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Transcendental Meditation and Yoga

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Transcendental Meditation (TM) is on the move. Everywhere, posters, leaflets and newspaper advertisements tell us that TM is good for us. But, what is it? As Christians we must always ask the basic question: is it of God? Or, is it a cult? This article will show quite clearly that it is a cult. Christians must be warned, especially those who try to avoid TM, but who gladly enjoy the so-called 'benefits' of yoga. Both are connected because they come from the same source.

TM is just one face of Hinduism. Yet, many Christians every year commit themselves and their lifestyles to this Eastern cultic (Satanic) activity. It is a deceptive technique, but no spiritually-aware mature Christian would fall to its charms.

Background to TM

In the 1960's Maharishi Mahesh Yogi went to the USA, which was then torn by race riots, drug abuse and a rapidly deteriorating youth scene. He began to lecture on the merits of TM as a 'scientific' answer to all spiritual and mental ills of Man. Immediately, he was hailed a 'saviour' who was bringing the exact answer at the right time. One may well ask - if a Hindu was doing this, where was the Church?

TM claims to relieve anxiety, but, as all who know personal salvation can testify, the worst anxiety we can have is far deeper than stress and is to do with the matter of life and death. Only God can relieve that kind of anxiety. Yet, when Maharishi was selling his wares in the USA, church leaders were duped into selling their Biblical heritage. Did they warn others against him? Did they warn of the dangers of TM? No, they did not. Thus it has ever been, when Christ is missing from a nation - Truth is substituted by a cult, the occult, and by lies.

Thousands enrolled on TM courses. Educationalists, the armed forces, prisons and even theological seminaries embraced it. They wanted a better world and TM appeared to offer the means to this end. But, note - this is a Jesuit maxim: the end justifies the means. Does it? It certainly flies contrary to scripture.

After the initial euphoria subsided, scientific experts started to find flaws in the claims made for TM. Some claims were exaggerated. Others were plainly false.

Even worse, one Hindu priest confided to me that his religion used deception if it was considered necessary (interestingly, this is also a Jesuit and Islamic strategy). The same priest began attending the church I attended and I warned the ‘leadership’ to no effect; they were excited that a 'former' Hindu priest was their latest 'trophy'! The church and the pastor thought he was truly 'seeking' the Lord. They even accepted, at face value, that he had 'repented' and been saved! Such was the ease with which he fooled the people.

In fact, as he admitted to me, he loved to enter other religions as deeply as possible, so that he could add the knowledge to his already extensive global search. He was still very much an Hindu! As soon as the church had served its purpose, the priest left abruptly, leaving havoc in his wake, almost destroying one Christian family with his lies and counter-lies. The church was totally disrupted by his deceptions… but never once admitted it was duped or that they made a grave error of judgment, ignoring warnings.

Maharishi was the same. He told his instructors that 'ordinary' people were too ignorant to understand Hinduism, so they must be tricked into the religion! This explains the 'exercise' and 'stress management' approach so often used today to encourage new adherents into the Hindu fold. Once hooked by the techniques, the way is smoothed to allow easier passage toward Hinduism itself.

TM is widely advertised in health magazines and local newspapers. It is used extensively by health groups in hospitals, private clubs, and by business. It has also gained ground in many churches. In this writer's home city, the central Anglican cathedral once boasted a 'lunchtime meditation and yoga session in the aisles'!

Claims and Practices

TM claims to relieve anxiety, fears, improve work relations and personal relations (this is a direct lie, for the exact opposite occurs). Generally, it claims to 'open the mind to greater things'. (Or, in spiritual terms, it closes the mind to God!)

Today, instructors are cautious and usually make their first sessions 'scientific' or 'medical'. No mention is made of religion. Indeed, one local TM leader who rose to national level even went so far as to disclaim any link with religion at all. This is very strange, as can be seen from the history of TM. Even if it were possible to remove Hinduism from TM it would still be a cult practice; that is, a false religion. Its techniques were founded on Hindu beliefs.

