A Critical Look At Baba Ramdev’s Claims

Self appointed National Saint Baba Ramdev Swamiji is all over the media space following the interruption of his so called crusade against corruption and black money. The legacies of Mahatma Gandhi, Shivaji and the Jalianwala bagh massacre have been invoked by the self proclaimed Swami himself to justify his actions. Is Ramdev a Saint? Here are some of his claims, debunked.

Claim 1:

Baba Ramdev claims that he suffered from paralysis of the left side of his body during childhood and that his life changed after he read Rishi Dayanand and autobiographies of many great people [See]. Great!

Have a close look at hisvideo.

His right forehead has no wrinkles and his right eye does not wink as much as the left side. (Another video of the same problem is also providedherefor comparison)

These findings are suggestive of lower motor neurone paralysis of the right facial nerve, also called Bell’s palsy. It varies in severity and in many, it recoveres spontaneously, fully or partly. The lower motor neurone paralysis of the facial nerve is an isolated,. local problem, not associated with paralysis of the other parts of the body. (Paralysis of one half of the body, called hemiplegia, is associated with an upper motor neurone type of facial palsy, wherein the forehead wrinkling and closure of eyelids remain unaffected). In Ramdev’s case, the right LMN facial palsy appears to have recovered partially. He DOES NOT have any evidence of left sided paralysis. His claim of a left sided paralysis is a lie and it also shows his total ignorance of simple medical facts.

Claim 2:

Ramdev claims that he luckily met Ācārya Balkrishna, ‘a kindred soul and a schoolmate’, at the Gangotri caves of lofty Himalayas, where both were on a ‘similar quest’. [See1,2]

Balakrishna instead is alleged to be a criminal on the run from Nepal and is being investigated for procuring a fake Indian passport and for violating the Arms Act.[See1,2]

Claim 3:

While Ramdev claims that he has earned a postgraduate (Ācārya) degree with specialization in Sanskrit Vyākarana, Yoga, Darśana, Vedas and Upanisads, Balakrishna goes further by claiming to be a simple and unassuming versatile genius who is a great scholar of Āyurveda, sanskrit language and grammar, and the Vedas with a postgraduate (Ācārya) degree from Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi.[See1,2]

In India, formal education in Ayurveda involves four and a half years of training followed by one year of internship, leading to the award of BAMS degree. Neither Ramdev nor Balakrishna have any such qualification. Yet they have been allowed to prescribe treatments for various ailments and also to manufacture, market and dispense several products which they claim are based on Ayurveda. The Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi does not offer any post graduate courses in Ayurveda [Sources:SSVand my discussion with the PIO, SSV at+91-9415201031]. It is not clear as to what post graduation did the ‘great scholar’ Balakrishna do at this institute.

Claim 4:

Ramdev and Balakrishna duo claim of post graduation and such expertise in yoga that they have taken upon themselves the ‘onerous responsibility of demystifying and popularizing Patañjali’s yoga and ayurveda’ through television channels and camps that are attended by thousands. [See]

But the self proclaimed scholar appears to be clumsy in perfoming even a simple asana as is evident in this video grab of Vakrasana. [See]

Compare it with another video, showing the correct method of performing the same Vakrasana.[See]

So much for the Gurus’ Yoga Vidya Parinati!

Claim 5:

With their self proclaimed genius and scholarly knowledge in Yoga and Ayurveda, they claim to have cured lacs of patients [See Balakrishna’s claim] (or crores?See Ramdev’s claim) of a ‘number of stubborn, chronic and incurable diseases like diabetes, rheumatism, osteo-arthritis, gout (rheumatism and arthritis), migraine, cervical spondylitis, respiratory disorders, asthma, cancer, nervous disorder, heart disease, brain diseases, etc!’ It is also claimed that ‘these successful treatments have been documented by Ācāryaji in his renowned book: Yoga In Synergy With Medicial Science.'[See] The duo also claim that whatever experiments they have done so far prove that yoga can be a solution for all the problems of the world and that there will be heaven on earth. [See]

But where is the evidence? No where in the above mentioned book or in the lists of the so called research publications of the duo one would find any evidence supporting such grandiose claims..[See1,2] And the duo have no respect for numbers: lacs or crores simply do not matter!

Claim 6:

Baba Ramdev claims to have ‘a vision to make a disease free world through a scientific approach to Yoga and Ayurveda, to establish a new World Health Organisation, to fulfill the resolution of making a new world order free from disease and medicine, to propagate Pranayam as a “free” medicine for the treatment of diseases round the globe, making the world a peaceful and tranquil place by using Yogic techniques to eradicate fatal effects of medicines’ etc. [See]

But his Divya Pharmacy manufactures and sells about 285 drugs and other products at nooks and corners of the country! [See] The total turnover from these sales, as per his own admission, is about 1100 crores! [See] And there have been reports of immense suffering and even deaths following the use of his drugs and remedies. [See1,2]

Claim 7:

Baba Ramdev claims to tread a path of transparency! [See].

But several allegations of amassing assets worth thousands of crores and grabbing land have been levelled against him. [See1,2,3,4] and the enforcement directorate and income tax dept. are now probing these issues.[See1,2]

Claim 8:

Baba Ramdev claims that non-political life is one of the norms of good conduct.[See].

Yet details of his close association wth RSS/VHP/BJP are fast emerging! [Video – Ramdev VHP Secret meeting;Report].

Claim 9:

Baba Ramdev claims that always staying calm and being devoid of an arrogance as his Work Philosophy[See] and that daily practice of yoga not only gives good health but also develops healthy thoughts, attitude, positive mind and develops good qualities and that a healthy and sensitive mind and body will be free from all kinds of violence, casteism, regionalism, communal differences and gradually there shall be more of harmony, love, peace, humanism, sense of service, empathy and tolerance in this world. [See] Moreover, as a Yoga Guru he is expected to have attained Chittha Vritthi Nirodha as well.

But he has now warned of violence and threatened to train an army of 11,000 followers! [See1,2,3] And his demand for death penalty for offenders of corruption is also indicative of his violent mindset. [See1,2]

Claim 10:

Chittha Vritthi Nirodha with yoga?

Both Ramdev and Balakrishna broke down after being shunted out of Ramlila maidan. [See1,2]

About the author

Srinivas Kakkilaya

Physician practicing at Mangaluru, South India


  • He did his masters in Fraudology.

    The quackery is a huge problem. Not only uneducated quacks, but also we have educated MBBS, MD doctors involved in quacks.
    To deal with such a problem one needs a system where a doctor or a practitioner is held liable for quackery.
    Recently one of my relative was diagnosed with ALS. Since there is no treatment In Spain they have used transplanted Autologous Adult Stem Cells by laminectomy, for treatment of ALS 6 months ago and have got good results. Now they conducting trial for intrathecal infusion of the same.

    In India Dr.Geeta Schroff claims that she treats ALS and any neurodegenerative disorders using embryonic stem cells. So I contacted her. But when I spoke with her on phone she was not ready to explain the basis of her treatment and it seemed she was avoiding speaking with me, even after introducing myself as a MD / Phd in Genetics. After further enquiry online I came across this

    So I feel that India like Spain and unlike America should make clinical trial legal, and also integrate Medicine and Herbal medicine like the Chinese have done. But at the same time hold these quacks responsible and ensure strict action against them.

    • tumhara dimaag kharaab hai.
      bas chand minutes yoga,bara fayda hoga.main daily karta hu aur main 100% life bita raha hu.

  • I don’t care about who Ramdev is or what his background is. That is irrelevant and is merely the red herring being employed by Congress. What I care about is the issue he is raising are very much real, genuine, germane, and something the government should have held accountable to.

    Focus on the crux. not on the fringes. period.

    • Baba Ramdev is not the fringe, he has placed himself at the forefront of the so called crusade against corruption. Does he have a moral right to do so? Is it not important for us to know the antecedents of the leaders? A don’s men also sat on dharna against corruption near Gandhi’s statue in Bangalore, pushing aside Baba’s supporters or space! Such agitations do not strengthen but, on the contrary, weaken the cause, even make it look like a joke.

      • Srinivas,

        In one sense, Ramdev is not a fringe player given the increasing popularity of his pseudoscience ayurveda and yoga gimmicks.

        But from a perspective of political and social reform, he could be considered a fringe player given the fact that he has no credentials that meet the prerequisites for a reformer.

        But the tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes is that these fringe and lumpen elements are coming to the center-stage because the space that could be rightfully occupied by mainstream political and social groups has been vacated by them.

        Because Indian democracy is not exhibiting elements of a maturing social or political process, but more a theater of the absurd where many elements and groups are jostling with one another for the mind space of middle classes. Everything thus is reduced to the interplay of charisma and public relations rituals.

        It is also a question for us to ponder whether the masses of India are really agitated about these scandals or are just displaying temporary mood downswings while enjoying the thrill of shadow-boxing that is going on in the media and political circles

  • Someone in the forum mentioned ‘Does Ramadev has moral rights to go against corruption’?
    Please don’t ever ask this question.
    In case you want people with moral rights to take up such issues against Govt. then Go ahead my friend.
    You have moral rghts?
    You have the guts to take it against the Govt. ?
    Will you bring people together like Ramdev did?
    Can you teach whatever you know and mesmerize people like Ramdev has done in the past?
    I am not a supporter of Ramadev, but if you have question against a person, make sure everyone in this world have erred or would have at some point of their life committed mistakes.
    If you can understand India’s rich culture heritage and tradition, the first think you need to do is understand this
    “In the process of evolution everyone is growing and developing. So even a criminal can in the evolutionary process outgrow his old dirty personality and become a nice gentleman”
    If you feel that you are the person of character, my friend go form a nice big in fact huge community and fight against corruption.
    Neither you do, nor let others do.
    So think next time before you speak of somebody’s personal life.
    Even you would have bribed someone at some point of time in your life.
    Thank you!
    Reminder: I am not a follower of Baba Ramdev!

    • Ha! You are being an apologist for Ramdev, yet apologetic about being so!! Pity. There is nothing to even suggest that Ramdev is becoming a nice gentleman, if you have any evidence, please show us. And also more about his old dirty personality. Also do let us know, in your judgement, why people get ‘mesmerised’ by the likes of BABA Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sathya Sai BABA etc.?

