Debunked

The strange case of Ashwini and his Dhyan Foundation

The Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations had announced a challenge to astrologers to predict the results of the 2009 elections. On the 15th of May, I received an unsolicited email from info@dhyanfoundation.com stating that:

“astrology is a perfect science but if tied wid maya (charges, power etc.) then it looses its power so people who sell dis art in no way go beyond probability…….Ther r forces which run creation and also u n me n also this so called rationalist” these forces in do form of an energy field r visible around an individual or his pic its possible to tell his emotional and physicall(sic) state. I invite this Mr.rationalist to give us at DHYAN FOUNDATION ten pics of his choice of seriously ill n healthy people as a mix n we will tell how many of them r seriously ill n how many r healthy.if he wants to give pic of lok sabha candidates then its possible to tell if we have date n time of d election results, wether he is winning or loosing all dis wid 90% accuracy.”

All this from a person (?) who says:

” u wrote an interesting article, normally I don respond mself  but this being a serious issue n u being a serious journo I thought dat I should bring some things to your notice”.

Since the mail was received by me after the election results were announced, I replied that the powers to predict the election results could be put to test when the next elections would come around. However as for predicting the illnesses by photographs, that could be done by the challenger himself by going to any hospital, photographing patients and diagnosing their disease himself. I also added that I would be in Bangalore on the 31st of May and would bring photographs with me and present them in the presence of the public and media; Dhyan foundation could demonstrate their powers. The reply to this was that the Dhyan Foundation had already done such experiments and a list of impressive sounding names was also provided including that of Laloo Prasad Yadav. The correspondent who signed off as Yogi Ashwini also informed me that he was in Europe till June end. He also added “I do not publicize my name; any ordinary foundation member can give predictions and would be happy to do for any sceptic who has no faith in his culture”. He then went on to “guarantee their authenticity”.

This being the tone of the letter and since Ashwini claimed ownership of culture, I had to ask him as to what a person who claims to be a guardian of culture was doing in Europe, as the very culture which he claimed to represent would consider any one crossing the seas as an outcast. I also informed him that I would not be impressed by his names dropping, but that only a trial under controlled conditions would satisfy me.

The reply to this was,

“I was only trying to educate you on culture and truth of yoga which obviously you are not aware of. I see no reason for you being rude here…” He also went on to tell me that “you are talking to a yogi so would suggest ask your parents or an elder the protocol”

with the usual platitudes, which are too tedious to be quoted again. He also gave the telephone number of someone in Delhi who could be contacted for the test (sorry- “education”) and she would diagnose from 10 photographs what he had claimed. When this lady, Arti, was contacted she expressed her inability to come to Bangalore, but asked for 10 photos to be emailed to her saying that she would send someone from the Bangalore branch with the solutions.

Mace Weilding "Yogi"

Image Source: Dhyan Foundation

To this, my reply was that I was used to treating all people as equals and that when our Bangalore people contacted the lady at Delhi she wanted us to email the photos to her and then she would give the diagnosis. As we wanted the conditions for the test to be fool-proof, we did not want to hand over the photos in advance. My suggestion was that I would bring 20 envelopes with photos and an equal number with the medical reports. The sealed envelopes would be serially numbered. Those with the photos would be first opened and then the diagnosis noted. The envelopes with the solutions would be opened there after; the results would be then compared. This would be done in public in order to avoid any type of hanky-panky on either side. At this stage the emails to the Dhyan foundation started bouncing back! The first one that bounced was resent and the result was the same. A second one was then dispatched with a mention that the previous one had bounced and the result was the same.

