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Robes of Silk Feet of Clay : The True Story of a Love Affair with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian Guru Followed By the Beatles and Mia Farrow Paperback – 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Judith Bourque (2010)
  • ISBN-10: 9163362783
  • ISBN-13: 978-9163362781
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,461,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First of all: Thanks a lot for a wonderful book. I find your story convincing, and I can believe it. You show great courage, and throughout the book you maintain a fine balance between revealing the childish sides of the man Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, MMY, while at the same time respecting all his good sides: his charm, his knowledge and the meditation technique, he tought to the World.
I can agree with you to a large extend: TM is a great technique for managing daily stress, and as such it is great for the general public. But, let us be honest: If you continue to meditate, then at some point, you will get an experience of a state of deep inner bliss. Which is good, right?
Well, maybe and maybe not. MMY explained the bliss of meditation like this...
The bliss of meditation is the same as the bliss of achieving any desired obejct, only it is more direct, easier and longer lasting. Happiness may be caused by outer successes, but is always an inner state of mind, and it is much easier to think a mantra than making money to buy a fancy car.
This logic made sense, and we all loved and respected MMY for bringing not only the wisdom of happiness but also the technique for direct happiness to us.
But our respect for MMY also made us ready to believe his next statement: That the state of happiness could become permanent by alternating deep meditation with hectic daily activity. MMY compared the process with that of coloring a piece of cloth: You soak it into a color solution, hang it out to dry, put it back into the solution and so on. Each time, you hang it out to dry, the color will fade, but eventually it will stick – it will become permanent.
Back then, we all believed him. I certainly did, and why not?
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Format: Paperback
Judith Bourque writes from her own experience; this is obvious. The details she describes about Maharishi’s initial shyness, his wanting Judith to dress to his liking, etc. bespeak first-hand knowledge of a complex relationship. Bourque includes photos of hand-written letters by Maharishi as well as postmarked letters from her. She only writes of her own experience; for example, when she reports that a woman with whom Maharishi subsequently had an affair died in a plane crash with two others, she does not make any direct accusations. She only states that it scared her. The TM organization would sue Bourque in a minute if they thought they had a chance of disproving her story. The fact that others could be at the same course in India and know nothing about this affair (as a reviewer states) does not indicate that it did not occur. Obviously, Maharishi had an interest in keeping it secret. With a little research, readers would know that Maharishi’s behavior is more normal than exceptional for gurus. Judith Bourque does an admirable job of bringing the human and fallible side of Maharishi to the fore without villainizing him.
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Format: Paperback
I was a follower of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (MMY)in my late teens and early twenties. Back then, I thought he was the greatest of all sages - a world teacher of the highest order. Then, for various reasons I became very disillusioned and left him and his organization. For years afterwards, I tended to demonize him and criticize his organization. Eventually,I settled for an uneasy ambivalence. From time to time, I would read things about him pro and con and found that people where either against him or for him. There wasn't much middle ground.

In this book, Judith walks the middle ground. She doesn't demonize or deify MMY. She sees his humanity through and through. Her embrace of him as a human being is very refreshing. She sees his strengths and his weaknesses with a mature eye. There is no blame in her story. She shares her experience of being his lover simply and without much drama. I got that she still loves him as a teacher of meditation and as a man. But I also got that she sees his flaws and his very human side that was underneath the 'enlightened master' facade. She somehow embraces the beauty of him as well as his hypocrisy and dishonesty.

Reading this book helped me gain a better perspective on MMY. I feel that neither the pro nor the con perspective truly worked for me. Judith's very human portrayal works very well for me.

If you have been or still are involved in MMY's organization, this book is an important read. It shows us the human Mahesh behind the veneer of the 'enlightened' Maharishi.

Note on the new edition: I recently finished the new edition of this book. The new edition has several more chapters and a lot more photos. It is a good update.
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Format: Paperback
Judith Bourque's book is a bombshell. Ms Bourque became a student of MMY in 1970 when she was 22 years old. She went to the Rishikesh ashram for study directly under MMY a couple of years after The Beatles passed through. She quickly became one of MMYs favorites and eventually became his assistant travelling with him and his entourage throughout the world. Later she served as a personal secretary to Jerry Jarvis, who was MMY's most important representative in the United States in the 1970s. Judith Bourque's perspective is, then, that of the ultimate insider.

The primary focus of the book rests on her detailed description of a two-year sexual affair she had with MMY and her claims that MMY had a series of mistresses throughout the years. She claims to be aware of at least 16 women who had experiences similar to her own. Her relationship with MMY ended on a TM course in Europe when she realized that he had tired of her and had moved on with another young and pretty female follower.

These allegations are inherently controversial, but they are presented with ample documentary evidence. Ms Bourque's book includes numerous photographs taken in India and elsewhere of her with Maharishi. Furthermore, her description of the time she spent with MMY is quite detailed and frank. She also offers testimony from one of MMY's "skin boys", Dr. Robert McCutchan. The skin boys were young men who followed MMY around with a deerskin upon which he would always sit. This testimony confirms that Ms Bourque frequently visited MMY's bungalow in Rishikesh alone late at night and stayed for several hours. Finally, she includes photos of numerous hand-written notes she received from MMY and dated letters she wrote him.
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