Mystic Plans Skyscraper Despite WTC Attack

Reuters/October 10, 2001

New Delhi -- Skyscrapers may have lost some of their luster after the destruction of New York's landmark World Trade Center.

But for Indian mystic Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, better known as spiritual adviser to the Beatles, the charm of building the world's tallest building hasn't faded in the least.

The octogenarian guru with a flowing white beard and hair who spawned a global craze for transcendental meditation is still pushing ahead with plans to build a 144-story, pyramid-shaped skyscraper in the heart of India.

The 2,220-foot building, designed by the firm responsible for the World Trade Center, will top the world's tallest skyscrapers, Kuala Lumpur's Petronas twin towers which stand at 1,483 feet.

"The project is still on and will begin as soon as we have got some government approvals," Maharishi Vidya Mandir vice-chairman J.K. Gandhi told Reuters.

"That (collapse of the twin towers) does not affect us because we believe all the pundits meditating and chanting Vedic mantras there will generate positive energy and no harm will come to us," Gandhi said.

When complete, the World Center of Vedic Learning in the hill-ringed village of Karondi in the central state of Madhya Pradesh will be filled with the drone of 100,000 pundits or Hindu priests chanting Hindu mantras for world peace.

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