Sustainable Yogic Agriculture

Can the power of thought be a new fertilizer that leads to better food security? Sustainable Yogic Agriculture is a research project carried out by the Rural Development Wing of the Brahma Kumaris.

One thousand farmers throughout India are combining organic farming with meditation, which is showing remarkable results. Early data collected through a field study in Gujarat suggest an improved seed quality and increase in crop yield.

Sustainable Yogic Agriculture has resulted in lower costs to farmers and reduced the pressure on the environment. Other benefits have been improvements in farmers' emotional well-being and enhanced community resilience.

Yogic farming through Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Meditation: An Ancient Technique for Enhancing Crop Performance

Internal report on Sustainable Yogic Agriculture in Maharashtra and Goa

This report describes a visit to Maharashtra and Goa in 2013 by representatives from the Brahma Kumaris' Rural Development Wing and the office to the United Nations. It describes the use of Sustainable Yogic Agriculture and how the methods are being adopted with significant tangible and social benefits.  A full research report with references will be made available. For a copy, please contact the author, Dr Tamasin Ramsay, at the Brahma Kumaris United Nations office.

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Increasing crop sizes and potential returns is not always about financial investment.  Dr Tamasin Ramsay explains how the practice of 'Yogic farming' works in India.

The thought-child of the Rural Wing of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) in India, Sustainable Yogic Agriculture is a unique form of farming that combines thought-based meditative practices with methods of organic agriculture and is bringing clear economic and social benefits to smallholder agrarian communities in India.

For more than 80 years, the BKWSU has been teaching methods of personal empowerment based on techniques of Raja Yoga meditation. These methods include understanding the self as a soul, managing the energy of the mind, becoming cognizant of the relationship between thoughts and behaviour, maintaining a thought-union with the Divine and experiencing transcendental states that fill the mind and character with strength. The BKWSU continually seeks ways in which to apply the benefits of spiritual practice in a way that responds meaningfully to people's lives and daily circumstances.

It is now widely acknowledged that to sustain agricultural production, healthy environments, and viable farming communities there must be a whole-systems approach to agriculture incorporating traditional knowledge and organic agriculture that links ecology, culture, economics and society. Sustainable Yogic Agriculture utilises a systems-wide approach, recognising all elements of farming: humans, animals and bird, flying and crawling insects, micro-organisms, seed, vegetation and surrounding ecosystems, and the natural elements of sun, soil, air, water and space.

These methods are engaging more than 400 farmers in India with a cooperative of scientists from India's leading agricultural universities, G.B. (Gindh Ballabh) Pant University of Agriculture and Technology and S.D. (Sadarkrushinagar Dantiwada) Agricultural University. Early data indicate statistically significant effects on crop quality and crop yield. Further, meditative practices designed for each phase of the agrarian cycle, from seed to harvest, are increasing farmers' self-esteem and so reducing the frequency of farmer suicides and social violence in families and villages. Qualitative and quantitative data gathered so far, using laboratory based experiments and participant observation, have provided valuable baseline information that endorse the importance of continued research.

Research Methods and Data

The experimental land is divided into three parcels: OFM-I (organic farming techniques), OFM-2 (organic farming techniques + meditation), and CIM (standard chemical farming using fertilizers and pesticides).

Quantitative

Preliminary findings indicate that OFM-2 (organic + meditation) has the greatest soil microbial population, the seeds germinate up to a week earlier. Subsequent crops reveal higher amounts of iron, energy, protein and vitamins compared to OFM-I (organic) and CIM (chemical).

Local farmers determined that the yogic process saves a total of Rs. 14769.00 ($USD 330) per acre as compared to chemical farming, offering low-cost high-benefit methods for local communities.
See below for sample data of a tomato crop indicating levels of Vitamin C and Energy.

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Yogic Methods
Seeds are placed in the BKWSU meditation centre where practised meditators focus thoughts of peace, non-violence, love, strength and resilience on the seeds for up to a month before sowing. Regular meditations are conducted remotely and in the fields with specific thought practices designed to support each phase of the crop growth cycle, from empowering seeds and seed germination, through sowing, irrigation and growth, to harvest and soil replenishment.

Benefits for Business
Our goal is to create a more resilient society and a greener economy, while supporting sustainable agrarian practices and strengthening vulnerable communities. In light of this, we offer opportunities for businesses to:

•    Support further independent research into Sustainable Yogic Agriculture.
•    Disseminate the principles and methods of Sustainable Yogic Agriculture to new audiences.
•    Support the production of organic seed and organic agricultural practices.
•    Dialogue with us to consider ways this study may be adapted and replicated, to bring benefit to more communities around the world.

In the last few years, businesses that support green, sustainable, and ethical endeavours have garnered significant public interest and support, yet many local and indigenous innovations still such as this remain un-mapped. We invite businesses to work with us to ensure that this important study finds a place in global conversations. Tours within the participating farming communities and research universities in India can be arranged.

The Author: Dr Tamasin Ramsay is an environmentalist and anthropologist, and researches the interrelationship between consciousness, human activity and the physical world. Tamasin is NGO Representative of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University to the United Nations and resides in New York. The BKWSU is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) of the UN, in General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council. It is also affiliated to the UN Department of Public Information and has Observer Status with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

SOURCE : Responding to Climate Change RTCC

For more information about this study please contact: tamasin@bkun.org

Yogic farming promoted by Indian minister

“Yogic Kheti can improve farming and farmers’ life”--Mr Radha Mohan Singh
All India Farmer's Empowerment Campaign launched - New Delhi, Sept. 13:

Union Agriculture Minister Mr Radha Mohan Singh said “apart from using scientific tools and bio-mass energy in agricultural sector, there is the need to employ the meditational technique of providing positive vibrations of peace, purity, love and care to soil, seed and plants through raj-yoga meditation for improving farming and farmers’ life."

Yogic farming has been found to make a significant difference to agricultural production. Scientific studies have shown it is generally better than using fertilisers.

     Read the article in BBC news

     Read the article in ABC News Australia

     Listen to the Tamasin Ramsay interview on RN Drive, Australia

     Read the Times of India article

    Read the Indian Express article

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Yogic Farming at EXPO 2015 Milan

As part of the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative, a presentation of Sustainable Yogic Agriculture was made at EXPO 2015 Milan, on 10 July 2015. They described best practices and the significant results of thousands of farmers was described.

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Yogic Farming Through Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Meditation

This academic paper (published June 2015) describes research carried out over three years on yogic farming using Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga meditation (BKRYM).  It gives a positive indication of the benefits of yogic farming.  It says, in its conclusion:

Conclusion

If we know the basics of science, such as all matter is different and all matter is made up of energy and that energy is basically vibrations, then it should not be too difficult to understand that metaphysical energy works the same way. The review done on various aspects of crops at different places indicated that the metaphysical energy created during BKRYM and applied to seeds, field crops, or water used for these purposes led to enhanced seed germination and vigor, and quality of crops. While keeping pace with chemical farming, the extensive use of metaphysical energy may lead to higher and pure crop produce in the future. Thus metaphysical energy has been found to play a vital role in enhancing all the stages of crop growth, i.e., from seed germination to final yield. Use of this energy can be successful, as it is a nonmonetary and powerful input as well as being helpful in improving the society. Thus the power of metaphysical energy created during Raja yoga meditation has been found to play a vital role in transforming agriculture as well as human health. All efforts need to be made to obtain such effects through the use of the metaphysical energy produced through Raja yoga meditation. This will not only transform agriculture but also facilitate transforming farming families and other human beings.

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