      • My dear friend Srinivas!
        Nothing to be apologetic.
        If you are married and have children, just ask this question to yourself.
        Do you mesmerize your wife or children?
        Is that the reason they come and flock around you?
        If you aren’t married, think of your parents.
        They come to you because you spread the protective web called comfort, safety, love, affection and what not?
        You by using the word ‘Mesmerizing’ are misleading people.
        You never sought that extra layer of peace, love and affection from Sathya Sai Baba or Ravi Shankar and you never got it.
        Sathya Sai Baba is not tele-marketing person and he will not come to you and beg you to go and support or follow him.
        Have you ever stayed with great Gurus like them and have observed their movements from closer quarters?
        It is all speculations you make from media, paper and so called scientific methods, which is biased and prejudiced and brand them frauds.
        According to you all followers (Crores of) of Sathya Sai Baba and Baba Ramdev are senseless guys!
        Wow, what a great thinker, knowledgeable and embodiment of wisdom you are!
        All are fools and you are the beacon light.
        Friend sorry for being harsh.
        Think once before you make harsh comments against anyone publicly.
        World is subjective.
        You can give your opinions more mildly and you cannot prove anything!
        Leave all these things, try and fast for two days without water.
        Then tell me if anyone like Baba Ramdev has fooled all of us or you have been fooling yourself.
        And why didn’t you answer my question “You taking up a noble cause like this and bringing together people at the national level and start a movement against corruption?”
        I, You and our point of discussion Baba Ramdev are all human beings.
        I err, You err and Baba Ramdev also errs.
        Thank you once again and sorry for being too harsh.
        I can question every point you have mentioned there in your article, but that will be not fair on my part.

        • You by using the word ‘Mesmerizing’ are misleading people.

          No. You are equivocating. Let me show you.

          What mesmerize means. The word is almost never used when describing one’s relations with family members.

          From your original comment:

          Can you teach whatever you know and mesmerize people like Ramdev has done in the past?

          Srinivas’s question:

          Also do let us know, in your judgement, why people get ‘mesmerised’ by the likes of BABA Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sathya Sai BABA etc.?

          You changing the meaning of ‘Mesmerizing’:

          Do you mesmerize your wife or children?
          Is that the reason they come and flock around you?
          If you aren’t married, think of your parents.

          And yet you accuse Srinivas of “You by using the word ‘Mesmerizing’ are misleading people.”. That’s just disgusting. Intellectual dishonesty at it’s best.

          You never sought that extra layer of peace, love and affection from Sathya Sai Baba or Ravi Shankar and you never got it.

          Nobody here needs such vacuous peace or love.

          Sathya Sai Baba is not tele-marketing person and he will not come to you and beg you to go and support or follow him.

          Setting up a strawan of “tele-marketing” and the-stupid-fraud. Sai Baba isn’t a stupid fraud. He is a clever fraud. He knows quite well how to market himself.

          Have you ever stayed with great Gurus like them and have observed their movements from closer quarters?

          Yes I have. The conclusion I drew was, they are just humans whose discourses mostly consist of deepities and spiritual inanities of this kind. And in case of people like Sai Baba, another conclusion that one can draw is that they are pathetic magicians.

          Friend sorry for being harsh.

          Spare us your fake apologies.

          Think once before you make harsh comments against anyone publicly.
          World is subjective.

          If you don’t like the tone that people use, you have the freedom to not read what they write.

          Leave all these things, try and fast for two days without water.
          Then tell me if anyone like Baba Ramdev has fooled all of us or you have been fooling yourself.

          Strawman. Nobody here said that Ramdev didn’t fast. In fact he made a fool out of himself by fasting. While Gandhi had the endurance to fast for several days, Ramdev had to take the help of real medicine and not the quack medicine of ayurveda to get better from the effects of his fasting.

          I can question every point you have mentioned there in your article, but that will be not fair on my part.

          Please don’t. Given the number of fallacious arguments you made, I beg you to not inflict more nonsense upon us.

        • Hi Swaroop, You are again being apologetic! No need, you can be harsh on me, I don’t mind at all. But don’t pull the trigger on yourself in the process being harsh on me.

          You accuse me of making ‘harsh comments against anyone publicly’

          I beg you to show me one word or sentence in what I have written that is harsh according your judgement.

          >>You never sought that extra layer of peace, love and affection from Sathya Sai Baba or Ravi Shankar and you never got it.<>According to you all followers (Crores of) of Sathya Sai Baba and Baba Ramdev are senseless guys!<>I can question every point you have mentioned there in your article, but that will be not fair on my part<< you seem to be running away!

          • OK 🙂
            Sir, let me take your opinion.
            But what is your personal comment on my thoughts.
            Don’t you think people have derived some peace from the association of Sathya Sai Baba.
            And is it possible for thousands and thousands to be so much ignorant of the facts that you have said?
            See don’t you think these Baba’s are playing some minor role at least in bringing people together and changing them.
            See I know a person who was changed from the association of Swami Nityananda.
            At times what happens according to me is, the God-men, change other’s life, though they would have wrecked their own life.
            So why condemn them so much?
            this is my humble feeling!
            Thank you 🙂

          • Dear Swaroop, Some text seems to have disappeared in my reply. I wrote that I do not need any help from BABAs of any kind as I get all the happiness, support and everything else from my family, friends and my work. And like me, everyone else can also feel happy if they stop believing in any supernatural. Believe in yourself. Read the last chapter of Richard Dawkin’s The God Delusion. This universe and its tiny parts like us, are so beautiful, we should enjoy all of it as it is, without these BABAs.

          • ok fine 🙂
            See a few doubts which haunt me are….
            Do you think people for centuries were foolish in believing in an entity called God.
            How can that happen?
            I do believe in believing in myself, but don’t we become ‘egotisitc’? by denying a helping hand in our success?
            Are there not one real good Godmen in this country?
            Is the notion of people saying that in Himalayas are Sadhus with astral body and causal body all stupid?
            Can’t we transcend our mind as it is said in The Vedas and Upanishads.
            So what do you feel about these scriptures?

          • Do you think people for centuries were foolish in believing in an entity called God.
            How can that happen?

            Well ‘God’ has been used over the ages as a shorthand for now just ‘AN entity’ but for a number of conflated entities, belief in all of which can be exposed as some kind of folly or another.

            I do believe in believing in myself, but don’t we become ‘egotisitc’? by denying a helping hand in our success?

            The age-old ‘belief-is-good-because-it-keeps-us-humble’ argument has been addressed here: The disingenuous suggestion that the best way to enforce humility is by positing a universe centered around an anthropomorphic deity who is partisan to boot, ignores the obvious fact that far from treating humans as inconsequential to the Universe, this view of the world is actually the most anthropocentric one; and fetishizes authoritarianism and ethnocentrism besides the biocentrisminherent in this worldview.

            Are there not one real good Godmen in this country?

            Women and men of faith who really did contribute to the cause of nation-building and humanitarian initiatives often did so in spite of the strictures of their faiths. The section devoted to M K Gandhi in this article shows the ideas of his which the world finds most compelling now are all easily accommodated in an atheist worldview and are still anathema to most religious worldviews.

            Can’t we transcend our mind as it is said in The Vedas and Upanishads.

            Before ‘transcending the mind’ how about first overcoming some obvious limitations of the mind, like its propensity for pareidolia and proneness to fallacies?

          • I know Arvind replied quietly aptly, but could not resist adding my comments

            Q: Do you think people for centuries were foolish in believing in an entity called God.
            How can that happen?

            Yes though people were and are believing in a God for centuries, their belief is without any factual, empirical or material basis. Whether such a belief makes them foolish is a different question altogether .

            Q:I do believe in believing in myself, but don’t we become ‘egotistic’? by denying a helping hand in our success?

            By believing in oneself or in being confident, one cannot be called egoistic or egotistic. There are so many helping hands in making us confident including ourselves. Why should that helping hand be only one and that too the imaginary entity called ‘god’

            Q: Are there not one real good Godmen in this country?

            If one is really good, there is no need for one to be a godman. Godmen are not really good because they are escapists, in that they are essentially running from the reality of a substantive and material existence by denying it and lapsing into religious and superstitious deliriums.

            Q: Is the notion of people saying that in Himalayas are Sadhus with astral body and causal body all stupid?

            There is no doubt that such a notion is not only stupid, it is something beyond stupidity. If sadhus can have ‘astral’ bodies, why cant you & I have astral bodies. In that sense we can all consider ourselves immortal, because only the gross or causal body dies, the subtle or astral lives forever right!? . The only problem is that you can’t do anything with that astral body

            Q: Can’t we transcend our mind as it is said in The Vedas and Upanishads.?

            Mind or the brain is the seat of intelligence, reason and facultative exercise. If you transcend that you will end up either in a void or into nonsense. That is what is Upanishads perhaps wants you to do, because it is a treatise on void and nonsense. Though Upanishads is a highly acclaimed and revered treatise, at its root it deals with a theme (union of the soul with unchanging reality) that is a hoax and is one of greatest theological frauds that the Brahmin class of its time could come up with.

          • Ranganath –

            >>> If you transcend that you will end up either in a void or into nonsense.

            Curious. How do you know that is that case? How does science deal with something “beyond experience”? Are you saying this from personal experience or any scientific basis.

            How do you describe transcendental “void” – something similar
            to non sense?

            I believe science should stop venturing into transcendental
            relam. That is the world of non-materilistic, individual and extraordinary experiences.
            Scientific method of hypothesis, experimentation, observation, logic, mathematics simply fail to work there.


          • I fully endorse Arvind and Ranganath’s views. When we know that there are no supernatural powers that control us, we experience freedom and when we understand that we are no more than very tiny specks of dust in this great universe, we feel more humble.

          • >> Do you think people for centuries were foolish in believing in an entity called God.

            Surely they were not wrong just about the question of God. Humans got many other things wrong too other than belief in God and spirits. Remember prior to Galileo in 1609, almost everyone thought that everything including the Sun revolves around the Earth.

            Truth of falsity of an argument has nothing to do with the existing majority opinion. Do not doubt that majority cannot be terribly off the mark.

          • Exactly. Billions are wrong about many other things. Right now there are things that we think we know that science in time will possibly show us that we are wrong about.

            But even before we go into that, the claim is itself actually not very accurate. Billions of people in history have believed in different ideas of god. The only common thread running through them is that they are all wrong.

          • Swaroop –

            Some time back I too responded to an article on Ramdev on similar lines as you did. From the discussions back and forth here are few my learnings. That should help you how to use this forum

            1. This is a forum of rationalists – people who would not take anything on faith or belief but everything on reason, critical analysis and regirous scrutiny. Anyhing related to faith or personal experience with “scientific” basis – will not fly here.

            2. In view of history of frauds and wrong deeds committed by so called Godmen and those who “mesmerized” common man by appealing to God, religion and faith – rationalists view “all” such people and “religion” in general with a suspision and doubt. By and large rationalist’s views and opinions have been proved right.

            3. We have these two things in the world – world of science that explains how material world is and how to deal/reason with it. Then there is world of spirituality, religion and personal experiences. Science (and rationalistic thinking) – it deals with only material world and its effects. It does not and cannot understand and appreciate any personal “wow”, “Buddha” momemt, experience of mental peace at a sai baba or a temple or under a tree. While science can explain “life”, the questions like “purpose of life”, “who am I” etc do not partain to scientific and rationalistic discourse. Posing questions related to God, religion and personal experiences on this forum is like asking stock market related questions with your dentist. They are imcompatible.

