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YOGI IN THE LAB

Future Directions of Scientific


Research in Meditation

Swami Veda Bharati


Disciple of Swami Rama of the Himalayas

Swami Rama of the Himalayas


Master of the States of Consciousness

Swami Veda Bharati


Disciple

Yogi in the Lab : Future Directions of Scientific Research in Meditation


ISBN 81-8037-022-4
Copyright 2006 Swami Veda Bharati
SRSG Publications
Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG)
Virpur Khurd, Virbhadra Road,
Rishikesh 249203, Uttaranchal, India
Tel.: +91-135-245 3440/245 3030 Fax: +91-135-245 0831
Email: srsgp@sancharnet.in, info@srsgpublications.com
www.srsgpublications.com
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Printed and bound in India

Contents
Swami Veda Bharati . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Swami Ram of the Himalayas (1925-1996) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
The Ins and Outs of Mind-Body Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Measurability of the Meditational States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Future Dimensions of Research in the
Neurophysiology of Meditation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Diversity of Siddhis in the Yoga-sutras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Brain Wave Mapping in Pathology and
Meditation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Experiments with Swami Veda Bharati at
the Institute of Noetic Sciences, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Surgery without Anaesthesia through Yoga-Nidra . . . . . . . 75
Eleven methods of Meditation testd at the
Neuropath Laboratory Denver, CO, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Suggested next Experiments with the States
of the Brain in Meditation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Dialogue between Science and Buddhism OR
Between Science and the Yogis of all Persuasions. . . . . . . . 99

Swami Veda Bharati


B.A.(Honours)(London) 1965, M.A. (London)1966,
Dr. Litt. (Holland) 1967-68, F.R.A.S. (UK)

s the attached summaries of documents indicate, Swami


Veda Bharati has demonstrated in Bio-neurofeedback
laboratory tests the ability to alter the brain wave patterns
(including delta and gamma). It has been observed and recorded
that he changes his brain wave patterns volitionally within a
minute or two by changing the method of meditation.

In one test he successfully demonstrated his ability to


have a random numbers generating machine generate
significantly coherent numbers.
In the latest tests he demonstrated the effectiveness of 11
different methods of meditation in a 50-minute session; each
method produced different sets of brain waves within a
minute or two of entering the state thus produced.
Plans for further testing are proceeding in the laboratories
of Germany and Italy.
Swami Veda Bharati received highest initiations into
meditative states from the HimalayanYogi(s), especially from
Swami Rama of the Himalayas (author of Living with
Himalayan Masters) who was the first pioneer in the research
on brain wave patterns of the yogis in Meditaiton, see
Encyclopaedia Britanica Science Supplement 1973.

Swami Veda Bharati was born in a Sanskrit-speaking


family in North India, 1933, and raised on the study of
Sanskrit-Pali-Prakrit texts, and the practices of meditation,
and now has access to world literatures in 17 languages.
Articles published about his exceptional knowledge in
1946 brought him invitations to lecture and teach the
meditation related philosophies and practices. He has been
doing so as a full time vocation since February 1947 in all
parts of the world.
Author of a 1500-page Commentary on the first two
chapters of Yoga-sutras of Patanjali. This commentary has
been hailed among scholars and practitioners both as the
most authoritative.
Has recorded 3500 hours of courses on all aspects of
meditation, its texts and philosophical systems.
Maintains two Ashrams in Rishikesh, India, where
practices, texts and philosophies of the various meditation
systems are taught, with special emphasis on the traditions
of the Himalayan Yogis.
Travels wordwide, guiding numerous meditation groups
on all continents.

Swami Rama of the Himalayas


(1925-1996)

uthor of Living with the Himalayan Masters and 45 other


books, was one of the greatest yogis of all times. He
pioneered the scientific investigaton of the phenomena
associated with yoga.

Swami Rama, the founder of the Sadhana Mandir Ashram


was born in the Himalayas and raised by his spiritual Master
in the legendary caves of the yogis where countless
generations of yogis have been trained and initiated into the
deepest mysteries of the sacred science of yoga. A monk in
the Shankaracharya Order, he held the highest position as a
Shankaracharya, which he then renounced to continue to
serve the Himalayan Tradition.
All sciences are open to a yogi. He was a scientist who
offered himself for scientific experiments to be conducted on
a yogi; philosopher who wrote forty five books; a poet who
translated an epic in three months; an architect, sculptor,
painter.
The most well known names in the classical music of
India gathered around him to accompany him in his music
sessions. Dog trainer; horse trainer; it was a delight to watch

For more details, see Doug Boyd, Swami, 1995, Himalayan International
Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, Honsedale, USA.

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him at tennis. Enlightened guide to disciples. Master of the


Art of Life.
Uncountable thousands around the world came to him
asking for gifts tangible and intangible. When he gave with
the right hand, his left hand did not know. One meets people
in all walks of life, in highest professions, who tell us how he
blessed, guided, created their success in life. He would sit
for hours in the company of a one-buffalo farmer while
princes waited outside his chamber. When he granted funds
for establishing the library of a University in the Garhwal
Himalayas, he did it on the condition that his name would
not be given any public association with it. As he prepared
to leave his body, he left strict instructions to build no
memorials, establish no shrines nor a museum, and do
nothing else to commemorate his name. His memorial is in
the hearts of his disciples who miss the love they received in
abandon.
A philanthropist who created a Medical City in four years
where there were only farmers' fields, and gave subtle hints
on surgery to surgeons. A superb administrator who taught
leaders how to lead and managers how to manage. Equally
at home in the East and the West, he was a both a scientist
and an accomplished mystic, a siddha. Above all, he was a
direct descendant of the lineage of yogis, going back
thousands of years, who are the founders and keepers of
yoga, the source of all paths of meditation, and who confer
the direct experience as initiation into the mystery of
Consciousness.

11

Swami Rama has left many disciples behind, none


anywhere near his stature and calibre, to carry on the various
assignments of his work. What we all most remember about
him is the magnetic, charismatic power of love, such that as
he walked one felt pulled to simply walk behind him. The
full impact of his spiritual legacy will be realized perhaps in
a century.
Herewith, we present an article by one of the scientists
who led the scientific reserch1 on Swami Rama.

12

The Ins and Outs of


Mind-Body Energy
by Elmer and Alyce Green
A new research frontier is developing in which physics, psychology,
parapsychology, and medicine are blending to form a new science
of consciousness.

Science Year 1974, World Book Science Annual, Chicago Field


Enterprises Educational Company, 1973.

eated in a chair in our laboratory at the Menninger


Foundation in Topeka, Kans., a 45-year-old Indian yogi
named Swami Rama performed an incredible feat. While
seven of us watched, the Swami caused a 14-inch aluminum
knitting needle, mounted horizontally on a vertical shaft 5
feet away from him, to rotate toward him through 10 degrees
of arc. The Swami had been fitted with a plastic mask that
covered his nose and mouth. He breathed through a foamrubber insert which was covered by a plexiglass shied to
deflect any air currents down to the sides. Even with this,
one of the observers was convinced that the Swami had used
some method that could be explained by some already known
physical law.
We had warned the Swami that even if he succeeded in
demonstrating this kind of phenomena not everyone would
accept his explanation of how he had done it. He replied,
Thats all right. Every man can have his own hypothesis,
but he still has to account for the facts.

13

In science, facts have always been more sacred than


theories. But a nonconforming fact usually becomes
scientifically acceptable only when an enlarged theory is
developed that rationally unites the non-conforming fact with
the existing scientific data. Yet this does not always hold
true, because the emotions of scientists get in the way. Some
non conforming facts are apparently too outrageous to the
tolerated and some scientists ridicule them out of existence.
They claim that the best explanation of statistically validated
parapsychological phenomena is trickery by the
experimenters. Others who are intrigued by the
nonconforming facts are generally remain silent. Heresy can
cost them their promotions and reputations. Eugene Condon,
former head of the National Bureau of Standards, phrased
the threat in this manner: Flying saucers and astrology are
not the only pseudosciences which have a considerable
following among us There continues to be perception,
psychokinesis, and a host of others.In my view, publishers
who publish or teachers who teach any of he pseudosciences
should, on being found guilty, be publicly horsewhipped
and forever banned from further activity
Nevertheless, some scientists have seriously investigated
a host of unexplainable phenomena for about a century,
and this field of study has grown rapidly in recent years.
One of the most interesting and potentially useful areas is
control of the autonomic nervous system, through which
most psychosomatic (mind-body) diseases are developed.
Physicians believe that from 50 to 80 per cent of human
diseases are psychosomatic, that is, they result from the
bodys unconscious reaction of psychological stress. Thus it
is possible. in theory, to train patients to control 50 to 80 per
cent of their diseases, to handle other psychosomatic
problems, and hopefully, to decrease their dependence on
drugs.
14

We once though that the autonomic nervous system,


which regulates the bodys organs, could not be voluntarily,
or consciously, controlled to any significant degree. But recent
evidence indicates otherwise. Psychologist Neal E. Miller of
Rockefeller University has used a system of rewards and
punishments to demonstrate that animals can be conditioned
to control autonomic processes, such as the flow of blood to
various parts of the body. Human beings also can develop
voluntary control of the autonomic nervous system-for
example, lowinger their blood pressure-apparently by
learning to control normally unconscious parts of the mind.
This kind of learning usually requires visual or audible
feedback, such as a light that flashes or a buzzer that buzzes.
These cues inform the subject of his success, telling him
whether or not he is controlling what is happening in the
normally unconscious domain inside the skin.
Although there is a line of separation between the
conscious and the unconscious-the voluntary and involuntary
nervous systems-this separation apparently can shift back
and forth. For example, when we learn to dive a car we
focus conscious attention on every detail of muscular
behavior and visual feedback. In other words, we manipulate
steering wheel, has pedal, and brakes according to what we
see on the road ahead of us. This tells us what we are doing
and suggests corrections if, for example, the car heads toward
a ditch. Through such feedback we learn conscious control
of the sriate, or voluntary, muscles. After much experience,
driving becomes automatic. We then may drive through a
long section of town while thinking about something else
and then wonder if we stopped at all the traffic lights.
When this behavior occurs, processes normally controlled
by the conscious have temporarily shifted-to the unconscious.

