Pseudoscience & Religion

Jaggi Vasudev Doesn’t Understand Science (or the Nature of the Universe)

Introduction

Jaggi Vasudev is a self-styled new-age guru whose philosophy and agenda are represented by his activities through his organization, the Isha Foundation. Isha Foundation has steadily been gaining a follower base among the educated middle class in India and among Indian expatriates in USA and other countries. Among other things, Isha Foundation and Jaggi Vasudev are primarily purveyors of instruction in yoga and meditation. Through their instructional sermons, blogs, interviews, and other literature, they also dish out unscientific advice about life, health, and diet.

CERN image of LHC from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/science/in-higgs-discovery-a-celebration-of-our-human-capacity.html?pagewanted=all

This image from CERN shows simulations of proton collisions- of the kind that was used in the Higgs boson experiments at CERN. (Source: The New York Times, July 9 2012)

Mr. Vasudev has recently given a few sermons, which, are plainly speaking, anti-science. He tries to cast scientists as being naive outsiders to the supposedly wonderful world governed by the laws described in his pseudoscientific philosophy. In my opinion, the sermons are virulently and dishonestly anti-science. It is quite evident that Jaggi Vasudev does not understand the basics of the method of science that he self-righteously decries as being inferior. My hypothesis is that Jaggi Vasudev’s act of interspersing his religious sermon with science is a conscious attempt to appeal to the urbane middle class. Using intelligently misrepresented scientific concepts, Jaggi Vasudev willfully seeks to discredit the method of science so that his followers adopt his supposedly superior philosophies.

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The above video is a case study of sorts into how self-styled modern day ‘gurus’ make their woo-laden sermons appealing to the educated middle class. In general, the educated middle class (in India and elsewhere) is not educated well enough to reject pseudoscience, yet people remember enough science from high school to be awed by popular (mis)representations. Since most people last encounter rigorous science in high school, much of what one should know about science is forgotten later in life. The listeners that Mr. Vasudev seems to appeal are in this demography and know just enough science to ‘understand’ the dishonest and incorrect (pseudo)scientific claims of self-styled gurus. Further, Mr. Vasudev’s cunning and unprecedented use of ‘they’ and ‘us’ to refer to scientists and his followers suggests that he seeks to represent his organization as a ‘only path to The Truth‘-type cult.

Jaggi Vasudev fails to recognize that scientific progress is a remarkable by-product of human ingenuity. He wrongly claims that the scientific method is not the only approach to understanding the universe. At the beginning of the above video, Mr. Vausdev attempts to take listeners on a brief tour of the history of science. More specifically, he mentions facts that most people would remember from high school physics. He attempts a vague exposition on basic physics, by using unsubstantiated but accurate-sounding accounts of the history of modern physics. In the art of spin, such an introduction is probably designed to lend credibility to the scientific accuracy of Mr. Vasudev’s woo and to establish his physics credentials.

Let’s examine critically, Mr. Vasudev’s claims, while playing along with the ridiculous branding of scientists as some type of ‘the others’. Below, I paraphrase or quote Mr. Vasudev’s claims, and point out how he is always either inaccurate, illogical, factually wrong, or dishonest.

Jaggi Vasudev Does Not Understand Physics

Mr. Vasudev says, “They seem to have found something near to what they are referring to as God particle [sic]. The Higgs boson, that has a mass of certain significance.” Evidently, he knows nothing about what he is saying. If the entire premise of Mr. Vasudev’s sermon is the affirmation of the existence of a Higgs-boson like particle, shouldn’t he at the very least, understand what the Higgs-boson is? His claim that ‘Higgs boson has a mass of certain significance’ is not accurate enough to qualify as science. The Higgs-boson is a part of the standard model of physics and there have been several attempts at explaining the significance of its discovery, such as the video below by Jorge Cham of phdcomics.com.

Mr. Vasudev ignorantly claims that 1) yoga attempts to realize the space between particles, 2) scientists seek answers to the same questions (about the space between particles), but have given up on their attempt. The first argument has absolutely no scientific basis. The second assertion is a vague claim at best and false at worst, depending on how generous we are in interpreting it. If we assume that Mr. Vasudev is aware of the quest for understanding dark matter and dark energy, then he is willfully misrepresenting facts because this is indeed a very hot area of research.

Jaggi Vasudev states the interesting fact that much of the universe is ’empty space’ (e.g. in each atom, the nucleus and electron are separated by space that consists of ‘nothing’, loosely speaking). While it is true that ’empty space’ has recently baffled scientists, Mr. Vasudev’s description of the science is inaccurate, vague, and incomplete. Compare his loose remark with the impressive and scientifically accurate explanation by Brian Cox (via Phil Plait) of this very fact and its implications in simple, yet accurate language. Mr. Vasudev, however, attempts to give his sermon a pretense of scientific accuracy. Judging by the number of followers he has, his strategy appears to be reasonably successful.

“If you look at the universe, you see nothing. But if you look closely enough into an atom, it yields to you.[sic]”- This sounds so much like what a scientist like Carl Sagan would say. Yet, this platitude is neither complete, nor accurate as Mr. Vasudev intends to portray. Let’s assume for a moment that by ‘looking at the universe’ Mr. Vasudev refers to astrophysics. He seems to suggest that turning our sensors to the vastness of the universe teaches us nothing about the nature of matter. In reality, astrophysics is crucial to our understanding of the nature of matter. For starters, early particle physics involved studying cosmic rays in cloud chambers. Mr. Vasudev could have been useful to the popularization of science and the scientific method had he played on this platitude and suggested to his followers that they build cloud chambers to study cosmic rays, which is an interesting DIY project for a weekend. Such an exercise would teach us much more about the universe than any of Mr. Vasudev’s own pseudoscientific sermons. Actually, there is no better place to look for Higgs-Boson or any other sub-atomic particle, than in cosmic rays. As Ian Sample points out in this interview, the reason that the massive accelerator was built on the earth was because it is a much cheaper alternative to sending a sufficiently sensitive detector into outer space to look for the Higgs boson in cosmic rays that are not sullied by atmospheric effects. It appears that Mr. Vasudev is also ignorant, willfully or otherwise, of the entire field of cosmology. Only by ‘looking at the universe’ was Edwin Hubble able to arrive at the conclusion that the universe is expanding, leading eventually to the development of the big bang theory, and its verification via the discovery of background radiation.

Jaggi Vasudev Casts Scientists as Being Ideological Rivals of His Cult

Paraphrasing Mr. Vasudev, ‘they’, the scientists “first discovered the atom, then groped around, and discovered that there are things still smaller, etc.” That is again, a disingenuous claim as indicated by the derisive tone that Mr. Vasudev adopts. He seems to suggest that ‘they’, the scientists, don’t know what’s going, that ‘they’re just groping in the dark and with each discovery, face the crushing realization that they were wrong all along. In reality, that is a pretty inaccurate reading of the life of scientists. The gaps in understanding are rarely a cause of despondency for the scientist. Rather, for the scientists of Mr. Vasudev’s false dichotomy each ‘known unknown’ is a remarkable opportunity to seek answers, to sate curiosity. Thus, one of the goals of physicists since the mid-19th century has been to understand the composition of the atom to as fine a detail as possible. Each discovery related to particle physics enables us to get a more detailed and accurate picture of the world around us.

Mr. Vasudev says that ‘yogic systems always claimed’ that knowing the microcosm is knowing the macrocosm, and tries to portray these claims as being consistent with modern physics. The words ‘microcosm’ and ‘macrocosm’ are philosophical or literary terms that don’t have rigorous scientific definitions. This makes redundant and harmful, any attempt to link such an interpretation of what is vaguely mentioned in the vedic scriptures to science. Even if we assume that ‘microcosm’ and ‘macrocosm’ relate to the different scales over which phenomena occur, it is grossly wrong to claim that somehow, physical laws are invariant over scale. The most obvious counterexample to such a ‘microcosm-macrocosm’ equivalence is quantum phenomena which are drastically different from classical phenomena.

The second sermon which is a lengthy tiresome elaboration on Mr. Vasudev’s brand of woo is here:

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In this sermon, Jaggi Vasudev ups the ante in his imagined clash with scientists, perhaps emboldened by his appearance on national TV. He proposes that there is a grand unified community of scientists who are ‘becoming good marketers’. Haven’t we seen enough of such accusations of conspiracy elsewhere in the community of religious apologists? Every woo-peddler from the homeopath to the climate-denialist has adopted this line of attack. Skepticism and falsifiability are crucial to the method of science. Anyone who has experienced rigorous peer review knows how far from reality Mr. Vasudev’s unified-agenda-driven-community-conspiracy-theory is.

Delusions About Finding Physics in the Vedas and Meditation

He proceeds to mock how scientists expend effort and money into finding answers that are either, 1) ‘realizable’ via meditation, 2) given in the vedas. While some secular intellectual achievements of ancient Indians are impressive, these claims by Jaggi Vasudev are dishonest falsities. Mr. Vasudev is misleading his followers and the general public by claiming that the nature and composition of the universe can be discerned by contemplative meditation or by turning to the vedas. Such a claim would be laughable had it not been such a common belief among woo-peddlers and their customers. Mr. Vasudev takes the standard approach of suggesting that references to infinity, ‘Brahman’, etc. are actually scientific comments about the nature of the universe. This is totally false.

Modern physics rests heavily on observations and experiments that confirm hypotheses about the physical laws governing the universe. There is not a shred of evidence in the entire corpus of Hindu scriptures or archeological findings to suggest that ancient Hindus had any experimental or observational basis to support their contemplative musings. It is impossible for the authors of the vedas or anyone prior to at least the 19th century CE to have had any access to the knowledge and technology that has been indispensable in the development of physics. The path from physics as it stood prior to the 17th century to its current state can only pass through all the important technological advances since. When the famous biologist JBS Haldane was asked about the falsifiability of evolution, he replied that that the absurd and impossible discovery of rabbit fossils from the precambrian era would destroy his belief in evolution (600 million years ago- when there was barely any life on earth, while real rabbits have only existed since a few million years). Like Haldane’s proverbial precambrian rabbit, the impossibly likely event of finding fragments of large telescopes among archeological artefacts of ancient India would be sufficient evidence to convince the world of ancient India’s precocity in matters related to modern physics.

Meditation and yoga are functions limited to the human brain and the body. There is no way of learning anything about the physical nature of the universe from the kind of contemplation marketed by Mr. Vasudev. The only approach to understanding nature is to competently apply the process of rigorous theorization, observation, and experimentation that is characteristic of the scientific method. Further, competent application of the scientific method also involves a thorough understanding of the state of the art. Competence at being able to apply the method of science cannot be achieved without spending thousands of hours acquainting oneself with the scientific literature in one’s field. ‘Self-realization’ and other such approaches related to the act of contemplation are loosely defined religious concepts that entail none of this rigor and training. Thus there is no way to truly understand the laws of physics via meditation and contemplation as Mr. Vasudev seems to suggest. Meditation and yoga only result in personal experiences which, by their very confinement to an individual’s experience, are neither generalizable nor reproducible.

Mr. Vasudev Draws False Equivalences Between Vague Vedic Concepts and Modern Science

Jaggi Vasudev refers to the vedic classification of ‘existence’ into ‘sthUla’, ‘sUkshma’, ‘viJNAna’, and ‘shUnya’. Mr. Vasudev defines these terms in vaguely mystical terms, apparently consistent with the Hindu scriptures. The inexact nature of such classifications precludes the possibility of relating them to modern science. It is thus wrong of Mr. Vasudev to draw an equivalence between these supposedly Vedic concepts and modern science.

On Jaggi Vasudev’s Deceptive Appeal to Authority

Jaggi Vasudev then makes an appeal to authority. He claims to have spoken to a ‘great scientist’ about matters related to his own worldview. Mr. Vasudev uses the age old argument that ‘Indian culture is dialectical, narrative, etc.’ and wrongly attributes the superiority of modern science in describing the behavior of nature to an apparent difference between the ‘Eastern way of thinking’ and ‘Western way of thinking’. Mr. Vasudev makes what is arguably a sales pitch for his philosophy, when he asks listeners to follow his approach to ‘realize the self’ to ‘realize the universe’. This again is dishonest as he obfuscates by not naming the ‘great scientist’ who supposedly agrees with his philosophy. I call out Mr. Vasudev to name this scientist and narrate the supposed anecdote in more detail so that it can be subject to critical examination.

Vedic Speculations Are Irrelevant to Understanding the Universe

Mr. Vasudev claims that modern science conforms with the views of the vedas that the universe is ever expanding or endless. The history of human thought is full of conjectures about the nature and extent of the universe. Vedic views are yet another set of such abstract conjectures with no scientific foundations. The only reliably correct model of the universe is the one derived from the laws of physics as affirmed by rigorous observations and experiments. These are no mere conjectures, but hypotheses backed by solid, rigorous, and reproducible empirical evidence. Jaggi Vasudev disingenuously casts the results of modern science as being equivalent to the contemplative speculation of the Hindu scriptures. This is an obviously false equivalence. As stated earlier, there is no evidence that the authors of Hindu scriptures had any access to the technology that enabled say, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley, JJ Thomson, Edwin Hubble, and every important physicist in the last two hundred years, to arrive at accurate and reproducible conclusions about the composition and extent of the universe.

In order to understand the absurdity of Mr. Vasudev’s (and other Hindu apologists) claims that obscure references to the infinitude of the universe in the vedas are legitimate scientific statements, let’s indulge in a short thought experiment. Imagine, 2000 years from now, someone comes across the work of Isaac Asimov. Let us suppose that some speculation of Asimov’s, say, the existence of portable sources of nuclear power as used by humans in the fictional universe of Asimov’s Foundation series is a reality in the year 4000 CE. As contemporaries of Asimov, we know that it would be ridiculous for humans of 4000 CE to claim based on readings of Foundation that Asimov actually invented such devices. Science fiction of the recent past is replete with such uncanny predictions. HG Wells considered the possibility of a network such as the world wide web in a 1937 essay. The TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation from the late 1980s and early 1990s features personal computers that resemble the iPad. Yet, while we would readily agree that Asimov, Wells, and the writers of Star Trek were no more than just visionaries and speculators, most Hindu apologists are loathe to admit the same about ancient Hindus. In reality, any Vedic reference to an endless or ever expanding universe is no more than a speculative byline, with absolutely no relation to modern science. I should add that I am also assuming Mr. Vasudev is not lying in claiming that there are references to an infinite universe in the vedas. Once again, by peppering his spiritual sermon with misrepresented science, I am of the opinion that Mr. Vasudev intends to make his woo more credible and appealing to the middle class.

Lies About ‘science being nothing without its ability to create useful technology’

The most malicious claim in the sermon is reserved for the end. Mr. Vasudev claims that ‘scientists are nothing without technology [sic]’ and worse, that ‘science would be dead if it did not produce useful technology to the world to justify the enormous money spent on scientific research’. This is so egregiously wrong! The most significant scientific (and mathematical) breakthroughs came about without any apparent utility. Starting with Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, through James Clerk Maxwell, Albert Einstein, all the way to the work related to the Higgs boson, few, if any of the fundamental breakthroughs in physics were ever motivated by the need to create useful technology. Mr. Vasudev’s smug condescension about the inferiority of ‘science before it is/was useful’ is thus based on a wrong understanding of the history of science.

Conclusions

Jaggi Vasudev, like his fellow hustlers, Ravi Shankar, Zakir Naik, Deepak Chopra, the Catholic church, and others, is ignorant about science, and yet he dishonestly argues against science. As is de rigueur among the community of ‘spiritual’ ‘gurus’, ‘sadhgurus’, ‘jagadgurus’, and their apologists, Mr. Vasudev’s claims are intellectually dishonest, factually incorrect, and riddled with logical holes. In this article, I have elaborated on these mistakes in light of the true nature and history of scientific progress. Employing subtle malice and derision, Mr. Vasudev casts the entire community of scientists as his ideological rivals. By including allusions to science and the scientific method, Mr. Vasudev seeks to appeal to the educated listener. However, the general philosophy of science, the history and nature of scientific progress, and several key concepts in physics are grossly misunderstood and misrepresented by Mr. Vasudev. Further, contrary to Mr. Vasudev’s claims, one cannot discover the nature and composition of the universe from the practice of yoga and meditation. Supposed Vedic allusions to the nature of the universe are mere scriptural and philosophical comments and have no relation to the modern descriptive model of the universe, most of which is known to be correct and accurate beyond reasonable doubt. The unknowns concerning our universe cannot be discovered by meditative contemplation and the method of science is the only way forward.

Postscript

No, Mr. Vasudev, Solar Flares Do NOT Affect Human ‘Consciousness’

On July 21, 2012, Mr. Vasudev posted yet another pseudoscientific message on Youtube. This one pertains to how ‘human consciousness’ is affected by solar flares. Again, Mr. Vasudev is trying to capitalize on recent news from the world of science. The claims again, are utterly untrue.

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There is no way solar flares can affect the human brain the way Jaggi Vasudev wants us to believe. He also alludes to the moon affecting the human brain. There is only one way in which the moon can affect humans, that is with its gravitational pull. This is the only way you can ‘feel the energy’ of the moon. A simple back of the envelope calculation gives us, for a 65 kg human,

F = GMm/(R^2) = (6.673*10^(-11)*7.36*10^22*65)/(3.84*10^8)^2 = (6.673*10^(-11)*(7.36/1500)*65)/(0.0001)^2 (units: mass in kg, distance in m)

This equation basically tells you that the effect of the moon is approximately the same as the effect of an object that is about 8 grams situated at a distance of 0.1 mm. That is the entire gravitational effect of the moon on the entire human body is as negligible as that of fruit fly near your skin. Jaggi Vasudev, being savvy, perhaps knows that whipping up hysteria based on the ill effects of the moon may be futile given how outrageous the claim is. Thus, he resorts to scare-mongering using the more complicated phenomena of solar flares.

Solar flares are essentially electrical storms and their interaction with terrestrial objects (via changes to the earth’s magnetic field) is mainly electromagnetic in nature, governed by the laws of electromagnetic induction (Maxwell’s equations, etc.). If one were to compute their effect on the human body, it would still be negligible, since the entire human body is not large enough for large currents to be induced. More details can be found here: http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sw.html

Then, Mr. Vasudev appeals to empirical evidence about how people suffering from psychiatric conditions report exacerbation during lunar phenomena. This is again absurdly nonsensical. Skeptic Dictionary (skepdic.com) has a summary of studies which disprove this. To quote from The Skeptics Dictionary:

the moon, madness and suicide

Probably the most widely believed myth about the full moon is that it is associated with madness. However, in examining over 100 studies, Kelly et al. found that “phases of the moon accounted for no more than 3/100 of 1 percent of the variability in activities usually termed lunacy” (1996: 18). According to James Rotton, “such a small percentage is too close to zero to be of any theoretical, practical, or statistical interest or significance” (Rotton 1997).

Finally, the notion that there is a lunar influence on suicide is also unsubstantiated. Martin et al. (1992) reviewed numerous studies done over nearly three decades and found no significant association between phases of the moon and suicide deaths, attempted suicides, or suicide threats. In 1997, Gutiérrez-García and Tusell studied 897 suicide deaths in Madrid and found “no significant relationship between the synodic cycle and the suicide rate” (p. 248). These studies, like others which have failed to find anything interesting happening during the full moon, have gone largely unreported in the press.

 

postscript: There are likely to be many studies in the future that find a positive correlation between some lunar phase and some human behavior (or process affected by human behavior, such as the stock market). Remember to consider a few caveats: correlation doesn’t establish causation; studies that are well designed still need to be replicated before they are accepted as not being flukes; some studies with positive results will suffer from design flaws or methodological errors. For example, in 2005 Yuan, Zheng, and Zhu found “that stock returns are lower on the days around a full moon than on the days around a new moon. The magnitude of the return difference is 3% to 5% per annum based on analyses of two global portfolios: one equal-weighted and the other value-weighted.” Whether this is a lunar effect remains to be seen. The study needs to be replicated with a significant number of data points.

Mr. Vasudev ends the video with a call for people who wish to be saved from these effects (‘in the coming six years’ in his words) to join him in his plan. This again sounds eerily like the manifesto of a salvation cult such as Heaven’s Gate whose members committed suicide in the absurd belief that the appearance of the comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 was going to affect their lives in some way.

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The author would like to thank Arvind Iyer for his comments on the draft versions of this article.

Post-post-script: I’d like to add Arvind Iyer’s comment below. He points out that such views about mental illnesses as espoused by Jaggi Vasudev’s are harmful and disrespectful to people who actually suffer from psychiatric conditions. Quoting Arvind Iyer,

“The pseudo-psychiatric scare-mongering mentioned in the post-script is especially worrisome. One shudders to imagine the plight of folks from ‘at risk’ populations buying into the psychosis promoted by the likes of Jaggi Vasudev, instead of availing of genuine and potentially life-saving help from relatively unsung organizations like Metanoia (It will be worthwhile to compile a link of India-based resources). Psychotherapeutic quackery, which is as old as witch-doctoring, is as dangerous as other more common forms of medical quackery if not more.”

About the author

tArkika

In my day job, I do science, mathematics, and engineering. I am interested in the philosophy of science, history of science, history of human thought in general, and the history of Indian thought in particular. I cannot tolerate pseudoscience. I strongly advocate that gatherings and celebrations ought to take place in science labs, math circles, philosophy clubs, and museums, rather than under religious or spiritual pretexts.

My name, tArkika means 'skeptic' in saMskritaM. It is derived from root word tarka which roughly refers to logic, reasoning, dialectics, or inquiry.

263 Comments

  • And the skepticism around scientists, like the comment of Jaggi Vasudev that this article attributes to, rises when they, sometimes,do the job of predicting the future and their claims falls flat.

    Take the instance of dark matter, the hypothesized place holder, that gives limbs to the big bang theory. In the ’80s Vera Rubin said that dark matter will be found in a decade.In the ’90s Martin Rees stated that the dark matter will be found by 2000. In 2000 the same astronomer claimed that the dark matter will be found out by 2004. And recently John Ellis from CERN said that they will be finding it out in a decade. And now Carlos Frenk, a leading UK astronomer is saying that the dark matter theory, may be wrong, as known today.

    While someone can mount a defence that these were predictions based on technology available at the respective time periods, to the common man, it appears skeptical, given the dark matter theory itself is a hypothesis without which the big bang theory cannot stand.

    My source http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14948730

    • I mentioned in my article that this really isn’t a source of despondency for scientists. It instead is a great opportunity.

      You talk of predictions, taking their claims seriously is all about respecting their authority on the matter. While authority (of, for e.g. Martin Rees) may give some weight to their opinions, scientific results don’t stem out of authority, but only rigorous peer review.

      It is not correct to interpret failed predictions as failures of the method of science. Rather, it represents the success of this method that failed theories, no matter how high up the pecking order it comes from, will all eventually be weeded out. There may not always be accurate estimates of how long it will take for hypotheses to be proven to be correct or wrong. But there is no doubt that eventually the *only* approach that guarantees that this decision will be arrived at reliably is the method of science. Further, the kind of wishful prediction that Martin Rees, etc. made in itself is not an application of the method of science, so such wrong predictions do not imply in anyway, the failure of the method of science!

      • I do agree with you. And you were correct about Martin Rees’ wishful thinking. I have another question. I believe that particle physics,as an area of science is more pronounced in Europe than in the States. I seriously doubt if the States builds any of those particle accelerators at all. Do you see it the same way? If so, any idea why>

        • A part of the accelerator work was also done in the USA, specifically in the now defunct Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago, IL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tevatron

          There was a proposal back in the ’80s and ’90s before LHC to build the world’s largest particle accelerator in Texas in the US. This was cancelled by the US Congress after budget overruns, questions about its utility, etc.

          In any case, one of the earliest modern accelerators was built in the US- at Brookhaven near Long Island, NY, then at Berkeley (present-day Lawrence Livermore lab I think), Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), etc. etc.

          The reason why USA is not at the forefront of particle physics today probably has a lot to do with the diversity of political opinions in this country, and the difficulty in getting big projects funded by Congress, as opposed to undertaking similar governmental projects in a small and rich entity such as Switzerland (where LHC, CERN, etc. are).

      • It is hard to analyze the concept of enlightenment or god or similar phenomena. Thousands of years of search for a logical explanation of god has failed. If there is something that has no equal, then it is impossible for our logic mind to come to conclusions of that being – this is because logic works on the if-then model. The moment we say if then it has to be compared with something else. In case of god – there is no comparison. We can also logically assumed (if not safely) that anything that cannot be compared does not exist. Jaggu is sharing his thoughts. It is left to us to decide if it an entertainment like a movie or just hear them and swipe under the carpet. We do not have any right to criticize him. The fundamentals of since are still unclear. The uncertainty principles are not that easy to visualize for our mind.

      • I have two readings and find it hard to get the crux of your arguments in rebutting Sri Vasudev’s take on science and the universe. Secondly your effort in collating scientific understanding is deeply hidden somewhere in negatively projecting Jaggi’s sermons, blogs and video chats. Thirdly, one or more of Jaggis can not snatch the opportunity that is awaiting the scientific community in its exploration journey. Fourthly, you could have sent your rebuttal to Mr Vasudev seeking his clarification. Neutral readers like me will be more enlightened about who is saying what and why. Thank you.

  • The pseudo-psychiatric scare-mongering mentioned in the post-script is especially worrisome. One shudders to imagine the plight of folks from ‘at risk’ populations buying into the psychosis promoted by the likes of Jaggi Vasudev, instead of availing of genuine and potentially life-saving help from relatively unsung organizations like Metanoia (It will be worthwhile to compile a link of India-based resources). Psychotherapeutic quackery, which is as old as witch-doctoring, is as dangerous as other more common forms of medical quackery if not more.

  • Good article. Religious mystics often use scientific jargon to lend credibility to their teachings. The average person isn’t familiar enough with critical thinking and scientific concepts to know when they’re being fooled. Well done for having the patience to go through and deconstruct his claims.

  • All Hindu-Gurus are Asadgurus–not Sadgurus.Only Jiddu Krishna Murthy pointed out to American Audiance that there is vaccum in their brains and Hindu ‘gurus’ fill that with their Rubbish This holds true in the case of Hindu Middle class. IF only Media and socalled Hindu Intellectuals speak out like Justice Markandeya Katju there can be some impact on the stupid middle class mindset. these Gurus are used as FRONTS by Hidutwa forces.

    • Sir,
      Why you and the author blame only middle class? Why don’t you just assume they (either middle class or anyone) have their solace or something like that while spending their time with someone like Vasudev? Or you think everyone should spend one’s time only the way you spend? Is it, you like an object and every one should like the same object or you term them middle class? What is the reason you don’t blame low class or high class? Hope you have targeted only Indian middle class. Note: I am a low class man. Hope some one do not blame me being low class.

  • thanks for the author for analyzing this issue in a rational way.i have been closely watching the devotees of jaggi vasudev(i cant call him mr. because he didn’t deserve this )how this people call western way of thinking and eastern way of thinking.science don’t have boundaries unlike religion.i was bit shocked about his energy definitions needs some psychiatric treatment.hindu religion(of course all religions)is a big myth it will say everything discovered by the ancient Indians only .but why they dont published before scientific results.actually these kind of people dividing humans as you western ,eastern,casteism,religion.

  • “Mr. Vasudev’s description of the science is inaccurate, vague, and incomplete.”- He does not intend to provide a scientific treatise, nor claims to be a scientist specialized in any field of scientific enquiry.Why the fuss??

    “There is only one way in which the moon can affect humans, that is with its gravitational pull”- Gravity is true for anything with mass.Are humans merely mass? We can clearly see a “person” who goes into scientific enquiry or writes about the same. Who is that person?Mass, energy, something in between??

    “Vedic Speculations Are Irrelevant to Understanding the Universe”. The very writer is part of the universe. Is he understood fully? Even “understanding” is a function of the living organism. What is it? Nueroelectrical impulse in parallel with storage in memory, something more, or something less? If it’s purely a function of physics, why bother whether you understand X or Y or nothing? Where is this concern for understanding coming from?

    “If one were to compute their effect on the human body, it would still be negligible, since the entire human body is not large enough for large currents to be induced.”- Assumption is that bodily effect is the total effect on a human being. Surely, electromagnetic efferct would be low, even by common logic.But did JV say “effects on body??”.Anger,digust,jealousy,disbelief,cynicism..these are all very very real effects in human life, though may not have much measurable electromagnetic output. Even if we scan the brain and find area of heightend activity, it’s still RELATIVE to usual activity, not having any major physical consequences in the universe.But can we deny their existence or effect?

    Neither is the writer a JV follower nor is argument his intention.Please be sceptical full-heartedly, even sceptical of your own positions 🙂

    • “Why the fuss?” For the same reason you chose to comment. You have a vested interest in defending the likes of JV. We have a vested interest in promoting science which also involves pointing out misuse of scientific terminology and concepts.

    • I think you misunderstood the point of skepticism. Being a skeptic does not mean that you should just be skeptical of everything and never be sure of anything. As a skeptic you are supposed to call BS where ever you find it. As a skeptic with a working knowledge of science people here are sure that JV knows nothing about science but he shamelessly uses scientific terms to fool his followers and low information on-lookers like you. Little bit of public shaming is the need of the hour for people like JV and you.

      • I have only one vested interest. And that’s neither JV nor science nor anything else. It’s getting things straight.

        The straight thing is that a person being very much part of nature is an immutable fact even if he is the very one analyzing nature and its laws.

        Science explores nature.Spirituality explores the very being exploring or even not exploring nature.

        I am a fan of the scientific method when I want to understand “something”. But to know myself, my origin, direction, thoughts, feelings,experience, I have to resort to direct observation.

        Reality comprises all.So “us” vs “them” is always going to limit our enquiry. It needs to be holistic.

        • I am with you Mr. Mandrake. One should call bullshit bullshit even when it’s our own.

          Science follows a method of observation,experimentation and establishment of a theory.If tomorrow I want to establish some new law of physics, I’m sure I’d need to form a hypothesis and its test scenarios, conduct experiments and record findings and establish a working paper which can then be shot down/accepted.Please call me the biggest bullshitter when I propound a whacky theory that way.

          I am not doing that. Even JV is not doing that. I claim zero scientific knowledge. But this not about scientific knowledge but about scientifc temperament isn’t it? If not,why not make this a resricted website meant only for discussion on specific research topics by specialized practicioners?

          So, scientific temperament is about enquiry and not reaching conclusions without proper research. In case of spirituality, that research takes different means than science coz the very thing being observed is of different nature.

          That doesn’t make mystics wrong.Surely, as far as objective understanding goes, scientific enquiry is needed.

          That was the crux.Sometimes, we need to just get the crux.

        • Science explores everything including our feelings and experience. But accepting that would mean accepting that it is nonsensical to say that ‘human consciousness’ is affected by solar flares. So you have to dance around with deepities and never actually address what the article really says. As evidence, I point to your first comment where you conveniently quote mined to form your own conclusions (Hint: Please point out where in the article was it denied that “Anger,digust,jealousy,disbelief,cynicism” effect the human life).

          • Only a FOOL would consider JV as any authority on physics.Have I addressed the crux of the article now? But you can’t take away the fact that he IS an authority in yoga. My point is that sweeping generalizations are being made about Yoga, Vedas etc like the ones below, which undermine the millenia spent on its practice.I’m ready to personally tell JV to his face to stop lecturing on physics. But what about statements like these:
            “Mr. Vasudev is misleading his followers and the general public by claiming that the nature and composition of the universe can be discerned by contemplative meditation or by turning to the vedas. Such a claim would be laughable had it not been such a common belief among woo-peddlers and their customers.” -Laughable for what? So does the article mean that the scientific approach is to not investigate but to laugh beacause something seemingly lacks rigor?Believe me, true yoga is damn rigorous, but in its own way. It’s a 24/7, day,night practice.His followers are anyways going to him to learn Yoga, not science. He has a whole body of lifetime work in that dimension.I don’t see him misleading anyone in that area .His takes on science I’m not taking seriously and hope none is. That end it there. But to take that premise to attack Yoga as a whole is nonsense. That’s the only thing I address.

            “Mr. Vasudev takes the standard approach of suggesting that references to infinity, ‘Brahman’, etc. are actually scientific comments about the nature of the universe. This is totally false.”- This is the sheer dogmatic stance that made me respond on this website in the first place. How do you know it’s totally false? Has the scientific community found FINAL answers to the existence of the universe?

            Probably JV is giving a little prep talk to his followers so that they enter meditation with lesser mental burden for all you know.But he has a very clear point that spiritual ‘awakening’ is a very concrete state reachable via a very specific way, and you’re free to try and find out for yourself.Please tell me with CERTAINITY that the universe can be fully understood that way in an objective way and I’m ready to research for life.

            “Mr. Vasudev’s description of the science is inaccurate, vague, and incomplete. Compare his loose remark with the impressive and scientifically accurate explanation by Brian Cox (via Phil Plait) of this very fact and its implications in simple, yet accurate language.”- Again the same thing, he’s not claiming to propound a perfect scientific treatise, but a perfect ‘inner’ treatise. You want me to define this ‘inner’ for you? If you take my word for it, it’s all there is to know. If you don’t take my word for it, please find out yourself. If you think you don’t need any of this ‘inner’ crap, are ‘educated’ and ‘knowledgable’ enough to know everything for certain, good luck.

            I mentioned human emotions because rationlism is NOT the means to master them. And it satisfies you, I also say that rationalism is the ONLY means to understand any external entity.The arguments in this article limited “effects on humans” to electromagnetic forces. I only added that there are many more things to consider when we put forth “effects on humans”.

            “Middle class, not educated enough..”-Doesn’t this carry the same overtones as the very Church dogmas against which “free thinking” emerged in the first place?Or the Hindu caste system very much blasted here that disallowed a class of people on having a say in matters of knowledge owing to them not having read scriptures? And many scientists and inventors started with little formal education. Are you saying that intelligence can be equated only with rigorous study of physical sciences? How about rigorous study of history or psychology for one?

            “Self styled guru”- Yeah that’s true.Spirituality is only knowing this “self”. Being self styled is an inevitability here because all understanding is very direct in nature. Please burn the vedas if you want, coz no written literature can be of any help in knowing yourself.Yoga can give no universal theory. It can surely give universal understanding. This I speak from my own insights with least regard to any sources.

            I’ve said my piece and have nothing more to add. If you found even a ray of truth in what I said, please investigate into that. Even otherwise, it doesn’t it doesn’t affect me the least.

          • If you want certainty you won’t find it in science. Instead of writing long comments, it would be nice if you understand the basics of philosophy of science, importantly the probabilistic nature of knowledge. This is a good resource.

  • Mr Jagadish Vasudev does not know what he is speaking and is only interested in one fact! How to get maximum no of people into his cult and rip their pockets by selling them pseudo hotch-potch spirituality at inflated prices.

    His Only concern is money! Money! Money! Nothing but money!

    He had claimed some years [early 2000] back that he solidified mercury at room temperature when he erected the Dhyanalinga[Hindu phallic form depicting Hindu Lord Shiva] at his Ashram.

    He claimed that the energy form of his Dhyanalinga cannot be destroyed even if the entire planet is destroyed. Still he cannot cut open his Dhyanalinga and show an international confederation of chemists and physicists where and how mercury can be solidified at room temperature. Till date people are seeking proof of the same when he has given none!

    check this http://zaysen.blogspot.in/2011/04/sadhguru-jaggi-vasudev-his.html

    • Sir,

      It is true that mercury can be solidified at room temperature. Also true is that metals which are poisonous to human beings can be made to loose their poisonous charactor. water can remain as liquid even at -37 deg C under specific conditions.

      Check out your assumptions.

  • @colonel Zaysen, You need to go to vellingiri where a linga is immersed in water which is made of solidified mercury in room temperature. You can see it and touch it for yourself. Good luck.
    Regards
    Shan

    • Shan,

      solidified mercury in room temperature

      Solid mercury at room temperature?? Now that has to be a lie for the melting point of mercury is -38.83 °C. But then why do I expect Jaggi Vasudev apologists to be truthful.

      • @Captain Mandrake,

        What I meant was that a Linga is immersed in the water for all to see and if you are interested in testing whether it is made of mercury, you can always go there and test it for yourself. That linga was made from people’s donations and is not a property of anyone and hence you have every right to go and test it.

        Without testing it, you cannot call it a lie that the linga was not made of mercury since Science believes in testing any hypothesis.

        I expect any serious scientist will test whether the linga is indeed made of mercury, even though the said scientist knows pretty well that under normal temperature and pressure, mercury is a liquid. That does not mean, according to science, that the normal behaviour of mercury cannot be turned into something completely different.If anybody can do it, he/she will be qualified for a Nobel Prize.

        And, I am not a Jaggi Vasudev apologist and it was my mistake that I mistook that people in this forum will use gentlemanly words instead calling others liars.

        For your information, which I think is immaterial, but anyways, I have 14 patents to my name and I am a M.E graduate from a reputed institute and am continuously doing real research rather than talking or arguing in websites.

        Regards
        Shan
        PS: This is my last post to this forum. I may return if any form normal web etiquette is followed.

        • http://www.nist.gov/data/PDFfiles/jpcrd55.pdf

          You can find the phase diagram of mercury on page 808 of link above. Under room temperature and atmospheric pressure mercury is a liquid. Does not matter how the linga was made, if it is at room temperature and pressure of 1 atm then it has to be in liquid state. All your patents and degrees or Jaggi Vasudev’s BS can not change that simple fact.

          Liars like you have to be publicly shamed for the misinformation you spread.

  • I am happy to see that this article has created so many Sadhguru’s & Self realizations which was possible only by Sadhguru JV statements.

    What I could see is two possibilities, one who believed those statements and one who does not which opens two possibilities, One does not have any story to tell, and one has excellent arguments to prove that he is above everybody.

    However, those who know Sadhguru JV, will agree that he has never asked anyone to believe his experiences, but walk the path of self realization.

    • Why do you want to be neutral. Read up about Michael Faraday and James Clerk Mexwell’s contributions to physics. You will be shocked to learn that modern electronics, internet, youtube etc etc., is built on their fundamental ideas of electricity and physics. But they did not have a clue as to what their discoveries will be applied to in two hundred years! Nor were they bothered about it! In fact when the queen asked Farady about the usefulness of his invention (electricity) he is reported to have retorted if the queen could foretell the future of her baby. That Physics and Maths are also a form of meditation can be appreciated only by those who practice it! you have to be obsessed with it ‘inside’ and ‘outside.’

  • Badrinath,

    * However, those who know Sadhguru JV, will agree that he has never asked anyone to believe his experiences, but walk the path of self realization.*

    What the f%*& does that mean and how the hell is that relevant when his ignorance of physics is bring exposed in this article?

    • Badrinath: I wouldn’t try to learn physics from Jaggi Vasudev. But I might find him useful on the path to self-realisation. I think these are different aspects of reality. Science tells me about the external universe whereas religion tries to help me learn about myself, beyond what science says about the body, brain, etc. Swami Chinmayananda used to say that what he was teaching was a scientific experiment but it would take a long time to see the results. I will not reject this without proof.

