Dr. David Leffler’s Final Masters Research Paper: Unified Field Based Education

Posted on July 1st, 1988

The Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System Of Education And Maharishi’s Gandharva Veda Music: Solutions to Two Contemporary Challenges In Music Education

1) “Teacher burnout” a challenge caused by stress, and

2) The questioning of the value of music education

Dr. David Leffler’s Final Masters Research Paper

a) Solution: Gandharva Veda music

Teaching that music of nature that creates the most harmonizing and evolutionary influence through elimination of stress in the environment and the individual physiology thus fulfilling the noblest goals and purposes of music.

V. Conclusion



Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the founder of The Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System of Education. This system offers a unique opportunity to develop the full potential of both the teacher and student. It consists of holistic and innovative techniques, ideally directed towards more integrating and efficient teaching. Maharishi’s system combines the existing objective approaches of education the study of traditional disciplines), with a subjective approach (the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field) which systematically develops the individual’s s potential from within.

The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field is likewise founded by Maharishi. This technology includes the Transcendental Meditation (TM) and TM-Sidhi program (a series of advanced techniques) which originates from the ancient Vedic tradition revived by Maharishi. The TM and TM-Sidhi program are the practical techniques of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field used for achieving subjective knowledge. These techniques are practiced daily by the teacher and the student as well and do not involve any religious beliefs or changes of lifestyle. They can be easily implemented into any educational system, and have already improved existing educational processes within many disciplines.

Maharishi includes the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI) in the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. SCI is a science of consciousness which links objective (e.g., modern science) and subjective approaches to knowledge. It is the theoretical aspect for understanding the knowledge gained through the subjective techniques of the TM and TM-Sidhi program. The student of SCI studies those principles that promote orderly change in individual consciousness and individual life common to all disciplines and areas of life (Dillbeck, 1987, p. 402). SCI the basic science of all sciences because it provides the foundation for understanding the close relationship between the individual’s experience of the unified field during the practice of TM and the specific laws of nature, emerging from that sane unified field as they are described by modern science.

According to Maharishi this ancient technology allows the teacher and student to directly experience the unified field-the most fundamental level of activity in nature as described by modern quantum physics. This fundamental level is found to be the source of thought, a state of deep silence, the basis of all knowledge and pure creative intelligence. The individual mind has the ability to contact this state of deep silence while remaining awake, the state of restful alertness during the practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program. Maharishi refers to this unbounded state of awareness, which is simple and unified as pure consciousness. It is completely different from waking, dreaming or sleeping states of consciousness because consciousness is awake only to itself. Unlike the other states of consciousness, pure consciousness knows its own nature to be simple, unified and pure. This undifferentiated self-referral or self-interacting (referring hack to itself) state of consciousness is called samhita in ancient Vedic literature (Chandler, 1987, p. 9).

The self-interacting state of the samhita will be discussed further in the next three parts of the theory section.



Current theories in quantum physics (Hagelin, 1987) equate the unified field of infinite vibration or dynamism found at the base of creation to the field of consciousness. The unified field, as described by current findings within the “Superstring Theory,” is hypothesized to be a single field underlying all force and matter fields (Hagelin, 1987). This theory locates a unified structure of natural law at the most fundamental time and distance scale of nature. Dr. John Hagelin and other physicists at Maharishi International University offer a unique interpretation of this theory. They explain the self-interacting nature of the unified field as the most fundamental activity found in the universe (Hagelin, 1987). They hypothesize that consciousness and matter are brought together at the level of the unified field where all particles and forces of nature are unified. Their quantum theories further characterize the unified field as being infinitely dynamic, self-sufficient, self-interacting, or in otter words able to create from within itself all the laws of nature which govern the entire universe. Therefore Maharishi explains that all fields of learning emerge from this unified field of consciousness. Maharishi 1978 elaborates:

Knowledge is structured in consciousness. The process of education takes place in the field of consciousness; the prerequisite to complete education is therefore the full development of consciousness. An individual whose consciousness is fully developed is said to be enlightened. Knowledge is not the basis of enlightenment, enlightenment is the basis of knowledge. (p. 325-326)

According to Maharishi, educators want their students to be orderly individuals capable to satisfying their own desires, and satisfying the desires of society. Education should he a process of growth and expansion of the students’ consciousness so they become enlightened and realize all possibilities in life. Maharishi explains that,

Every man as a man can enliven the infinite possibilities inherent in his nervous system. The role of education should be just to enliven this potential of the human brain. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1985, p. 66)

The Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System of Education offers the means to expand one’s level of consciousness which is the common basis of all knowledge. According to Maharishi it provides the educator with the most basic structure of knowledge found in creation. It also provides a holistic understanding of how the unified field of all the laws of nature sequentially unfolds itself into the entire range of multiplicity found throughout the manifest universe. Therefore the Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System of Education presents both the music teacher and the student with the means to fully acquire complete knowledge of the laws of nature responsible for the creative process. Maharishi elaborates:

If we want complete knowledge we should have a level of consciousness which is most comprehensive. The expanded, unbounded state of consciousness should be permanently established. On that basis, whatever knowledge is gained will be true and complete. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1972, pp. 9-4, 9-5)

Maharishi describes complete knowledge as not only knowledge of the lawn of nature that govern the evolution of life, but also knowledge of pure intelligence – the unified field-the place where all these laws arise. The following section will explain how the unified field of all the laws of nature discovered by modern physics is the self-referral mechanics of consciousness itself and how education has its basis in this field.


According to Maharishi all properties of knowledge are structured by the underlying self-interacting dynamics of consciousness of the samhita (the unified field of all the laws of nature) knowing itself. Maharishi further defines samhita as a structure of the togetherness of three-in-one; when rishi (the knower or observer), devata (the process of knowing or the process of observation), and chhandas (the known or observed) become one and the same. Maharishi explains that in the process of knowing itself pure consciousness intellectually conceives these three values while still remaining one unified wholeness. Through several varied transformations and interactions of these (three intellectually conceived values) all of creation sequentially emerges (Maharishi Vedic University, l985, p. 68).

Maharishi (1986, p. 25-26) asserts that this process of consciousness knowing itself, (the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness) gives rise to all the diversity and hence all activity found in nature. Therefore Maharishi explains that the basis of education is found in the full potential of the knower, process of knowing, and the known located in the eternal silence of the samhita – the togetherness of three-in-one. According to Maharishi when consciousness becomes aware of its two extreme values it creates a knower and known relationship within the unified field. In this state of eternal continuum the unified field can not prevent itself from discovering its own nature. Maharishi (1978) elaborates:

Education has its beginnings before creation when the unmanifest Absolute (unified field), in its state of eternal continuum, could not hold itself back from knowing its own nature. In the process of knowing itself, the Absolute divided into knowledge and knower, and thus provided the ideal of education – full knowledge of the knower within himself. Full knowledge of the knower is essential for education because it alone provides the stable reference point for the unrestricted flow of knowledge. It gives a common basis to all disciplines and integrates all fields of knowledge. (p. 325)

The togetherness of three-in-one (the samhita-knower, known, and what links them together the process of knowing) can be related to the student, teacher, and object of knowledge. The student is the knower, objective knowledge the known, and the teacher is the process of knowing. In this framework it is the role of the teacher to connect the students with the knowledge. Therefore it is necessary for both the teacher and the student to understand and directly experience that the laws of nature, emerging from the unified field of the samhita, are nothing but holistic expression of the Self. This is why the Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System of Education reflects nature’s structure of pure knowledge because nature itself creates from that wholeness. Maharishi asserts that every point in creation and every individual law of nature is correlated to the totality of natural law – the unified field.