Often, newcomers to TM are asked to bring fruit, flowers and handkerchief to their first session. This alone should ring warning bells! These are placed in front of a picture of Maharishi's dead Master, Guru Nev. Then, the instructor sings a song in ancient Sanskrit, the language of the Hindu religion, and the initiate is requested to bow.

The initiate is not told, however, that the song is in praise of Hindu gods and is meant to invoke the spirits. Whilst the initiate is still kneeling, the instructor tells him his 'mantra'. A mantra is a special word, usually meaningless. The mantra does not need to have a meaning. The person must repeat this word out loud, ad nauseam. It is repeated until each utterance runs into the next, so that the whole thing sounds like a continuous hum. When the mantra reaches that stage, the gods and spirits are invoked. Most people do not understand that they have taken their first steps toward adopting a new religion. The fact that they obey the teacher and repeat a mantra invocation, means the spirits (demons) begin their activities in the life of the initiate.

Eventually, after continued use of his own personal mantra, the person does not even realise when he is saying it. He no longer hears the sound of his own voice as his mind cuts off from the world around him. His mind empties, dangerously, of all thought and, after much more emptying, he begins to 'merge the self' with the 'absolute being' or 'deity', known as Brahma.

Brahma, in Hinduism, is one of the Trimurti - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is supposed to be the personification of the 'supreme Brahman'. Brahman is said to have created the world that lasted for over two thousand million years before it was destroyed and then re-created by him.

The Results

Does TM bring promised results? No, far from it. At first, TM seems to offer the desired ends. Then it all turns sour. TM adherents gradually lose their personality and touch with reality and literally live in a world of their own. With disintegration of personality there is also a loss of inter-personality... love for others fades as they simply drift off into a world created by evil spirits. The actual world is perceived as 'unreal' and only what the adherent 'sees' via his 'higher consciousness' is accepted as real.

This is not unlike the distorted perceptions experienced by certain types of drug-users and by those with mental imbalance. Another word for all this is deception. Several human philosophies attempt to reverse reality, by telling students that only the 'spiritual' is real and the world is a delusion. What utter rubbish! Nevertheless, people are sucked into this vortex of illusion induced by TM.

Adherents embrace an impersonal god who does not care or know about them, because he does not exist. All that exists are the demons who keep the person deluded. And, obviously, if the ultimate aim is to merge with the impersonal deity, then the adherent will also become impersonal, losing identity and reality.

According to Hinduism, there is no place in the world for non-Hindus. Maharishi claims Man is divine so, by definition, Man cannot sin. All that Man does, therefore, must be good and divine. Man's only fault is that he cannot recognise his own deity! Maharishi preached that the whole world must become Hindu. Non-Hindus must be dragged into Hinduism or... (The actual end of non-Hindus has always been left in vague terms, but if the end of non-Muslims is anything to go by, we need not speculate as to what it means). This resembles the claims of Islam.

The deeper the adherent goes into TM the more empty his mind becomes. He is prone to possession and oppression by demons (there are many examples of this). He will also delve deeper into the occult: levitation (a trick taught in the West to adherents), fortune telling, clairvoyance and other forms of witchcraft. Thus, TM is just another type of spiritualism/spiritism.

Some TM adherents suffer 'nervous breakdowns', which is rather odd, given TM's claims of peace, tranquility and an anxiety-free life! TM brings distress or mental oblivion. It drives Christians away from God. Do not think that all 'backsliders' eventually come back to God; sometimes He leaves them to their foolishness and so they remain in their sinful habits, never to return to the Truth in their lifetime.

Innocent Yoga

Do you practice yoga? As a Christian, do you think yoga exercises can be separated from their religious source? Then the warning is now given to you - STOP at once! Yoga has been proven to be no more effective than any other form of exercise. Of far greater importance is the stark fact that EVERY MOVEMENT AND POSITION IN YOGA IS A 'PRAYER' TO HINDU GODS! This is exactly what they were designed for. Thus, in no way can the exercises be separated from the religion of Hinduism. Christians cannot practice yoga and expect God's blessing. How can you possibly claim a blessing when every move you make praises and invokes an heathen god and invites demonic participation in your life?

