Question – What do you think of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his views on transcendental meditation?
Osho – Transcendental meditation is neither transcendental nor meditation. But still what he is doing is good. What he is teaching in the name of meditation is only an ancient method of chanting. If you chant any word or any mantra continuously inside the mind, other thoughts stop because they don’t have any space. And this continuous chanting is a certain device of auto-hypnosis; it is not meditation.
It does not lead you to any spiritual enlightenment, but it certainly gives you a good feeling of wellbeing and health. You will feel refreshed — just as you feel refreshed after a good shower; but a shower is not a transcendental meditation.
So there is nothing wrong with what he is doing. It cannot harm anybody. He is harmless, but he is misdirected. He is giving a toy which is not the real thing. If people enjoy toys — and many people enjoy toys — I have nothing against them. If they are happy, that’s perfectly good.
But one thing I want to make clear: it is not meditation. It is just a mental trick which can also be done by auto-hypnosis, looking just at one thing continuously without blinking your eyes, you will fall into a sleep and that sleep will be deeper than your ordinary sleep. Certainly it will give you a feeling of rejuvenation, of well-being.
So it is something that should be part of gymnasium programs. It has nothing religious in it, nothing spiritual in it, but it is a good exercise. People who are doing physical exercise in gymnasiums should learn transcendental meditation; after their exercise for fifteen or twenty minutes they can relax, and it will help their bodies, but not their beings.
Source – from Osho Book “The Last Testament, Vol 4”