15

When, through feedback, voluntary-control is exerted over


so-called involuntary processes, such as dilating and
contracting the smooth muscles that control blood flow, the
shift is to the conscious domain.
In 1964, we began a voluntary-controls research project
at the Menninger Foundation to test this conscious control
of the unconscious. We set up a laboratory in which we
could monitor the physiological variables of our subjects
while they practiced autogenic, or self-generated techniques.
Our equipment included and electroencephalograph (EEG)
to measure brain waves, and electrocardiograph (EKG) to
measure heart rates, galvanic skin response devices (GSP
and GSR) to measure electrical potential and resistance of
the skin, thermistors to measure skin temperature, and
equipment to measure breathing rates and blood flow in the
hands. All of these devices were connected to recording
equipment in an adjacent room so that we could collect, and
later analyze, all the data.
In one series of tests, our subjects-a group fo women
from the Topeka area-attempted to raise the temperature of
one hand increasing the flow of blood into the hand. Through
a technique called passive concentration, some of our subjects
were able to raise their hand temperatures by several degrees.
Observing this early work psychologist Gardner Murphy,
then head of the Menninger Foundation Research
Department, felt that biofeedback might be useful. This meant
connecting the monitoring equipment to visual or audible
signaling devices. For example, when a thermistor was
connected to a meter or a buzzer, the subject could tell if his
attempt to change his skin temperature was succeeding by
watching the meter needle or hearing the buzzer. When we

16

combined biofeedback with autogenic training, we found


that many people learned to control unconscious
physiological functions more quickly than with either one
alone. We called this combination of the two systems
Autogenic feedback training. Autogenic training supplied
a strong, suggestive imagery and biofeedback supplied
immediate knowledge of the results. These are powerful
factors in gaining voluntary control of involuntary processes,
and of great importance in our continuing research program.
In a few short years, voluntary-controls research
throughout the United States has begun to show positive
results in alleviating a number of medical complaints. One
of these is relief from migraine headaches. Patients have
learned to cause their hands to become warmer, an action
that relaxes the autonomic nervous system, thereby relieving
the migraine pain. Other human malfunctions that can be
brought under some degree of self-regulation include erratic
heart rate, high blood pressure, Raynauds disease (which
involves deficient blood flow to the extremities), and
unconscious muscle tension (responsible for or associated
with many unpleasant symptoms).
How does all this take place? Perhaps as follows:
According to neuroanatomists, the subcortex of the brain
contains a neural network called the limbic system that
responds to emotions. Whenever we have an emotion, the
electrical activity of the limbic system changes. This system,
however, is linked by many nerve fibers to other sections of
the subcortex which contain the neural circuits that control
most of the bodys involuntary, or autonomic, functions. The
exact neural pathways have not yet been traced, but this
much seems certain: If we have a thought that is associated
with a feeling (and few thoughts are now), the limbic system,

17

through its connections with various control circuits, brings


about unconscious changes in some of the bodys involuntary
functions.
Whatever the exact explanation, the important fact is that
if we use a sensitive detector and visual and auditory displays
to reveal minute physiological changes, we often can learn
to control the sections of the involuntary system that regulate
these changes. Theoretically, at least, we should be able to
bring under control all our physiological processes with this
technique.
This extension of conscious control over involuntary
systems has far reaching implications for psychology and
medicine. It suggests that human beings are not biological
robots, controlled entirely by genes and the conditioning of
life experiences. Migraine, for example, tends to run in
families and thus seems to be partly, at least, genetic in origin.
When it is brought under voluntary control through
autogenic feedback training, the patient is apparently
overcoming a genetic predisposition. The freedom gained is
not just physiological, however; it has an important
psychological component. Many people who learn to control
physiological problems find themselves relieved of some
emotional and mental symptoms at the same time.
The self-regulation of mind-body energies by consciously
controlling normally unconscious functions may, at first
glance, seem to be little more than a simple medical advance,
but the implications are theory busting, to say the least.
The investigation of voluntary or conscious control fo mindbody energies has expanded to include two separate but
related areas: Control by the mind of the energy inside the
skin (Ins), and the domain of psychology, physiology, and

18

medicine; and control by the mind of the energy outside the


skin (outs), the domain again of psychology, but also fo
physics and parapsychology-the psychic phenomena.
Furthermore, Ins and Outs energies are special parts of
general field of mind theory, which we will examine later.
In a curious blend of Eastern theory and Western technology,
a new science of consciousness seems to be developing.
Swami Rama, trained in the Himalaya in the discipline
of yoga, is contributing to this blend. He came to the United
States from India in 1969 and now lives in Palatine, Il. His
guru, or teacher, suggested that he could help bring Eastern
and Western science closer together by working with
psychologists and medical doctors who are studying mental
and physical phenomena. Daniel Ferguson, a psychiatrist at
the Veterans Administration Hospital at Fort Snelling, St.
Paul, Minn., suggested that our Voluntary-Controls Project
might want to study Swami Rama. It would be an
opportunity to examine someone with extraordinary control
over the autonomic system. In addition, because the Swami
appears to have a measure of control over Outs energy as
well as Ins, we could also study how the unconscious
functions in the relationship between psychology and
parapsychology.
Ferguson and the Swami first visited our laboratory in
March, 1970. As with our other subjects, we wired up the
Swami to record brain waves, heart behavior, respiration,
skin resistance and potential, muscle tension, blood flow in
the hands, and hand temperature. He first made the
temperature of the little-finger side of his right palm differ
from the temperature of the thumb side by 10F. He did this
apparently by controlling the flow of blood in the large radial
and ulnar arteries of his wrist. Without moving or using

19

muscle tension, he turned on one of them and turned


off the other. Later, he demonstrated that he could stop his
heart from pumping blood, and could produce specific brain
wave patterns on demand.
We asked the Swami how he controlled his heart and
blood vessels, and how he consciously produced various
kinds of brain waves at will. He explained that these
phenomena were possible because, All of the body is in the
mind. But, he added, not all of the mind is in the body.
In other words, each part of the energy structure called the
body is literally a part of the energy structure called the
mind, although the reverse is not necessarily true.
In the raja yoga school of philosophy, two of the most
interesting concepts relating to Ins energy are that every
part of the body is represented in the unconscious, and every
part of the body also represents the unconscious. What potent
ideas! They mean that when we extend conscious control
over a specific part of the unconscious, as in autogenic
feedback training, the associated physiological processes can
be brought under voluntary control.
In yogic theory, the mind is not merely a persons
perception of involuntary electrochemical changes in the
body. On the contrary, the body is only the densest section
of a field of energy that includes both body and mind. It
is interesting to remember that our bodies, like everything
else in the universe, are electromagnetic fields with swarms
are particles as dense portions. We are almost entirely empty
space, although we see ourselves and all nature as solid
matter because that is the way we were constructed by
evolution to see.

20

Yogis believe that, without exception, all body processes


are mind processes. The mind handles Ins energy because it
is Ins energy, even though that is not all it is. Form mind is
an energy structure, and all matter, whether physiological
or non-physiological, is a matrix of energy that is somehow
related to mind. In every thought and in every cell, we are
part of the general field, but we are not conscious of our
own unconscious.

21

Measurability of the
Meditational States
Swami Veda Bharatis Address to Gurukulam students at Swami Rama
Institute of Meditation at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG), Rishikesh
on 9th March 2005.

PROBLEM : The contemporary keepers of the traditions like


yoga follow ancient paths in a modern context. Among us
arises the question : how compatible is the pursuit of scientific
investigations with the traditional philosophies, texts,
practices and the results obtained? We take the problem up
in several steps in this presentation.
First we propose here an understanding of brief categories
by which an analysis of philosophical systems and texts may
be undertaken in the tradition of the Himalayan yogis.
There are two levels in the study of a philosophical system
and the texts thereof.
(1)

The texts are not hypotheses or philosophical


speculations. They are records of the highest
masters communicating their personally
experienced knowledge (vi-jana 1 ) to their
disciples. That is why we consider revealed text

The texts use two words for knowledge, jnana and vi-jnana. Wherever the
two words occur together in the Upanishads or the Bhagavad-gita, the great
Shankaracharya consistently translates jnana as theoretical knowledge and
vi-jnana as the knowledge from personal (spiritual) experience.

22

to be supreme authority. The revealed texts are


called apta-grantha, the texts by those who have
attained, for they are meant to inform and
inspire.
They inform us as to

what the great masters received, and

what the methods or steps were in the processes


of such acquisition of experience of a given state
of consciousness.

They inspire us as they tell us of what others have


found and that we can also find.
(2)

At the same time, in our traditions, the masters


tell us that the revealed texts are not enough.
They are to be understood by verifying them
through a personal sadhana2,resulting in yogipratyaksha (personal verification in the yoga
experience).

So, even though the system of Vedanta may make a


statement about the Transcendent God, the final faith
(shraddha) will come when we have seen God personally.
Up to that time we accept the methods prescribed in the
apta-granthas as our maps all the while knowing that we
should ourselves see and experience the city that has been
shown to us in the map. Hence, we combine the practice of
meditation with our study of texts and interpret the texts in

It is because of this principle of personal testing that the word for science in
the contemporary Indian languages is vi-jnana.

23

the light of meditation experience3. This in yoga is termed


svadhyaya.
Th word svadhyaya has two meanings.

intellectual study for and by ones self, akin to


reading a book on chemistry, and

the study of ones Self, akin to the experimental


session in a lab to verify the statements in the
book.

The text was composed4 by those who had previously


undertaken the same experiments and had obtained the
verified and consistent results. Meditation is the lab work of
spirituality.
The study of texts, books and lessons by oneself is
svadhyaya, as in any tradition of knowledge. The study of the
self in experimental situation of contemplation is also
svadhyaya, as in Vedanta. The practice of dhyana and the
meditational practices like japa, too, fall in this category. That
is why in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the definition of
svadhyaya is given as,

At our Ashram in Rishikesh we teach the texts like Vedanta-sara, Bhagavadgita, the Upanishads and the Brahma-sutras not as texts of philosophical
discussion but as guides to meditation; they are taught along with the spiritual
practices related to the particular verse(s). Our Master Swami Rama of the
Himalayas sometimes taught the texts to chosen disciples. He would have
the disciple read a text; the disciples eyes would then involuntarily close
and a certain state of consciousness was imparted; the eyes opened; the
master would say : this is the meaning of the texts. Similar stories of other
yogis are also sometimes heard.
4

Quite often one hears questions like : when were the Vedas written? The
question is invalid. They were not written. The texts were composed mentally,
retained mnemonically and passed on orally. Written is a habituation of
contemporary mind.
24

japa (the repeated mental remembrance of the


mantra), and then

the study of moksha-shastras, the texts that lead


to spiritual liberation.

So, when one is studying a text, or a system of


philosophy, let one not mix with it the philosophical
view and terminology of another text and system;
one may do so if it is planned to create a synthesis, or
one is studying some tradition that has created such
a synthesis as in the Mahabharata, Puranas, Bhagavad
Gita and so forth. These texts present an integration
of the systems such as Vedanta, Sankhya, Yoga,
Nyaya, Buddhist and Jaina and many other traditions.
Thus, the approach one takes to studying
philosophical systems is (a) to understand the
cognitive and dialectic analysis (built on the methods
of Nyaya and the doctrine of tantra-yukti)5 as well as
(b) to pursue the experiential and holistic application.
The Yoga Sutras are only an example of texts6 wherein
one learns how the finer spiritual forces control the more
external, gross forces of matter7. The same principles apply
5

Rules for presenting a scientific thesis. For example, the last chapter of
Charaka-samhita, the most ancient ayur-veda text, lists fortysix principles of
tantra-yukti, the rules of methodology by which the validity of scientific
presentation are to be tested. Let it be remembered that the ayur-veda texts
were composed by meditation masters, the rishis.

This includes the lesser known but spiritually bright galaxy of star texts like
Tiru-mantiram, Sekoddesha, Yogi-Yajnavalkya, Samadhi-raja-sutram, Dashabhumika-sutram, Spanda-karika and many others published and unpublished
works, many yet untranslated.

