Impact of mantra recital, etc.

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Fri May 12 01:52:03 UTC 2000

To be clear:
I have no opinion, and should not,  on the following claim or that of
anyone else (H.Benson, or recently, the one about the Hare Krishna mantra).

William Sands, PhD:
Witzel: His [Benson's] claims therefore should be seriously compared...
WS: His claims have been seriously compared with others on the list. One
result can be found in the following paper: Eppley, K.,
...."Transcendental Meditation had significantly (p<.005) larger effect
size (2 to 3 X) than the other groups, which were not significantly
different among themselves. This study included research on Benson's
relaxation response."

Apart from the fact that, apparently,  2 different things are compared here
1989(!), i.e.  "trait anxiety":: general use of "mantras"  across cultures
(Benson, forthc., 2000),
I reply, with the usual philologist's suspicion:

Isn't it a trifle surprising that some claim and insist that their Mantra
(Hare Krishna....), and others that their method (MT) have the best effect,
and Benson :  both/neither?

As I said, I leave the investigation of the METHODS and RESULTS to
non-involved, *independent* scientists. For the time being, it seems a
little too early to come to conclusions, and certainly so for non-medical
people like me.
And, please do not rely on my anecdotal reports, but read Benson's paper,
due now any day.

>Re:>> Burt Thorp <bthorp at PLAINS.NODAK.
>>  If any repetitive speech or movement links right brain-left brain, t
>To speculate further, this may be a kind of self-medication

Ever wondered about the repetitive movements of zoo animals? the only thing
they can do...

Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

ph. 1- 617-496 2990 (also messages)
home page:

Elect. Journ. of Vedic Studies:
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