Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who introduced transcendentalist meditation to the West, died Tuesday at his headquarters in the Netherlands. He was believed to be in his early 90s.
Among the best-known seekers of his wisdom were The Beatles.
He also was an entrepreneur of enlightenment, who built an enterprise of spiritual centers and schools that today is estimated to have assets of about $300 million.
He was often known as The Giggling Guru for the high-pitched laugh he often used to emphasize his observations.
The Beatles visited him first in 1968 and returned with some well-known friends. But controversy broke out. The Maharishi, an avowed celibate, was accused of laying hands on some women who came to his ashram.
John Lennon wrote the song "Sexy Sadie" as a thinly-disguised denunciation. Reportedly, the song's original title was "Maharishi." But the rumors of misconduct were never confirmed, and years later, George Harrison and Paul McCartney denied them.
The Maharishi retired from public life just last month and said he would devote his remaining time to completing a long series of commentaries on the Vedas, the sacred Hindu texts.