Science | Maharishi Vedic Pandits

Scientific research supports the pandit group’s effectiveness

The main purpose of establishing a large group of Vedic Pandits is to create an effect of coherence and harmony in world consciousness.

Scientific research has shown that negative trends are reduced and positive trends are strengthened whenever sufficient numbers of people practise Transcendental Meditation and the advanced TM-Sidhi programme.

These beneficial effects have been observed when

  • 1% of a population has learned Transcendental Meditation or
  • the square root of 1% of a population practise the TM-Sidhi programme, including Yogic Flying, in one place

This phenomenon is known as the Maharishi Effect, in honour of Maharishi who predicted it in 1960, fifteen years before it began to be empirically validated by scientific research.

The washington study

Violent crime was reduced by almost 25% in Washington DC when a group of 4,000 Yogic Flyers assembled for several weeks in the summer of 1993 (see chart below). This research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Indicators Research 1999 47(2):153-201.



Scaling up for the world

The evidence shows that a group of Yogic Flyers equal to the square root of 1% of a population will bring peace to the whole society. As the square root of 1% the world’s population of 7 billion is 8,400, the target for the group of Vedic Pandits has been set at 9,000.


Scientific theory of peace-creating groups

Theoretical explanations of the powerful impact of group meditation on crime and social stress include a “field model of consciousness,” in which consciousness, at its deepest level, is a field that underlies and connects individuals throughout society. Such a theory is consistent with the latest findings in physics, physiology, and neuroscience.

For example, modern physics has located more unified levels of nature’s functioning at smaller time and distance scales, culminating in the discovery of the unified field (‘superstring field’) that underlies and connects all the diverse forces and particles in the universe (see chart on the right).

Similarly, the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programme provides direct experience of quieter, deeper levels of thought – culminating in the experience of the unified field at the basis of mind and matter. Group practice powerfully stimulates this universal, unified field of collective consciousness, creating a coherent influence throughout society.


Scientific studies measuring the effect of Transcendental Meditation on society have established that the peace-promoting influence generated by a group of people practicing TM extends far beyond the members of the meditating group. If the group is made up of Yogic Flyers – those trained in the advanced TM-Sidhi programme – studies show that the square root of 1% of the population is sufficient to create a significant beneficial influence. For the whole world, a group of 9,000 (roughly the square root of 1% of the world’

This means that only a few hundred or a few thousand individuals are needed to produce an extremely powerful and scientifically demonstrable effect of peace, harmony and prosperity in the surrounding society – even on a national or global scale. For the whole world, a group of 9,000 (roughly the square root of 1% of the world’s population) is needed. This is the target size for our group of Maharishi Vedic Pandits in India.


A field effect of consciousness

How is it possible that people practicing Transcendental Meditation alone in their homes or offices, or together in a group, can influence other people across town, across the country or even around the world – who aren’t even meditating?

The influence of the meditating group travels through an underlying field – in the same way that you can hear a live radio programme broadcast from the other side of the world. In the one case, the electromagnetic field links the radio station and your radio. In the other example, the field of consciousness links the meditator to the rest of the population. Waves of coherence from the peace-creating group spread throughout the field of consciousness, producing a beneficial and measurable influence throughout society.

Watch a video with quantum physicist John Hagelin explaining the field effect.


Coherent systems are more powerful – the example of the laser

Why does it need only a relatively small number of people in the peace-creating group to create a beneficial influence for a whole population? Physics has established that a system functioning coherently has greater power than one functioning incoherently.

Take the example of laser light, i.e. light waves that have been adjusted to function coherently so that the peaks and valleys of each wave are in step with every other wave. Laser light is far more powerful than light emitted from an ordinary light bulb. In fact, the effect size of laser light is proportional to the square of the number of waves – e.g. 100 waves functioning coherently will produce the effect of 10,000 (1002) ordinary waves.

In the same way, a large group of people practising the TM-Sidhi programme enlivens the field of consciousness at a quiet and coherent level producing a peaceful effect far more powerful than those same people could through individual endeavours.

Decreased armed conflict

During the 1980’s Lebanon war, research indicated a 76% drop in war deaths among other findings.

> Read more

Reduced global terrorism

A meta-analysis of three separate global experiments showed a drop in global terrorism by 72%.

> Read more

Decreased crime and social stress

A demonstration project in Washington D.C produced a 23% drop in violent crime.

> Read more

Endorsements from leading scholars

“The claim can be plausibly made that the potential impact of this research exceeds that of any other ongoing social or psychological research program. The research has survived a broader array of statistical tests than most research in the field of conflict resolution. I think this work, and the theory that informs it, deserve the most serious consideration by academics and policy makers alike.”

David edwards, ph.d.
– professor of government at the university of texas at austin


“In the studies that I have examined on the impact of the Maharishi Effect [the Global Peace Initiative] on conflict, I can find no methodological flaws, and the findings have been consistent across a large number of replications in many different geographical and conflictual situations. As unlikely as the premise may sound, I think we have to take these studies seriously.”

Ted robert gurr, ph.d.
– emeritus professor of government and politics at the university of maryland


“The hypothesis definitely raised some eyebrows among our reviewers. But the statistical work is sound. The numbers are there. When you can statistically control for as many variables as these studies do, it makes the results much more convincing. This evidence indicates that we now have a new technology to generate peace in the world.”

Raymond russ, ph.d.,
– research associate in psychology at the university of maine; editor, journal of mind and behavior


“I have been following the research on the Maharishi Effect [Global Peace Initiative] as it has developed over the last twenty years. There is now a strong and coherent body of evidence showing that [this approach] provides a simple and cost-effective solution to many of the social problems we face today. This research and its conclusions are so strong, that it demands action from those responsible for government policy.”

Huw dixon, ph.d.
– professor of economics at york university, england