At first blush, it may seem pretty 'far-fetched'
that Yoga can cause of mental illness.
But as the following excerpts from P.D. Moore's book,
Yoga is Powerful, But is it
really Bad for you? shows, that "Yoga is the progress
elimination of consciousness" which the Yoga sutras say is
necessary "in order to secure pure-self awareness."
Yoga and meditation are today widely promoted as harmless and
effective healing practices and as ‘preventative medicine’. But
in this little volume, the author shows that not only is Yoga
activity," but also that it can have, and has been proven
to have, significant adverse effects upon the mind, including
serious long-term psychological harm!
POWERFUL, BUT IS IT REALLY BAD FOR YOU?":
"A German study: amazing
psychological effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM)
"The following is an excerpt from TM-EX Newsletters, Fall 1990,
Spring 1991, Summer 1991, and Summer 1992. The excerpts are
extremely insightful. It records a major Study and the
subsequent High Court ruling on the effects of transcendental
meditation (TM), which exposes the dangers inherent in all
meditative practices of this kind. It also addresses the various
implications arising from the practice of transcendental
meditation. This is one of the few studies of its kind, and was
commissioned by the German Government’s Ministry of Youth,
Family and Health. The physical and social implications of TM (a
form of transmission Yoga) being of primary interest.
"The study offers an overview of the teaching and practice of TM
based on the movement's own presentation of itself and its aims.
Excerpts from the German Government's study, as approved by the
Court, now follow. The German Federal Government Report begins
"…. Meditation with the help of a
mantra is a common
method and one in great demand in Hinduism.
This is because of the belief
in the magical power of certain sounds or words, by the use of
which the initiated can attain godly powers. On account
of this the mantra must be kept secret.
"Although it is said in the TM
movement that the mantra is a sound without meaning,
the belief in the magical power of the mantra is still
maintained. It may not be exchanged, and has to be a
certain one chosen from Hinduism and has a traditional meaning:
(for example a Hindu god). In
order to resolve the conflict between religiosity and scientific
appearances, Maharishi has deliberately mechanized and
standardized his meditation procedure. He has made it
useful for the needs of the westerner: “The mechanical path to
God-realization.” It is the highest and most complete path to
God-realization, which in public is often paraphrased as
self-realization by the
"They believe in the effectiveness of TM even when in the mean
time negative experiences and results are evident. These are
an on-going release of stress.
Far-reaching changes in the perception of reality occurred, as
well as changes in self-evaluation and evaluation by others.
The length of time given to meditation each day increased in
half of the total cases, from 40 minutes to at least two to four
hours daily; in one case to more than eight hours.
This tendency is
encouraged in courses, this at times being a direct instruction
to meditate longer each day. As well as this meditators
invest more time and energy in the TM movement.
TM has a detrimental effect on the decision making process.
There is loss of self-determination....
Also, the variables, facial
expression, bodily posture, voice and handwriting point to the
fact that the total personality is gravely altered under the
influence of TM.
"[para.] 4.5.4 Whereas
TM phase performance at school was well above average, and those
investigated were most happy with their school or job situation,
a considerable worsening in these areas occurred as a result of
the practice of transcendental meditation. 56% had
decreased concentration abilities during the TM phase, only
16% reported an
improvement. 61% found
it more difficult to manage the workload, as against
13% who reported an
"TM had a negative influence on the professional careers of
58% of meditators.
Altogether 28 meditators (42%)
gave up their studies or professional career in order to work
full time for the TM movement or to be able to go on long
courses. They did this on the basis of promises made to them by
the movement. An analysis of
the taped interviews and the stenographer's scripts only
serves to strengthen the suspicion that the TM organization aims
at cheap labour, which in the case of those people who became
unfit to work in the course of time, can be sent away again
without any real difficulty.
"[para.] 4.6.6 In 76% of
cases psychological disorders and illnesses occurred,
9% of meditators had
therapeutic treatment before the TM phase,
43% had psychiatric treatment or had to have medical
treatment during the TM phase.
The psychological disorders most prevalent were tiredness (63%),
“states of anxiety'” (52%),
and regression (39%).
26% had a nervous
expressed serious suicidal tendencies.
Psychological illness already
present before the TM phase worsened considerably.
can cause mental illness or at the very least prepare the way
for the onset of mental illness.
"West German High court approved the above report, ruling the
study valid and concluded, amongst other things:
ruling of the highest federal administrative tribunal, the
Bundesverwaltungsgericht on May 24, 1989 in Case number 7 C 2.87
is: The Federal Government is
allowed to say TM can cause psychic defects or destruction of
"THE DEATH OF A GURU
"In his little book Death of a
Guru, Rabindranath Maharaj seems to confirm the findings
of the German study. He firstly, recounts that in spite of his
father’s lofty ‘spiritual state’ he had to be fed, washed and
cleaned for eight years. That is because for eight long
incredible years his father sat in a lotus position, legs
crossed, feet overlapping the thighs, chanting ‘OM’.
