The Maharishi Effect

The Maharishi Effect is a phase transition to a more orderly and harmonious state of life in society as measured by decreased crime, violence, accidents, and illness, and improvements in economic conditions and other sociological indicators. The scientists who discovered this effect named it in honour of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who predicted it thirty years ago. Maharishi had predicted that when a critical sub-population of individuals - 1% - experienced and stimulated the field of pure consciousness through the Transcendental Meditation Programme, a type of macroscopic field effect of coherence would occur in the society and the quality of life would improve. This would manifest in more orderly and harmonious individual behaviour and a measurable improvement in the various social indices which characterise the quality of life in society.

The first experimental evidence for this phenomenon came in 1974 with the studies of Borland and Landrith (1976). They observed 11 cities in the United States in which 1% of the population was practising the TM-Technique in 1972. Then they looked at one major index of the quality of life in the cities - the crime rate - and compared it which the crime rate in 11 other cities matching for population and geographic location. They noted that when 1% of the town's population practised Transcendental Meditation the trend of rising crime rate was reversed, indicating increasing order and harmony.

Since then extensive scientific research on the phenomenon of the Maharishi Effect has repeatedly verified that coherence, positivity and harmony in collective consciousness is produced by the group practice of the Transcendental Meditation Programme.

The extended Maharishi Effect
In 1976, with the introduction of the more advanced TM-Sidhi Programme, including Yogic Flying, a more powerful effect was expected. This prediction was first verified in 1978 during a global campaign in 108 countries: crime rate was reduced everywhere.

This global research demonstrated a new formula: the square root of one percent of a population practising Transcendental Meditation and the TM-Sidhi Programme, morning and evening together in one place, is sufficient to neutralise negative tendencies and promote positive trends throughout the whole population.

A global Maharishi Effect was created by the group practice of 7,000 Yogic Flyers - 7,000 being approximately the square root of one per cent of the world's population.


Scientific Research on the Maharishi Effect

During the past 25 years over 500 scientific studies have been conducted on Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying showing the wide-ranging benefits for all aspects of life. 42 of these studies have shown that when 1% of the population of any town or country practises Transcendental Meditation, or when the square root of 1% practise TM-Sidhi Yogic Flying in a group, there are dramatic positive improvements in the entire society. The following are highlights of this research.


 Demonstration Project
in Washington, D.C.


4,000 Yogic Flyers from 62 countries creating coherence, improving the quality of life and reducing violent crime

A 21 percent reduction in the most violent crime categories was reported when over 4,000 people from 62 countries gathered in July of 1993 in Washington, D.C. to practise the Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying programs. A final report by a 27-member independent team of scientists and community leaders found that the crime drop was consistent with the predicted causal role of the group of Yogic Flyers


This study shows the decrease in violent crime rate (orange line) when over 4,000 experts gathered in Washington, D.C., in July, 1993 (shown in highlighted section). Scientists took into account changes in policing, weather patterns and all major factors known to affect crime rates. This chart also shows a time-series analysis prediction without the coherence creating group. Source: Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy: Technical Report.


Reduced Crime in Merseyside

study published in Psychology, Crime and Law (1996)


A powerful mathematical technique - Box-Jenkins ARIMA impact assessment analysis - was used to confirm the hypothesis that Merseyside crime rate was significantly reduced by a group collectively practising Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's TM-Sidhi Programme (including Yogic Flying) and by individuals in Merseyside practising Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation Programme.

This is the forty second research study showing that a phase transition to increased orderliness, as evidenced by reduced crime and other negative trends and increased positivity, occurs when the group size approaches the square root of one per cent of the total population. Time series analysis of Merseyside monthly crime data and coherence group size from 1978 to 1991 shows that a phase transition occurred during March 1988 with a 13.4% drop in crime when the Maharishi Golden Dome was opened in Skelmersdale and the TM-Sidhi group size first exceeded the 1% Maharishi Effect threshold.

The study demonstrates how urban crime can be reduced quickly by Transcendental Meditation which removes stress in individual and collective consciousness. Since the transition point, Merseyside crime rate has remained steady at a lower level in contrast to the national crime rate which has increased by 50% over the last five years. In 1987 Merseyside had the third highest crime rate of the Metropolitan Areas in England and Wales; by 1992 it had the lowest crime rate, 40% below levels predicted by the previous behaviour of the series. It was the only Metropolitan Area to show a reduction in crime for this period. There were 255,000 less crimes in Merseyside from 1988 to 1992 than would have been expected had Merseyside continued to follow the national crime trend. UK Home Office figures indicate savings to Merseyside could exceed 1250 million for the five year period. Population movements, economic and other factors could not account for the changes in crime rate.