            3. I have learnt (aided by experience on this forum) that by appealing to limitations of science, you can not make “religion” or “God” look any higher or intelligent. Science, as claimed here, is a self inventing and self correcting enterprise, institution (a social one though). Scientists can be religious – that is a “personal” choice of the individual. Today science does not know or can explain many things – but it might in next say, 50 years.

            In short – rationalism/scienitific thought is group phenomenon – does not rely on faith or “unverifiable” basis. Religion or “God” is a personal/subjective experience – that science does not recognize as such.

            4. The worlds of science and religion often cross their boundaries hence we have scientists/rationalists arguing with Godmen and vice versa. If we can draw line in our lives between “rational”/scientific aspects of material world AND “spritual/religious aspects based on faith” – many arguments can be settled.

            5. I have problems with Godmen and so called religious folks that they often redicule science and rational thinking siting examples of limitations of science and personal transcendental experience of self or other individuals. These people should understand “science” is about material world where as “God” and religion materials are in “personal world”.

            6. I have problem with rationalists and scientist also. General approach of rationlists and scientists about phenamenon that any existing super natural event/experience is to “deny”. If some Godmen are involved – make case to show it is a “fruad”. Critical thinking and sketpicism is fine – but terming everything that their science cannot explain with existing knowiedge as “impossible” and “fraud” is good either. I have not seen (happy to be proved wrong) science or rationlists saying “this is something that we dont understand with our current methods of science. May be it is true or possible. Only future can tell if it is right”. Take for example “homeopathy”. Many scientific investigations and rationlist enquiries have termed homeopathy as bad science or fraud – quoting avogadro’s number and “crazy” dilution method where there is no medicine left in a so called “homeopathy” medicine. Taking skeptic view one might say “we don’t understand how this works. our physics and chemistry that we know today cannot explain the cure where it is happening”. But what scientific community does – “this is fraud”.

            7. Denying the existence of any “unexplained” phenamenon using current tools and knowledge of science and scientific inquiry – is the problem of I see with rationalists and scientists. It amounts to denials of limitations of current knowledge – refusal to accept “I dont know how it works”.

            8. Let us say you go to a temple or a god man and you are seeking a solution to a problem. You pray and do as you are asked to do by a godman and you get solution. Something unbelievable or a miracle happens and your problem is solved. If you narrate your experience to scientists and rationlists – first thing they will tell you is your are mad and miracles dont happen. They also would support their conclusion (in a apriori fashion mostly) with existing scientific theory. or They might say “it is purely concidental and it had to happen”. Personally you have experience with you and you more likely to attribute it to God or to the place. Here you might need to understand where science stops and realm of personal experience begins. Rationlists do not recognize “personal” experiences – they lump such things into “Potential frauds”.

            9. Finally, a bit of what I have understood about “rationalists” and their value system. It appears that none of these require to take shelter in God or like during their personal crises. They face the adversories and personal tragedies with their will power. They dont need to pray or do similar things when they are in problem. They dont have mental problems hence they dont need any “super natural” power to help them and guide them in the hour of crises. They apply their scientific mindset,skepticism, rationalist behaviour not only in their dealing with material world and also to all human endeavours, relationships. They dont recognize any transcendental or supernatural experience as they are predisposed not believe such things. I am more than happy to be corrected here with respect to characterization.


          • You are wrong in saying that rationalists “dont recognize any transcendental or supernatural experience”. We do. However we don’t use spiritual terminology to refer to such experiences. Nor do we mark them as belonging to a separate realm (“supernatural”). There is only the material world. And science does know about such experiences at least to the extent that they can be induced by using mind altering drugs –

          • That would be really good. If science can replicate all so called transcendental experiences in a lab setup through drugs etc, all godmen would vanish and drug companies will then fill the void created. When science evades the “personal value system/ religious/God” space – creators such science will take over godmen. Will that situation be any better than now? Though that would not be the problem of science as much as problem of Godmen is not due God as an idea and that of religion.


          • A slippery slope fallacy. You said rationalists do not recognize such spiritual experiences and that science cannot explain them. I showed you evidence to the contrary. That is all.

          • Another thing.

            When you say “rationalists recognize transcendental things” – it means you subject it to scientific inquiry. You start with hypothesis of “denial” or skeptic mindset that “this is not possible”. You would try to replicate it in lab setup or attempt to model it as mathematical or engineering model. When you succeeed – declare that “supernatural thing has been debunked”.

            You start off with prior metaphysical commitment to disprove the thing – that is not how people experience such things approach the supernatural.


          • Sorry, I should have been more clear. I use “transcendental” for the experiences that people ascribe a supernatural explanation. The experiences are real. I’m not denying them. Rationalists just don’t use “god of the gaps” style explanations – science can’t explain consciousness, so it has to be supernatural.

            And speaking of metaphysics, do you know the kind of problems that dualism poses:

            …any story about how the two parts of the self and the two basic categories of existence – mental (free, purposive, immaterial) and physical (causally determined) – interact and influence each other. How, for instance, does mental free will cause the physical brain and body to do its bidding? This is the large and likely insurmountable explanatory shortcoming that has always dogged dualism: how can things of two categorically different natures interact? No dualist thus far has come up with a satisfactory answer…

          • >>> science can’t explain consciousness, so it has to be supernatural.

            Then how do rationalists deal with supernatural things? See them as “potential frauds” ?

            or as void or “non sense” as Ranganth put it elsewhere ( “Mind or the brain is the seat of intelligence, reason and facultative exercise. If you transcend that you will end up either in a void or into nonsense”) ?

            Coming to recognizing supernatural experience or for that matter common human emotions such “love or hateredness” – science would first “de-humanize the whole thing and then try to map it to a theorem, or an experiment. That is cutting down the multidimensionality of the experience into a “denatured” theorem or formula.

            It is like Scientists measuring galvanic skin reaction to indicate love or emotions. And this is not a
            “god of the gaps” kind of reasoning.

          • The assumption that everything is natural has a very strong foundation. Throughout history, what was once thought as supernatural turned out to be natural. So what is the basis for your assumption that there is a supernatural realm? And you have not addressed the problem of dualism (conveniently ignored?).

            And you are again wrong in saying science would de-humanize emotions. If that’s the way you feel, fine. Not everyone does. It is ironic that you place subjective experience on a pedestal and yet have a tough time understanding that nature viewed through science has as much meaning and profoundness as spiritual experiences for some people. In fact you are being arrogant in assuming that only your kind of experiences have meaning and not other kind of experiences.

            You remind me of the artist Feynman mentions here –

          • Some how there is no reply button to Satish’s comment
            (july 11, 2011, 12:34 pm) below. Hence responding here.

            >>>> Throughout history, what was once thought as supernatural turned out to be natural. So what is the basis for your assumption that there is a supernatural realm

            Just because in the history there are examples of something
            percieved as supernatural turned out to be natural – how can
            one come to conclusion that “there is no supernatural realm”?
            I agree that through methods of science and critical inquiry,
            humans have been able to expand their “knowns” and are in constant
            race with natural and super natural to convert “known unknowns”.
            Claiming there is no supernatural is an arrogant statement to me.

            >>> And you have not addressed the problem of dualism (conveniently ignored?).
            I did not ignore dualism – I simply did understand the connection of it to current thread of discussion. Help me understaand.

            >>> And you are again wrong in saying science would de-humanize emotions.
            OK. Help me with examples to prove that science treats emotions without dehumanizing them. Science of today is handicapped on dealing with emotions and other human artifacts. When I say science de-humanizes – I mean it removes a feeling human subject. It has to. Science would need to replace human with an object – a formula or a theorem in order to deal with emotions.

            >>>> It is ironic that you place subjective experience on a pedestal and yet have a tough time understanding that nature viewed through science has as much meaning and profoundness as spiritual experiences for some people.

            I did not refer to natural phenomenon where science provides best tools to understand and deal with it. if you conceed there are
            are supernatural phenamenon – then science (of today) fails to undetstand or represent them – in thier wholeness.

            If nature is my object of study – I can use either science or spirituality to understand and know more about it. I am not sure if science provides more deeper and richer konwledge that spirituality

            >>> In fact you are being arrogant in assuming that only your kind of experiences have meaning and not other kind of experiences.

            I am not assuming (hence not arrogant) that only my kind of experiences (not sure what that kind is). My contention is that science (of today) fails to capture transcendental/supernatural phenamenon in its wholeness. It is not mine or any other’s experience.


          • >>Taking skeptic view one might say “we don’t understand how this works<<
            The problem here is that so far there is no proof that homeopathy works. After that proof becomes available, we can ponder how it works. Why should we say ‘we don’t understand how it works’?

          • >>> The problem here is that so far there is no proof that homeopathy works.

            Let us say it worked for me and few others that I know. would that count as proof ? Would any one person’s testimony of getting benefited by xyz method matter at all?

            I think science (all evidence based medicine) would simply reject few sporadic examples of cure stating that there is too much for chance. Here science might be right in seeking fully reproducible method that works on everyone and everywhere to be called as “right cure”.

            By discounting individual instances of “alleged cure” – science distances itself from individual experiences. All non evidence based medicine either need to be put in “potential” fraud group or super natural bracket where investigation is required.


          • When we say homeopathy does not work, we mean it does not work beyond what a placebo can do. In which case it should be advertised as a placebo, and not as “water has memory, like cures like, more the dilution, more the potency” which is provably nonsense. Science doesn’t discount the placebo effect, but at the same time it can’t also tolerate nonsense.

          • This is turing out to be debate on homeopathy which is “shut” case for rationalists as nothing more than placebo. I agree that the argument more dilution more potency is ridiculous but on the basis of what we know today with physics and chemistry. We can sure call it as non-sense NOW, today. As many supernatural items have been proved to naturals through the history of human evolution and development of science – it is quite
            possible that sometime in the future physics or chemistry might find a scientific explanation of increased dilution leading to increasing potency. While this can be at the best is a speculation today, a physical reality tomorrow. A knowledge mediated through methods of science. This is what I mean by saying “May we don’t understand this bizarre thing – may be we should think deeper, conduct more experiments” – that is scientific attitude to me – relentlessly be skeptical about what you know about the world and happenings around you. Instead the approach appears to be “we know this is no more than placebo – rest all is fraud” – case closed.
            I also would like to make reference to “confirmation” bias here. If start looking with a mind set that “this does not or should work” – you are likely to see evidences to “confirm” your hypothesis. You would look for more references, ideas and people confirming your “pre-determined” viewpoint. I know rationalists and scientists struggle hard to beat this bias – but it seems to me that with respect homeopathy we are more “closed” than being open for a new possibility and discovery of “duebo effect” that causes dilution to increase potency.

            I found this article on placebo on kids interesting – may be should explore more on placebo – how mind can be tricked into believing a plain candy as a potential medicine.


