Sally describes her journey “To Jyotir Math” with Maharishi and scientists who met to tell the Shankaracharya about the dawning of a new age

To Jyotir Math

Late May, dusty dry hills, scrub brush, months before monsoons would come bringing green relief.

The ashram, quiet, in the fading sunlight, was impressive in these Himalayan foothills; ancient, two-storied cream stone, with saffron orange trim, the Shankarcharya’s colors, and flag flying, nestled against a hill beside Shankara’s cave and banyan tree, the same cave and tree where Shankara sat 3,000 years ago writing his commentaries with the disciples—Trotaka, Hasta-Malaka, Vartika-Kara, Padma-Pada. 3,000 years ago.

The air, though tired and dusty with summer heat, vibrated with ancient wisdom, lively still in that remote valley, hidden from time.

The great gong sounded from the ashram at sunset, calling the villagers to meet, poor peasants—the men road workers, wearing their army uniforms like badges of honor; the women, their good saris ragged to our eyes, glittered with tinseled trim and brilliant blended hand woven colors—scarlet, blue indigo and jaded greens.

They flowed like water into the meeting room—a small room, filled with greatness. Shankarcharya walked slowly into the room, an immense presence, pundits extolling his holiness with Vedic mantras. His gentle gaze, meeting our eyes, greeted the pale Americans who had come with Maharishi. He sat on Guru Dev’s throne, like a statue of stillness, waiting for us to settle, then beckoned to us gently to move forward so more of the villagers could enter the room.

The women to one side, sat apart, protected by their gentle warm togetherness, shifting, hushed whispers, pulling their saris as Maharishi and the great western scientists spoke of the dawning of a new age.

I had been there before, perhaps in a dream, of walking these hills, knowing with liquid clarity what would be around the curve, in the next cave, in the small Devi temple. I knew that holiness.

It was late, and we left quietly. Ahead of us, the village women walked slowly, heads together, chatting and laughing, apart from their men, gathering their tired children in their strong brown arms.

—Sally “Sali” Peden


(Also see: Pilgrimage, and Timeless Journey, by Sally Peden)

Around 1995-96 Sali took some classes in the MA in Professional Writing program at Maharishi University of Management.  The poetry writing class was taught by poet Rustin Larson. It was there that she recalled and wrote about her journey to Jyotir Math in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, which had taken place some 20 years earlier, in May 1975, the year Maharishi had inaugurated the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment. For an explanation and further developments ….

By the beginning of 1975 there was a growing body of scientific evidence that the Transcendental Meditation technique was producing a wide range of benefits in the lives of individuals. At that time, new scientific research was being brought to Maharishi’s attention indicating profound benefits for society as a whole. In a number of cities where a small fraction of the people were meditating, the rest of the population was being affected in a positive way—the crime rate was coming down while it continued to rise nationally. A phase transition was taking place in those cities where one percent of the population was practicing TM. Inspired by these findings, on January 12, 1975, in his inaugural speech on board the Flagship Gotthard, on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, Maharishi declared, “It is through the window of science that we see the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment.” He then toured the globe to inaugurate the Dawn on every continent. In April, he inaugurated the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment for all of North America in Ottawa, Canada. It was while he was in India in May that Maharishi went with his scientists to visit the Shankaracharya to inform him of this world-transforming news that would change the trends of time, from suffering and darkness to an Age of Enlightenment. A few years later, Maharishi would introduce the TM-Sidhi program, including Yogic Flying, which, when practiced in large enough groups demonstrated that only the square root of one percent of a population was needed to effect a phase transition from negativity and war to harmony and peace. The name of this change was called The Maharishi Effect, in honor of Maharishi who had predicted it decades earlier. Maharishi sent groups to war-torn areas in 1978 and quelled the violence in those stressed areas. A large World Peace Assembly was later organized at MIU, now MUM, and thousands showed up from around the globe to help give the world a Taste of Utopia. The square root of one percent of the world’s population at that time was 7000, and 8000 advanced TM practitioners showed up to practice this peace-creating technology in the largest group ever.  For those few short weeks, from December 17, 1983 to January 6, 1984, the cold war came to an end, stock markets around the world soared, there were fewer accidents and lower crime. It was an unforgettable experience for all of us. More World Peace Assemblies verified this approach to peace. A Demonstration Project, A Group for a Government, took place in the summer of 1993, in Washington, DC. See The Power of the Collective for the results.  Today full-time groups in Maharishi Vedic City and Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, have been creating Invincibility for the nation as a full-time profession. Other countries have set up similar groups, and construction is continuing at the Brahmasthan of India for 8000 meditating yogic flying Maharishi Vedic Pandits, where several thousand have already gathered. See Creating World Peace at

Footnote: I was on that Flagship Gotthard boat ride, as was Sali, when Maharishi inaugurated the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, but we didn’t know each other then. I also attended the North American inauguration of the Dawn at Hotel Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa. We met Maharishi at the airport and followed him on the drive there.

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9 Responses to “Sally describes her journey “To Jyotir Math” with Maharishi and scientists who met to tell the Shankaracharya about the dawning of a new age”

  1. New film shows David Lynch retracing Maharishi’s footsteps from North to South India and the start of the TM movement | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] interest may be: Timeless Journey, Pilgrimage, and To Jyotir Math, by Sally […]


  2. This Quiet Love, a #LovePoem from Kenny, for Sally on #ValentinesDay | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Sally Peden are about Sali, except the first 3, which were written by her about a visit To Jyotir Math with Maharishi Mahesh […]


  3. The story behind the making of the International History documentary on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Bevan Morris, and John Hagelin. Jerry Jarvis was included when the producer was in Los Angeles. Sally Peden was also interviewed for the film but did not make final cut. However, she provided additional […]


  4. For Us—a tanka honoring Sali and what we shared | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] is a picture of Sally Peden showing Maharishi a photo that may have been taken during their trip To Jyotir Math with western scientists in the spring of 1975 to tell the Shankaracharya about the Dawn of the Age […]


  5. An early attempt at some kind of closure with a poem on Sali’s passing and auspicious times | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Orme-Johnson, also a founding faculty member at MIU/MUM, recalled her trip with Sali and Rindi to Jyotir Math. There were in a taxi driving up the ever-winding road and to keep from becoming ill from the […]


  6. Timeless Journey (Traveling with Maharishi) | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] see: Pilgrimage and To Jyotir Math by Sally […]


  7. Pilgrimage by Sally Peden | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Fair blogger James Wolcott welcomes The Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan into the TM fold Sally describes her journey “To Jyotir Math” with Maharishi and scientists who met to te… […]


  8. Rememberances of #TranscendentalMeditation and #MaharishiU founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] You can read more about this in the description I wrote after Sally Peden’s poem, To Jyotir Math, in this post: Sally describes her journey “To Jyotir Math” with Maharishi and scientists who met to tell the S…. […]


  9. #TranscendentalMeditation founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi interviewed on Finnish TV in 1973 | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] later Sally would travel with Maharishi and a handful of people on a Timeless Journey in India To Jyotir Math to inaugurate the Dawn of the Age of […]


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