Reference: Hatchard, G., et al. "The Maharishi Effect: A Model for Social Improvement. Time Series Analysis of a Phase Transition to Reduced Crime in the Merseyside Metropolitan Area." Psychology, Crime and Law, 1996


Increased Positivity, Decreased Crime


The results show that 24 cities in which 1% of the population had been instructed in the Transcendental Meditation program by 1972 displayed decreased crime rates during the next year (1973) and decreased crime rate trends during subsequent years (19721977) in comparison to 19671972, in contrast to control cities matched for geographic region, population, college population, and crime rate.

'The Transcendental Meditation program and crime rate change in a sample of forty-eight cities', Journal of Crime and Justice 4: 2545, 1981.


Increased Progress Towards Peace in Lebanon

Reduced conflict and war intensity, and increased progress towards peace in Lebanon were found on seven occasions when large assemblies of Yogic Flyers were held in Israel, USA, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, and The Netherlands.

'Alleviating political violence through enhancing coherence in collective consciousness: Impact assessment analysis of the Lebanon war', Dissertation Abstracts International, 49(8), 2381A.


Improved Quality of Life and Reduced Conflict


This study indicates that group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program improved the quality of life in Israel as measured by improvement on an index comprising crime rate, traffic accidents, fires, and the number of war deaths in Lebanon, and by increases in the national stock market and improvements in national mood. The chart above shows the strong correspondence between the number of Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi program participants in the group in Jerusalem and a composite index of all the above variables.

International peace project in the Middle East: Effects of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, Journal of Conflict Resolution 32(4): 776812, 1988.  


Improved Quality of Life


A prospective study was performed to assess the effects of the group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programme on the quality of life in Rhode Island, USA. The number of TM-Sidhi program participants was sufficient to create the Maharishi Effect for the entire state. A time-series analysis was performed on a monthly index that assessed the quality of life in Rhode Island in comparison to a demographically matched control state. During the experimental period, an index comprised of the following variables significantly decreased: crime, motor vehicle fatalities, auto accidents, deaths, alcoholic beverage and cigarette consumption, unemployment, and pollution. In the figure above, an increase illustrates an improvement in the index of all these variables taken together.

Consciousness as a field: The Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program and changes in social indicators, The Journal of Mind and Behavior 8: 67103, 1987.


Reduced Crime in Washington, D.C.

Reduced violent crimes were found in Washington, DC, using time series transfer function analysis of weekly data from 1981-1983.

Reference. Dillbeck, M. C., L. B. Banus, C. Polanzi and G. S. Landrith III 1988, 'Test of a field model of consciousness and social change: The Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program & decreased urban crime', The Journal of Mind and Behavior 9, pp. 457-486.


Decreased Violent Fatalities


Two studies using time-series impact assessment analysis found a significant reduction in weekly fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents, homicides, and suicides in the United States (19821985) and Canada (19831985) when the size of the groups practising the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programme at Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, exceeded the square root of one percent of the U.S. population, or of the U.S. and Canadian population together for an effect seen in Canada. During periods when the size of the groups were smaller than the square root of one percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations, fatality rates were higher. The use of time series methodology ensures that these effects could not be due to random variation, seasonal cycles, or long-term trends in the two countries.

Test of a field theory of consciousness and social change: Time series analysis of participation in the TM-Sidhi program and reduction in violent death in the U.S. Social Indicators Research 22: 399418, 1990.


    Decreased Inflation and Unemployment


Time series analysis found a significant reduction in the economic 'misery index'-defined as the sum of the inflation rate and unemployment rate-when the number of participants in the group practice of the TM-Sidhi Programme exceeded the square root of one per cent of North American population.

Reference: Proceedings of the Business and Economic Statistics Section, American Statistical Association (1987): 799-804.


Reduced International Conflicts and Terrorism


This study shows that during three experimental periods when 7,000 experts (the square root of 1% of the world's population) practised the TM-Sidhi Programme, there were significant global reductions in international conflicts and terrorism.

Reference: American Political Science Association (1989).


Improved East-West Relations


During the period 1979-1986, the number of participants in Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programme at Maharishi International University in the U.S. frequently exceeded the required amount to create the Maharishi Effect for the U.S. During those months, the U.S. actions toward the Soviet Union became more positive, as indicated by time series analysis of an independent data bank. When the number of TM-Sidhi participants was at its highest level, the Soviet actions toward the U.S. also improved.

Reference: Proceedings of the American Statistical Association, Social Statistics Section (1990): 297-302.


Growth of Coherence in the Collective Consciousness of States, Nations and the World