Transcendental Meditation (TM) refers to a specific form of silent mantra meditation called the Transcendental Meditation technique. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918–2008) introduced the TM technique and TM movement in India in the mid 1950s.
The TM technique involves the use of a sound or mantra and is practiced for 15–20 minutes twice a day. It is taught by certified teachers through a standard course of instruction. According to the Transcendental Meditation movement, it is a non-religious method for relaxation, stress reduction and self-development.
Transcendental Meditation dates its origin back to the Vedic traditions of India. The Transcendental Meditation program and the Transcendental Meditation movement which originated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the organization, continued even beyond his death in 2008.
The word ‘transcendentalism’ refers to an idealistic, philosophical and social movement which was developed in New England around 1836 in reaction to rationalism, influenced by romanticism, Platonism and Kantian philosophy, it taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity and its members hold progressive views on feminism and communal living. It is based on the idea that in order to understand the nature of reality, one must first examine and analyse the reasoning process which governs the nature of experience. Emerson, a famous transcendentalist, summed up the beliefs of transcendentalism when he said, “What is behind us, and what is before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
The meditation practice is reported to be one of the most widely practiced and among the most widely researched meditation techniques, with hundreds of published research studies. The technique is made available worldwide by certified TM teachers in a seven-step course. Beginning in 1965, the Transcendental Meditation technique has been incorporated into selected schools, universities, corporations and prison programs in the US, Latin America, Europe, and India. The technique has come to be included in a number of educational and social programs around the world.
Maharishi dedicated 60 years of his life to the cause of TM. From his earliest teaching days, especially from 1959, he has been saying that, “Positive and peaceful global transformations would naturally be affected when people practise Transcendental Meditation.”
Following on the same lines, Dr. Gautam Choudhury, a disciple of Late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi , has been working tirelessly to promote TM in not just urban but also rural and tribal areas of Northeastern states.
I was fortunate enough to come across this technique, just recently, through a family friend from Dibrugarh, Mr. Lalit Sharma, who had been practicing it for the past two years. Influenced by his experience, we together agreed upon the idea of conducting a three-day Basic Course of TM in Tinsukia. Thus, in the month of November, 2017, we were able to successfully organise a TM camp in Tinsukia, which witnessed the enthusiastic participation of around 45 individuals from various walks of life like industrialists, lawyers, teachers, CAs, doctors, astrologers, businessmen and even housewives.
Dr. Gautam Choudhury helped us gain a deep and thorough insight into the technique, the simplicity of whose being parallel to a kid learning to say “MAA”. The beauty of the technique was in its simplicity and that is what, I believe, makes it so effective. The workshop was a huge success and was appreciated by each and every individual attending it.
The best gift this session gave me was that even I started practising TM two times a day, and surprisingly was able to see a number of basic changes in my behaviour. Just a simple practice was changing those habits in me that had tend to house inside since childhood. At first, I thought this change was only temporary, but gradually things started seeping in deep.
My curiosity brought me down to the door of Google. I browsed the internet to find that TM was a boon in itself. It helps in fighting Depression, Hypertension, Sleeping problem, Smoking and Alcoholic habits, Mobile and TV addiction, only to mention a few.
It was in the month of December that I happened to meet Dr. Gautam Choudhury (whom we call ‘GURUJI’ in utter respect) again. I asked ‘GURUJI’ as to why he hadn’t told us about any of the direct benefits of meditation during the workshop, although they were many. ‘GURUJI’ replied with his peaceful smile, the one that he always carries on his face, that these benefits are just the side effects and they are bound to happen once you practice TM. The main advantage, however, is self-improvement through better self-belief, better output level and better thought process. It has the power to change a person internally.
Gradually, the busy schedule and other priorities of life brought me to a state where I discontinued my regular practice of two times a day and sometimes even used to skip the practice altogether. The benefits which were flowing into my life due to TM had started diminishing now as I was insincere towards my practice.
In the month of April, another six-day workshop was conducted at Majuli (the largest river Island in the world) by ‘GURUJI’ for the next level of TM course. I somehow managed to reach there on the morning of 11th April, taking time out from my so called busy schedule. I had thought that I would attend the workshop for three days and then return home. I had packed my luggage accordingly. However, destiny had some different plans.
When the workshop started, the experience was just like any other. However, as the workshop reached its third day, I felt a spark of change inside me, a feeling that cannot be put down to words. A tear rolled down and I found myself hugging my mentor, Sri Lalit Sharma, for bringing me back to the path which I would have left unknowingly in the midst, even after being so close to it. As time ticked away in the workshop, I felt a new stream of energy run down my veins. A new sense of belief and a new sense of happiness started flourishing inside. This was a feeling I had never witnessed anytime before, so great and so pure. It was the first time I saw myself talking less and listening more, very contrary to how I am.
So, I decided to extend my stay there with a conviction that TM would stand to be my foremost priority from then, as only it could give me the peace and efficiency which would make my world easier and also help me in attaining and understanding my inner-self.
On the last day of the workshop, I was standing very emotional, as if the world was about to come down to ashes. I cried hugging ‘GURUJI’ like a small kid. I had not watched TV, ate only boiled food, no internet connectivity, was disconnected from the world for six long days, things that I had not even imagined in my dreams, but this period was so different. It gave me a top of the world feeling. So, finally I got my answer. This was it. This was the answer to all those questions that time had been throwing upon me.
Not merely alone me, I came across numerous examples in the workshop who had undergone a life changing experience. One, Sri Abhijit Baruah from Assam Police, who holds a Guiness World Record name, was also a part of the workshop and had been sincerely practising TM for over 4 years then. Next, an individual who used to consume drugs as a regular habit a few years back was all changed and now just intakes Rice, Dal and Bhaji everyday. Who changed them or who inspired them? No one. It was only their inner self which was enlightened and brought down little, significant corrections in the journey.
Now, it’s almost a month after I have returned from the session and I can proudly assert that I practise TM regularly twice a day no matter how occupied I am or how late it gets. And I am adamant enough to continue it for the rest of my life.
Before I put an end to this recounting of my beautiful experience, I would like to acknowledge our Principal Sir, Dr. P.S. Das, in motivating me to sit down to write this article so that my experience could reach the students through the newsletter. I request all the students or any individual coming across this article not to read it as my experience alone but if any opportunity arrives and a TM workshop could be attended, please do attend it and make it a part of your routine life. Your life will, in true words, be life then.