In the meantime, the Dhyan foundation branch at Bangalore informed our Bangalore colleagues that they would come to the spot of the meeting of the Bangalore (Rationalist) association on the 31st of May. We inferred that it would be to “educate us” about the powers of Yoga. As the self proclaimed “Yogi” Ashwini had stated that even an ordinary member of the foundation could read photographs we were confident that we could witness the power of Yoga in action and the master of our ancient sciences could bowl over the skeptics with a single wave of his mace. Why the mace ? This needs to be explained. “Yogi” Ashwini is very fond of the mace and all his photo graphs on the web site of the Dhyan foundation feature him dressed like a character from a mythological serial with a mace either in his hand or over his shoulder.

But, what happened on the 31st May at Ashok Shishu Vihar, Shankarpuram, Bangalore was an anticlimax. About half a dozen young people dressed in casual attire (obviously not “Indian Culture”) appeared and started quarreling with some of our members. Their point of contention was that Ajita of nirmukta.com had written an article in which he had alleged that the Dhyan foundation was a money-making venture. They were neither interested nor prepared to conclusively demonstrate to the skeptics the greatness of their own culture by identifying diseased, living or dead from the photos! When the challenge was repeated and they were asked to demonstrate their powers, every single one of them shirked and put forward the excuse that they were only first-grade students. Perhaps they were not even ordinary members of the foundation as it was the claim of “Yogi” Ashwini that “any ordinary foundation member can give predictions and would be happy to for any sceptic who has no faith in his culture”. Very sad indeed for a self appointed guardian of culture who goes abroad to educate the mlechas about Indian culture, obviously flying by aeroplanes instead of levitating by his yogic powers, travels by cars instead of bullock carts ( Indian culture) uses internet etc. etc. , all things that are clearly not part of Indian culture. Obviously Ashwini and Co. have forgotten that it was the Indian culture which taught us not to accept any thing without question. It was in India that Gouthama Buddha first proclaimed not to accept anything without question wherever it may originate from!

Again, the first-graders who had come to our Bangalore meeting told us that they want to “educate” us about the work that they are doing and the charities that they run. Since we were interested only in being enlightened about the power of yoga and nothing else, they were informed so in no uncertain terms. They put some of our colleagues in touch with someone at Delhi who threatened to take legal action against us. Since there was no point in continuing with the interactions and we had to go on with our meeting we told them to go ahead with that. We have been keenly awaiting the consequences of this threat which have not materialized at the time of writing this.

Well, Mr. Ashwini we are eagerly awaiting your arrival from Europe to convince us skeptics about the power of Yoga. Since, emails from me to your Dhyan Foundation are bouncing back and queries addressed on your web site are not being answered, I have to reach you through public media only.

About the author

Narendra Nayak

13 Comments

  • Time and again, the con-men and astrologers have made a fool of themselves by sheepishly running away from fair challenges but I wonder when the general public will stop following these people blindly.

  • I think all the reasons as to why controlled tests are necessary to demonstrate such extraordinary claims have been already presented. I would just like to comment on the threats by the Dhyan foundation to sue us. I wonder what they intend to sue us for. For accepting their challenge and actually standing by rational principles? For trying to rid Indian society of superstitious elements that are holding us back as a people? For deluding the public by distorting the meaning of science, while at the same time gaining the public perception of legitimacy by their use of the terminology of science?

    They will not dare to take legal action because they know that we are right in our sworn duty to protect the Indian people. Moreover, they know that this publicity will bring the wrath of the skeptical community on them, like in the recent cases around the world. Hundreds of skeptical and scientific blogs are ready to defend those of us who fight mass delusion and fakery. If a case like this goes to court, they will definitely lose, and they don’t want the bad publicity. They may be able to convince a few brainwashed followers and rich donors, but they certainly don’t want the scrutiny of trained minds dissecting their new-age mumbo-jumbo apart.

    Followers of these people must ask themselves why their gurus don’t present their “miracles” in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Of course, most of these followers don’t understand the methods of science, but I ask in the hope that at least a few of them will do some research and understand what an objective experiment constitutes. The leaders of these groups folk have only one way of dealing with reason- the force of their legal and political might. Now they are realizing more and more that the rationalists will not be intimidated into letting these people redefine science and peddle superstition. If there is any real truth to the supernatural claims made by these people, they will refrain from trying to intimidate their intellectual opponents using force and engage in an honest debate on an objective platform.

