Les Crane interviews Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

This is a delightful find—early vintage Maharishi—interviewed by a popular LA television talk show host. Les Crane interviewed Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in September 1967 about a month after The Beatles had met and learned Transcendental Meditation from him. They go over the basics of what Transcendental Meditation is and is not. Maharishi is delightful, laughing and quipping throughout the interview. The one-hour show, minus commercials, is 49:30 minutes long.

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Les asks Maharishi when he first heard of the Beatles and when they first met him. He then quotes the Beatles from the current (Sept 22, 1967) Time magazine cover story, THE BEATLES / Their New Incarnation, where they favorably describe Maharishi and how TM fulfilled their search for a genuine spiritual experience.

Les asked some good questions. He was an intelligent man. Halfway into the program Les opens up questions from the audience. He also introduces Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and mentions his association with Maharishi. Les then introduces Jerry Jarvis, national director of SIMS, and asks him to explain the Five Year Plan. Maharishi mentions Charles Lutes and his plan to build an Academy of Meditation in the US. Les asks what the world would look like if many people practiced Transcendental Meditation, and Maharishi gives him a very practical description.

At the end of the program Les apologetically prefaces what he’s about to say when he announces who his guests will be on the next show. “We have been talking about Transcendental Meditation and spiritual enrichment and fulfillment tonight. Tomorrow night we’re going to have a group of people on the program who believe that the way to find inner peace and happiness is an entirely different way. We’re gonna have a few representatives of the Sexual Freedom League on the program.” [laughter, a few more comments, then adds] “I had to say that because that’s what we do here, we look at everything.”

Maharishi: “To search is good.” Les, smiling: “To search is good.” Maharishi adds: “And to find fulfillment is really great.” [loud applause] Les: “Maharishi, thank you very much.” Maharishi: “Good luck to the whole nation through you.” Les: “Good bye. Bless you all.”

See this recent post of The Telegraph reporting on a recent TM study improving graduation rates saying the Beatles may have been on to something after all during their fabled journey to India.

Also see Maharishi interviewed on the BBC in 1967.

The BBC World Service program Witness, will air an interview with Theresa Olson, Monday March 3, 2014, 8:50 GMT. In the spring of 1959, Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi set off around the world to spread the teachings of Transcendental Meditation. Witness speaks to Theresa Olson, who was ten years old when the Maharishi came to stay in her parents’ house. A photo is shown of Maharishi taken from BBC1, Sunday July 5, 1964, to promote the upcoming interview on The Maharishi’s World Tour.

Another program worth watching from those early days is the 1968 CBC documentary of Maharishi at Lake Louise.

The most recent biography on Maharishi aired on A&E’s History Channel, 40 years after the BBC and Les Crane interviews.

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2 Responses to “Les Crane interviews Maharishi Mahesh Yogi”

  1. Australian Yoga Life Magazine features Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in their Early Pioneers of Yoga series | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] A Tribute to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi | Les Crane interviews Maharishi Mahesh Yogi | Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise | The story behind the making of the […]

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  2. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on History International Channel (November 2007) | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Also see New film shows David Lynch retracing Maharishi’s footsteps from North to South India and the start of the TM movement. And Watch the 1968 film of Maharishi at Lake Louise. This is also interesting: Who was Dear Prudence the Beatles sang to in India? What happened to her? Here is her story. Listen to Les Crane interviews Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. […]

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