  • It seems to me that your reasoning has some flaws…

    When he says “science would be dead if it did not produce useful technology to the world to justify the enormous money spent on scientific research” he is saying that science would not SURVIVE if didn’t produce useful things, people would not keep studying it, only a few people would be interested in doing it. If it produced nothing, it would have the same status that philosophy has today.

    He is not saying that science was created to produce technology.

    • You are right in a way. Spirituality also would be dead if it did not provide the weak with emotional crutches (useful technology, inner engineering!). Indeed science is philosophy and there are very few scientists…most practicing scientists do ‘translational’ research to develop technology. Imagining time and space as being relative to each other and imagining physical world in n-dimensions is possible only for YOGIS like Albert Einstein. Lesser mortals can only hope to follow their path and ‘experience’ the beauty of physical reality. How difficult it is to imagine a black hole swallowing up light! Only a TRUE YOGI can see it through meditation!

  • Dear All

    i also agree with science one thing i need answer from you people if science invent or discovered something will it change or not. even physical thing cannot be true as it is today.

    one more thing can we see current. we cant, just we can measure or we can say it is there, by switching on a light or fan. if the opposite will not believe it and say it is light not current in wire. it is fan not current in wire then it is his or her mistake. finally we has to make him or her to touch the wire and feel it.

    same way by Dhayanam or Bhakti only one can experience it.

    one more example of science and god. whether you believe god or not you will survive. whether you know what is current or not if you switch on the bulb it will burn. it cant come and say to you. you do not know what is current so i will not burn.

    here i would like to say not to make the believer not to believe and those who not believe do not make them to believe.

    let every one goes on there own and live as a being human.

  • Being an Science student I too question all certain superstitious are mixed up with our culture. So that doesnt mean all our ancestors understanding are stories…Before questioning theoritically ever one have you practiced the meditation.The people who have practiced with so rigoursly could understand the reality as they reach reality….

    He is no where blaming any scientist and science theories …He says to realize certain things a huge amount are spend but didnt say they are wrong.

    Theoritically questioning is not right come and practice and understand it.

  • If you consider modern psychology as a method built on scientific bases, and then look closer on its conclusions and ,,message,, that it carries for men as living individual, you will see, that it greatly corresponds with Sadhgurus teachings. His activity is focused on ones self development and well being, as well as existentional movement in psychology. He is a great skeptic, claiming not to believe blindly, but question. If he is talking about science and Vedas, it seems to be little bit off way, but it is not his main topic. His benefit for us is on spiritual level. He is limited as everybody else.
    p.s. He is for scientific approach, technology and development. This article is out of context. thumbs down

    • If he is talking about science and Vedas, it seems to be little bit off way, but it is not his main topic.

      The topic of this article is JV’s understanding of science. Not his “main topic”. Looks like you are simply trying to wave away all criticism.

    • Hi,
      What scientific approach did he adopt when he discussed effects of the solar flares or the moon on human ‘Consciousness’? Did he cite any studies conducted to find such relationships? Or are we to take only his words?

      • Dear Mr. Sriram,

        There is specific instances where in it has been observed that solar flares have effect on mind though the effect on individual mind could be very minimal. studies have been conducted in the western scientific community. I read these in a web site but unfortunately I could not immediately retrieve the address.

        How ever In a similar occurrence, You being an Indian must have been well aware that the phases of moon have effect on human mind and the effect is more pronounced on people having unstable mind.

  • I agree with the author. The only saying of Sadhguru that one can agree with is that “Bull shit can get you to the top”.

  • Dear scientists, Sadhguru is not against for science or scientists or anything, pleas understand this. You unable to understand what he has said, that is the problem!

  • let us not be under the impression that the science rules this world. when science could mitigate the hunger,eliminate poverty,foster equality,bring peace to the planet,and lastly explain convincingly where have we come from and what is the purpose of our stay here on this planet and where do we go from here,yes we agree with your views.science has harmed life more than it helped.

    • @msr sharma,

      No one here has said that science “rules the world”. So I’m at a loss as to why you made that comment.

  • Dear sir,

    I believe that science is not the only way to understand the universe. Typical example is even before the invention of electron microscope the structure of sodium and gold have been realised through mind focus by Annie Besant and one another meditator and same was found to be exactly the same observed through the electron microscope many years later.

    You can google it for details.

    • Does Mendeleef’s prediction that scandium, gallium germanium would one day be found, make him a ‘clairvoyant’ who relied on something other than the scientific method?

      Speculating model structures is only part of the scientific method, of which the next integral part is subjecting the speculation to empirical testing. For instance, Linus Pauling had proposed a triple helix model which was shown to be incorrect by later crystallographic supporting evidence for a double helix model. Just sketching a structure from the imagination is not science,in the absence of good reasons for choosing one structure and not another, and pending experimental validation.

      To say that the speculations of Besant and Leadbeater were somehow unprecedented and ahead of the science of the day, is ludicrous given how postulation of atomic structures was mainstream science during their time. The Periodic Law was already decades old when Besant and Leadbeater made their ‘astonishing’ discoveries by ‘clairvoyance’. To claim this work as miraculous is about as tenable as the narrative of an illiterate prophet.

      Clairvoyance unfortunately doesn’t seem to submit itself to peer review or lead to any cumulative development of a discipline. For some reason, clairvoyants seem to have an appetite for disconnected tidbits of information that is already becoming common knowledge, rather than for answers to either pressing questions or big questions. For instance, why didn’t Besant and Leadbeater use their impressive clairvoyance to see plasmodium in the anopheles mosquito’s belly? That could have helped avoid so many preventable malaria deaths before the painstaking non-miraculous discoveries of their contemporary Ronald Ross!

      • annie besat and the other person did this not in scientific persuit. they did it because they were asked to do that to show there are alternate way of gaining knowledge.

        If you dont want to accept this , I am sorry to say that you dont have the open mind which is the pre requisiste for any person engaged in gaining scientic knowledge ought to have.

        Please be open minded and try it for yourself and then you declare it either way.

      • I can’t comment on clairvoyance but just because a phenomenon isn’t amenable to peer review doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur. For example, intuition; without it, progress in science or mathematics is impossible!

  • Hi ,
    Really appreciate time taken to put-forth your point of view. However, I failed to understand one important point from your article. What is Scientific and what is Non scientific. Some thing written by great Indian people (Vedas) are unscientific and what modern day people see with their eyes is scientific?
    Don’t you think our inability to understand and criticize makes one, unscientific. don’t you remember, any contradictions on Newtons and Einstein’s theory in news papers. which one should be believed. did you ever notice that one day, Carrot was told good for health and after a week the very same carrot is bad for health so this so called scientific community that your are talking.

    you must be a respected a person in your field but that doesn’t give credence to the utterance over Veda’s. When science doesn’t doesn’t believe in God, Why you call something as God Particle. That it self a big fallacy.

    • A statement becomes scientific if it is backed by evidence and logic. It doesn’t matter whether it occurs in the Vedas or not.

      Newton’s theory, while not strictly true, is good enough for almost all engineering applications, like designing a dam or a car or a bullet train. Better approximations to reality were discovered in the 1st quarter of the 20th century: relativity and quantum theory. The functioning of a tubelight can’t be described in Newton’s theory but needs the quantum concept.

      The Higgs boson is called the God particle by analogy with the concept of God. It doesn’t imply belief or non-belief. Science doesn’t believe that God exists or that God doesn’t exist.

  • “Meditation and yoga only result in personal experiences which, by their very confinement to an individual’s experience, are neither generalizable nor reproducible.”

    Hmmmm…the epistomological basis of science also presumes the inability to come to certainty about any of your observations. As Kant and many since have asked: how can you be sure about the reality of anything your senses bring to your perception because they are mediated by sense organs and transformed many times in the transit from what we know as “outer world” to our “inner world” of conception and understanding? Thus the theoretical basis of all science offers which you proudly point out are reproducible events–hence objective?

    Furthermore, isn’t it intellectual arrogance to limit possibly by what you have personally experienced? Consider this thought experiment for a moment: What if in everyone lies hidden faculties of perception that remain dormant until they are made to awaken through meditative exercise? What if the world that is opened to perception through the awakening of these faculties is, indeed, just as objective as the perception we share of the natural world? What if the same discipline developed in scientific examination of the natural world is applied in this new world of previously unseen reality? What if spiritual science were a reality and you, simply because you haven’t had the interest or shown the curiosity, make a choice to remain blind?

    Might it be possible to cut this sadhguru guy some slack while exercising some obviously untrained capacity to remain open and tolerant to other points of view?

    Just asking?

  • The vedas are not scientific documents any more than the bible or quran are peer reviewed scientific manuscripts. The illusion of great knowledge in the scared texts comes from selectively quoting extracts to suit scientific theories. Therefore only after a noteworthy find is announced do proponents of sacred texts claim it was always present in their books, i.e. they do not propose any new theories based on the study of these documents but only claim certain obscure text refers to an already announced axiom. Also the scientific method requires falscibility which none of these pseudoscientific theories have therefore no we cant cut proponents of pseudoscience any slack. Hail discordia.

  • What is scientific method, a method derived of human mind and that mind is infinite and so not all answers have been given by science. Metaphysics is beyond science. science by human mind but not complete and the answers may lie from sages and enlightened Masters and of course from religious books eg vedas. They are incomprehensible to ordinary human conscious mind. Science cannot explain WHAT is human being can only explain HOW it function not WHAT it function WHO is the source of this miracle called HUMAN. SCIENCE can only name and explain the NATURE not create one. Take heed from Metaphysics explanation and we can survive as human being and not with science for long.

    • Leaving aside the question of how much science can explain or not, I think it is pretty arrogant to assume that there is only one kind of metaphysics that has all the answers. There exist others and they do a much better job than Vedic metaphysics.

      • How much science can explain really matters because of the limitation of the human mind; thus science cannot explain creation and existence. There is only one metaphysics as far as existence of universe is concerned that is based on spirituality via religions and ancient religious texts and seers.The pertinent question for modern science is who creates life? Religious texts and seers have answers but atheists refuse to SEE!

  • The controversy between science and religion is ridiculous. Each has its different domain.Both of the area is trying to attain some fundamental truth. It must be absolutely clear that there is no end to this journey.

  • Now firstly the point you’re making is correct that when we have study about higg’s boson we have to study cosmic rays, what I don’t understand is that where does “Satguru” claim the superiority of meditation over science ? All he says is that approaching nature and simply looking at things and seeing it as how it will be useful for me what can I gain out of it is a mediocre way of looking at things. I personally do not see that this is the scientific method. Also before commenting on Hinduism better do your research, please find out what “Carl Sagan” has said about Hinduism and then post it. Your post has merely created a false dichotomy which does not exist in any of the talks. Also this is no different from the view of fanatics who only view things as either you’re with us or against us.

  • Stories of Yore and Yogis of modern age claim that they have and is possible to achieve the state of oneness with the universe or mukti or freedom or nivana etc.

    Yes, the count is very very less compared to billions of humanity. Your immediate question is how do you believe in those? Did you experienced? My answer is not yet, but I am experimenting on myself on a regular basis. There are people in flesh and blood beside me who are seeing the light in the fore head and hearing sounds with in. there are many who could levitate in air still alive. Do I have to wait until Government funds a project on this and the scientiests prove some thing? If you have cancer and you are going to die anyway do you dare risking some alternative medicine. People are in a dire need. No one has the time to wait until science proves GOD or NO GOD in the lab.

    But, If we are so lazy,skeptical and biased to put the effort and soleley rely on the reasoning of the mind and the entertaining ego then it is not correct. Please set up an unbiased dedicated team of people who will risk self experimentation on these yogic techniques. Why dedicated people? Becuase it is not an hours or days lab job to observe the findings.

    Then we have every right to be a critic. Tagging ourselves as Theist or Atheist will not help a bit and waste of time.

  • Strange! The so called Hi Tech Gurus using science as an every tool for their existence irrespective of their preachings. They need science the moment they wake up or open their eyes…they need electricity, they need mobile phone even latest iphone, desires all the scientific methods of travel or scientific utilities for their well being including lavish ashramas or mesmarising outlooks and even vigourous publicity of their own promotions in the shape of not less than a song of Bollywood movie in the websites or internet..In this scenario where is their stand on arguing science is worthless? Shame of their comments on science being using science in their breath of the day!!! One Guru frequently used to say there is no GOD and even a Buffalo thinks a big Buffalo is it’s GOD..then I put a question who is buffalo the Devotees? or the Guru?

    • Modern day science does not reveal anything other than theories which has some profit motives, second thing what you believe as science is not the only science, these guru’s offer spiritual science, which is different from material science but nevertheless it’s a science,just by researching some sick people you can’t conclude that whole humanity is sick,only if you have answers for each and every question that exist in the universe, then probably you have a right to criticise someone who is beyond your value,if not try to search for a true meaning.

      • Sreeg,

        You are badly in need of education about what Science is, what its aims and objectives are and its methods of exploring phenomenon and application of such findings in advancing the quality of our life.

        Not all uses of science are completely materialistic. With technology, we can make and enjoy music better and other hobbies are made more pleasurable by scientific advances in making and doing things better.

        If you cannot describe, explain or formulate cogently the meaning of the term ‘spiritual science’, it will be just a weasel word, that has been thrown around and abused by Hindu Swamis and Acharyas.

        Do you have the answers to all the questions of the life and Universe?! Which does not look like from the utter rubbish that you are talking. Then why are you criticizing skepticism?!.

        No wonder you ended your nonsense with another weasel term ‘search for true meaning’!Happy searching in the wilderness of ‘Sanatana spiritualism’!

  • People can claim everything by science.Maybe if one visits the school in ashram Coimbatore will know the impact of understanding how to use science in the right direction.using science for well being is more sensible than to prove existence..

  • what is scientist? is it his brain? tongue which blaws?is it flesh? every signal is sent to brain. is the brain which claims ME, I, MY ..what is the origin? mere consciousness. it can not be tested in laboratory. you have to simply surrender to god nature. your eyes and intellect is not the proper scale to measure. what is true to you is not true to other living species.

    • What complete nonsense are you rambling on about? Consciousness can indeed be studied in a laboratory. Why else would there be the entire field of neuroscience?

    • Actually, science is the best tool we have to understand consciousness. What other alternatives do you think exist? Certainly not the whishy-washy stuff that gurus like Jaggi Vasudev peddle.

      • Science is incomplete tool. If you reject other alternative tools without understanding or disproving them..then you are not scientific… Did you see Newton is scientific in perspective of recent World views..?

      • do not take any body as reference? how can salt know the origin of sea? either egg knows its future or the chick knows its origin. you need to self enquire?
        science is part of universal intelligence.

        • Yssubramanyam,

          **do not take any body as reference? how can salt know the origin of sea? either egg knows its future or the chick knows its origin. you need to self enquire?
          science is part of universal intelligence.**

          All this Is total gibberish. Let us get back to your first post.

          **science is not realistic tool to know what is consciousness.**

          As Satish pointed out science is the only tool we have to know/understand anything. You seem to suggest that there is some alternative tool out there.

          Please let us know what this alternative tool is and how can it be confirmed that what this supposed tool tell us about anything is realistic in any sense.

          I would also request Subhajit to answer the same question.

          It would also help if people like you and Subhajit make a effort to understand what “burden of evidence/proof” is and where it lies.

          • As we are constituted as human beings, there is only one way to knowledge–thru perception and thinking. Natural science as a methodology of inquiry presumes there are limits to our perception, namely, limits based on our having physical senses only that can be expanded by tools such as telescopes, microscopes and the like. There are those (some argue Jaggi Vasudev is one of these and I take no position one way or the other) who have opened inner organs of perception that lie dormant unless a human being develops them through meditative exercises. With sufficient goodwill, one can at least consider the possibility that the new perceptions available through previously dormant organs could be thoughtfully (and scientifically) developed into a knowledge of a world that was previously unattainable. However, “skeptics” will always have the right to deny the existence of this world just as blind people have every right to deny such a thing as light exists or the deaf that sound exists. Commonsense, and some good will can go a long way to at least having a rational conversation about something that might be possible even if one hasn’t attained clairvoyant capacities.

          • Vicnada,

            You too do not understand what “burden of proof/evidence” is or where it lies. Also you do not understand what a “special pleading fallacy” is. That is the problem when you confuse gulibilty with goodwill. In short you will be laughed out of any freethinkers forum.

          • Had I the wish to join you in your so-called “freethinkers forum”, I would heed your warning against the ridicule that apparently greets all who don’t “freely think” as you do. Those swaddled in the comfortable limits of materialistic science have reason to fear unbinding their imagination to include the unseen universe. Conflating “goodwill” with “gullibility” (yes, they share double ell’s) is a dodge. Why should tonal arrogance replace reason in said “freethinking forums”?

          • **Why should tonal arrogance replace reason in said “freethinking forums”?**

            Because people like you do not know the first thing about reason. You are yet to answer the question I asked in an earlier post. Here it is again.

            **Please let us know what this alternative tool is and how can it be confirmed that what this supposed tool tell us about anything is realistic in any sense.**

            The second part of the question (how can it be confirmed…) is very important. Please answer the question without resorting to special pleadings. If you can not answer it then stop hanging out in freethought forums. Go and hang out with quacks like Miss Cleo and Deepak Chopra instead.

          • **Why should tonal arrogance replace reason in said “freethinking forums”?**

            *Because people like you do not know the first thing about reason. You are yet to answer the question I asked in an earlier post. Here it is again.*

            Having you acknowledge your arrogance, if tacitly, is satisfying enough to have one more go.

            **Please let us know what this alternative tool is and how can it be confirmed that what this supposed tool tell us about anything is realistic in any sense.**

            I don’t think what is called for is an “alternative tool” to replace science. That’s where you are stuck in your inquiry. Science–a tool of thoughtful methodology developed to build consensus around what we call reality–is required for human beings because of our constitution: we are built 1) to perceive and 2) to think about what we perceive. We must approach the world first as separate from it. The world is given by way of perception but useful concepts about reality are only formed over time by linking perceptions logically and meaningfully.

            Science is the perfect tool insofar as it demands rigor, repeatability and consonance in it’s results BUT there is nothing in the thoughtful discipline of science that precludes the previously unseen world EXCEPT the prejudice held by some that this unseen world does not exist.

            My question is simply this: If there is an unseen world that can be accessed (perceived) once meditative discipline is engaged to develop the slumbering organs of perception, why could not that world be investigated to thoughtfully new body of knowledge? The scientific approach required might need modification as the world approached might not follow the natural laws we know apply to the physical world (I don’t think anyone expects angels to line up for double-blind experimentation, for example) but might there be a world as “objective” behind the veil of the physical that exists here? And might this this physical world be so important just because it stands still long enough for us to develop these scientific skills and thoughtful methods?

            *The second part of the question (how can it be confirmed…) is very important. Please answer the question without resorting to special pleadings. If you can not answer it then stop hanging out in freethought forums. Go and hang out with quacks like Miss Cleo and Deepak Chopra instead.*

            Sadly, one of the first signs of prejudice is the name-calling that follows so quickly when confronting something outside one’s comfort zone. It is the bully’s mask least someone see through to what is quaking at the core. It’s often a hard blow that is required to wake one out of the materialistic dream.

            Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon of great repute and scientist of the highest calibre, gleaned enough experiences of another world during a prolonged coma to convert him from his “skepticism”. But he is no less a scientist now than he was before. He is simply at work integrating concepts that include this world into a contiguous reality with one he mastered as natural science.

          • **Having you acknowledge your arrogance, if tacitly, is satisfying enough to have one more go.**

            Wrong again. The fact that you do not know the first thing about reason is why me asking you to not resort to special pleadings and learn about burden of evidence appeared to you as tonal arrogance. Perhaps you would have picked up on that if you knew how “not to beg the question” as you did here **Why should tonal arrogance replace reason in said “freethinking forums”**.

            Also you have not said anything new to convince me that you are no different from quacks like Miss Cleo and Deepak Chopra.

            The question still remains “Please let us know what this alternative tool is and how can it be confirmed that what this supposed tool tell us about anything is realistic in any sense”.

            Makes no difference to me whether you call it alternative tool or meditative discipline. You have not answered “how can it be confirmed…” part of the question yet. How do we know what you picked up from your meditative trance is not something that just made up?

            Also, Eban Alexanders hallucinations are not evidence of anything other than his hallucinations. He also belongs in the company of Miss Cleo and Deepak Chopra.

          • **Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon of great repute and scientist of the highest calibre, gleaned enough experiences of another world during a prolonged coma to convert him from his “skepticism”. But he is no less a scientist now than he was before.**

            Apparently Eban Alexander’s reputation was mud even before he claimed to have seen a girl riding a butterfly during his coma. He again lied about verifiable things (the weather, and whether or not his coma was medically induced) that happened around the time he was in coma. But we are being asked to believe his BS about him seeing his sister riding a butterfly during his coma for which he can not give any evidence anyway.

            This guy does belong in the company of Miss Cleo.

  • Sir,

    You have written such a big article on your fault findings with JAggi’s teachings. I totally respect your views. I can only tell that there are a few things, which cannot be grasped by your mind or intellect. Once you experience that first hand, all the findings, the rights and the wrongs vanish away. Science is always progressive- They find new things daily. Spirituality is just unveiling the truths, which you already know at some deeper level. What you said might just be true now- but jaggis views have to be respected too. 🙂 Take care

  • Vasudev personally stated that he’s not a scientist nor claiming to be one. He said that he reads all scientific findings online when he has time.

    You can’t understand what his understanding is like, nor what his intent is all about. He’s not wrong, even when he’s wrong about scientific classification, get it? He also said once that galaxies turn supernovae, not stars. This is also scientifically wrong, isn’t it? But this is just like not knowing what’s outside your memory. It’s nothing about insight or understanding, clarity etc.

    Simply, your point of view is wrong when judging him.

  • We are discussing science vs. spirituality. If science is building theories based on observations, then I must say that modern science has changed its theories so many times over history, as we know. First atom was like this, then it became like that, now it is like this. First it was Newtonian mechanics, then Einsteinian, then something that falsifies both. In contrast, the spiritual theories based on observations of the human mind have remained the same over ages. Even today, one can reach the same conclusions that our Upanishadic seers did.

    Now, the difference is that science, as we understand it, is all object science. Spirituality is science of the mind, or subject science. Does spirituality unlock the secrets of universe? Sure, it does, but not in an objective way as science understands it. Since all observations depend on the observer, the understanding of the observer gives the key to the observed, that’s what spirituality says. Not convinced, Mr. tArkika? Please refer to Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

    • **We are discussing science vs. spirituality. If science is building theories based on observations, then I must say that modern science has changed its theories so many times over history, as we know. First atom was like this, then it became like that, now it is like this. First it was Newtonian mechanics, then Einsteinian, then something that falsifies both. In contrast, the spiritual theories based on observations of the human mind have remained the same over ages. Even today, one can reach the same conclusions that our Upanishadic seers did.**

      Every religious fool has come up with this kind of an objection (it keeps changing) to science. Here (http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Science_keeps_changing ) is an atheist who has done a good job of addressing this issue. A cut and paste from the link shown below.

      **In order to understand this issue, it must first be understood what this nebulous “change” is, that the objectors speak of. There’s two different kinds of “changing”:

      1. Updating – A process of learning and improving where the knowledge or object is changed into a better state.

      2. Resetting – A process of replacing the knowledge or object with a completely new, and contradictory set of knowledge or objects.

      Science gets accused of #2, when it’s really doing #1.
      Science doesn’t consider computer technology unreliable because they’re changed to be faster, with more memory.
      Science doesn’t consider a cook unreliable because he/she learned how to prepare a particular meal faster and more healthily.

      Science doesn’t consider an archer to be unreliable because he/she found a new way to increase his/her precision at hitting the bulls-eye.
      To criticize science for changing is to criticize the very act of learning.**

      The final sentence hits the nails on the head. What the religious fools are objecting to is really the act of learning.

      Shame on them!

      • Dude, there’s no point debating with such people. There’s absolutely no common ground – the (stupid) axioms they start off with aren’t compatible with yours. Unless of course you’re trolling them, in which case more power to you.

  • Indians are quite passionate when it comes to Vedas and upanishads. Nothing wrong, but in reality, most people have trouble in implementing the teachings or techniques. People who criticize science often send their children to modern education hoping they would become scientists,engineers or doctors. They want to believe, but have this dilemma.

    Scientists are passionate people. I am one of them, but I am open to the idea that modern science has just started to understand how little we know about how the universe works. Conflicts exist even among scientists. Even the molecular structure of water continues to be a puzzle. It’s an interesting challenge though.

    Science is yet to embrace the possibility of exploring the world by a different approach. People – that includes doctors and scientists around the world are only now beginning to recognize the benefits of Yoga and meditation created by ancient Indians.

    Science and technology are two edge swords. I am of the opinion that the focus of these gurus is to help us to be good human beings, so that we can do what we do better. If scientists like me can follow these principles, we can do science better and ethically as well.

    After all, yoga is a science of body and mind!

    • Yoga and Meditation benefit the people to the extent of being a physical and mental exercise like reducing pain, anxiety etc., It is not recognized as a tool to solve scientific problems. Please don’t generalize the effects of Yoga and Meditation. Our ancient Scientists and Mathematicians used proofs and experiments to come up with their theories. There is not even record stating that Aryabhatta, Bhaskara used Meditation as a tool to come up with their proofs let alone anyone tested it.

  • The history of evolution in scientific ideas is a testimony in itself that its search for the truth has not ended, it is still on! The reality as understood in Newtonian view looks no longer the same in Quantum world. It is even more enigmatic in “string theory”. It shows that science is still struggling hard to conceive the fundamentals of reality. So, what is the point of arguing with things that is in transition itself ? Being a hardliner makes it a “religious belief” only.

    The fact that these revolutionary scientists could bring in a new view is an indication that they were not satisfied with what was prevalent scientific understanding of their times. Instead of holding onto these views as “religion” and “ultimate”, they still went ahead to seek the truth, based on what they envisage as a likely “possibility”. By the way, they also made their observations in their minds, often through mathematical abstracts and thought experiments (in subtler dimensions).

    The spiritual world has its ways of observing realities and has well-defined disciplines for that. Only the means and subject of observation are different, the goal is still the same – seeking the truth about reality.

    Without following those methods/means, how do you know the view of reality as experienced are not the correct? I would rather refrain from thinking that targeting Mr. Jaggi Vasudev is NOT the goal here.

    So, trying to see science vs spirituality would be a very novice idea, albeit exciting. It servers little purpose so far as knowing the truth is concerned.

    However, there are physicists and scientists who looked at the same subject with an open mind and tried to see if how Science and Spirituality correlate, if at all. I highly recommend to read them.

    Fritjof Capra (physicist and author of “Tao of Physics), Moni Bhoumik (scientist and author of “Code name God”,
    Roger Penrose (sceientist and author of “Shadows of the Mind”) are three books – I can readily recall – in that direction.

    Hopefully, that will help broaden our views.

    • **The fact that these revolutionary scientists could bring in a new view is an indication that they were not satisfied with what was prevalent scientific understanding of their times. Instead of holding onto these views as “religion” and “ultimate”, they still went ahead to seek the truth, based on what they envisage as a likely “possibility”. By the way, they also made their observations in their minds, often through mathematical abstracts and thought experiments (in subtler dimensions).**

      Yeah, but these scientists are always constrained by evidence. They never make shit up like the charlatan Vasudev. This idiot and other spiritualists do not realize that their hallucinations are evidence of nothing but their hallucinations. It says nothing what so ever about the world.

      **Hopefully, that will help broaden our views.**

      No. Your approach will only muddle the search for truth. And I suspect that is the goal of Vasudev.

      • Kindly read what the scientists say and go by, including “Stephen Hawking”. “Hypothesis” is always something made-up. Please read what he clearly says about all these “hypothesis” (Brief History of Time) and how the success and failure of experiments are viewed in the world of science, in the context of a hypothesis.

        What I sense from your ungracious comments is that the objective of these discussions is more a personal attack on someone whose views do not conform to your thoughts and beliefs. Well, be happy with your ideas and views about science. But please do not leave a bad taste in the mouth. I am not interested in belief-vs-belief fights.

        • Mr. Das,

          **Kindly read what the scientists say and go by, including “Stephen Hawking”. “Hypothesis” is always something made-up. Please read what he clearly says about all these “hypothesis” (Brief History of Time) and how the success and failure of experiments are viewed in the world of science, in the context of a hypothesis.**

          Yes I read that book long time ago. Do not remember Hawking ever taking an “anything goes approach” to hypothesis. Hypothesis have to falsifiable to be taken seriously. Show me one falsifiable hypothesis that Vasudev came up with. Falsifiable as in showing exactly how it can be falsified. And then show me how he constructed an experiment designed to falsify the said hypothesis and what were the outcome of these experiments. Oh, and btw the experiments should be verifiable. If you can not do that then have the common decency to admit that Vasudev makes shit up.

          If you do not understand what a falsifiable hypothesis is then please read this.

          http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2007/01/31/basic-concepts-falsifiable/

          • Mr Mandrake,

            This is what Stephen Hawking has written in this book
            “Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of theory.” (Chapter 1, Page 11)

            I have also seen youtube videos of Mr Vasudev saying that do not believe or disbelieve what I say. Just try out the method I am offering and see for yourself. Have only as much trust on the method as you believe that the person filling petrol in your car is not filling it with explovsives. Try it and go by what you are convinced about only. That means it is ok to discard it if it does not convince you. This sounds a fair approach to me to accept or dismiss something after experiment.

            Winning or losing an argument is of very little consequence. If the search is for the reality ( by this word I mean: the fundamental field /law that governs the universe and gave rise to our known universe ), scientists still have not reached the conclusion. But they have able to unify three forces so far and only one is still left out. If we reach there someday, and I hope we will, it will be truly wonderful.

            There are interviews in YouTube of Dr. Mani bhaumika, a renowned scientist, about consciousness and physics. Dr Rozer Penroze is also pointing to the same. Please have a look at them too, to see how the scientists are approaching this concept of consciousness and physical reality (” Our brain has been designed to experience the oneness”). The books I had mentioned in my first posts are all dealing with that by the scientist today. Again, I am not asking you to get convinced because someone has said (be Scientists or mr. Vasudev). But may be it will be a worthwhile exercise to explore this subject, at least once through the eyes of the scientists.

            This is my last post as my intention was not to argue for the sake of it, I just wanted to make aware what all explorations are going on and how liberal those thoughts are!

            Regards
            Nabatanu

          • Mr. Das,

            Nothing you quoted from Hawking’s book says that you can take an anything goes approach to hypothesis. The hypothesis still has to be falsifiable. You still do not seems to understand that.

            Let us get back to what you said in your earlier post.

            **The spiritual world has its ways of observing realities and has well-defined disciplines for that. Only the means and subject of observation are different, the goal is still the same – seeking the truth about reality.**

            I asked you to present one falsifiable hypothesis that Vasudev came up with. Show how the claim can be falsified. Show how he constructed an experiment designed to falsify the said hypothesis. Present verifiable data from the experiment and what kind of conclusions he drew from the data.

            If you can show a single example we can agree that these people have the capability to seek the truth about reality as you said. But since you refuse show a single instance of that I can only conclude Vasudev is a quack and you are a fool.

          • **Our brain has been designed to experience the oneness**

            Idiotic statement irrespective of who said it.

          • **Again, I am not asking you to get convinced because someone has said (be Scientists or mr. Vasudev). But may be it will be a worthwhile exercise to explore this subject, at least once through the eyes of the scientists.**

            What do you mean by **this subject**? So far you have not even presented a falsifiable claim. How can anyone study **this subject** with out presenting a falsifiable claim?

      • I totally agree with you. I think “evidence” is the key word here, that differentiates science from all the pseudo science. Scientists, like spiritualists, have many exotic ideas about the world and its ways of functioning.
        However, all these exotic ideas remain just that – the ideas. They never become theory unless they are supported by evidence. Moreover, when a scientist proposes a theory, it is never taken by the rest of the scientific community at its face value. Others replicate the experiments to see if the theory holds good, and also find flaws in it. This falsification process is in fact the root of the scientific development. So their is a big journey for any new idea, from hypothesis to an accepted theory. And this is the major difference between scientific and spiritually driven theories…. the later don’t bother to bear the burden of this long journey to be accepted. In the later world, “who said it” carries more weight than “what was said”.

        • I beg to differ. The Vedas and the Upanishads are only asking the people to walk on the path, using the tools mentioned by them, whether meditation, contemplation, karma-yoga, devotion, whatever. These are tools, or theories, or models, whatever we wish to call them, which need to be tried and replicated, just like any scientific theory.

          The difference between science and spirituality is that when one scientist makes a claim of some kind, others question him, but also try to replicate the claim. This indicates an open mind to try and find out. If it doesn’t work out, the theory is discarded. In spirituality, there are few takers, who are willing to use the tools and walk the path. There are many, however, who would challenge and shoot down the theories, without budging an inch to try and replicate the experiments.

          • **I beg to differ. **

            Beg and differ all you want. Also keep on harping about other ways of knowing. Would not make an iota of difference. The freethinking community will continue to treat quacks like you and Vasudev exactly the same way they treat Miss Cleo. With derision and mockery.

        • **I think “evidence” is the key word here, that differentiates science from all the pseudo science. Scientists, like spiritualists, have many exotic ideas about the world and its ways of functioning.**

          There is nothing wrong in having exotic ideas. But the ideas themselves must be falsifiable. The spiritualist fools do not understand this simple requirement. This is another major difference between science and pseudoscience.

          • Mr Mandrake,

            I do not understand what qualification or right you have got to call other fools, quacks etc. This is not the way any healthy discussion / arguments happen in any science community, by calling names!
            “I beg to differ” does not mean “beg” – google it out to see what it means.

            I do not hope/want this to be published. But I would like the moderator to check if that is the quality of discussion they want on this site which claims to be ‘nirmukta’, of course unless Mr Mandrake himself is the moderator. Then there is nothing more to expect!

          • Mr. Das,

            Anyone who sells other ways of knowing is a quack. And those who follow the quack are fools, ie these people are being fooled.

            Let us see what you said in one of your posts.

            **The spiritual world has its ways of observing realities and has well-defined disciplines for that. Only the means and subject of observation are different, the goal is still the same – seeking the truth about reality.**

            You can not say that and expect not to be mocked. OK, tell me how you or Vasudev can figure out what is the acceleration due to gravity on the surface of the earth using means and subject of observation that are different from that used by a scientist? What kind of tools and methods does spirituality offer you to get an answer to that question? I can easily tell you what tools and measurement devices I need to answer the question. I need a pendulum, a ruler to measure its length, and a stop watch to measure time period of oscillation.

            The fact that Vasudev can not answer that question using his spiritualist tools and methods and yet makes millions by claiming that spirituality is another way to seeking truth about reality makes him a quack. And people who fall for his quackery are fools.

            There are different ways to handle these quacks and fools. I prefer derision and mockery. Good natured and mild mannered freethinkers might prefer a more friendly approach. I can certainly have a healthy debate with those freethinkers on the pros and cons of each approach.

            But a healthy debate with you is impossible.

  • Right. He uses the little bit of science words and terminologies and lowers science and technology.Without that he would not be having his bikes , rovers, golf,beatles records,and the khush life he has.He has a good level of energy,his so called enlightenment is just a pretty high level of lucky flash of conciousness, not enlightenment.Good enough for dumb people and some not so dumb people to follow.But he is quite a few steps from the real thing;ie enlightenment.Good enough though,he does’nt kill people or rip off people. I hope.

    • **Good enough though,he does’nt kill people or rip off people.**

      Not sure about killing but he does rip people off. Here is something he teaches. He calls it innerengineering. The online version costs $150 and the live version an arm and a leg.

      https://www.innerengineering.com/

      Some of the claims about the benefits of the course are shown below.

      **91% of Inner Engineering participants gained a deeper sense of inner peace. 87% found improved emotional balance. 80% increased mental clarity.**

      Hilarious!

  • The problem with this article’s reasoning, is that even if Jaggi has incorrect views of science, it does not disprove the validity of Yoga practices or obtained results. The flip side of of any criticism of Yoga by scientists who say Jaggi doesn’t understand science, is of course, that scientists don’t understand Yoga. The fact is, Yoga IS a science which operates to elevate human consciousness, and the results of its practice always vary depending upon innumerable qualities of the student & the teacher; results therefore do not have the degree of predictability that satisfy the rigid requirements that scientists demand. Jaggi may indeed be a fake, an impostor, a con-man, or just a dumb ass, but until one engages in a dedicated & serious study of Yoga, damning the practice can only be from a perspective of ignorance. Ultimately, it really matters very little for personal betterment if there is or isn’t an understanding of how chemicals react or the cosmos was formed, but it matters greatly how much knowledge an individual has of methods to improve personal equipoise & awareness of the intricacies of human function which will foster advancement to higher levels of personal evolution.

  • **The fact is, Yoga IS a science which operates to elevate human consciousness, and the results of its practice always vary depending upon innumerable qualities of the student & the teacher; results therefore do not have the degree of predictability that satisfy the rigid requirements that scientists demand. **

    Don’t you get tired of contradicting yourself in the same sentence? If something “IS a science” then that something should “satisfy the rigid requirements that scientists demand”.

    • I would only “get tired” of contradicting myself if it had any relevance or effect upon my yoga practice. Yoga is ACTION, not word games. Whatever I SAY, or you SAY, doesn’t really matter; what we DO does.

  • Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Ashramam occupied the forests and elephant routes in vellingiri hills and constructed 4 lakh square feet building without any single approval from bodies. Govt ordered demolition — tamilnadu based wikileaks kind of site savukku revealed and wrote a very detailed article about this. he is neither logical nor honest.

    • Senthil,

      **Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Ashramam occupied the forests and elephant routes in vellingiri hills and constructed 4 lakh square feet building without any single approval from bodies. **

      And this crook was complaining about political corruption ahead of the elections.

      • If he is a honest guru let him reply with in 15 days to the charges of illegal occupation of Elephant routes in Vellingiri Hills and do not make a mockery of his ecological concern and Tree plantation drives.

    • When government ordered for demolition..dont blab…The land was already in use. The savukku is saying the land was bought from Lakshmi Mills owner..If so how u r saying isha has occupaid forest land.

  • I got interested in this guy as someone sent me a video on Whats App about him. I spent entire day listening to his clever You Tube clips. Initially he impressed me but when I examined him with more open mind, I could see the chinks in his armor.
    In one of his sermons he is saying there is no Diabetes in America as scientists there have started adding Vitamin D3 in bread making process since 1950s. As a physician practising in USA, nothing can be further from truth. Diabetes is really very common in USA and bread may be one of the many causes.
    I think these Pseudo Gurus exploit the basic need in every human being to have “The Experience”. Most of the people want someone else to do the hardwork and provide them with the answers. There is really a need for someone to stand up and expose these frauds.

