Corresponding to its two spellings, the word may be pronounced in two different ways: “Ma-har-shi” or “Ma-ha-ri-shi”. The first pronunciation follows Sanskrit rules of sound combination (sandhi) and is generally used by experienced speakers of Sanskrit. The second pronunciation (referred to as broken sandhi) is often used by beginners to the language but is still considered correct by experienced speakers. The spelling Maharishi is notably used by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Within India, the term is technically a title, not a name, yet it is often used as a term of address.