People often think that old gurus fade away like old soldiers, but some just get really rich.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation (TM) at 92 is one of the oldest gurus around and also it seems possibly the richest.

He was the guru that handed out mantras to the Beatles in the 1960s. Old fans of the “Fab Four” may think after that he just toddled off into obscurity, without the cache of the British rockers.

However, over the following decades Maharishi methodically built a literal spiritual empire, which is now worth more than all the former Beatles fortunes combined.

Paul McCartney is reportedly worth more than one billion dollars, but his old guru has more than triple the wealth of the knighted Beatle known now as Sir Paul.

Maharishi controls combined real estate and business holdings of at least $3.6 billion dollars reports the Hartford Advocate. Though some estimate his vast financial empire is really worth closer to $5 billion.

This may make Maharishi the richest purported “cult” leader in the world.

The TM founder’s closest rivals for that title would likely be:

Rev. Moon 82, who controls the Unification Church and somewhere around $3 billion.

And then there is David Miscavige, the current head of Scientology, a global organization with its own hefty holdings, which some say might easily be worth more than $1 billion.

All this goes to prove that there may be “no business like show business,” but “cults” can really pay off big time.


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