  • Tarkika,

    After going through this and several other articles on this site, I am not quite sure what your group’s objective as a whole is. If your claim is that Ancient India was not scientifically advanced (far more so than any other group of people at that time in the world) then you have not explored world history enough. If your claim is that the Vedas and the related texts such as Brahmanas, Upanishads and Puranas are devoid of any scientific value and/or observations then you have not read them or assimilated them as yet.

    Last but not the least, this is not to be misconstrued as any sort of defense of any godman. Perhaps most godmen understand basic science. How many in your group can claim to understand, read and write basic Sanskrit and claim to have read through the works in question?

    It is about time people with scientific background really sat down to do a thorough study on some of these ancient works and try and correlate the ancients’ findings with what we know from modern science! Need of the hour!

    Best Regards!

    • Agree with u Bala, but this is not exactly what the group is discussing(I know its diverted a lot). I think we are in a discussion whether JV is correct or not, or let me be little flexible, if he is incorrect on physics basis then is his incorrectness incorrect as a whole??
      Thanks

  • I am not sure of this extensive criticism on Vasudev. I am a scientist, a prcticing physician in USA and have been living in USA over 40 yrs. I was not satisfied with the science and its methods becasue I am not interested in the mater that is already in existance. I started wodering – who am I and what is my purpose? Science could not explain this becasue this question arises in oneself when they really ask themselves and go beyond the matter. I do not desclaim the scientist but they are still looking with in the BOX. One would get this questiong “who am I” when you start getting out of the box and look outside. Why don’t you and others like you learn transendental meditation and spend atleast 6 hours a day and just few years on meditaion and find out what you will discover. Just imagine how much of our life is spent sitting in the class room day after day and year after year learning about the nature and then go on trying to understand its workings with so called scientific methods. we simply waste our short precious time on this earth doing this instead of going beyond to the ultimate truth of this matter. I will assure you that you will not be disappointed. Please do not waste your time.

  • I had listened to a few of Sadhguru’s online videos and was impressed in the way he presented eastern philosophy. However after watching
    http://www.ishafoundation.org/blog/lifestyle/food/food-and-lunar-eclipses-bad-combo/
    I was shocked realise how totally ignorant he was on very basic science. It is a pity when those who have good communication skills are unaware of the limits of there knowledge and talk absolute nonsense. I then looked for a review and found this well written piece on Sadhguru.

  • Jaggi Vasudev is enlightened, there is no doubt as far as the science of body features go, he has all the signs that show that he has gone through the process. However, As Osho said in one of his discourses, enlightenment does not make one super intelligent, you remain what you were as far as your abilities, your intellect and your level of understanding goes. If this was not true than Narsingdatta ji maharaj would have dropped making bidis (Indian Cigarettes) because why would an enlightened master pump negative stuff into the society that causes cancer? Narsingdatta should have dropped making bidis, should have opened up and ashram like Jaggi vasudev and should have lived lavishly on seekers money.

    Even if Jaggi Vasudev has something to offer to the real seeker, the problem is that Isha foundation is set in such a way that unless you show them that you are a multi millionaire from the west, you will never get a chance to be in front of Jaggi Vasudev and ask questions that can help you come closer to self realization.

    For seekers, I would strongly recommend to listen to Osho without bringing in your conscious/active analyzing mind and let your unconscious steer you in the right direction. Just as Buddha said: appo divo bhavo (Be your own light).

  • yoga is good.

    but why you should fool people?

    vellingiri is already a fertile land, with good rain.

    how can you boast as if you are protecting the forest?

    why cant you choose an area where there is less rainfall and make it your ashram?

    why cant you live a simple life, while you preach others to be simple? why you use hummer? helicopter, five star hotel?

    You are good in communication, I appreciate you for making well educated persons a fools and make them your followers.
    you say you have picture on vellingiri in ur eyes. if you are NOT SELFISH, you will not tell these bullshit information and spoil nature around vellingiri.

    In the name of Yoga, you are spoiling nature around vellingiri.

    there is no difference between you and a pimp. you are raping the nature. pls get our of vellingiri. leave the nature as it has to be.

    I know nothing can be done to you, as being a pimp you know how to owe the customers.

    as long as those educated fools are with you, you can rule. enjoy jaggi!

  • Believers of hindu vedas pls stop arguing with captain mandrake. He declare himself as captain of his ship. So no point giving opinion. He wants tools before proving science!!??Knowledge of vedas is not science but far beyond that. Science cant explain dream. What tools we need? But in vedas ,sure you can. You have to be a believer first. No need tools.
    He is still in that level(hypothesis,materials,tools,procedures,method,observation,result,conclusion……). He does not understand that he is in the field of science but trying not to understand knowledge of vedas. He can hear here only the present but in outer space, cant. But yogis can hear anything from any space n time. Ofcause our captain who is still at that level cant or never want to understand us. LET HIM BE AS THE WAY HE WANT. DONT WORRY. BYE

  • We can evaluate someone through the way they answer a question. But we also can judge someone through the question raised by them. We should be careful when asking question because people will label us wrongly. We need certain amount of knowledge in a field to raise question.
    The way human defecate n where they defecate is two different thing. Something like how we have sex n where we have sex. Am sure you n me need to know how to make proper sex. This is written in kamasuthra. And no ñeed to teach u or me where to make sex. Proper way to defecate is taught but where to defecate u decide. How u think can b explained but where you think who cares. How to see god is important rather than to ask where to see god. So therefore dont waste time searching why vedas never explain where to defecate.

  • Science, as yet, is too immature to understand the universe.

    You never know S.JV maybe true. I speak of the experiences of Yoga: an incredibly powerful technology that lies within all of us.

  • Sorry . I m not sure what Sadguru meant when he said what he said but it is equally true that scientists often land up saying what they do not know. Modern science has been built on a plethora of wrong assumptions though there are a few partial truths. I, myself from a rigorous science background am saying this. My own work ( passion) for past few years has been to unite all Vedic symbolism, particle physics , mythological symbolism,linguistics, chemistry, quantum physics, music, geography,psychology, genetics, evolution, arithmetic, cosmology et al and thus establish the unified theory of everything. It unites almost everything and much more. Large part of this project is over and hopefully, it won’t take long before I complete it and lay it down before u. What is more it unites all the religions and all the mythologies as well. So, let us not be too carried away by the tall claims of modern science and neither by the bigotry of religion.

    • My own work ( passion) for past few years has been to unite all Vedic symbolism, particle physics , mythological symbolism,linguistics, chemistry, quantum physics, music, geography,psychology, genetics, evolution, arithmetic, cosmology et al and thus establish the unified theory of everything

      Have you considered Lithium? 🙂

      The last guy I met who said he was writing a book (he really was, don’t know if he finished it) to unify EVERYTHING, never attended college, and I think he did not even finish high-school (US). I talked to him for a couple of hours (traveling, nothing better to do) and he was completely clueless about how real science is done, but nevertheless knew every pseudoscience out there and could not obviously distinguish between them. So there he was: an otherwise normal IQ guy, in a fantasy science land, believing he was an intellectual. There are of course, even more clueless people in US, who would be interested in buying his books.

      myself from a rigorous science background am saying this

      So whats this “rigorous science background”? Several PhDs, in each of those subjects, from well ranked universities? Lots of science publications in reputable journals?

      It certainly would not be some degree mill certificates and blog posts, would it? :-).

    • What I fail to understand is why don’t these scientific enthusiasts work on the scriptures to find something new? We have a lot of ambiguity around dark matter and dark energy. I would love if they can clarify something new rather than correlating what science has already proven to the past, trying to interpret by false pattern recognition to suit their agenda. I am dying to see one study that reveals something new (and I’m sure a lot of us are waiting for it to happen) that baffles the scientific world. Then I’ll accept it graciously that our scriptures are so uber-scientific. Until then, please don’t pass off metaphysical philosophy as science.

  • There are some things that science hasn’t explained: does the soul exist, what is death, is there reincarnation, etc. It is not clear whether science will or can ever provide answers to the above. Astrology claims that the heavenly bodies have effects on us, beyond what is known to science. In my opinion there is empirical evidence that astrology works, at least sometimes. I have no explanation. Maybe there are interactions which science has not yet discovered. I think we should respect the scientific method but also recognise its limitations. The study of Vedanta certainly teaches us something beyond science, but it can’t teach us science! Also, we shouldn’t assert that Vedanta comes to the same conclusions as current physical theories, which are subject to change with the passage of time.

    • As a follow-up to the soul question below…

      There is empirical evidence that astrology does not work.

      The most cited paper being…
      Carlson S. A double-blind test of astrology. Nature. 1985 Dec 5;318(6045):419-25.

      There have been several studies on astrology. They all show that the predictions are no better than chance, frequently worse.

  • I wish you had meditated before trying to understand jaggi. And I know how you scientists dismiss meditation as hocus pocus. Unfortunately, science is claiming the same unquestioning status for itself as religion once did. You must read Lyotard’s idea of postmodernism.

  • how you scientists dismiss meditation as hocus pocus

    Scientists don’t dismiss meditation as hocus pocus. Scientists dismiss hocus pocus claims made on behalf of meditation.

    Unfortunately, science is claiming the same unquestioning status for itself as religion once did.

    Spoken like a true postmodernist.

    You must read Lyotard’s idea of postmodernism.

    You should also read Alan Sokal’s view of Lyotard’s view of post-modernism. Like most post-modernists, rather than stay safely in the zone of social sciences, where he (Lyotard) can add some value (metanarratives), where some loose talk goes with the territory, he also opens his mouth on science and reveals himself silly, way over-reaching beyond his expertise; not different from JV, although the comparison is very unfair to Lyotard.

  • it seems that indians venerate science because of some kind of western colonial remnant which the British used to undermine their culture. so indian gurus then use their ideas about science sometimes badly in trying to make their point. it would be better for them to limit their comments to their metaphysics and not tread in dangerous loose talk which can then destroy their fine points of philosophy or religions. Fritjof Capra wrote the tao of physics which seemed to b critically acclaimed at the time. The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism is a 1975 book by physicist Fritjof Capra. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tao_of_Physics.

    even intelloigent people need to believe. they seek meaning in their lives. it is unfortunate that spiritual gurus need to coopt science in this way, when it could be counter-productive. their ideas might have merit on ther own terms. they should not quote any ‘science’ or western study, eg psychology, when they don’t fully understand both fields, theirs and the ones they co-opt.

    science also has its share of special interests and false steps and its progress might not be as smooth as this post suggests.

    it would be best to educate such gurus so that they don’t lose the main theme of their message.

    • it seems that indians venerate science because of some kind of western colonial remnant which the British used to undermine their culture.

      Indians don’t venerate science, at least no more than it as a path to better careers. If we did, we’d be talking Astronomy, not Astrology and we’d laugh at Homeopathy. Astrology and Homeopathy hold a sway on our culture because we don’t even understand the bare basics of science at the common man level and often at even the level of the so-called science professionals. If we venerated science, we’d always ask: What does the data say?, in public discourse. We don’t.

      Using science is not about aping a more prosperous culture. Science is a universal method, not a western method, because it plainly speaks to reality with clarity. It is about thinking in precise numbers vs. imprecise words; that cannot be deemed culture specific. It is to be used because it actually works everyday, not because it is “cool”.

      so indian gurus then use their ideas about science sometimes badly in trying to make their point.

      A true guru is a teacher who properly understands the world. It should not mean a mystic. Our real gurus today should be physicists, biologists and mathematicians. Our so-called gurus today are mostly charlatans who don’t care about actual knowledge and wisdom and are only adepts at tugging at the emotional strings and insecurities of the common man who has an extremely outdated understanding of the world.

      We have idiots (education-wise, not in a social or political sense) for gurus because we don’t know who to put on a pedestal. That’s our fault as a civic society and we should reflect on that and own up.

      it would be better for them to limit their comments to their metaphysics and not tread in dangerous loose talk which can then destroy their fine points of philosophy or religions.

      They won’t. If you want to know the fine points of philosophy, talk to an academic philosopher. If you want to know the fine points of religion, talk to a theologian or a historian of religions. These gurus are not an authority on any such things.

      People need to intellectually mature. Our current crop of gurus won’t get us wisdom and enlightenment. A better economy and better school systems will… schools that will help us understand the historical, philosophical and intellectual struggles of the entire humanity, not these gurus.

      Fritjof Capra wrote the tao of physics which seemed to b critically acclaimed at the time. The Tao of Physics

      We have always been a culture that emphasized the past. I understand the value of having strong roots and a cultural identity. But trying to fit modern scientific revolution into the models of the ancients is no longer a productive exercise. We need to grow to a point where we do not feel an emotional need to do so, without losing confidence in our identity. That will take generations.

      even intelloigent people need to believe.

      Intelligent people want to know, not believe.

      they seek meaning in their lives.

      Intelligent people can turn to rational philosophy. There are entire schools of philosophy that deal with the question of the meaning of life. A modern mind does not need mystical metaphysics. Mysticism is just a cheap shortcut for those who are not equipped to deal with the complexities of philosophy.

      That said, an average man does indeed want and need simpler answers to grand questions and that is the market place these gurus exploit.

      it is unfortunate that spiritual gurus need to coopt science in this way, when it could be counter-productive. their ideas might have merit on ther own terms.

      They need to co-opt because they want to sound smarter and better educated than they really are. Their ideas are not original at all, just recycled and repackaged platitudes.

      science also has its share of special interests and false steps and its progress might not be as smooth as this post suggests.

      Everything managed by people has at least some special interest influence. These gurus do too. At least science has a heavy dose of regulation that guards it against special interests, more than anything else today. When an interest is recognized, it is weeded out. Scientists are still regarded as among those who have the highest commitment to truth.

      it would be best to educate such gurus so that they don’t lose the main theme of their message.

      We need to educate people, not these gurus. These so-called gurus are not trying to enlighten. They are trying to grow their flocks. The quality of science education of these gurus depends on the quality of the science education of their audience, not the other way round.

      Of course, we need real gurus, well-educated gurus… but these are ones that will lead young minds in classrooms, not claim wisdom from fancy flowing robes. We need science gurus, philosophy gurus and history gurus. By that I mean scholars who communicate all the nuance, rather than graduate students by the assembly line. Enlightened and committed teachers are the real gurus. The people we call gurus today are just glamorous, self-styled preachers.

  • Science is based on observations that are used to construct hypotheses, theories etc based on accumulated evidence that can be evaluated by peers. It is the building of a body of knowledge through carefully designed experiments over a period of time. Scientific methodology itself is an egoless process, that must minimize ‘observer bias.’ Injecting ego into the process can invalidate scientific inquiry. Further, one should recognise that (a) attacking the messenger and his deeds doesn’t invalidate his/her argument (or) (b) invalidating the science in some of messages cannot invalidate the ‘inner engineering hypothesis.’ Now, to the question. Can musings of the mystics be subject to scientific inquiry? If the knowledge acquired is an individualistic process that comes through ‘self reflection’ or ‘meditation’ then it must have ‘observer bias’ and it is difficult to have a peer review process without trusting the observer. The belief system of the ‘peer’ itself may influence results. Science is based on the rational mind. Inner Engineering hypothesis argues that you cannot go into the intuitive realm if you do not surrender the rational mind. Herein lies the dichotomy in world views. This is why this is a hard nut to crack. Is is correct to dismiss the hypothesis because scientific methodology cannot address it? Is simply wishing it off as hoccus poccus good enough? One cannot deny that there have been many enlightened souls in the world who have accessed this inner knowledge and have dramatically changed world views. Were their brains simply differently wired or is there more to it. As scientists, we must be open to it.

    • “Inner Engineering” is a term made-up by Jaggi Vasudev to brand and market his Yoga program. It isn’t some scientific model of cognition. The word “Engineering” there has all the appeal to the crowd he wants to target and none of rigorous connotations that the word ordinarily signifies. It is not unlike Deepak Chopra’s “Quantum Healing”, a woo term.

      A mystic’s claims can certainly be subjected to scientific critique. If he says the moon or solar flares effect the mind, that absolutely can be scientifically criticized as it has been in the article. If a mystic gets a lot of followers and in fact changes “world views” that isn’t a proof of validity, but merely an evidence of irrationality in the public at large.

      If the mystic’s claims do not produce any convincing evidence, we can of course quite reasonably conclude that he/she does not have any special powers of intuition. Mystics, as a group, through history, have a terrible track record at presenting any verifiable discoveries using their claimed super intuition. So we can also reasonably conclude that mysticism is bunk.

      If the mystics were indeed operating by a special intuition, then all mystics in the world would point to a single reality. But they don’t. All mystical claims should be congruent. But they aren’t. They are pretty culture-specific. That tells us that this is hardly an Ontological matter and is instead an Anthropology matter.

      Science isn’t at all against intuitive thinking. But the products of intuitive thought don’t get a pass are still subject to verification.

      It is rather trivial to claim non-verifiable super-powers for oneself, with the right rhetorical gifts and if a gullible audience is available. Evidence should not be optional for any kind of claims. If it is, we invite a world directed by charlatans. This should not be done casually. We need to move to a world that demands a lot more evidence for everything, not less. We already tried the other way for the entirety of human history until the last few centuries and we are still quite far from a rational world.

      This is not a hard nut to crack. This is not about being “open”-minded. Open-mindedness isn’t about poor standards of truth. Being open-minded does not mean – never closing questions when answers are obvious. At this point, we do know how to distinguish what-works from woo. Without verification, knowledge claims, regardless of their claimed epistemic origins, have little value. Saying that one is a mystic should not grant privileged immunity from verification or critique. Mystical claims must be subject to MORE critique, not less, because they rest on much more shaky foundations.

      We did not discover mystics and mysticism yesterday. Human history is littered with mystics making grand claims about the grand reality. We do know about their track record in producing enduring knowledge. At their humble (that quality does not seem to describe Vasudev) best, regular mystics are doing amateur non-rational philosophy, not an alternative to science. Rarely, mystics do do good philosophy… like Vivekananda. Even then, the only thing that endures in the end is their philosophy, not their mysticism. We can celebrate Vivekananda, ignore his mysticism and critique his philosophy. Nothing needs to be spared from rational critique. Surrender of reason is in my view, the greatest spiritual (non-mystical sense) sin.

      Note the differences from a respectable mystic like Vivekananda who is genuinely trying to make sense of the world in his own way and Vasudev’s shallow anti-rational position.

      Inner Engineering hypothesis argues that you cannot go into the intuitive realm if you do not surrender the rational mind.

      Vivekananda: “It is wrong to believe blindly. You must exercise your own reason and judgment”.

      So what surrender of the rational mind are we talking about here?

      Is is correct to dismiss the hypothesis because scientific methodology cannot address it?

      Vivekananda: “Are the same methods of investigation, which we apply to sciences and knowledge outside, to be applied to the science of Religion? In my opinion this must be so, and I am also of opinion that the sooner it is done the better. If a religion is destroyed by such investigations, it was then all the time useless, unworthy superstition; and the sooner it goes the better”.

      So Vivekananda is not at all against a scientific review of mysticism and does not at all see it as beyond science.

  • Everything that can be said on this subject has probably been said. But maybe a bit of clarification can be given.

    If there is such a thing as enlightenment, how can it be reviewed by peers who are not enlightened? If the process of enlightenment takes several lifetimes, as stated by, e.g., Sankara, can it be reviewed?

    I don’t have answers.

    Well, maybe this doesn’t clarify but I hope it opens some minds!

    • There is no reincarnation because there is no such thing as a soul. Biology is pretty clear on this. Life is a process, not a thing. Religion becomes plainly clear once this simple aspect of science is understood. The wish to deny the reality of death is however understandably too strong and makes people to not accept this simple fact.

      With no soul, there is no such thing as accumulating enlightenment or any cognitive attainment in one’s life past death.

      Yes, enlightenment can be peer reviewed. Produce something that can be verified (by people who don’t believe in it – that is the whole point of ANY critical review) beyond fancy rhetoric. If nothing can be produced, it is quite reasonable to conclude that it is a fantasy claim.

      • As far as I can see, biology is not in a position to say anything about the existence of a soul. Would you please provide references for your assertion?

        We have gone far from Jaggi Vasudev! He is now really irrelevant.

        • Emperor Napoleon: But where is God in all this?
          Pierre-Simon Laplace: Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis.

          Same story with the soul. People used the soul hypothesis as a gap filler because they did not understand life in enough detail. The whole idea is discarded now because it is simply not needed anymore to explain anything.

          There won’t of course be a positive proof from science for the absence of anything (not just the soul), because negatives are not logically provable… God, Russell’s Teapot and all that.

          We have gone far from Jaggi Vasudev! He is now really irrelevant.

          I agree.

          • Your response seems to confirm what I wrote. At least in mathematics, there are impossibility proofs. Your statement “… soul hypothesis as a gap filler …” is only an opinion (maybe of someone like Dawkins or Hawking). I don’t have to accept it. I guess there is no way to resolve this matter. If it is a matter of accepting someone’s opinion, I prefer Ramana Maharshi to Hawking: enquire into the nature of the ‘I’ thought and find out by oneself, no room for peer review.

          • is only an opinion

            It isn’t an opinion. It is something that is well past debate in the scientific community – stuff that people roll their eyes over now. In all ancient medical texts, there was soul talk. In modern medical texts, there is none… simply because it is now known to be fluff talk with no value whatsoever. These are simply non-falsifiable culturally-driven pre-scientific ideas.

            I guess there is no way to resolve this matter.

            The person who claims that there is such a thing as a soul has to prove the claim, not the person who disagrees. That’s the basic idea of the burden of proof (that was the reason I brought up Russell’s Teapot earlier). You should be presenting proof for the soul, not asking me proof for its absence. If there is no proof for a soul (and there isn’t), the matter is fully resolved. The case can be reopened if any new evidence pops up in the future. But things are settled, as they stand.

            Why Hawking? He is a physicist, not a cognitive psychologist or a philosopher. It is not within his expertise to talk about “I”.

            When I talk about souls, I am not talking about psychology (ego, identity, higher thought, senses) or convenience metaphysics. I am talking about the idea of stuff of some sort (claimed to be non-material), jumping from one body to another elsewhere, at the event of death… i.e. reincarnation… or going to some sort of Heaven/Hell… or merging with the super-soul. We do know enough Neurology, to understand that this simply cannot happen, just as we know enough Chemistry to say that Homeopathy cannot work or know enough Astronomy to say that Astrology cannot work.

            and find out by oneself

            To “find out” is an extremely complicated affair. Science understands what finding out means and how difficult it is. So it is extremely productive. Mystics don’t understand what to “find out” means. So mysticism has not yielded any useful knowledge in all these thousands of years human history. What you call “find out by oneself” is simply about subscribing to a belief. Actually finding out is something entirely different.

          • It seems obvious that concepts like soul and reincarnation are beyond the scope of medical science. Evidence is there. For example see http://www.victorzammit.com. In every part of India, throughout its history, there have been saints who convinced people of the existence of God, etc..

            The burden of proof is o.k. for debates and courts of law but it has its limitations. As recently as the 19th century, there was no evidence that aircraft could ever be built. A scientist could argue, following the “burden of proof” argument, that it was impossible. I would not base my life on such a principle. Better keep an open mind.

            Hawking was just an example of an atheist. You can put any other name there.

            Homeopathy is also rejected by science merely because there is no explanation so far. But millions in India have benefited from it. I have seen its effect personally.

          • It seems obvious that concepts like soul and reincarnation are beyond the scope of medical science.

            A better way of putting it is that these concepts simply don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny… because they are held by non-falsifiable statements and don’t offer any evidence. Nothing needs to be beyond science. People just say stuff is beyond science to avoid scrutiny. If it effects the world, it should be testable. If it does not effect the world, we are simply dealing with fantasy/imaginative concepts.

            Evidence is there. For example see http://www.victorzammit.com.

            An unimpressive, amateurish resource. There have been loads of testimonies like this… lots of books written affirming afterlife. They never stood to critical scrutiny. Near Death Experiences represent hypoxic cognition, not afterlife. Past life accounts never tested out well.

            In every part of India, throughout its history, there have been saints who convinced people of the existence of God, etc..

            I agree, in the sense that it just doesn’t take a lot to convince people to believe in things. The entire human history is a cavalcade of misplaced belief, with low standards for establishing truth. If you look at news these days, it appears to be not that difficult, even in these modern days, to convince people to kill blow themselves up, and many along, to reach a God that they are completely convinced of. You don’t even need “Saints” for that. Convincing people is hardly a standard of truth.

            The human mind is naturally prone to a great number of cognitive biases. It takes a great effort to shield ourselves from it. That is where science comes in… so that we try to know, not believe. Knowing needs a critical and rigorous process. That is all science is.

            As recently as the 19th century, there was no evidence that aircraft could ever be built. A scientist could argue, following the “burden of proof” argument, that it was impossible. I would not base my life on such a principle.

            Every year, for the foreseeable future, there will be something technologically that wasn’t there before. That’s not the burden of proof we are talking about.

            Better keep an open mind.

            Open mind is fine. But there is a line between an open-mind and a lack of critical thought. Too often, the former becomes a euphemism for the later.

            Homeopathy is also rejected by science merely because there is no explanation so far.

            No, it was just (reasonably) viewed suspiciously because its explanations made no sense. It was rejected because there was no EVIDENCE (regardless of whatever silly mechanism it proposed) it worked even after thousands of studies… not even in a SINGLE case. In the end, it is just water over sugar pills that people fool themselves is medicine, for conditions that naturally remit after a while. At this point, please don’t be compelled to share your personal experiences. I get it.

            But millions in India have benefited from it. I have seen its effect personally.

            They haven’t at all. Millions of people no doubt strongly believe they benefited from it. And I understand your conviction as well. However, these are not things to be established by personal conviction. They are meant to be demonstrated statistically. That is why we spend a great deal of resources organizing studies, because personal testimonies have no value in medicine. People who don’t understand probability theory (we just don’t teach these things well) think that these things are personally knowable. Even the opinion of an experienced physician means little on whether a cure occurred, when effect sizes are low and variance is high, let alone that of a patient.

  • It seems Mr Jagadish Vasudev aka Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev aka Jaggi has been accused by his own father in law of killing his daughter (Sadhguru jaggi’s wife) Vijji aka Mrs Vijaya kumari either by strangulation or by poisoning, in 1997. Mrs Vijaya Kumari was 31 years old then with a 6 year old daughter . Jaggi has escaped saying that she went into mahasamadhi. (Now, which court accepts mahasamadhi and acquits a murderer?).

    Mr. Jagadish cremated the body of his wife on the next day itself, hence no autopsy could be performed. Before marrying Jagadish vasudev, Vijaya kumari was working in a bank and was previously married to someone else. After her death, another woman who was involved with them (in the tri-vortex of energy needed to consecrate the so -called dhyanalinga), a certain Mrs. Bharathi divorced her husband and came to live with Mr. Jagadish vasudev.

    Mr. Jagadish vasudev has a daughter named Radhe, who is a dancer and she is married to a classical singer and is living a normal, luxurious life in Chennai and the USA, whereas most young women and men in the ashram live as unpaid slave labour, just on 2 meals a day and 3 sets of clothes and hard work to produce products and money for his so called Isha foundation, which many say is just an excuse to get tax exempt status in India and the USA for all ashram activities and businesses. Isha foundation doesnt seem to work much as it is advertised.

    Mr Jagadish Vasudev once said that children who go to govt. schools are walking 4 km per day and giving the bus charges (7rs/ day) to the ashram and that they are very commendable.
    Also, while he asks people to live frugally, and donate to the ashram, he and his daughter, and Bharathi etc live very luxuriously and Jaggi has bought himself a landrover, a landcruiser and a hummer apart from other things. He advises people not to drink coffee, but he himself drinks folgers coffee and is seen at starbucks. His family members (daughter, son in law etc ) go to movies, malls, foreign vacations, and drink coffee and hang out with friends along with their latest i-phones as normal people do. It seems that Mr. Jgadish vasudev is keeping them in “miserable” luxuries while the ashramites are enjoying sublime “spiritual” bliss in bare frugality.

    He has once said that 3 things should never be commercialized…education, health care and spirituality. He is commercializing all the three as – a) isha home school charges around 6 lakh per annum, b) isha arogya (medicine) products are sold through isha stores and c) inner engineering and all other programs (spirituality) are also being sold to the masses.

    He is good with words, but he himself never practices what he speaks. Some people who want to come out of the ashram are threatened from leaving saying that their spiritual progress will be stopped and that they will also affect the lives of many people around them…or something like that. Anyways most of them are in a kind of hypnotic delusional state where they worship their master since he is offering them something intangible like enlightenment, and they believe all the lies he continuously says and defend him and the organization to the best of their abilities.

    You can read more on sadhguru jaggi vasudev aka sjv on guruphiliac forums written by ex ishaites. They say that few people were found dead at both his ashrams in India and the US.

  • I am on LOGIC Tarkika is using When he(she) is saying ” First claim is unscientific ” . No need to say that. Yoga and science are founded on two different ASSUMPTIONS .

  • Recently, the AP govt proposed to gift sadhguru jaggi vasudev 400 acres of land in the new capital city worth 800 crores. (Deccan herald and DC- The Andhra Pradesh government’s proposed allocation of 400 acres of land near Vijayawada for the development of spiritually-oriented institutions to isha group.)

    It seems Mr Jagadish Vasudev aka Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev aka Jaggi has been accused by his own father in law of killing his daughter (Sadhguru jaggi’s wife) Vijji aka Mrs Vijaya kumari either by strangulation or by poisoning, in 1997. Mrs Vijaya Kumari was 31 years old then with a 6 year old daughter . Jaggi has escaped saying that she went into mahasamadhi. (Now, which court accepts mahasamadhi and acquits a murderer?).

    Mr. Jagadish cremated the body of his wife on the next day itself, hence no autopsy could be performed. Before marrying Jagadish vasudev, Vijaya kumari was working in a bank and was previously married to someone else. After her death, another woman who was involved with them (in the tri-vortex of energy needed to consecrate the so -called dhyanalinga), a certain Mrs. Bharathi divorced her husband and came to live with Mr. Jagadish vasudev.

    After his wife died, Mr. Jagadish Vasudev flew to the united states and got himself certified seriously ill to escape the prosecution. He then started rumors about how the consecration of the dhyanalinga made him ill, so that no one would doubt his fake illness.

    Mr. Jagadish vasudev has a daughter named Radhe, who is a dancer and she is married to a classical singer and is living a normal, luxurious life in Chennai and the USA, whereas most young women and men in the ashram live as unpaid slave labour, just on 2 meals a day and 3 sets of clothes and hard work to produce products and money for his so called Isha foundation, which many say is just an excuse to get tax exempt status in India and the USA for all ashram activities and businesses. Isha foundation doesnt seem to work much as it is advertised.

    Mr Jagadish Vasudev once said that children who go to govt. schools are walking 4 km per day and giving the bus charges (7rs/ day) to the ashram and that they are very commendable.
    Also, while he asks people to live frugally, and donate to the ashram, he and his daughter, and Bharathi etc live very luxuriously and Jaggi has bought himself a landrover, a landcruiser and a hummer apart from other things. He advises people not to drink coffee, but he himself drinks folgers coffee and is seen at starbucks. His family members (daughter, son in law etc ) go to movies, malls, enjoy luxury villa stay with private pool type vacations both in India and abroad, and hang out with friends along with their latest i-phones. It seems that Mr. Jagadish vasudev is keeping them in “miserable” luxuries while the ashramites are enjoying sublime “spiritual” bliss in bare frugality.

    He has once said that 3 things should never be commercialized…education, health care and spirituality. He is commercializing all the three as – a) isha home school charges around 6 lakh per annum, b) isha arogya (medicine) products are sold through isha stores and c) inner engineering and all other programs (spirituality) are also being sold to the masses.

    He is good with words, but he himself never practices what he speaks. Some people who want to come out of the ashram are threatened from leaving saying that their spiritual progress will be stopped and that they will also affect the lives of many people around them…or something like that. Anyways most of them are in a kind of hypnotic delusional state where they worship their master since he is offering them something intangible like enlightenment, and they believe all the lies he continuously says and defend him and the organization to the best of their abilities.

    You can read more on sadhguru jaggi vasudev aka sjv on guruphiliac forums written by ex ishaites. They say that few people were found dead at both his ashrams in India and the US.

    This news came in the Indian Express in 1997-
    Coimbatore, Oct, 11: Close on the heels of scandals relating to fake godmen getting exposed, yet another ashram from Coimbatore is in the limelight with Jaggi Vasudev aliash Jagadeesh of Isha Yoga ashram at Poondi near Coimbatore, being charged with the murder of his wife Viji alias Vijayakumari.A team of police personnel recently visited the premises of Isha Ashram at poondi and interrogated the inmates of the ashram. Godman Jaggi is away in the US.According to police, T. S. Ganganna of Bangalore (father of Viji) had preferred a complaint with the Bangalore Police suspecting foul play in the death of his daughter Viji. The complaintant had stated that his daughter left him last on June 15, 1996. He reportedly received a message on January 23, 1997, from Jaggi Vasudev, stating that Viji was no more.Ganganna said that Jaggi Vasudev had hurriedly completed the cremation on Jan.24 even before they could rush from Bangalore, raising suspicion about the nature of death. He suspected death due to poisoning or strangulation.According to him, Jaggi Vasudev could have caused the death of Viji to facilitate his illicit relationship with yet another inmate of the ashram. Based on the complaint of Ganganna to the Bangalore City Police on Aug. 12, a case was registered.The Bangalore City Police transferred it to the Coimbatore Rural Police.The Coimbatore Rural Police have registered a case against Jaggi Vasudev under Section 302 of IPC (murder) and IPC 201 (suppression of evidence).

    Update- Also he got his daughter married at his ashram in 2014 and invited 6000 (six thousand) guests for the ceremony, some of the guests were celebrities and politicians too…Wonder where did the money come from for the accommodation, the festivities, the food and decorations ?

  • Not a surprise,,, that which goes beyond our understanding, the only way we have known to deal with it is to criticize… Just like we can’t stop people like you, nobody can stop the immensity of yoga or Gurus like Sadguru from working towards it..

    He clearly mentions that not everything in universe can have scientific proof.. & if you argue he is wrong,, you should by now have scientific reasons on every thing that is happening right from the reasons why the universe if formed…

    Not that I’d agree whoever written this article has thorough knowledge about science or even yoga.. So, when we are half-baked & don’t understand something completely, with all due respect, either try to understand or walk away from passing vague & insensible comments.

    If you still want to make comments against yoga or for yoga,, against science or for science, I’d insist that you know about it thoroughly before making such irresponsible comments..

    In short, you could only be a critic if you have mastery of the subject (in this case yoga & Sadguru).. If you have not known about them, you just miss the basic qualification of being a critic..

  • @Sridevi

    In short, you could only be a critic if you have mastery of the subject

    That is kind of the point of the article. These self-proclaimed gurus (as opposed to actual gurus who spend decades in advanced formal training and rigorous evaluation before advancing the understanding of the nature of things via very focused questions) should not talk flippantly about science, when they do not understand the basics, let alone “have a mastery of the subject”. Vasudev is incompetent to be a critic of science.

    So, when we are half-baked & don’t understand something completely, with all due respect, either try to understand or walk away from passing vague & insensible comments.

    Which is exactly what Vasudev is doing – He has a half-baked understanding of science (he has no formal training in science at all… and it clearly shows) and he is passing “vague and insensible comments”.

    If you still want to make comments against yoga or for yoga,, against science or for science, I’d insist that you know about it thoroughly before making such irresponsible comments..

    EXACTLY. When will you be insisting that Vasudev train “thoroughly” in science “before making such irresponsible comments”?

  • This is the argument between a Man and an Owl, one says night is the time of light other says day is the time of light. Neither has a faculty to see light both the times. I did yoga for quite some time and now can clearly feel the impact of the moon on myself during its different phases. Saying that “He also alludes to the moon affecting the human brain. There is only one way in which the moon can affect humans, that is with its gravitational pull” is clearly nonesense in my experience. I cannot categories it has a gravitational impact but it just shoots up the energy level of the body and every cell in the body feels it.

  • I get where you are coming from because i used to have that “non-plastic” “scientific” mindset, but you lost it when starting to talk about “nothingness”. When he says nothing he is not talking about the “nothing” that invalidates and that is so rooted in our culture that it disqualifies. If you see how he speaks about the first yogi, “Adi Yogi” that for others is a god but for yoga is only the most extraordinary human being, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev refers to it as “that which is nothing”. He is not desquilifying science by saying it is nothing, he is saying (i’m expresing this in a crude way) that nothingness is that which unifies. Since that very basic concept is not understood in the present analysis, the rest is not valid. It is valid as an opinion but has no debatable content.

  • regarding your solar flare argument above…I think you are justifying the whole argument of JV being ignorant with your own limited “ignorance” and “knowledge”….Now

    ” If you ever do a Raman, you will see quite a significant background “noise” …primarily due to cosmic rays….now imagine for a 1mm by 1mm sample , you have such “detectable “interactions…so for complete human body this cosmic ray “particle” interactions can be quite significant…How they effect us physically …”we dont know” …yet
    Now same goes for neutrino…well it may not be colliding with human matter, but could be causing certain “interference” at atomic level …the truth again is “we dont know yet” , we only know secondary interactions like cherenkov radiation (in Icecube etc) ….
    So if a solar storm can significantly disturb magnetosphere , then that could lead to change in flux of both cosmic particles , neturino “types” on the ground from normal equilibrium…
    If yogic guys are claiming it does, then you can be skeptic about ….and reach to the point saying this is the point “where” we dont know…rather than saying its absolute bullshit…

    Amusingly….jains have always worshiped sun as binary star..now richar muller nemisis theory is also looking for that “failed”..and recently altast one binary star with exo planet configration was observationwise confirmed…that makes me wonder…”were jains really bullshitting ”

    Remember….the life of “star Wars” story will always be much longer (by millennia) in human memory than space station (max 2030)…stories survive …a bit fiction..a bit non…

  • Let me try explaining with one of your examples…. “solar flare argument above ”
    I think you are justifying the whole argument of JV being ignorant with your own limited “ignorance” and “knowledge”. Now…..

    If you ever take a Raman(IR) spectra of a sample, you will see quite a significant high energy background “noise”. This is primarily because of cosmic particles interactions with both the Raman detector and sample. For such a small detector and sample, about 5-10mm sq area , you have such “detectable ” external disturbances/interactions. So imagine, for complete human body this cosmic “particle” interactions will be quite significant (extrapolate to human body surface area). Now how that physical vibration (raman) translates to biochemistry to consciousness, is simply “we don’t know” in modern science…yet!!

