Charles F. Lutes
Charlie Lutes

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Charles F. Lutes
Charlie Lutes

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi asked Charlie to write introductions to several of his books. The following preface was written by Charlie for Maharishi's book, The Science of Being and Art of Living - In this book, in his own words, the new prophet of worldwide peace sets forth the techniques of his famous Transcendental Meditation.

The First Edition was published by Allied Publishers Private Limited in March 1963.

PREFACE

This book is the exception that disproves the rule spelled out in the familiar line: East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. For this book furnishes not only a meeting ground - a point of entry for the mutual understanding of two heritages and cultures - it formulates a method for each to enter into, complement, and enrich the other, to the immediate and practical benefit of both and to the ultimate enrichment of all mankind.

If this sounds like an extraordinary statement, it is only because the subject matter itself is extraordinary. The West has long accepted as a fact the spiritual wisdom of the East, but pretty much on faith and without any wide understanding of the true meaning of this wisdom. Even by those scholars whose studies have brought them a degree of familiarity, the East's spiritual wisdom has been largely acknowledged as the province of the monkish ascetic, the holy scholar who lives apart and shuns all but the most necessary contact with the everyday world. Thus the West has been apt to regard eastern religious and mystical teaching as something which, while undoubtedly profound, authentic, and perhaps even close to the root answers to questions posed by all men, was still essentially a museum piece to be viewed under glass and of little practical worth to western man who has to live in the world, deal with its problems and meet the responsibilities which it thrusts upon him. For westerners, teachings which counseled withdrawal from the world and its temptations might be studied as curiosities, but they offered no real possibility of application as a creed to be lived or followed.

Here lies the distinction and significance of this work. It contains the essence of Indian spiritual learning, teaching, and wisdom: the heritage of India's imperishable tradition of Masters. It formulates a method by which any man - all men - may enter this same heritage, discover its riches and harvest its rewards. The method requires no departure from Western living or ways, but promises enhancement of the individual's capacity to know, to achieve, to live and to worship at the altar of his own chosen faith. The teaching of this book is not limited to any one faith; it deals with the essential truth which underlies all faiths, and its message may be lived by men of all creeds, for its teaching is inconsistent with none.

It was written to fill a void - the need of men everywhere - and as the result of increasing insistence by those who had come into contact with the wisdom of His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The full sweep of his teaching is disclosed by the book's title: The Science of Being and the Art of Living. The choice of words is deliberate and provocative, for one seldom equates science with spiritual teaching. Yet the system on which Maharishi's teaching is based - a simple method of Transcendental Meditation (a much misunderstood word in the West, but one which implies simply a means of communication with the infinite) - is indeed systematic and produces measurable and predictable results and is therefore scientific. But the product of this science is realization and fulfillment in the art of life.

The key to this knowledge has long been held by the Masters of India and it was long supposed to be their exclusive - perhaps obscure - province. Surely not, however. Surely, God's teaching is for all who will hear it. So says Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; and his book is addressed to all who will read and act on it.

To know Maharishi and to be in his presence is to realize at once that here is a man who stands apart from other men, one who truly knows God and lives the earthly personification of highest human attainment. In this he is the direct heir of the tradition of India's great Masters. He was the close and favored disciple of a Master possessing extraordinary human qualities, His Divinity Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the most illustrious of the Jagadguru Shankaracharyas of India. Dr. Radhakrishnan, the world-famous philosopher who is now President of India, addressed him as Vedanta Incarnate, and poets spoke of him as personified Divinity. It was at the feet of this great Master that Maharishi spent thirteen years acquiring the wisdom that he now freely gives to the world.

It was in Madras, in 1958, that Maharishi founded the Spiritual Regeneration Movement with the aim of spiritually regenerating every man in the world. Since then, in this short time, he has become known and revered throughout Asia, Europe and North America. He has chosen the ancient pilgrimage town of Rishikesh, on the Ganges River at the foot of the Himalayas, as the site of the Academy of Meditation and the world headquarters of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement. There, each spring for three months, Maharishi trains people from all parts of the world to be teachers of his system of meditation. Also each year, in secluded places in Europe, North America and India, groups of people gather with Maharishi for intensive training in the art of Transcendental Mediation.

Maharishi's plan of action and aim embrace the whole world. It is his stated objective to redirect the course of humanity by means of the widest possible propagation of the knowledge and practice of Transcendental Meditation. To this end, centers of meditation have been established in the major cities of most countries of the world.

The world has known its share of conquerors by force of arms. Relatively few have conquered with love, bringing to the conquered peace and plenty rather than the suffering and privation which follows in the wake of war. Maharishi is a man of peace, but one whose dynamic teaching may well overpower the possibility of conquest by physical force. For Maharishi brings to all those who desire it a direct way to reach the peace that lies within all men; to each man a path by which to find the kingdom within himself which Christ and every great prophet knew and described. A man who has discovered this path and who walks it radiates this peace; it fills the atmosphere around him and communicates itself to all who come in contact with him. A nation or society which discovers and treads this same path would radiate this to the world. Then truly would man have found the Golden Age he has long and painfully sought.

That we are on the threshold of just such a possibility - even probability - is the electrifying implication of this book and the divine hope that it offers to us. For those who are fortunate enough to read this book, to take up its challenge and experience this path through the subtle technique of Transcendental Meditation, the hope will flower into reality; the only and eternal reality.

Charles F. Lutes

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