were not in India
at the time of Epstein's death; they were in Wales
at a retreat run by the Maharishi
, only the second time they saw him. They were completely stunned by what happened, and probably became disciple
s of the Maharishi and later went to his compound in India because the guru
offered them a way to cope with the loss of their manager
It is not really known for sure whether Epstein's death was an accidental drug overdose or an intentional suicide; he had tried to commit suicide before and left notes explaining why, but this time he probably just misjudged the number of sleeping pills to take -- there was no note or anything.
He'd had a difficult life: he was the son of a rich Jewish merchant family in Liverpool, but wasn't very interested in growing up and taking over the family store. He tried being an actor, which didn't last, and after being drafted into the British army, was disciplined for "impersonating an officer" (coming on base in his family car and rich clothes, people saluted him and he didn't correct them) and eventually kicked out when his homosexuality was discovered.
Eventually, he did go into the family business, and was a success in the areas which required current style rather than stolid tradition. He first heard of the Beatles when a guy came into the record part of the store looking for the version of "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean" they had recorded as backup for Tony Sheridan. Upon hearing of this popular local band, Epstein checked out their live show and decided he wanted to manage them. (Rumors abound that he had a crush on John Lennon.) He promised the Beatles record deals and all sorts of success, and they signed with him (though Paul's father is known to have had doubts about their having a Jewish manager -- the kind of anti-Semitism that made Epstein rather paranoid throughout his career). Epstein's family wasn't happy that he was going to throw away his work for the store and manage a beat group, either.
He wasn't the greatest businessman, not knowing how to bargain for the best deal, but his manipulation of their image paid off and both they and he became very successful. He wasn't always happy even then, though; he was worried about anti-Semitism, that the Beatles were going to become dissatisfied with him (they were always most important to him of all the bands he managed), and that his homosexuality would become public knowledge (which it really didn't until some time after his death, in Beatles biographies which say that he and Lennon had an affair). He did a lot of drugs to escape his worries, and eventually that probably killed him.