    Now same goes for both solar and cosmic neutrinos. Well, they may not be colliding with human matter directly, but could be causing certain “interference” at atomic level. Again, the truth so far about how is, “we don’t know “, we are today only capable to(by 2016) detect secondary interactions like Cerenkov radiation (in Icecube etc). Again any interactions, no matter how small inside human body will remain physically-directly “non detectable” for some time. But do they effect human consciousnesses?? Modern science will only say “we dont know” rather than saying NOT AT ALL. So its a research question/direction that makes sense and needs to be investigated before negating completely.

    So if a solar storm can significantly disturb magnetosphere , then that could lead to change in flux of both cosmic particles and neutrino ” flavor types” on the ground in comparison to normal Sun.
    If yogic guys are claiming it does, then you can be skeptic about it, and say this is the point so far “where” we don’t know…rather than saying this “theory” its absolute bullshit !!

    Amusingly….Jains have always worshiped sun as binary star. Surprisingly, Richard Muller’s Nemesis theory is also looking for that other Sun, and has experimentally so far “failed”. Although recently, atleast one binary star with exo-planet configuration was confirmed with observations. Now, that makes me and “modern science” both wonder “were Jains really bullshitting ” or we were not good skeptics to begin with that this took so long. At-least we (in west & desi-west) could have theorized or simulated the whole binary star concept first, before making fun of Jain mythology.

    Remember….the life of “star Wars” will always be much longer (by millennia) in human memory than actual ISS space station (max 2030)…stories survive …a bit fiction..a bit non…

  • Well already there a r many comments posted on ur site…good for u that u have got great response to ur article from scientifically ignorant middle class of india…See, my first point is that a spiritual guru need not b a theoritical physist…if you believe that an enlightened person knows everything…my frnd I find you rather ignorant to understand that humans cannot know everything…However, the goal of everyones life is to live a life with unending happiness and bliss…Whether sadhguru really has meta human powers, to know everything, or not is unnecessary…He has used higgs boson as an analogy to describe smthng else…Chill bro…its fine…

  • Come on dude, “middle class- the less educated”- does science tells that education is based on social classes, then you might infact yourself be proving the hindu caste system very scientific……Then what about his low class and upper class followers????? First of all he is not a scientist and in order to refute a theory you must first know the fact….Though he might be wrong in some of his assumptions, but first one has to know the fact. We do not know much about the universe yet to disaprove every theory….Secondly, people go to him to learn yoga not science and I don’t see how’s that misleading.

  • De-bunking spiritual BS essense of jaggi Vasudev.

    If there is one science that jaggi is good at, it is at confusing already confused people.

    This is how he sells Ice to a snowman in Antarctica,

    ** See baba, you are not a snowman, you are a questioner. so I’m speaking to the questioner even when I blabber BULLSHIT.
    ** Look at this water,, when I look at it it will turn to ice at room temperature…
    .
    . After some time,,
    .
    ** Climate cools the ice. The stupid snowmen end up believing that Jaggi dit it.
    ** Sitting in silence, a.k.a meditation, calms anyone’s mind. The meditator feels fresh and will obviously attract better lifestyle. Jaggi has nothing to do with it.
    ** BTW, I heard that some of the weakling bhakthas actually act like Snowmen during this fatallic Inner Engineering workshop . It is more of an inner handjob to their confused minds. Isha volunteers live up to the snowman potential in every workshop

    IMHO

    https://www.quora.com/Why-does-Sadhguru-seem-to-claim-that-he-knows-the-whole-thing/answer/Sujai-Karthik-M-S

    Now, a little spirituality,

    *** Having considered all spiritual systems/theories, even if we assume that JV refers to the soul[jeevatma] when he says questioner, the basic principle that your soul is made in the image of god is taken for a toss. Why TF is he addressing the questioner/You / Your soul / I am that already knows everything. It is the mind which clouds the connection with the soul and the actual confused person who asks the question that has to be answered to in order to get clarity.
    *** If the answer is only for the questioner, Why TF is it hosted publicly as blogs/videos?

    ** A few people in this thread used several exclamation marks when JV was called a liar.
    *** Pls think, neither is his science correct
    *** nor is his spirituality correct
    **** He sells you religion in the name of yogi philosophy [Kashmiri Shaivism ie. everything is darkness and then blah blah happened. Who TF is this Adi Yogi?]
    **** This is cheap. Providing Relegious sounding BS when asked a spiritual question like settling for a Chevvy when you have actually paid the price of a Bentley.

    Have fun reading this ! [ An abstract answer I wrote in Quora ]

    EVERY MAN HAS A PAST,EVERY MYSTIC, A HISTORY.

    There was a tall dark man,

    he went to the top of the mountain and meditated.. on the peak, he found eternal bliss.. Then he came down and shared his knowledge with 7 rishis.

    When did this happen? , people dont know.

    But one thing is sure, Jaggi vasudev was there,hiding behind a tree. He still lives to re-tell the story.

    Again in 1990’s, This tall dark man who had renamed himself Adi Yogi appeared in Jaggi’s dreams and asked him to build a big spiritual theme park with big reception, swimming pool, temple,big statue, residential quarters and a souvenir store.

    To teach Yoga, Jaggi took some crash courses from the lineage of maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s lineage has not been acknowledged so far. Adi Yogi asked jaggi to keep silent about this.

    And Jaggi being a good storyteller used the Adi Yogi story to grab land from people around Velliangiri. Being a construction contractor before becoming self-proclaiming to be a mystic, he was able to build building after the other in forest land.

  • You are no different from Jaggi vasudev in claiming the audacity of what you know knowing very well that what you know is limited and can change tomorrow yet you claim others are wrong or ignorant when you are equally ignorant!! Accept the fact that we humans don’t know enough about the cosmos to make authentic statements, we know nothing, absolutely nothing, that’s the fact!!

  • If anyone try to say yogis are not scientists, then how could they able to identify the colours of planets in solar system, when there is no telescope or any facilities are available to see it. Actually the yogis found the universe within them and identified it’s colors and given in the “navagraham” . Yogis said everything but now the scientists are trying to prove that’s all.

  • How many of you here know Sanskrit and know the Vedas completely?
    Unless you know it and understand what it says, you cannot argue for or against it.
    Modern science current or next big thing is the study of wat the currently unbreakable fundamental particles are made of, string theory proposes models that cannot be completely proved or even try to attempt in its experimentation. Physics is proven mainly on the basis of mathematical models and experiments cannot be even modulated based on super advance mathematical string modelling.. it may take years for the theory of string to be proven through experiments. I have, by the way done research on fundamental particle physics. Mathematics is the only way modern science community depends on to explain its theories. Having said that,i don’t think mathematics is the only way to understand the true nature of this universe
    Nobody, who accuses SJV has tried to understand what he says. There is this yogic science which has existed over many thousands of year, explores nature of universe, our very life in a fundamentally different ways. You can understand it’s credibility, only if you attempt practice it, for that you first need some level of trust and skepticism and willingness to try.

  • Namshkar and hello .
    With due all humility and politeness ..I want to state that : Vedas are entirely scientific and I hope I will clear the misconceptions of this scientific forum .

    my brothers of science .
    it’s going to be little bit lengthy(sorry)

    Before I start explaining things ..

    A small scientific concept from Vedas .
    -Sanskrit “Nada Brahma” – all the world is sound. i.e (universe is vibration )And anything that vibrates reacts to vibrations.

    At times we put out a signal unaware of its unique imprint and shocked when it returns to us as a harsh reflection, sometimes misunderstood by all.

    The scientific research today has come up with the recognition that all creation is energy in movement, vibration, each vibration having it’s own sound, colour, visual pattern. When the vibration is slow enough we recognize it as our material world.

    Actually it’s quite enough to prove Vedas scientific credibility.

    (Typically It takes 10-12 year to learn veads alone)

    Now I start ..om

    Vedas and Puranas, which were revealed second time 6,000 years ago centuries ago, mentioned facts only recently discovered or proven by scientists.

    Sphericity of Earth:

    The existence of rather advanced concepts like the sphericity of Earth and the cause of seasons is quite clear in Vedic literature. For example, the Aitareya Brahmana (3.44) declares:
    The Sun does never set nor rise. When people think the Sun is setting it is not so. For after having arrived at the end of the day it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making night to what is below and day to what is on the other sideHaving reached the end of the night, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making day to what is below and night to what is on the other side. In fact, the Sun never sets.

    Shape of Earth is like an Oblate Spheroid. (Rig VedaXXX. IV.V)

    ‘Earth is flattened at the poles’ (Markandeya Purana 54.12)

    “Sixty-four centuries before Isaac Newton, the Hindu Rig-Veda asserted that gravitation held the universe together. The Sanskrit speaker subscribed to the idea of a spherical earth in an era when the Greeks believed in a flat one. The Indians of the fifth century A.D. calculated the age of the earth as 4.3 billion years; scientists in 19th century England were convinced it was 100 million years.”

    Polar Days and Nights
    For the period when the sun is north it is visible for six months at the north pole and invisible at the south, and vice versa. – (Ibid Sutara)

    Now Lets see what modern science says about this:
    June 21, 1999: Later today, at 19:49 UT (3:49 p.m. EDT), Earth’s north pole points more directly at the Sun than at any other time during the year. For polar bears and other denizens of the Arctic it will be noontime, the middle of a 6-month long day, as the Sun climbs to 23 1/2 degrees above the horizon.
    June 21st marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. In the North it’s the longest day of the year. At mid-latitudes there is sunlight for over 16 hours. Above the Arctic Circle the sun doesn’t set at all!

    “He made this Earth fixed by different devices like hills and mountains in shape of pegs but it still rotates . Sun never sets; all parts of earth are not in Darkness.” [RIG VEDA]

    movement of earth:

    “Earth rotates in two ways by the Will of Brahama, first it rotates on its axis secondly it revolves around sun. Days and Nights are distinguished when moves on its axis. Season change when it revolves around Sun”. (Vishnu Puran)

    “There are suns in all directions, the night sky being full of them.” (Rig Veda)

    Now lets see what what the modern sceince says:
    In the 1920s astronomers realised that our island universe, the Milky Way Galaxy, is not alone in space. Outside it are other galaxies, each containing thousands of millions of suns. One of these other galaxies is visible to the naked eye, as a faint fuzzy blob in the constellation of Andromeda. The Andromeda galaxy is similar in size and shape to the Milky Way and is our galaxy’s nearest neighbour, 2 million light years (20000000000000000000000 km) away. Further away are other galaxies, too faint for the eye to see. With powerful telescopes, millions have been photographed. Remarkably, all the galaxies are fleeing from one another: the whole Universe is expanding. This is one of the key pieces of evidence that about 15000 million years ago, there was a beginning to the Universe, an immense explosion we call the Big Bang. The debris from the explosion is still flying apart. Earth is one of the cinders.
    stant cluster of galaxies.
    Each galaxy contains
    about a 100000 million suns.

    Because each galaxy contains about 100000 million suns, galaxies can be seen to enormous distances, and they light up the distant universe for us.

    Modern scientists’ comments:

    Hinduism is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. The Hindu literature is work of a Genius.
    (Dr. Steinn Sigurdsson, Pennsylvania State University)

    It looks like that the writers of Vedas and Puran came from the future to deliver knowledge. The works of the Ancient Arya Sages is mind blowing. There is no doubt that Purans and Vedas are word of God.
    (Scott Sandford , Space Scientist, NASA)

    How could Hindus have possibly known all this 6,000 years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment which did not exist at that time? Such concepts were found only recently.
    (Dr. Kevin Hurley of the University of California at Berkeley)

    Blue Sky is Nothing but scattered sunlight (Markandeya Purana 78.8)

    what Modern Science says about it:
    The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering.

    Nothing in Brahmand(universe ) is immovable (Sam Veda)

    “NOTHING IS STATIC IN THIS WORLD NEITHER LIVING OR NON LIVING”. (Brahmand Puran)

    “Earth is divided in many plates as much as 14 of them in present Manavatara.” (Brahmand Purana)

    In the 1920s, Edwin Hubble used the 100″ telescope (2.5 meters) at the Mount Wilson Observatory in California to detect variable stars in nebulae. He discovered that the stars he observed had the same characteristic variations in their brightness as a class of stars called Cepheid Variables. Earlier, astronomer Henrietta Levitt had shown there was a precise correlation between the periodic change in brightness of a Cepheid Variable and its luminosity. Hubble was able use this correlation to show that the nebulae containing the variable stars he observed were not within our own Galaxy; they were external galaxies far beyond the edge of our Milky Way.

    The current continental and oceanic plates include: the Eurasian plate, Australian-Indian plate, Philippine plate, Pacific plate, Juan de Fuca plate, Nazca plate, Cocos plate, North American plate, Caribbean plate, South American plate, African plate, Arabian plate, the Antarctic plate, and the Scotia plate. These plates consist of smaller sub-plates.

    Origin of Universe

    Hindu concepts of Hiranyagarbha (golden womb) and Brahmanda (the first egg), are comparable to cosmic egg origin systems. The Bhagavata Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Vayu Purana among others contain references to the initial process of the origins of the universe as a cosmic egg. The twelve phase creation of the universe and the history of our Brahmanda is described in Srimad Bhagvatam.

    The Hiranyagarbha Sukta announces: Hiranyagarbhah samavartatagre bhutasya jatah patireka asit, which means, Before creation existed the golden womb Hiranyagarbha, Lord of everything born. (Rig Veda 10.121.1)

    The whole universe including sun, moon, planets, and galaxies was all inside the egg, and the egg was surrounded by ten qualities from outside. (Vayu Purana 4.74-75)

    Before creation, it was only the braham that was everywhere. There was no day, night or sky. First I created the waters. And in the waters I sowed the seeds of brahmanda. the great egg. From this seed there developed a egg which began to float on the waters. This egg is known as Brahamand (Universe)

    Finally we came to conclusion that Universe is shaped like a egg but this information was already present in Hindu Literature.
    (Alan Kogut, NASA)

    Modern Science:

    If we take a look at the COBE results, we notice the uneven pattern in the radiation stemming from the decoupling of matter and radiation when the Universe was a mere 300,000 years old. The blue and magenta patterns represent areas that were slightly cooler and slightly warmer than average. These variations are at a level of about 1:100,000, but they must have been enough to seed the structures we see today.

    OZONE LAYER

    Protection of Earth

    After the formation of the earth planet, Brahama created atmosphere in group of seven , from that formation oceans began to exist, and the first form of life appeared on the earth planet. Atmosphere was created as protective skin of earth (Shrimad Bhagwatam)

    “Amazing isnt it Vedas and Puaran are divine source of knwoledg” said Dr. Donald Mitchell of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. It is hard to believe that these facts were already mentioned in hindu books thousands of years back, in the time when Human didnt knew much about Astronomy.

    The Vishnu Purana gives a quite an accurate description of tides:
    “In all the oceans the water remains at all times the same in quantity and never increases or diminishes; but like the water in a cauldron, which in consequence of its combination with heat, expands, so the waters of the ocean swell with the increase of the Moon. The waters, although really neither more nor less, dilate or contract as the Moon increases or wanes in the light and dark fortnights”..

    About Creation of Moon

    Theia colliding with Earth.

    “In the initial stage of creation of Universe some creation material slipped from the hands of Brahma and collided with earth resulting in the formation of Moon”.
    (Brahmand Purana)

    what Modern Science says

    At the time Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago, other smaller planetary bodies were also growing. One of these hit earth late in Earth’s growth process, blowing out rocky debris. A fraction of that debris went into orbit.

    Vedas theory of evolution is so conspicuous to understand …

    Now on quantum physics
    The famous Danish physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Laureate Niels Bohr (1885-1962) , was a follower of the Vedas. He said, “I go into the Upanishads to ask questions.” Both Bohr and Schrödinger, the founders of quantum physics, were avid readers of the Vedic texts and observed that their experiments in quantum physics were consistent with what they had read in the Vedas.

    Niels Bohr got the ball rolling around 1900 by explaining why atoms emit and absorb electromagnetic radiation only at certain frequencies.

    Then, in the 1920’s Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), an Austrian-Irish physicist who won the Nobel prize, came up with his famous wave equation that predicts how the Quantum Mechanical wave function changes with time. Wave functions are used in Quantum Mechanics to determine how particles move and interact with time.

    Bohr, Heisenberg and Schrödinger regularly read Vedic texts. Heisenberg stated, “Quantum theory will not look ridiculous to people who have read Vedanta.” Vedanta is the conclusion of Vedic thought.

    Furthermore, Fritjof Capra, when interviewed by Renee Weber in the book The Holographic Paradigm (page 217–218), stated that Schrödinger, in speaking about Heisenberg, has said:
    “I had several discussions with Heisenberg. I lived in England then [circa 1972], and I visited him several times in Munich and showed him the whole manuscript chapter by chapter. He was very interested and very open, and he told me something that I think is not known publicly because he never published it. He said that he was well aware of these parallels. While he was working on quantum theory he went to India to lecture and was a guest of Tagore. He talked a lot with Tagore about Indian philosophy. Heisenberg told me that these talks had helped him a lot with his work in physics, because they showed him that all these new ideas in quantum physics were in fact not all that crazy. He realized there was, in fact, a whole culture that subscribed to very similar ideas. Heisenberg said that this was a great help for him. Niels Bohr had a similar experience when he went to China.”

    Consequently, Bohr adopted the Yin-Yang symbol as part of his family coat-of-arms when he was knighted in 1947.

    Schrodinger wrote in his book Meine Weltansicht:
    “This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins [wise men or priests in the Vedic tradition] express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as “I am in the east and the west, I am above and below, I am this entire world.”
    ब्रह्मैवेदममृतं पुरस्तात् ब्रह्म पश्चात् ब्रह्म उत्तरतो दक्षिणतश्चोत्तरेण ।
    अधश्चोर्ध्वं च प्रसृतं ब्रह्मैवेदं विश्वमिदं वरिष्ठम् ॥ 2.2.11
    This is a reference to the Mundaka Upanishad mantra (above) in which the Vedic understanding of the connectivity of living entities is put forward to help the Bhakta (practitioner of yoga) to understand the difference between the body and the living entity. How the real nature of the living entity is realized only in union with the source, the supreme being (Brahman/Krishna) through a platform of transcendental divine loving service.

    Schrödinger, in speaking of a universe in which particles are represented by wave functions, said, “The unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. This is entirely consistent with the Vedanta concept of All in One.”

    “The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads. And not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the West.” (Erwin Schrödinger, What is Life?, p. 129, Cambridge University Press)

    “There is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction… The only solution to this conflict insofar as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad.” (Mein Leben, Meine Weltansicht [My Life, My World View] (1961), Chapter 4)

    In his biography on Schrödinger, Moore wrote: “His system – or that of the Upanishads – is delightful and consistent: the self and the world are one and they are all… He rejected traditional western religious beliefs (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) not on the basis of any reasoned argument, nor even with an expression of emotional antipathy, for he loved to use religious expressions and metaphors, but simply by saying that they are naive.
    Vedanta and gnosticism are beliefs likely to appeal to a mathematical physicist, a brilliant only child, tempted on occasion by intellectual pride. Such factors may help to explain why Schrödinger became a believer in Vedanta, but they do not detract from the importance of his belief as a foundation for his life and work. It would be simplistic to suggest that there is a direct causal link between his religious beliefs and his discoveries in theoretical physics, yet the unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. In 1925, the world view of physics was a model of the universe as a great machine composed of separable interacting material particles, During the next few years, Schrödinger and Heisenberg and their followers created a universe based on superimposed inseparable waves of probability amplitudes. This new view would be entirely consistent with the vedantic concept of the All in One.” (Schrödinger: Life and Thought (Meine Weltansicht), p. 173)

    In Schrödinger’s famous essay on determinism and free will, he expressed very clearly the sense that consciousness is a unity, arguing that this “insight is not new…From the early great Upanishads the recognition Atman = Brahman (the personal self equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self) was in Indian thought considered, far from being blasphemous, to represent, the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was, after having learnt to pronounce with their lips, really to assimilate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts.”

    According to Moore on page 125 of his biographical work, A Life of Erwin Schrödinger, Schrödinger found “Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves… The stages of human development are to strive for Possession (Artha), Knowledge (Dharma), Ability (Kama), Being (Moksha)… Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge. It has nothing to do with individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion. The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further – when man dies his karma lives and creates for itself another carrier”.

    Regarding mystical insights, Schrödinger tells us: “The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads, and not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the West” (Amaury de Riencourt, The Eye of Shiva: Eastern Mysticism and Science, p.78).

    In autumn of 1925 Schrödinger wrote an interestingly personal account of his philosophy of life called Mein Weltansicht – My World View.

    He completed this in 1960. In chapter 5 of this book he gives his understanding of the basic view of Vedanta. He writes, “Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves.”

    Maya (illusion) is the cause of our faulty identification with this material world. In all the embodied forms of existence, Atma (the individual living entity) is fully able to at any time revive his forgotten, eternal and inherent connection with Brahman or Paramatma, the supreme self and source of all the living entities.

    Schrödinger did not believe that it is possible to demonstrate the unity of consciousness by logical arguments. One must make an imaginative leap guided by communion with nature and the persuasion of analogies. He understood the nonmaterial eternal nature of the conscious self and how the Atman is intimately connected to the supreme.

    In the 1920’s quantum mechanics was created by the three great minds mentioned above: Heisenberg, Bohr and Schrödinger, who all read from and greatly respected the Vedas. They elaborated upon these ancient books of wisdom in their own language and with modern mathematical formulas in order to try to understand the ideas that are to be found throughout the Vedas, referred to in the ancient Sanskrit as “Brahman,” “Paramatma,” “Akasha” and “Atman.” As Schrödinger said, “some blood transfusion from the East to the West to save Western science from spiritual anemia.”

    In 1935 Einstein Prodolsky and Rosen challenged Quantum Mechanics on the grounds that it was an incomplete formulation. They were the first authors to recognize that quantum mechanics is inherently non-local, which means it allows for instantaneous action across arbitrarily great distances. So an action in one place can instantly influence something on the other side of the universe in no time at all. This very powerful paper (The EPR paper) explaining Quantum Entanglement changed the world and alerted us to the magical implications of quantum mechanics’ metaphysical implications.

    But, Einstein states in his letter from to Max Born, 3 March 1947, “Es gibt keine spukhafte Fernwirkung” which translates to “There is no spooky action at a distance.” He did not believe in magic. He believed in science and would regularly read the Bhagavad-gita.

    Einstein’s famous quote on the Bhagavad-gita is: “When I read the Bhagavad-gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.” He also wrote in his book The World as I See It, “I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research” (p. 24-28).

    Since scientists like Schrödinger did not possess a direct knowledge of Sanskrit to discern first-hand what the Vedic texts actually were saying, they were forced to read various translations of these great books of wisdom, such as the Upanishads. There are persons like Robert Oppenheimer (1904 – 1967) (pictured on left) who were not lacking in such an advantage. Oppenheimer learned Sanskrit in 1933 and read the Bhagavad-gita in the original, citing it later as one of the most influential books to shape his philosophy of life, stating that “The Vedas are the greatest privilege of this century.”

    Upon witnessing the world’s first nuclear test in 1945, he instantly quoted Bhagavad-gita chapter 11, text 32, “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

    The fact is that, irrespective of east or west, great minds that come in contact with the Vedic texts agree that the ultimate reality remains timeless and changeless, and is contained in the Vedic texts such as the Bhagavad-gita and the Upanishads.

    The well-known early American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, read the Vedas daily. Emerson wrote: “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavat-Gita”

    Henry David Thoreau said: “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita… in comparison with which… our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.”

    So great were Emerson and Thoreau’s appreciation of Vedantic literatures that they became known as the American transcendentalists. Their writings contain many thoughts from Vedic Philosophy.

    Another famous personality who spokes of the greatness of the Vedas was: Alfred North Whitehead (British mathematician, logician and philosopher), who stated that: “Vedanta is the most impressive metaphysics the human mind has conceived.”

    Lin Yutang, Chinese scholar and author, wrote that: “India was China’s teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics… ” and so forth.

    Francois Voltaire stated: “… everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges.”

    Another genius scientist was Nikola Tesla, a super genius Serbian. Tesla, along with the others mentioned above, knew that the ancient Indian Brahmans (wise men), well equipped with knowledge from the Vedas, had understandings of the intricate laws, mathematical formulas and subtle workings of the universe that far surpass anything we can even imagine today.

    Much of Tesla’s life and work has been erased from history due to this mastermind inventor and scientist wanting to make the fruits of all his work available for free to the world(tesla free energy) .

    Tesla understood the great power of Zero Point Field or Akasha or Ether: the power of space between the electrons and the nucleus. Vivekanda’s effect on Tesla was so great that he became vegetarian, became celibate and started using Sanskrit words. He died with his scalar energy science in his head, because he did NOT want the US military to use it to destroy the planet. No wonder he was denied the Nobel prize and eventually killed. Knowledge is power, and there are many people that want all the power for themselves. Tesla wanted to give power to everyone for free! He was actually the first person to figure out how to make radio communication possible across the Atlantic ocean. But because he wanted to make this ability free for others his funding was stopped and the credit was later given to someone else that played the power game better than him.

    The Vedas recommend for yogis, and those wanting super intelligence and inner power, to conserve their own divine energy by observing celibacy. As Tesla himself has said, “The gift of mental power comes from God, divine being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power.” and “Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world.”

    Carl Sagan stated, “Vedic Cosmology is the only one in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology.”

    Nobel laureate Count Maurice Maeterlinck wrote of: “a Cosmogony which no European conception has ever surpassed.”

    French astronomer Jean-Claude Bailly corroborated the antiquity and accuracy of the Vedic astronomical measurements as “more ancient than those of the Greeks or Egyptians.” And that, “the movements of the stars calculated 4,500 years ago, does not differ by a minute from the tables of today.”

    Voltaire, the famous French writer and philosopher) stated that “Pythagoras went to the Ganges to learn geometry.” Abraham Seidenberg, author of the authoritative “History of Mathematics,” credits the Sulba Sutras as inspiring all mathematics of the ancient world from Babylonia to Egypt to Greece.

    As Voltaire & Seidenberg have stated, many highly significant mathematical concepts have come from the Vedic culture, such as:

    The theorem bearing the name of the Greek mathematician Pythagorus is found in the Shatapatha Brahmana as well as the Sulba Sutra, the Indian mathematical treatise, written centuries before Pythagorus was born.

    The Decimal system, based on powers of ten, where the remainder is carried over to the next column, first mentioned in the Taittiriya Samhita of the Black Yajurveda.

    The Introduction of zero as both a numerical value and a place marker.
    The Concept of infinity.

    The Binary number system, essential for computers, was used in Vedic verse meters.

    A hashing technique, similar to that used by modern search algorithms, such as Googles, was used in South Indian musicology. From the name of a raga one can determine the notes of the raga from this Kathapayadi system.

    Cosmology and other scientific accomplishments of ancient India spread to other countries along with mercantile and cultural exchanges. There are almost one hundred references in the Rig Veda alone to the ocean and maritime activity.
    This is confirmed by Indian historian R. C. Majumdar, who stated that the people of the Indus-Sarasvata Civilization engaged in trade with Sooma and centers of culture in western Asia and Crete.

    …as we can see many renowned intellectuals believed that the Vedas provided the origin of scientific thought.

    And there are plenty of them
    but I think it’s enough expounded.

    And last some one raised a question of toilet …I Will finish it in brief
    So kindly allow me to update that fella ….in archaeological survey of Indus valley …toilet with flushing facility has been founded and I don’t think I have to explain the reason why we are a developing country (thanks to invaders)large amount of our history,education and scientific works was extirpated but we are recovering and hope will lead the world towards peace(our intrinsic nature).

    Brothers,
    science and spirituality complement each other .

    Tat tavm asi (that thou art – you are that )
    Vasudhaiva kutumbakam (the entire world is one family)

    Nanashkar
    Thank you

  • @Sangeetha Baskaran:

    I think mathematics is not sufficient but it is necessary, in fact essential, for understanding the universe. Don’t you think relativity and quantum mechanics are needed? They don’t tell you what life is but they do explain some aspects of reality; are there any non-mathematical substitutes for them?

    Of course, humans lived for thousands of years without learning GR and QM, and we believe that some of them achieved enlightenment regarding the nature of life and death, the soul, etc.. Some such individuals probably existed even in recent times and some may be around now. If this is true (I think it is, but can’t prove it; that is why I say “probably”) did such people understand things like the curvature of space, quarks and so on? I have no idea. What do you think? Please don’t dismiss it as unnecessary knowledge!

    It is another matter whether Jaggi Vasudev is in the same league as Ramana Maharshi or Shirdi Sai Baba or Ramakrishna (of course, assuming that they were enlightened souls, which we believe without proof).

    From the information in this blog, I don’t think so.

  • Is this the same science that ignores elegant and explanatory models like the Electric Universe in favor of the old and increasingly falsified gravity driven model? You know, the “science” of faked studies with false conclusions concocted to get more grant money?

    I’ll take Sadhguru’s rationalism any day of the week.

  • Is everyone on this forum at least willing to ‘experiment’ by practising meditation? It doesn’t need anything except an open mind ?

  • Excellent. Another video I’ve watched is about warning people not to sleep with their head pointed to the north if they live in the northern hemisphere. The pseudo-scientific rationale given for this is that the magnetic field emanating from Earth’s northern pole will slowly cause blood to drift to your head and potentially hemorrhage the fine capillaries in the brain. He goes on to explain this by using the “blood contains iron routine” in a very scientific-sounding manner, that easily convinces people whose scientific backgrounds are limited to elementary / middle school science. Iron in the blood is not present in a ferromagnetic state. It is part of a molecule called haemoglobin, that transports oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. In this form, iron is not attracted to magnetic fields. Even the weakly magnetic deoxyhaemoglobin has no significant attraction to Earth’s magnetic field of 32 microteslas. For context, a lowly fridge magnet is 150 times stronger and has no demonstrable effect on blood.

  • @FS: His explanation may be wrong. He may be a cheat and a murderer as alleged in the comments above. But there may be another explanation for the custom. In other words, as long as a custom isn’t harmful, I won’t rule out the possibility of its having a scientific basis unless it is disproved.

  • Many comments from Isha lovers say that one should go ahead and try the techniques offered by Isha before we make any comments. I have done Shambavi and BSP, have gone to ashram many times and meditated in the Dhyanalinga shrine and also bought Linga Bhairavai Gudi and Dhyanalinga yantra.. I think that makes me completely qualified to comment here…

    First of all, I do admire sadhguru for his skills.. His leadership skills, oratory skills, his social service activities and his attempt to bring Yoga to international attention is all excellent…

    But the argument of this blogger is completely valid as well… Trying to promote Isha Yoga with half-baked and pseudo-scientific concepts will definitely invite a lot of criticisms… In one discourse, Sadhguru said that water has memory and science has confirmed it.. It is true that there were experiments conducted and an evidence for it was observed.. But since the experiments were not conducted in controlled conditions, many scientists tried the experiments many times in controlled conditions and were unable to produce the same results.. So, the whole concept of water memory has been rejected by science as pseudo-science…

    In another discourse about Psychology, he said ” All the psychologists and psychiatrists have only studied sick people. People like Freud never found a meditator or a Buddha to study”… Who told him so? He is still thinking that psychology is all about Freud..(He obviously got this from Osho) But most of the Freud’s theories have been rejected by modern psychologists.. Hundreds of modern psychologists have been studying meditators and enlightened buddhist teachers and have found amazing results.. A lot of mindfulness meditation therapies have been created to improve well being, reduce stress, cure insomnia and depression and more and more…. Many neuroscientists have written books about spiritual enlightenment and they are doing research on it… Does Sadhguru even know this or he is still going to rely on Osho’s books which were talks that Osho gave two to three decades ago? When Osho criticized Psychology he was absolutely right, because ideas of Freud was popular at that time and it is true that he was only studying sick people… But after thirty years, things have changed a lot!!

    After reading comments from people who bash the author of this blog, I can’t help but asking ‘why do you people ridicule science like this? it is because of Science that you are able to comment on this blog.. it is because of science and technology Sadhguru can give webinars, travel all around the world and broadcast Shivrathri programs live on TV….

    Just because Isha Yoga techniques work on your well being, it doesn’t mean whatever Sadhguru says is right… Osho said that enlightened people are also infallible… Even Sadhguru doesn’t encourage blind believers… So,if some one points out that what Sadhguru said is wrong, you people should have the open-mindedness and courage to admit it and also tell Sadhguru that he was wrong….

    Read my whole story here: https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/the-journey-of-a-seeker-my-story/ .. I have so much to tell you about these things… I have also provided links to various authentic scientific resources about research that has been conducted on spiritual enlightenment and meditation…

    If Isha has helped you towards your well being, that is beautiful… But just stop getting too emotional about criticisms against Sadhguru… If you are really meditating, you should have less emotional reactivity… The obsessive need for blindly defending anyone itself comes from the obsessive clinging to your ego..

    I wish to end with following quote from Buddha:

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.

    Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations. …

    Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

    But when, after observation and analysis, you find anything that agrees with reason, and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

    – Buddha, Kalama Sutta

  • First of all this article is heavily flawed in it’s assumption that Sadhguru was trying to explain the universe in scientific terms. He has always said that modern science functions upon intellect and intellect can only dissect and percieve things in bits and pieces but never the whole picture. So what Sadhguru is talking about is not supposed to be understood purely based on logic. He has also said several times that you can’t talk about the truth you can only talk around it since truth is the fundamental basis of reality so it’s always there. He has also said many times that you don’t need to go into the universe to know what it is because whatever you experience you experience it within you. So if you turn inward you can know the entire universe. If you want to make sense of this we can put it this way. Human body is fundamentally composed of Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. Most of the universe is also composed of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. So the universe and you are made of the same thing just in different structures and patterns. Neil Degrasse Tyson said that himself and he’s an astrophysicist. He also said that you are not in the universe the universe is within you. Now when an astrophysicist says that you put trust in him but if sadhguru says it you don’t. Don’t try to perceive life with pure logic which is what science does and it’s been very good at finding useful things and producing technology but you can’t know life by science or logic but only by experience.

  • @FS What you said is correct although that only applies when you’re talking about permanent magnets affecting blood and hemoglobin which it doesn’t since it relies on ferromagnetic properties. But Earth’s magnetic field doesn’t work that way. Earth’s magnetic field works like an electromagnet since it functions from Earth’s liquid core like running current through a wire in an electromagnet. Also in the US a study was performed which found consisted of creating a tube with electromagnetic fields and placing people in it and seeing how it affects the blood and hemoglobin aligns itself with electromagnetic field which is measured in Tesla’s. Also in India studies were performed where participants are told to sleep in different positions and they found that participants sleeping in South had lower blood pressure, heart rate and better sleep than people sleeping in north. It had to do with our organs which are sensitive to electromagnetic fields such as pineal gland and eyes both of which regulate sleep patterns. “Effect of electromagnetic forces of earth on human biological system” – Abha Shrivastava, K.K. Mahajan, V. Kalra, K.S.Negi is the name of the study if you wanna look at it. So yes oxygenated hemoglobin isn’t ferromagnetic but neither is earth so that argument only works at debunking the myth that magnetic bracelets affect your overall health and other pseudoscience. What sadhguru said was completely reasonable and correct but a lot of people are quick to look things up and try to prove him wrong. Anyways he also said it won’t hurt you immediately but over time slowly it may start causing damage so do what you will but get your science right before you start calling other people’s arguments pseudoscience. Also oxygenated hemoglobin behaves differently from non oxygenated hemoglobin which is how fMRI’s work that detect brain activity. It uses magnetic field to detect the difference between the two and create an image of course it’s much more complicated than I’m describing but that’s a simpler way of putting it. I love it when people doubt other people’s explanation which I loved about your comment but hate that it’s not backed up by proper science in it’s right context.

  • @Nye (reply to comment of 11:53) “If you turn inward you can know the entire universe.” Are you saying we can learn all of, say, Physics in this way?

  • @Nye

    Also in India studies were performed where participants are told to sleep in different positions and they found that participants sleeping in South had lower blood pressure, heart rate and better sleep than people sleeping in north

    I would largely ignore “studies” like these. They are done with poor controls and are typically unreplicable. There are a lot of junk studies out there. A majority of study results are demonstrably false. Don’t confuse this as a limitation of science. It is just that certain types of research questions require rather elaborate setups that many investigators don’t/can’t invest in. Unless a result has been consistently replicated, don’t jump to conclusions in a hurry.

    From the abstract, the paper you cited looks like a absurd paper, written in a low-impact journal that barely got cited by anyone.

    Even the authors agree that they have not settled the question, but that “further studies are needed” (a standard “hedging” phrase that is all too common). I don’t see that the authors themselves bothered to follow-up, which would happen if they actually believed they were onto something.

    intellect can only dissect and percieve things in bits and pieces but never the whole picture.

    Name a few things that have not been perceived by “intellect”. By that I mean things we can all agree on, not subjective beliefs, cultural notions etc. I would say exactly the opposite – it is ONLY intellect that gives you the big picture – evolution, cosmos, sub-atomic reality etc.

    you can’t talk about the truth you can only talk around it since truth is the fundamental basis of reality so it’s always there.

    That makes no sense. Of course you can talk about reality. That is what science does.

    Sounds to me because all Jagadish does is a lot of talking around, he wants to claim that it is all everyone else does as well.

    So if you turn inward you can know the entire universe.

    Name one thing we found out about the universe by turning “inward” i.e. by meditating.

    Most of the universe is also composed of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen

    Helium and Neon are more common than Carbon and Nitrogen in the universe. Not a lot of those in our bodies.

    So the universe and you are made of the same thing just in different structures and patterns.

    That is like arguing that since computer chips are made of silicon, we can learn computer science and semiconductor technology by just meditating on sand in the lotus position.

    you are not in the universe the universe is within you

    Sounds more like Eckhart Tolle (whose mystical content, Jagadish probably recycles), than Neil deGrasse Tyson. Care to point to the actual quote?

    Now when an astrophysicist says that you put trust in him but if sadhguru says it you don’t.
    Don’t try to perceive life with pure logic which is what science does

    Show me where someone like Neil Degrasse Tyson says: don’t put all your stock in logic. That is exactly the opposite of what he would say. Down-playing logic is Jagadish’s job, because he is neither scientific nor logical. You won’t hear Neil deGrasse Tyson saying that.

    it’s been very good at finding useful things and producing technology but you can’t know life by science or logic

    If you think the point of science is just to be useful and make toys, you completely missed the point of science.

    Understanding the scale of the universe and its origins, the process of evolution, our genetic closeness to other life, the details of biochemical reactions inside us, the mechanics of the human brain… all these profoundly effect our philosophical evaluation – not just make things more convenient.

    Any one can manufacture a worthless metaphysics out of thin air, which is what countless god-men have done, and a god-man is who Jagadish is, one among many.

    Knowing actual reality is a completely different matter. That is what science does. A real “Sadguru” is Newton, Einstein, Bohr etc. They were the real gurus who taught us real things. It is not much of an honor to impress scientifically and philosophically unequipped middle-class and give oneself a title like “Sadguru”. Tell me one single thing that Jagadish discovered about “Truth” to become a guru.

    but only by experience.

