THE BASIC CONFLICT BETWEEN MAHARISHI AND CHRISTIANITY
Following is the 1984 Pastoral statement of His Eminence Jaime Cardinal
Sin, Archbishop of Manila, on certain doctrinal aspects of the Maharishi
Technology of the Unified Field, held after consultation with theological
The Maharishi's doctrine and teaching on (1) God, (2) man, (3) the way to
go to God, (4) pain and suffering, and (5) sin is in open contradiction to
1. The "God" of the Maharishi is impersonal, as opposed to the God
manifested in Christian revelation where God is a personal God who loves
each human person in an intimate way.
By denying the Creator as Supreme and teaching that "All is
One," Maharishi removes the distinction between the Creator and
the creature. This directly leads to, or is an equivalent form
The "mantras" given to the followers of the Maharishi have been
discovered to be invocations, in most of the cases, to deities
of the Hindu pantheon, thus in a real sense denying the oneness
of God and fostering polytheism.
2. Man is considered capable of attaining unlimited perfection, of being
totally liberated from all pain and suffering through the instrumentality
of Transcendental Meditation practiced in the Maharishi way. Similarly
through this, TM, man can find solution to all human problems ranging from
control of the elements to the attainment of indestructibility and
Two flaws, among others, appear clearly in this doctrine: (a) It
does not accept the immortality of the soul, nor life beyond, as
belonging to the nature of the soul; (b) ignores completely the
existence of original sin, a Christian dogma, and the
consequences for the realities of life.
3. The way to God is placed by Maharishi in TM as understood by him, his
books, and his followers, and it is placed on TM as the exclusive way to
Two flaws, again, are hidden in these affirmations: (a) the
abuse of the term TM which has been appropriated by them as if
theirs was "the" TM par excellence, the only authentic one
(there is Christian mysticism, even authors speak of Hindu and
Buddhist mysticism, and certainly there is also the well-known
za-zen method of meditation); and (b) the way to God in the
present economy for all is the way of the Cross as long as we
are pilgrims, as explicitly preached by Christ himself, accepted
in Christian doctrine and life. The heroism of Christian
faithful suffering with the greatest courage and dignity appears
to be absent in the Maharishi way to God.
4. Implicit in the Maharishi approach to the problem of pain and suffering
is the rejection of the redemptive value of suffering and of the existence
of Christ as the Redeemer. In fact, Maharishi in his book, Meditations of
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (New York, Bantam Books, 1968, p.23), writes
explicitly: "I don't think Christ ever suffered or Christ could suffer."
(This statement has been repeated in many places by the Maharishi
5. Sin. Maharishi tries to ignore the existence of sin. In this, Maharishi
follows the Vedic doctrine that regards sin as a bodily matter and has
nothing to do with the spirit or soul of man. The whole concept of "sin,"
if implicitly accepted, is considered as something external and
legalistic. The real sense of freedom and responsibility is absent, and
the "effects" of sin are the object of rituals, mantras, and TM. There is
no interior conversion, but a rather manipulative use of TM to attain
At the basis of this concept and approach is the concept of God,
man, the way to God, pain and suffering, described above. From
this point of view, one cannot be a Christian and a Maharishi.
6. As for TM, it may be considered as doctrine (content) or as technique
(method). From this point of view of doctrine it is not acceptable to a
Catholic, or a Christian at that. As for TM as technique, in the way the
Maharishi group presents it, it is not acceptable either because of its
intrinsic connections with the doctrine (cf. "mantras" and 1 and 2 above).
This kind of TM is to be distinguished from various forms of
prayer proper to the Oriental religious attitudes, some of which
may be acceptable, and even beneficial, if properly scrutinized
and used. TM, however, as proposed by Maharishi and as the
end-result looked at by the Maharishi doctrine and followers,
is, to say the least, quite risky. It becomes not a remedy but
an escape. Its unavoidable result, within the Maharishi doctrine
context, is the desensitization of conscience by trying to
relieve not the guilt and the real disorder but only its
symptoms and its accompanying restlessness.
This document was taken from "Todays Destructive Cults and
Movements," by Rev. Lawrence J. Gesy, available from Our Sunday
Visitor Press, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750.