2A: Experiments on Yogis

2A: Experiments on Yogis



All yogis have a social responsibility that they carry out with dedication. Their renunciation of society is not for selfish purposes. They give their knowledge to others. They always heal anyone, from their sicknesses, who comes to them. This last item is the most important contribution from them; and the ordinary people expect that from the yogis.

Anyone can acquire yogic power through a rigorous yoga meditation process performed, maybe, over lifetime and over many life times. There are many books, [Saraswati, Patanjali] for example, that describe the process that one needs to follow that will help to acquire such powers. The first goal in this process is called self realization. But to acquire yogic power you have to go much beyond self realization or Samadhi [Patanjali].

The need for such a chapter in this book is for many reasons. It is another way, besides reincarnation, to show that the soul exists. We can connect to our soul and learn about the eternal or universal truth about nature, about nature’s laws, human characteristics, about the definition of God, the illogical and also logical way our society is designed and organized, the concept of destiny, nature of karma and dharma etc. More you learn about soul, more you get connected with your soul, you hear your soul, and become knowledgeable about truth, become sensitive about your environment and people. Bible also says – “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” – if you prepare the ears, then you will hear [Bible, Matthew:11-15].

The ultimate objective is to show that truth cannot be found in the privately owned central bank controlled society, where 99% of the population does not know the truth, and only 1% knows. This truth is inside you, in your soul, and in the nature. In Veda it says your soul is same as god’s soul. Or in other words you are God. Therefore learn to listen to your soul.

Many of the yogic powers can be demonstrated using magic. But magicians will require lot of hardware tools, many supporting people to demonstrate their magic. On the other hand yogis can perform the same thing and many more, in bare body and all alone. But using magic, for example, it is not possible to heal anyone permanently from any kind of sickness.

But it is not the objective of magicians to fool the people. They should always say that their methods are based on science and engineering. It will be very easy for a team of experts to detect the tricks behind any magic if the magician cooperates. On the other hand yogis may not even know how they are doing it; they just know how to do it. The reason is that it is impossible to know the soul completely [Gita, 7.26].

3. Experiments on Yogis

Many western research scholars have done some tests on yogis from various countries. These tests are very rudimentary compared to the yogic power that has been described in this chapter. None of these high level yogic powers can be tested in any laboratory. For example how would you test resurrection of a dead bird, healing a sick person, predicting events in near future etc? By testing we mean, of course, using laboratory equipments. Human observation is not a test, according to Western scientists. Otherwise we could say millions of humans have observed all these yogic powers over thousands of years and in all countries of the world.

Since the scientists do not have detailed knowledge about these powers and do not believe in them, so the design of these experiments reveal very little of yogic capabilities. However these experiments have changed the mindset of many scientists and have become very well-known throughout the west.

Swami Rama made a very powerful statement to the Western scientists“All of the body is in the mind, but not all of the mind is in the body.” That means anything inside the body can be controlled by the mind. The experiments demonstrated this theory.

3.1 Green & Green

Swami Rama was the first Indian yogi who was tested by western scientists [Wiki-R]. His guru allowed him to go to USA and interact with the western scientists to demonstrate the nature of Eastern science. The results changed the thinking of the West on the mind body connection concepts. The results were published in a book [Green], and appeared in World book science annual (1974), Encyclopedia Britannica year book of science (1973), the Time life nature science annual (1973) [Rama2]. Swami Rama also appeared in some TV shows in USA, like Good morning America, Phill Donahue [Rama1]. Below we describe some of the experiments Swami Rama demonstrated in the Laboratory at Meninger Foundation in Kansas, USA [Rama3].

Temperature Control [Green, pp. 198-199]

Swami Rama said he could cause the left side of his palm to increase in temperature several degrees above the right side. Two thermistors were attached about an inch apart to the palm of the right hand. In addition an electrocardiographic signal was obtained from between the right ear and the left wrist. Two persons were in the experiment room with Swami and other people were in the polygraph room about 15 feet away. Swami did not move during the experiment, his both palms were placed up on a board in front of him. The graphs of the temperatures and heart rates can be examined at the website [Pages], where a portion from the book has been reproduced. After three minutes, the temperatures were 7 degrees Fahrenheit apart. Eventually they were 11 degrees apart. The highest temperature was at 95 degrees. The entire experiment lasted for about 18 minutes. It caused the left side of his right hand to become pink and the right side gray.