Through the regular practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified field one experiences that these correlations are what maintains the orderly evolution of our universe. The three-in-one of the unified field according to Maharishi is the fountainhead of all knowledge. Therefore in order to be fully educated it is essential to be in contact with the self-referral mechanics of consciousness – the unified field. Therefore an important principle of the Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System of Education is to relate knowledge to the knower’s own inner Self – consciousness itself. This principle will be discussed further in the “Solutions” section of this paper.


Maharishi (1987) has explained that the self-referral dynamics of consciousness is the infinite frequency of the unified field of natural law (p. 10). This is the infinite dynamism of the three-fold structure of the samhita. In the self-referral state of pure consciousness infinity collapses to a point and the point expands to infinity. This contraction to remain one while simultaneously expanding to become three creates infinite frequency. According to Maharishi this infinite dynamism creates an unmanifest noise. Maharishi (1985) explains:

This noise is the noise in the unmanifest field, which is the unmanifest because it is open to itself-pure singularity but with three qualities, three and one both together. In this togetherness of one and three, we find infinity pulsating – infinity pulsating in that state of pure awareness where the awareness knows its unboundedness. Infinity, fully awake within itself, is fully awake to its infinite value. In this we find the dynamism of infinity converging to a point and a point expanding to infinity. This infinite dynamism of the self-referral nature of pure consciousness causes noise. (p. 65)

The ancient Vedic texts according to Maharishi describe this self-referral nature as an expression of the wholeness of pure consciousness moving within itself. He equates this with the “hum” of infinite frequency within the unified field of all the laws of nature. This unmanifest noise is the self-referral process of consciousness knowing itself. Maharishi (1985) elaborates:

It is completely an unmanifest noise, but noise nevertheless, just because its very nature is such that it is three and one together. This phenomenon is not open to anyone itself. In this self-referral state we have noise, though noise is too crude a word. It creates vibrations within itself. (p. 66)

Quantum Physics reveals that every level of creation is a frequency (Hagelin, 1987). According to Maharishi (1987) the process of evolution takes place when one frequency “melts into the other” (p. 9). Therefore Maharishi asserts that when consciousness interacts with itself all musical events spontaneously unfold. Maharishi (1972a) describes the mechanics of this unfoldment in lecture eight of the Science of Creative Intelligence course. Here, he explains the mechanics of the unmanifest noise of creation (self-referral) in terms of the wholeness of pure intelligence (a flat field of eternal silence – the unified field) becoming aware of its own existence. Intelligence becoming aware of its existence is the first impulse of creativity. When pure intelligence becomes aware of its existence, existence then becomes intelligent. In this process of existence becoming intelligent, Maharishi (Lecture, July 23, 1972 at Queens Symposium) contends that existence starts to “dance” in the joyfulness. It rejoices from this process of growth. From the original state of unity (pure intelligence itself), the multiplicity of all the laws of nature arises.

According to Maharishi there are innumerable laws of nature found in creation. It would be impossible to intellectually know all of them. This is why Maharishi asserts that in order to have the complete knowledge of the laws of nature one must contact the source of all the laws of nature. The Vedas reveal that knowledge is structured in consciousness and that knowledge has organizing power. Therefore in order for the musicians and their audiences to have complete knowledge of music according to Maharishi; they must have knowledge of how to be in tune with their own Self – pure consciousness (the unified field) in this pure self-referral state. Maharishi clarifies:

Just as knowledge is structured in consciousness, music also is structured in consciousness…When the unboundness of the listener’s awareness is in tune with the unboundedness of music, then the goal of appreciating and understanding music can be achieved. (Jones, 1977 “College-SCI” Chap. 10, p. 10)

According to Maharishi those whose awareness is in tune with the unified field are true masters of music because they master all the laws of nature. By contacting the source of all knowledge through the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field one gains “the fruit of all knowledge.” Maharishi explains:

With increasing confidence and self-sufficiency his creative genius blossoms. He ceases to violate natural law and enjoys the fruit of all knowledge – the ability to accomplish anything, and spontaneously to think and act free from mistakes. (American Association for Ideal Education, 1985, p. 5)

