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“Maharishi, what is ‘enlightenment’?”

In this interview, UCLA student reporter Rachel Kelley asks Maharishi about the role of students in changing the world, how the Transcendental Meditation technique can improve effectiveness, and the best question of all—What is enlightenment?

Question: I have heard that you talked about enlightenment as being easy. I was wondering what exactly you mean by “enlightenment”?

Maharishi: Enlightenment means lack of darkness, absence of darkness. And “absence of darkness” means no mistakes, no weakness, no shortcoming—success everywhere, fulfillment of desire everywhere. That is enlightenment. One is living in full accord with Natural Law. Spontaneously Nature is supporting us: then we are not in the dark about anything.

Question: What do you feel is the value of students learning the TM technique?

Maharishi-MaheshMaharishi: The purpose of student life is to gain as much knowledge as possible, and if possible, gain Total Knowledge. So when they learn Transcendental Meditation, they learn and experience the underlying principles of Transcendental Meditation—Transcendental Consciousness—Total Knowledge.

Transcendental Consciousness is the Unified Field of Natural Law. Quantum Field Theory has established that there is one unified field at the basis of all the creativity of natural law. So when one transcends, one gets into that level of intelligence, which is all-knowingness. This is enlightenment. And one spontaneously begins to think better in every way—and better means right for everyone, useful for everyone, and quickly achieving the desire. That is enlightenment.

The life of the student is to gain all the knowledge that is possible to gain, to develop all the creativity that is possible to develop. There is an infinite degree of creativity in the consciousness of everyone, and Transcendental Meditation unfolds that consciousness, very easily and very simply, so that Total Knowledge—which is the Self of everyone—can be gained by every student. The purpose of student life, the purpose of gaining education, can be fulfilled through the practice of Transcendental Meditation.

Question: What do you think students can do for the world?

Maharishi: They can re-create the world. The world must be re-done, it must be re-established. And basically there is only one thing to restructure the world, and that is enlightenment for everyone.

Question: People in the United States don’t normally associate ease with effectiveness, so how does the TM technique encompass both?

Maharishi2-correctedMaharishi: Transcendental Meditation makes the active mind fully silent, spontaneously, and that silence remains when one comes out of meditation. The mind remains silent after meditation and yet fully active in the world. It’s like when a businessman goes to the bank and he comes out with his pocket full. He moves around in the market very easily, and does not have to struggle to gain profit in the market because he has money in the pocket. Like that, when people meditate the inner creativity comes out and then, with increased creativity, they don’t have to work that hard.

The principle of Transcendental Meditation is: No hardness in life. This great principle is: Do less and accomplish more. In the principle of shooting an arrow with great force, we just pull the arrow back and release—it will go very far and hit the target with great force. So success is not gained through hard work: Success is gained by having the infinite organizing power of natural law in our favor. Transcendental Meditation brings the favor of natural law—brings the creativity of natural law, which governs the whole universe in perfect order—so that everything becomes very easy for the meditators to achieve.