The heart rate records show that his heart rate slowed continuously for about fifty seconds from 74 beats per minute to 52 beats per minute. This was impressive, because most westerners can increase the heart rate but cannot start at normal resting rate and decrease it by 21 beats in one minute, at will.

Heart record also reveals that T wave is taller than the R wave (normally it is the other way) for a certain period, indicating that Swami had developed differential control over sections of the heart, just as he had developed differential control over blood flow in his palm.

Heart Stopping [Green, pp. 202-205]

Next day Swami was taken to the experimental room again with wires draped over his shoulders. One person was with Swami and other people were in the control room where data was being recorded on instruments. Swami sat in a lotus position on a chair, which hardly could fit him.

Within two minutes the experiment was done. The person with Swami could hardly notice anything in Swami’s expressions. Yet what Swami demonstrated was of considerable significance to psychosomatic medicine. He was not only able to enter into a state and could get out of it also with conscious control. He also talked during the experiment.

Swami’s heart did not stop in a way researchers expected. Instead the heart fluttered at a very high rate averaging 306 beats per minute for 16.2 seconds. However this is equivalent to obliteration of the pulse, might be identified as heart stopping, by observers not using an EKG machine. This phenomenon happens in EKG records of heart patients as the researchers verified with medical doctors.

Swami Rama discussed the idea of heart control with the researchers and mentioned an important concept, which we will discuss in Samkhya philosophy later in another chapter. He said he controls the subtle heart using his mind; the gross heart is an image of the subtle heart in the physical domain.

After the experiment, within half an hour Swami left for giving a prescheduled lecture and in the evening he took a flight for Minneapolis. Thus the experiment did not impact him in any way physically or mentally. But when such conditions happen in patients they go through severe trauma.

Moving a Wheel [Green, pp. 211-217]

A wheel was created using two aluminum knitting needles, 14 inches and 7 inches long, glued together at a 90 degrees angle in the form of an X. The tips of the needles were grounded to a sharp point. A small hole was drilled through the place where the needles intersected. The assembly was placed on a vertical axle which was a steel pin that extended from a plastic block. The plastic block was itself glued to a 360 degrees protractor, so that before and after readings could be taken. A small bead under the needle assembly provided enough friction to prevent motion due to air current but was reasonably free to allow easy movement. A photo can be found in the video reference [Rama3].

A painter’s mask was modified to allow breathing but prevent any air flow. It had a foam rubber insert through which to breathe. Then a plexiglass plate was bolted to it to deflect air flow. Swami was finally totally covered, including his hands, with a sheet over the mask and up to his eyes. The scientist was absolutely satisfied that air currents cannot be manipulated to deflect the needles placed five feet away.

Swami was repeating a mantra for quite long, possibly for 15 seconds. Then he ended with loud exclamation, short of a word of command and the needle rotated for 10 degrees. He then repeated it once more for another 10 degrees.

Swami Rama had a capability of predicting the short term future. He insisted many times before the preparation for this experiment, that someone in the group will say that it was done with air currents. And it really happened; one Dr. X did say that. Dr. X could not explain how but he refused to accept any other logic. In a sub-section we give another example of Swami’s prediction of future.

It is clear that, no matter how you demonstrate the yogic power, people can always deny such capabilities. In fact there is hardly any difference in such laboratory demonstrations and observations of ordinary people made over many centuries. As an example moving the needle by 10 degrees and moving noticeable amount are all same. How does a numerical number or a graph change your mindset? There is hardly any difference between believing scientists and ordinary people.

Illuminating a Chakra [Green, p. 209]

Swami Rama was giving a public lecture in Chicago. He mentioned during the lecture that it was possible to turn on the subtle energy in a chakra, so intensely that it would become visible to the naked eye. On hearing that, a skeptical physician in the audience had demanded that the Swami demonstrate it so he could take a picture with a Polaroid camera. Swami had taken one of the pictures, out of several photos taken, and showed that to Dr. Green, the author of the book, Beyond biofeedback. Most of his chest, in the photograph, was obscured by a disc of pale pink light. See the photo in the video [Rama3].