Quite often those not well steeped in the study if Indian philosophical
systems make statements like : Indian philosophy believes in mind over
25

in interpreting the vast variety of the texts of yoga as


meditation8 in all schools and branches thereof.
With the above introduction to the concepts of jnana and
vi-jnana, we have established that the scientific method is a
prerequisite in studying and practicing yoga texts and
methods respectively. The tools for verification may vary,
and evolve, from century to century. The fundamental
method remains the same. Innovating, as in modern times,
produces uncontrollable variables without the guidance of
the masters of the traditions; the results thus obtained may
not be in consonance with the traditions established in the
internal experiments and resulting experiences of
consciousness undertaken through many millennia with
consistent final products in the internal, psycho-spiritual,
states.

matter. These are sentences picked up from some 19th century western
philospher. It is a major weakness in the history of western philosophy that
the philosophers, then psychologists, and now neuroscientists are hard put
to define as to what mind is. They have never been able to differentiate as
to where spirit ends and the mind begins, and where the mind may end (if
it is at all possible for it to end!) and the body (that is, brain functions)
begins. Indian philosophy does not believe in mind over matter. It believe
in mind being the subtlest, finest, product of matter serving as a bilingual
interpreter between spirit and matter. The Indian systems of philosophy
believe in spirit over matter that includes the mind. Hence acts of spiritual
Will, such as uncountable meditation practices can alter brain structure (neuroelasticity).
8

The phrase yoga as meditation is direct translation from the second sentence
of the earliest and most widely accepted commentator Vyasa on the first of
the yoga-sutras of Patanjali. The original Sanskrit does nt even permit the
intervention of a verb in the sentence, and defines yoga as yogah samadhih.
The yoga that veers from this definition, in our view, is no yoga at all.

26

With this understanding, now, we need to ask : are the


mental-spiritual9 experiences and states of consciousness
truly measurable? Can the lower (sam-pra-jnata) or the higher
(a-sam-pra-jnata) samadhi be analyzed or measured?
(a) Analysis and (b) measurement are two parallel courses
that work in tandem with each other. The former (a) is the
mental or intellectual analysis and the latter (b) is the role of
science in its ability to measure.
When we say intellectual, we mean the processes of
conscious mind. There, however, remains a
misunderstanding on what level of the intellect is involved.
An example of this is again in the Yoga-sutras which talk
about the role of buddhi10. There is no English equivalent to
this, for, it is more than the simple intellect or the intellectual
capacity identified with the word mind. Such words as mind
and intellect in English or German or French do not truly
explain the concepts given by a word in the Sanskrit or Tamil
and such other classical languages11.

The mental and spiritual are not one and the same. Not all internal states
are eternal states. Defining and drawing the borderlines between mental
experiences ( which may even be products only of the physical cerebrum, not
even the energy-filed called the mind) and the spiritual ones is an extremely
subtle one and requires a very highly trained mind to discern. Nowadays,
most teachers and students mistake mental or cerebral states to be spiritual
states. Someone produces alpha brain waves in meditation has no relevance
to the question as to whether s/he is enlightened. All such claims should be
dismissed forthwith.

10

For a somewhat detailed definition of this word, read this authors


Commentary on the Yoga-sutras of Patanjali.

11

The language of Sigmund Freud, German, has no single word for mind.

27

The traditional masters all the way from the Himalayas,


Tibet, China, Korea, Japan, SE Asia have their own, often
intuitive but also specific, methods of measuring a persons
state of mind. It has been only a recent phenomenon that
scientific instruments could be applied to measure through
brain activity the neuro-physiological correlates, purely
symptomatic, of these states.
The intellectual analysis on the other hand can go only as
far as the intellect can go. For this we need correct translations
in terms of (a) the definitions as originally intended by the
founders of the meditation science, and (b) their verifiability
in actual meditation practices12. For, when philosophical
concepts in the words of one language are translated to
another, the translation may not be truly expressive of the
meaning or the concept originally intended. Nowadays many
texts are being read only in their translations in Eurocentric
languages. When they are retranslated back for the readers
in the original countries, be it India or China or Tibet, the
entire meaning is diverted. This is known as the pizzaeffect13.
Where pizza originated cannot be ascertained but the
original pizza of Italy upto 17-18th centuries was a flat bread
with some garnishes put on it and sometimes warmed-up or
cooked in oil. However, it migrated to America, evolved
there, and took on a very different form. Then this neo-pizza

12

A part of the work being done in our Ashram in Rishikesh is to establish


these systems of translation. As an example, see YS Commentary by this
author, supra.

13

A term coined by this authors friend (an Austrian) Swami Agehananda


Bharati of the Dashanami Tradition, author of The Ochre Robe, later head of
the Department of Anthropology at the University of Syracuse, NY.

28

returned to Italy where now the people have all but forgotten
the original and the American pizza is the pizza. This is the
pizza effect in translations, as we see it in the contemporary
developments in some elements of the Indian (or SinoJapanese etc.) culture in translation. A Hindi or Tamil word
is translated into English according to the mind-set of the
Anglophone people and is brought back into India. Here,
many of the professors, teaching Indian philosophy through
English medium, some not having deep access into the
original languages or associated practices. are using that word
which the students translate back into Hindi or Tamil
according to the contemporary mind set14. This pizza-effect
needs to be corrected and the words brought back to convey
their original intent15. This can only be accomplished by
referring to the lab work called meditation.
So, intellectual analysis can go only as far as the intellect
can go and scientific measurement can go only as far as the
capacity of the instrument in its ability to measure. There are
areas of knowledge where conscious mind, intellect, cannot
reach. And there are vast areas of knowledge, which at this
present time, cannot be measured by scientific instruments.
So we come to a point of asking two questions.

14

Are there analyses beyond this limited


intellectual analysis?

See, supra, our reference to the concept of mind over matter.

15

For example, the ni-rodha is not stoppage. According to the authentic


commentators it means sva-karane layah: dissolution of vrttis, operative waves
into their originating source, the mind-field, chitta, and the dissolution of
chitta into its source the equilibrium of prakrti.

29

Are there measurements beyond the limitations


of measurements made by present day scientific
instruments?

The answer to both questions is yes. In the Yoga


traditions, especially in the system of shad-anga16 yoga, the
yoga of six constituents, the concepts of uha and tarka are
included17.
In the texts of logic and in common language the word
tarka means logical process, indulged in by the intellect of
the conscious mind. However, in shad-anga yoga, the meaning
of the word tarka is self-observation.
The word uha also denotes self-observation in shad-anga
yoga. It has an even more specialized meaning in the fivefold system of understanding the relationship of buddhi with
the Consciousness Principle (purusha), observing that
relationship in meditation (vide commentary on YS.2.18).
Space here does not permit us to elaborate on this topic.
So the answer to the first question
Are there analyses beyond this limited intellectual
analysis?
is, again, yes. There are analyses beyond the intellectual
analysis and those are part of self-observation. This selfobservation in meditation begins with the question, Where

16

For details see appendices to this authors commentary on YS.

17

Again, see this authors YS Commentary, vol.2, pp.660-662.

30

exactly am I in my meditation? In meditation it is not an


intellectually worded question but the flash of a non-verbal
quest.
Now we come to the second question
Are there measurements beyond the limitations of
measurements made by present day scientific
instruments?
The answer is again yes.
These limitations are of two kinds.
The first limitation is where instruments cannot measure
a state because, as of now, they do not have the capacity for
such refined measurements. But with future refinements of
scientific instruments, further measurements of the here-tofore non-measurable areas may be available. An example of
this is the way EEG capability has been immensely improved
over the last decades, and fnMRI, PET and SPECT scans etc.
have been added, enabling the scientific investigators to
observe brain functions and activities that were beyond their
reach just those decades ago.
Secondly, there are the measurements that will never be
made by scientific instruments.
Having made a brief statement about the two categories
of limitation, we return to analysis in terms of observation of
ones own states of mind in meditation. Such analysis is not
done through intellectual processes of the conscious mind.
The Upanishad states :

31

Manasa mana a-lokya


Observing the mind with the mind
Yoga-shikha Upanishad18 .62,63,64

Many times our ego makes us think that we are in a finer


level of the mind-field, but as a matter of fact we are still
using our conscious or unconscious mind. We still have not
learned the art of self-observation so as to know the
instrumentality of the mind. That is why so many
interpretations of our own meditations mislead us. We think
our own thoughts in our meditations and our ego interprets
them as great divine messages. We think that we are at such
a depth of meditation, and this thought or experience is a
spiritual vision.
So please remember: It is very difficult not to let your
mind fool you, as we are all fooled by the mind at one time
or another. Remember this all through your meditative life.
Whether you are under the direct guidance of a spiritual
mentor or not, do watch out for the minds trickeries. Know
that : Not all internal experiences are experiences of eternity.
The mind has a very good ally called the ego. It has a
subtle influence on the conscious mind and intellect. So in
our tradition, uha or tarka, the art of self-observation, is very
important : manasa mana-alokya, mind observing the mind.
But not your common, conscious, intellectual mind, nor your
ordinary unconscious, emotional mind, nor your ego are the
observers over the mind.

18

Inter alia.

32

We need to understand the principle that in nature the


subtler19 can observe the grosser but the grosser can never
observe the subtler. Body cannot observe buddhi, but buddhi
can observe the body. This is what is meant by manasa mana
alokya.
This principle, and its practice guided by experts, is to be
maintained all the way as one progresses into higher and yet
higher states of meditation. These states correspond to all
the grades of the gradual and progressive subtleties of the
personality constituents20. The mastery of self-observation
by this definition is what is meant by uha or tarka. It is here
that the subtler (higher frequency) mind observes the
grosser (slower frequency) mind, assesses its progress, and
answers the question as to where am I in my meditation.
One more note of caution. A child who had never been
to the sea before, went and stepped into the sea up to his
ankles. The next day he waded in up to his knees. Yet, without
the total dip, or even a deep dive when he grows into a
youth, can s/he say that s/he has known the sea?
Furthermore, s/he wades into the sea up to the knee, comes
out excited and shouts : Mo-o-o-m, I went so-o-o de-e-e-p
19

The definition of the subtler in the spanda-shastra is that energy which is


higher frequency than any relatively lower, slower frequency ones. The higher
mind means higher frequency mind but that does not mean that the mind
producing the beta brain waves at 14-16 Hz is higher than the mind producing
alpha brain waves ~5-8 Hz. or delta at ~1-4 Hz. The higher frequency min
dmay produce lower frequency brain waves. But, ehre, we are entering into
the controversy among the neuroscietists as to whether mind is the sum total
of brain waves or some other holistic force. In Yoga, mind is an energy field
that makes the brain operative.

20

For details of these levels of samadhi through the different grades of


personality constituents, see this authors commentary on YS.1.17 as well six
audio-cassettes titled samadhi.

33

into the sea ! But how deep was that ? Many practitioners of
meditation make that mistake and novices sometimes present
themselves as masters; unfortunately so.
It is easy to say one has gone into the depths, but, indeed,
how deep was that ? Law of Silence common to all spiritual
traditions dictates:

never admit to a personal spiritual achievement


or power, for this is the work of the ego. Also,

to think one has conquered ego is to be trapped


at that moment by the ego.

One is exhorted to remain on alert at all times for any


signs of ego as the mind observes the mind

During meditation, and

In daily life.

As one becomes proficient in observing the mind during


meditation, the other faculty naturally develops, that of daily
mindfulness, the mind observing the mind in daily action,
in

words spoken,

tones adopted,

emotions volitionally activated,

each body tissue moved,

each heart rhythm or pulse beat sent forth by


the voluntary mind.

34

Without first attaining this level of mind observing the


mind, one can never dismiss the mind-field, chitta; cannot
dissolve it into its originating source and enter ni-rodha. This
is the mind-less yoga, a-manaska-yoga, a level of yoga
extremely rare, seen in the yogis like Raman Maharshi.
Now, back to the question of measurability of states of
consciousness.
Whatever is in chitta is measurable, if only theoretically
so. But the subtleties of mind, or mind in its subtle stages,
are at such a fine level that measurements through brain,
breath and body systems by scientific instruments are not
always possible. Measuring the subtle innermost center of
chitta, is however, often possible in meditation alone but one
must through sadhana of (a) concentrations and of (b)
emotional purifications learn the art of self-observation to
measure it.
Another level of the refined measurements of mind
without the use of scientific instruments is in the initiatory
experience. This self witnessed the initiation of a very close
disciple of the Master whereby the said disciples body
consciousness did not exist for three days, as if it were a
death experience of the transcendental level 21 . One
experiences the streams upon streams of consciousness where
one is not aware of the body. Once again the spanda principle
of Kashmir Shaivism (philosophy of Vibration) helps explain
and measure such states of consciousness.

