Transcendental Meditation—Is It For You?

[Ed. Note—The recent proliferation of interest in Transcendental Meditation (TM) has prompted us to reprint the following article, written in the mid-1980s by Pastor M. H. Reynolds, Jr. This concise report is just as timely and relevant today as when it was originally written many years ago when TM was just beginning to enter the American scene. Now, in the 21st century, the dangerous doctrines and practices affiliated with TM are once again sweeping the nation and the world. Millions of men, women and young people are being influenced by this false religious system or are even conscientiously practicing it themselves. Bible-believing Christians need to understand the dangers inherent in TM and warn other believers who may be drawn into this dangerous yet seemingly harmless pagan religion.]

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is sweeping the country. Its proponents claim that it is the wave of the future. Its well-financed publicity campaigns, fortified by testimonials from well-known figures in the sports, entertainment and political world, lead unsuspecting souls to believe that Transcendental Meditation is the panacea for all of the world's individual and collective needs.

Transcendental Meditation has an understandable appeal to people who live in this sin-sick, worry-filled world. Expand your mind! Relax your body! Relieve your tensions! Transform your life! Put an end to all wars! And, do all of this without effort! Sounds very attractive, doesn't it? But what about the facts? Is Transcendental Meditation a blessing or a curse? Is it a religion or a science? Is it Christian or Pagan? Should you try it or have nothing to do with it?

Let's take a look at the facts, gathered from the writings of the founder and from books approved and recommended by his organizations, and compare them with the Bible, God's Holy Word. (Transcendental Meditation source materials are numbered and listed at the end of this article).

Transcendental Meditation—A Pagan Religion

Transcendental Meditation claims that it is not a religion, but it is in fact a pagan, anti-Christian religion! Its founder, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, says plainly, "Transcendental Meditation is a path to God." (2, p. 59). The Maharishi says, "The Lord Khrishna declares that realization of the state of all knowledge (T.M.) is the only way to salvation and success in life: there is no other way." (5, p. 228). These statements surely classify it as a religion. The fact that it is a false religion is seen in a comparison of the Maharishi's statements with the Bible. Jesus Christ says, "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6.

Originally, the Maharishi made no effort to conceal the religious foundation and nature of Transcendental Meditation. In fact, one of the names under which Transcendental Meditation is promoted is The Spiritual Regeneration Movement. However, when the Maharishi brought Transcendental Meditation to America, he found it could not be promoted in and through public educational institutions if it were religious, so it promptly took on two other names: Students International Meditation Society and American Foundation for the Science of Creative Intelligence. Now, T.M. is being promoted as "SCIENCE," not religion.

Transcendental Meditation—Not a Science

Is Transcendental Meditation really scientific as it claims to be? Psychology Today for April, 1974, not only questions the validity of T.M.'s scientific claims and points out its misuse of data, but it also astutely observes that, "The Science of Creative Intelligence (another name for T.M.) ... is clearly a revival of ancient Indian Brahmanism and Hinduism. Its origins lie in the ancient texts-Vedas, Upanishads Bhagavad-Gita, the teachings of the Buddha and the synthesis of these traditions by Shankara. It has been simplified for modern Western consumption."

The History of Transcendental Meditation

A brief history of Transcendental Meditation is important because of its claim to be scientific and not religious. For 13 1/2 years, the founder of Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, was a disciple of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the Jagadguru Bhagwan Shankaracharva, or Guru Dev (divine teacher), one of the four major religious leaders of India. Supposedly commissioned by his "ascended master" to evolve a simple form of meditation, the Maharishi spent two more years in seclusion in the Himalayas before introducing Transcendental Meditation in 1956. Failing to attract much interest in India, the Maharishi exported his teachings to England and America, striking it rich when the infamous Beatles became his converts. Later, the Beatles became disillusioned and Transcendental Meditation suffered a drop in popularity. However, it is back once again, stronger than before—better organized, better financed—a new "scientific" program with big name converts.

How can Transcendental Meditation claim to be scientific when it depends completely upon the repetition of a pagan, secret, Sanskrit word called a mantra and requires participation in a pagan religious ritual before this secret word is given? At the very heart of the T.M. program is the initiation ceremony in which the candidate is given his own secret Sanskrit word (mantra) to meditate on after being involved in an act of heathen worship. Transcendental Meditation leaders deny that the candidate is a participant-"just an observer" they say. But accounts of the initiation ceremonies given in T.M. approved books speak of the candidate and teacher going into an incense-filled room; standing (some speak of kneeling) before a candle-lit picture of the Guru Dev (divine teacher); and making a symbolic offering of three pieces of fresh, sweet fruit, 6-12 fresh flowers and a new, white handkerchief, all of which must be brought by the candidate. One initiate detailed the experience as follows:

"My teacher briefly explained to me what the ceremony consisted of.... Then we both stood in front of the portrait and she sang, quite softly, some lilting sentences in Sanskrit.... The flowers were representative of life; the fruit, the seed of life; the handkerchief, the cleansing of the spirit .... After concluding the chanting, which included the names of many of the 'masters' who have kept the technique intact for thousands of years, my instructor turned to me and asked me to repeat a two-syllable word after her. This was to be my mantra." (4, p. 47)

Is this initiation ceremony just a simple observance of tradition or is it a significant act of pagan worship? Notice the words of the Maharishi as to the significance and importance of this ceremony and other Hindu rites and rituals, which actually prove that such is undoubtedly heath idolatry:

"Every rite and ritual is basically founded on the principle of these vibrations. There are specific chantings which go along with specific rites. All that we do, we make our offerings TO OUR MASTER and how to make offerings so that we get maximum out of the offering. When we offer a flower, we say something; when we offer some water, we say something; when we make offerings of handkerchief, we say something. All these rites and rituals are meant to supplement the effect of the hymns or the mantras or the vibrations or the sound waves that we emit through these particular mantras to have the atmosphere purified. This has very, very great meaning." (2, p. 39).

The initiation ceremony is not just a simple observance of tradition but actually involves a formal "bowing down" to the key deities of the Hindu religion. Furthermore, the mantras used in TM are not just meaningless sounds but are actually words from the Hindu Vedic scriptures and some of these mantras refer to Hindu gods and goddesses.

Selling Transcendental Meditation To The Public

The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has found a way, through Transcendental Meditation, to "sell" the Western world a pagan, Hindu approach to God and world peace. And sell it he does! T.M. is not a gift. New candidates pay fees of $125, $65 and $55 for adults, college and high school students respectively. T.M. is now big business and goes under the following organizational titles:

*    Students Int'l Meditation Society (SIMS)
*    American Foundation for the Science of
*    Creative Intelligence (AFSCI)
*    Spiritual Regeneration Movement (SRM)
*    International Meditation Society (IMS)
*    Maharishi International University (MIU)
*    World Plan Executive Council (WPEC)

All of these organizations are designed to promote Transcendental Meditation throughout the world with a goal of 3600 training centers and one T.M. teacher for every 1000 persons in the world.

In 1983, the U.S. Dept. of Education made a quarter million dollar grant to the Maharishi's International University in Fairfield, Iowa, where all the students, faculty and staff practice the TM program and where one of the courses is in "levitation." A University spokesman explained that they offer a course called the TM-SIDHI program for developing specific abilities, one of which is levitation or "what we call flying." The expensive, imposing, so-called Golden Domes of Pure Knowledge constructed on this T.M. university campus have made it a tourist attraction but few are aware of the pagan teachings which take place inside.

In the State of California, hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax money have been spent on the work of the California Task Force to Promote Self Esteem. One of the so-called "creative approaches" used by this task force was Transcendental Meditation. The completed work of this Task Force is being promoted as a wonderful new model for effective education throughout the USA and around the world. One of it's attractive educational packages is called, "A World Safe for Children," yet its basic tenets are founded upon humanistic psychology and pagan philosophies such as promoted by T.M.

One of the Maharishi's latest programs involves the setting up of what he calls, "Cities of Immortals" which he says will be open, not only to those who practice T.M., but to all who want to live in a "heaven on earth." Projected locations in California include Sacramento, San Jose and San Geronimo Valley.

T.M. has been foisted upon an unsuspecting public so cleverly and under so many deceptive titles that millions of people have already been brainwashed without even realizing it. The multifaceted T.M. programs and seminars are indoctrinating people of all ages and in every walk of life with its deadly doctrines. Seminars for educators, health professionals, business and government leaders, members of the armed forces, housewives, young people and children are filling countless minds and hearts with Satanic substitutes for God's full provision for every temporal and spiritual need, now and throughout eternity.

It seems that almost anything can be sold to the public these days through massive promotional campaigns with testimonials from satisfied users. Many people have become involved in false cults and religions because of testimonials from others concerning "miracles," "healings" and "financial prosperity." Thousands of young people have become hooked on drugs because of testimonials from others that drugs would expand their mind. Many people have become involved in false cults and religions because of testimonials from others concerning "miracles," "hearings" and "financial prosperity." People fail to consider where the road will end when they begin their journey. Yet, God warns, "There is a way which seemeth fight unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death " (Proverbs 14:12). Because Transcendental Meditation is based on a pagan, anti-Christian philosophy, it can never meet the need of sinful men or provide lasting help to anyone. Those who testify to the "immediate results" of T.M. are deceived, having fallen under satanic deception masquerading as a path to God.