Through the practice of Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field the conscious mind becomes identified with the unboundedness of the unified field. Hence, with regular practice the qualities of the unified field will be expressed in the thoughts and actions of the practitioner of TM. This allows one to grow and evolve. According to Maharishi this process of growth and evolution can also be further accelerated through playing and listening to the proper type of music. He explains that because the unified field of all the laws of nature is the source of the whole range of creation, anything created from that level has effects everywhere. Therefore, music which “is that melody from which all the melodies have sprung” has the potential to create order and harmony (Maharishi, 1987, p. 10). For instance, great thinkers and teachers (e.g., Plato, Boethius) throughout history have described the potential positive effects music can have on the individual and the environment (Mark, l982). However this knowledge has been lost for centuries.

Maharishi’s revival of this knowledge (Gandharva Veda Music) will be discussed later in the “Solutions to Contemporary Challenges” section.

The following section will describe significant scientific research documenting the positive effects as a result of the implementation of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field.


The benefits of contacting and experiencing the source of creative intelligence have been described by great musicians (e.g., Mozart, Brahms); however, the means to systematically experience transcendental consciousness were not well known until the TM program became widely available. Although no studies have been conducted specifically on the effects of the TM and TM-Sidhi program in music and music education; the positive effects discussed further in this section are certainly applicable to any educational situation.

The first published studies Wallace, (1970a, 1970b, 1971) conducted on transcendental consciousness proposed to be a fourth major state of consciousness showed reductions in oxygen consumption and arterial lactate concentration. Other indications of a deep state of relaxation observed by Wallace include a decrease in metabolic rate and heart rate, increased skin resistance together with sporadic theta activity. Those studies as well as later studies (Orme-Johnson, 1973; Farrow and Hebert, 1982; Badaoui, Wallace, Orme-Johnson and Rouzere, 1984) indicate that transcendental consciousness has unique psychophysiological parameters in that they are different from the familiar waking, dreaming, and sleeping states of consciousness. This research also indicates that the body receives very profound rest while the brain continues to function with a high degree of orderliness.

The holistic growth resulting from regularly contacting transcendental consciousness has been documented in significant scientific experiments in many areas and disciplines, including education. Although the “experience” of transcendental consciousness is subjective and varies from subject to subject, the objective results of the daily practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field are well documented in studies conducted on students. For instance, holistic growth in the individual student can be measured through psychophysiological means such as increased neurophysiological integration. This integrated growth can be furthermore documented by tests measuring EEG coherence, perceptual-motor ability, intelligence, creativity, field independence, and personality.

The TM and TM-Sidhi program has been more widely researched than any other meditation program. Four volumes of research on the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field of over three hundred studies have been published. More than twenty-five years of research conducted in over twenty countries has confirmed the benefits of its practice and implementation. This research documents beneficial effects on physiological, psychological, and sociological and ecological aspects of life. Extensive educational studies in these three areas have been conducted in many different kinds of educational environments on all grade levels with excellent results.

Of special interest to music educators will be the following research: increased intelligence, learning ability, and intellectual performance; improved academic performance, increased academic orientation, increased creativity, optimizing of brain functioning, improved perceptual ability, improved mind-body cc-ordination, increased organizational ability and efficiency, increased energy and dynamism, increased integration of personality and growth of higher states of consciousness, increased freedom from stress, reduction in negative personality characteristics, and growth of ideal social behavior (Maharishi International University, l984a).

This research indicates that these positive effects result from the ability of the individual physiology to operate in a more efficient stress-free mode of functioning. Meta-analysis of scientific research indicates that this mode of functioning becomes habitual through the regular practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field (Dillbeck and Orme-Johnson, 1987). Furthermore, this research indicates that when consciousness is enlivened through the practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field, an evolutionary influence is created for the individual as well as for the society. In Maharishi’s view anything which is not evolutionary will not be in accord with the laws of nature. For this reason stress is a result of not being in tune with the orderly process of nature. Stress prevents the individual from being adaptable and creative. This physiological or biochemical change creates an overloading effect on the human nervous system that prevents one from using one’s full potential. Therefore a stress-free mode of functioning is the foundation of integrating and efficient teaching.