21

To understand thisdeath experience of the transcendental level read (1)


Swami Ramas Sacred Journey, publ. Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust,
Dehradun, and (2) Swami Veda Bharatis Meditation and the Art of Dying,
available from Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Publications, Rishikesh.

35

One example of the spanda principle is in an experience


that may be considered as equivalent of drawing a line. A
dot or point is defined as having a location but no magnitude.
One begins with a dot, followed by another dot and soon it
is a series of dots called a line. When we view the line,
where does one dot end and the next dot begin? It is very
difficult discern that unless one uses an instrument like a
computer where the pixels may be counted digitally. Before
the advent of the computers, that was not possible. Just thus
is to be understood the practice of concentration during,
among others, the slow hand or eye movements in hatha
yoga. The finger and eye movements are all involved in a
series of micro-moment vibrations22. One does not feel the
points in this apparent continuous motion just as one does
not see the points separately in a line. Perhaps the most
senstitive instruments of today might actually measure each
micro-dot thought from which a continuous movement of
the hand or the eyes is generated but it is not common.
So it is with the movements in the mind. Take a thought.
One thinks it is a single thought, but it is not truly so. It is
pratyaya, pratyaya, pratyaya, or otherwise, micro-cognition,
micro-cognition, micro-cognition. Each single micro-cognition
is not measurable by the conscious mind. But it is measurable
by the higher frequency, more refined and subtle chitta, mindfield of consciousness. So one of the experiences, as reported
by the disciple, during the above mentioned three day
initiation was in the movement of his arm. He experienced
each micro-moment in this high frequency of the mind
through this initiatory process. Then he understood the
meaning of the Spanda philosophy of Vibration as taught by
22

See Philosophy of Hatha Yoga by Swami Veda Bharati, available from


Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Publications, Rishikesh.

36

the philosophers like Kallata, Vasugupta and Abhinavagupta, to name a few, the giants of Kashmir Shaivism. It was
not the reading of their works that gave the experience. Only
the initiation did so.
Mantra japa is an example of this art of self-observation
and is called svadhyaya in the Yoga Sutras, as explained above.
One of the ways to measure the mantra repetitions is to
count them by using the mala beads. As one grows into higher
frequency mind, the mental repetition becomes faster than
the fingering of the beads is possible, then the mala is put
aside. Where the bead no longer measures the repetition,
the mind can still measure. There comes a point when all the
mantras converge into AUM. It is not the verbal recitation of
AUM. It is the secret science of the AUM consciousness
principle called the silent, half-mora of turiya, the fourth
state beyond wakefulness, dream and sleep23.
Continuity of consciousness at the innermost level of chitta
can be measured, even though we have not learned the art
of measuring it. Observing the progression of cognition units
(pratyayas) and measurability of the states of consciousness
continues all the way to just before reaching a-sam-pra-jnata
samadhi.
When, finally, one has learned to dismiss the chitta, the
mind-field, in a-sam-pra-jnata samadhi, one is known ( in Jaina
tradition) a kevali, solo, alone. That is the state referred to in
the Yoga Sutras as kaivalya24, spiritual solitude.
23

For details see Swami Ramas Enlightenment without God, a Commentary


on Mandukya Upanishad, available from SRSG Publications, Rishikesh.

24
Further elucidation of this will be presented in Swami Veda Bharatis
Commentary on YS, volume 4, planned.

37

A-sam-pra-jnata samadhi is neither a measurable


experience, nor a memorable one. For memory, smrti, is a
vrtti of chitta, and here the chitta, mind-field, is left behind in
a-manaska yoga. It is neither memorable nor forgettable.
Whether one has reached a-sam-pra-jnata or not, there is no
way an individual can tell. Imagine this scenario: two friends
standing on the sea shore and saying, Let us swim together.
How far? asks one. The other one answers, Let us swim
up to the horizon. When one has observed the mind
observing the mind without the observation reference in the
ego, one has reached the horizon.
To Summarize. There are four levels of meditation states
as to their measurability :
1.

Beyond the relativities, not measurable by any


means.

2.

Measurable by the mind observing the mind but


not with instruments.

3.

Not measurable only because of the current


limitations of tecknowledgy25; the measurements
may be made possible by future tecknologies.

4.

Fully measurable through contemporary


technologies.

25

A neologism for knowledge pertaining to scientific techniques and


instruments.

38

In the case of the fourth category above an investigator


must bear in mind that :

such measurements are only of the symptoms,


effects and correlates and not of the state of
consciousness itself, as one may measure the
psycho-physiological correlates of sleep or of
being in love, but the experience of sleep or love
is purely internal and subjective and no person
or instrument can measure anothers sleep or
love;

the measurements taken do not indicate


the exact method used by the meditation
master who is serving as the subject of
investigation unless s/he gives details
thereof (which should be requested in all
future research and should be published
along with the reports of other results
obtained from an investigation);

Many methods, even of different schools, may


produce identical results;

One is not necessarily fully enlightened just


because one can produce neuron-pysiological
correlares of certain level of meditation;

The results of the same method may not be


replicable

by the same subject because his/her states


of mind are variable from day to day and
moment to moment, although this variable
does not apply to a true master, and

39

by different subjects because their depth


of achievement in the same method varies.

Once again the texts of the traditions should be read,


translated, interpreted, and a Gurus words should be
believed, as guidelines to personal investigation through
practice of the methods, and final verification also in a
personal experience.
This, by no means, exhausts the subject matter; what is
presented here is only an illustration of the direction future
researchers might choose to take.

40

FUTURE DIMENSIONS OF
MEDITATION RESEARCH

editation comprises a vast area of philosophy


and practices covering all possible constituents
of personality and consciousness from the most
minute to most expansive (parama-anu-pramamahattva-anta). For example, one Tantra (Malinivijayottara-tantram) defines 256 different forms of
dharana (concentrations) with nearly 13000 varieties
of the same. The meditation masters are said to have
a command of each of these methods. All the different
schools, popularly known and the yet more profound
very little known ones, are part of a vast jigsaw puzzle,
with detailed systems, subsystems, methods and the
varieties of the same, all interconnected with definite
sequences.
The scientific research conducted so far (~3000
articles in established scientific and medical journals)
indicates that most researchers concentrate on a single
very specific method, or sub-system only, without an
attempt at a comprehensive programme to examine
the multi-dimensionality of the meditation science in
an integrated pattern.
The meditation masters themselves (1) have had
very little opportunity to give an input in the
methodology of investigations, and (2) only in some
cases are known the steps of the practices of internal
consciousness and mind that they employ to obtain
the physiologically or neurocerebrally demonstrated
correlates or effects.

41

From the point of view of a meditation master, it


would be highly recommended that a comprehensive
and integrated programme of research be undertaken
in which the various methods are (1) seen as parts of
the larger systems and subsystems in their
traditionally established sequences; (2) that the results,
or correlates, obtained from each method be compared
with those of the others and the meditation guide be
asked to give the details of the formula and technique
employed internally. For example, this presenter, in
one neurofeedback laboratory session, tested 11
methods in 50 minutes, and demonstrated that (A)
the brain wave patterns obtained in each may differ
vastly but in some closely related varieties of the
method the results may be somewhat similar but not
identical; (B) that it takes a meditation guide of this
level less than two minutes to change the brain wave
patterns volitionally; and that (C)(i) the steps in the
procedures used internally can be described in detail
and (ii) some of these may be imparted experientially
to the untrained investigator(s) to be verified to an
extent.
Thus a programme of (A) cataloguing the
correlates, or effects, of the systems and the
subsystems can be initiated in a network of
investigators, (B) also developing hypotheses to be
examined with regard to the possible clinical benefits
of the same in a meditational equivalent of
pharmacopeia.

42

Future Dimensions in Research


in the Neurophysiology of
Meditation

n the last seven and a half decades, scientific research has


covered large areas of meditation and related practices (such
as a few mental practices done in shavasana and some
prananyamas). Some of these researches are conducted with the
titles like yoga, meditation or pranayama. Others have been
conducted under the titles like biofeedback, neurofeedback,
autogenic training, and such others. A number of bibliographies
have been complied containing many thousands of articles from
scientific and medical journals.

Zen, vipassana (mindfulness), ajapa-japa (under the brand


name TM), relaxation response (basic progressive relaxation,
the very first mental procedure of shithilikarana in shavasana)
and some Tibetan Buddhist practices are the areas largely
examined. There are, however, a number of major
imperfections to be noticed in the approach to scientific
research in meditation.
The science of meditation is an integrated grid (tantra) of
Broad systems,
Subsystems and
Methods within these,
interconnected in definite sequences and on definite
and specific paths of the channels of consciousness

43

in the subtlest and the most expansive (parma-anuparma-mahattva-anta) dimensions of the constituents
of human personality (for example Malini-vijayottaratantram Chs. 12-16, gives 256 kinds of dharanas, all
interlinked in a sequence).
Studying one small practice in isolation is like trying to
understand a single subatomic particle without reference to
the rest of the nuclear science. To elaborate,

All research undertaken so far has been


piecemeal, on a given practice, without reference
to the larger perspective of the entire science.

Different researchers lay emphasis on given


schools, such as, in the current phase, on the
three schools of Buddhist meditation (arbitrarily
selected practices of Zen, vipassana, and the
Tibetan system).

Very little has been done to compare the results


obtained from different systems.

The methods of some of the systems examined


are well defined. This is the case with relaxation
response, TM, and mindfulness. In a large
number of meditation methods tested the
description of the method is vague as in the
case of the methods used by some yogis as well
as the Tibetan lamas. It is not vague to the
research subjects who are often masters of their
science, but it is so to the investigators as well
as to the readers of the research. Often, the step
by step methodology of the internal practices
has not been stated.

44

Quite often the research may be undertaken by


those who have no experience in meditation
themselves. In fact, in some circles it is
considered unscientific1 for the investigator to
have a personal interest in the practice as it is
feared that it may lead to subjective bias.

Such unfamiliarity with the actual content of the


topic of research may lead to wrong conclusions
on the part of the investigator, for example, upon
seeing a delta brain wave pattern (which the
accomplished yogis produce in yoga-nidra) a
neuro-pathologist, knowing nothing of yoganidra (conscious sleep), may conclude that the
subject was in a coma.

In planning further research there is need to develop a


comprehensive and integrated programme in which the
various methods are
1.
seen as parts of the larger systems and
subsystems in their traditionally established
sequences;
2.

that the results, or correlates, obtained from each


method be compared with those of the others;
and

For example, this is the objection against Dr. Davidson who has researched
the advanced Tibetan lamas at the University of Wisconsin and has been
instrumental in inviting the Dalai Lama to the conference of American
neuroscientists, 2005. The objectors, among other things, say according
the a recent report in New York Times that Dr. Davidson meditates, so his
findings may not be valid. One might argue that by the same token one
cannot conduct research on sleep if s/he sleeps; nor should one research
digestion if s/he digests food !

