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Practical applications of Vedanta exemplified in Transcendental Meditation
by Global Good News staff writer
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17 November 2012
A recent presentation on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's contributions to the knowledge of Vedanta turned next to his unprecedented practical applications of this ultimate knowledge of life.
Lothar Pirc, Founder and Managing Director of Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre Bad Ems, Germany, continued the presentation begun by Dr Girish Momaya, Director of Maharishi Vedic University, Netherlands. The two were highlighting main themes of the keynote address Mr Pirc gave on this subject at the 20th International Congress of Vedanta in New Delhi, India.
The keynote address was based on a paper, titled 'Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Insight into Vedanta: The Ultimate Knowledge of Life and its Application to Bring World Peace—From Philosophy to Science'. It was prepared by a team of three scholars: Mr Pirc, Dr Momaya, and Dr Susan Brown, professor at Maharishi University of Management, USA.
Following Dr Momaya's overview of Vedic philosophy and 'the really deep knowledge Maharishi has expounded about Vedanta', Mr Pirc went on to ask the audience, 'What is the practical value of it?'
Referring to the paper's subtitle, 'from philosophy to science', he spoke of Transcendental Meditation as a technique brought to light by Maharishi from the Vedic tradition of knowledge. This technique has numerous practical applications, he said, and has been the subject of over 600 scientific studies conducted at over 200 research institutions and universities worldwide.
He added that the National Institutes of Health in the United States have spent more than $24 million over the last 20 years for research on Transcendental Meditation, hypertension, and cardiovascular health, which has been published in prestigious medical journals around the world.
Noting the many scientific research studies done in just this one area, he said research has found that the practice of Transcendental Meditation results in reduced use of hypertensive medications; reduced blood pressure; reduced heart failure; reduced thickening of the coronary arteries; reduced risk factors for hypertension, diabetes, and obesity; and increased lifespan.
In addition to traditional studies, meta-analyses have also been performed on Transcendental Meditation. Meta-analyses are an objective means of drawing conclusions about an entire field of research, and are based on all the studies on the subject.
In a meta-analysis of 32 studies, subjects practising Transcendental Meditation were found to have increased physiological relaxation compared to ordinary rest.
Another meta-analysis of 146 studies showed Transcendental Meditation's effectiveness in reducing trait anxiety compared to other meditation and relaxation techniques. The analysis found that Transcendental Meditation had more than twice the effect size on reducing trait anxiety as all other treatments. (Concentration meditation was less effective than a placebo, indicating that concentration and control of the mind can exacerbate anxiety.)
Global Good News will feature more of Mr Pirc's discussion of scientifically validated, practical applications of Vedanta that Maharishi brought out to the world in his programmes and technologies of consciousness.
See previous articles in this series:
∙ India: Maharishi's insights into Vedanta featured prominently in new published proceedings of international congress—was keynote address
∙ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's insight into Vedanta: Ultimate knowledge, practically applied to create world peace
∙ Maharishi brings science to the study of Vedanta
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