Studies indicate that physiological resistance to stress can be achieved through the regular practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. For instance, reductions in plasma cortisol and other stress indicators have been documented in several studies (Jevning, Wilson, and Smith, 1975; Jevning, Wilson, Van Der Laan, and Levine, 1975). Students in these studies exhibited reduced stress hormone levels (Jevning, Wilson, & Davidson, 1978; Jevning, Wilson, & Smith, 1978; Subramanyam & Porkodi, 1980). A more adaptive response to stress was also displayed in students (0rme-Johnson, 1973; Warshal, 1980). Students practicing the Maharishi Technology of the Unified field also exhibit reduced hypertension and hypercholesterolemia (Blackwell, Hanenson, Bloomfield, Magenheim, Nidich, & Gatside, 1975; and Cooper & Aygen, 1979).

The next section of this paper will describe how stress is a serious contemporary challenge faced by music educators today and the leading cause of “teacher burnout”.



The music profession ranks highly in the lists of stressful occupations, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Musicians have a higher incidence of coronary related deaths as compared to the general population. Articles in M.D. Magazine and The New York Times reveal the average life expectancy of musicians is only fifty-four years (Robertson, 1986, p. 36). Stress is clearly a significant factor in the challenges faced by musicians today. It should also be noted that the educational profession in general has become very taxing for all members concerned as this following quote documents:

In sum, the teacher’s world is often frustrating, frequently demeaning, and sometimes dangerous. The result is a sense of alienation, apathy, and what is now…called teacher burnout.” (Boyer, 1983, p. 159)

“Teacher burnout” results from the increasing demands placed on all educators today. Due to such things as the trimming of school budgets, low pay, job dissatisfaction, loss of esteem, etc. music educators are frequently mentally and physically exhausted (Hamann, 1985, p. 55). Although individuals with certain behavioral and personality traits have been found to be more vulnerable to “burnout” (Rosenman, 1983), Stollack (1982) affirms in his article in The Instrumentalist that all music educators feel the effects of “burnout” at one time or the other. While it is possible to lesson the effects of stress by teaching techniques like proper management skills and/or attempting to avoid potential stressful situations, these techniques do not address the fundamental cause of the ailment, which can be related to problems in music education. Dr. Paul Lehman (former president of the Music Educators National Conference) recently discussed futile attempts at solving the problems faced by music educators in his “Last word” column in Music Educators Journal:

There is something fundamentally wrong about our present approach to solving the problems of education. Merely reversing the direction of the pendulum once again is not enough. What is wrong is that we continue to look for “top-down” solutions when experience suggests that only “bottom-up” solutions will work. In other words, we tend to seek solutions imposed from, above by the Congress, by state legislatures, and by state boards of education, while the evidence indicates that the most effective solutions are those that originate at the local level. (Lehman, 1985, p. 80)

Although Dr. Lehman is talking about a realm of political consciousness when he refers to the “local level,” his words indicate that some basic element is missing when music education is examined on a deeper level. The history of music education indicates that “swings of the pendulum” have not succeeded in rectifying fundamental problems because the pendu1um has not been attached to its source. Dr. Lehman’s speculation leads to the basic question which music education has yet to satisfactorily answer: How can we as educators expand the students’ level of consciousness so they can utilize more of their innate potential? Due to an ever-expanding rate of change, inherent in the quest for more knowledge, music educators like Dr. Gloria J. Kiester (associate professor at St. Olaf College) have addressed the need for raising the students’ level of consciousness as documented in the following:

For the next century we need a new kind of human being. The huge acceleration in the rate of growth of facts, of knowledge, and of advances in technology requires a change in people and their relationships to the world. We need people who are comfortable with change, who are able to improvise, who can face new situations with confidence and creativity. (Kiester, 1985, p. 24)

According to Maharishi the present system of education successfully “fills” the student’s container of knowledge with information, but does not offer any means to expand the student’s container of knowledge (consciousness). The lack of the proper means to educate the student while avoiding stress is the “local level” or the root of all problems found in music education. The next section will describe bow this “local level” is directly addressed by relating knowledge to the knower through the Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System of Education.