"When Rabindranath’s father passed away unexpectedly and
suddenly, the Hindu spiritual leaders and the ordinary people
said he had reached the fullest attainment of the yogi and was
therefore taken to the ‘other side’ - to join those blissful
spirits that, through Yoga, had escaped the cycle of karmic
bondage. Rabindranath’s father was only 54 year old.
"After his dad’s death Rabindranath was expected to take up the
‘mantle’ and carry on his father’s devout mystic practices. It
was not long after, that he entered the Durga Hindu Temple in
Port of Spain, Trinidad [where presently Hindu comprise 90
percent of the Indian population]. Rabindranath (nick-named
Rabi) had been entrusted to the tutelage of a well-respected
young Brahmin priest, “thoroughly learned in Hinduism”.
"Rabindranath describes how each day, very early in the morning,
he and the other Brahmacharya students would have to chant the
mantra Hari OM Tat Sat and say prayers to the Hindu god,
Hanuman. This he says was seen as a necessity for those
undergoing the daily “transcendental meditation”, which he
describes as, “the heart of Yoga.”
"But Rabindranath explains, on page 56 of his book, that Yoga
and transcendental meditation could also be very dangerous:
Frightening psychic experiences awaited the unwary meditator,
similar to a bad trip on drugs. Demons described in the Vedas
[or Hindu Holy Books] had been known to take possession
of some Yogis. Kundalini power, said to be coiled like a
serpent at the base of the spine, could produce ecstatic
experiences when released in deep meditation – or, if not
properly controlled, it could do great mental and even bodily
The line between ecstasy and horror was very fine. For that
reason we initiates were closely supervised by the Brahmacharya
and his assistant.
the daily meditation I began to have visions of psychedelic
music, and to visit exotic planets where the gods conversed with
me, encouraging me
to attain even higher states of consciousness. Sometimes in
my trance I
encountered the same horrible demonic creatures that are
by the images in
Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, and other religious temples. It was
"... Physician Sir James Watt states:
transcendental meditation [TM]… frequently involves
hallucinations and disassociated [loss of ones hold on reality,
sometimes referred to as demon possession in some religious
circles] episodes that are difficult to treat. Disruption of
breathing patterns is also becoming of increasing interest to
… for once dissociation has been achieved,
relationships with the
world and its creator are
ruptured, and the subject
becomes isolated and inaccessible… failure to achieve union with
Being may… result
- ‘The New Age Phenomena’,
The Church, Medicine and the
"Confirmation of the “numerous pitfalls” that
await those who pursue Yoga also comes from none other than the
Yoga bible, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, pages 45, 46 which
lists nine such dangers:
“Sickness, lethargy, lost of self-confidence,
mental instability, indifference,
dissipation, false reasoning, false visions,
"On page 58 of the same book we are told, the true aim:
“Yoga is the progressive elimination of consciousness in order
to secure pure Self-awareness”. On page 121, it goes on to
explain: This consciousness must be reduced to ashes, its seeds
sterilized so as to render all future consciousness impossible….
What remains is the Self….
"What is the ‘Self’?’ you may ask. The answer is hinted at on
page 122, “the heights of Self-realisation… he encounters
discarnate beings (gods, and angels)….”
"These quotes drive home the all-important point, too often
overlooked by western Yoga enthusiasts, that Yoga, “is not just
a physical exercise, but has a strong psychic component as
well.” – page 91, The Yoga
Sutras of Patanjali. The ‘Self’ in Yoga is not ones
personal identify or true being but rather, the spiritual being
called the Super Soul – Sanat Kumara, or the Serpent King. And,
according to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, page 89, it is
through the ‘Self’ that: “the yogin establishes contact with the
chosen deity … the yogin makes contact with that god or goddess…
in the meditational experience.”
".... Prof. Georg Feuerstein, himself a Yoga practitioner,
states that, Yoga, despite its Westernisation,
rooted in the
“As these followers of physical Yoga (or
posture practice) continue to develop
in body and mind, however, there will come a time
when they start to ask
themselves the age-old existential questions ‘Who
am I?’ and ‘Why am I here?’
I believe that... [in a] very shot time Yoga as
one of several New Age occult
practices, will come to the
EXCERPTS FROM PGS. 46-57 "Yoga
is Powerful, But is it really Bad for you?"
Table of Contents:
In praise of Yoga
An Introduction to Yoga
Secret Powers of Yoga & Meditation
The Yoga campaign
5. Psychological dangers in Meditation and Yoga
Is Yoga Really that Bad for you?
8. Are mantras valid tools for reaching God
The dangers of chanting mantras…
10. Is Yoga
a form of Sun Worship?
Channelling & Hypnotism …
Chakras, Tantric Sex and,
immortality & reincarnation
14. Heaven, Hell or Nirvana?
Highest form of Meditation
About the Author