Maharishi University of Management celebrated its 30th anniversary Friday, with a series of speakers touting the achievements of M.U.M. students, praising the Transcendental Meditation movement -- and criticizing schools that don't teach TM, with one speaker denouncing them as "deplorable."
The university's Founders Day celebration coincided with lobbying by TM groups in other parts of the country to add meditation to school curriculums.
A satellite uplink connected the Maharishi School auditorium with 12 press conferences in the United States and two in Canada where TM was being advocated, and speakers called on schools everywhere to implement "consciousness-based education."
The school, originally called Maharishi International University, was founded by followers of Indian spiritual guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It held its first classes in 1973 in Santa Barbara, Calif., and moved to Fairfield a year later.
John Hagelin, director of the M.U.M. Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy and a three-time presidential candidate, opened the event by talking about what he said were the shortcomings of traditional education.
"Conventional education has failed in its purpose of developing full human ability," Hagelin said. "Conventional education is fact-based education. ... Maharishi's consciousness-based education takes a far more fundamental approach. Maharishi's consciousness-based education focuses on the development of the knower, the key missing ingredient in education throughout the world."
Hagelin argued that "education as it has been" is the root of problems such as "crime, violence, even pollution."
M.U.M. president Bevan Morris, who spoke after Hagelin, said traditional education leaves "functional holes" in students' brains.
"Because the existing educational system focuses only on learning specific fragments of knowledge one by one," he said, "it only develops fragments or segments of the brain and never the total brain, and this is a huge loss to the human race. When only segments of the brain are developed, the unfortunate result is that in the end, functional holes are left in the brain."
Morris said consciousness-based education can create "a new world of angelic individuals" and leads to "the ability to know everything and do everything spontaneously right."