    The entire point of the scientific method is that we go astray when we go by “experience”. So we need math and rigorous data collection to guide us. Any one can talk pseudo-intellectual smack, but meticulous data collection and proper analysis is golden.

  • It’s a little biased to ignore studies you disagree with. A lot of studies would be accepted by you just because they go along with your assumptions but they are backed up by multinational corporations isn’t that corrupted. A few decades ago smoking cigarettes was proven to not show any damage and provide health benefits but later once they found it these were backed up by cigarette and tobacco companies all the studies were carefully looked into and proven wrong. When I said there are hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen in our body I mean to say it makes up 96% of our body so it makes up majority of our body. When the big bang happened 75% of the universe was hydrogen and only 25% was helium. Even now the most mass abundant chemicals in the universe are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. I can tell you many things that the intellect has not percieved. With all the science no one has ever even seen an atom. We know how to use it how to make models of it and how to detect it but we don’t know what it is. There is no experiential knowledge of it. We still don’t know how the body works. We can’t make sense of quantum physics even though that same intellect or logic explains classic physics. There are many theories in science but don’t forget these are just theories why? Because we haven’t understood these things fully we only know parts of it whether it’s physics or biology. Even scientists themselves know they can’t understand things fully. Theory of evolution explains many things but still many other things cannot be explained by it like abrupt appearance of species in the fossil record which doesn’t support the theory and we still haven’t found what our common ancestors with other primates was. Neil degrasse never said don’t follow logic he just said the universe is within you. Science can’t answer a lot of things like consciousness. And science really can’t explain how the body works they can just perceive bits of pieces of it and work with that on how to use the knowledge to help the body. A doctor doesn’t really heal you directly he just knows which chemicals to use and which procedures to perform so our cells respond in repairing if our cells didn’t have the ability to repair itself doctors would be of no use. And science does produce toys and technology otherwise how would it be funded? It would be of no use to the economy or society it would only serve to explain a few things but no one would care if it didn’t produce technology. Even now a lot of studies and research is not getting enough funding because companies which hold power and money don’t care unless it helps them make more money. Yes individually science serves a purpose for you and gives you knowledge and lets you explore your passion but if it didn’t produce technology it wouldn’t be funded. The budget of NASA right now is about 0.5% of the national budget but back when NASA was supposed to send people on the moon it has a bigger budget because it fulfilled the national purpose of driving the economy and showing off to the world the power of the country. Experiential knowledge is the most important kind of knowledge because according to science light reflects from objects falls into your retina inverted and then processed by your brain but in your experience it doesn’t happen like that does it? It happens much differently experientially. If I give you a flower right now you have will experiential knowledge of looking at it and smelling it and will know what the flower is but if I give it to a scientist he will cut it open and learn about it and he will know a lot more about it than you but in the process the flower will be destroyed and he still won’t know what the flower is. So the nature of the intellect is always to rip things apart to understand it. Anyways the debate was about something totally different. Even if you go by science the Earth’s magnetic field works like an electromagnet and that’s what I wanted to point out in your post cause you assumed it works like a permanent magnet but it doesn’t. Also yeah scientists assume it works like an electromagnet but they are not absolutely sure since we have never reached the core of the earth. But the argument that there is no possibility that sleeping position affects health because hemoglobin isn’t ferromagnetic is false. All I’m saying is there may be a possibility of it and most likely it’s true. If I ever become a researcher it’s something I would look at it I could try this on someone else myself. But denying it on quick assumptions is an immature way of going about addressing this.

  • It’s a little biased to ignore studies you disagree with.

    No, I am saying that ALL small studies like this are suspect. And it isn’t just my opinion. It is a well demonstrated finding from John Ioannidis of Stanford, one of the top researchers in the world. He finds that small studies, or as one of my mentors calls them – little dinky studies… are about as good as a coin flip… in other words worthless.

    To be sure, there are cases when small studies are enough, but those are very special cases with distributions of specific statistical properties. This isn’t one of them.

    Let us not get into non-falsifiable conspiracy theories shall we? Yes, crooked researchers can mislead the public. So can sloppy and incompetent researchers as in this case. The scientific method works, but only when it is meticulously applied.

    That there have been crooked researchers in the past is all the more reason to look even more carefully at the methods, biases and conflicts of interest.

    The study you pointed is silly. There is a reason why such studies attract no attention. If you have not been taught to critically read research, you would naturally fall for every tiny nonsensical “study” that lines up with YOUR biases.

    I can tell you many things that the intellect has not percieved.

    And I can tell you that nearly 100% of what these mystics say is horse manure. They NEVER added anything to the body of knowledge. Go ahead, give me counter examples.

    Note that I asked to name things that the intellect cannot lead you to, but your mystics can. None of your examples fit that. Science needs to discover more about the atom? Sure. But does a mystic add to that? The Theory of Evolution needs more detail. Sure. What does Jagadish have to contribute to that?

    My question still stands: What did Jagadish contribute to our understanding of the Truth?

    There is no experiential knowledge of it.

    You don’t need “experiential” (as in human sensory) knowledge of everything. Human senses are limited, but technology can reliably extend them. Proper mathematical sense of things is almost always far superior to anything sensory/experiential, when it comes to Truth (capital T).

    but don’t forget these are just theories

    This tired old argument? Science theories, are not “just” theories. They have a lot of data and critical validation to back them up. Anyway, are you actually comparing the mystical mumbo-jumbo of god-men with scientific theories? The former have ZERO evidence.

    we haven’t understood these things fully

    This is the standard line of argument by people who push pseudo-science. Science hasn’t answered everything, so listen to this complete nonsense instead.

    Even scientists themselves know they can’t understand things fully.

    “No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere.” – Freud

    If science cannot give you knowledge about something, don’t assume that you can get it from mystics and charlatans. All they give you are feel good explanations – no relation to Truth at all.

    Again, simple question: tell me what all these god-men (and women) have discovered? Anything at all?

    abrupt appearance of species in the fossil record which doesn’t support the theory
    many other things cannot be explained by it like abrupt appearance of species in the fossil record which doesn’t support the theory.

    Note that “abrupt” here is 25 million years. There are plenty of explanations well within the theory with regards to the causes.

    he just said the universe is within you

    Again, link to the full quote. I am pretty sure you are taking it out of context.

    Science can’t answer a lot of things like consciousness

    Unlike mystics, science knows the extent to which it understands consciousness. The mystics know absolutely nothing about it, but still talk as if they know plenty about it. Tell me one thing that Jagadish told you about consciousness that you could not have gotten from science.

    science really can’t explain how the body works

    Come back after you finished a textbook on physiology.

    A doctor doesn’t really heal you directly he just knows which chemicals to use and which procedures to perform so our cells respond in repairing

    Sounds great to me. Your magic quacks can’t do even that. They just convince you they healed you when they did absolutely nothing. Any objective evaluation exposes them.

    because companies which hold power and money don’t care

    Companies are not required to care. People and governments should. If more people hold your views on science, I can see why people don’t want to see their taxes to go to science, but would instead rather spend on religion and god-men.

    Experiential knowledge is the most important kind of knowledge

    Every modern physicist or for that matter just about any scientist would disagree with you. Hard analysis is king, not experience.

    But denying it on quick assumptions

    Learn about the philosophical burden of proof in science. You make a claim, it is your job to prove it (not just argue for some remote plausibility), not mine. Until then, I can absolutely reject it.

    Jagadish has a lot of charisma. That is pretty much a requisite for god-men. So he has you in a hold. Don’t confuse that with actual intellect and wisdom. All these god-men do is establish personality cults.

  • First of all he is not claiming to teach you anything that science can teach you. Why would he waste his time on that? Why do you assume he is competing with science and trying to give you knowledge in his talks. All he is there for is to make you capable enough to know existence yourself without needing external tools to understand the fundamental basis of life. Saying he is a God man is like saying every scientist is a crazy evil villain. Stop making stereotypes from your limited assumptions. All he has ever done is try to rip apart every belief you ever hold whether in God or in science. Science has its limit cause it’s physical and everything that is physical has its limit. Theory of Evolution can’t explain everything and that is a fact. Even big studies are heavily flawed. So many studies are done on weight loss diets each year and every year science goes back and forth on what’s healthy and what’s not. Government should find science but it doesnt. Not everything in life is fair so don’t think this should happen or this shouldn’t happen what’s reality is reality and you either accept it and start changing it or get stuck in ideals. I am not taking Neil degrasse’s quote out of context. If I wasn’t typing from my phone I would link it up but go on YouTube and watch him do a hot wing challenge and listen to end of the video he says all this in it’s right context. What have mystics produced? Well if you wanna go logically their methods are totally absurd and stupid cause how can closing your eyes and sitting down doing nothing be productive or lead to better health? If you look at this from a evolutionary perspective our bodies aren’t made to be stagnant and sit still but for some reason it’s makes us healthier and more capable and is more productive. How? If it helps shouldn’t evolution support this? But it doesn’t support it and those are the kind of things science cannot explain. What it can explain is that after meditating you are healthier, have lower stress and are more productive and numerous studies confirm this. There is a reason why things like yoga and meditation are catching up in a big way. Sadhguru is always a Yogi first and science didn’t produce yoga our so called dumb ancestors did according to you I guess since you believe that just because they didn’t have modern science their way of thinking produced nothing good. India had looked into so so many things in a detailed way everything from astronomy to biology had been looked at in ancient India and there are texts that detail all of these things. They knew all about the planets and their movements well before modern science. Ancient Yogi’s even discovered the speed of light like 15,000 years ago since it’s written down in the books if you translate it. Don’t believe me? Google it or read the original ancient textbooks. You will definitely fight me on this but if you look at what’s written down and convert the numerical value to English and do the math it gives us the exact same answer that modern science did. Coincidence? No it’s pure science just different ways of discovering things. One was done through experiental knowledge and other was done with modern science. India was so far advanced in mathematics that modern science couldn’t have existed without it yet India was seen as uneducated by Western societies cause it didn’t have any science. As far as Freud goes well all he studied was mentally sick people. He never studied anyone healthy or people like Buddha. So don’t base your psychology on him. And sense perception too is limited if your experience is limited to that but inner experience isn’t based on senses. Scientific tools are good for measuring things but inner experience will take you beyond certain things. Yogi’s and mystics had discovered many many things like pineal gland which science ignored for a long time or predicting planetary movement or looking at the science of food. Science has its place in society and as far as sadhguru goes he has always said his goal is to confuse the hell out of you so you realize that you don’t know anything and that’s when you really have a longing and a possibility to know. If you have made too many assumptions based on science then that will not get you anywhere. Just look at your life from a logical perspective it’s so meaningless and repetitive. If you look at life logically it’ll make you depressed but if you just live life without having the burden of logic then you will know life in it’s full capacity. You should be able to use logic when you want and you should be able to drop it when you don’t need it. Logic doesn’t work in nany situations I like lovelationships, inner experience or going beyond the physical but I’m sure science looks at those things too from a logical perspective. Science can tell us exactly what it is like to fall in love but is it the same as actually falling in love? You know it isn’t but this shows that science has its limits. Sadhguru never answers the question he always answers the questioner. If you think he should give you all the answers then you should look for some other guru. He is only there to help you become capable enough to handle yourself so that all of life’s possibility is available to you not to prove things scientifically or explain everything directly.

  • First of all he is not claiming to teach you anything that science can teach you.

    Did you read the article? The entire point was that he thinks scientists don’t get it (you don’t get it because your programming has been complete) and you can meditate your way to scientific knowledge.

    Why do you assume he is competing with science and trying to give you knowledge in his talks.

    Well, he has no “knowledge” to give. That has been settled. The article was about his “competition” with science, which it documents.

    All he is there for is to make you capable enough to know existence yourself without needing external tools to understand the fundamental basis of life.

    He had a religious experience. Please look it up. It is an altered sense perception. It was what Mohammad had in a cave. It is what evangelicals call being “saved”. It what people get by chanting and doing meditative rituals. Please look it up. Does it change the subject’s perspective? Yes. Is there some actual “knowledge” accessible through it? None. Atoms won’t “yield” to you when you look at them.

    BTW, you asked if science can see an atom. Look up scanning tunneling microscope

    All he has ever done is try to rip apart every belief you ever hold

    That BTW is a characteristic of cults. Pick up any book on cults. There are several books that discuss cult psychology. Most involve deconstruction of some sort… breaking up your existing beliefs, leading you to a sense of confusion, from which the cult leader can shape you as his own.

    Science has its limit cause it’s physical and everything that is physical has its limit.

    Physical is all there is. There is no spirit. Science has limits, mystics have even more. If science stops at 99, mystics don’t even start from a 0.

    science goes back and forth on what’s healthy and what’s not

    That is an essential nature of statistics. Things that produce minor effects, after long periods of time, with multiple intervening/confounding factors require far greater effort than pinning down whether a drug that produces large effects and acts immediately, works or not. You don’t need to pay a lot of attention to small diet studies for the same reason you should not be paying attention to the so-called “study” you talked about. You need to study statistics to understand this better – this is a math issue. Unfortunately, popular press plays up the importance of these studies, more than they warrant.

    Not everything in life is fair

    I don’t think life is fair, but we still can think about where we need to be.

    I am not taking Neil degrasse’s quote out of context.

    Yes, you were. Perhaps not by intention. First, you did not notice that he qualified the list of elements with “chemically active”. Second, this is a variation of Carl Sagan’s (who was almost his PhD mentor, he declined Sagan’s offer) quote – “We are made of star stuff”. The point of his quote was however that we are all the same. We think we are special, but we are not. Now, can you accept that Jagadish is the same as you? You don’t accept a guy with no medical degree to operate on you. Why would you look for science critique from a guy with a BA in literature? You don’t understand basic research methods in medicine because you never took a statistics course and that is normal. It is also normal for Jagadish who has not taken a science class since he was 15 years old, some 40-45 years ago, to not at all get what science is… which is the point of the article. If he wants to talk about his personal and subjective (but not really special) religious experience, that is fine. But it does not give him any insights to comment on what science is or isn’t.

    You should also understand according to Neil’s argument that our experiences are not that different, even though we have an illusion we are special – that a very large number of people have these so-called “religious/spiritual experiences” and that the scientific community understands them well as temporarily altered sensory states (that of course change people’s subjective perspective of their lives later). We can even replicate them… using scientific means… with about 90% precision (requirement for this is that you should already be religious in some way – does not matter which religion). You still have a lot to learn about the science of religion/spirituality. Yes, everything is a science, including what you imagine to be spiritual – even that is a province of science. Again, of course, there are gaps and more work is always needed – that useless phrase again. But as comedian Dana O’Brian puts it – “Science Knows It Doesn’t Know Everything… Otherwise It Would Stop.”. You and Jagadish don’t know that you don’t know – the very thing you confusedly think is what science does.

    for some reason it’s makes us healthier and more capable and is more productive.

    It does not. Most of the meditative effects is from slow breathing. There is some value in that. It does not matter whether you say Om or Donald Duck. Slow breathing does alter your cardio-vascular system somewhat, (as does fast breathing – to the other side). Too much chanting and meditation also reportedly causes people to become scatter-brained. It does not give you super powers mentally. Obviously, if you are in these cult bubbles, everyone keeps giving testimonies about how awesome meditation has been for them and providing positive reinforcement.

    Most of the meditation studies are low quality studies… for about the same design problems as diet studies and your sleeping position study. You just don’t mind the later because it conforms to YOUR biases.

    Yoga’s effects have also been over-played. Please refer to the article on Yoga on this web site. First, Yoga practiced today has little to do with what your ancestors did. Second, there is little evidence to show that it is significantly better than equivalent exercise methods, in other forms (most studies are again low quality and don’t even bother with these basic controls). Sure, it beats sitting in Sofa and watching TV though.

    They knew all about the planets and their movements well before modern science.

    If you mean that they thought that Sun and moon were planets in the same sense (because they all moved across the sky – graha) and that they thought the shadows of earth on sun and moon were also planets and that everything went around the earth, not around the sun, then yes – “They” were well ahead of modern science. That was sarcasm BTW.

    Ancient Yogi’s even discovered the speed of light like 15,000 years ago since it’s written down in the books if you translate it.

    Please don’t believe any garbage Google will find for you. That very Tyson video you mentioned talked about this. Watch it at 6 minutes. He is talking exactly about people like you. But you do… and that is how you will believe any garbage Jagadish will tell you.

    As far as Freud goes well all he studied was mentally sick people.

    You are playing Jagadish like a tape recorder. Like a cult leader, Jagadish has deconstructed you and filled you up with himself.

    So don’t base your psychology on him.

    Don’t worry. I don’t. His ideas are way out of date. But they were not bad for the time and were an interesting start. Many of the Freud’s quotes still hold well though. And that quote had nothing to do with his psychology ideas.

    inner experience will take you beyond certain things.

    Why don’t you just say “inner engineering”, just to be a perfect tape recorder.

    Yogi’s and mystics had discovered many many things like pineal gland

    No that was later revisionism. There is no ancient text you can quote that talks about the pineal gland unless you bend over backwards. Go ahead, cite the text.

    predicting planetary movement

    Everyone had geocentric astronomy. Read up.

    science of food

    What science? They had humoral theory. They knew nothing about nutrients as we do today.

    as far as sadhguru goes he has always said his goal is to confuse the hell out of you so you realize that you don’t know anything

    And he succeeded with you. Cult leaders generally succeed when their acolytes did not have much grounding to begin with. That was the point of the article.

    “In general, the educated middle class (in India and elsewhere) is not educated well enough to reject pseudoscience, yet people remember enough science from high school to be awed by popular (mis)representations. Since most people last encounter rigorous science in high school, much of what one should know about science is forgotten later in life.”

    Just look at your life from a logical perspective it’s so meaningless and repetitive.

    I am sorry to hear yours is from a logical perspective. Mine isn’t.

    If you look at life logically it’ll make you depressed

    It won’t. Properly understand existentialism.

    you just live life without having the burden of logic then you will know life in it’s full capacity

    You certainly succeeded in the first part.

    You should be able to use logic when you want and you should be able to drop it when you don’t need it

    We rationalists have been long embarrassed about many of our so-called scientists in India for this exact reason. They seem to drop their logic, like their aprons, after they step out of the lab and go do a pooja, lookup a horoscope and break a coconut. For them, science and logic are not profound philosophical positions, but mere job skills for a paycheck.

  • This diatribe has become exasperating.

    Everything about science is generalized while spirituality is rooted in Jagadish solely? Where is the sense in that?

    A portion of the blame is also due to the supporters of Jagadish. It is important to rise up over the man himself and look deeper.

    And Ravi, if you think every ancient civilization believed in a geocentric model of the heavenly bodies you have a lot of reading up to do. And yes, just as you repeatedly ask others to brush up on their science, it is time for you to read some history. Unbiased ones, if you can find them. It is not the others’ duty to find and quote material on this to enlighten you.

    Just stepping back a bit, today science is being vehemently and needlessly ‘defended’ by self styled missionaries with corresponding zeal and ardour. Science is not religion and to be exact it is not Abrahamic that it requires such defense and for everyone to espouse only it’s gospel as the only Truth!

    For the defenders of Jagadish, what changes is science. What does not is religion. Again, more or less… So while doctors kept on proclaiming that coconut oil was bad for cholestrol, today they do a somersault and exclaim without shame that there is precious little called bad cholestrol and that coconut oil is now ‘kosher’.

    The last point but nevertheless the first item for consideration in this argument is that 21st century man cannot put on his sunglasses and choose to look upon ancient man and ascribe and assume endlessly as to customs, activities, theories etc. Perspective is key. And that takes time.

    Religion of yesteryears was necessarily philosophy, science and faith all rolled into one. That we split these into branches is not their fault.

    There is not going to be a common consensus on this subject and neither does there need to be. Plurality of thought and diversity of belief system is a gift and a pride of the East. In particular, India. Let us not degenerate into the syndrome of homogeneity.

  • Didn’t you claim that science had the whole picture instead of having bits and pieces? And now you are claiming science doesn’t know anything. If science has proper grasp of everything or even a proper understanding or a whole picture of one single atom then there would be no need to look more into it right? If you have all the information and a whole picture then you wouldn’t need more information. It’s only because science is gathering limited information that more and more information is needed because it cannot grasp the whole picture. Also the studies you are mentioning about religious people are not any better than the ones you claim to be not trustworthy or be too small to be reliable. And you’re already working with wrong information calling Sadguru a man of religion. He believes in no damn religious and neither do any of his followers. He shatters all previous beliefs whether religious or false assumptions about life. Religion and spirituality are two totally separate things. Spirituality means seeking and religion means believing. Hinduism itself isn’t even a religion. It has no particular God that you need to worship or any code of beliefs. Hinduism has over a million gods only because it allowed people to worship whoever they wanted. It doesn’t even have a book like the Quran or the Bible with commandments. In bhagvat Geeta which isn’t a constitutional book of religion it’s just filled with one person questioning god and if it was a religion there would be no room for questions since religion relies on not questioning and purely believing. There are all kinds of people who practice Hinduism and each can worship their own God and make their own rules so it doesn’t really qualify for a religion although this has changed a lot over the past few centuries due to invasions and what not. Also you can call those Indian scientists illogical or crazy but they contribute a lot to science and can do more amazing things with science than any so called logical people. Ramanujan was a famous mathematician who was so ahead of his time that his calculations from 1900’s are being used now to discover black holes when they didn’t even know black holes were a thing. His calculations and contributions were so profound but other English professors rejected him and called him crazy. They criticized him and didn’t give him credit at first. Ramanujan had no formal education never was taught any math and he just knew math equations they came to him without learning and other mathematicians were angry cause he never provided proper proof. Ramanujan was invited to England cause his math was just too amazing to deny but it had no proof so they made him work on basic math and he sucked at it. He was a very very religious man and said all he did was worship his Devi in a temple and that’s where all these equations just came to him out of nowhere. Now I don’t believe any of that or sadhguru or god for any reason since I don’t believe anything but I do know that as far as what I’ve looked into it seems ramanujan somehow was really gifted and his theories were correct and are still being practiced today to discover amazing things in this universe yet he had no formal education so not everything can be explained by science and logic. Sadhguru never competed with science so the approach of this article is false. All sadhguru did was give his perspective on science and he never even asked anyone to believe him or disbelieve him and he doesn’t give a shit anyways. Not everything is science. There is art, poetry, literature, history, and so many more things. Everything has its place in society so don’t give one any more importance than another. Just learn to accept it if not enjoy it. As far as science it has its place and can reveal a lot but not everything. Someone once said that science and mathematics are things humans do to survive but English, poetry, art these are the things we live for. If our lives were not beautiful and were solely logical it would be a horrible life. A society could never exist without beautiful aspects of life. There is a scientific perspective to all those subjects I mentioned but let’s not forget other perspectives do exist. I am studying biology myself but I am decent enough to understand that what I know I know and what I don’t know I don’t know. And for yoga and meditation it’s not just breathing. If that was all there was to it then everyone could teach you how to breathe and doctors wouldn’t be prescribing anti anxiety and depression meds. There is scientific evidence that meditation has anti aging properties. All this from just breathing? There is a lot more to it. And yeah you can say anything instead of saying Om who told you that you have to say Om? Try saying something else and see the difference between that and Om. If it works for you great if not just say Om. There is a whole technique to different types of meditation. And I’m not believing garbage on Google. There is pieces of text recorded in history and by translation it equals to speed of light. You can believe it or disbelief it but what difference does it make? All I’m saying is that our ancestors were not as stupid as you think they are. If the math matches and there is historical record for it then what other explanation is there for it? It just shows that maybe our ancestors had a few things figured out for themselves or there is a possibility they may have done it before modern science. You can go on arguing forever but there is really no use to it. I don’t see any difference between you and a person who is religious. Some people are not willing to believe anything just because religion says so and neither will they accept any logical explanations or calculations about existence or life. Some people won’t believe or accept anything you tell them unless it’s in their experience.

  • This is the worst time wasting thread I have ever come across,so putting a single final comment here.The point of scientific endeavor is not to disprove Jaggi Vasudev’s grasp on physics,which is just one of the myriads of topics possible to be explored.Whether he’s genuine,a quack,or anything in between,he must have conducted 100s of workshops,talks,appearances all the while all over the world on whatever he has to offer, while our great scientists here have been busy playing keyboard ninjas.Why don’t you actually go ahead and discover a new material to build bridges,or a technology to cure cancer,just examples..it could be any actual piece of scientific work,and once you receive your accolades,quote to the whole world that you are the same Nirmukta science crusader who also confidently puts down Jaggi?? People will take you much more seriously.Ofcourse,the assumption is that you yourself have scientific pursuit as your priority.Einstein had no time at all in disproving people from other walks of life.The “scientists” here seem juvenile by comparison

  • I don’t think Abhijit is justified in sayng that only those who have received accolades should think of criticising Jaggi. His example, Einstein, is a bad one. Einstein used to get into controversies.

    The messages here assert that Jaggi has influenced many to come to wrong conclusions about the scientific method and scientific facts. I agree with that.

  • @Nye

    And now you are claiming science doesn’t know anything

    I did?! You read “Science Knows It Doesn’t Know Everything” as “science doesn’t know anything”, just as you misunderstood what Neil was saying. BTW, I don’t think I ever disagreed with anything Neil has said… so far. If you agree with him, you more or less agree with me. I am just not as articulate in presenting my views.

    He believes in no damn religious

    He is a New Age mystic, along the same lines as Deepak Chopra. Happy?

    Hinduism itself isn’t even a religion

    Funny thing is the Christian cultists I once lived with also kept insisting that they were not practicing any religion. No sir, they were only seeking and practicing “The Truth”.

    Let’s get a few things out of the way.

    I know that eastern religions are different from Abrahamic religions in many ways.
    I don’t disrespect ancients of any culture. I would have believed the same things if I lived then. I admire even those who created humoral theories, geocentric theories etc. They were necessary stepping stones in human intellectual evolution. It just gets annoying that people still continue to cling to the past however.
    I feel that India and China, will in a few decades, become the major engines of science. My complaints are against the ideas that are holding us back, our refusal to subject ideas to higher standards of critique.
    I am perfectly aware of the irrationality and sometimes strains of actual insanity that run amongst mathematical geniuses, regardless of the country. Everything is fine for geniuses who produce – we make way. Not for you and me.
    Nowhere have I discounted literature, arts etc. I spent time pursuing liberal arts for the sheer pleasure of it.
    I am perfectly aware that ideas do emerge intuitively. In fact I argued in one of my research projects that space should be provided for abductive reasoning. That does not mean it releases me from normal burdens of verification by the scientific method, once the idea was put forward.

    If that was all there was to it then everyone could teach you how to breathe

    The issue isn’t that it is difficult to teach. The issue is that it isn’t enough to manage. It only goes so far.

    Some people won’t believe or accept anything you tell them unless it’s in their experience.

    My position is just this: Claims are cheap. Language games are intellectually harmful (nearly all New Age quacks play them). Popularity of a claim isn’t proof either. We should always ask for numbers. Critical approach is a good thing, it is not closed mindedness.

    And finally Nye – Please do check some books on guru cults and ask yourself, how much of this is also true for Jagadish. I leave that to your judgment. Obviously, not everything will stick, they are all different variations. But I think you will be surprised nevertheless.

    None of this is personal, even when I am being sarcastic. I have treated you as an archetype of a certain kind of thinking I deeply disagree with.

    Good luck with your Biology studies.

    @Abhijit

    I am sorry, but there aren’t any Einsteins available today. You will have to settle for minions like me.

    @Bala

    Just stepping back a bit, today science is being vehemently and needlessly ‘defended’ by self styled missionaries with corresponding zeal and ardour

    Where are you getting this picture from? Turn the TV on. Count the number of hours spent on various channels promulgating pseudoscience – self-styled gurus, homeopaths, astrologers etc. Now count the number of hours you see zealous science missionaries. Is it a ratio of 1000:1? I sure don’t recall any zealous “self styled” defenders of science in any popular/mass media. All I see are quacks and charlatans. Science gets almost no voice of representation amongst local content. I wish we frequently invited our desi professors to discuss cutting edge research in their respective fields. We don’t.

    The problem is exactly the reverse. We need orders of magnitude more pushback when pseudoscience nonsense is put forward.

    And what exactly do you expect on a rationalist web site, but the defense of science, the scientific method and criticism of god-men and pseudo-science? Were you expecting people here to be chummy with New Age “gurus”?

    doctors kept on proclaiming that coconut oil was bad for cholestrol

    Long term effects of diet was never something medical evidence was good at. This is because of the reasons we as a society allow ourselves to do science – not a flaw in the scientific method. It is not the face of medical research, but made to appear so by popular press by that emphasis. The face of medical research today is creating an Ebola Vaccine and CRISPR – gene editing. Unfortunately, public cares about coconut oil more than the profound implications of genomics technology because that is what they encounter everyday.

    This diatribe has become exasperating.

    And it has been for me as well. I have a busy couple of weeks coming up. I am signing off.

  • Ravi-Hahahahahaha good one on “settle for minions like me”…just made me type this one last comment(surely last now 😉 ).Why should anyone settle for anyone less than world wide prominent if he wants to follow any field?If I want to learn the essence of science without being a professional physicist,I am sure I can watch all the Stefan Hawking youtube footage possible.Yes,agreed, science isn’t getting the representation in popular media as it should,but for that,you have to capture eyballs and imaginations through positive promotion.Let people get a small sense of all the good changes science is at the cusp of bringing to our world and you’ll get much more recognition and acceptance.While you devote years on this thread,Jaggi,charlatan or not,has made just a passing reference to physics and has moved on,while you keep flogging a dead horse.Good luck and good bye!

  • I have been watching this post for the new comments and reading them with joy… And it has become very interesting now.. So, I decided to comment to share my views…

    Nye,

    Let me quote what Ravi said in one of his comments.. “The entire point was that he thinks scientists don’t get it (you don’t get it because your programming has been complete) and you can meditate your way to scientific knowledge.”…

    Do you get the point? You seem to be saying all kinds of things just to defend Sadhguru and trying to prove that he is always right.. My current view on spiritual enlightenment/awakening is exactly what Ravi said, but would like to rephrase it a little bit.. “Spiritual awakening is a process that makes neuroplastic changes in the brain which in turn reduces emotional reactivity, changes the perspective of self and makes an individual to be more relaxed and peaceful in life.”… I myself have verified it through years of mindfulness practice (not by chanting mantras and manipulating the breath though, so I can’t say if those practices also lead to spiritual awakening.. But there has been numerous studies conducted about mindfulness meditation which has shown that it does reduce emotional reactivity, changes the perspective of self and reduces a lot of self-referential thoughts in the brain)… But I am skeptical of any other claim which implies paranormal stuff… Look up ‘James Randi’ and also read about thousands of studies done on paranormal stuff and you will know no convincing evidence has been found on them yet… I have read texts of Ramana, Ramakrishna, Osho and many others.. They all seemed to believe in paranormal stuff but nobody actually claimed that they had any such powers themselves… But Sadhguru has said about seeing auras, seeing velliangiri mountains all the time in his eyes, seeing through things, controlling stuff from distance, energizing things and more… When such claims are made, it is natural for people to raise questions…

    You say that Sadhguru is against religions… Religion is nothing but a particular system of beliefs. Even though he is against certain beliefs, is he not giving you new beliefs? Don’t you believe in Sadhguru when he says he sees velliangiri mountains all the time in his eyes?

    You may repeat what Sadhguru said, “Don’t believe me or disbelieve me”… I agree with that attitude… It is nothing other than being skeptical and open-minded at the same time.. But do you really have that attitude.? It seems that you are blindly believing in Sadhguru and being close minded to science… But if you don’t know this, let me tell you.. Science is all about being skeptical, open minded, accurate and maintaining objectivity. It is funny that he advocates scientific attitude but at the same time ridiculing science… Self-serving bias!

    As I already mentioned, I have attended 2 Isha programs, went to ashram hundreds of times, and bought linga bhairavi gudi and dhyanalinga yantra… Once, I used to have the same attitude that you have now… Later on I discovered a few discrepancies about certain things and I also studied Psychology, which changed a lot of my views.. It also helped me better understand about my own spiritual experiences… Now I think Science is doing a pretty good job…And anyone who ridicules science is a complete idiot……

    Also, your last lengthy comment sounded exactly like a Sadhguru’s discourse… Please for God’s sake, stop parroting Sadhguru or anyone.. It is disgusting.. You are unique and have your own individuality… If you are losing it, you are losing the most valuable thing in your life…

    It is because of Science you are able to post a comment here.. It is because of Science NASA discovered the possibility of life in a Saturn’s moon last month.. Do you have a cell phone? It is Science!.. Sadhguru is able to make multiple trips to US because of science.. He can do webinars on the internet because of that… Science has given you enough proof that it works, what more do you want?

    You have created an unnecessary prejudice against Science because of believing in whatever Sadhguru says… If Sadhguru says that scientists don’t get it, then that is just his quick, irrational, careless opinion.. Does it mean you have to have the same opinion too?

    At this point, I really don’t know if Sadhguru’s paranormal claims are true or not but I am sure that Science doesn’t have any evidence yet and the long term research and million dollar challenges to find evidence for these things have only raised more disbelief in many people… But I am sure about one thing; people like you are creating more embarrassment to Isha… Anyone who has average intelligence and has no connection to Sadhguru can see that your mind has been completely programmed… I am starting to doubt whether you are a robot or human… I am sorry if this is very rude but I think you should understand…I am not for or against Sadhguru at this point and my comment is completely unbiased… If you want more of my opinions regarding this, you can check out the recent articles in my blog…

    Also, you have commented saying that Ravi is being negative.. What exactly do you mean by the word ‘negative’? I went through his comment and it is perfect.. I don’t see anything negative in it..

    Ravi,

    I don’t think you are not articulate enough because you have made excellent arguments… But when you talked about studies done on meditation, I got a question for you.. I do agree that many studies done on meditations are very biased, may not be done in controlled conditions and only intended to increase the appeal for a particular meditation technique taught in a particular organization. But what about mindfulness? It cannot be really said as a meditation because mindfulness can be practiced when doing anything, like sipping wine, bathing, walking etc.. There is strong evidence for positive effects of mindfulness which cannot be replaced by any other relaxing or resting activities..

  • That thing I said about him being negative was a joke. If you didn’t understand that then either you’re living in a cave or are too serious to enjoy life. And science doesn’t allow me to use my phone and comment here technology does. Science is just discovery about things that have always been here. Technology is making tools using science. I’m trying to move away from what people call individuality since it’s nothing more than some bullshit that you make up such as likes and dislikes, personality and tastes. It’s all self made and the kind of things you are saying dont make you spiritual at all. Spirituality is just a word many people are throwing around without understanding what it means to be spiritual. Mindfulness is another popular term that people like you use to decieve themselves into thinking they are spiritual but they aren’t. All of Sadhguru’s effort is to remove mindfulness not practice mindfulness. Only because studies have been done on mindfulness that you support it. The problem with people like you is that they don’t believe or try anything at all unless it’s backed up by countless studies which may be saying one thing right now and another thing in the future. It doesn’t matter even if I give you something that will change your life you will not try it unless it’s backed up by current science. If science is not sure about a few things then definitely it’s not realiable. If it’s still in the research phase then it surely needs some work without being realible. You can go by science your whole life but you will just see how complicated and unfulfilling your life will become. Paranormal things are just things that you can’t perceive right now. If you to a tribe in a jungle and show off your technology I’m sure they will say that is paranormal and they wouldn’t have any proof of explaining it by their logic but in reality is that really the case? I used to be like you constantly looking at science and ways to improve my life with science but unfortunately science doesn’t know a whole lot of things. Scientists have conducted studies on many many things but majority of the studies out there are incorrect so it doesn’t apply to reality. Like in a scientific journal they posted some number of studies that proposed treatment for cancer and when they redid the studies 82% of them could not be reproduced. There are other problems with science like who is funding it how it’s been done what analyses is there and is there more to look into? By the time you get all these things right you would probably be so old that you wouldn’t even care. Science is a wonderful thing but it has no use to me when I’m dealing with things that aren’t physical. You are just so focused on putting sadhguru down but in reality you just want to feel bigger because you’re a scientist and he isn’t. It’s very easy to make yourself look big by putting others down but you’re not really any big than anyone else. If you really dedicate yourself to living life according to science you will just see how many things don’t make sense in your life yet you’re still doing it. It’s just because you only think about science but not actually put it to any use in your life that you’re not realizing the problems with science. And for me I am just doing what works best for me. Sadhguru has said that it’s a very shameful thing to declare that you’re enlightened because the whole world will question you and bellitle you because nothing you say will fit into your logic. Most enlightened beings don’t talk at all and it’s best they don’t. I’m glad most enlightened beings don’t reveal themselves sadhguru is just one of the stupid ones. Also you keep saying India’s population isn’t smart enough to figure out science India’s middle class population isn’t smart enough well I’m not part of the Indian population. I’m an American and there is so much research conducted here and once you really dedicate yourself to science here at a university you see the vast difference between research and reality. You guys aren’t willing to live in reality you’re willing to live in research. You say you’re skeptical but all you’re doing is shutting off your own logic and relying on scientists intellect since they’re smarter in your opinion so it’s best to trust them. I don’t believe what sadhguru says and I don’t disbelief it either I just keep an open mind. Maybe the things he says might be in his experience. How would I know? I’m not him so how can I claim it happened that way or not. What you’re saying is no whatever he said cannot happen cause he’s talking paranormal stuff and science has no evidence for paranormal stuff. Do you see the difference? Which sounds more open minded? If you told about some of the quantum physics to Isaac Newton when he was young he’d call you crazy and tell you that you don’t know a single thing about science but he discovered law of gravity. All I’m showing you is that current understanding isn’t enough to grasp things which aren’t in your understanding or experience yet so it’s best to keep an open mind. Maybe 100 years from now all of science is found to be false every single piece of it and sadhguru is 100% correct what will you do then? Or maybe 100 years from now sadhguru is exposed to be totally crazy exposed fake gurus like countless others and all the science he talked about was incorrect every bit of it what will you do then? Instead of fighting one and supporting another why don’t you keep an open mind and just practice whatever works best for you? I’m just doing what works best for me. If it didn’t I wouldn’t be doing it.

  • Wow, you have made a lot of assumptions about me Nye….

    Again, you are simply repeating Sadhguru here… Technology depends on Science… If there is no science, there is no technology…

    When I say ‘individuality’ , I am not talking about likes and dislikes, personality and tastes.. I am talking about your being, your uniqueness.. You obviously didnt get my point.. Have you ever heard of Buddha’s quote ‘Be a light onto yourself’?.. That is what I am talking about.. I don’t think what I said was that hard to understand… Just repeating what someone said can be done by a tape recorder, why do you want to be a tape recorder or parrot when you are actually a human being with a fully developed brain (?)..