  • Hello all,

    I was a science student hence for obvious reasons was highly skeptical when I accompanied a friend to one of Yogi Ashwani Ji’s discourse,however, the experience was exhilarating!There are qualified doctors, journalists,buisnessmen and common man who all fondly accept what our guru shares with us. Let me also tell you,all questions are answered by sir personally.He is not encourage us to be superstitious. His educates us to be healthy individuals physically as well as emotionally. Everyone these days is so stressed out that awakening seld consious helps building self confidence of fighting every situation. As far as the concern is of yogi ji crossing borders well, our culture also tells us to spread peace and make people aware of things, nevertheless you must remember Indians are widespread and the guru’s guidence is seeked by them irrespective of the place they live in. There are number of people who have benefitted from yogi ji’s guidence, young people have become disciplined,pessimist have become optimistic and emotionally week people have become more stronger. I am not an advocate to take any sides but have one suggestion that as responsible journalists we should do enough research before creating any perception..If you are anti about something how can one expect you to have a non biased opinion . For serious journalism one should have a neutral attitude. I respect your opinion but it is just unfortunate that you were not able to see the bigger picture…I seriously hope that someday you get a chance to see what is taught and practiced at dhyaan foundation….Also, this blog is in good light with no negatives attached..and hope that you treat it in same light….

    Thanks & Regards-

  • of-course every one has the right to express the views on the matter of choice or concern, by the grace of God & my guru I am a firm believer in things he say. I have proven endless experience to share with you this was June 2009 when I first seek his guidance I had a sever throat infection for which my Doctors suspected to be sfine flue there was very reasons for them to believe but nothing made me surrender to it then suddenly i made my mind in the sever condition to visit him twice getting unconscious on the way due to weakness I also had cramps in my stomach due to cough I had over the month.. I told him the condition…. & by next day when i woke up I was shocked to see my condition as totally fit, i thought it was coincidence since i was on medicines for so long, so I put him another test.. my appraisal was due with my Bank I told him I wanted to skip it since I shall be chucked out due to my boss, “lets see if this can happen at all” he said, trust me the whole team appraisal happened but the bosses forgot my name to mention, to confess for the first 6 7 times I though co incidence was the reason but believe me it may not happen so frequently in such a short span my sister wedding & too many episodes. to your challenge I can only say no matter you challenge the Sun or not it showers the light on every one, trust him atleast be with him for three four sessions & experience him.. in his own words yoga is no theory or matter of belief but a series of experiences & knowledge. regards Amit ankvigyan@gmail.com

  • yes, one should not follow anybody blindly. Mind it I say blindly. I don’t go by what others say. Being a real rational, first do a test, produce results and then it becomes a fact.

    I did same, met yogi ashwiniji, did practices as told had amazing experiences in all aspect (be it fiancial, emotional, health, relationships and etheric) and hence I can conclude yogi ashwaniji has turned my life to the positive. So for me its a fact that I haev experinced true power. I will advise readers, to go by their own experience. Don’t go by what i say or anybody else, your own experience will tell you the truth.

    For more read : ‘SANATAN KRIYA – 51 MIRACLES AND A HAUNTING” BY YOGI ASHWINI (a book that compile experiences of 51 educated people and professionals from all walks of life)

    @ ajitaji : please publish complete email and not the distorted facts or chosen parts that suits your motive to defame the pure science and misguide people.

    I am an eductaed person, did masters in finance and currently working with an MNC. So definately I am a aware citizen.

