In the late 1967, the Beach Boys met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and learned how to meditate. In the spring of 1968, the Beach Boys and the Maharishi toured together. Bruce Johnston remembers "the Maharishi giving his lecture and the audience screaming for the Beach Boys." The tour cost the Beach Boys several hundred thousand dollars. As Al Jardine sardonically noted at the time, "if anybody benefits from this tour, it'll be the florists.".
It's ironic that that of all the tracks about the serene and refreshing act of meditation would turn out to be the most raucous and rocking cuts on the album. Yet even though both the sax and the vocals hit very unpleasent notes, this curiously discordant production works.
Histroical Note: This song was the first of several the Beach Boys recorded on the same subject (e.g. "The TM Song" on 1976's 15 Big Ones).
The Beatles were among his students, as were the Beach Boys (singer Mike Love in particular), who recorded an album at his Maharishi International University in the 1970s. Singer-songwriter Donovan befriended the Maharishi, who appeared with him on the back cover of A Gift from a Flower to a Garden. Comedian Andy Kaufman and magician Doug Henning were also Maharishi students, while Clint Eastwood and David Lynch are two notable directors who practice TM.