Yoga is only one of many Eastern cult activities: karate, some other self-defence techniques and exercises are based on cult religious teachings. Christians who join classes for these should check very carefully what they are based on. Otherwise they could be joining far more than a one-hour exercise or self-defence class!

Christians may say "But I need exercise!" or "I need to relax!" True, but, as in so many areas of life, there are right ways and wrong ways to do things and activities we should never be connected with.

God's Answer

God will not and cannot bless us if we enter into a cult or the occult. (TM involves both). He has already warned us in His word. We cannot later claim ignorance when our lives fall apart. Everything we ever do must first be examined in the light of scripture.

Some resort to TM, some to drugs, some to ill-health (yes - deliberately!). God does not intend this to happen. He gives us clear guidelines to live by. Our ignorant activities and fears (including conditions called 'neuroses') are caused by our alienation from God. We are not divine and cannot reach God by our own efforts; we cannot save ourselves. Nor can we exercise or meditate ourselves out of our anxieties; only the Holy Spirit can help.

The Bible also warns about evil powers/spirits. Evil spirits are real beings: they are personalities not just 'forces'. Our only protection against them is put in a nutshell in the Book of Jude, when even the archangel Michael dare not accuse or fight Satan in his own strength. Instead, he had to rebuke him in the Name and strength of God. We cannot stand against beings that are made mightier than ourselves (angels, including demons, were created higher than Man, with great powers), unless God is our champion. We are given this authority when we are saved - so use it!

Biblical meditation is not like TM. It does not empty the mind, leaving it prone to demonic attack. To meditate on God's word is to read it, then to pray about what has been read, so that it can be applied to our lives, then to think deeply on what has been read and understood. It is all very practical and open. There is nothing hidden or secret about it at all. Beware of anything that claims to reach your 'inner self' by way of secret or complex means. Beware of anything that can be called a 'technique'. There are NO techniques with God, only simple obedience to His word.

We must actively seek God's will in our lives. It might sound strange, but God's will for each of us is already known! It is just that most of us cannot see it, because of sin and other barriers erected by ourselves. Thus, to seek His will is to get rid of self. Read His word and you will see God's general Will. Follow what it says and all of your life will slot into its proper place.

To know God's particular Will for our lives, we must obey what He tells us in His word and pray, keeping ourselves open to whatever He sends. Whenever He tells us what to do (through His word, in prayer, or by other means) we must do it immediately. There is nothing secret about it and no complicated methods to employ that take years to perfect! And proof of being on the right path is that we reflect what His word says... TM takes us farther away from it and from God.

Allow the Holy Spirit total access to your mind and body. Only then will you find true joy and peace, no matter what the circumstances are. Seek real joy, not just human happiness. TM aims to increase happiness, but at the expense of true joy. Godly joy does not always lead to human happiness, but to something better - peace with God. Malachi warned of days when black would be called white and white would be called black. We are now in those days, when evil is called good and good is called evil. May God help us all to seek His good and not the temporary and rotting earthly things of the lost (who include Hindus who do not repent and be saved).


  • 'TM Wants You - A Christian Response to Transcendental Meditation' by David Haddon. Published Baker.
  • 'TM: A Cosmic Confidence Trick' by John Allan. Published IVP.
  • Transcendental Meditation 'Key Cassette', from Scripture Union, 130 City Road, London, EC1V 2NJ, UK (It contains the testimony of a woman who came out of TM).
  • 'Understanding Alternative Medicine' by Roy Livesey. Published New Wine Press. (The book covers a wide spectrum of alternative medicines and treatments).
  • 'TM: Cult of the Open Mind' by K. B. Napier. First published in Challenge Christian newspaper, January 1984. (Also TM article by same author published in Reachout Trust newsletter).

© June 1993

Published on

Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
United Kingdom