45

3.

the meditation guide who is the subject of an


investigation be asked to give the details of the
formula and technique employed internally.
For example, this presenter, in one
neurofeedback laboratory session, tested 11
methods in 50 minutes, and demonstrated
that
(A) the brain wave patterns obtained in
each may differ vastly but in some closely
related varieties of the method the results
may be somewhat similar but not identical;
(B) that it takes a meditation guide of this
level less than two minutes to change the
brain wave patterns volitionally; and that
(C)(i) the steps in the procedures used
internally can be described in detail and
(ii) only some of these may be imparted
experientially
to
the
untrained
investigator(s) to be verified to an extent.

Thus a programme needs to be established for

cataloguing the correlates, or effects, of the


systems and the subsystems, can be initiated by
a network of investigators, and

developing hypotheses to be examined with


regard to the possible clinical benefits of the same
in a meditational equivalent of pharmacopeia.

46

While developing these programmes of research we must


under no circumstances fall in to the traps of

thinking that yoga is only a system of therapies,


and

forgetting that yoga is Samadhi (yogah


samadhih Vyasa on Ys 1.1)

It must always be remembered that

just because someone can produce alpha or delta


brain waves at will s/he is not necessarily a fully
enlightened being or jivan-mukta. The events in
neurophysiology take place in the cerebrum and
the nervous systems which are products of
prakrti. They neither prove nor disprove the fact
of atman-realization.

On both ends of the spectrum,


o

that is, lowest frequency, delta brain wave


(1-4 Hz), and

the highest frequency, high beta (~20-32


Hz) and gamma (~33-120+ Hz)

there may appear a flat rate wave which indicates


that the subjects state of consciousness now cannot
be measured by the level of sensitivity to which the
equipment is calibrated.
In other words, the present technology can only indicate
what it is capable of measuring, that is,

47

the first three bhumis of chitta, namely,


kshiptam, mudham and vi-kshiptam2, fully,
and

the fourth one, ekagram, perhaps partially,

but it can give us no indication of ni-ruddham bhumi


of chitta, nor the states like viveka-khyati, dharma-megha
and the yet higher bhumis of consciousness (chiti-shakti,
drshi-shakti)3.
On the other hand, it can be argued that, granting, the
neurophysiological correlates of meditation practices are not
indices of spiritual progress but only prove that the brain
functions can be controlled through the application of Will,
the experiential tradition strongly points to the fact, verified
by the neuroscience, that
o

success in practices like chitta-pra-sadanam


(YS. 1.33) are brought about by spiritual
states and do effect sattvic changes in the
pure as well as biological psychology, and
therefore,

There is often a confusion as to the distinct definitions of kshiptam and vikshiptam. Kshiptam is indicated by beta , the common persons brain wave in
daily activity in which the mind is neither relaxed nor one-pointed. Vikshiptam is the state of one trying to reach ekagram but distracted therefrom
by the nine chitta-vikshepas also known as antarayas together with their five
accompaniments. Here one may produce mixtures of beta, alpha and theta.

3
Chitta (mind-field, a product of prakrti) and chiti (consciousness as the
spiritual self), are not to be confused. The yoga philosophy does not make
the absurd statement of mind over matter but of chiti over chitta.

48

the neurological indices may be accepted


as indirect proofs of a degree of spiritual
realization.

Bearing in mind such arguments, it is evident that there


is need to create a new terminology of the theory and
philosophy of yoga, supplemental to but not replacing the
traditional exegesis, on the texts like the Yoga-sutras. The
texts may require fresh translations in the language of modern
neuro-technology4.
In a private letter to Dr. Green, Swami Rama of the
Himalayas suggested the following lines of further
investigations.

April 16, 1970


Most Blessed Dr. Green,
Thank you very much for your sincere efforts in
promoting the Truth. Id like to give you a few suggestions
for the future tests, in the Lab.

4
One example : we present the scientific definition of yoga-nidra (ref.YS.1.38)
as volitional production of delta brain waves without falling into the state(s)
of mudha bhumi of chitta. Similarly, there is proof of alterations in
neuroplasticity through the ethical practices such as certain aspects of ahimsa.
A new translation of YS may incorporate these neuron-indices in explaining
the sutra, say, on the benefits of santosha (YS.2.42).

49

1)

Methods of Concentration and Meditation


a.

Gaze outside in distance or one foot in


distance.

b.

Gaze on the tip of the nose, on the nostrils,


gaze on space between the two eyebrows.

c.

Concentration on different chakras, and if


possible, the variation of the stability of
mind can be recorded according to the
plexus, and I want to know the brain
waves.

d.

Concentration with breathing will be very


fruitful. Inhalation in the bellows.

e.

Rhythmic breathing in retention and in


making breathing finer.

f.

Concentration on a very minute object


within. Concentration on a very big and
wide object.

g.

Concentration on withdrawing the senses


from outer objects.
Concentration
in
nothingness.
Concentration towards negativity.
Concentration on positive thinking.
Concentration on assimilation the forces of
mind. Concentration on expanding the
mind. Concentration on the control of
conscious mind. Concentration on silencing
the conscious mind and bringing forward
the subconscious mind.

50

2)

3)

h.

Studying the mind and heart completely


in conscious condition.

i.

The effects of samadhi can be demonstrated


if you have any machine to test.

j.

Samadhi with seed and without seed.

k.

Samadhi in a plastic capsule which should


be sealed. Or samadhi in buried condition.

Heart Tests
a.

Slowing down beats to twenty and


immediately jumping to 250.

b.

Complete stoppage of heartbeat without


muscle contraction.

c.

Complete stoppage of heart from one and


one half to three minutes with will power.

d.

Heart stop through rhythmic way of


pranayama by controlling vagus nerves.

e.

Heart stop with lowest temperature can be


examined.

Blood Flow, Temperature, on the Right Side of


Body and Reversing Up to Two to Three Degrees
Fahrenheit.
a.

Creating artificial tumors and dissolving


them with will power.

b.

The Blood Cell Experiment.

c.

Piercing the needle on any part of flesh


without bleeding or any damage.

51

4)

Respiratory Tests
a.

You can make any mask for nostrils and


mouth and verify the
retention of breath.

b.

There should be two masks; one for nose


and mouth, and another for
the eyes. So that close up to ten feet object
can be located after closing the eyes, or
any book can be read. Note: There are four
methods in seeing the things after closing
them. The first: after closing the eyes,
anything can be visualized clearly at any
distance, but eyes should be properly
sealed and closed.

5)

c.

Through touching the closed envelope can


be read, but eyes should be closed.

d.

Anything can be read from one room to


another, but eyes should be closed.

Moving Things From One Place To Another


a.

All the spiritual and psychic as well as


physical demonstrations will be done in
the lab ONLY, and not before or definitely
not in a public lecture. Those who are
anxious to know the results should come
to the lab and only the lab. It should be
available exclusively for Doctors and
Scientists.

52

b.

The experiment of Prana-Solar Science can


be done on sunny days and we will fix up
the date when I come.

I thank you very much for your achievements and I hope


you keep in touch through letters before we meet. I will be
sending the lab report from London with film to you. If you
wish, I will bring another Swami to give more elaborate tests
in the field of respiratory system and heart and weight
control.
I forgot to mention the sound experiments, which will be
very interesting in studying the brains vibrations and other
internal states.
It is most amazing that people do not understand the
power of mind over body. My effort is sincere and you will
see that there is nothing unscientific in it. Of course, I find
some difficulty in explaining certain things which I can do,
but cannot explain how they are done.
Doctor, meditation alone is real life. There is nothing
higher than Meditation. That is my experience in life.
Please give my regards to Mrs. Green. Love little kiddies.
Let me thank you again for your kind and gentle behavior.
My present address will be: care of American Express,
London, ENGLAND.
Please remember me to the members of your Lab.
Thy Own Self,
Swami Rama
53

Diversity of Siddhis
in the Yoga-sutras

ne of the possible areas of scientific investigation would


be the methods suggested in the Yoga-sutras of Patanjali
for the realization of various accomplishments, siddhis. Even
though only a rare few yogis may demonstrate these powers
in full1, the neuron-physiological effects produced in the
process of the special concentrations recommended for
specific accomplishments would point towards a new
dimension in autogenic controls and therapies.
Here we take up the topic of these siddhis just to show
the diverse range of this line of yoga achievements.
The Sanskrit terms have not been translated here, with
due apologies to those unfamiliar with the language, as that
would require a much larger treatises to explain the
implication of each.
The word siddhi occurs in YS four times. In the first
occurrence (2.43), it refers to the perfection of body and senses
as a result of tapas. In the second (2.45) Samadhi itself is
considered a siddhi, or the sutra speaks of the perfection of
Samadhi. Third time (3.37) siddhis are stated to be undesirable
1

For example, kaya-vyuha-jnana (the mastery of the knowledge of the body


systems) (YS.3.29) may include such accomplishments as stopping the heart
without the val salva or such maneuvers as demonstrated by Swami Rama at
the Menninger Foundation Laboratory.

54

accretions (upa-sarga) as regards the goal of Samadhi. In the


fourth (4.1) the siddhis are stated to be accomplished through
five different means.
It needs to be borne in mind that the chapter regarded as
the most dedicated to explaining siddhis is not called siddhipada but vi-bhuti-pada. We need to understand this word vibhuti. Its yaugika (verb root) meaning is pointed to in Rgveda 8.58.2 : ekam va idam vi babhuva sarvam. Indeed, all this
[is] one that has become diverse (vi). This refers to the
diversity of creation within a unity as emphasized in the rest
of the mantra:
eka evagnir bahudha samiddha
ekah suryo vishvam anu pra-bhutah
ekaivoshah sarvam idam vi bhati
ekam va idam vi babhuva sarvam.
Taking the point from this earliest reference to the concept
of vi-bhuti we may understand the tenth chapter of the
Bhagava-gita titled vibhuti-yoga, with a different nuance
not mere powers but the varieties, diversities within the one
divine being.
At what point in the linguistic history the word became
frozen and set (rudhi) in the meaning of powers and glories
cannot be ascertained. It is only to be assumed that the siddhis
mentioned in the 3rd pada of YS are to be equated with the
concept of vi-bhuti in the Rg-vedic sense of varieties of being.
Just as the One Divine Being manifests varieties and
diversities in His/Her being, so also does the yogi in his
own being.