            Placebo on newborns and other case studies of homeopathy here

            (But given the website home page and its affiliations – a rationalist might say – these are business motivated, one sided or flawed case studies – potential frauds again)

            I know my argument in favour of more “open” look at homeopathy breaks down as we can apply same argument to host of other things even more bizarre than homeopathy – such as sleep under a specific tree at a specific place and you would be cured of cancer.

            The problem might be that we have only two categories of medicine today – one evidence based (scientifically proven) and rest all lumped in one “potential fraud” category.

            Given the complexity of human body and its connections to nature and super natural (unproven in terms of science methods) – I think we need more categories of medicines and approaches other than “evidence based” and “potential frauds”. It is too simple to be that way.

          • If you have scientific evidence (statistically valid results, from large sample size double-blinded experiments with proper experimental protocols published in peer-reviewed scientific journals) scientists will not ignore it. There is simply no such scientific evidence. Homeopathy has been around for over a century, and yet there is no evidence. If you want to conduct more experiments, no one is stopping you. Just make sure the experiments meet the standards of science, and don’t just publish them in homeopathy journals. The latter would be just furthering your confirmation bias by accusing the entire scientific community of conspiracy to cover up scientific truths.
            And as for the placebo effect, it is not an effect that has anything to do with the homeopathic treatment itself. The desperate attempts to link it to homeopathy are also a product of confirmation bias.
            Finally, your statement:
            “Given the complexity of human body and its connections to nature and super natural (unproven in terms of science methods) – I think we need more categories of medicines and approaches other than “evidence based” and “potential frauds”.”
            The supernatural is not something that is “unproven in terms of science methods”, but something for which there is no scientific evidence (and usually something that violates known laws of physics, requiring new theories with at least as much explanatory power as the disposed ones). As you suggest, science allows for the possibility that evidence may be obtained in the future. But you are also suggesting that evidence should not be a requirement for accepting the possibility that a certain medicine works ( we need more categories of medicines and approaches other than “evidence based” and “potential frauds”). Such special pleading for homeopathy is also indicative of confirmation bias.

        • >> >> Do you think people for centuries were foolish in believing in an entity called God.

          Almost all followers of Sai Baba BELIEVED that he did not have any worldly attachments. But so called his “inner chamber” or “Yajur mandir” resembled like Tirupati temple hundi when it was opened last week. The 11.5 crore money, gold, diamonds, silver and other valuables recovered from Sai Baba’s room would humble even the most wealthiest and materialist being on Earth. This news is not a media creation as the ardent followers might tend to think. All the Trust members and govt official were witness to this obscene presence of wealth. Don’t be surprised if you find another spin that believers will come up to defend the indefensible…

  • Good write up Srinivas. particularly after what he did. When he collapsed due to his fasting the did not try any Ayurveda or Yoga therapy on him. he was taken straight away to the ICU of a hospital where scientific evidence based medicine was being practiced. They should have given him some herbal extracts or he should have done pranayama or kapal bhati to get over the effects of fasting!

  • 🙂
    I’ve been following the comments on my earlier comments.
    Before I start to write here something, I would confess that, my English knowledge is minimal and hence my words when inappropriate may give meaning which I really did not mean to say.
    So, confusions can occur.
    I felt this strongly when one was saying that I was being apologetic about something, about which I was not really 🙂

    See, I can see that many here have been strongly convinced that Veda are the products of a few Brahmins and it is possible for many to be ignorant about many facts for one life time, etc.

    One even opined that Science will one day prove the non-existence of God.

    OK I have a few more questions, which have sprouted from sheer curiosity.

    I read a few articles here which were emphatically trying to say that there existed nothing called Mahabharata (if I’m correct) and a Swami Chinmayananda was himself a confused soul and has also confused many of his followers (If I’m correct) etc..

    I enjoyed all those things and some time it made me to think.

    One thing now I have started to think is can science be perfect?

    Can everything be empirical?

    None of us have seen mind, felt mind and not experienced the existence of mind, which is more or less like God, i.e., it is not gross.

    So what is your contention on ‘Mind’.

    Is it again something which people have been ignorantly using ever since the birth of this universe?

    I found one person asking me if we transcend mind/brain etc…. which sounded like his acceptance of an entity called mind.

    Today Psuchology has come form one greek/latin root (I’m in doubt, please help me) which actually means “study of Soul” and not “study of Mind”

    So my first question is:
    “Is there something called mind, which has not come under empirical study and has not been proved as it is subtle in its form or nature.

    One important thing, I in the earlier discussions supported Ramadev not because I am a follower or his supporter, but thought he was on the right track helping out people in one or the other way.

    The same opinion with Sai Baba.
    I am not a great follower and all, but have appreciated his work in the rural areas and other places, which has done some good to the people.

    See, I would love to give an example here about the advantages and disadvantages of one’s work.

    Considering that Ramdev’s teaching of Asanas, Pranayamas, Kriyas and other things is not scientific and systematic,

    “if one argues that he is doing bad to people, the first thing that comes to my mind is ‘some of them have been really profited, which they have confessed”.

    Second thing, some would have not followed his teachings and would have tried their own ways without knowing the contra-indications and ended up with some problems.

    So both profits and losses would have occurred by practising his teachings.

    Let me give one more example,
    imagine a child who has been born and brought up in a traditional family. For years there was a good family bonding in that family because all loved to follow principles, rules, regulations, whatever laid by their traditional Gurus, until one day he read the Nirmukta website contents and started questioning all rituals his parents were doing and he himself was doing.
    Parents definitely couldn’t resist this and lot of problems started raining in their family, from then on.
    So what is the reason behind all these commotions?
    He reading the content of Nirmukta and being influenced (Positively or negatively is a second question).
    Or even may call it the transition effect, he going from the ignorant path to the path of knowledge as shown and directed by Nirmukta group. But the immediate effect in his house was negative. It might have gone to the extent of he quitting his house. So did not the content of Nirmukta website had a negative impact on a family which was so nicely and peacefully living.
    So this was one example for disadvantage.

    Or take one more example, a person like me who has absolutely no such restrictions at my place, hence decided to think on the lines you all have been contemplating and one day promote your ideas, like a few others who are your followers and promoters of the same.
    This was an example of advantages of Nirmukta.

    So same thing with Ramadev and Sai Baba.

    So there was both negative and positive impact.
    What do you say about this?

    Recently I was reading one article which my friend gave it to me. It stated that an artist who came from a remote town of a far off country had never seen Shree Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in his life, but used to dream him regularly and one day started to draw those images he used to dream.
    One day he realised somehow that he was drawing Ramakrishna’s picture. Later he became a great disciple and lead a peaceful life (As told by him)
    So what do you say about such miracles.

    I definitely don’t support Shree Shree Ravi Shankar, Ramadev, Sai Baba and even Chinmayananda as great disciplined spiritual personalities.

    But I do respect Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi, who have all done world moving works and have been still changing life of many ordinary people (Positively or negatively is something we have to arrive only at the end of these discussions)

    So sometime ago one rightly said that, I am not follower of Ramadev Baba, but a follower of someother Baba 😉
    No doubt I am!

    I ask these questions with earnest feelings as a person who would like to rationalise and learn new things in life and go from ignorance to light.

    And there is nothing like I am trying to offend someone.

    In case if I sound acrimonious, it is my problem with the language, please bear with it 🙂

    Thank you 🙂

    • Considering that there are many questions here, allow me to suggest some readings/documentaries related to each:

      On how the gross Brain ‘creates’ the Mind, the first few episodes in this series will help.

      On why rationalists seem to ignore the supposed social service undertaken by ‘holy men’, here are some explanations (1 and 2).

      On informing parents of newfound unbelief, here are some suggestions.

      On the confusion about ‘being apologetic’, here is a glossary item.

      On the stance that the teachings of some Babas are more infallible than others, here is a listing of rationalist objections to a broad spectrum of teachings ranging from the literalist to the nebulous.

      On the supposed limitations of Science, it is a misconception to have supposed in the first place that Science claimed anything more than a description of ‘Model-based reality’.

      On the misleading quote-mining about Einstein, his stance rejecting the supernatural and his treatment of ‘God’ as nothing more than a metaphor is repeatedly evidenced in the larger corpus of his sayings.

      As you would seen from your earlier comment, your responders here are more than willing to read comments carefully enough to respond point-wise, based on a considerable amount of earlier reading on the subjects concerned; and it will be great if you could return that favour.

    • >> Is there something called mind, which has not come under empirical study and has not been proved as it is subtle in its form or nature.

      I don’t know about the mind. But ‘human brain’ is definitely a most remarkable and enigmatic entity. There is nothing much to learn about mind/brain from Vedas or some outdated scriptures and holy books. Please read a book entitled “Phantoms in the Brain” by V.N. Ramachandran, to really appreciate and wonder about what the human brain is capable of.

      • >>There is nothing much to learn about mind/brain from Vedas or some outdated scriptures and holy books.

        Interestingly, Dr. Ramachandran himself seems to be expressing an opposite viewpoint in this interview

        Here is an excerpt.

        Did you make an oblique reference earlier to the possibility of neuroscience drawing from some things that are unique to eastern philosophy or Hinduism?

        Not so much in neuroscience as in the epistemology of `who am I?’ And there I like Schrodinger’s approach to it – and the Vedantic approach to it – saying there is this fundamental asymmetry in nature between my personal point of view, my puny self, my brief personal existence, my vantage point… which simply doesn’t exist in physics.

        Physics doesn’t acknowledge your vantage point. There is only the universe with lots of people, lots of events. The personal point doesn’t have privileged status. And yet from your point of view, it is everything.

        So there is this fundamental asymmetry, which western science simply doesn’t deal with. It just says it’s trivial, it’s a non question, whereas eastern philosophy is perpetually obsessed with it – this is the whole atman-brahman, dvaitam-advaitam conundrum. Not that I have the answer to this. But I think we have to deal with it.

        • Dr. Ramachandran notes that the problem of the ‘fundamental asymmetry’ between (i) the indifference of Physics to our personal vantage point and (ii) the centrality of personal vantage to our subjective experience, has been treated with ‘perpetual obsession’ by Eastern Philosophers, but reserves comment on whether this ‘perpetual obsession’ has resulted in any real headway or whether it is the methods of the eastern mystics (which have had their chance for a few thousand years) are what will yield the awaited breakthroughs.

          While mainstream science does not yet routinely deal with this ‘fundamental asymmetry’ as Dr. Ramachandran observes, it is the subject matter of a well-recognized problem in philosophy called the Hard Problem of Consciousness, explained by Prof. John Searle here.

          • A point well made Arvind.

            I would still inclined to agree with Crick who famously stated in his 1994 book, “…..You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules…..”

            In light of modern findings in neuroscience, I guess, the above observation cannot be dismissed easily, no matter how unsettling it may sound.



          • I have read many books. I have also contributed in nanotechnology and developed application[S] [note the ‘S’ in capitals].

            I have been pioneer in science in advanced physics and always developed applications whenever I lay hands on any field.

