Body of deceased spiritual leader leaves Netherlands for India

Other News Materials 8 February 2008 11:17 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The body of Indian spiritual leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who died Tuesday night, will be flown to India on Friday in a seated position.

A spokesman of the deceased leader's Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement in the Netherlands said dying and leaving for one's final resting place in a seated position is considered to be highly important for an Indian holy man.

The body has been put in a special high coffin.

Friday at dawn the body was transported from the palace of the deceased spiritual leader in Vlodrop in the southern Netherlands to Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam.

Some 400 inhabitant of the TM movement in Vlodrop applied for a visa for India and were to accompany their leader to his final resting place.

On Monday the body of the Maharishi is due to be sunk in the holy river Ganges near Allahad, as is common for Indian holy men. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the ceremony.

The Maharishi and his brand of meditation became popular in the 1960s, particularly when the Beatles became interested in his teachings.

The movement is also known for having an abundance of financial assets. In the Netherlands, the movement has a university and two schools.

The Maharishi was born in Jabalpur, India, as Mahesh Prasad Varma, according to some sources, and Mahesh Srivastava, according to others. His date of birth is also uncertain and estimated at between 1911 and 1918.