishi thought that this statement was true.
- Maharishi knew the statement was not true, but said it in order to attract more people to TM and to keep them regular in TM. The specific prediction of 5 to 8 years created the impression that Maharishi was enlightened and that he knew how to help others become enlightened.
- Maharishi thought himself to be enlightened and that he could help others to become enlightened. He visualized the stir he would create bringing lots of enlightened TMers to a Kumbha Mela celebration.
- Maharishi had grandiose ideas of what he could do, and he longed for the acclaim he would receive from being responsible for the enlightenment of individuals, world peace, and promulgating Vedic ideas.
Here’s another excerpt from an internet forum at https://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg142264.html dated October 24, 2008:
Humbolt-Question: “Um, Maharishi you say within 5 to 8 years, one that practices TM regularly would become Cosmically Conscious…Ah, I don’t know if that’s,…ah specific time”.
Answer by MMY on mp3: “That has been the experience of hundreds of people around the world…………(laughter) that has been the experience, the experience, even though it’s not, it’s not principally right to allot some fixed time for Cosmic Consciousness. Principally it’s not right, but, that has been the, the common experience around the World.”
Fast forward to Fuiggi, Italy auditorium, MMY “You could meditate a million years and not reach CC unless you come to these courses”! Heard by myself.
And later Charlie Lutes recounting some stories of MMY, he asks MMY, “MMY some people are thinking they’re going to reach TM in 5-to-8 years”,(paraphrased).
Answer according to Charlie-“Let them think that, at least they will meditate that long”.
Hey, for what it’s worth…:-) I still enjoy TM regularly, but I must confess after 40 years I’m still no where close, Ha, Ha!
The concept of enlightenment is the greatest spiritual incentive of all time. After hearing about the concept of enlightenment and after experiencing some altered states of consciousness, some people are willing to go to the ends of the earth to reach enlightenment.
The 5 to 8 year plan helped to keep me and others hooked into the TM movement for years. I and others continued to devote our lives for enlightenment long after completing 8 years. Our wishful thinking that a state of enlightenment existed around the corner kept us hooked.
At other places on this blog, I have explained some of the reasons that I no longer believe that a state of enlightenment exists.