            I am saying this here for the benefit of those who are quick to quote science without some times having an opportunity to directly contribute in advanced fields.

            Needless but necessary to say as well; that I can understand advanced theories and their respective limitations also, to a large extent.

            I personally do not find any thing wrong in spirituality as defined in hindu shastras.

            Ayam Atma, Pashya me!


            Kabir saying ‘Jyon ki Tyon dhar dini chadariya’.

            I find no contradiction in being creative in science also. Since it is observing and manipulating matter that is the main aim of science.

            The illusive ‘God’ particle called Higg’s boson technically may be a point to consider by those who think science is ultimate.

            When western scientist revolted against God, they actually revolted against western god and were right in breaking from the clutches of clergy.


          • Knowing this audience, one would expect a greater appetite for pioneering nanotechnological applicationS here than the appeals to antiquity you are offering instead. Yes, it is true that some scientists including some really great ones took religion very seriously indeed, but the reason they are taken seriously today is the science they did and not the religion they indulged in.

            Speaking of the ‘God particle’, the history of this nomenclature seems far from godlike Hyperlink Code.

            We remain curious about nanotechnology and its wonders. Since it is religion that you insist on talking about here, and it is self-knowledge that you seem zealous to impart in comment trails like this, perhaps you need to remind yourself of the traditional view that such knowledge is not for any human teacher to hasten but supposed to be ‘divinely willed’. Why waste time on that, and us, then? Why bother? Why not stick to the nanotechnology you say you’re good at?

          • A scientist ( and any human being for that matter) can do many things:

            1. Be wedded to a word, and always remain so.
            2. Look objectively to ancient as well as new words,
            3. Laugh at other’s words,
            4. Contradict at will,
            5. Show hopeless nature of things,
            6. or remain helpless for ever.

            I choose to respect objectivity, what in hindu literature is described as ‘vivek’.

            It is also upto thousand others to take my work further and use it for the benefit of humankind, save environment etc.

            Newton’s work is used now by millions. Yet he remained a recluse towards his end. he solved a puzzle ‘without naming himself’ during his last years. the fellow scientist who had thrown the puzzle said that ‘there was no mistaking of NEWTON’s way of solving this puzzle.

            What Newton did in his last years, what he did with himself, will remain a knowledge with Newton alone.

            If somebody is keen to learn nanotechnology, he surely would find many good books.

            This site is not the best place to start learning technologies etc.

            We should discuss different ideas here.


          • This site is not the best place to start learning technologies etc.

            We should discuss different ideas here.

            This site is not the best place for proselytization and woo-peddling.

            This site is a great place to read on science, history and civics among several other topics. Rest assured if you would like to talk some standard, serious, demonstrated and peer-reviewed nanotechnology, you wouldn’t be at loss for an audience here.

            While we’re at it, could you recommend some good books for nanotechnology?

          • I can surely recommend good books on nanotechnology to you.

            Dr. Wadhawan’s articles on complexities are one of the best this site has to offer.

            Infact he is the reason for my coming to this site.

            The people who started GOD-LESS good things, and many many did this, eariler also.

            Some did with monotheistic god also.

            Not that vedantic thought did not falter, it surely didnot convert ALL HUMANITY to spiritulist.

            But it did give a coherent picture. It takes some effort to see the picture, nodoubt.

            But knowing that all people can not be taught ( I coined the term ‘some remain uneducationable’ ) the ancient rishis went about creating ( or utilising ) the religion for such people.

            You may not have read the books very seriously. I do not know your age, which can be a factor as well. I used to be a non-believer myself, till I first hand experienced the effects of yog and other ancient writings.

            I then scientifically , through inductive thinking thought, that if some things are correct in ancient writing, we can examine other things also.

            You can in the mean while consider the difference between Tahrir square and recent happenings in our country.

            You can also see my different submissions in this site. I on my side have already read maximum on this site.

            Thanks !


          • But it did give a coherent picture. It takes some effort to see the picture, nodoubt.

            If we make up our minds to, we can make a picture out of almost anything we see. That people see pictures in splotches does not mean that the pictures were crafted by an unseen hand. Those who note uncanny resemblances of the splotch with everyday objects and yet recognize that it remains essentially a splotch, are neither unimaginative nor gullible nor ineducable. Those who are convinced that no splotch is just a splotch but everything is a message of some sort are not exactly exhibiting the marks of fine education. Not everything that is not designed is an outcome of randomness, and not everything that seems designed testifies to conscious agency in its design. Yes, I agree that the serious reading has hardly begun, but that comment does not apply to me alone.

          • I have a fairly good understanding of science.
            I am gaining good understanding of vedas.

            The big bang does not say anything at all about what existed before it.

            The string theory ( perhaps M theory) went all the way to 11 dimensions and said that many big-bang can occur by collisions at bumps on many dimensional sheets.

            Nasadiya Suktas of vedas give pictures of entire cosmos.

            Made famous by Benegal’s Bharat Ek Khoj. ‘Srushti se pahle Kuch Nahi Tha…’

            As I said in my last mail ‘some people will remain uneducationable’

            I will not be one of them hopefully.

            I will also not take a word and be wedded to it.

          • If the ‘complete picture of the cosmos’ can be found in the Nasadiya Sukta , then I stand by my earlier comment that with enough effort one cane imagine a complete picture in just about anything. The Nasadiya Sukta admittedly echoes agnosticism and rejects certitude, which is somewhat out of character for a Vedic excerpt but to treat it as the summum bonum of cosmological inquiry is quite a leap. I share your hope of not remaining ineducable. I also hope that nanotechnology claims like these are not taken seriously. This seems a good time to wrap up since this thread was not about our assessments of who’s ineducable but about Ramdev’s claims which stand refuted.

  • Have to add one more thing:
    I have heard about great scientists, who in their later stages of life comprehending the limitations of science turned spiritual and started seeking spiritual lessons from Buddhism and other great religions of the world.
    Albert Einstein was also one of them.

    So, by this I would also like to question:
    “Don’t you think Science has limitations”

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Swaroop,
      Unlike religion, what makes science as a formidable enterprise is that it is not dogmatic. That does not mean that it cannot go wrong. In fact, scientific claims are increasingly subjected to better and better experimental scrutiny. There is no holy writ here. The progress in science is incremental. The tentative nature of scientific conclusions is its sole strength. Limitations are overcome rationally, logically and advancing new hypothesis consistent with new observations and experimental findings. I don’t think it is meaningful to ask whether science has any limitations. The legitimate question to ask would be whether or not human brain has any limitations in comprehending some unknown aspect of physical universe. One cannot for sure deny that possibility. After all we are the product of evolution! Even if that is the case, it will not prove the existence of any higher power.

      It is also true that some (not many) scientists may change their beliefs in face of personal tragedies and hardships in life. I have no qualm about that. But to my knowledge no one has ever done any better in ‘spirituality’ than what they did in science.

      The claim that Einstein was a religious is a plane lie. But as a curious observer and a studious reader of world history, he had shown great interest in world religions. No less profound was his reading of Marxism and Socialism. People can study religion without believing in the tenets of religion. Remember Bertrand Russel ……

    • Stephen Hawking has been staring at death for many years and yet he hasn’t turned to the escapism of spirituality or religion. So much for anecdotes.

      • terming spirituality and religion as escapism is another type of escapism. besides these are individual choices not universal like anacin for headache and paracetamol for fever

    • Its not science which has limitations but the human intelligence, as the human race advances these seemingly hard limitations dilutes (and anyhow the new limitations arises!). If you follow the evolution of scientific-reasoning you will get to know about that; today’s trivial scientific facts were once unsolvable mysteries.

      This quote shows Einstein’s interpretation of god,
      “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly
      harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with
      fates and actions of human beings.”
      I would say Einstein’s thoughts were far beyond the religions and gods.


    A research conducted by the University of Texas’s M D Anderson Cancer Center in collaboration with the Bangalore-based Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana says yoga offers benefits to women undergoing radiation therapy for treating breast cancer.

    While simple stretching exercises improved fatigue, patients who participated in yoga incorporating yogic breathing, postures, meditation and relaxation techniques into their treatment plan experienced improved physical functioning, better general health and lower stress hormone levels, the study said.

    The study’s findings are to be presented this month in an oral session at the 47th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology by Lorenzo Cohen, professor and director of the integrative medicine program at MD Anderson.

    The study assessed — for the first time, the researchers said — yoga benefits to cancer patients by comparing their experience with patients in an active control group who integrated simple, generic stretching exercises into their lives.

    ‘The combination of mind and body practices that are part of yoga clearly have tremendous potential to help patients manage the psychosocial and physical distress associated with treatment and life after cancer, beyond the benefits of simple stretching Cohen said.

    To conduct the study, 163 women with breast cancer (stage 0-3) averaging 52 years of age were divided into one of three groups: Yoga; simple stretching; or no instruction in yoga or stretching.

    Participants in the yoga and stretching groups attended sessions specifically tailored to breast cancer patients for one hour, three days a week, throughout their six weeks of radiation treatment. They were asked to report on their quality of life, including fatigue, daily functioning, benefit finding, depression and spirituality.

    After completing radiation treatment, only the women in the yoga and stretching groups reported a reduction in fatigue. They also reported greater benefits to physical functioning and general health including the steepest decline in their stress hormone level across the day.

    Higher stress hormone levels throughout the day have been linked to worse outcomes in breast cancer, the study noted. According to Cohen, developing a yoga practice also helps patients after completing cancer treatment.

    ‘The transition from active therapy back to everyday life can be very stressful as patients no longer receive the same level of medical care and attention. Teaching patients a mind-body technique such as yoga as a coping skill can make the transition less difficult,’ he added.

    Through a grant from the National Cancer Institute — the largest ever awarded for the study of the effect of yoga on cancer — Cohen and his team will next conduct a Phase III clinical trial in women with breast cancer to further determine the mechanisms of yoga that lead to improvement in physical functioning, quality of life, and biological outcomes during and after radiation treatment. First Published In India Abroad A Rediff Publication

    A secondary aim of the trial, but one of great importance, stressed Cohen, is assessing cost efficiency analysis for the hospital, health-care usage costs in general, and examining work productivity of patients.

    Besides Cohen, other MD Anderson researchers who contributed to the study included Kavita Chandwani and Banu Arun. Collaborators from Bangalore included N V Raghuram, R Nagarathna, and H R Nagendra.

  • These Congressmen are great frauds . They know very well to tackle these kind of situations. Now they are beating around the bush and making all the propaganda that RSS,VHP etc etc are with Ramdev Baba and trying to defuse the situation. They are not coming to the most wanted point ; bringing back the black money. Please make note of the names who are opposing Baba Ramdev during these days “They will definitely be in the Swiss Bank Black list”.

  • I have been practicing on ramdev’s yoga videos for months and all the problems i have had have vanished. High blood preassure, cholestrol, bleeding gums and nervousness. I highly recommend his video to anyone. Please dont dismiss his teachings. God has given him a wonderful gift and alot of people are trying to discredit him. It is quite sad.