55

That is why the siddhis are not additions of any kind to


our nature but (YS.4.3) they are realized simply the way a
farmer does not push water but only lifts the sluice gates
and the pre-existent power begins to flow. The internal
processes by which it occurs are explained in 3.12-15 and
4.1-3.
The subject of siddhis is not limited to the third pada only.
If for convenience sake we continue to adhere to the
translation of siddhi as accomplishment, each pada contains
sutras that refer to siddhis. Let us look at these sutras including
the elucidations given in Sankhya-pra-vachana-bhashya. This
list is arbitrary in the sense that some other accomplishments
like chitta-pra-sadana (1.33) may also be included.
In pada 1, the experiences and accomplishments in the
sutras
35 (divya-gandha-samvit etc.),
36 (jyotishmati of two levels),
38 (yoga-nidra),
40 (vashikara that may be equated with vashitva among
the eight major siddhis
can definitely be called siddhis.
In pada 2,
the perfections achieved through the mastery of yamas
and ni-yamas (35-44) (if we leave out Samadhi in 2.45),
as well as

56

dvandvanabhi-ghata achieved through asana (2.48)


are siddhis.
Here we need not list the siddhis in the vi-bhuti-pada as
they are well recognized.
In the 4th pada, sutra 4, nirmana-citta is clearly a siddhi.
Patanjalis list of siddhis is, however, not exhaustive as we
see,inter alia, in the Shandilya Upanishad (ShU) the list of siddhis
that are
(1) identical to YS
(2) variations on YS siddhis, and
(3) original additions.
We can produce a chart showing these similarities and
dissimilarities between YS and ShU as well as a nmber of
other texts.
This leaves us with the question : to which siddhis does
the sutra 3.37 refer as undesirable accretions (upa-sarga)? It
could not be referring to purusha-jnana (3.35) as an upa-sarga
in samadhi. Nor can the balas achieved through the four chittapari-karmas (1.33,3.23) be classed as impediments.
It appears that the sutra 3.37 is referring only to
pratibha,
shravana,
vedana,
adarsha,

57

asvada, and
varta.
Following purusha-jnana, these siddhis arise as natural byproducts and can easily distract a sadhaka from the purest
pursuit of a-sam-pra-jnata; hence the warning. We may resort
to vakya-shesha principle, and add such other of the same
category, viewing the six mentioned in 3.37 as upa-lakshana.
If we look at the broad list of accomplishments, vi-bhutis
or siddhis, given in the sutras, we may divide these into
following categories.
(1) Purely spiritual accomplishments :
a-sam-pra-jnata and sam-pra-jnata samadhis (Samadhisiddhi YS 2.45) with their subcategories vitarkanugata
(1.17) etc.
Purusha-jnana, and
Viveka-khyati.
(2) Communication with disembodies siddhas and masters
(1.37,3.32).
(3) Strengths through ethics of emotions :
Chitta-pra-sadana (chitta-pari-karma, sthiti-ni-bandhana,
brahma-vihara) such as maitri (1.33, and the strengths
achieved in these (3.23), and
Siddhis achieved through non-violence etc. (2.35-44)
(4) Stability and stillness as in
1.33,
2.46-47,
3.31.
58

(5) Incorporating more than one personality or mind :


Nirmana-chitta (4.4),
Para-sharira-avesha (3.38), and
Para-chitta-jnana (3.19).
(6) Different categories of knowledge :
[A] Of intangibles :
rtambhara prajna (1.48),
viveka-ja jnana, taraka, pratibha (3.52,54; 3.33),
of states of consciousness such a as sleep (1.38),
knowledge of death (3.22),
purva-jati-jnana (3.18),
of past and future (3.16), and
of the distant or the concealed (3.25).
[B]

Of tangibles:
sarva-bhuta-ruta-jnana (3.17), and
knowledge of the universes (3.26-28).

[C] Knowledge and conquest internal to mind-field:


Chitta-sam-vit (3.34), and
sarva-jnatrtva (3.49)
[D] Knowledge through centres of consciousness as
in :
Nabhi-chakra (3.29),
kurma-nadi (3.31), and
kantha-kupa (3.30).

59

(7)

Celestial and subtle body experiences and


mastery :
Divya shrotra (3.41), and
Clairvoyance etc. (1.35,3.36).

(8)

Mastery through pranas :


Udana-jaya (3.39), and
Samana-jaya (3.40).

(9)

Conquest of senses (3.47).

(10) Conquest of elements (3.44,3.42).

(11) Physical accomplishments :


death when desired (3.39),
antar-dhana (3.20),
kaya-sampat (3.46),
strengths (3.24),
conquest of hunger and thirst (3.30),
extreme heat and self-combusion (3.40)
celestial hearing (3.41),
flying through space (3.42), and
mind-like speed (3.48).

60

(12) Total conquest of prakrti (3.48).


(13) Miscellaneous all-encompassing powers such as
anima etc. (3.45,49).
The above list is not exhaustive and the overlapping of
categories is unavoidable.

There are four sutras that give warnings with regard to


the traps the siddhis may present.
(1)

Sutra 1.15 teaches vairagya from the experiences


of subtle and celestial worlds.

(2)

Sutra 3.37 considers the siddhis as impeding


Samadhi.

(3)

Sutra 3. 50 teaches vairagya even from such high


states as pradhana-jaya, sarva-bhava-adhi-shthatrtva
and sarva-jnatrtva.

(4)

Sutra 3.51 again warns against accepting the


invitations from the well-placed ones, devas
and such, and against feeling amazed at ones
accomplishments.

We would like to reiterate that


(1) the subject of siddhis is not limited to the 3rd
chapter, and

(2)

the concepts of vi-bhuti and siddhi need to be


reconciled.

Further, we would like to infer that the warnings are


against only those accomplishments that may
(1) impede vairagya from the anushravika-vishayas
(1.15);

61

(2)

are not conducive to samadhi (3.37); and

(3)

do not aid in the diminution of the seeds of


stains (dosha-bija-kshaya) to lead to kaivalya;
and one is to remember that it is very easy to fall in
to the trap of
(1) vanity and ego, being amazed at the miracles
one can perform,
(2)

thinking of the lesser stations (prathama-kalpika


and madhu-bhumika - Vyasa on 3.51) as desirable,
or that

(3) these lesser stations (such as those of the devas)


may be accepted if one is invited by the wellplaced ones.
The arthapatti from the above can be derived that the
warnings are not against the siddhis that are conducive to
purity such as chitta-pra-sadana and yama-ni-yamas, the
freedom from vanity, samadhi, para-vairagya and kaivalya.
The subject of siddhis deserves much greater attention for
analysis and scientific investigation than it has been hitherto
accorded. The possible lines of investigation may be
developed from the suggestions presented above.
Furthermore, YS. 3.12-15 and 4.1-3, if fully understand
will give a very detailed philosophy for thinking on the topic
of mind-body relationship and by what processes the mind
may affect and modify the conditions and capabilities of the
body.

62

Brain Wave Mapping in


Pathology and Meditation

t has been found that quite often a neurologist or


neurophysiologist reading the brain wave data of a meditation
master would interpret it in the light of the formers training in
pathology. It is therefore essential that such data be examined
and interpreted only by those experts who have some access to
meditation philosophy and practices in addition to the field of
their professional expertise.

It is well known among the meditation researchers that


many of the brain-wave phenomena seen in meditation are
similar or parallel to those observed in brain pathologies.
For example:

Delta, among others, signifies a state of coma or


impending death;

Theta common in children, is seen as indicative


of brain damage in the adults;

Alpha may be induced under the influence of


certain narcotics; and

High Beta may indicate a very scattered mind


without focus.

The above comparisons are not exhaustive but only as


random samplings.

63

Some of the points that help differentiate between the


symptoms of neuro-pathology on one hand and the
meditation states of the masters on the other are:

The fact that the change in brain-wave pattern


of the masters is volitional and may be induced
by
1.

going deeper within the same meditation


method, or

2.

changing a meditation method or point of


focus, etc.,

as demonstrated by Swami Veda Bharati in testing 11


meditation methods in 50 minutes in the Neuropath Lab in
Denver on July 28, 2005.

Delta is produced in full consciousness so that


conversations carried on in the same room as
the Yogi producing the delta brain waves may
be reported verbatim, as demonstrated by Swami
Rama in Menninger Foundation and Swami
Veda in the Institute Noetic Sciences, California
in September 2004.

Theta would indicate controlled but enhanced


creativity through relaxed concentration.

Alpha will be totally under the practitioners


control and employed for implementing the
principle of inaction in action as taught in the
Bhagavad Gita, the Tao and the martial arts.

64

High Beta and Gamma would indicate deep


concentration on a high frequency mentally
repetitive thought, such as a mantra.

The above are just few of the indicators of the difference


between the symptoms of neuro-pathology and meditation.

65

66

Experiments with
Swami Veda Bharati

67

Institute of Noetic Sciences


Consciousness Research Laboratory

stronaut Edgar Mitchell, while in space on his way back


from the moon, had an experience of extra-temporal extraspatial consciousness.

Upon return to the earth he pooled all his resources and


with the help of likeminded friends founded an institute for
the study of the phenomena of consciousness.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences, has a number of scientists
engaged in various studies. One of their landmark
publications is the Bibliography of Scientific Research in the
Physiology and Psychology of Meditation. For more
information please visit www.noetic.org.
It has also done several video interviews with Swami
Veda Bharati. Finally, their senior scientist Dr. Dean Radin
(author of Conscious Universe) had Swami Veda Bharati in
their laboratory on 22nd September 2004.
Attached is his report on the laboratory session.

68

69

70

71

72

Swami Veda Bharatis Comments on


Dr. Dean Radins verification of the
experiments conducted with him at IONS.

wami Veda wishes to state that even though he was asked


to concentrate on the machine, he did not heed that
request. He only generated the field. Any incoherence
whether of (a) a machine or (b) a persons or (c) an animals
mind could be caught in this field and would exhibit signs
of relative coherence.
On Dr. Radins item No. 4: a person was seated in a
soundproof room and, as described by Dr. Radin, Swami
Veda sitting in a different room was asked to concentrate on
the persons video image that was flashed for ten seconds at
a time.
Swami Veda was left alone and was not being observed,
so this fact was not made known: He was not concentrating
on the image on the video screen. (1) For the first two times,
he looked at the video image for half a second only, and
then closed his eyes. (2) He found that as the video screen lit
up with the image each time, he could sense the light with
his eyes closed. This was his signal to concentrate on the
person.
The concentration was not on the video image but on the
mental image without making any mental suggestion as to
whether or not any physiological, neurological or
psychological changes may occur in the person. It may be
said that just a presence was projected. Linda Billau is the
name of the person in the soundproof room.
73

Comments of Linda Billau who participatd in a part of the


session at IONS
Linda was left alone and was being observed and video
recorded. She recorded the following subjective observations:

She was asked to look at the video camera


when/if she felt the ten-second periods were
occurring. (1) For the first time only, with eyes
closed, she tilted her head slightly towards the
video camera which was located in the upper
right corner of the room from Lindas position.
(2) After the first time, she felt the head
movement was a distraction and was
unnecessary in order to confirm her awareness
of Swami Vedas Presence.

She found that as the experiment occurred there


were periods she could sense a presence. The
presence was felt as a deep calm, a stillness. She
likened the experience to diving deep under the
ocean water. As the experiment went on, the
stillness and silence deepened as if she were
diving into deeper, darker, quieter depths.

Then at some point she could feel herself getting


quieter and quieter and then there were times
when she felt completely still and quiet. And it
was like there were points when she didnt even
feel the body.

She felt her breathing rhythm slow and even


felt there were times her breath seemed to stop.

The experiment lasted approximately 30


minutes, but felt more like only a few minutes
had passed.
74

Surgery without
Anaesthesia through
Yoga-Nidra

75

Letter from Nasal Surgeon


Dr Gryskiewicz
March 30, 2005

Dear Swami Veda Bharati:

This letter is being written to verify that Linda M. Billau


underwent a surgical procedure on March 12, 2004. This
nasal surgery was done without general anesthesia at
HealthSouth Centennial Lakes Surgery Center in Edina,
Minnesota. It is very unusual to do nasal surgery without
general or IV sedation anesthesia. Only local anesthesia was
used on Linda Billau, which is extraordinary. She used special
guided yoga meditation during the surgery to offset the need
for general anesthesia. I have a great amount of respect for
Linda and her abilities. I understand that you are her
instructor and I give you my compliments.
Sincerely,
Joseph M. Gryskiewicz MD, FACS
Clinical Professor
University of Minnesota

76

77

Lindas Comments on Dr. Gryskiewiczs


verification of the nasal surgery conducted
with/by him
(1)

As the special guided yoga meditation during the surgery


to offset the need for general anesthesia, Linda listened to
Swami Veda Bharatis Yoga Nidra1 cassette tape.
(2)

Lindas Pre-Surgery Preparations:


One-month prior to the surgery, Linda began
preparing mentally.
1.

