London, South Kensington
26 April 2001
A rare autograph letter, signed, sent to an Indian fan, [n.d. but between February 16th and April 12th, 1968 during Lennon's sojurn in Rishikesh for an extensive course of meditation under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi] on Spiritual Regeneration Movement Foundation Of India, Shankaracharya Nagar, P.O. Swargashram, Rishikesh, U.P. India... illustrated and headed airmail paper, Lennon responds to the fan's request for money for a world trip he couldn't afford on his meagre clerk's salary by telling him ...If every request like yours was granted - there would be no 'huge treasure' as you call it..; Lennon also takes the author of the letter to which he is responding, to task, concerning a comment the fan had made, about Lennon's wealth clearly not giving him peace of mind hence the necessity of his visit to the Maharishi, by saying: ..You say 'peace of mind minus all other things on earth is equal to nothing' - this doesn't make sense. To have peace of mind one would have to have all that one desires - otherwise where is the peace of mind?, Lennon also displays his belief in the powers of meditation when he opines that individuals do not need wealth in order to travel around the world ...All you need is initiative - If you don't have this I suggest you try transcendental meditation through which all things are possible.. and signs off with love John Lennon. jai guru dev 1p. the address section of the letter, inscribed in Lennon's hand and glued to a piece of lined paper attached to the reverse of the letter
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John Lennon In His Own Words, Compiled by Miles, London: Omnibus Press, 1980, p.71
MACDONALD, Ian Revolution In The Head: The Beatles' Records And The Sixties, London: Random House, 1994, p. 240
It is our belief that this is the first Lennon/Beatle letter to be sent from Rishikesh to have appeared on the market. It is interesting to note that Lennon signs off with Jai Guru Dev the expression which is more readily associated with George Harrison than any of the other Beatles. Interestingly this phrase Jai Guru Dev is used in hindi to pay tribute to the preacher, which would suggest by his use of it, that Lennon had not at the time of writing this letter become disenchanted with the Maharishi. This letter gives a positive indication of Lennon's belief in the powers of transcendental meditation. However during the course of his visit to Rishikesh Lennon took against the Maharishi himself. Later, Lennon's changed feelings
were revealed in his song Sexy Sadie originally entitled Maharishi [a title he dropped to avoid a legal dispute] with the line You made a fool of everyone. Lennon left the Academy earlier than originally planned and when asked to give his reasons for doing so by the Maharishi, challenged the guru with his retort: ..Well, if you're so cosmic, you'll know why..
A recent translation of the fan's original letter to John Lennon is available on request.
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