    • It must be by now amply clear that God gifted Ramdev has himself disproved many of his own claims! We are asking for evidence for his claims and we do not find any. If you are benefited, go ahead. But how do you conclude that anyone with anything can be benefited by your highly recommended video? I have seen patients who have got aggravated following Ramdev’s methods and there have been several reports of such incidents. His own ‘research’ is mum about adverse effects of his methods and does not provide any proof of safety. God’s gift did not help him at all during his so called hunger strike, instead he had to be helped by modern medical hospital, establishments that he claims shall be closed.

      • Dr.,

        You have always portrayed a physiotherapist to be better than a yogi.

        A phsiotherapist is good for a very sick person. Yog never, never talks ‘only’ of a sick person. As a side effect, IT CAN CURE a moderately sick person, and make very sick person better adept at life.

        YOU CAN, however take a ‘moderately’ sick person, and try giving to him/her a modest yog routine and a personalised training/attention YOURSELF. If your statistical methods demand it, take several suitable groups and a control group also.

        You can also FAST yourself for 9 days with additional responsibility of talking continiously to people hostile to you, take some lathi charge with body blow on you. You can take help of allopathic doctors’ help also.

        Please do these experiments for our benefit. we will trust you al the more than any baba etc.

        • It turns out that physicians can count yogis among their patients as well.

          The onus of proving the efficacy of yogic routines on sick, moderately sick or almost healthy patients, is on those who claim that these methods are side-effect-free silver bullets. Conveniently shifting the onus to those who already have their hands full administering established cures to really sick patients is an all-too-common copout.

          As for ‘your statistical methods’ one wonders whose methods are being mentioned here. Or has someone proposed, sorry rediscovered, a system of Yogic Statistics ,not relying on computers like the corrupting Western statistics, and can be yogically conjured up to prove any Yogic claim right?

          Fasting as a method of acquiring merit in the eyes of fawning followers and earning trust ‘more than any baba’ is not how a person of science gains credibility. The method you suggest for earning your trust is the preserve of solarian scamsters and the like.

          • Thanks !

            Fasting to experience first hand, is NOT your method.

            The double blind method is universally accepted. So we suggested YOU try out on different people ON SHORT TERM BASIS and ON LONG TERM BASIS the effect of allopathic as well as yog methods.

            It may turn out cheaper and beneficial on long term as well as short term basis one or the other system.


          • Let me see if I understand what you are saying. In effect, what you’re saying boils down to…
            Physicians can do the hard work of curing actually sick people and in the meantime, self-proclaimed yogis can gallantly volunteer to to cure the healthy and take all the credit! When physicians complain that this is a raw deal, the solution is that…they should fast!

            As for ‘allopathy’, trained physicians are not under any obligation to submit to that artificial pejorative label created by their pseuodscientific critics. And as for depending on ourselves, we think there is nothing demeaning in seeking assistance from an expert whose expertise is founded in science. Next time you think of boarding an airplane, remind yourself to “NOT DEPEND ON OTHERS ALL THE TIME” and spend time YOURSELF, flapping your arms as vigorously as you can till you soar to the air, YOURSELF!

        • Let’s be objective when we write.

          I have not written anything about physiotherapy, let alone comparing it with yoga.

          None of your statements are supported by any evidence. What are the criteria for very sick, moderately sick etc.? What is moderate yoga? What is side effect of yoga? If cure is a side effect, what is the main effect?

          Did Ramdev get lathi charged and take body blow? Where and when? Or did he run away like a coward in the disguise of a lady, only to be caught by the police?

          Thousands of studies have been done by yoga centres themselves, but none prove their benefit for any human ailment. If you have any single reference, please provide. Many modern medical facilities have also tested yoga, with similar results.

        • I took time to read the full text of the original article. There is also an editor’s note on th esame paper in the journal. [Tim V. Salomons, Aaron Kucyi. Does Meditation Reduce Pain through a Unique Neural Mechanism? The Journal of Neuroscience, September 7, 2011;31(36):12705–12707]

          The study is at best a technology demonstrator rather than any proof of mindfulness meditation’s effects on pain modulation. While 57% decrease in unpleasantness ratings following meditative training was reported, only a 14% increase in self-reported mindfulness was found, implying that there may be other factors playing a role in pain relief. Factors such as expectation of efficacy may also play a positive role in such interventions. Larger, controlled studies are needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn.

          • Good doctor should inform us also of paid research in his field.

            I have tried to understand cancer on my own research. not following the oncologists though. because it will take a lifetime to assimilate their preoccupation as well.

            The cancer clusters are every time made in our bodies. The anti-oxidents consumed by us and the chemicals produced in the body ( in our cells) take care of them.

            When we stress or eat unhealthy or rightly or wrongly drugged by others, and by our selves, the 2nd and 3rd stage of cancer can and does reach in many beings.

            At least educated humans can reach internet for more info. Animals, particularly pets, have to depend on the ignorance of their owners. ( dogs, incidently, are reported to smell diff. cancers .)

            It is not job of a rationalist to ask for proofs in western journals for all things. However grudgingly, the journals are publishing new research as well. This point should be noted by a true rationalist.

            Linus Pauling in 1986 had some thing to say about cancer research. After so many years it is still true.

          • Sir, I did not see a reply to what I have written. There is no point beating around the bush. What evidence to support the ‘good effects of meditation’ did you find in the study that you quoted? Is your ‘understanding’ based on news reports or on original publications?

      • Hi Srinivas,
        Thank you for your article.If you can reply to my queries below, I will really appreciate it. First of all let me quote certain names Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, Indra devi, B K S Iyengar, K Pattabhai Jois. One thing common across them are, they were all great Yoga teachers. All of them lived till their 90s & few even crossed hundreds, without any disease. There must be something they must have done correct. What’s that ? No doubt Yoga hepled them a lot.
        My second experience, when I shifted to Bangalore from Bhubaneshwar, I developed dust allergy & allergic asthma. I went to several doctors (allopathic). They told me definitely this disease can be controlled but not cured. They gave me dialators (both medicines & machine) and told me to take certain precautions. But I kept getting regular attacks of asthma at frequent intervals. Then I practiced Yoga & pranyama. By the way before that I am a atheletic guy. I had done gyming for almost 11 years now. So after doing yoga & pranyama, after 2-3 months my allergy is under control. It is not completely cured yet, but of course I can now go out in dust or pollution and get away with a few sneezes and of course no medicines.
        Now I know you are a person of science & wont take anything for granted. So my only advice is instead of asking in the net about the medical proofs about the benifit of yoga & pranyama, please try it yourself. But kindly do it correctly under a Guru’s guidance, and then let us know about the results.
        You are an educated man. Please do not refute something if there is no evidence for it. For your knowledge the name of yos I have teachers I have mentioned are the known evidences.
        Lastly if you are not practicing yoga & pranyama, you are missing something brother.

      • Dear Kakkileya ,

        Modern treatments of radiation and chemotherapy also have aggravated suffering in many patients . Just look around in RCC.


        YOU DONT EVEN HAVE A PERMANENT SOLUTION FOR CONSTIPATION SO PLEASE DONT LOOK DOWN ON ALL OTHERS AS QUACKS >>> WHAT IS THE 5 year survival rate of cancer patients who spend lakhs in allopathy ?

  • […] Swami Ramdev – known for his virtually taking over Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption in the Indian government is himself being accused of undue opulence and ill-gotten assets. “The national spokesperson of the Akhada Parishad, Baba Hat Yogi, said: ” A decade ago, Ramdev used to move on a bicycle. He even had to struggle to find money to fix his punctured cycle. Now he flies on a chopper. We demand an inquiry into the income and assets of the Ramdev ashram.” Hat Yogi wasn’t alone; a demand for a probe into the baba’s assets also came from Trivender Panwar, president of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal that recently withdrew support from the Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank government in Uttarakhand.” ( Ramdev has compromised himself by his endorsement of the sex abuser Sathya Sai Baba, whose funds he offered to manage after the guru’s death (without any response). He offers cures to all ills, including AIDS, which should be a criminal offence. […]

  • A nuclear Facial palsy can present with Right sided facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy) combined with contralateral (ie left sided) hemiplegia !! its not impossible…

  • Since Baba cures trillions, if not several hundred trillions, It is evident that The Public Information Officer of Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi is lying. Therefore A case should be registered against the PIO for violating RTI.

    Baba has done no land grab, even if he did. its certainly for a good cause.

    Baba did not break down when shunted from Ramlila maidan. He broke down due to the corruption in India.

    Like Baba and his 11000 followers, VHP, RSS are peaceful organisations. We resort to Violence only when needed.


  • Ramdev is totally fraud and totally money mined businessman He hastotally no motives to serve nation rather than only self grooming. Under BJP raj his businees growing many breakthrough successes. When a common man practice medicine practice in india he is called Jhola chap. Then What we say to Fraud Ramdev and his collogue balakrishan ” A bunch of frauds”

  • This article is incorrect and all the articles of srinivas I have been doing yoga for 12 years.swami baba ramdev is holdind seminars with gangaram hospital in Delhi and with modern medical science in all can check this on you tube and websites.where many scientists doctors journalists claim his yoga to be true.this study of srinivas is paralysed and based.don’t believe him.swami ramdev has himself done and proven his claims before many doctors.and many have seen thousand of patients and their reports.since lacs of people can not be wrong they are normal ordinary people.I have studied many researchers from world proving the immense benefits of health.don’t shake your belief by this foolish yoga and win the world

  • The atheist support so called corrupt secular hindus with blind faith , snake worshippers. So definitely they are suppose to support the black Himalayan fund looted by so called seculars .

  • UN has set a day to be celebrated as a yoga day and we are saying that it doesn’t benefits. Regarding snake worshipping its better than to throw stone on iblis or immersion in water to get baptized or getting nectar from guru for purification or confessing the sins andjust offering prayer to get rid of it.

    Yoga is a way of life. Doing it just for health seems like someone joins academics for marks not education. Allegations against Baba Ramdev might or might not be true but he is better than those doctors who advice for cesarean even when there is possibility of normal delivery. Or those doctors who are ready to cure your cancer any other disease without gurantee and charge a hefty amount both for medicine and consultation fee.

    Regarding Patanjali medicines, he was asked by Kapil Sharma that if yoga can cure all diseases then why you sell medicine. He replied yoga is for those who practice it daily and mrdicine is for people like you!