The Maharishi’s Unbiblical Teachings

It is not difficult to prove conclusively that the Maharishi's teachings are contrary to the Bible and therefore, contrary to Biblical Christianity. Of dozens of examples, we cite the following:

THE MAHARISHI SAYS: "The great practical wisdom of the Bhagavad-Gita is the highest divine wisdom ever revealed to man." (1, p. 319).
THE BIBLE SAYS: "... for Thou hast magnified Thy Word (the Bible) above all Thy name." Psalm 138:2b.

THE MAHARISHI SAYS: "It does not matter whether they call themselves Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu or Buddhist-any name will be significant." (1, p. 254).
THE BIBLE SAYS: "Neither is there salvation In any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.

THE MAHARISHI SAYS: "Fortunately for our generation, there has come to us an easy method to make the life pure. This realization of transcendental pure consciousness amounts to gaining absolute purity of life." (1, p. 64).
THE BIBLE SAYS: "Unto Him [Jesus Christ] that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." Revelation 1:5b.

THE MAHARISHI DENIES the reality of Hell, "The true spirit of religion is lacking when it counts only what is right and wrong and creates a fear of punishment and hell and the fear of God in the mind of man." (1, p. 251).
JESUS CHRIST SAID: 'And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul.- but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell." Matthew 10:28.

THE MAHARISHI SAYS: "I don't think Christ ever suffered or Christ could suffer." (2, p. 123).
THE BIBLE SAYS: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" 1 Peter 3:18.

The Maharishi slavishly follows all the philosophies of Hindu paganism—a false religion that has been a blight to India and all other countries where it has predominated. The Maharishi believes in evolution, reincarnation, universalism and bluntly states that, "Everybody has it—has his own god within him." (2, p. 65). By every Biblical standard, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is clearly a false prophet.

Limited space prevents a more extensive examination of the Maharishi's anti-Christian, anti-Biblical philosophy and teaching. He may have revealed, however, more of his true purpose than he intended when he wrote,

"Through this meditation, transcendental system of meditation, people are going to become much, much more refined and BROADER IN THEIR OUTLOOK, and some will get into INVESTIGATION OF THE VEDIC (HEATHEN) TEACHINGS and truth and will bring it out and the whole wisdom of integrated life will be available for all.... The knowledge of the Vedas is eternal and deals with creation and with dissolution. It is eternal knowledge." (2, p. 43).

Transcendental Meditation fits in beautifully with the ecumenical, one-world church. The Maharishi says, "Let it [T.M.] be adopted by the peoples of all religions, and let them enjoy it while being proud of their faiths." (1, p. 253). Also, T.M. promises to relieve tensions and conflicts among peoples and nations. This makes communism, for example, more readily accepted by one whose mind is thus opened to radicalism. It is true that many tensions and conflicts need to be eliminated—but not the battle against Satan, false doctrine, sin, and godless communism.

It is claimed that over 600,000 Americans have already become Transcendental Meditators with 15,000 new enrollees every month. This makes it a force to be reckoned with, both numerically and financially. Of further concern is the Maharishi's world plan, which is now offering to, "local, state and national governments of all countries, concrete proposals to implement the world plan and eliminate the age-old problems of mankind in this generation." (3, p. 54). This world plan also includes pushing T.M. through the public institutions—jails, hospitals, the armed services, and so forth.

If you wish to remain silent while this pagan Hindu philosophy infiltrates your home, school and nation, that, of course, is your privilege. If you do not wish to remain silent, we urge you to join us in opposing and exposing this false religion which is being offered to people in the name of science. Everyone should know its true nature and goals!

The true wisdom of God—peace of mind, cleansing from sin and hope for the future—cannot be found in T. M. It can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ. Accept the invitation of Christ who says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Jesus Christ says, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27). There is no initiation fee—Jesus paid it all. You will not be turned away empty for Christ says, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37).

THE BIBLE SAYS: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).
THE BIBLE SAYS: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in HIS LAW doth he meditate day and night." (Psalm 1: 1-2).

For the peace that passeth understanding, receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and meditate in His Word, the Bible, daily!

by M.H. Reynolds, Jr.


1.    Transcendental Meditation, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (formerly titled The Science of Being and Art of Living).
2.    Meditations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (a key to understanding Transcendental Meditation in the famous prophet's own words).
3.    Fundamentals of Progress. A T.M. publication (1975-the year of fulfillment for the World Plan).
4.    Tranquility Without Pills by Jahn Robbins & David Fisher (about Transcendental Meditation).
5.    Maharishi Mahesh Yogi—On the Bhagavad-Gita.