    You say ‘Mindfulness is another popular term that people like you use to deceive themselves into thinking they are spiritual but they aren’t’… That is the funniest thing I have ever heard…You obviously don’t understand what mindfulness is.. It is one of the things in eight fold paths that Buddha advocated… It is called ‘sammasati’ in Pali. When I was practicing ‘mindfulness’ , I didn’t even know the word ‘mindfulness’… The English word ‘Mindfulness’ is a little misleading, when you just look at the word.. But mindfulness actually means being present and conscious, a non-judgmental awareness of everything that happens in the present moment including thoughts and emotions.. And, I didn’t practice mindfulness because Science suggested it.. I was not a bit aware of any research done on mindfulness when I practiced it.. But the fact that Science supports it was a good news that I came to know almost 12 years later. So, stop assuming things about me!

    ‘ Like in a scientific journal they posted some number of studies that proposed treatment for cancer and when they redid the studies 82% of them could not be reproduced’

    That is the beauty of science… If the results of an experiment couldn’t be reproduced, then it will not be accepted in science.. You are saying that like a problem in science. But in the domains that are not science, people just accept it based on hearsay or just because some authority said it..

    There are a lot of rants after that I really don’t feel like answering… It sounds like you vomited those words real quick with a lot of anger.

    You are talking about open mindedness and advising me to be open-minded.. When I said ‘At this point, I really don’t know if Sadhguru’s paranormal claims are true or not’, did you read it properly? I only said ‘I don’t know’… Because it is not in my experience.. If I have to know something like that it should either happen to me or at least the reliable scientific method should bring some evidence… I don’t go by beliefs, period.. Either I know or I don’t know…

    You have ended saying that “Instead of fighting one and supporting another why don’t you keep an open mind and just practice whatever works best for you? I’m just doing what works best for me. If it didn’t I wouldn’t be doing it.”

    I am fighting against blind beliefs and supporting the hard and fast knowledge that doesn’t rely on beliefs.. Thats it!

    And you are asking me to practice what works for me… I practiced mindfulness and it worked for me… Is that clear?

    I suggest you to read the comments carefully before you reply.. It seems you don’t get it properly.. At least, don’t make me to keep repeating what I already said..

  • Actually 82% of studies not being reproducible is a big problem with science right now. Many scientists know that and it’s not beauty it’s a problem. Cause if someone repeats your study they don’t know who made the error the one repeating or the one who did the original research or if both made an error and a third person has to be brought in. And the problem is that these studies are being published without being repeated so they’re wrong but still being put out whereas they should repeat the studies verify the same result and only then get published but that would be a financial loss for scientists who are performing the study and the scientific journals. Not only do I think that many others also think that. What you’re calling as mindfulness is already being referred to as pseudoscience by Ravi. He says it’s just a breathing pattern. And you’re calling me a parrot for repeating things but everything you’re saying has also been said before. No one really says anything new. Buddha didn’t say anything new and neither are you or sadhguru. It’s just a way of taking the old things and recycling them producing it in a different manner so that it feels new or is more easy to understand. If mindfulness works for you go do it that’s what I’m trying to tell you but people like Ravi are out there saying mindfulness is just a breathing pattern and has nothing to do with how you sit and has no benefits beyond being a little stress free and even research on that is unverified whereas more research shows exercise does the same thing that mindfulness meditation does so whose logic is correct yours or his? What I was talking about mindfulness is in a different context. Mindfulness is a wonderful tool but it will not get you to the end of the spiritual goal with spirituality in it’s right essence unless you don’t have a goal in spirituality. If all you want is a great life with good mental and physical health and want to change yourself mindfulness is great but if you have a completely different goal then mindfulness is not the right approach. And if you’re really dedicated to mindfulness then why do you want to shatter the beliefs of others except your own? It wouldn’t make a difference to you what other think or believe and you’d be able to completely let it go being non judgemental. But because spirituality is like a part time job for you you don’t even practice mindfulness fully otherwise it would have produced different results. If you really practiced mindfulness you would see it’s true potential and later on realize that despite it being totally amazing it still holds limitations if you want to reach the goal. And about uniqueness I don’t have to let my uniqueness out or explore it. it’s already there it just exists the rest is all self made and self deceptive. Look at nature sometime everything is completely unique yet nothing tries to be unique. When you already exist as a unique being you don’t need to try to be unique. To explain it with an example of science you won’t find anyine with 100% same DNA as me it’s completely unique to me and me only no matter what you do so it doesn’t matter if I behave the same as someone else or not fundamentally I’m always unique.

  • I didn’t read all the content so far, but a few lines caught my eye.

    Actually 82% of studies not being reproducible is a big problem with science right now.

    This looks like an accessible writeup and discussion on this matter suitable for non-researchers.

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/02/17/90-of-all-claims-about-the-problems-with-medical-studies-are-wrong/

    Science is doing fine. It is critiquing itself, which is how it continues to constantly evolve.

    Properly trained researchers generally know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. We don’t give the same weight to every “study”. Someone who isn’t, but is simply trying to google up a study to confirm their biases does not and will usually find something they would like to see.

    We all love Ioannidis. But some context please.

    What you’re calling as mindfulness is already being referred to as pseudoscience by Ravi. He says it’s just a breathing pattern.

    Actually, I attended a mindfulness meditation class while I was at University. It was not taught as a pseudoscience. There is a right way to do it. The teacher was a researcher doing this for fun at lunch. Our research center has mindfulness meditation groups to those who are interested. I haven’t gone. During my medical internship, our professor live-demonstrated the effect of slower breathing rate on cardiovascular phenomena, while discussing meditation.

    It is one thing to say that meditation has a calming effect, reduces the pulse rate for a bit or when done for extended periods, produces altered perceptions (which have psychological side-effects of their own BTW. Some report inability to focus in real-world tasks, after investing too much in meditation – it is not some super power that is always good, as is sold by the gurus) in some people. None of this is making claims that cannot be verified.

    The pseudoscience issue is when people claim that meditation is a cure for MEDICAL PROBLEMS without properly controlled studies to back that up. They then claim that it is an alternative to a medical intervention in actual disorders. Simply prescribing meditation in lieu of medication for patients with anxiety attacks and depression is irresponsible. There are actual neuro-transmitter issues that underlie these. They aren’t just thoughts that need to be trained.

    I will leave the rest of the discussion to you.

  • I’m not even gonna comment after this. Do whatever you want I’ll live my life the way I want and you live yours the way you want. The neurotransmitters you’re talking about aren’t even properly understood. Doctors don’t even know how anti depressants actually work which is why a psychiatrist tries different meds on every person with changing doses and chooses the one that works best kinda like guessing. Also any medicine prescribed by a doctor has at least 30% placebo effect. With SSRI’s this is even higher and scientists don’t know how much serotonin do we actually need or how much is the normal amount so it’s evaluated on behavior and mood changes and then doctors do best to find that perfect dose and medicine. There’s a reason why doctors avoid antidepressants as much as possible because it has a lot of side effects like a lot and most patients end up going back on it and you have to go through side effects of each antidepressants even of the ones that don’t work. That’s why we haven’t found a good treatment for depression. When a person is diagnosed with depression their neurotransmitters aren’t looked at or any kind of physical testing isn’t performed. And it takes 6-10 weeks for many antidepressants to work. It’s ridiculous how much science you claim to know yet have so much misinformation that you can chalk up understanding depression to just neurotransmitter issues. And there’s proof on this website from your previous comments that you said mindfulness is just breathing patterns and even the scientific evidence for that is minimal and you even said exercise has better chance of working than mindfulness. Anyways do what you want I had my fun with this thread. Have fun living life according to science.

  • I don’t disagree. We were taught, decades ago, BY PSYCHIATRY PROFESSORS, more or less what you are talking about, in of course less cynical terms. We were taught that the normal highs and lows of life need to be excluded before making a diagnosis like say Major Depression (we are not talking meds for light stress). We were taught to not assume that a resolution of a depression episode is necessarily due to medication since the auto-resolution time frames overlap in some cases and the delayed onset of effects makes it hard to study the meds or easily correlate in a clinical setting.

    Yes, there is trial and error in reaching a treatment. But there are now emerging techniques to potentially do this through PET scans.

    https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2013/07/02/personalizing-depression-treatment-with-brain-scans/

    Brain is the most complex and the most delicate organ. The science is challenging. The neuroscientists I know do great work in advancing the foundations of fields like Psychiatry.

    You are an American. I am told in US the field tends to err on the side of treatment in US and there are arguments made for that.

    Things are very different in India. Any label of a mental health problem is a stigma. People are both unaware as well as avoid seeking help. Many simply suffer in silence.

    http://nirmukta.com/2016/01/11/unnoticed-and-prejudiced-what-else-do-we-need-to-know-about-mental-illness/

    Compliance to treatment is low (I am not a psychiatrist, but I know more who took themselves off meds against advice than those who keep asking for them) and it is easy to talk a patient out of any med with side effects and direct them to pseudoscience.

    For anyone with a platform, to talk dismissively about mental health management by mainstream science, especially without the basic science training on the topic is deeply irresponsible in the context of India. I hope Jagdish is not doing that. Otherwise it puts him in the same cult space as Scientology.

    you even said exercise has better chance of working than mindfulness

    You keep, I think unintentionally (perhaps too much meditation is effecting your concentration 🙂 ), twisting what I say (as with Neil’s).

    I said this about exercise: “First, Yoga practiced today has little to do with what your ancestors did. Second, there is little evidence to show that it is significantly better than equivalent exercise methods, in other forms (most studies are again low quality and don’t even bother with these basic controls). Sure, it beats sitting in Sofa and watching TV though.”

    Mindfulness is different from Yoga and regular, almost ritual meditation.

    Do whatever you want I’ll live my life the way I want and you live yours the way you want.

    I don’t think anyone is preventing you from that.

    @Shanmugam

    mindfulness can be practiced when doing anything, like sipping wine, bathing, walking etc

    I agree.

    There is strong evidence for positive effects of mindfulness which cannot be replaced by any other relaxing or resting activities..

    You mean this?

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002239991500080X

    I have not read it, but it says it is “moderately effective” and more work remains.

  • see… writer !!
    criticism can be done by anyone. u did too. That’s great to know that you can think about ‘beyond’… Our whole old holy books are filled with the same stuff what Sadguru Vasudev is saying… It doesn’t matter what he understands or not… what matters is… that ‘You’ yourself understand or not… Because it is a very personal journey to dissolve in all…

    Here is a free suggestion… first try to look beyond … without intellect … and you will find something beyond your reasoning.

    the point is to get it …
    but you have to do it before old age comes to you.

    All the Best !!

  • Dear Tatrika,
    look at you! Aren’t you doing the same act?
    Science does not negate any possibilities. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has probably done the same thing that Einstein or Galalio have done before they commenced their research work on their own ideas! Don’t be so unscientific! Start researching to nullify his claims or saying.

  • Certainly you are being too childish to accept that existence is simply logical. And if you think it is then i have no say. Anyhow you will get it because life has its own ways of teaching. If you really want to know don’t resort to any spiritual guru or any scientist for that matter. Pay attention to your body and its environment. Just don’t talk empirical stuffs to show your ignorance. if you have at least a little knowledge about the measuring instruments that your beloved scientists use you will know that no measurement can be without error. Moreover, you must be familiar with the uncertainty principle right. Then how would you ever know the reality????. So don’t believe on anyone’s claim be it a Guru or a scientist. If the question really matters to you. Then have the courage to find the answer yourself using the most perfect and trust-able instrument you have right now i.e, your own body and mind. rather than any artificial instrument. Okay so Please don’t die in ignorance. All the best.

  • @S. Chandrakant Reddy

    Certainly you are being too childish to accept that existence is simply logical.

    A child does not understand logic well, but an educated adult does. Which one do you want to be?

    if you have at least a little knowledge about the measuring instruments that your beloved scientists use you will know that no measurement can be without error

    Don’t know “a little”. Know more. A “little knowledge” is dangerous.

    Science exploded once we stopped just empty thinking and started to actually measure things. There is an entire branch of mathematics that addresses uncertainty and it is used in literally every science.

    We have pretty good certainty, when uncertainty is corrected in this way. When you typed that post, trillions of calculations happened exactly as engineers intended them to, and your post appeared here, and when they did not, that was immediately detected and corrected as well.

    you must be familiar with the uncertainty principle right

    Unless you have read a proper textbook or such (clearly not the case) on the uncertainty principle, it is perhaps best for you to leave that to people with an actual education on the topic.

    Then have the courage to find the answer yourself using the most perfect and trust-able instrument you have right now i.e, your own body and mind.

    The mind and the body are often the WORST instruments (given where technology is at now). They have very low reliability. This is not an opinion. It can easily be shown so.

    We use reason and science because our mind is easily biased. We use instruments because the sensory systems in our body are quite unreliable, beyond the most basic use and quite imprecise for the detail necessary to understand the world.

  • This Nirmukhta does not even want to understand that it is being foolish. then no point in even reading this pseudo-intellectual blog.

  • Jaggi’s mission is different from that of a Physicist. Many great physicists of 20th century tried to read the indian and buddhist scriptures to see if they can get ideas on how to solve the physics problems. If you google seriously you will find many physicists dabbling in religion to understand physics phenomenon. You can find fault with them as well. The consciousness research in Upanishads and Buddhism is used by evolutionary psychologists to understand the science after 3000 years of its postulation first in India. Do not try to find 100% accuracy of physics theories in what Vasudev explains. He is not teaching a physics class. He is trying to give some idea to a common. Do not think that physics has solved all the problems. Even Einstein did not agree with the quantum physicists on many of their theories. If you expect Jaggi to get a Nobel prize for Physics then it is not going to happen. So leave him alone to do what he does best. Find fault with him the moment he starts misusing his power for personal ends and not for public good.

  • Many great physicists of 20th century tried to read the indian and buddhist scriptures to see if they can get ideas on how to solve the physics problems.

    No, that was not what they were doing. They were reading them as a refreshing change from the Abrahamic scriptures that they were brought up with. They were not trying to find physics discoveries in them.

    Eastern religions were a fresh exposure to many 20th century intellectuals. Abrahamic texts talked about small things and doctrinal things… that the world was only 6000 years, having different views on religious texts was heresy etc. In contrast, eastern texts tried to IMAGINE humongous everything – the mahakalpa being a prime example… and the culture rewarded that imagination. People were charmed that the religion was about wonder, rather than stifling ideas about the world. But no one was seriously looking for facts and science in it.

    If you google seriously you will find many physicists dabbling in religion to understand physics phenomenon.

    If Google “seriously”, you will find all sorts of silly views on just about anything. I know people with Biology PhDs that are biblical creationists. It just proves that elaborate degrees don’t always clean stupidity, not that the said stupid ideas have validation.

    The consciousness research in Upanishads and Buddhism is used by evolutionary psychologists to understand the science after 3000 years of its postulation first in India.

    No it was not. There is no consciousness “research” in old texts. There was some early philosophy, at best. Don’t confuse this with science and research.

    Do not try to find 100% accuracy of physics theories in what Vasudev explains.

    Of course we don’t. He does not know any Physics. He never studied it formally at all. Since his education was a bachelors in English Literature, the last physics class he would have taken would be in 10th class. After that, just like everyone else, he Googled stuff and read some mass market books on the topic.

    The issue is not just that he does not understand physics; it is that he lacks the humility to understand that he does not. I expect any one who presents himself to be a wise man to be aware of what he does not know and be humble about it.

    But the kind of these so-called gurus that our society is putting on a pedestal are just full of it and have king size egos and bluster – The recently convicted Dera baba being the worst caricature of this problem. While these other gurus may not be as horrible as him, the problem is the same… followers put these people on a pedestal and stroke their egos. They soon think they are oozing with wisdom and are right about everything.

    He is not teaching a physics class. He is trying to give some idea to a common.

    He teaches to an English speaking/reading audience like you. Can’t you read physics books on your own? Do you need a baba with no physics education explain it to you? This is the problem with us. We make personality cults. We look for larger than life figures. We make it profitable and we have plenty of pretenders.

    Want to know physics? Get it from an accomplished physicist. Even better, take a free online class on Physics.

    Want to know the meaning of life? Read proper philosophy books on the topic from academics who spent a life time examining the ideas that have emerged throughout human history.

    Don’t let any ONE person to become a curator of all information for you.

    Do not think that physics has solved all the problems.

    Does it need to? Physics is about understanding the physical world. It already is a monumental success. Just because there is this or that problem that is yet to be addressed because the experiments are difficult to conduct, does not take anything away from it. Name a SINGLE problem Jaggi has solved. He has ZERO intellectual contributions. Where is the comparison between a baba/guru who just plays word games to entertain a non-intellectual audience and an actual mature science that has revolutionized the world?

    Even Einstein did not agree with the quantum physicists on many of their theories.

    But he did not disagree with the math.

    If you expect Jaggi to get a Nobel prize for Physics then it is not going to happen.

    I don’t even expect Jaggi to pass an 11th grade Physics exam today. What Nobel Prize for Physics?

    So leave him alone to do what he does best.

    And he should leave science to those who actually do science and do what he does best – bilking and regaling gullible followers who have made no attempt to explore abstract thought on their own and are floored by his word games.

  • “Did you read the article? The entire point was that he thinks scientists don’t get it (you don’t get it because your programming has been complete) and you can meditate your way to scientific knowledge.”
    Sadhguru didn’t say that “you can meditate your way to scientific knowledge”.(at least from what I’ve heard up to now), (so it seems to me that) you got him wrong.
    I agree that he should learn more science if he wants to talk about it. But you should keep in mind that the scientific jargon he uses is just a fun, a words play – if you consider that to be some kind of blasphemy then your reaction is natural. He hurt your ‘scientific feelings’, you kinda want to punish him because he is being playful and making fun of the ‘Sacred Science’. Making fun of the fanatics of science actually, not of the science itself, cuz he is all for science from what I’ve observed up to now. He is letting the scientists do their work, and he is doing his work. I don’t care whether he’s a fraud or not – it’s his business. But if you want to refute him you will have to become a realized yogi. Otherwise you can’t refute him or yoga.
    I’m not realized either, but scientific fanatics can be refuted easily, there’s no need to become a yogi for that.

  • By the way , what are the Nobel committee guys waiting for?

    “When we do an experiment like that, we get a very strong result. Keep in mind that a 5 sigma was able to give CERN the Nobel Prize for finding the Higgs particle which turned out not to be Higgs after all. We’ve got a 5 sigma result too but I haven’t heard from the Nobel Prize commitee yet.” (Dean Radin)

    Perhaps the most interesting finding was that certain individuals proved to be significantly more successful at influencing the photons’ behaviour. The unique factor in these individuals was that almost all of them were highly experienced in either meditation or some kind of attentional training.
    Since Radin presented these findings at the Science of Consciousness conference they have since gained quite a bit of attention. They seem to suggest that mind is continuous with the world in a way that poses a serious challenge to the assumption that mind/consciousness is insignificant to the structure of reality.
    The only problem was that the effect had not yet been replicated by independent scientists. That was, until now.
    In recently published experiments, conducted by the physicist Gabriel Guerrer Ph.D. at the University of São Paulo, the apparent mind over matter effect has been observed once again, and with similarly high statistical significance.
    Just as observed previously by Radin and his colleagues, Guerrer found that participants are able reduce the wave distribution of photons in a double-slit system, simply by directing their attention towards it.
    According to Guerrer this effect points to “a not yet mapped form of interaction between a conscious agent and a physical system”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRSBaq3vAeY

  • @James Cornell

    Sadhguru didn’t say that “you can meditate your way to scientific knowledge”.

    He thinks you can understand the nature of reality if you just meditate. He thinks mysticism is a valid epistemic approach like the scientific method. He has argued repeatedly to that effect.

    Mystics in the entire history have produced absolutely no verifiable understanding of reality. They just keep coming up with arbitrary metaphysics (mere conjectures), over and over, that you are expected to take on faith. That should be enough proof to anyone who spent one minute thinking critically (a better meditation, I would say).

    But you should keep in mind that the scientific jargon he uses is just a fun, a words play

    OK. You agree then. His guru talk is just word play. It is word-play meant to fool lightly-educated middle-class professionals (who always vastly over-estimate their grasp of science) who have just enough money, to be mesmerized for profit.

    This is the case with all these New Age gurus like Deepak Chopra – empty.word.play.

    if you consider that to be some kind of blasphemy then your reaction is natural.

    I consider the fact that we as a society put these faux “gurus” on a pedestal to be offensive. It is offensive to the intellect we are required to possess in the 21st century.

    Our Sat(true)-gurus are those who taught us real things. They were our un-glamarous school teachers and college professors. Jaggi and others are bling-gurus who run multi-million dollar enterprises.

    I don’t care whether he’s a fraud or not – it’s his business

    You may not care. I do… and you should too.

    But if you want to refute him you will have to become a realized yogi. Otherwise you can’t refute him or yoga.

    That’s horse-manure. There is no such thing as a “realized yogi”. It is just a lie. He is a “realized yogi” to you, if you are gullible enough to believe that. I will keep pointing to our recent Dera baba because he is such a fine example. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan is an enlightened man only if you are going to be a chump about accepting him as one – and he says he has 50,000,000 people who do. Same thing with Jaggi.

    (Dean Radin)

    Dean Radin is a well-known quack and woo-meister.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dean_Radin

    He belongs in the same bucket as Jaggi and Deepak Chopra. For completely illiterate people in India, we have Dera Babas. For slightly read, but still gullible people here and elsewhere, we have phoneys like Jaggi Vasudev and Deepak Chopra.

    The entire so-called field of “para-psychology” is quackery.

    Institute of Noetic Sciences is a well-known pseudo-science group. The so-called “Noetic science” is not a science at all. It is just quackery peddled to people like you who get bowled over when a few science-sounding terms are thrown in.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Noetic_science

    Nobody cares about their quackery “conferences”. They just talk nonsense and pat each other on their back. Of course you are gullible enough to think these are legit sciences. Science-illiterate and gullible people like you are pretty much the bread and butter of these New Age frauds.

    If India is to prosper in the 21st century, we need to understand science. We need to find our enlightenment on our own, not from the cud of these faux-gurus, but from our real gurus. There is enlightenment and spirituality to be had in plain science, but not in mystical woo.

  • First I want to tell you that it’s okay to attack all gurus, actually I also do it all the time. Most of them ARE fake. And it’s always good to have information from BOTH sides, no matter what guru or scientific discovery we are talking about.
    ‘I don’t care whether he’s a fraud or not – it’s his business. You may not care. I do… and you should too.’ <- actually I care, what I really meant is that if he really is a fraud (which he may be), it’s okay to reveal him out, but I will still respect people decisions who consciously choose to listen to him and learn from him. If the real thing is not available , then a fraud is better(or worse??) than nothing. The thing is, people have a need so their need some way or another has to be fulfilled. Where there’s demand, there will be a supply. Until we manage to have the real thing, fakes will prosper. You think that the real thing is already available – the so called mainstream science, but I honestly tell you that you should inspect the situation more carefully. It’s not the real thing yet. It has a wonderful potential but I can see how this potential is being misused by frauds who hide behind the mask of science to promote materialistic belief systems. Not only at individual level, but at institutional level, just like mainstream religions.
    All belief systems are bad, not just the spiritualistic ones. Believing in science is the same crap.
    “He thinks you can understand the nature of reality if you just meditate.”
    If you understand the nature of reality it does not mean that you will know all the physics. You’re misunderstanding the statement.

    “Dean Radin is a well-known quack and woo-meister.”
    So that’s what you mean by science? Having faith in the church of scientism and dismissing everyone else as heretics? I pointed you to an EXPERIMENT, and your reaction is to talk about a person, to dismiss him as a ‘quack’. If you are really for science then discuss the experiment, find its flaws and improve upon it. You haven’t found any flaws (most probably you haven’t even read the papers or listened to the conference that describes this experiment which took so many years)
    Also, the rationalwiki links you provided provide no proofs for the ‘woo’ claims. Rationalwiki seems to be more of a ‘believe me!!!!!’ thing , it’s neither scientific nor academic. It’s strange that you quote from such sources… And on what grounds you call this academician a ‘quack’ ? Just because you believe so strongly in these so called rational sites (which again, they only succeed in debuking illusionists and street magicians ‘like people who sell fake miracles, and that’s how they somehow manage to create the image that they are somehow in support of science. They are not. For example on both rationalwiki and wikipedia hypnosis falls into the category of Pseudoscience . https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Hypnosis <- look at the bottom “Categories: Psychology Alternative medicine Pseudoscience Scams” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_topics_characterized_as_pseudoscience <- hypnosis is listed there as ‘pseudoscience’. What they promote is not science at all, it’s just a bunch of materialistic beliefs, it’s a belief system and nothing more. No doubt that this whole propaganda succeeds because REAL SCIENCE which is about experiments and results and verification has brought amazing results and benefits to humanity, and they are using the facade of science to promote these blind beliefs ‘there is no spirituality’, ‘there is no mysticism’, ‘there is no hypnosis’, ‘meditation is crap’, ‘there is no third-eye’, ‘there is no prana energy’, and so on. People easily take these blind materialistic beliefs as science, just like people easily take believing in meditation,yoga, as spirituality. No belief can be scientific or spiritual, only experiment and experience can be.
    Hypnosis is such a hot research topic and it’s shown amazing results, it’s hilarious that these so called skeptics from rationalwiki and wikipedia have the guts to claim that they are in the service of science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3324744/
    “Hypnosis is effective in various acute medical settings. In a randomized controlled trial, which observed the anesthetic effects of hypnosis during interventional radiology, the control group experienced intensifying pain as the procedural time became longer, but the hypnosis treatment group, who had learned self-hypnosis, had reduced pain and the amount of analgesia used through the patient-controlled analgesia pump, also decreased. Not only this, but the hypnosis treatment group had lower hemodynamic instability after the procedure, and the procedural time was also reduced 22% when compared to the control group [20,21]. As a result, $338 in medical fees had been reduced per procedure, even when the costs for educating and instructing patients in self-hypnosis was taken into account [22]. Montgomery et al. were the first to conduct a meta-analysis of 18 research laboratory and clinical studies, and reported a effect size 0.71 of hypnosis in the analgesic effect [23]. Hypnosis not only has analgesic effects in acute pain, but it also serves to relieve chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, cancer pains, and headaches [24].” )

    “Mystics in the entire history have produced absolutely no verifiable understanding of reality. ”
    You’re wrong, my man… Mystics don’t offer descriptions of reality in the form of a theory or theology or story. They use these only as a means to make the disciple’s mind relax, then the real thing – that is meditation – begins. They only offer techniques, and you have to experiment, you don’t have to believe anything. People prefer to believe instead, so most of them fall into the traps of the fake mystics , religions, etc. Many people can be with a real guru (a mystic) and still realize nothing, because they just believe, they never experiment. So yeah they will form a religion, although the mystic didn’t intend that. People can form a religion around anything – around science also, around political ideologies, around vegetarianism, around nationalism, around any stupid belief and around any true fact also… They will transform EVEN the real thing into a fake one, it’s hard to avoid this phenomena. So naturally there are also many fakes around, fakes in the name of spirituality, in the name of science, in the name of nutrition, in the name of sport, in the name of anything. Just because in the world there are many fakes it doesn’t mean there is no real science, or no real spirituality, or no real sportsman or no real genius.

    ‘There is no such thing as a “realized yogi”. It is just a lie.’
    This is just your belief. Believe it, if you want, I don’t mind. No need for you to search, just believe, it’s easier.

    ‘He is a “realized yogi” to you, if you are gullible enough to believe that. ‘
    What I meant is even if he’s a fraud, you can’t easily dismiss him as far as the spirituality is concerned. You know nothing of Yoga. I am not saying is a realized yogi , nor I am saying he is not.
    If you just believe there is no such thing as yogic realization, fine – then you won’t even try to refute his yogic realization, so no chance to succeed in this refutation. Refuting his yogic realization is done by you yourself becoming a realized being, that’s the only way to know whether he is true or not.
    All you can refute are his so called scientific assertions. But be careful, in case he is a true yogi, he might also make true assertions which are ahead of our time, about things which science has yet to discover them.
    About his yoga, though, you can’t refute much. Fraud or not, he knows more yoga than you, that’s all I said.

  • @James Cornell: I completely agree with your last comment. When a “scientist” becomes rigid and dogmatic, he/she is no longer a scientist. I would call it the Scientific Trap.

  • @James Cornell

    First I want to tell you that it’s okay to attack all gurus, actually I also do it all the time. Most of them ARE fake.

    For gurus that claim to have mystical abilities, ALL of them are fake, not most.

    There are no actual, real mystics. You just need ONE to prove that there are. There are a bazillion claimants, many with their own mini-personality cults. Not a single one can objectively show any mystical abilities when subjected to critical examination. Their power entirely lies in gullibility of people like you.

    And it’s always good to have information from BOTH sides, no matter what guru or scientific discovery we are talking about.

    There are no BOTH sides to science. There is demonstrable Truth and there is an error. The gurus are ENTIRELY in error. Note that by saying ENTIRELY I am making it really easy for you to refute me. You just need to show one verifiable instance of mysticism that everyone can agree. But you can’t.
    Saying that there are 2 sides here is no different than saying there are 2 sides to voodoo or rain dancing. Some things are just non-factual.

    but I will still respect people decisions who consciously choose to listen to him and learn from him.

    Right, you will still “respect” the gullibility of the people who follow Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan. I, on the other hand, happen to think we have a social responsibility to at least try to make those who have been hoodwinked, be aware that they have been hood winked – however impossible a task it may be. At least a few will get it.

    If the real thing is not available , then a fraud is better(or worse??) than nothing.

    Huh? Fraud is fraud.

    The thing is, people have a need so their need some way or another has to be fulfilled. Where there’s demand, there will be a supply.

    I actually agree here. I said as much earlier. People face the question of mortality. No one wants to accept that they will really die. There is a big market for charlatans who will convince us that we don’t actually die and will just move on in some sense. This lie historically came from religion. Now old religion does not fit the sensibilities of some of us. So we need a new kind of charismatic liars who will tell us we won’t die. That is the market here – not to produce some superior understanding, but to satisfy a yearning to make peace with death, usually with a lie, than real acceptance of the fact of reality.

    Until we manage to have the real thing, fakes will prosper. You think that the real thing is already available – the so called mainstream science

    The actual market is the existential crisis (or death crisis). The genuine commodity here is philosophy. But philosophy is not accessible to everyone. It tends to bring up as many questions as answers. So they settle for mysticism.

    Rather than genuinely struggle to find their own meaning for life, it is much easier to suspend thought and blankly let a “guru” or a god-man claim to have done the thinking for you.

    Yes, mainstream science can be a source of wonder and contemplation.

    I can see how this potential is being misused by frauds who hide behind the mask of science to promote materialistic belief systems.

    Switch materialistic to mystical and you have Dean Radin and Chopra.

    I am not promoting a “materialistic belief system”. I am just asking for replicability of your so-called experiments and claims.

    All belief systems are bad, not just the spiritualistic ones. Believing in science is the same crap.

    Science never asks you to just believe it. If we weren’t producing results consistently, we would not be doing it, producing is something New Agers never did. All we got was rhetoric.

    If you understand the nature of reality it does not mean that you will know all the physics. You’re misunderstanding the statement.

    Jaggi is simply playing word-games with the term “reality”. What he is talking about is a subjective feeling, a perspective at most, not reality. I know that.

    So that’s what you mean by science? Having faith in the church of scientism and dismissing everyone else as heretics?

    Everytime New Agers are asked for science standards, they resort to this “church of scientism” argument. It is really tiresome. I am just asking you for objective, replicable evidence, as everyone should.

    I pointed you to an EXPERIMENT, and your reaction is to talk about a person, to dismiss him as a ‘quack’.

    And I pointed you to articles with links to articles on how their “ EXPERIMENTs” are absurd. There is plenty already written about Radin and IoNC. They have been doing this junk research for decades. IoNC is not a source I (or scientists in general) have any trust in.

    They cherry-pick anecdotes and ignore all evidence that points otherwise.

    Here, I am just pasting from Wikipedia:

    Chris French criticized Radin for his selective historical overview of parapsychology and ignoring evidence of fraud. French recounts that the medium Florence Cook was caught in acts of trickery and two of the Fox sisters confessed to fraud, but that Radin did not mention this fact. Radin has claimed the results from psi research are as consistent by the same standards as any other scientific discipline but Ray Hyman has written many parapsychologists disagree with that opinion and openly admit the evidence for psi is “inconsistent, irreproducible, and fails to meet acceptable scientific standards”.

    Why does Dean Radin ignore evidence to the contrary? Because he is a woo-meister. He has no interest in actually pursuing this stuff with integrity. He just wants to convince you and sell books. He will just do activities that look like “experiments”, elaborate enough to look like science, just to give an illusion of a sophisticated effort.

    Here are a couple (which you no doubt have already read since you seem to be his fan):

    https://www.csicop.org/si/show/when_big_evidence_isnt_the_statistical_pitfalls_of_dean_radins_supernormal

    http://www.skepdic.com/refuge/radin1.html

    You don’t need to convince me personally – convince the scientific community at large. All physics and neuroscience research departments will run to noetic guys, if they are convinced they are doing anything but playing games and are on to something. They will be talking about this at every major physics conference. They will all be writing for grants to explore consciousness and quantum mechanics. Why do you think they don’t? Is it because only you New Agers (mostly people without any science education, except perhaps the few top scammers) get it? All the physics professors in the world are blind and closed-minded to your wonderful experiments? Only people like you have the open-mindedness and wisdom to get this? Or do you think it is possible because you don’t get the ABC of science and they do? Could it be that you and your people live in your own la-la land producing nothing, and not the actual scientific community, which has produced plenty? Could it be that Radin and Chopra who have no advanced physics training at all simply don’t grok Quantum Mechanics? Could it be that Chopra who charges exorbitant sums as speaking fees is simply in it for the money?

    If you are really for science then discuss the experiment, find its flaws and improve upon it.

    This whole mess got started when people misunderstood the double slit experiment and the uselessly dumbed down “interpretations” of quantum mechanics.

    They misunderstood what the observer effect really meant. This started an entire cottage industry of quantum mysticism. The faux-science being promoted is really old-school magic – make strong wishes and the world will bend to you is the mantra. All mainstream physicists tell these quacks the flaws in their reasoning. But there is too much money to be made here that they don’t care.

    No, Guerrer did not get anyone to alter particle behavior in the double slit experiment. He just claims he does. And he can claim till cows come home. He can bring his best psychic and they will just turn out to be Uri Gellers.

    You haven’t found any flaws (most probably you haven’t even read the papers or listened to the conference that describes this experiment which took so many years)

    I have known about this New-Age junk science for a long time. I really don’t care about yet another one. I will pay attention when your guys actually manage to get mainstream physicists interested, not just their little kitty parties.

    They are just generally looking for spurious statistical correlations using hyper-sensitive equipment. They simply cannot replicate them. Homeopaths also engage in this nonsense to pretend they are scientific. There is nothing here. You can only cry wolf for so long.

    Also, the rationalwiki links you provided provide no proofs for the ‘woo’ claims. Rationalwiki seems to be more of a ‘believe me!!!!!’ thing , it’s neither scientific nor academic.

    The so-called “experiments” you are talking about are also not academic. Sure, you have an oddball on tenure here and there that tries to lend credence to these, but academia in general does not even cast a glance on them anymore. You think you will get academic rebuttals for these? The flippant dismissal you see in the RationalWiki is all the response these are eligible for. They earned this status by their repeated untrustworthiness by not maintaining the requisite critical standards.

    I am also pointing you to Rational Wiki to show you these aren’t my personal opinions. They are the opinions of rationalists worldwide in general. The wiki articles are short. They are more of: yes, we know about this nonsense already. They do link to more detailed critiques.

    You want an Academic Particle Physicist Professor refuting it? Try this:

    https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Gods-Creation-Search-Consciousness/dp/1591027136/

    It’s strange that you quote from such sources… And on what grounds you call this academician a ‘quack’ ?

    Dean Radin might have been a faculty member at some point. But he does quackery now, just as Deepak Chopra has medical training, but what he promotes now is mysticism and quackery, not EBM.

    Just because you believe so strongly in these so called rational sites (which again, they only succeed in debuking illusionists and street magicians ‘like people who sell fake miracles

    I did not come into this reading rationalist sites. I have formal science training. Do you have any? This is simple, straight-forward scientific thought – apply critical standards, ask for evidence and replicability. It is not science without these.

    Rationalist groups are simply the public facing articulations of scientific critical thinking. They are not taking any non-scientific position. Your New Age beliefs are illusions and are simply a more sophisticated version of street magic. Go ahead, prove me wrong. Tell me ONE experiment, your noetic guys have executed first that regular physicists have also executed and confirmed, published in any major physics journal and now is considered part of the physics mainstream. It need not even be a consciousness project, just any novel physics phenomenon will do.

    and that’s how they somehow manage to create the image that they are somehow in support of science.They are not. For example on both rationalwiki and wikipedia hypnosis falls into the category of Pseudoscience . https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Hypnosis <- look at the bottom “Categories: Psychology Alternative medicine Pseudoscience Scams”

    That’s your proof? – That its pseudoscience list contains one thing you think isn’t pseudoscience?
    The RationalWiki simply notes the multitude of pseudoscience that falls under hypnosis. There has been plenty of evidence of false memories and such being claimed under hypnosis.

    For instance:

    People have claimed that hypnosis can get you past-life regressions – that is pseudoscience.

    People have claimed that hypnosis can reveal “UFO abductions” (another bunk affair). Later inquiries found that the details were injected in. That is pseudoscience.

    It does not say, hypnosis itself is quackery. See the sentence: “Hypnosis is a natural state experienced at times by nearly all human beings. For example, people often lapse into hypnosis while driving”.

    We even have sedative-hypnotic drugs. They work great. No one is saying hypnosis, as a psychological phenomenon itself is pseudoscience, although people have questioned the extent of the effect that can properly be attributed to hypnosis. The stage hypnosis has been reasonably questioned in this regard.

    promote these blind beliefs ‘there is no spirituality’, ‘there is no mysticism’, ‘there is no hypnosis’, ‘meditation is crap’, ‘there is no third-eye’, ‘there is no prana energy’, and so on.

    So go ahead and prove it with evidence. Without using faith based arguments, prove that there is a third-eye (no, not the pineal gland), prana, mysticism, spiritual worlds, telekinesis etc. Don’t tell me I have to believe first. That is not proving at all.

    In critical thinking, if you claim that something exists, it is your job to claim it exists, not the critics’. It is the basic philosophical burden of proof.

    Hypnosis is such a hot research topic and it’s shown amazing results, it’s hilarious that these so called skeptics from rationalwiki and wikipedia have the guts to claim that they are in the service of science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3324744/

    This is just a fluff piece from some random journal of little consequence. There is no science presented here. There are a lot better articles than this. Please don’t type some search terms and shove random articles at me. I am in medical research. This is a very unimpressive article.