  • Dear sir,
    im suffering with stroke(pakkavatham)(left Hemiplegia) since one left leg and hand has been disabled. plesae help me for recovery…
    for my recovery im struggling since one year physically and financially
    name: saravanan
    Place: Hosur , tamilnadu,india
    whatsapp: +91 9500964277
    e mail-

    please find the attached my medical records here


  • India used to be hindu rashtra and ruled by hindu kings, later on india was invaded by videshi religion and political parties including kongress party and communist party and later on by small parties like mamtha. As a result india become an anti hindu kingdom with small puppet kings and political leaders. Thank god to narendra modi and people like ramdev to help rebuild new hindu rashtra and it is time to undo the toxic effect of forign religion inflicted on bharath matha. Anti nationals are trying to defame our effort to rebuild naya hindu rashtra and detoxification process inflicted by videshi vidarmi religion

  • Patanjali, founded by Ramdev, has set before it a target of doing charity of Rs 1 lakh crore. “We have so far done charity of Rs 11,000 crore and aim at taking the amount to Rs 1 lakh crore in future,” said Ramdev speaking on the occasion of Patanjali’s 23rd foundation day.

    Outlining the organisation’s various ambitious projects he added that in next 10 to 15 years, Patanjali will turn into “a centre of education bigger than Nalanda and Takshashila, the two famous ancient Indian universities.” Besides, by the middle of 2018, an education hub of about 10,000 students will be set up, he said.

    According to Patanjali sources, a university and an acharyakulam are coming up in the vicinity of Patanjali Yogapeeth-Phase1 (near Roorkee on Delhi-Haridwar highway). “By popularizing Yoga and Ayurveda, the expenditure on healthcare can be cut and Rs 100 lakh crore that is spent on healthcare will be saved,” Ramdev said.

    The yoga guru, stating Patanjal’s various achievements, said “As a result of ceaseless and sincere hard work by millions of devoted followers, workers and employees, our campaign to restore to our ancient knowledge of Yoga and Ayurveda their past glory and put them on the world map has been successful. We have developed people’s faith in these and linked our culture to science.”

  • Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved partnered with e-commerce giants to boost its online sales, it has been reported today that the ayurvedic company will soon turn into a not for profit organisation.

    A day after Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved partnered with e-commerce giants to boost its online sales, it has been reported that the ayurvedic company will soon turn into a not for profit organisation. According to a report in Mint, Patanjali will not be listed on stock exchanges. “We will list Patanjali in people’s hearts. We are transforming Patanjali into a non-profit organization,” Ramdev told the business daily.

    Not for profit organisations do not earn profits for the owners as all the revenue of such firms is used to pursue the company’s objectives such as public service and charity. Non-profit organisation and charitable trusts are also eligible for tax exemptions under the Income Tax Act.

    The report also said that Ramdev has set up a charitable organization, Patanjali Seva Trust, which will be the sole holding entity for all companies that are part of Patanjali Group. Baba Ramdev along with Acharya Balkrishna, a scholar of Ayurveda, had established Patanjali in 2006. Currently, Balkrishna owns over 98 per cent of Patanjali Group.

    On Tuesday, Patanjali signed agreements with eight leading e-tailers – Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, 1MG, Bigbasket, Grofers, Shopclues and Snapdeal- to expand its online presence. Some of Patanjali’s products were already available on its own portal,, along with several online platforms through various other sellers but the new tie-ups will allow the Haridwar-based firm to not only systematically place its range of products but also extend reach significantly, including globally.

    Patanjali Ayurved decided to tweak its sales strategy last year when it departed from the branded franchise it relied on since inception to make its fledgling presence felt in the market and adopted the channel distribution route usually preferred by FMCG companies. The move was seen to be crucial to meet Ramdev’s ambitious target of annual sales of Rs 1 lakh crore by 2020. Patanjali is currently ranked number seven in the FMCG space – and meet its turnover target of Rs 20,000 crore for this fiscal year, a twofold growth year-on-year.

  • Yoga is no longer a fringe, odd specter in American society, but rather so much a part of mainstream culture today that major medical centers around the country, local healthcare centers, and neighborhood Yoga centers offer Yoga as a mind-body practice to support health and healing. Although Yoga has existed in various forms for around 2,500 years, the phenomenon of Yoga for health and healing is a modern characteristic of Yoga (Alter, 2005; De Michelis, 2008; Singleton, 2008 2010). While Yoga has always offered the promise of freedom from suffering (Miller, 1995; Feuerstein, 1998), only recently has Yoga literature addressed medically defined chronic illness. We see today a field of “yoga therapeutics” in which yogic practices are prescribed to “heal,” and sometimes “cure,” specific chronic disease conditions (Swami Satyananda, 1997; Iyengar, 1979, 2001. As a health practice, it is both reflective of and a catalyst for a growing body of scientific research on Yoga that suggests a valid evidence-base for the beneficial effects of Yoga on a wide range of chronic health problems (Khalsa, 2004), including cardiovascular disease (Raub, 2002), cancer (Bower et al., 2005), diabetes (Upadhyay et al., 2008), arthritis (Haaz & Bartlett, 2011), asthma (Vempati et al., 2009), depression (Pilkington et al., 2005), and anxiety (Kirkwood et al., 2005). But scientific research on its health effects occurs against the sociocultural backdrop of Yoga schools promoting Yoga as a healing pathway in which healing is conceived of as “a holistic tool that teaches [one] how to live a better life and cope with difficulties” (De Michelis, 2008, p. 25).

  • Quality of Life and Mental Health in Patients with Chronic Diseases Who Regularly Practice Yoga and Those Who Do Not: A Case-Control Study
    Holger Cramer,1 Romy Lauche ,1 Jost Langhorst,1 Gustav Dobos,1 and Anna Paul1

    Show more
    Academic Editor: Arndt Büssing
    06 Jun 2013
    While clinical trials have shown evidence of efficacy of yoga in different chronic diseases, subjective health benefits associated with yoga practice under naturalistic conditions have not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate associations of regular yoga practice with quality of life and mental health in patients with chronic diseases. Using a case-control design, patients with chronic diseases who regularly practiced yoga were selected from a large observational study and compared to controls who did not regularly practice yoga and who were matched individually to each case on gender, main diagnosis, education, and age (within 5 years). Patients’ quality of life (SF-36 questionnaire), mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), life satisfaction, and health satisfaction (Questionnaire for Life Satisfaction) were assessed. Patients who regularly practiced yoga () had a better general health status (), a higher physical functioning (), and physical component score () on the SF-36 than those who did not (). No group differences were found for the mental scales of the SF-36, anxiety, depression, life satisfaction, or health satisfaction. In conclusion, practicing yoga under naturalistic conditions seems to be associated with increased physical health but not mental health in chronically diseased patients.

    Yoga has its roots in Indian philosophy and has been a part of traditional Indian spiritual and medical practice for around 5000 years [1]. While the ultimate goal of traditional yoga has been described as uniting mind, body, and spirit, yoga has become a popular means to promote physical and mental well-being [1, 2]. As such, yoga has been adapted as part of complementary and alternative medicine in Western societies [3]. While yoga traditionally also comprises advice for ethical lifestyle and spiritual practice [1–4], it is most often associated with physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana) in Western societies [2]. Different yoga schools have emerged that put varying focus on physical and mental practices [2]. However, even exercise-based yoga interventions differ from purely gymnastic exercises in that the yoga practitioner focuses his mind on the postures with inner awareness and a meditative focus of mind [5, 6].

    Yoga is gaining increased popularity as a therapeutic practice. In 2008, about 15% of the American adult population was practicing yoga or was at least extremely interested in it [7]. Of those who were already practicing yoga, about half started practicing explicitly to improve their overall health, resulting in more than 13 million people practicing yoga for health reasons in 2007 [8, 9]. Worldwide, it is estimated that yoga is regularly practiced by about 30 million people [10].

    Yoga has also been recognized as medical therapy; nearly 14 million Americans (6.1% of the population) reported that a physician or other therapist recommended yoga to them [7]. In the United Kingdom, yoga was even promoted by national health services as a safe and effective means to promote health in healthy and diseased individuals of all age groups [11].

    Randomized-controlled trials and systematic reviews have investigated the efficacy of yoga in a number of physical conditions. It has been shown to improve health in patients with chronic low back pain [12], chronic neck pain [13], fibromyalgia [14], rheumatoid arthritis [15], osteoarthritis [15], cancer [16, 17], and menopausal symptoms [18]. It can reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease [19] and improve risk profiles in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus [20].

    It has, however, been shown that self-administered yoga practice outside of yoga courses is important for sustained health benefits [6, 21]. Moreover, patients participating in a randomized-controlled trial might not be totally representative of the patient population [22]. Therefore, while clinical trials are important to establish evidence of efficacy of yoga in chronic diseases, studies on differences between patients who practice yoga (outside of clinical trials) and those who do not seem warranted. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in quality of life and mental health in patients with chronic diseases who regularly practice yoga and those who do not use a case-control design. It was hypothesized that patients who regularly practiced yoga had higher health-related quality of life and mental health than those who did not.

    Materials and Methods
    2.1. Patients
    Patients were recruited from a large observational study that was conducted at a German Department for Internal and Integrative Medicine as part of its ongoing quality assurance program. All patients admitted to the Department during a 3-year period received detailed study information and were invited to participate in the study. Adults (aged 18 or older) with chronic diseases of rheumatological, gastrointestinal, pulmonological, and cardiovascular origin, including those with chronic pain syndromes, were eligible. Prior to inpatient treatment, patients who were willing to participate signed informed consent forms and completed questionnaires on complementary therapies use, health-related quality of life, mental health, life and health satisfaction [23].

    This reanalysis used a case-control design. Patients who reported to engage in regular yoga practice (at least once weekly for at least 20 minutes) were regarded as cases. Matched pairs were created by randomly assigning a control subject from all possible controls, that is, patients who did not report to regularly practice yoga and who were exactly matched individually to each case on gender, main diagnosis, and education and as close as possible on age (within 5 years).

    2.2. Questionnaires
    2.2.1. Yoga Practice and Sociodemographic Data
    Patients were queried on whether they had ever practiced yoga before. Patients who reported prior yoga practice were further queried how often they were practicing yoga in a typical week (0 to 7 days per weeks) and whether they perceived yoga as helpful or harmful for their disease. Sociodemographic data on age, gender, family status, education, and employment were assessed. With respect to clinical data, ICD-10 diagnoses [24] were recorded.

    2.2.2. Health-Related Quality of Life
    Health-related quality of life was assessed using the short-form 36 health survey questionnaire (SF-36) [25]. This instrument assesses health-related quality of life during the previous 4 weeks on eight subscales (physical functioning, physical role functioning, bodily pain, general health perceptions, vitality, social functioning, emotional role functioning, and mental health) and 2 main component summaries (mental component summary, physical component summary). Each scale can range from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating better quality of life. Patients rated their general health status on an unscaled item as “excellent,” “very good,” “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The SF-36 is the most commonly used instrument to assess health-related quality of life in patients with chronic diseases and has proven excellent validity and reliability [25].