For the most part education only provides the student with the knowledge of the object, “that which we seek to know.” In Maharishi’s view it does not develop knowledge of the subject, which is “the knowledge of the knower in his infinite capacity” (American Association for Ideal Education, 1985, p. 5). In order for knowledge to be complete it must encompass both aspects otherwise the student (the knower) does not know the totality of knowledge.

Maharishi emphasizes that the whole structure of knowledge is baseless when the knower or student is ignorant of the inherent infinite potential of the totality of the Self (the unified field). The Maharishi Unified Field Based System of Education provides the systematic means for the knower or student to contact the unified field. This is the ultimate basis of the knower and the known. When the awareness is in tune with this unified field of all the laws of nature, then all knowledge is seen in terms of the Self. The knower can then easily relate to every part of knowledge of the whole discipline being studied. Maharishi explains that this happens because during the daily practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field the student experiences the Self as the unified field of all the laws of nature in one brain. From this perspective it is the easy to see how all knowledge sequentially unfolds from the unified field of natural law. Maharishi explains the potential educational advantages of the student gaining the source of all knowledge in one brain:

As a result of this educational approach the student grows in the awareness that all streams of knowledge are but modes of his own intelligence. The knower finds in himself the totality of natural law; because of this the knower is no longer lost in the wilderness of knowledge. He comes to feel at home with everyone and everything. (American Association for Ideal Education, 1985, p. 5)

The Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System of Education also utilizes visual aids (Unified Field, Main Point, and Unity Charts) to further develop the student’s ability “to feel at home” with all knowledge (Dillbeck, 1987, pp. 402-403). These pedagogical tools were devised by Maharishi and the faculty of MIU in order to connect the subject of study with the student’s own Self. By integrating the inner, subjective experience of the Self to the outer objective knowledge of the discipline studied, the experience of wholeness is always present even when the parts of knowledge are being studied. Therefore the process of learning becomes personally satisfying and appealing for both the teacher and the student.

By relating the basic ideas of the lessons with the teacher’s and student’s own experiences of pure consciousness the discipline is appreciated on a much deeper level. All aspects of knowledge are seen as expressions of their own pure intelligence, the Self. In this way when the part is connected to the whole and the whole to the Self, all knowledge is understood to aspects of one’s own nature. Both the teacher and the student benefit because the educational process is more relevant when external knowledge is connected with the internal structure of knowledge-consciousness itself.

The word “educate” comes from the Latin roots “e-, out + ducere, to lead” (Guralnik, 1984, p. 195). Maharishi asserts that the role of the educator is to lead the student out of ignorance. He emphasizes that the student and teacher must no longer ignore the potential ability to think and act from the deepest level of the mind-consciousness itself. Maharishi explains that those who are educated to operate from this finest level of creation enjoy the fruit of all knowledge and live mistake-free lives in accordance with all the laws of nature.

They know themselves to be centers of knowledge who are at home with everybody and everything. All disciplines are seen as the modes or expressions of their own intelligence. Therefore they are completely confident and self-sufficient with fully awakened inner creative genius. Every desire is easily and spontaneously fulfilled because they think and function at the level of natural law. Their decisions are right not only for themselves, but also the whole world. They not only express the highest knowledge but also “lead” others “out” of ignorance and inspire them to grow and become exponents of the highest state of human development.