    No, it is not a “hot” research topic and it has not shown “amazing” results. Evidence in medicine works differently from physics. It takes a lot more replicability than physics to establish anything. We don’t jump easily for joy unless they are very large efforts. The statistical issues here are quite different and we need to account for a lot more bias in human subjects and even more so when subjective phenomena are involved.

    You’re wrong, my man… Mystics don’t offer descriptions of reality in the form of a theory or theology or story.

    You haven’t been paying attention. Mystics offer loads of theories, theologies, metaphysics and stories, as does Jaggi.

    They use these only as a means to make the disciple’s mind relax, then the real thing – that is meditation – begins.

    They offer simple-minded explanations to their followers that are meant to shut down critical thought. Then they start further thought-stopping exercises, like meditation. This leads to altered psychological states. Often, the clients have not experienced them before and are blown away. They then tell them: see – I am revealing some greater reality to you.

    Except it is not. It is just a mental state. You can get that through scientific means in multiple ways. It is not revealing any additional truth about reality. Learn what a religious/spiritual experience is. It is plain neuroscience, not mystical.

    They only offer techniques, and you have to experiment, you don’t have to believe anything.

    Yes, they offer techniques to reach alternative psychological states, but they mislead you, often out of ignorance themselves, but sometimes knowingly, as to interpreting what those states mean.

    This is just your belief. Believe it, if you want, I don’t mind. No need for you to search, just believe, it’s easier.

    That’s not a belief. It is the logical position based on a lack of evidence. It is your job to present evidence, not the kind of non-replicated faux-experiments as you have done, but well replicated and recognized experiments.

    What I meant is even if he’s a fraud, you can’t easily dismiss him as far as the spirituality is concerned.
    I can. I can even dismiss his spirituality on entirely factual, logical and empirical grounds alone, without a single opinion on whether he committed any kind of fraud.

    You know nothing of Yoga.

    First, which classic texts on Yoga did you read?

    I am not saying is a realized yogi , nor I am saying he is not.
    If you just believe there is no such thing as yogic realization, fine – then you won’t even try to refute his yogic realization, so no chance to succeed in this refutation.

    But I am. I am saying he (or any other mystic) has not submitted any evidence of his “yogic realization”. That is my refutation.

    Forget Jaggi for a bit and I will pretend this “yogic realization” exists for a bit. I will give you 2 gurus, one who achieved “yogic realization” and one who did not. How will you determine which one has it and which one does not? What will be your methods? How will you assess and quantify the accuracy of our methods?

    Refuting his yogic realization is done by you yourself becoming a realized being, that’s the only way to know whether he is true or not.

    No, that is not how it is done.

    I don’t need to become a rain dancer to tell you that the idea that dancing in any way brings about rain is utterly and fundamentally flawed.

    I can absolutely state via science whether rain dancing does what it says, without doing any rain dancing myself.

    In India, we believe that performing certain fire rituals (homas) brings about rain, BTW. All these “fully-realized” yogis we have had over the centuries were super-cool with that idea of course. Great proof of their “fully-realized” wisdom. No sir, they weren’t just a superstitious lot.

    All you can refute are his so called scientific assertions. But be careful, in case he is a true yogi, he might also make true assertions which are ahead of our time, about things which science has yet to discover them.

    Same tired argument from New Agers. We are too cool for science, we are too advanced for science. Science is so-stifling, it does not allow us to say whatever we feel. It has all these inconvenient standards and rigor etc. etc.

    You can endlessly wait in a “second coming” sort of exercise for him to be proved right.

    The first thing about science you should know, is not to make non-falsifiable claims like this.

    About his yoga, though, you can’t refute much. Fraud or not, he knows more yoga than you, that’s all I said.

    Yes, a rain-dancer will always know more about rain-dancing than I do, especially if he gets to define it, but even otherwise, when it is culturally defined. But I have the basic level of scientific literacy to refute it.

  • @James Cornell

    My earlier reply did not make it past the spam filter. I will try a shorter version.

    Who is an academic? Why do we value him/her?
    A proper academic tries to entirely talk from data, not his/her agenda. She has extensive training in her discipline. She takes time to review all the evidence and literature available, including those that do not agree with her own positions. When an experiment is conducted, great care is taken to adjust for biases. When they are not fully adjusted, she attempts to fully disclose the limitations before anyone else needs to point it out. She discusses the limits of certainty with which her claim may be accepted. She goes to her the peers, who are intellectually equipped to critique her work. Whenever an anomalous finding is available, the results are hotly and critically debated. After all the dust settles, then the public is presented with the conclusions in a popular press work or text books.

    Is Dean Radin an academic?
    He certainly does not act like one. He has no training in quantum mechanics. He was found to have cherry-picked narratives. He makes bombastic claims. His experimental designs are silly and do not convince the scientific community. He ignores physics experts who explain to him that his very core premises are fatally flawed – Observer effect has nothing to do with consciousness, but simply with the fact that the particles are so damn small such that the very act of shining photons on them, disturbs them. He formed a non-critical bubble with IONS where he may make claims without a critical review. He short-circuits the academic process and directly goes to the public which has no capacity to critique.

    Why don’t I show academic critique of his “experiment”?
    Because this nonsense is not considered science at all. Until he comes to an actual scientific forum and faces the critical review, there is nothing to criticize. Radin says he deserves a Nobel. He is nowhere at the level of Ig Nobel awards, what Nobel is he talking about? I’d put more stock in a paper that wins state-level science fare award in US, than a paper that Radin writes. How did he get here? He got here by writing unsubstantiated bakwas after bakwas (in case you are not familiar with the term, it translates to BS). His fellow, Deepak Chopra is a such a legendary bakwasi that there are websites like this

    wisdomofchopra dot com

    This years Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit” (a bit about Chopra). A flippant effort it may be, but it has more science in it than New Ager “experiments”. Being featured in Wikipedia and RationalWiki are about the most these quacks can accomplish.

    Radin and Chopra are fellow bakwasis. They are not doing this to advance science. In fact, they do not care about that in the slightest. These “experiments” exist solely to confuse people with no scientific training to think there is something profound to the bakwas they peddle VERY PROFITABLY. This is about book sales, speaking fees, resort packages etc. This is what the New Age mystical machine produces. It has not, will not and has no desire to, actually produce any better understanding of anything.

    I said Jaggi would not pass 11th class physics test. Chopra and Radin will flunk a formal university quantum mechanics class (I am not talking QM for dummies classes). If they had any actual interest, they would have first gone back to school, obtained the necessary pre-requisites i.e. know enough math of quantum mechanics such that they can discuss a standard paper on QM and then argue what the implications are. Instead, they just flog the almost useless “interpretations” of quantum mechanics to basically talk magic.

    We had a mystic in India, by the name of Swami Vivekananda. He was a genuine mystic. He had no ego, he did not try to market himself, he lived simply and always tried to learn from science. I don’t care for mystical metaphysics and Swami Vivekananda had his own. But I respect his efforts as an honest effort of a genuine mystic. I haven’t seen a genuine one after him.

    Jaggi, Radin and Chopra, on the other hand are pompous charlatans who are in it for the money. The minute they are pointed to that they are factually incorrect, they will claim that they are beyond science and that science is arrogant, Scientism etc. You claimed that Jaggi is ahead of science (“in case he is a true yogi, he might also make true assertions which are ahead of our time, about things which science has yet to discover them”). OK then, so wait all those years. Why whine for a Nobel now? Radin can either go through the rigors of a scientific examination or can stay a legend in his own mind (and in the minds of people like you).

    Hypnosis is a real phenomenon. Neither Wikipedia nor the more flippant and critical RationalWiki are denying that. They are simply noting the multitude of pseudoscience that does happen in the name of hypnosis. And no, hypnosis for pain management is not a “hot” topic. Neither the paper you cited nor the journal it was in are influential. It is an opinion article.

    If you are really for science then discuss the experiment, find its flaws and improve upon it.

    Well, do what academics do. Act like academics. Get training. Be competent in the complex math necessary here, since QM is all about math, not rhetoric. And if you cry wolf too many times, you made your bed, now sleep in it.

    “Experiments” like this are quite common in pseudo-sciences. Homeopaths do a lot of these spurious correlation studies, for the same reasons. It does not have any weight until several other people can replicate it. Radin claims that “certain individuals proved to be significantly more successful at influencing the photons’ behaviour”. OK. Now trot out just your “proven” super-psychics and let someone else who does not buy your BS, test the photon behavior. We’ll see if your Jedi tricks are facts or fiction. If it replicates everywhere, it is science. If does not, it is bunk and is simply spurious correlation, which has been the case every.single.time with things like these. Just doing a presentation at IONS is like bragging about doing an open-mic at Woodstock.

  • @Ravi

    “Because this nonsense is not considered science at all. Until he comes to an actual scientific forum and faces the critical review, there is nothing to criticize.”
    You seem to be talking about Dean Radin just from your own imagination 🙂 So you’re not really saying anything about him, you are just showing your own inability to act and respond in a scientific manner. He published scientific papers about the experiment and they are facing critical review. The experiment has already been replicated by an independent researcher, so what nonsense are you talking there?

    How do you know that Dean Radin hasn’t studied quantum mechanics? You think that just throwing around random accusations is a way to AVOID the ACTUAL EXPERIMENT AND THE RESULTS IT GAVE?
    And he’s published dozens and hundreds of experiments with dozens and hundreds of replications – but this last experiment is one of the most complex of them all, and novel in many aspects.
    “Be competent in the complex math necessary here, since QM is all about math, not rhetoric” Are you even suggesting that Dean Radin is not competent in maths ? Are you talking about the real person called Dean Radin or about the one in your own imagination?
    He’s published the scientific report with all the maths and everything – but how could you know that, you don’t even bother to look at the research , your own prejudices are the supreme “Science” it seems. :))

    His experiments, his maths and the replications of independent researchers is just ‘rethoric’ for you , and your false assertions about him are the real deal, really scientific! Please enlighten us more, teach us more about the science 🙂 It’s a pleasure to read

    And you don’t seem to understand the difference between QM and the kind of experiment we’re discussing about. I did not tell you about some QM paper at all. You’re just changing the subject hoping that your rethorics will sound like an argument . It is not. Bullshitting absurd things like ‘he is not a QM guy’ (how do you know this? He’s an engineer and he’s studied QM among other things, on what grounds do you say such things? )
    You are just avoiding the topic – that is the experiment that’s been REPLICATED by independent researchers!

  • He published scientific papers about the experiment and they are facing critical review. The experiment has already been replicated by an independent researcher, so what nonsense are you talking there?

    Cool man. These are totally skeptical, experienced scientists who have not dabbled in New Age stuff previously, right? Now Radin will totally get a Nobel prize in physics. We will revise both physics and biology books and after that, I will eat crow. Sounds good?

    My small mind is having trouble seeing that his super-duper game changing paper has only 2 citations in Google Scholar, one of which is your Brazilian boy and the other is about monks transferring their powers to water by meditating on it to make it grow seeds faster – yeah, sounds legit. Not magical at all. Highly significant results (p < 10–13), even better than Radin. Let’s queue these guys for a Nobel too. No spurious correlations here, no siree.

    Shiah, Yung-Jong, et al. “A Randomized Trial Effect of the Intentionally Treated Water on Growth of Arabidopsis thaliana Seeds with Cryptochrome Mutations.”. The Journal of Science and Healing (2017).

    “These outcomes conformed to the monks’ intentions because a decrease in hypocotyl length and increase in anthocyanin and chlorophyll are associated with enhanced photomorphogenic growth. These experiments suggest that the His-CRY2 mutation of Arabidopsis may be an especially robust “detector” of intention.”

    The Journal of Science and Healing – a known woo journal.

    skepticaleducator org /science-education/peer-review-a-new-signature-of-quack-science/

    How do you know that Dean Radin hasn’t studied quantum mechanics?

    Because he does not put that anywhere in his profile. Why are you asking me to prove a negative anyway? That’s like Logic 101. The only physics education he received seems to be the physics he studied to become an engineer. Who regards engineers as QM physicists? After that, he got a psychology degree.

    You think that just throwing around random accusations is a way to AVOID the ACTUAL EXPERIMENT AND THE RESULTS IT GAVE?

    Not my accusations. I am relaying to you the criticisms that people have provided everywhere.
    Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud – Robert L. Park (physicist)

    “No proof of psychic phenomena is ever found. In spite of all the tests devised by parapsychologists like Jahn and Radin, and huge amounts of data collected over a period of many years, the results are no more convincing today than when they began their experiments.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voodoo_Science
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Park

    He puts Radin under:
    pseudoscience proper: work falsely claiming to have a scientific basis, which may be dependent on supernatural explanations.

    Some more
    Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
    www csicop org/si/show/when_big_evidence_isnt_the_statistical_pitfalls_of_dean_radins_supernormal

    The Skeptic’s Dictionary
    www skepdic com /refuge/entangledreview.html
    www skepdic com /refuge/radin1.html

    At this point, you will say: But all that was in the past. NOW we have replications.
    Sure, as soon as the mainstream quantum physicists accept his claims and the quality of evidence about collapsing a “quantum wave function” and put out a position paper through any respectable mainstream physics organization, I will also accept them. OK? Sounds reasonable? Other than that this is Uri Geller’s spoon bending and Russell Targ’s remote viewing.

    This is not at all about pushing “distance healing services”, right?

    noetic org /research/projects/compassionate-intention-prayer-and-distant-healing/faq

    This is some intense scientific advice from IONS [sarcasm, in case you have been missing it] – where Radin presented his stuff. Remote control mind-magic medicine. All proven of course, lots of studies, here are references, materialistic science fools like me just don’t get it.

    You have your Jaggi test BTW. No need to wait to know. If he is a super-duper fully-realized yogi that you think he might be, he should pretty much be able to light up the Buddha toy and make it play to any tune he wants. Otherwise, he is pretty ordinary. Right?

  • This article of yours is getting famous in Quora. There was a question which was raised: “The way Sadhguru was exposed by Nirmukta community is that genuine? As there is an article that critically defames Sadhguru on Nirmukta website and the link is given below.”

    I answered that question and I have tried my best to explain to people to not to blindly follow an authority, repeat what he says and defend him blindly against criticism.

    You can read it here: https://www.quora.com/The-way-Sadhguru-was-exposed-by-Nirmukta-community-is-that-genuine-As-there-is-an-article-that-critically-defames-Sadhguru-on-Nirmukta-website-and-the-link-is-given-below/answer/Shanmugam-P-12?srid=hJCJi

  • Very well written I was searching for words to explain the cow dung spread by this abhorrent argument against science. Your article provides that. Such type of Swamis and their followers have to be studied anthropologically to understand their socio economic base their appeal and the type of social elements they seek to engender… talking about stress management this baba tells that there is different dimension than senses to understand the universe… He tells logic can not reach that understanding and then he claims he has all this bogus methods to achieve that understanding if he and his followers have achieved that understanding they should stop talking because language is logical construct they should not be using it to communicate something which is beyond logic… The type of empty stance taken by jaggi and his followers can result in individuals who will never understand science because they will be under impression that they and their guru know everything or there is no need to know anything because they are beyond knowing…

  • these comments are hilarious. No one here knows a single thing about sadhguru or any mystic for that matter. This article tries to criticize sadhguru but you cannot even comprehend his capability to do things. Forget about having the capability to know mystical dimensions of life almost everyone here cannot even survive alone in a forest. How many of you can survive on 3 hours of sleep for decades and do physical activity 20 hours a day? How many of you can touch another person so deep without saying a word that will make them cry? You may be great at criticizing and arguing but nothing will be transformed. Even if you have all the knowledge in the universe your life still won’t be fulfilled and it’s a quite wasted life if you don’t see what this life is possible of. Only those who are seeking truly will know life the rest will just make stupid conclusions and die. Sadhguru can do many many things that will seem like god like to you but he won’t because he isn’t seeking that kind of attention he just needs to do his work.

  • @Ravi’s Evil Twin

    Cute handle.

    No one here knows a single thing about sadhguru or any mystic for that matter.

    I lived with people in a cult. I know how their minds work. This is a psychology topic of interest for me. I know of several mystics and the damage they caused in their followers lives, damage that the followers themselves are unable to recognize. How many mystics and cults from how many cultural traditions did you study?

    Forget about having the capability to know mystical dimensions of life

    There are no “mystical dimensions of life” dude. There is however such a thing as a Spiritual/Religious Experience

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_experience

    You have been duped to believing that this is Enlightenment. It isn’t. It is the opposite of what the word has meant since the scientific revolution.

    It is a genuine, neurologically-mediated, perspective changing sensory experience. The experience is real. What is at flaw is the interpretation of it. It is not connecting you to any “super-reality”, but people who experienced it think it is. Nearly all world religions are based on this experience, interpreted in different cultural and civilizational contexts. There is plenty of science on this. You don’t need a mystic for it, a mushroom will do. Often, even that is not necessary.

    Your guru does not want you to know the science behind this. Naturally, he brainwashed you into thinking that science is nothing. They all do that. That is his motive for downplaying science – to make sure that people like you get none the wiser.

    almost everyone here cannot even survive alone in a forest.

    Neither can your billionaire, helicopter guru.

    How many of you can survive on 3 hours of sleep for decades and do physical activity 20 hours a day?

    Is that what Jaggi is telling you? I did not know Jaggi was doing this, but it is a very well-known cult tactic to tell followers they don’t need much sleep and give them absurdly lofty goals of not needing sleep. Sleep-deprived cultists are very pliant, have very low critical analysis abilities – good sheep.

    vanwinkles . com/sleep-deprivation-and-cults-including-jonestown-the-moonies-aum-shinri-kyo-heavens-gate

    Jaggi is a light-weight compared to these well-known cults, as is his “power”.

    I pride myself on making the effort to get as much sleep as I can get, even if I don’t always succeed. Sleep is your friend. All research shows that sleep is critical to a sound mind.

    A tired mind is more vulnerable to delusions and yes, “spiritual experiences”. Once you have a “spiritual experience”, you will be blown away by it and you be completely defenseless against all reason and the cult can program you any way it likes. You will believe in anything programmed into you right after you had it. If you are told that it is the super-consciousness, you will believe it. If you are told that it is the holy spirit and you need to proselytize everyone, you will believe it. If you are told that you now need to strap a suicide vest because that is what is best for you, you will believe it and do it. Such is the disaster of this so-called “enlightenment”. In your case, Jaggi probably will just tell you to work for free his empire.

    How many of you can touch another person so deep without saying a word that will make them cry?

    One too many cult leaders. Read a few books on cults and come back. Your guru ain’t that special. You just think so since this is the only cult you know. That is the case with every cultist.

    The power isn’t in him. The vulnerability is in those that seek it.

    You may be great at criticizing and arguing but nothing will be transformed.

    My issue isn’t specifically against Jaggi, it is against all these money-grubbing mystics in general. I am treating Jaggi as a routine cult leader.

    Even if you have all the knowledge in the universe your life still won’t be fulfilled and it’s a quite wasted life if you don’t see what this life is possible of.

    Oh, please do tell me what new possibilities you have discovered after joining the Jaggi cult that I am incapable of imagining. Impress me.

    Only those who are seeking truly will know life the rest will just make stupid conclusions and die.

    Said every fanatic ever. After that, they next say that what they are not in a cult and they are not in a religion, they are just spiritual. Next you will lecture me of how Jaggi is not religious, of how he is beyond all traditional religion, of how you are all about Truth and Enlightenment. Heard it all. Both from eastern and western cults.

    Sadhguru can do many many things that will seem like god like to you but he won’t

    Fraud-like, not god-like.

    You are making it really easy to show that you are a genuine cult member. Others above defended him far better than you.

    Look, you have fallen victim for a cult. No one who has fallen victim ever admits that they did. They ferociously defend that they have not. I don’t expect to convince you. It takes years for someone like you to process what they did to you (and what you did to yourself – the complacency was yours and will be the hardest to get over). I would consider you lucky, if you realized after several years from now on how YOU wasted YOUR life. As someone who lived with insufferable cultists, I know.

    Then you can lament like the rest of the ex-ISHA people on
    tapatalk . com/groups/guruphiliac/sadhguru-and-the-isha-foundation-t2073569.html
    while current-ISHA people deride you saying it was all your failure that you are in disillusionment, that the guru is never wrong etc, etc. Seen it all before.

    he isn’t seeking that kind of attention he just needs to do his work.

    Is that why he is in rich countries marketing his programs and spending time mostly with celebrities? Yeah, not attention seeking at all.

  • Sorry, though I do not have time to read all things written and commented, but understood or ‘perceived’ the thoughts of people.
    Whatever said and done, now one can entirely understand the REAL universe and science for “REAL”. every one perceives to understand something and wish to share it as REAL and the listeners ‘think’ and ‘perceive’ their own way and pass it on. This is the “REALITY” we are living in and has to live with. NO ONE or Collectively can never UNDERSTND it fully. Even biggest of biggest SCIENCE inventions are made to realize.
    DO NOT TRY to defend any nor refute any, as long as the things are taken out of control.
    Live the life with genuine and open mind to understand the reality forever.

  • @KKSram

    Sorry, though I do not have time to read all things written and commented, but understood or ‘perceived’ the thoughts of people.

    Next time, try reading. From your post, “perceiving thoughts of people” does not seem to be working.

    every one perceives to understand something and wish to share it as REAL and the listeners ‘think’ and ‘perceive’ their own way and pass it on.

    This is what I mean about being a Jaggi tape recorder. How many years did you spend in ISHA?

    NO ONE or Collectively can never UNDERSTND it fully.

    Especially these self-declared to be enlightened and “fully realized yogis”.

    DO NOT TRY to defend any nor refute any

    Sure. Go and tell Jaggi not to defend and refute anything, not just his critics.

    In the cult I observed, they had this thing called: “Leave like a gentleman”. Sounds decent on the surface, but here is what they really meant. If you liked what they did, they will gradually get you to drop all your free time and endlessly proselytize on their behalf and work for their organization. But if you got disillusioned, you are told to just leave quietly, without voicing any critique. That way they managed to censor their group such that members would only hear positive things about themselves but never the dark side of their cult.

    Defending and refuting are what thinking people do. If anyone tells you to live blankly, they are telling you to live like zombies. That is not enlightenment. We should try to not judge emotionally, but analytical judgment is essential. If you don’t, other people will judge for you – which is what happens in all cults, the cult leader does the thinking and tells the members to suspend independent thought and go along as lemmings.

    Is there value in occasionally sitting quietly and try looking at the world non-judgmentally to gain a different perspective? Sure. But you can’t run your life like that. Jaggi is judging all the time. This article was written because he was incompetently judging science.

    BTW, who gave this title Sadhguru to Jaggi? The leader of the cult I observed also gave himself a similar title. They all want to be larger than life.

  • @Anonymous
    Rupert Sheldrake is yet another well-known pseudoscience guy in the so-called “parapsychology”, much like Dean Radin. These guys imagine themselves to be Einsteins and Galileos while spinning fantasy theories. The scientific community recognizes their ideas as utter nonsense. So they write books for people who don’t have a good education in science but overestimate their understanding of it. They are popular among new agers and conspiracy theorists.

    Also see Sokal Affair
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair
    This was a famous prank played by the physicist Alan Sokal to expose the so-called journals that called themselves “open-minded”. They were basically publishing any garbage forwarded to them with no real peer review. Sokal’s paper was a deliberately written up arbitrary nonsense by throwing around some science like terms such as the “morphogenetic field” – Sheldrake’s woo.

    Please don’t cite TEDx talks. They let all sorts of garbage in. There is no quality control.

  • The whole issue could have been avoided by not talking about Higgs boson.. He could have avoided a lot of criticism about him by just not talking about Higgs boson, especially when he doesn’t know what it is..

    I can tell you very confidently that meditation has got nothing to do with outer world and any knowledge that has to do with outer world.. I have been meditating for more than 15 years: it has given me ultimate well being and peace, it made me to look at things the way they are, it made me to look at reality in a totally different perspective and more. But if I want to know about Higgs boson, I have to study the appropriate science text book and I can’t know it with any kind of meditation, period..

    Here is what he is trying to do in that video: He claims that emptiness is the basic essence of existence, that our yogic system already knows it and that scientists have been wrong from the very beginning.

    First of all, I know that Yogic culture doesn’t mention a word that literally means ‘emptiness’ , as the essence of existence… Yoga says that world originated from unconscious principle, prakriti.. But the concept of emptiness does exist in Buddhism as well as Vigyan bhairav tantra and it is actually similar to what we call as ‘Brahman’ in vedanta’.. (Sadhguru must have picked it up from Osho’s commentary on Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, he quotes a lot from Osho: https://www.quora.com/Has-Sadhguru-copied-the-ideology-and-thoughts-of-Osho/answer/Shanmugam-P-12?srid=hJCJi).

    But this concept of emptiness actually means ‘empty of any attributes’ which is purely subjective.. It has got nothing to do with objective world. When we say ‘nirguna Brahman’, it means ‘Brahman without attributes’… This pure witness which is empty of attributes can be tasted in deep meditation and it has been my own experience. But people, including Vedantins fail to understand that it is subjective only and nothing to do with outer world. You go through this emptiness whenever you sleep but it is experienced without consciousness..When it is experienced consciously it is the peak of meditation.

    The main reason for this confusion is caused probably by people who interpreted scriptures without tasting meditation. It has been happening since the ancient days.. There has been lot of misinterpretations and interpolations which has changed the whole meaning of the scriptures. Vedantic scriptures are poetry ; when we interpret a poem, we need to understand that they tend to have eulogies, metaphors and other figures of speech.

    Obviously, no yogi has talked about atoms, the mass of its nucleus, behavior of electrons in quantum level etc. Just by taking a statement that says ‘emptiness is the essence of everything’ and saying that we know everything all along is ————-.. (You can fill in the blank with any word you like, by putting yourself in a scientist’s shoes)

    And people who try to support Sadhguru in this particular scenario don’t understand another problem. The more they try to justify this, the more others will think that Isha followers have become totally blind and have been brainwashed..I can understand their emotions, but this is not the time to let the emotions cloud their thinking. They will not only fail in their attempt to justify it but they will also bring more bad name to Isha.

  • Religious fiefdoms , belonging to the Sadgurus, Shanakarcharyas, Mullahs and the Pope have but one common enemy….Science !
    These people have fought science throughout centuries and they will continue to fight,demoralise scientific methods and practice.
    The biggest loser is India , wherein science had always been and still is being denounced .

  • A better quality version of the above
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3wTtmrFQxI

    Sam Harris on gurus
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbKZ3pcjsjc
    Sam Harris had a spiritual experience, left Stanford, came to India, listened to gurus, eventually returning back to US as an author and completing a PhD on the neuroscience of beliefs.

    The faux “science” of Sheldrake
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Rupert_Sheldrake

    contrast that with Alan Sokal’s critical thought.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuKmMyhnG94

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_Rajneeshee_bioterror_attack
    They still remember him in Oregon for that, not for his “teachings”.

  • Didn’t clear the forum spam filter. Reposting with disabled links. Remove spaces.

    A better quality version of the above
    youtube . com/watch?v=C3wTtmrFQxI

    Sam Harris on gurus
    youtube . com/watch?v=CbKZ3pcjsjc
    Sam Harris had a spiritual experience, left Stanford, came to India, listened to gurus, eventually returning back to US as an author and completing a PhD on the neuroscience of beliefs.

    The faux “science” of Sheldrake
    rationalwiki . org/wiki/Rupert_Sheldrake

    contrast that with Alan Sokal’s critical thought.
    youtube . com/watch?v=kuKmMyhnG94

    en.wikipedia . org/wiki/1984_Rajneeshee_bioterror_attack
    They still remember him in Oregon for that, not for his “teachings”.

  • In my opinion, this guy is now getting dangerous… Because, he is starting to bring back the old beliefs and rationalize everything in the name of science. But this is not how this guy started doing business.. Initially, he was all against rituals, yantras, mantras, beliefs etc.. But slowly in the last several years, he is justifying all the old beliefs saying that there is a deep science behind everything. Right now, his only focus seems to be to prove that everything that we suspect to be superstitious is actually science.

    He attracts people by using logic in the first place (by talking like a skeptic),.
    Then he convinces people to not to think logically.
    Finally he says whatever he wants to say; He cooks up a lot of stories and gives them by mixing them with facts; And no matter what he says, people end up in believing him..

    This three fold process he is using is very clever. But the followers don’t realize how easily they are fooled this way. He is changing all the skeptics into believers again! What a tragedy!

    On the other hand, he emotionally appeals to people by doing things like Rally for rivers etc (like a politician who pleases people for the votes in the next election) and makes sure that he gets good name.. Because now, if anyone criticizes him then the critic will be labelled as somebody who doesn’t care about the country, who doesn’t care about the rivers and tries to find problems in every solution.

    He is a clever businessman with political mind and knows how to sell his product. But if he had picked up some other business, I would have appreciated it . He picked up the spiritual business which is hot in US and India and the bullshit he is promoting is actually making India going backwards. Because I can clearly witness that the followers don’t use any logic and reasoning anymore.. The comments that I see here proves that.

    By the way, I know about both Yoga and Vedanta and what he is teaching is neither of those. It is just a mixture of Osho’s ideas with some of his own beliefs. And he has used the methods that he learnt from Osho’s books and Rishi prabhakar’s course to cook up his own version of yoga courses. This guy is the most dangerous fake guru than anyone else, because he uses clever techniques to make others to fall for his business instead of using the stupid techniques used by most other fake gurus.(like pulling out lingas from mouth, declaring oneself as avatar etc).

    There is a close friend of mine. He used to be very intelligent and a critical thinker. After watching a few videos, attending a 7 day program and reading his books, he no longer thinks or speaks the way he used to. He sometimes sounds totally illogical and he also parrots Jaggi a lot. The worst thing is, he becomes very angry and reactive if anyone around him criticizes and makes fun of Jaggi. He looks dull than before but he claims that Jaggi has changed his life. And now his family and friends worry what happened to this guy. His performance in the job has gone down because he is always busy checking youtube videos of Jaggi, listening to podcasts and he walks around like a zombie. All he does in social media now is sharing Jaggi’s videos and posts… He doesn’t live his life he used to anymore.. I feel very sad and sorry for him.

    This has to be stopped and something has to be done. I think Nurmukta can do something about it by publicly challenging some of his claims, especially the claim that he can change the taste of the water by touch. I also read somewhere that he imitates Osho and quotes him verbatim but pretending to be a original thinker. There was clear evidence and citations. Nirmukta can probably write one more article exposing all these. That would actually save many people.

    You guys did a good job in writing this article. I request you to do something more about this problem. (my sister was very excited about Rally for Rivers recently and I showed her your article and a few more. But she says she doesn’t care but she is just watching his videos for time pass.. But I know this is how it starts and I am getting worried now. Those bald ladies in his ashram are haunting me in my dreams, I really don’t want my sister to become one).

  • This is a very interesting blog.
    India has too many intellectuals per ca pita. Many of them are now in the western world and doing just great. Unfortunately the English majors have very little to do in India. They certainly cannot make too much money. So a few of them decide to become Gurus. And India has millions of people desperate to follow some living deity.
    Persons like “Ram Rahim” are extreme examples. Satya Saibaba was possibly similar. To give their position some legitimacy they certainly do some good, serve the poor, take up some current environmental issues and so on. No matter what their ultimate objective these things are commendable. But in the end, they want to increase number of their followers and the flow of money in their coffers.
    JV has said in one of his daily sermons,” people will believe most absurd things in the name of religion”, and that certainly is true about many things he says himself.
    Yes, some of the things he says are thought provoking and even true, but most are inaccurate at best.
    Although I do not approve of his methods and arguments to appear legitimate, I cannot ignore the fact that at some level they are providing some solace to some in the masses.

  • @Ravi
    You are doing an excellent work here. You may not be able to convince the staunch followers of their ignorance but your comments will surely help those in doubt to understand how science works.
    I think there must be a course in our school about how scientific theories are postulated and how they are peer reviewed and the whole process of the science community endorsing the theory and giving its legitimacy. I have heard most of the religious gurus making ridiculous comments that “Theory of Evolution” is just a theory and hence yet to be proven. They do not understand the meaning of Scientific Theory.
    Nye, says mobile and internet is technology and not science. Now imagine you are dealing with someone with that level of ignorance. Nye is blinded and may never understand or even attempt to understand what you are trying to say. But there are readers who read your side of the narrative, the side of science and that’s where your engagement is so crucial.

    There is someone called Dr Krishna Kumari who works tirelessly for the cause of Science an example of how to bring down pseudo science –

    http://kkartlab.in/group/some-science/forum/topics/how-pseudo-science-is-born?xg_source=activity

    Thank you
    Warm regards
    Prashant

  • Prashant… Good points. I think scientists should debate with him and challenge his claims. There seems to be no limit for bullshit he is spreading. I am pretty certain that Jaggi Vasudev is the most dangerous guy in India now, who is capable of destroying people’s intelligence.

    By the way, there is a mystery behind her wife’s death. I also came across this: http://halfcenturywisdom.blogspot.in/2016/08/a-chance-encounter-that-stirred-me-to.html . What if this is true?

    He has a lot of power to influence politicians now. But if this government changes, he may be challenged.

    Also came across this video posted a day before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O53M-VVhal0 I don’t know if it is in telugu or kannada, but I can understand the tribal lady, since she is speaking in Tamil. It seems that Isha’s land grabbing is true.

  • Thanks Prashanth. Yes Swaminathan. He sounds as dangerous as Ram Rahim, the more I read about him. Harshad, while I understand your sentiment, it is not true that India is producing a high number of intellectuals “per capita” (although, since we are a big country, non-rate-adjusted numbers make things appear differently). The problem is the opposite. Most of our college grads lack basic critical thinking skills, including those that go to the west (which seems to be why he is expanding his operations).

    There seems to be a new Youtube channel that catalogs Jaggi’s illiterate claims.
    youtube . com/channel/UCOlspUVffpJZ4G2L4Z7fiww/videos
    Hat’s off to the irreverent user Sad Guru who took the time to compile these. More will help. Obviously, he is trolling, but what matters are Jaggi’s words on record.

    It is pretty easy to test these.
    youtube . com/watch?v=_uzULQ9DW-k
    Claim: He can basically do divination on if the water is “poisonous”. He also seems to still think miasmatic theory of disease (diseases spread through “poison gases”) still holds 165 years after it has been disproven. And this guy want to talk about Quantum Mechanics? He isn’t qualified to utter those 2 words.

    Test: Put 100 kamadalas and put any thing that qualifies as “poison” (his words) that is colorless and odorless in some random 10 of them. Then he can go with his magic rudrakshas to each of them and let’s see what the success rate is.

    As I hear, Jaggi is peddling these trinkets. So I assume the claim is that they will work for anyone. So you don’t even need Jaggi to agree to test these. Any brainwashed Jaggi follower will do and there is an oversupply of them. A TV channel should do this in collaboration with the local rationalist chapter (normal scientists are usually not equipped for this, you need a skeptic with experience in dealing with fraud on a regular basis). They will get their publicity. You can be guaranteed that Jaggi will come up with all sorts of excuses on why that failed.

    youtube . com/watch?v=cCwEDEOpMOM
    There is an entire field of study called Thanatology that meticulously catalogs which tissues irreversibly die at what stage. This clown is saying “a tantric” can bring back the dead even after the body has cooled down, using TANTRIC methods (what else), even after rigor mortis – does not matter if the brain tissue died (irreversible), does not matter if the blood coagulated (irreversible) etc – Why? Because tantric.

    youtube . com/watch?v=whlHAlSI4Oc
    And here he is claiming that
    a.) he can paralyze and inebriate you by just touching your spine – that can be tested – not using his brainwashed fans who scream like teenage girls in a Beatles or Elvis concert, but with actual skeptical subjects. It will end the same way the TV challenge with the tantric and the rationalist ended (youtube).
    b.) The age of western ghats – factually false
    c.) you can use Rudrakhas to identify which leaf is packed in a cloth sack – again testable.

    And there are lots more…
    Again, hats off to the Sad Guru channel.

    Seriously Isha-ites? You watch absolutely idiotic claims like this and it never occurs to you whether you should test these? You don’t think this guy has lost touch with reality? According to you, an “enlightened” guy would just “perceive” reality in its most truthful form, in ways that normal people like us supposedly can’t. You think all this stupidity is direct perception of reality? And you want to lecture people on what science is?

    No one except brainwashed people would not get up and walk or call him out after hearing idiocy like this. Jaggi is Ram Rahim, just with better English skills and savvy. And your tribal (no offense to actual tribals, the type that get defrauded by Jaggi) behavior on Youtube is the web equivalent of Ram Rahim’s follower’s behavior on the streets. You have no answers – just bluster and tantrums.

    Please feel free to comment, defending on how any of this garbage is defensible. Don’t name-call. Don’t posture. Bring arguments. Bring proofs.

    Note that he is crafty enough not to spout this garbage in front of western audience. There he sticks to abstract talk. He seems to titrate the levels of idiocy according to the audience’s gullibility – layers of onion from the “How cults work” video.

    Jaggi is selling a psychology product, not a psychic product mind you, but a psychology product. He is mislabeling an altered mental state as enlightenment, while it is exactly the opposite: de-enlightenment.

    Jaggi fans: Here is a homework for you. Go to any random stranger, one who does not know you or your Jaggi fanaticism and ask them to describe how an enlightenment man would behave. Then, compare notes with how Jaggi behaves. I don’t see how you see this highly-egotistic (tell me how Jaggi is free from self and ego), judgmental, arrogant, manipulative, extreme materialist (as in: I want a helicopter bought with money I told people to donate by skipping meals materialism, not the rigorous scientific materialism) who lacks humility or awareness of his profound ignorance, as some one who is enlightened; all because you got a psychological experience in a program at his McDonald style franchise? – This is not even fast-food spirituality. You don’t see a con-artist and a snake-oil (or rather, magic rudraksha) salesman in plain sight? Explain.

    Please educate yourself about cults. They feel good in the short term, but are invariably destructive to your mental health, to your families and your financial future. There are many books on the topic of cult psychology, none of them written with Jaggi in mind and yet they are as if they are written with Jaggi in mind. You owe it to yourself and if not, to your family to inform yourself.

  • Yesterday scientist observed collision of neutron star. It was a rich source of gravitational waves and gamma rays. It was one of the most amazing cosmic events observed by humans. Mainly scientists from LIGO and VIRGO(yes they got the Nobel Prize a few weeks earlier).
    Einstein predicted gravitational waves and that they travel at the speed of light.
    According to General Relativity gravity can bend light and Neutron Star being so dense it was observed so clearly that light can’t escape the huge pull of the Neutron star that LIGHT orbits round it.
    Now why am I saying this? Because this is science and it happened just yesterday. It was observed and all those Scientific theories by the giants of science where vetted and proven(again). This is how science works.
    What Jaggi and his followers are peddling is an insult to the true greatness at work here. It is an insult to all those geniuses and their brilliant mind, their hard work, their passion and their painstaking and vigorous toil for facts.
    So all those Gurus and quackery practitioners back off this is science. And you the blind followers I genuinely pity you. Please note that followers of Nithyananda, Ram Rahim and their ilks also had the same confidence in their Gurus as you have in yours. It is just matter of time before the stupidity gets exposed.