    2.2.3. Mental Health
    Mental health was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). This instrument has 14 items, scored on 4-point Likert scales [26]. Higher scores indicate more severe symptoms. For both dimensions, cut-off scores have been established that indicate possible subsyndromal (≥8) or clinically relevant (≥11) anxiety or depression [27]. The HADS has been specifically developed as an instrument to detect anxiety and depression in patients with physical conditions. Reliance on aspects of mental conditions that are also symptoms of physical diseases, for example, fatigue or sleep disorders, was avoided [26]. The instrument has excellent validity and reliability [27].

    2.2.4. Life Satisfaction and Health Satisfaction
    Life satisfaction and health satisfaction were assessed using a 5-point Likert scale item, each from the questionnaire for life satisfaction (FLZ) [28]. Life satisfaction was queried as follows “Considering your current situation, how satisfied are you with your overall life? and satisfaction with health as all in all, how satisfied are you with your health?” The endpoints ranged from 1 = very unsatisfied and 5 = very satisfied.

    2.3. Statistical Analysis
    Sociodemographic and clinical data were analyzed descriptively. Success of matching was tested by comparing sociodemographic and clinical data between groups. For this purpose and to identify differences between groups in health-related quality of life, mental health, and satisfaction, tests for matched pairs were used. Paired -tests were used for interval-scaled data, McNemar’s test for nominal data, and the sign test for ordinal data [29]. A value of ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant for all analyses. Analyses were conducted using SPSS (release 20.0, IBM, Armonk, NY, USA).

    3.1. Patients’ Characteristics
    During the study period, 2804 patients were admitted to the hospital. Of those, 2486 (88.7%) agreed to participate in the study. One hundred and eighty-six patients reported to engage in regular yoga practice and were matched to 186 control subjects. Of patients who regularly practiced yoga, 129 reported health benefits and 3 reported negative effects associated with yoga practice.

    Patients’ characteristics are shown in Table 1. The study sample mainly consisted of women in their 50s; about a third of the patients had been educated to A-level standard; and about half of the patients were in a relationship and employed. More than two-thirds of the patients experienced a chronic pain condition, with back pain, headache, fibromyalgia, and rheumatic arthritis being the most frequently causes for admission. The case and the control groups did not differ significantly on any of these variables.

    Table 1

    Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients with chronic diseases who practice yoga and those who do not (mean ± standard deviation).
    3.2. Health-Related Quality of Life, Mental Health, Life Satisfaction, and Health Satisfaction
    Patients who regularly practiced yoga reported a better general health status with more patients describing their health status as “excellent,” “good,” or “fair,” and less patients describing it as “poor” compared to those who did not regularly practice yoga (Table 2). Yoga practicing patients also reported a higher physical component summary for health-related quality of life (Table 3). Scores on all SF-36 subscales were higher in cases than in controls with only the physical functioning subscale showing significant group differences () (Figure 1). No significant group differences were found for anxiety, depression, life satisfaction, or health satisfaction (Table 3).

    Table 2

    General health status of patients with chronic diseases who practice yoga and those who do not.
    Table 3

    Health-related quality of life, mental health, and satisfaction in patients with chronic diseases who practice yoga and those who do not (Mean ± SD).

    Figure 1

    Health-related quality of life (SF-36 subscales) in patients with chronic diseases who regularly practice yoga and those who do not (mean + standard deviation). Asterisks indicate significant group differences.
    4. Discussion
    Using a case-control design, this study compared 186 patients with chronic diseases who regularly practiced yoga with 186 matched controls who did not. As hypothesized, yoga practitioners had better general health status and physical quality of life. In contrast, mental quality of life, mental health, life satisfaction, and health satisfaction did not differ significantly between groups. However, even while not reaching statistical significance, yoga practitioners scored higher on all dimensions of quality of life in the SF-36 including mental quality of life.

    To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case-control study investigating subjective health benefits associated with yoga practice under naturalistic conditions. Prior case-control studies have mainly investigated differences between healthy people or samples drawn from the general population on anatomical or physiological parameters. In a small case-control study, Chaya et al. [30] found increased insulin sensitivity in yoga practitioners compared to nonusers. Two Chinese studies compared magnetic resonance images in healthy yoga practitioners and non-practitioners and found increased risk of meniscus injuries [31] but decreased risk of degenerative disc disease in yoga practitioners [32]. A recent case-control study investigated brain-grounded maps of the body using a motor imagery task and found no differences between yoga practitioners and matched controls [33]. However, an uncontrolled cross-sectional study found linear associations between frequency of yoga practice under naturalistic conditions and subjective measures of health [34]. None of these studies involved patients with chronic diseases.

    Effects of yoga on patients with chronic diseases have been investigated in a number of randomized-controlled trials. A recent meta-analysis found strong evidence for short-term effectiveness and moderate evidence for long-term effectiveness of yoga for chronic low back pain in the most important patient-centered outcomes [12]. Similarly, evidence of effectiveness has been reported by meta-analyses on yoga for fibromyalgia [14], other pain [35], and fatigue [36]. Yoga has also been reported to be effective in improving health status and quality of life in patients with arthritis [15], cardiovascular conditions [19, 37], and lung diseases [37]. In contrast to the findings of the present studies, yoga has also been shown to improve mental health in patients with psychological disorders [37–40] and physical conditions [14, 17, 18, 35]. Patients in both groups of this study reported high levels of depression and anxiety that reached borderline levels of generalized anxiety disorder [27]. The lack of significant group differences in measures of mental health suggests that the positive short-term effects that were found in clinical trials [14, 17, 18, 35, 37–41] might not be there under naturalistic conditions and/or not persist with sustained yoga practice.

    How might yoga improve health status in patients with chronic diseases? Regarding chronic pain, the isometric exercises practiced during yoga have been shown to relieve pain and muscle spasm [13]. Moreover, yoga puts a focus on increasing awareness of muscle tonus and joint position and is also thought to help recognizing and changing habitual patterns of posture and muscle tension in daily life [6, 13]. Yoga has been shown to reduce stress [42], body weight, blood pressure, and hyperlipidemia [19, 43], conditions that are associated with chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease and diabetes [44]. Practice of yoga posture but not of yogic meditation has been shown to improve lung function and cardiovascular capacity. Thereby, yoga can improve overall fitness and exercise performance [37].

    Three patients (1.6%) reported negative effects associated with their yoga practice. While positive effects of yoga are extensively researched, data on incidence rates of negative effects and adverse events are rare. A Finnish survey found that 62% of 110 Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practitioners reported at least 1 yoga-related musculoskeletal injury [45]. More recently, in a large national survey, 21.3% of about 2500 Australian yoga practitioners indicated that they had been injured during yoga in the past [46]. Therefore, the incidence rate of 1.3% in this analysis might underestimate the actual risks of yoga practice.

    What is the specifically new this study adds? This study shows for the first time that practicing yoga under naturalistic conditions is associated with better general health status and physical quality of life in patients with chronic diseases. Moreover, yoga practice seems to be generally safe for this patient population. Yoga practice might, therefore, be recommended to patients with a variety of chronic diseases to improve their overall health and physical wellbeing.

    The study reported here has several limitations. First, while cases and controls were matched on the most important sociodemographic and clinical variables, they might, however, still differ on some undetected parameters that enhance both yoga practice and health status. In this case, the association between yoga practice and health status might be a mere statistical artifact. Second, frequency of yoga practice, length of practice, and the specific yoga school where patients were engaged in were not assessed. Third, the study design did not control for total exercise time of cases and controls. Therefore, the differences between patients who regularly practiced yoga and those who did not reported here cannot be regarded as a necessarily specific effect of yoga practice but can also be attributed to the physical activity associated with yoga. The contribution of different components of yoga such as physical postures, breathing techniques, or meditation to its health-promoting effect is still an object of investigation.

    Future research should address these limitations. Specifically, studies should investigate differences between different yoga schools and yoga practices, such as physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Each of these practices has been shown to be associated with effects on specific health variables in an uncontrolled cross-sectional study [34]. To define the optimal dose of yoga practice, subgroups of yoga practitioners with different practice intensity should be compared. The role of physical activity in the health benefits of yoga could be investigated by controlling for total exercise time. Finally, the analysis presented here is limited to patients with internal diseases. Future studies could replicate this analysis in other patient groups such as patients with mental diseases.

    In conclusion, patients with chronic diseases who regularly practiced yoga reported better overall health status and physical quality of life than those who did not. Practicing yoga under naturalistic conditions seems to be associated with improved physical health in chronically diseased patients.

    Conflict of Interests
    All authors declare that there was no conflict of interests. This study was supported by a Research Grant from the Karl and Veronica Carstens Foundation, Essen, Germany. There was no influence of the sponsor on the design or conduct of the study; the collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data; or in the preparation, review, or approval of the paper

  • Yoga in the Management of Chronic Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
    Laura Desveaux et al. Med Care. 2015 Jul.

    Background: Heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Although individuals with these conditions have been reported to benefit from yoga, its effectiveness remains unclear.

    Objective: To perform a systematic review of the effectiveness of yoga on exercise capacity, health related quality of life (HRQL), and psychological well-being for individuals with chronic disease and describe the structure and delivery of programs.

    Research design: We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials examining yoga programs for individuals with heart disease, stroke, and COPD compared with usual care. Quality was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Meta-analyses were conducted using Review Manager 5.3. The protocol was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42014014589).

    Results: Ten studies (431 individuals, mean age 56±8 y) were included and were comparable in their design and components, irrespective of the chronic disease. The standardized mean difference for the mean change in exercise capacity was 2.69 (95% confidence interval, 1.39-3.99) and for HRQL it was 1.24 (95% confidence interval, -0.37 to 2.85). Symptoms of anxiety were reduced after yoga in individuals with stroke, although this was not observed in individuals with COPD. The effect of yoga on symptoms of depression varied across studies with no significant effects compared with usual care.

    Conclusions: Yoga programs have similar designs and components across chronic disease populations. Compared with usual care, yoga resulted in significant improvements in exercise capacity and a mean improvement in HRQL. Yoga programs may be a useful adjunct to formal rehabilitation programs.

  • Ramdev Pledges Rs 25 Crore to PM’s COVID-19 Fund, Appeals Followers to Contribute

    Updated: March 30, 2020

    Yoga guru Ramdev said on Monday he will donate Rs 25 crore to the PM’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund), which has been set up to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

    Also, all employees of his Patanjali and Ruchi Soya will donate their one-day salary, collectively amounting to Rs 1.5 crore, to the PM CARES fund, he said.

    The yoga guru said he will also give the premises of two of his institutions in Haridwar and his ashrams in Kolkata, Modinagar (Uttar Pradesh) and Solan (Himachal Pradesh) for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

    About 1,500 suspects can be kept in isolation at these facilities together, he said.

    Food will be provided by Patanjali at these places, he said. Ramdev also appealed to his followers to contribute generously to the PM CARES fund to fight against coronavirus.

  • Unless u do your self yoga u cannot know and understand the effects of yoga.
    Your teaching and knowledge as explained above is different from the philosophy of Pranyam.

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