The founder of TM, Mahesh Prasad Warma, later known as Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi, was born in India around 1910. After graduating from
Allahabad University in 1942 with a degree in physics, Mahesh
became the disciple of the Indian religious leader Guru Dev. It
was Guru Dev who instructed Maharishi to devise a meditation
technique from the Vedas (part of the Hindu scripture).
The Maharishi (as he is
referred to) was devoted to fulfilling the plan of Guru Dev in
bringing his teachings to the world. In 1958 Maharishi founded
the Spiritual Regeneration Movement in India. He came to America
the following year and set up his organization while spreading
the gospel of Guru Dev. Today, several million people in the
United States and around the world have been taught the
Maharishi's meditation techniques, said to be nonreligious,
although thoroughly Hindu.
The Claims of TM
How would you like to have your health improved, your self-image
and productivity increased, and your intelligence and creativity
heightened without stress or tension?
According to its
advertisements, these are some of the ways TM will benefit
individuals. Allegedly all this can be done within any religious
or nonreligious system since TM supposedly has no religious
basis. Moreover, TM has developed some very admirable goals to
accomplish this in the lives of people by setting up nationwide
Under a World Plan, 350
teaching centers of the Science of Creative Intelligence have
been founded in the largest cities throughout the United States
and the world. In fact, resolutions drawn up by the Maharishi and
promoting TM have been adopted by legislatures throughout the
TM can appeal to all segments of society, including the famous
(such as the Beatles in the mid-60's), the counter-culture, the
business community and the intelligentsia. Stanford law professor
John Kaplan testifies, "I use it the way Id use a
product of our technology to overcome nervous tension. It's a
non-chemical tranquilizer with no unpleasant side effects"
(Time Magazine, October 30, 1975).
TM, however, is not a neutral discipline that can be practiced
without harm to the individual. In actuality, TM is a Hindu
meditation technique that attempts to unite the meditator with
Brahman, the Hindu concept of God.
The Religious Nature of TM
Despite claims to the contrary, TM is religious in nature. The
following is a translation of the Puja, the initiation ceremony
read in Sanskrit by the TM instructor.
Whether pure or impure, whether purity or impurity is permeating
everywhere, whoever opens himself to the expanded vision of
unbounded awareness gains inner and outer purity.
To Lord Narayana, to lotus-born Brahma the Creator, to Vashishta,
to Shakti, and to his son, Parashar, to Vyasa, to Shukadava, to
the great Gaudapada, to Govinda, ruler among yogies, to his
disciple, Shri Trotika and Varttika-Kara, to others, to the
tradition of our masters I bow down. To the abode of the wisdom
of the Shrutis, Smritis and Puranas, to the abode of kindness, to
the personified glory of the Lord, to Shankara, emancipator of
the Lord, I bow down. To Sharkaracharya, the redeemer, hailed as
Krishna and Badarayana, to the commentator of the Brahma Sutras,
I bow down again and again. At whose door the whole galaxy of
gods pray for perfection day and night, adorned with immeasurable
glory, perceptor of the whole world, having bowed down to him, we
gain fulfillment. Skilled in dispelling the cloud of ignorance of
the people, the gentle emancipator, Bramananda Saraswati -the
supreme teacher, full of brilliance, him I bring to my awareness.
Offering the invocation to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow
Offering a seat to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Offering an ablution to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow
Offering a cloth to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Offering sandalpaste to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow
Offering rice to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Offering a flower to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Offering incense to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Offering light to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Offering water to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Offering fruits to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Offering water to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow down.
Offering betel leaf to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow
down. Offering coconut to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow
Offering camphor light.
White as camphor, kindness incarnate, the essence of creation,
garlanded with Brahman, ever dwelling in the lotus of my heart,
the creative impulse of cosmic life, to that in the form of Guru
Dev, I bow down. Offering camphor light to the lotus feet of Shri
Guru Dev, I bow down. Offering water to the lotus feet of Shri
Guru Dev, I bow down. Offering a handful of flowers.