For every fearful or negative thought that arose,


Linda practiced breath awareness and systematic
relaxation and then replaced the negative
thought with a positive thought.

On the day of the surgery:


1.

Linda arose and meditated using her personal


mantra.

2.

On the 1 drive to the surgery center, Linda


practiced:
a.

Diaphragmatic breath awareness,

b.

Systematic relaxation,

c.

Nadi Shodhanam,

This is part of the process which Swami Veda Bharati follows to consciously
produce delta brain waves.

78

3.

4.

d.

61-points relaxation,

e.

Mantra recitation, and

f.

Silence.

At the surgery center (prior to surgery):


a.

Spoke sparingly, only as needed, to the


medical staff.

b.

Practised breath awareness, systematic


relaxation and mantra recitation.

In the operating room:


a.

Practiced breath awareness and systematic


relaxation as nurses attached heart rate and
oxygen monitors.

b.

After Dr. Gryskiewicz arrived, he


instructed Linda that she must not move
during the surgery. As he began, Linda
started listening to Swami Vedas YogaNidra tape on the portable tape recorder
she brought with her into the surgery suite.
Her physical and mental sheaths relaxed
now, Swami Vedas voice carried her
deeper into a still, quiet placea place
where she sensed everything was going to
be ok. She felt as if she were an observer of
the surgery and did not feel the body as
the doctor performed the surgery. She
remembered hearing all the noises of what
he was doing but from a distant place. At
this point she felt she was no longer the
doer - that the relaxations and breath
awareness allowed her to get out of the
way so that the Universal energy could
flow through.

79

c.

5.

As Dr Gryskiewicz stated in his verification


letter, it is quite unusual to do nasal surgery
without general or IV sedation anesthesia.

After the surgery,


the monitors were removed and Linda got off
the operating table and went home. She didnt
feel any pain at any point during or after the
surgery.

80

Eleven methods of
Meditation testd at the
Neuropath Laboratory
Denver, Colorado, USA

81

28th July, 2005


Swami Veda Bharati: Subject and Researcher
Doctor and Researcher: John OHearne, MD
Clinician: Carla Hickey, MA., CCC, QEEGT
Equipment: Lexicor Neurosearch-24
Place: Neuropath Center, 2885 E Aurora Ave
Boulder, CO 80303 303- 444-1792

The session began at 2pm and it took the first 50 minutes


to connect all the electrodes and wires.
A hat was fitted that contained 19 grounding points for
different parts of the brain.
An eye artifact cable along with measuring electrodes
were put around the eyes so that any muscle contraction
through eye movement would not be interpreted as brain
activity.
The baseline measurement was taken at 256 sampling
rate as resolution of frequency per second
a) with eyes closed, and
b) with eyes open.
Then 11 methods of meditation were tested as listed
below.
Swami Veda Bharati rang a bell before and after the
application of each method to signal the beginning and
ending of each method.
The clinician gave a verbal signal when she was ready
for each application to begin after adjusting the equipment.

82

She then took a reading and made numerous notes during


each method.
The following is a brief description, not full details, of
the methods used:
1)
2)
3)

4)
5)

Feeling the flow of breath in the nostrils without


using the mantra for 12 breaths.
Same breath awareness with mantra for 12
breaths.
Breathing as if the breath is flowing through the
septum with mantra (sushumna breath) for 12
breaths.
Mantra remembrance in the mind.
Entry into an imaginary cave in the heart. This
requires:
a.
b.
c.
d.

6)
7)
8)
9)
10)
11)

an alphabetical mantra,
certain long mantras,
certain visualizations and internal worship,
and
finally settling in the heart cave with the
mantra.

Staying in the heart cave without any mantra or


visualization, (Yoga Nidra)
Expanding the heart cave to become the mind
cave from the heart to the skull, with mantra.
Mantra in the center of the skull ,and mantra in
a point of light in the center of the skull
Mantra at an imaginary point between 6 to 12
digits above the center of the skull.
Expansion of the internal cave through the center
of the skull into a universal field of love.
Breathing as if the breath is flowing up and

83

down the spine from the base of the spine


through the medulla oblongata to the center of
the skull with mantra.
At the end again a baseline was taken with:
a.
eyes open, and
b.
eyes closed.

84

Summary and Commentary


29th July, 2005
Those present:
Clinician: Carla Hickey
Doctor and Researcher: John OHearne, MD
Swami Veda Bharati: Subject and Researcher
1. Incidence of high beta (gamma).

The subject was interested in measuring the incidence of


high beta (gamma). The clinician chose to measure only the
range of 0 to 32 Hz for most methods. In only one method
did the clinician extend the phase to cover between 32 and
64, and the incidence of gamma was evident in that mental
episode.
2. Incidence of flat rate wave.

The subject was interested in measuring the incidence of


flat rate wave which is rarely seen among the highest experts
in meditation.
3. Incidence of regulated alpha in perceptual state.

The subject in the baseline test with eyes open showed a


regulated alpha which is not the common perceptual
incidence during such sensory1. More common is to find
low beta in a normal baseline test.

In a recent experiment, at Braemen University in Germany, a meditation


teacher, Dr. Roderich Wahsner exhibited alpha with eyes open.

85

August 1, 2005
NAME/ID#: Swami Veda Bharati/ 12443-12454
Age: 72
DOB: 03/23/1933
Date of Test: 07/29/2005

QUANTITATIVE EEG (QEEG) DATA BRIEF ANALYSIS


REPORT
Brief findings of Quantitative Electroencephalograph
(QEEG) raw data acquisition as recorded during baseline
and twelve meditation states
One pair of recordings eyes open and closed were
established at sampling rate 256 (0-64 Hz which would
include gamma or 40 Hz recording)
The baseline and twelve meditative states were recorded
at sampling rate 128 (0-32 Hz)all the information in this
very brief analysis is based on this sampling rate of 128 or 032 Hz only.
Comparison to Lifespan Normative Reference Database
This analysis compares the individual to an age-matched
database thus allowing correlation of pathology or efficiency,
if any, against a normal population. Significance is established
at the P < .025 level for this individuals data, meaning that
there is a 1 in 50 probability that a given deviation could
happen by chance. Deviations from this reference data may
indicate brain optimization or efficiency and/or dysfunction.
Relative Power
Relative power measures the relative distribution of
activity over the delta, theta, alpha and beta frequency bands
(0-32 Hz, page 2).

86

Amplitude Asymmetry
Amplitude asymmetry is the comparison of the power
balance or voltage differences between two electrode sites
(page 3).
Coherence
Coherence reflects the integrity or wholeness of
connections between regions (page 4).
Phase
Phase describes the timing aspect of brain wave function
(page 5).
STATE BASED RAW DATA ANALYSIS
Eyes closed
Eyes opened and cognitive challenge
Correlation with neuropsychological evaluation,
structural imaging studies, and other aspects of clinical
presentation is recommended to further assess the
significance of these findings.
Graphs are included for baseline and the 12 meditation
states
Meditation methods by number are listed elsewhere and
this reporting is based on that numbering system 1- 12
Relative power levels and statistically significant finding
for all frequencies is included for # 1-12
Analysis Notes:

Shifts in EEG patterns were apparent from one


state to another

Some states reflected very similar EEG patterns


even though the meditation state was different
87

Significance was noted in the shifting between


states, which involved a one to three minute
interval, and illustrating EEG pattern differences,
which demonstrated great flexibility within the
brain physiology; for most individuals state
changes would reflect differences between eyes
closed and opened states and less variability
within same state such as eyes closed

One premise in the brain literature is that more


flexibility across the brain wave spectrum (in
this case 0-32 Hz and as illustrated in this data)
the more optimum performance or healthy the
system is

Another premise seen in the literature of studies


done in TM Meditation that increased coherence
and phase can improve synchronicity, the
marching in time of the EEG and enhancing
overall efficiency and performance; increased
coherence (delta and beta) with increased phase
(theta and alpha) were the most significant and
consistent finding though out all the 12 states
with predominance in the frontal lobes
(executive functioning, organization, planning,
emotional affect) and left (logical detailed
language) hemisphere; also of note the frontal
and temporal (sequencing, verbal memory,
audition and auditory processing) lobes most
involved which involves the Cingulate very
important for attention and focus, internal
processing, center of loci, affect, impulsive and
compulsive controls

Increased coherence and phase can mute


activation of these center which translates into
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calming quieting clarity of the mind; however


the same event in an injured brain (i.e. traumatic
brain injury, addiction, etc) would result in
dysfunction, not able to multi task, poor
organization and planning, agitation, stuck ness,
poor focus and memory

Synchronicity as seen in this data suggest


optimum efficiency of the brain which can all
lead to better creativity, concentration, alertness
as well as better calming skills and relaxation
and the quiet mind

The shifts can be noted and described but further meaning


or interpretation of these findings is not possible to do at
this time without more analysis.

There is much more that can be identified within


this data and possibly its implications for
practices in optimizing meditation training,
certainly the question remains if one is able to
physiologically achieve a certain brainwave
pattern associated with a certain meditative state

In working with this particular lab, right at the outset both Dr. John
OHearne and I had indicated that in this session one of my primary
interests would be to check for gamma brainwaves in the 40Hz rate and
higher.
Somehow Carla Hickey, the lady director, failed to calibrate the
machine(s) to do that reading and the cut-off point was set at 32Hz range.
In Carla Hickeys letter the grammar and the syntax have been left
unedited.

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(if indeed this correlation is true) will their


content of the experience necessarily be the
same?

Sd/CARLA HICKEY1

To:
Date:

Swami Veda Bharati


Tue, 08 Nov 2005

Greetings!
This is a duplicate of what I sent earllier and yes is on my
letterhead as alwayslet me know if there is something different
that you were needing other than this document
With regard to the baseline recordingswe did eyes open
and eyes closed at sampling rate 128you received a database
comparison report for these states along with the 11 meditative
states (total of 132 reports) all at sampling rate 128 we did not
do a repeat baseline after the 11 meditative stateswe did do a
baseline recording eyes open and closed at sampling rate 256
but that is allno database comparision report was done at it
transforms data to 0-32 Hz (sampling rate 128 range) and woud
cut off any 40 Hz activity so would be pointless to run it for your
purposeand have not found any significance (that I can see in
the raw data) in the 40 Hz data as yet or by these measures taken
in Julydoensnt mean it may not be there we just didnt capture
it .............perhaps.
I also believe if you takethe twelve reports I sent and put all of
page 1s together then page 2s together, etc etcyou can more
easily see the brainwave(s) and section(s) of the brain that are
most predominantly activated (ie right temporal, left occipital,
etc ) during each meditative statewhick will have more statistical
significance of a N=1 than jsut viewing raw EEG data.
With regard to the equipmentMichael has indicated that he

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is still trying to reach the partys with the equipmentthey are on


extended vacation and werent reachable at the time but he
continues to work on it and the customs letter as well
Hope this update helps!
Warm Regards,
Sd/CARLA HICKEY, M.A., CCC-SLP, QEEGT, BCIA-EEG
Clinical Director, Neurotherapy and Speech-Language Services
Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist
Board Certified Neurotherapist, NCB, BCIA- EEG, Fellow
Quantitative EEG Diplomate

John S. OHearne, M.D.