Although “anthropologists have found no society anywhere that functions without music,” (MENC, p. 3) music education is considered to be an “elective” or even worse a “frill.” In 1983, the members of the National Commission on Excellence in Education (NCEE) released their report, “A Nation at Risk.” This report reflected the growing concerns that the United States education system was not sufficiently preparing its students to live in an increasingly competitive and technological world. It indicated that in many areas, today’s students were not as well educated as students of twenty-five years ago. As a result “back to basics” became the rallying cry of many parents, teachers, and politicians. Although the NCEE report stated that the school curriculum “should also provide students with programs requiring rigorous effort in subjects that advance students’ personal, educational, and occupational goals, such as the fine and performing arts,” (p. 26) many school music programs have already been cut (Ultan, 1984, p. 10).

Although many music educators feel that studying music is justifiable by virtue of its artistic merits alone, they resort to justifying music education by emphasizing the “transfer” or “spin-off” benefits. Studies indicate that music education in the schools helps the students to integrate the knowledge of other disciplines. Other advantages of music education include synchronization of aural and visual skills (Abeles, p. 73). Certainly, these beneficial side effects of music education should not be ignored, but they are not the most important aspects music has to offer the listener and the performer. Although great progress has been made in the field of music education due to the efforts of inspired and dedicated music educators, the most noble goals and purposes of music have yet to be fully achieved. Musical expression must offer even more profound possibilities as it is documented in the following quote taken from the concluding statement of the pamphlet, Music Teacher Competencies (Palmer, 1981):

To achieve its potential in human life, music must be taught as though it is much more important and far-reaching than enjoyable entertainment. Music has long been recognized for its power to appeal to and influence human emotions. It follows, then, that teachers of music must be thoroughly prepared in a variety of ways if they are to make music vital to human life. (p. 11)

Certainly all music educators would agree that the teacher must be “thoroughly prepared” to wake music vital. Maharishi would likely interpret this at a more holistic level. The teacher must also be able to teach that music which in itself is vital and evolutionary to all aspects of life. Music in Maharishi’s view must restore balance in nature. The next section will discuss Maharishi’s recent revival of the music of Gandharva Veda.



Gandharva Veda music is vital because its source is the unmanifest sound or noise of the unified field of all the laws of nature (discussed earlier in the theory section). Gandharva Veda is that traditional music therapy of ancient India which restores harmony and balance by resetting the sequential order of the physiology. Maharishi also states that Gandharva Veda music has the ability “to create balance in nature, eliminate stress in the atmosphere, and produce a healthy influence for the individual and peace for the world family” (Maharishi, 1987, p. 1).

Maharishi (1987, p. 8-10) explains that Gandharva Veda music ultimately is the self-referral dynamics of consciousness itself. Through playing these refined Vedic melodies (ragas), the proper sequence of intelligence governing biological phenomena is restored. In the ancient Vedic civilization this music was constantly played at the appropriate time of day, season, and place. For this reason Gandharva Veda music is a complex science of sound whose melodies link the individual self back to the Self (unified field of all the laws of nature) using chronobiological principles of nature itself. Modern music has not been essential to human life because it has lost this basis. Because Gandharva Veda music allows the mind to identify with the wholeness of the samhita, the individual self knows the Self. It is brought back to the subtlest and charming level of the unified field. When music emerges from this level it is music of nature in its pristine purity. Now Gandharva Veda can once again restore balance in nature because it is in tune with this basic process of evolution discussed earlier (self-referral). Dr. Bevan Morris (president of Maharishi International University) summarizes a recent lecture by Maharishi on this process:

The Gandharvans align themselves with the mechanics that connect the unity and diversity on the level of eternal continuum (the unified field or consciousness itself). The artists (Gandharvans) imitate this natural “up-heaval on the ground of the eternal sameness and this removes the imbalances of nature, and creates a powerful balance on the whole world consciousness. Through the influence of Gandharva, the wholeness of life is re-awakened, anything that disrupts the structure of wholeness of life will be neutralized. In Gandharva music the fundamental rise and fall of the sounds is in accord with the natural plan of evolution. It has a cyclic motion, it goes forward and then it returns (this refers to the melody). Nature does not do anything except the same thing according to its own nature, nothing is happening, yet everything is going on cyclically when we are hearing music which is basically uncreated (created by nature itself). Hearing those sounds will actually bring us into that perfect evolutionary trend of nature itself. (Telephone call from Maharishi Nagar, India in Spring of 1988)

Gandharva Veda music has seven primary sounds, which can further be divided (according to the ragas or musical modes) into twenty-two shrutis (tones). Maharishi has said that these twenty-two shrutis can be related to twenty-two aspects of the body described in ayurvedic (ancient Vedic medicine) texts. Particular types of ragas can be prescribed by an ayurvedic doctor to enliven these various aspects of the body depending on the individual body constitution, the time of day, and other characteristics.

According to Maharishi, Gandharva Veda music is not only in harmony with the individual, but is perfectly in tune with natural law. Whenever it is played its melodies of nature effect the environment, even if no one is listening to it. This happens because the frequencies that prevail at different times of the day and night are enlivened. This process helps to eliminate stress from the atmosphere and produce a healthy influence. For this reason Gandharva Veda music can once again make life vital by creating inner peace in the individual which according to Maharishi is the basis of outer peace in the family of nations.


Scientific research* has already begun to investigate the potential positive effects of Gandharva Veda. [See Editor’s note below for some of the results published after this paper was written.] It is Maharishi’s goal to open at least one thousand Gandharva Veda music schools to immediately create order and harmony in our chaotic world. Because Gandharva Veda music not only effects the individual student, but also “in one’s family, one’s city, one’s country, and the whole world” (Maharishi, 1987, p. 10). It is imperative that all music educators learn to teach this ancient music to quickly raise the world’s consciousness.

Because knowledge is structured in consciousness and it is the teachers’ responsibility to impart knowledge to the student, then the knowledge the teachers impart should be of the highest quality. The Maharishi Unified Field Based System of Education offers this knowledge. All teachers from all disciplines are invited to investigate this approach for possible implementation in their school. Maharishi (1984) predicts the following result:

When all students, from their first day in school, practice the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field as part of their daily academic routine, they will never accumulate stress in their lives. They will be set on the unfailing path to enlightenment, unfolding their creative genius day by day (World Parliament of the Age of Enlightenment. (p. 5)

By implementing the Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System of Education and through the playing and teaching of Maharishi’s Gandharva Veda music as well, it is now possible to train musicians embodying Maharishi’s vision of this highest state of development. With the development of higher states of consciousness the full potential of both the teacher and the student will unfold. By bringing their awareness to the pure field of creative intelligence, the music teacher and student will be able to raise the act of playing music to new heights. Music is art and art reflects life. A musical art based on the Maharishi Technology of Unified Field according to Maharishi, fulfills the goal of all music – to make life musical.

*Editor’s note: Referenced below is some of the results of this research:

Empirical Investigation of the Effects of Maharishi Gandharva Veda Music During Live Concerts
Olson, Theresa M; Sorflaten, John W.  Journal of Social Behavior and Personality; Palmerston North Vol. 17, Iss. 1, (2005): 571-588,592-593.

Increased personal harmony and integration as effects of Maharishi Gandharva Veda music on affect, physiology, and behavior: The psychophysiology of an evolving audience Olson-Sorflaten, Theresa Meredith. Maharishi University of Management ProQuest Dissertations Publishing,  1995. 9534648.

Click here for more information about Maharishi Unified Field Based Integrated System of Education

Click here for more information about Maharishi Gandharva Music


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Dr. David R. Leffler has a Ph.D. in Consciousness-Based Military Defense. Other articles by Dr. Leffler are on the Internet at www.davidleffler.com.

© 1988 David R. Leffler All rights reserved

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