New Delhi: As international delegates at the ongoing United Nations convention deliberate on how to use scientific knowledge to tackle land degradation, members of spiritual group Brahma Kumaris have suggested meditation and ‘yogic agriculture’ to fight environmental problems.
The group also claimed that ‘yogic agriculture’ could fight all the problems that the convention wants to address in this 12-day event that began Monday in Greater Noida.
None of the members of the group, however, provided any scientific explanations to substantiate their claims, only relying on out-of-context quotes of German physicist Max Planck, French philosopher René Descartes and Sadhguru to validate their ideas.
Speaking at a side event of the convention Tuesday, John Ndiritu, a member of Brahma Kumaris, said meditating on plants could boost their yields.
To back his claim, Ndiritu, who also works as an associate professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, claimed that he had conducted an experiment on carrot plants to see if metaphysical energy could enhance their yield.
As part of the experiment, he said he had set up rows of carrot plants on a roof to ensure they all receive the same amount of sunlight and rainwater. “The only difference was that some plants were meditated on, while others were not,” he said while giving a PowerPoint presentation at the event.
He claimed that the plants on which he had meditated produced carrots with 11 per cent greater weight and also had more nutritious value than others.
Ndiritu also claimed that he controlled the growth of algae in water through meditation. “Energy of thought is a resource available to everyone,” he said.
‘Using pure mind power can improve quality of crops’
Rajesh Dave, another member of Brahma Kumaris, claimed that ‘BK Raj Yoga Meditation’ could help farmers increase their crop yields. BK here stands for Brahma Kumaris, a group predominantly led and managed by women.
‘Yogic agriculture’, he said, is a facilitator of biodiversity as it does not harm the crops by using chemicals. He said that farmers, instead of using pesticides and fertilisers, should apply “pure mind power” to improve the quality of their crops.
Dave even claimed to have informed villagers in many states, including Maharashtra and Haryana, about ‘yogic agriculture’.
“These days scientists are coating seeds with fertilisers. I say to farmers, coat your seeds with the power of meditation,” he added.
Dave went on to even say that we should use meditation to “request Mother Earth” to create good microbes, tell the wind to give clean air and ask the Sun and rain to give optimum light and moisture.
‘No scientific rationale behind such claims’
C.R. Babu, faculty member of the Department of Botany at Delhi University, who has been restoring degraded lands for over 35 years, said these claims are just beliefs of Brahma Kumaris.
“This is their belief, this is not science. Unless their methods can be replicated by others, and unless the science is explained, these remain as beliefs,” he said.
Echoing similar sentiments, an official of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, who did not wish to be named, said there is no scientific rationale behind such claims.
“It is good that the Brahma Kumaris are spreading happy positive thoughts, but there is no scientific rationale behind these claims. Scientists from all over the world have developed methods that not only bring changes on ground in terms of food yield, but can also be reliably replicated by others and benefit farmers in a large scale,” he added.’