  • in my opinion these self styled Gurus does not know Hindus scriptures either. The assumption that his sermons are in consistent with Vedic knowledge is false.

    I don’t know if knows science or not, but I think he does not know Hinduism
    Hindu belief can be summarized below.

    Only Brahmam (God) exists nothing else- space, time, universe is unreal.
    Individual self (soul) = supreme soul of Gods = This Brahmam
    individuals consider self as body and mind and are ignorant. So we cannot directly comprehend this Brahmam who is beyond senses and imagination.
    hence worship the forms of God
    Ritual discipline (karma associated with one’s caste and ashrama) perfomed without desire leads to purity of mind. To perform without desire and attachment one need to follow the morals and values of scriptures.
    Once purity of mind is achieved, with devotion supreme knowledge of self is achieved. thus one attain salvation

    These morals, values, rituals associated with varna and ashrama are time tested and proven. No need to reinvent it

    Simple

  • @Swaminathan

    There is a close friend of mine. He used to be very intelligent and a critical thinker. After watching a few videos, attending a 7 day program and reading his books, he no longer thinks or speaks the way he used to.

    Two researchers, Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman explored what you describe. They interviewed numerous ex-cultists and additionally, their friends and family members. It was very common for friends and family members to describe EXACTLY what you have witnessed. As interviews continued, the researchers noticed that there was a common word that was being used by friends and family members, again and again – “snapped”. It was as if the cult victim’s mind was suddenly broken – snapped, snapped into something else, not through a slow gradual change that one would imagine, but rather through an abrupt transition.

    The indoctrination routines where this snapping occurs seem identical to ISHA programs – sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, thought-stopping exercises, breathing manipulation etc.

    They wrote a whole book about it in 1978.
    Snapping: America’s Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapping:_America%27s_Epidemic_of_Sudden_Personality_Change

    In the book, they trace cults of all kinds – eastern and western. The psychological patterns are the same since the human minds are the same and all cults use more or less the same techniques in modern times.

  • @Ravi,
    Sorry to cross your path again jumping in middle of your conversation. I respect your arguments/balanced posts though it is opposite to my beliefs.

    I think in India starting from 19th century , which strengthened in 20th and 21st there is a fancy for “spiritualism”. Traditional organized religions were considered bad and spiritual guru`s orders become fashionable. Post Dera (Ram Rahim) chief’s arrests, there is some reversal?
    Hinduism traditionally been strongly coupled with family, community /caste. Religious are often very disciplined and follow routine. Even Adi Sankara says ritual discipline leads to purity of mind necessary for spirituality.
    I personally seen those who follow well defined routine and are disciplined are emotionally strong and consistent in their attitudes and beliefs and even character. They are also healthy.
    They may have false beliefs, and could be wrong, but they will be consistent unlike your friend

  • @Vijay
    It is not MY conversation :-). I don’t even think we are on opposite sides on this topic. I question his science. You question his theology.

    Jaggi is about neither. He uses both when they serve him and puts them down when they don’t. He invokes bogus/tiny studies to claim that his “Inner Enginnering” is scientifically proven (such a common tactic that it is represented in the How Cults Work video), but says that scientists don’t get it, when it suits him to dismiss science so that he may elevate himself as wiser than science in his follower’s minds. Likewise, he will quote theology when it suits him to sound traditional, but will say that the only scripture he seriously studied was Asterix, when it suits him otherwise. Jaggi is for Jaggi.

    It is not just India. Even in the West, it is fashionable to say you are spiritual, not religious… even if you are religious.

    From the late 60s (cults like Scientology began earlier in the 50s), especially over the 70s and into the 80s, there were quite a few cults in US. During this time, seemingly educated people fell for them. Gradually however, the awareness of the concept of the cult increased and public generally gained an awareness of the manipulative methods being used. But that took devastating events like that of Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate and Rajneeshpuram in the better educated US for people to come to their senses. It looks like India is just beginning to enter this phase and the guru cults have just begun in India on the large scale. It will take a lot more abuse before our countrymen realize the nature of these groups. As a country, we are much slower to respond to problems due to institutional inertia.

    I do not think that Ram Rahim’s conviction heralds an end to this guru epidemic. I think it will take several more convictions (The gurus won’t be able to help it. They will invariably abuse and exploit followers because their so-called “wisdom” is only for appearances and power always corrupts – all these godmen are human, all too human) before the public understands the cult phenomenon and learns to view these pompous charlatans with appropriately suspicious evaluations.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw1LQXuwfLk

    Apparently, some nobel laureate told him that if he puts his idea in math, he can get a Nobel for it. I think Jaggi misunderstood what was being said. I attend Nobel laureate talks now and then, when they speak at our research center. They are not mysterious creatures to me. When we in science say you can get a Nobel if you can prove that to a person outside science, we more often mean this: Your idea is so ridiculous that the entire conception of reality has to be restructured to accommodate it and since such a restructuring would be so monumental, you are only likely to prove your idea in a Nobel winning scenario. The colloquial expression of the same would be: Yeah, when pigs fly.

    I think Jaggi either did not grasp this or did, but was confident that his fans would not, and so is actually bragging about it. That is what I meant when I said: “Now Radin will totally get a Nobel prize in physics”. It means that there is no chance of that happening.

    I said that because his idea that consciousness just needs to be flipped to the bottom of his silly pyramid is so monumentally stupid. Of course Radin, who has no record of receiving any biology education (let alone Neuroscience – Psychology is NOT Neuroscience) is quite illiterate about the things he talks about and can’t grasp why it is so monumentally stupid to even propose that and why actual scientists don’t even give him a glance.

    And he goes on about how he does not care for a Nobel. No Jaggi, you don’t do a Nobel level work because you want an award. You do it because Truth needs to be shown. It is our obligation to humanity. And you don’t need to know math. Someone who knows math will come by and assist you, IF there is any actual substance in your idea. When people in science tell you to give it a mathematical backbone, they mean: your idea is not clearly thought-out. Forcing yourself to express it in math will give YOU more clarity in thinking about it, rather than spin silly conceptual webs without any intellectual discipline.

    And finally Truth isn’t about “this is how it is within me”, it is about how things are universally. Subjective models of reality are not science, they are merely your opinions.

    This documentary show how nutty the guru cults can go. This is a BBC documentary about Aum Shinrikyo (Om – The Supreme Truth). They chanted Om, claimed that the founder channeled Shiva and Jesus, meditated, did yoga, were told to not read, say or question with anything critical of the group, the leader was considered infalliable and wise. They believed that they developed super-powers through meditation and could heal, levitate and have divya-dhrushti & astral projection. Sounds familiar?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XelFvih2n_8

    They additionally used LSD, a drug that is well-known to induce religious/spiritual experiences (the so called enlightenment) – a whole lot more effective than hypoxic inducement (that is what rapid breathing does to you, via carbon dioxide washout which in turn temporarily suppresses the respiratory centers in the brain – the hypoxia messes up the brain, causes dizziness, induces hallucinations and whatnot) by breath control and by thought-stopping (chanting or focusing on a single word/image etc) exercises. People who attain this so-called psychological “enlightenment” become highly programmable in those states – zombies, robots. They also tried electric helmets, trying to copy their guru’s brain waves.

    (Please pursue meditation, spirituality and whatever you consider enlightenment in private, not in boot camp franchises – that will give you some protection from mental abuse. Indians never did that in our history, AFAIK – commercial, fast food spirituality is not our culture).

    The cultists who leaked the deadly gas were 2 physicists, a very skilled chemist, an AI researcher and a cardiologist. If you are a Jaggi follower, ask yourself this – If these arguably very intelligent people could fall for this, why do you think you are immune to brainwashing and mind-control techniques? They also considered themselves seekers. One of them even came to India (from Japan) to learn Yoga, before joining Aum. They all likely experienced the altered mental states and assumed they were enlightened. These were genuine, intelligent and innocent people who were trying to pursue spirituality. They were seemingly well-educated (at least well-skilled, education is a lot more than university degrees). They were not evil in the sense that they did not want anything from the world for their greed. They were just disillusioned by material pursuits. Yet these ordinary people were manipulated to do awful things in the name of their guru and his mission. They believed everything their guru said without using their brains to question. Like any cult, Aum broke families, turned people to mindless zombies, gobbled up the money of its members into the organization and tried to steal land.

    Our guru cults are relatively unsophisticated compared to cults like these. Ram Rahim was a tractor driver before he came the Dera chief and did not have any significant education. So he mostly only managed to mesmerize poorly educated people. But looking at twitter, he seems to have some skilled people as followers as well. How does this happen? When one places themselves in an information bubble, even the most absurd things sound reasonable.

    Jaggi does have excellent english skills and is gifted in rhetoric – he may not have any substance in what he says, but we can all agree that everything stupid (and he has a lot of stupid stuff to say) sounds awesome when he says it – great voice, language, structure and delivery, but much of it falls like a house of cards when given a minute of critical scrutiny, so his followers have to resort to “perceive” (be a good tape recorder),-but-don’t-judge mantras, because this stuff can’t stand to any critical judgment.

    The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might – Mark Twain.

    Unlike Aum, he does not have to wage a war against the state because in our country, because thanks to the short-sightedness of our politicians (forget about which party, they all have to chase vote banks), the state tries to kowtow to cult leaders, gives awards etc. Like the Aum leader, the ISHA leader claims his followers can develop super-powers and that he already has them. He says many of his followers already have the powers to heal the sick and predict the future.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_2qwjFtUNU

    Jaggi fans, do you think you have already have super-powers? Or do you think you will be able to in the future if only you stayed longer with ISHA? Jaggi seems to be crafty here. He seems to know that his followers really don’t have anything of the sort. He seems to just want them to feel awesome for forking their money over, because he says he will kick anyone who actually tests their powers out and magically remove their spirituality with a vengeance. Apparently, healing people is just a cheap trick according to him. Really? Curing a ward full of sick kids dying of cancer is a cheap trick? What difference does it make to life?

    Here is the Aum guy purporting super-powers in a TV-anime style propaganda video in the 90s. TV anime was cool then, especially for Japan. Now it is Youtube for us.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVnscHsPfR4

    20+ years later, we have Jaggi’s internet brigade working overtime on social media trying to give an illusion that there is consensus that this guy who says he has magical rudrakshas to sell that “are smarter than you” and can detect imaginary poisons and leaves, that tantra is not a superstition but totally real, that cold corpses with clotted blood and decaying tissues (brain dies in minutes without oxygen at room temperature, there is nothing left to bring back after hours) can be magically brought back to life, that atoms yield to meditation etc etc.. is somehow a wise philosopher and not a routine cult leader taking India back so that it has no chance to succeed in the rapidly evolving scientific world of tomorrow, just so he can make money – now that is a cynical materialist. People like him will make an Africa out of us when we need to wake up like China.

  • Reposting without direct links…….

    youtube. com/watch?v=Iw1LQXuwfLk

    Apparently, some nobel laureate told him that if he puts his idea in math, he can get a Nobel for it. I think Jaggi misunderstood what was being said. I attend Nobel laureate talks now and then, when they speak at our research center. They are not mysterious creatures to me. When we in science say you can get a Nobel if you can prove that to a person outside science, we more often mean this: Your idea is so ridiculous that the entire conception of reality has to be restructured to accommodate it and since such a restructuring would be so monumental, you are only likely to prove your idea in a Nobel winning scenario. The colloquial expression of the same would be: Yeah, when pigs fly.

    I think Jaggi either did not grasp this or did, but was confident that his fans would not, and so is actually bragging about it. That is what I meant when I said: “Now Radin will totally get a Nobel prize in physics”. It means that there is no chance of that happening.

    I said that because his idea that consciousness just needs to be flipped to the bottom of his silly pyramid is so monumentally stupid. Of course Radin, who has no record of receiving any biology education (let alone Neuroscience – Psychology is NOT Neuroscience) is quite illiterate about the things he talks about and can’t grasp why it is so monumentally stupid to even propose that and why actual scientists don’t even give him a glance.

    And he goes on about how he does not care for a Nobel. No Jaggi, you don’t do a Nobel level work because you want an award. You do it because Truth needs to be shown. It is our obligation to humanity. And you don’t need to know math. Someone who knows math will come by and assist you, IF there is any actual substance in your idea. When people in science tell you to give it a mathematical backbone, they mean: your idea is not clearly thought-out. Forcing yourself to express it in math will give YOU more clarity in thinking about it, rather than spin silly conceptual webs without any intellectual discipline.

    And finally Truth isn’t about “this is how it is within me”, it is about how things are universally. Subjective models of reality are not science, they are merely your opinions.

    This documentary show how nutty the guru cults can go. This is a BBC documentary about Aum Shinrikyo (Om – The Supreme Truth). They chanted Om, claimed that the founder channeled Shiva and Jesus, meditated, did yoga, were told to not read, say or question with anything critical of the group, the leader was considered infalliable and wise. They believed that they developed super-powers through meditation and could heal, levitate and have divya-dhrushti & astral projection. Sounds familiar?

    youtube. com/watch?v=XelFvih2n_8

    They additionally used LSD, a drug that is well-known to induce religious/spiritual experiences (the so called enlightenment) – a whole lot more effective than hypoxic inducement (that is what rapid breathing does to you, via carbon dioxide washout which in turn temporarily suppresses the respiratory centers in the brain – the hypoxia messes up the brain, causes dizziness, induces hallucinations and whatnot) by breath control and by thought-stopping (chanting or focusing on a single word/image etc) exercises. People who attain this so-called psychological “enlightenment” become highly programmable in those states – zombies, robots. They also tried electric helmets, trying to copy their guru’s brain waves.

    (Please pursue meditation, spirituality and whatever you consider enlightenment in private, not in boot camp franchises – that will give you some protection from mental abuse. Indians never did that in our history, AFAIK – commercial, fast food spirituality is not our culture).

    The cultists who leaked the deadly gas were 2 physicists, a very skilled chemist, an AI researcher and a cardiologist. If you are a Jaggi follower, ask yourself this – If these arguably very intelligent people could fall for this, why do you think you are immune to brainwashing and mind-control techniques? They also considered themselves seekers. One of them even came to India (from Japan) to learn Yoga, before joining Aum. They all likely experienced the altered mental states and assumed they were enlightened. These were genuine, intelligent and innocent people who were trying to pursue spirituality. They were seemingly well-educated (at least well-skilled, education is a lot more than university degrees). They were not evil in the sense that they did not want anything from the world for their greed. They were just disillusioned by material pursuits. Yet these ordinary people were manipulated to do awful things in the name of their guru and his mission. They believed everything their guru said without using their brains to question. Like any cult, Aum broke families, turned people to mindless zombies, gobbled up the money of its members into the organization and tried to steal land.

    Our guru cults are relatively unsophisticated compared to cults like these. Ram Rahim was a tractor driver before he came the Dera chief and did not have any significant education. So he mostly only managed to mesmerize poorly educated people. But looking at twitter, he seems to have some skilled people as followers as well. How does this happen? When one places themselves in an information bubble, even the most absurd things sound reasonable.

    Jaggi does have excellent english skills and is gifted in rhetoric – he may not have any substance in what he says, but we can all agree that everything stupid (and he has a lot of stupid stuff to say) sounds awesome when he says it – great voice, language, structure and delivery, but much of it falls like a house of cards when given a minute of critical scrutiny, so his followers have to resort to “perceive” (be a good tape recorder),-but-don’t-judge mantras, because this stuff can’t stand to any critical judgment.

    The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might – Mark Twain.

    Unlike Aum, he does not have to wage a war against the state because in our country, because thanks to the short-sightedness of our politicians (forget about which party, they all have to chase vote banks), the state tries to kowtow to cult leaders, gives awards etc. Like the Aum leader, the ISHA leader claims his followers can develop super-powers and that he already has them. He says many of his followers already have the powers to heal the sick and predict the future.

    youtube. com/watch?v=S_2qwjFtUNU

    Jaggi fans, do you think you have already have super-powers? Or do you think you will be able to in the future if only you stayed longer with ISHA? Jaggi seems to be crafty here. He seems to know that his followers really don’t have anything of the sort. He seems to just want them to feel awesome for forking their money over, because he says he will kick anyone who actually tests their powers out and magically remove their spirituality with a vengeance. Apparently, healing people is just a cheap trick according to him. Really? Curing a ward full of sick kids dying of cancer is a cheap trick? What difference does it make to life?

    Here is the Aum guy purporting super-powers in a TV-anime style propaganda video in the 90s. TV anime was cool then, especially for Japan. Now it is Youtube for us.

    youtube. com/watch?v=IVnscHsPfR4

    20+ years later, we have Jaggi’s internet brigade working overtime on social media trying to give an illusion that there is consensus that this guy who says he has magical rudrakshas to sell that “are smarter than you” and can detect imaginary poisons and leaves, that tantra is not a superstition but totally real, that cold corpses with clotted blood and decaying tissues (brain dies in minutes without oxygen at room temperature, there is nothing left to bring back after hours) can be magically brought back to life, that atoms yield to meditation etc etc.. is somehow a wise philosopher and not a routine cult leader taking India back so that it has no chance to succeed in the rapidly evolving scientific world of tomorrow, just so he can make money – now that is a cynical materialist. People like him will make an Africa out of us when we need to wake up like China.

  • With regards to Rajneesh aka Osho. I think Shanmugam has done a great job showing how Jaggi borrows from him without attribution (one could say: plagiarizes). But Rajneesh also did not come up with any of his teachings himself. Much of that is familiar stuff to anyone who is familiar with liberal arts course work. Rajneesh just made a salad out of it and sounded profound when he really wasn’t.

    The real surprise for me is why no one in India seems to talk about what Rajneesh has really done. Earlier I posted about Aum Shinrikyo, a guru cult, which conducted the largest bio-terror attack in Japan. Who conducted the largest bio-terrorist attack in US? Rajneesh’s cult.

    slate. com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2014/01/09/the_largest_bioterror_attack_in_us_history_began_at_taco_time_in_the_dalles.html

    Process that a bit. Slowly. The largest bio-terrorist attack on US soil was conducted not by an islamic terrorist, but by an Indian, as a guru-cult at that. The only lucky thing was that no one actually died. However 751 fell sick. And this was just a trial run. When truth came to light, an year later, Rajneesh escaped and denied involvement, but his right-hand, Ma Sheela, who was convicted, insists that she did it with his support.

    It is to the credit of Americans to not have painted Indians as whole, with a broad brush after these shenanigans. We have swept this embarrassment under the carpet. But Oregon remembers. US remembers. While normal Indians in US work hard as engineers, doctors, academics, CEOs etc, who muddies the name of India? A “spiritual” guru. A guru who loved Rolls Royces. He had 74 of them.

    oregonlive. com/rajneesh/index.ssf/1985/07/rajneesh_followers_amass_fleet.html

    And we still don’t call him out. We wonder how Ram Rahim was successful as a bling-guru. Well, he wasn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last. When will we actually expect our so called god-men to actually be ascetic and ego-less.

    How about Europe? This is how Vice news covered Jaggi’s visit to London

    vice. com/en_uk/article/5gax8q/sadhguru-isha-cult-london

    Our export gurus don’t cast India in a good light and are a blight on our image. Their fanatics in social media, posting english comments, in full world-view, come off as brain-washed. Yet, Jaggi portrays himself as some great philosopher who is going to teach India how to be India.

    Yet, despite all evidence that these mega-gurus and god-men are nothing but egotistical, conniving manipulators of minds, we as a society still treat the pretenders with reverence and forget our true gurus, the unglamorous men and women in our schools and universities who taught us science, math and everything else. We replaced guru devo bhava with mega-guru devo bhava.

  • I agree with all that Ravi says about Jaggi and Rajneesh. But Ravi himself is a bit similar to Jaggi! He wants us all to put him on a pedestal: “We in Science …”. There is a hierarchy: Nobel Laureates, those like Ravi who are almost at their level, etc., down to us ordinary mortals. Ravi tells us the truth and we learn it.

  • @R Surve
    Yeah, good luck trying to tie me to Jaggi. I work at a research center with an excellent track record of producing science. I consider myself very average compared to people at work. Working here is a very humbling experience.

    When I say “We in science”, I obviously mean that everything I say is (or should be) rather mundane knowledge to anyone who has education in science (and that I claim no special positions). Jaggi obviously has no science education beyond his high school. He has much to learn before sermonizing on this topic. That is the entire point of the article. To those of us who studied science for decades, he sounds like an idiot.

    You can say there is a hierarchy. In fact, I would say there are many hierarchies – one for each major field, at least. No one is an expert on everything. I don’t have a physics PhD. So unless I can solve the said equations, I should not lecture against the consensus of the community of theoretical physicists about what those equations say about matter or anything else. There is no shame for me that I always have to learn the truth from the said experts and will never have anything to add. I am very much an “ordinary mortal” with respect to competence in this area. The question is when will Jaggi recognize this?

    If one has not studied Biology past high school, it is highly unlikely that they understand what medical research is, just by reading newspaper reports on medical research.

    If you haven’t studied evolutionary biology, don’t try to sound smart with a creationist argument. It looks silly. First, get up to speed on where the evidence stands, from primary literature, then enter the debate.

    If you don’t have any education in chemistry, perhaps talking about the non-existent “memory effect of water” is a bad idea.

    If you have not studied astronomy or psychiatry, perhaps you should recognize yourself as an “ordinary mortal” who does not know much on whether the moon effects the mind.

    Science does not exclude anyone. But expect to be called out for foolishness if one talks without bothering to acquire minimal competencies that are open to all.

    Jaggi does have a competence. By all means, let him lecture on english literature. No one will have an issue – except other people who study literature, if he steps over a competency by the standards of that field. But I hear they are rather lax about it.

    xkcd. com/451/

  • @R Surve
    The funny thing is, my entire post above can be surmised by Jaggi’s own unoriginal quote. He says stuff to sound profound but clearly does not follow himself. I actually completely agree with the quote below. Building a cult is about saying a few actual truths and mixing in a whole lot of lies (as How cults work video puts it). I hear a lot of stuff from JV that I can agree with, all that I recognize from elsewhere – nothing original. But it is the interspersed breath-taking ignorance that shows his real intellectual depth.

    “Stop bullshitting yourself. Learn to say “I do not know”. What is wrong with that? I do not know carries a tremendous possibility. The moment you destroy “I do not know” you destroy all possibilities of knowing. The very longing to know you destroy. Confusion is better than stupid conclusions. In confusion, there is still a possibility. In stupid conclusion, there is no possibility.” – Jaggi

    How about JV saying I don’t know anything about prana types, water-memory, tantra, bosons, atoms, psychiatry, solar flares, eclipses etc. etc. rather than “bullshitting” (his words) about it. This entire article and forum thread is about Jaggi talking BS about things he has no clue about.

    And it isn’t his own original wisdom. It an old and popular saying, much better put by:

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

    “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

    And it likely goes further back than that.

    According to Shanmugam, Jaggi also got this from Rajneesh as the intermediary.

    As for your pedestal comment, don’t put people on a pedestal. Put the proven processes on a pedestal – critical thinking, rational thought and the scientific method. They can yield results for anyone, including this 9 year old girl who applied them and at 11, went on to become the youngest author in a peer-reviewed journal. When Jaggi attacks rational thought and belittles science, he is de-educating people from what little they received in school.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNoRxCRJ-Y0
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Rosa

    Jaggi likes to say, people don’t have to believe him, they should test it themselves.
    Now of all the 5 million Jaggi followers, did even ONE ADULT get up and say, Now Mr. Jaggi, that Rudraksha claim sounds fantastical and does not fit with the science I learned, I think I will test it. Did they even get a wisp of that idea?

    Critical thinking is the first casualty (if it was ever there, that is) within the manipulative frameworks of cults. Even an estimated 80K nurses in a developed country believed in this BS. What chance do JV acolytes have? He knows he won’t get a peep out of them because they don’t know the first thing about what testing means.

    But even the little girl did not have statistical expertise. So she got help, just like most scientists who get a statistician to review their protocols. What was important was that she had an actual critical mind to question, something that cult followers already lack or quickly surrender.

  • I will be busy for a couple of weeks.

    I think this is an excellent summary of cult psychology. You can find more extensive coverage in books on the topic, but this is concise and covers a great many key features.

    What Is A Cult and How Does It Work? (Margaret Singer)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bRBFhMEQFk
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Singer

    Note the use of euphemistic terms. “Inner Engineering” should really be translated as “Psychological Manipulation”. Note the use of hyperventilation, acid-base states (keto acidosis for instance causes euphoria) etc, the effects of over-meditation and chanting – although not covered in depth.. and gradual progression in hooking with increasingly more expensive courses and expectation to stay with the organization and dedicate years.

    All this study predates Jaggi (she likely never heard of him). She died in 2003. Much of this literature emerged from the 70s onwards when US was increasingly under assault by cults. Jaggi is just following the standard cult leader template.

    One small exception: I actually insist on the terms: zombie and automaton, based on my limited subject, but very extended observations. What do I mean by that? I don’t mean that they have an empty look in their eyes and stumble as they walk (they were engineers and were able to function in jobs, although the cult took its toll – they were no longer keeping themselves up-to-date). By that I mean that I could elicit certain behaviors almost as if they have been programmed. The conversations that follow are very predictable, along the lines of the term she uses – “closed system of logic”, making them very robotic, as if on auto-mode. Because they were conditioned to self-censor, they could not obtain new arguments (this was a widely observed behavior that the ex-cultists of the cult I observed also note) because researching critical literature was considered poisonous . And the flow of arguments was almost Pavlovian, so much so that I quickly got tired of listening to tape-recorder patterns.

    But she is the scholar on this, not me. She likely has a more detailed exposition in her books.

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  • The cult of Jim Jones

    Rajneesh infected 900+ people. Here is a cult leader who actually killed as many people.

    This cult is important to me since it was the first cult I read about and the worst in terms of the deaths it inflicted. I was only about 10 or 11 or so when our local newspaper did a Sunday feature on it – it was a disturbing article that was one among the early influences that set up my BS detectors. I permanently remembered the name of Congressman Ryan (Leo Ryan) who I saw as a model politician, one who gave his life in the service of his constituents.

    Jim Jones started as a routine Christian priest. He gradually began to transform his congregation into a personality cult – People’s temple. He spoke of economic justice, racial integration and other contemporary social issues in US in the 60s. They did good work – desegregating communities and won awards for it. It was far more difficult work than tree planting drives and river campaigns. If you were to ask anyone with modern views in this period, they would have said he was an open-minded spiritualist, a good guy. As his ego grew, he claimed he was the reincarnation of Gandhi, Jesus and Buddha. Other times, he said he was an agnostic or an atheist.

    He set up a commune and moved it to a forested part of Guyana as Jonestown. He pitched it as a Utopia where people could lead spiritual lives, but effectively made people into farm slaves. He confiscated their passports. He gave them no time to think – prayer meetings would go late into night only for the followers to have to wake up early for farm chores. Cults always try to keep people busy with no time to think on their own.

    When complaints started coming in (many from their friends and relatives who lost people to his cult) that people were being prevented from leaving, a US congressmen, Leo Ryan, flew to Guyana to assess the situation. Jones kept a lid on the situation and kept pleasant appearances. Ryan was prepared for such exertion of influence. He took independent interviews. Several followers confided that they wanted to leave. One left a note, indicating fear of suppression. Ryan tried to be as smooth as he could, trying to hint that he will write a favorable report saying that the percent of people who wanted to leave was small. But Jones felt he failed. His followers launched a movie-style attack from a tractor-trailer on the plane on the runway. Ryan was killed, along with several others. While one plane was disabled, the other escaped and brought help, while the rest found cover in the jungle.

    Jones knew his time as a cult leader would come to an end. He decided to end everyone as well. He told his followers to commit suicide, giving them cyanide mixed in a flavored drink (Flavor Aid was a knock-off of the US product, Kool Aid – like Rasna in India). “Drinking the Kool Aid” would become an expression after to describe gullible followers of any leader who do not think critically anymore and just believe whatever they are told regardless of how absurd it is. Unimaginable scenarios: Mothers poisoned their own children. A father, a high-level cult leader told to flee with a large amount of cash, failed to stop the poisoning of his own child in time, as he watched his wife and child die and broke down. Some 300 children died that day, along with some 600 adults. Apparently, this did not come out of the blue. Jones had been fascinated by death in his childhood and killed animals to hold their funerals. He already made his followers practice mass-suicide on a couple of occasions as a “loyalty test” and tested the poison on pigs. To his enthralled followers, he was flawless and was always right. But in reality, he was a charismatic psychopath.

    There are several books written about this cult and there are several Youtube videos of documentaries. Please look them up. Keyword: Jonestown

    I learnt this tidbit recently. Ryan’s daughter Shannon, of all people who should have known better, joined Rajneesh’s cult. She insisted that Rajneesh, who had similar messianic delusions was nothing like Jim Jones. She changed her name to Amrita Pritam. Cults change the followers names to remove them from their personality and identity. She married within the cult. Cults also encourage that – makes it easy to retain members.

    people .com/archive/the-daughter-of-jonestown-victim-leo-ryan-argues-that-her-gurus-sect-is-not-a-cult-vol-15-no-6/

    Quote: Asked if there is a limit to her devotion, Pritam replies: “It is impossible that Bhagwan would ever ask people to kill anyone. But if he asked me to do it, I don’t know. I love and trust him very much. To me he is God. He sees more clearly than I do. But if I want to say no to Bhagwan, I’ll say no.”

    She says: “I don’t know” for a question with a clear answer of no. Cult followers rarely want to say no to the cult leader. They believe they still have free will in the matter. But thanks to the language games played in a cult, that never happens. See Margaret Singer’s talk.

    I wonder how she felt when she found out that Rajneesh’s cult was running a bio-terror lab and infected 900+ people, just because they didn’t want them to vote. Outsiders are seen as less human than members of the cult and can be dispensed with as necessary for the cult’s goals.

  • Ravi, I think you are more charismatic and better in words than Jaggi Vasudev. But you could be as wrong in your most of the claims as you claim Jagdish wrong. You have also not proven your eligibility to comment by your formal education; I mean you disqualified him for not being a science student.
    Please don’t think that I am an Isha follower or a ‘Jaggi Bhakt’ or I am trying to do a dual with you here. I am not as good as you and many others are here in expressing. I am neither a science graduate nor a theologist, nor even an undisputed arts student. I am only using this as a opportunity to be part of this discussion on the basis of my ability of reading and writing and i am writing this after reading and understanding every comment in my mental capacity.
    I understand and agree that most (i say most for being humble and politically correct, I wont be surprised to know that all are same) of the ‘godmen’ are fooling around. I agree that the standard of Guru’s IQ is determined by the society and not the other way round.
    My curiosity and question is- are you typing all that in your precious time to aware people that the gurus are running a market to take away your brain? if no, then what? if yes, then what difference will it make? because i mostly believe that all are conman. I believe Jaggi is making is political alliance with B.J.P. and in a very cunning way he is making foundations for alignment with Congress as well. He did it in future as well. But I still listen to him. I mean to say I know he is not an enlightened one as he says (in my understanding there is no enlightenment, only intelligence, sensibility and smartness exist), but I still listen to him. Reason?
    Because i want to know things which i don’t want!
    I started listening Rajneesh like most. Then came English guru Jaggi. May be its not your case but those who were schooled in my way, those who did not study well in schools, or ok those who were not honest were their then education, or those who cant tolerate painful ways of learning by reading lot of books when a precised and easy Google is there, for then the storytellers like Osho and Jaggis are important, at least till then they know they are cheating.
    I don’t know how many read it what you say, how many agree, and even after agreeing with you as in my case… how many can stop taking interest in them!
    Once again I want to say that you wrote very beautifully and I have a regard for you as well like i have for many.

  • Ravi, Vijay,
    I can’t say i am the real Ravi, but I used to answer to Ravi as Vijay or answering Ravi.

    I never listen to jaggi, rajneesh or any other gurus from 1800 AD ownwards. I became religious following religion of my family.

  • Vijay, I had in my mind that there is another Vijay here but…. well let me try my name as VJ to avoid confusion.
    “I never listen to jaggi, rajneesh or any other gurus from 1800 AD ownwards. I became religious following religion of my family.”…. You were schooled in a rather responsible environment i think. There are schools where teachers dont teach, they themselves are not educated enough, students who dont study are only beaten, and much more. Its probably not the case of corruption but competence of teachers, It is probably the case of corruption as well of education ministry.
    But whatever, those kids are grown up now, some failed, some succeeded, some only passed. Most of then are reasonably educated only. i mean to say we have largely whole society of that level of education. you listen to the MLA, MPs, ministers, local leaders. You go to villages, towns and check their brain conditioning. You are and exception Vijay, i am talking about examples. They were only people who liked Rajneesh, Asharam, Modi, Kejriwal. Society is largely conditioned to like them and many new, yet to come I believe.

  • @VJ

    I have not disqualified him for not being a science student. You could say I disqualified him, in part, for not realizing the obvious fact that he isn’t. Not knowing science in detail is fine. But ..

    a.) Saying crazy things isn’t – if anyone promotes magical nonsense in the 21st century, they deserve to be laughed at. That feedback is necessary to prevent crazyiness from spreading.

    b.) Not being aware of his own ignorance. This is especially important when one claims wisdom. His hubris takes him further away from enlightenment claims than even any average person.

    I understand you trying to find story tellers. And I don’t think you have joined his cult since you are able to see his flaws and ambitions. Compare that to someone who posted on Shanmugam’s blog something to the effect of being at the lotus feet of the guru. Or talking of magic enlightenment power passing through at mere touch – That is cult talk. You did not do that.

    I empathize with the reasons you provided. I agree that people have their vulnerabilities based on their backgrounds that draws them closer to these gurus. Guru cults rise when the society is experiencing the turmoil of change. Many eventually collapse and mainstream religion adjusts. We saw this with the Dera cult recently. The Sikh institutions learnt the error of marginalizing some groups and are trying to mend. But there is a mess still waiting to happen as the remaining cults run their course.

    Finally, I don’t get why you (and Bala) think my posts are odd or wonder what motivates me to post. You do realize this is a rationalist web site?! What else would you expect here? My views are simply normal rationalist viewpoints. I don’t really have any special things to say beyond the way I say it. Go ahead and browse rationalist web sites from any country. They will all sound like me or this site. The thing I don’t know is where the other rationalists are. Perhaps they just went to Facebook and I don’t do social media.

  • @VJ

    All that said, it matters who you listen to. On Youtube, you can find Jaggi. But you can also find far smarter people than him, speaking in accessible terms. You just need to make a slightly harder effort in finding them. Youtube algorithms won’t know what to suggest to you if you don’t try.

    I recommend listening to proper professors online doing mundane classes, rather than gurus. I don’t think they are that hard to listen to.

    Here, try one:
    Yale: Philosophy of Death (it should appeal to spiritual types)
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEA18FAF1AD9047B0

    I am not sure if this covers later (after the scientific revolution) philosophers on the topic, especially Heidegger, but otherwise seems to be a good course to start with.

    Unlike with ISHA, you don’t have to pay anything. They won’t market you more expensive courses. There is no time frame to finish it. There is no confidentiality agreement. Unlike Jaggi’s courses, you can go back to them any number of times. You will learn a lot more concepts. You can be sure that these are not anyone’s personal opinions, but well-debated ideas for thousands of years.

    Finish this and then listen to Jaggi and tell me how it felt. Education is not a pre-requisite for these pursuits. It is rather a result of them.

    This is the source material (in a general sense) for gurus like Rajneesh (which Jaggi borrows second-hand). They take this and twist it badly with their half-baked understanding and sound profound. It is better to go directly to the source. Again, it isn’t as hard as you think. It may take a bit of getting used to though.

  • Thank you Ravi, for understanding me in-spite of wrong English I wrote (I saw later).
    And thanks for the links. A bit of like those I also listened to and probably that is the reason I could see the flaws in Jaggi and Osho. When you hear too much again and again from someone you start seeing the fishy substance mostly. Like you will find many sentences (paragraphs rather) Jaggi speaks with same rhythm, same accent, same smile and same laughter amount in between. A person overflowing with wisdom should not sound so empty! A point comes when the guru, his books, his discourses, his ideas…. start telling you that you are still there where you started, at least in the domain of spirituality. However in many aspects you are moved away. You kind of know that perhaps the guru and his words are not that worth. And the meaning of life you were seeking is equally far. Its like getting treatment from a wrong doctor who is determined to retain you as a ‘patient’.
    And they are easy, no doubt, understanding Osho and understanding Albert Camus is not same.
    I don’t know if I could touch the knowledge (whatever it is) I have now had not the Osho and the Isha well marketed and easily available. May be I would have searched something really worth in their absence, may be they were stepping stones. You can not bypass all the steps always, I think.
    Now, in my understanding I do not have that dream of knowing the ‘meaning of life’, because i think its a useless and more importantly an unfulfillable dream. A speck of dust can not feel and know the universe being a speck, I feel so. I am not disappointed about it at all.
    It is not that I feel free from the cult trap or hopeless being in nowhere zone. It is only I was reading a book which now i think is not worth completing.
    i will read something else now of course.
    And I don’t understand anyhow that you are odd, Ravi. I don’t know what other rationalists’ web sites are like. Yes, I still don’t know what motivates you. May be one day I will understand.
    Thank you once again, especially for the link you shared and for being humble 🙂

  • This explains the Rudraksha trick: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ideomotor_effect

    “A classic example of the ideomotor effect in action dates back to the use of a held pendulum as far back as 371 CE. An operator would hold the pendulum and attribute certain meanings depending on which direction the pendulum would swing. Priests used this technique to channel divine messages. Alchemists used it to determine the composition of an object. The results were very convincing, until double-blind trials failed to yield the same results.”

  • @VJ

    Now, in my understanding I do not have that dream of knowing the ‘meaning of life’

    “Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. – Richard Feynman

    You read Camus. You are further along than I initially imagined. You know then that the “meaning of life” is very personal, not universal. It is whatever you choose it to be for you. That is more or less the liberating essence of existentialism.

    I think the reason why people fall for these gurus in India is that most are not introduced to abstract thinking. We go for skill based courses, as citizens of developing countries should and ignore things like philosophy.

    The first time one encounters abstract thought, it is a heady experience for anyone. A professor (a real guru) is honest and does not claim to own all the ideas but states that he is only the communicator of thinkers before him. These mega-gurus instead claim that these are all their original ideas. This itself shows their dishonesty as well as their need to seek approval as a wise man – the very petty things we expect an enlightened person to grow beyond.

    Yes, I still don’t know what motivates you

    Nothing different from what motivates any other poster here or anywhere.

    @Shanmugam
    Good link. You can actually see Jaggi giving his beads a little movement in one of the Sad Guru videos.

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