Guru in the glory of
Brahma, guru in the glory of Vishnu, guru in the glory of the
great Lord Shiva, guru in the glory of personified transcendental
fullness of Brahman, to him Shri Guru Dev, adorned with glory, I
bow down. The unbounded, like the endless canopy of the sky, by
whom the moving and unmoving universe is pervaded, by whom the
sign of That has been revealed, to him to Shri Guru Dev, I bow
down. Guru Dev, Shri Brahmananda, bliss of the absolute,
transcendental joy, the self-sufficient, the embodiment of pure
knowledge which is beyond and above the universe like the sky,
the goal of "thou art That" and other such expressions
which unfold eternal truth, the one, the eternal, the pure, the
immovable, to the very being of that which is the witness of all
intellects, whose status transcends thought, the transcendent
along with the three gunas, the teacher of the truth of the
Absolute, to Shri Guru Dev, I bow down. To him by whom the
blinding darkness of ignorance has been removed by applying the
balm of knowledge; the eye of knowledge has been opened by him
and therefore to him, to Shri Guru Dev, I bow down. Offering a
handful of flowers to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Dev, I bow
down. (An English Translation of TM's Initiatory Puia, Berkeley,
Calif.: Spiritual Counterfeits Project, n.d.)
From the translation of the Puja, the religious nature of TM can
clearly be seen. In 1977, a New Jersey federal court barred the
teaching of TM in the schools of that state, the presiding judge
concluding, "The teaching of SCI/TM and the Puja are
religious in nature; no other inference is permissible or
reasonable ... although defendants have submitted well over 1500
pages of briefs, affidavits and deposition testimony in opposing
plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, defendants have failed
to raise the slightest doubt as to the facts or as to the
religious nature of the teaching of the Science of Creative
Intelligence and the Puja. The teachings of SCI/TM courses in New
Jersey violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment,
and its teaching must be enjoined" (United States District
Court, District of New Jersey, Civil Action No. 76-341).
Therefore the claim of the Maharishi and his followers as to the
non-religious basis of TM has no basis in fact.
Is It Harmless?
"The TM program has no adverse side effects and can promote
what pills cannot-natural psychological growth" (Harold
Bloomfield, meditator and psychiatrist, Discovering Inner Energy
and Overcoming Stress, p. 149).
There are, however, some
authorities that would disagree with Bloomfield's statement.
That the dangers of meditation are considerable among the
immature appear to be overlooked by these (TM) enthusiasts who
regard meditation as a universal panacea (Una Kroll, M.D., London
Times, June 30, 1973).
There are risks in
cultivating altered states of consciousness. One of these risks
... may be a permanent alienation from ordinary human attachments
(Elsa First, child psychotherapist, Frontiers of Consciousness,
p. 65, John White, ed.).
As a person enters or is
in an ASC (altered state of consciousness), he often experiences
fear of losing his grip on reality, and losing his self-control
(Arnold M. Ludwig, Altered States of Consciousness, p. 16,
Charles Tart, ed.).
Many of the statements made by the Maharishi concerning the
Science of Creative Intelligence and the Age of Enlightenment are
There has not been and there will not be a place for the unfit.
The fit will lead, and if the unfit are not coming along, there
is no place for them. In the place where light dominates there is
no place for darkness. In the age of Enlightenment there is no
place for ignorant people. the ignorant will be made enlightened
by a few orderly, enlightened people moving around. Nature will
not allow ignorance to prevail. It just cant. Nonexistence
of the unfit has been the law of nature (Maharishi, Inauguration
of the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, MIU Press, p. 47).
The Science of Creative
Intelligence structures all knowledge in the awareness of
everyone and thereby makes everyone infallible (ibid., p. 49). It
is only childish and ridiculous to base one's life on the level
of thinking. Thinking can never be a profound basis of living.
Being is the natural basis ... thinking, on the other hand, is
only imaginary (Maharishi, Transcendental Meditation, p.99).
