Maharishi Mahesh Yogi passed away this week. As most rock fans know, the Marahishi will be forever
linked with the Beatles, the Summer of Love, transcendental meditation and other byproducts of Hippiedom.
But, he’s also a great example of image management (and mismanagement). For one brief, shining moment, the Maharishi ruled supreme as the Beatles’ spiritual advisor and de facto ‘guide’ to a newer, better way of living one’s life.
He played weekend host to a confab that included the Fab Four, the Rolling Stones, Donovan, Mia Farrow and her sister, Prudence (who inspired the Beatles song ‘Dear Prudence’). And then, all hell broke loose as the spiritual ‘holy man’ was accused of sexual improprieties with some of his visitors.
Like quite a few other high profile figures from public and private sector alike, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi saw his carefully orchestrated image literally go up in smoke (pot or otherwise) because of some ill-conceived acts on his part.
It’s been said many times and in many ways, but an image can take a lifetime to build and a nanosecond to destroy. For the Maharishi, it only took a long weekend with John, Paul, George and Ringo to become the fool on the hill.