Predicting Future [Green, pp.217-218]

Swami Rama demonstrated the ability to predict immediate future, besides the case of Dr. X mentioned before in the wheel motion experiment.

Pat Norris came to see Swami Rama just after lunch. The instant she entered his room, Swami said: Ask me a question.

Pat:  What do you mean, ask a question?

Swami: Just ask me a question something important.

Pat: Should Peter [her son] go to private school?

Swami: Ask me another question.

Pat: Should I return to college to get a Ph. D.?

Swami: Ask another question.

Swami continued this way for seven questions. Then he grabbed a paper that was placed upside down on his table and gave that to Pat. Most of her questions and some suggestions were written there. One was wrong, and one was only partly related to the subject, but others were correct. Pat Norris said this was a real surprise.

These are all examples of yogic power. You may call it telepathy, extra sensory perception (ESP), psychic power, etc., but they are just different names for the same thing, yogic power or soul power, a skill which anyone can acquire  by meditation.

Blood Cell Control

Swami Rama designed this experiment, but he did not demonstrate it. He lost interest in all experimentations, for various reasons, and discontinued his activities. The following paragraph is copied from the Beyond Biofeedback book [Green, pp.209-210].

The blood-cell experiment (3.b) is worth discussing even though we did not see it demonstrated because Swami did not complete the experiments planned. In explaining it he said that just before taking a blood sample we were to say, .20 percent,. .40 percent,. .100 percent,.. or zero,. . or any other number. Then a drop of his blood would be extricated and put on a microscope slide and the fraction of dead white blood cells could be counted. He would kill, he said, whatever fraction was commanded at the time of the sampling.

We have discussed in another chapter, reincarnation examples of the birth defect types with bullet wounds in newly born babies. Medical surgery verified the existence of complete straight line path of the bullet inside the baby’s body. This shows how precisely the soul can construct our bodies. The above experiment is another confirmation that our body, including the brain, is only a machine and the soul has all the intelligence. It is possible to control every cell of the body by our mind. Thus you can see if you practice yoga meditation and learn to know your soul then you cannot become sick.

3.2 Paul Brunton

The following experiment is taken from the book by Paul Brunton named – A search in secret India [Brunton, pp.186-187]. The description of the experiment was given to Paul by Dr. Bandyopadhya, a house surgeon to one of the Calcutta hospitals in India, who attended the experiment.

Calcutta University arranged to have a public demonstration of Narasingha Swami’s powers before an audience composed exclusively of scientists and medical men. Dr. C.V. Raman, a Nobel Laureate in Physics was also present. It was held in the physics theater of the presidency college.

The yogi stood at the center of the theater and was handed poisons taken from college laboratory stock. First he was given a bottle of sulphuric acid; he poured few drops in his hand and then licked them up with his tongue. He was then given strong carbolic acid and he licked that up too. The university tried him with that deadly poison, potassium cyanide, but he swallowed it without turning a hair. The feat was astounding, unbelievable even, yet we had to accept the evidence of our own eyes. He had taken enough potassium cyanide to kill any other man within three minutes at most, yet there he stood smiling and apparently unharmed.

After that, a thick glass bottle was broken and the pieces were ground down to a powder. Narasingha Swami swallowed the powder, which can slowly kill. Three hours after swallowing this strange meal, one of the Calcutta doctors applied a stomach pump to the Yogi and the contents of his stomach were taken out. The poisons were still there. And on the following day the powdered glass was discovered in his stool.

Dr. Bandyopadhya said that the thoroughness of their test was beyond dispute. The strength of the sulphuric acid was shown by its destructive effect on a copper coin. He could not explain the results based on his medical knowledge, it completely baffled him.

A Hindu god, known as Shiva, is considered as the highest guru of all yogis. His another name is Neel Kantha. The puranic history of Veda says that he swallowed the most deadly poison of the world and kept it inside his throat (kantha) which became blue (neel). So we can see that (a) modern yogis can still perform the same feat and (b) therefore the Puranic stories are correct.