    • i agree, but to experience him ajitji pls remove the negative aspects from your thoughts. then only you would remove the locks to accept things & understand them pls share our experiences & not challenges,rgds Amit

      • Experiences lead to individuality as they guide one to make certain choices…Let’s not color anybody’s vision…the least one can do is not lead someone to believe in things that they have not had experience in…

    • Great to know that you like know the truth from your own experience and not from hearsay. But how could rationalists know of the miraculous power of the yogi when he had refused to let the rationalists to do some tests and verify the results?

  • Shri. Yogi,
    I do not trust anything that appears on the Ghost writers’ page of the Indian Express.
    Your writing on 29 Sep. 2013 could be another gimmick!

  • Sir,
    I am more interested in the women’s empowerment programme of dhyan foundation.
    To diagnose an illness based on photographs, I guess we don’t need yogis because the human is there in the photograph through the superhologram. We don’t have the instruments right now.

    But if you could suspend your belief system for a while, you could do it with pendulum dowsing. But succeeding for you would be killing your identity. I think it is asking too much of any body . Yogi Aswini, you and I have a space in this universe. Let us not challenge but contribute to uplift the less privileged.

    For Lije,rationalists cannot do any tests on the yogi because science says that that observation depends on the observer.We cannot observe independently. We create.The placebo n nocebo effect will always exist.We have to learn to live withthe paradoxes of science ( Schrodinger’s cat!).For now lets us see how human anyone is. One way to know is check on how people treat their employees.