Board Certified in Internal Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Emergency Medicine
September 20, 2005

Re: Swami Veda Bharati Date of test: 07/29/2005


The following points about Swami Vedas EEG testing
were clarified by Carla Hickey today. The gamma range of
the EEG has not been adequately evaluated yet. The initial
baseline tracing was taken at 256Hz but all the other tracings
were at 128Hz. She, per todays discussion, is going to try to
re-analyze the data hoping that she will be able to evaluate
the gamma (40-50Hz) range of Swami Vedas baseline EEG
but will not be able to do so with the other tracings. In the
past the only evaluations that were done were on 128Hz.
In general, there is very little beta activity in SVBs
tracings. This suggests a marked lack of anxiety and one
hypothesis is that he would have more beta activity present

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at such times as mentally reciting from scriptures or other


mental information that is quite complex. Ms. Hickey said
that the best way to compare the 11 different practices would
be to look at the coherence and phase measurements. If the
visual data from each of these were placed one on top of
another, it is readily apparent that there are dramatic shifts
in Swami Vedas brain during the 11 different meditative
practices. Even though there is a decrease in the beta in the
tracings, there is high beta coherence marching in time. This
increased coherence has been seen in other studies of
meditators including TM meditators and can translate into
calming, quieting and clarity of mind with muting of areas
related to anxiety. In other subjects who have had some sort
of brain injury, increased coherence can result in a
simplification of brain functions and Carla was in agreement
with my simplistic interpretation that Swami Vedas tracings
demonstrate a unification and a meditative state and the
health of his brain is also proved by his ability to significantly
shift his brain waves in a matter of a couple minutes with
the 11 different methods. One of the most important signs of
a healthy brain is the ability to shift brain waves as needed
by the situation and this is amply demonstrated by Swami
Veda. Further clarification of this would again be visible at
times of reading or mentally reciting very complex material
where there would be evidence of an increase of beta function
without any increase in anxiety. Having EDR (GSR),
temperature, and EMG readings along with future EEGs
would demonstrate the ability to maintain this high level of
focus without any anxiety and I would also support the
testing of these EMG, EDR and temperature readings while
various stimuli are presented such as loud noises in the room
or television being played fairly loudly in the background.
An increased phase generally means that there is a quicker
signal of the brain. In a less healthy brain the increased phase
might be too fast for the person to be able to perceive the
data readily but as anyone who knows Swami Veda and the
extraordinary level of his mental capacity could attest, he is

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able to handle this increased phase with quicker arrival of


the signal.
An example of the difference between meditative states
is readily seen in comparing session #6 with the left brain
coherence in beta with session #2 with the marked bilateral
brain coherence in beta. One way of interpreting this
increased coherence would be to say that Swami Veda is
resting in a meditative state rather being stuck in a
dysfunctional state. (JSO interpretation)1.
The synchronicity which Ms. Hickey refers to as
suggesting optimum efficiency of the brain leading to better
creativity, concentration, alertness as well as better calming
skills and relaxation and a quiet mind is obtained by looking
at the combination of coherence and phase. (One of her notes
of caution is that the term coherence is interpreted differently
by different groups of EEG researchers.) My interpretation,
which Ms. Hickey is in agreement with, is that the generalized
decrease in beta in the tracings is consistent with a significant
decrease in anxiety whereas the increased beta coherence is
consistent with increased focus and unification but not
simplification of brain function. The increased theta activity
which is quite prevalent through the brain tracings is
consistent with an increase in creativity with the increased
theta more prominently seen on the right side being consistent
with creativity on a larger, more global, less detail oriented
scale. The phase shifts also demonstrate differences between
the different meditative methods but we focused in our
discussion much less on those than we did on the coherence
measures. For clarification in looking at the data, all of the
data under eyes open raw data analysis on the sessions 1-12
are actually using the initial baseline eye open data only.
The data from the resting baseline AFTER practicing the 11

With reference to this, see our remarks under the title: Brain Wave Mapping
in Pathology and Meditation.

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methods is not included in the data which has been sent so


far and I asked Ms. Hickey to please analyze that data and
send it on also. It will be interesting also to compare it to the
baseline data of that session.
To reiterate, from page two of Ms. Hickeys letter, another
premise seen in the literature of studies done in TM
meditation is that increased coherence and phase can improve
synchronicity. The marching in time of the EEG, enhancing
overall efficiency and performance with increased coherence,
delta and beta and increased phase, theta and alpha were
the most significant and consistent findings throughout all
12 of the sessions.. Further clarification of the other aspects
of this paragraph by Ms. Hickey would be helpful in
demonstrating the special aspects of Swami Vedas EEG.
At the 2005 yoga teacher training program in Minneapolis,
Swami Veda was measured to have a frontalis muscle EMG
reading of less than 0.5, indicating very deep relaxation of
the facial musculature. A separate reading, taken while he
was leading a meditation showed no change when there
was a loud cough in the audience.

John S. OHearne, M.D JSO/pass


1823 Folsom, Suite 200 Boulder, CO 80302 720-406-7581

94

Suggested next Experiments with


the States of the Brain in
Meditation
With The background of the experiments undertaken at

The Institute of Noetic Sciences, California, and

Neurofeedback Clinic in Denver, Colorado,

It is proposed that the next series of experiments be


undertaken for two days.
On the first day,
1.
the Denver experiment be replicated, trying the
same eleven methods of meditation that were
used in Denver and note any variance in the
results,
2.

it is possible that in this planned series of


experiments, the subject may spend more time
on each method, and

3.

a series of additional experiments be built into


the protocol, as follows :

A random disturbance be created during


different modes of meditation to test the
level of (a) a sensory receptiveness and (b)
mental and motor response, by way of

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stress, muscular tension, increased neural


activity in the relevant areas of the brain
etc.

Whether the subject can produce the


meditative states of the brain
(a) with eyes open without an external
sensory input like that of a
conversation in the room, and
(b) (i) with eyes open (ii) with eyes closed
while a conversation, or TV-radio
programme is proceeding in the room.

4.

any other sub-tests that may be built in as the


investigator(s) may choose.

On the second day,


1.
fnMRI or SPECT scan may be used to investigate
the effects of

2.

the same eleven methods, or

only one or two of the same, as the subject


and the investigator(s) may agree upon.

Again, the procedure suggested in 3 above may


also be employed to make the protocol a little
more complex.

In addition to the areas of the brain in meditation studied


by other researchers I have a keen interest in
1.
medulla oblongata and its components such as
pons, and
(2)

corpus callosum

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The reasons for my interest in these two areas can be


discussed.
In testing the same eleven or yet other methods though
an fnMRI or PET scan, there may be following points points
to consider :
1.

Certain meditative/contemplative practices are


traditionally done sitting up in meditation
position. Certain other ones are done in
shavasana. Some may be done in either position.
In the case of an MRI etc. scan, all the practices
will have to be tried in the shavasana position.
At this stage one cannot be sure as to how that
will affect the results.
It might be interesting to try the same practices
(A) first in a sitting position taking EEG and (B)
then lying down in MRI, taking scan, to compare
any possible variables.

2.

This presenter has a personal interest in testing


both ends of the spectrum of brain waves : the
lowest frequency (delta) and the highest
frequency (high beta and gamma).
The in-between ones (alpha and theta) have been
tested often and found in the meditators quite
frequently. We now need to investigate the
lowest and the highest range, and show as to
which methods they belong as correlates and
products thereof.

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3.

So far a trilateral correlation has not been


examined and established among :
The method used and described by the
meditation master serving as the subject,
-

the resulting brain wave pattern emerging


from EEG, and

the changes in brain activity obtained from


MRI or PET scan.

It would be interesting to try to establish such trilateral


correlations and index them.
These are just some of the suggestions for the possible
directions the future research might explore.

98

Dialogue between
Science and Buddhism
OR
Between Science and the Yogis
of all Persuasions

he current studies by neuroscientists in the area of


meditation are mostly conducted with the Tibetan Lamas
whose accomplishments are indeed unchallengeable and
deserve all veneration.

However, there are three deficiencies:


[1]
When we read of the dialogue between science and Buddhism
it needs to be borne in mind that even though:

(A) all schools of Buddhism adhere to the basic


tenets of the Buddha, such as:

four-fold paths of the Buddha

eight-fold Noble Truths

twelve-fold chain of dependent origination


(the Buddhist parallel to the concept of
causation),

the doctrine of anatta, non-self,

the ethical principles such as the four


brahma-viharas,
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(B)

the meditative system of mindfulness and


associated practices, and

the possibility of nirvana for all living


beings.

the various schools of Buddhism from

India, Tibet, China and the Japan belt on


one hand, and
Myanmar and Thailand, etc. on the other,
each have their own well-developed
systems of:
(i) exegesis, exposition, philosophical
terminologies, and
(ii) especially a vast variety in meditation
practices.

Therefore, in making statements regarding the dialogue


between neuroscience and Buddhism, it should be clearly
stated as to:

which denomination of Buddhism is being


referred to, and

what is the comparison between the neurocerebral, emotional, ethical and other correlates
obtained from the scientific investigation of the
meditation practices according to the different
denominations. For example it would be
interesting and instructive to compare the
brainwave patterns and the activation of various
centres of the brain of the practitioners and
masters of Zen, Chan, Tibetan [various school
systems and sub-systems] and the Theravada
practices.

100

[2]
It is scientifically recorded that the adherents of other systems
of meditation such as the yogis also produce physio-neuropsychological correlates, effects and traits similar and parallel
to the ones produced by the Lamas whose meditation states
have been studied by the scientists like Dr. Davidson.
Similarly the practitioners of Sufi [diverse silsilah and the
tariquat] or Hesychasm (and other Christian) systems also
need to be given the opportunity to demonstrate their physioneuro-psychological accomplishments.
[3]

(A) The planning of the protocol, analysis and


reporting is often done following the
methodology of the scientist. The master
practitioners of meditation have their own well
developed age old methodologies of
(i) contents and
(ii) sequences of
(a) meditation methods and
(b) observation and depiction of the results
obtained.
These latter are not often taken into account by the
scientists establishing the protocol and doing the analysis
and presenting the reports. The reason for this is simply that
(a) a detailed dialogue on these diverse,
not always quite so diverse,
methodologies has not yet fully
occurred, and consequently,
(b) a common language of methodology
has not been developed.

101

(B)

The master practitioners of meditation used as


research subjects do not describe exactly what
internal procedures and sequences they used in
order to produce the scientifically measurable
correlates and products of the same.

We can safely present the hypotheses that


(i) interaction between the scientists and
practitioners of currently somewhat
neglected methods of meditation, and
(ii) among the various adherents of those
schools on one hand, and
(iii) the scientists on the other, will show certain
streams of experiences of consciousness
that are shared by (a) the more commonly
known and (b) the less recognized
traditionally established schools of
meditation.
The deficiency (iii) stated above will also be addressed
thus, and will be of immense benefit to both the Traditions
and the scientists. An entire new approach to research
methodologies may even evolve.
To test these hypotheses and to address the above
deficiencies, we suggest
(i) a much wider program of laboratory
investigations of different schools, systems
and subsystems, and
(ii) a series of dialogues and conferences

The generalization about Buddhism is by no means universal. For example,


the researches by Professor Kabat-Zin are stated to be specific to Mindfulness
practices modeled after the Theravada tradition.

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By drawing upon the various immensely rich resources


in philosophy, ethics of emotions and meditation practices,
a true framework for spirituality beyond religion will be
established and humanity will benefit immensely.

103