It is disturbing to think that Maharishi would eliminate opposers
and that thinking is useless! The Bible says that judgment
belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:22, 27) and that
one should examine and test all things by God's Word (1 John
The Religious Beliefs of TM
We have already observed that TM is religious in nature, based
upon Hinduism, consequently their theology is in direct contrast
The Maharishi's view of God reflects a denial of the
infinite-personal God revealed in Scripture. He writes, "God
is found in two phases of reality: as a supreme being of
absolute, eternal nature and as a personal God at the highest
level of phenomenal creation!' (Science of Being and Art of
Living, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Rev. Ed. 1967, p. 271).
being" is identified with nature: "Everything in
creation is the manifestation of the unmanifested absolute
impersonal being, the omnipresent God" (Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi, Transcendental Meditation, p. 266). "This impersonal
God is that being which dwells in the heart of everyone"
(ibid, p. 269). Man is also identified with God: "Each
individual is, in his true nature, the impersonal God"
(Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Science of Being and Art of Living, Rev.
Ed. 1967, p. 276). This same God is controlling evolution:
"God, the supreme almighty being, in whose person the
process of evolution finds its fulfillment, is on the top level
of creation!' (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Transcendental Meditation,
p. 270). "He (God) maintains the entire field of evolution
and the different lives of innumerable beings in the whole
cosmos" (ibid, p. 271).
Maharishi's view of God and man is not in accord with the Bible.
Scripture teaches that God is infinite while man is finite. Man
can never become God or attain Godhood for he is part of God's
creation. Man is the creature. God is the creator. Although man
is part of God's creation, he is not to be identified with God.
God, the creator, is a being separate from His creation. God is
by nature eternal, whereas God's creation is temporal (it came
into being at a particular time). Man, the finite, will never
become God, the infinite.
The Maharishi does not have much to say about Jesus but when he
does, he contradicts the Bible.
Due to not understanding the life of Christ and not understanding
the message of Christ, I dont think Christ ever suffered or
Christ could suffer ... It's a pity that Christ is talked of in
terms of suffering ... Those who count upon the suffering, it is
a wrong interpretation of the life of Christ and the message of
Christ ... How could suffering be associated with the One who has
been all joy, all bliss, who claims all that? It's only the
misunderstanding of the life of Christ (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi,
Meditations of Mahanshi Mahesh Yogi, pp. 123-124).
It is the Maharishi who misunderstands the purpose of Christ's
coming, which was to die for the sins of the world. "The
next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold, the Lamb
of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29
NASB), and "Just as the Son of man did not come to be
served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for
many" (Matthew 20:28 NASB). Jesus Christ, contrary to the
teaching of the Maharishi, suffered on the cross for our sins so
we might receive forgiveness from God for our sins. His suffering
Transcendental Meditation (The Science of Creative Intelligence),
though claiming to be a method of relaxation and personal growth
without harmful side effects, can be a danger to the individual
both emotionally and spiritually. Although some degree of success
in relaxation can be achieved by practicing TM, the dangers far
outweigh the benefits. There is a Christian alternative to TM and
that consists of meditation on God's Word, the only source of
real peace. No one said it better than the psalmist:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the
seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be
like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth
his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and
whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but
are like chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly
shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation
of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous:
but the way of the ungodly shall perish (Psalm 1:1-6).
Transcendental Meditation Terms
Transcendental Meditation -Hindu religious sect founded by
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi under the guise of the supposedly
nonreligious Science of Creative Intelligence. Promises to expand
one's awareness and creativity.
American Foundation for the Science of Creative Intelligence -One
branch of TM organization.
Brahmins-The Hindu priestly class.
Guru Dev-The late Hindu Swami (religious master) who was the
teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM. Dev is
addressed as deity in the TM initiation ceremony.
International Meditation Society- One branch of TM organization.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi-The founder of Transcendental Meditation
Mantra-In Hinduism, a sacred word which embodies through some
specific supernatural and spiritual power. Also used as the
meditative words in TM.
Prana -In TM, it is the internal force within God by which He
Puja -In TM, a written portion of the initiation ceremony read in
Sanskrit by the instructor. It is a collection of prayers to
Sanatana dharma -A Hindu term, referring to Hinduism as the
eternal system, the one true religion.
Students International Meditation Society- Pseudonym for TM
TM-Abbreviation for Transcendental Meditation.
Vedas-The collection of Hindu sacred scriptures.
Yoga -According to Hinduism, an exercise (physical, mental, or
spiritual) designed to aid in one's progress to God-realization.