    kunda

  • The Skeptic & The Gyani

    I have come recently to be familiar of Dhyan Foundation- about 3 months. I will say that I have attended the practices of the Dhyan Foundation and have learnt that not everything can be explained rationally…and not everything can be reasoned. For there are things which are beyond our normal reasoning that can only be experienced by oneself. While to some extent with our limited capacity we can try to understand with an open mind. If we approach the subject matter to start with skepticism then we already defeat our own purpose of understanding something that is beyond the normal. A skeptic starts with negativity – for example prove this and prove that. Why one must prove to a skeptic – cannot the skeptic learn for himself or herself. What is there to prove- for example prove your powers. Yes there are powers and they can be proven but then to how many billions of skeptics one has to do this for. The powers are not there to prove but the powers are there for serving others for the benefit of humanity. You too can achieve these powers – what will it take to turn from a skeptic to a non skeptic- they ask for miracles and demonstration of powers- well for that please be open to listening and observing. Do you want to see a person fly- well that is one of the powers- but it dosen’t work that way. It is possible to fly without aid for us but at different levels. On the physical plane it is possible but only be done who are entitled through their practice. Why don’t they come on TV and proove- well why should they may I ask. Someone said earth was not the center of the universe and again the skeptics said otherwise. Watch a UFO on TV and again you would have a million viewers of opposing views. Does life exists outside our system again there would be 2 opposing views. First you must achieve the gyan and to do that you must experience it yourself. By the mere mention of this the skeptic will laugh and say see you are no God. Well it doesn’t work that way. The way it works is a science in itself- you have to experience it and then you too will say yes it is possible to fly. Are Gods real for the skeptic I may ask- since Gods can do tremendous feats…but why does God have to prove that he exists when God has already given the so many miracles around us. We live in a world where energy and mass have a formula E=MC squared. We also live in a world where a baby is born from the interaction of 2 cells, look at the layers of a tree see how complex a tree can also be…look also to our scientist who now say that time travel is possible…years ago even flying or TV sounded like miracles. There are ever so many examples of reincarnation, and of my own great grandfather predicting the exact moment of his death. Can a skeptic ask how this is possible. But these are facts and there are truths that don’t require explaining as how it is possible…well it can be explained to a skeptic but it is a journey a path one must take to understand. One what calls as matter of fact today was not in a different time. Hence the same way we have managed to achieve miracles in science and so in the same way one must achieve the miracles in ourselves. The good thing is that miracles in science took many years and lifetimes to become reality but realizing miracles to ourselves just requires practice and the willingness to be open to learning. Our vedas and numerous Rishis and Yogi’s have explained how the non physical system works. While the rest of the world was learning the outside world, our ancients were learning what went inside. Our various warriors, great men, books, practices, rituals, beliefs, Gods as well as great Rishi’s and Yogi’s are testimony of this Gyan. And what is this Gyan- for skeptics will ever be skeptics as that is the role a skeptic has. We see this world through our conditioning and limited capacity. However we also contain within ourselves the power to rise above our limitations- through practice and having an open mind we can experience so much more. What we call science blocks out what it cannot explain and the skeptic will filter out what cannot be explained. The skeptic will always ask for proofs and if proofs are provided then reasons of discrediting the proofs. Ask the skeptic that in this land of ours there have been great mahatamas such as Budha, Asoka, Gandhi, Mahavir, Kabir, Patanjali, Meera and is the land of Ram and Krishna. Yes what we call today as miracles or Gods and question them with disbelief were common knowledge to our ancient ancestors. Reincarnation is general knowledge for the Buddhist and stopping of the heartbeat for a few hours a simple task for some of these great men. However for the most part of humanity these become too incredible to believe since only things that can be computed, dissected, seen, felt, heard, tasted, smelt can be true while all others become the realm of pseudo science. Countless invasions and now the latest western conditioning and influence seem to loosen our connectivity with ourselves – we rather look upto an article researched by a PHD doctor from Oxford and believe it to be 100% true while we discredit the learned men from our own land. Let us not go by the 99% of the fake Sadhu’s and smear the paint of hatred or disrepute to all because there are that exists rare learned great men today. While the rest of the world believed in barbarism and were fighting among themselves- our motherland our people had a code of conduct even for war. A word spoken was meant as something which cannot be broken and a man committed to words. We had gurukools to equip a person for traversing the wordly life in search of Truth. Visit Akshardham to learn too of our learned men of this land. Nalanda & Taxila were the frontier of research and knowledge for the entire world- where too the teaching of vedas, yoga and upanishads was taught. Learn too of the martial arts – the science of mind and body the power of using the mind to do great feats. Also of the usage of numbers great and small to the power of 10 used by rishis. In this day and age of Harvard, wall Street, greed and money- it is diffiult for a pure human being to meet the demands of skeptics. For the skeptic only knows the narrow facts and refuses to learn or experience on his own. Lets not see the world through the eyes of logic and reasoning alone…for everything cannot be explained by our senses. We must search deep inside us to discover what we are truly made of and what is our potential- for we are limitless. Regarding Yogiji Ashwani- I am grateful to him and the dhyan foundation for reaching out to all skeptics and non skeptics alike – to show us that there is a far greater knowledge and experience to be acquired. I am humbled and will forever remain in debt to this great atma for making an effort and having the compassion for his fellow men and women. It is difficult at times since it is expected that there will be others who will have opposite views and that is normal. Giving gyan cannot come by force or resistance or through exchange of money and not everyone can be taught and not everyone can understand…and yet Yogiji is trying to do this not for his benefit but yours – whether you are a skeptic or not does not matter. The sun shines on all things alike some of us can choose to absorb it and some of us can choose not to. But the sun will continue to shine for that is the love and nature of the sun. Similarly the science of yog and the path to enlightenment will continue to be given by these learned men for our benefit it is for us to choose. But in the process there will be people who may become offended because it shakes their very foundation and belief system. And that is why we say have an open mind for what you know as fact today may not be the same tomorrow through our own experience we already know that. I leave with a note to all the people who are reading this – if you don’t believe or believe is not a concern- but one must continue to discover not only the outside world but the one that is also inside of us – the one that envelops this entire cosmos. So remove the conditioning, existing rationale that you have of the existing world for there lies endless knowledge and gyan for you to experience yourself.

  • He is the biggest fraud alive.
    And his entire business runs on fooling middle class gullible people. The Yog is just a mask he puts on to dupe people.
    I had exposed him on his very FB page and the moderator blocked me thereafter. Biggest coward.

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