2014 Abbe Faria Souvenir

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    SOUVENIR258th Birth Anniversary

    31st May, 2014 

    © Dom Martin




    EDITORIAL  Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni & (Mrs) Maryann Lobo D’Mello ON THE TRAIL OF ABBÉ FARIA  Isabel de Santa Rita Vás


    MIND, MOODS and MAGIC  Dr. Harish Shetty PSYCHOLOGY and MIND   Prof. C.G. Deshpande CLINICAL HYPNOSIS and PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS  Shitika Chowdhary and Jini K. Gopinath


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    SON OF INDIA – ABBÉ FARIA   Dr. N.N. Wig  THE GENIUS OF JOSE CUSTODIO de FARIA   Dr. Ajit V Bhide ABBÉ DE FARIA (First to Explain Hypnotism)   Dr. Shridhar Sharma 

    MÉMOIRE SUR LE SOMNUBULISME ET LE MAGNÉTISME ANIMAL  General François Joseph Noizet  RAMCHANDRA PANDURANG KAMAT — a remarkable Goan sculptor   Isabel de Santa Rita Vás 

    ABBÉ FARIA: Mr. Requiem, who cured all the dead?   Dr. Teotonio R. de Souza 

    ABBÉ DE FARIA - Father of Hypnotism   Dr. Nandkumar Kamat  

    THE ENIGMATIC ABBÉ FARIA   Dr. Maria-Suzette Fernandes-Dias THE REVOLUTIONARY ABBOT   Dr. Mikhail Buyanov ABBÉ FARIA and the CONSPIRACY of 1787   Alfredo de Mello 

    ABBÉ FARIA’S LEGACY   Luis S. R. Vas THE MAD MONK   Maria de Lourdes Bravo da Costa Rodrigues INNER WISDOM – THE WORLD IS YOUR CLASSROOM   Ibonio D’Souza WISDOM IN PSYCHIATRY   Dr. Dilip V. Jeste BOOK REVIEWS  Melvin Gravitz 

      Dr. Vivek Kirpekar 






    ABBE FARIAFather of Hypnotism

    Souvenir of the commemoration of the 258th Birth Anniversary of Abbe Faria



    BRINGING HOME OUR HEROAbbé José Custódio de Faria, a Goan Catholic priest, was one of the pioneers of the scientificstudy of hypnotism, and introduced the Western world to oriental hypnosis. By the sheer strength of his work he should be granted a special place in the pantheon of Goan greats.However, while his work has been heralded in the West, to many Goans his name does not go

     beyond evoking associations with the Rua Abade Faria road in Margao, or with his monumentin the capital city of Panjim. What we, as Goans, have failed to acknowledge and celebrate, isthe legacy that he has left behind in the form of his pioneering work. It is our humble effort,

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    through this souvenir, to pay our homage to this great son of Goa. Indeed, it has been a privilege for us to put together these writings about Abbé Faria and other related topics.

    Through the articles, we’d like to whet the readers’ interest in knowing more about AbbéFaria. Our objective is to network with like-minded persons and those interested in themonumental work of this son of Goa. The material will serve as a preliminary guide for research students. And the Souvenir is to serve as an impetus for those concerned withworking towards a fitting memorial to Abbé Faria – the great Indian hero.

    As editors, this has been a great learning experience for us. We have had great opportunities tointeract and engage with a range of people from across the world who have researched andwritten about the life and works of Abbé Faria. The task of collating the various articles has

     been a challenging yet satisfying process. As a result of all this hard work, we have been ableto assemble an array of articles from distinguished people who share their insights into the

     pioneering work of Abbé Faria and other related topics. The contents remain the views of the

    authors and we hope that further research is encouraged and pursued. Just as our school andcollege students are familiar with the life and work of some great Indian heroes, the younger generation needs to know about Abbé Faria, Indian pioneer, scientist and our very ownnational hero.

    The efforts that have been taken in putting this publication together will become apparent asthe reader turns the pages. We have been particularly enthused by the interest that our collaborators have shown in this publication and hope that it will serve as a reference work for future generations who would want to learn more about Abbé Faria and his work.

    We thank Mr. Luis S. R. Vas and Prof. Isabel Santa Rita Vas for all their help in thisendeavour. We also thank Mr. M. M. Jain, Dr. Rajendra Hegde and Mr. Gerard D’Mello for the tremendous help they have rendered. We take this opportunity also to thank all our contributors, sponsors, advertisers and well-wishers. Without your sustained efforts, thisventure would not be possible.

    May each one carry forward the Abbé Faria movement in whatever capacity they can so thathe receives his rightful due in the country of his birth, and the places of his work and mission.

     Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni & (Mrs) Maryann Lobo D’Mello

    GOA – 31st May 2014


    On the Trail of Abbé FariaIsabel de Santa Rita Vás


    As a resident of P anjim, I could not escape Abbé Faria. His striking statue in a central citysquare was often a talking point in our family. Oral tradition told us of the pithy advice byCaetano Vitorino de Faria to his son as the young man struggled with issues of self-confidence:“Kator re Bhaji!” or freely translated, “You can do it, it’s easy!” But it was not until the year 2004 that my own interest focused on this man who later came to be a confident proponent of auto-suggestion and a Pioneer of Hypnotism. The late Mathany Saldanha, a respectedMinister in the Goa Government, initiated a discussion with some possible collaborators, on

     possible strategies to honour the great Goan. I agreed to do my bit and began researchingsomeone who was for me, a rather shadowy figure, someone who had travelled as a childfrom Goa to Europe, been fascinated by the mysteries of the mind, and had made a significantcontribution to human knowledge. To my delight I discovered that my brother Luis had along-time interest in the life and personality of Faria and had published an article about him inthe 1970s. We both began delving into archival and other material, and found ourselvesengrossed in an odyssey that we wished more and more enthusiastically to document.Mathany Saldanha put up a file for the consideration of his government to restore and

     preserve the maternal home of José Custódio de Faria as a museum that would provideinformation to local people and visitors; this was to be the first of a series of projects tohonour fellow Goans of great stature. Artist Dom Martin had been making a similar suggestionfor many years. Sadly, Saldanha’s dream was not to be realized, since he was no longer in the

    Cabinet. But the bug had bitten me hard, and with Luis’ unswerving assistance, the research proceeded.

    My friend Cecil Pinto and I had attended a course in film-making. I t struck us that we could put together a documentary on the life of Abbé Faria, based on a format of interviews and acollage of old photographs and videos of locations associated with our subject. We went back to Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo that has fictionalized the Abbé. In the courseof this study we discovered other persons here, there and elsewhere, who shared our interest.In Goa we met Dr. Rajendra Hegde who, as a psychiatrist, had already prevailed upon hisfriend, the scholarly rofessor and oet Manohar Sardesai to translate Faria’s book On the

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     Cause of Lucid Sleep  from French into English. We found Mr. Percival Noronha’s love of history and memories of countless local anecdotes a rich treasure-trove. Historian Dr. FatimaGracias walked us through the Goa and Europe of Faria’s day. We were enormously fortunateto be able to record the reminiscences and views of William Faria, a descendant of Faria’sfamily, Manohar Sardesai and Mathany Saldanha. We were edified to come across P rof.Laurent Carrer, a hypnotherapist in the USA, himself involved in translating and annotatingFaria’s book. We read and re-read the comments of Dr. Mikhail Buyanov, a Russian

     professor of psychiatrist who had visited Goa and had made arresting observations about theachievements of Faria in Child Psychiatry and You. Luciana Stegagno Picchio, a noted Italianauthor, had stated that both she and her novelist husband had collected unpublished materialon Abbé Faria. Luis and I entered into correspondence with each of these researchers and feltreassured that our hypnotist’s work had made a lasting impression on diverse minds. Whenour documentary film was ready, the Commissioner and the Mayor of the Panjim municipal

    corporation (CCP ) were gracious enough to arrange for it to be screened on the 20th  of 

    September 2005 the anniversary of the installation of the statue in Panjim in the year 1945;Dhempe College of Arts and Science collaborated in the project. Thus, the sculptor of thefamiliar statue, Pandurang Ramchandra Kamat, of Madkai, also received some well-deservedrecognition. It was a charming evening out there at the Largo Abade Faria, as a small crowd of curious Panjimites refused to disperse despite a sudden cloud-burst that decided to celebratethe occasion too.

     Was Abbé Faria now out of my system? I discovered that he was not. Since I am a theatre- person, here I had fertile material for a dramatic story. The form that the play was to takeeluded me for a long while, but when it did arrive, I was pleased: a number of different pointsof view could be dramatized, and  Kator Re Bhaji, the play, weaves stories within stories, andshifts focus between hypnotism and family relationships, from the story of a migrant ineighteen century Europe to the fallout of the P into Revolution in Goa as well as the FrenchRevolution, and called forth many layers of feeling. Our theatre group, the Mustard Seed ArtCompany staged the play as part of a Festival of the Visual Arts and Theatre organized byKala Academy and Fundação Oriente, Goa (Dec 2005). Yet again were we re-living themystery and lonely achievements of a path-finder.

    A few years later, film-maker Nalini de Souza took the initiative of fashioning an episode onthe life of Abbé Faria on her programme Contacto Goa, on the Portuguese TV Channel RTP.The programme was viewed and enjoyed by Goans world-wide.

    A non-resident Goan artist Dom Martin, deserves credit for many worthy initiatives. Martintook the step of writing to the Portuguese government to have a stamp struck in Faria’shonour, since Faria had lived in P ortugal. To the credit of that government, their postalservices did launch a first-day-cover on Faria, a milestone. Martin put together with greateffort and enthusiasm a website that is today the authoritative website for Abbé Faria(www.abbefaria.com) . Not content with all this, the philanthropic painter conferred a

     posthumous award on Faria (2005) from the Vicente Xavier Verodiano Foundation of whichhe is a trustee.

    And when Faria seemed to have quietly gone his own way, the Psychiatry Association of India, at the instance of Dr. Rajendra Hegde has published Manohar Sardessai’s translation of Faria’s book.

    Faria seems to have intrigued many writers beyond the community of psychiatrists: the most prominent of these is Alexandre Dumas; one of Faria’s contemporaries wrote a play ridiculinghim in Paris; Fred Waschsmann wrote another play Os Padres Faria; in India, playwright Asif Currimbhoy published another play entitled Abbé Faria. Derek Antao’s unpublished play is

    titled ‘Faria’. My brother Luis S. R. Vás has written and published numerous articles on thesubject. Dr. Nandakumar Kamat, Dr. Bailon de Sá, Mário Cabral e Sá, Vivek Menezes (asVM de Malar) Alexandre Moniz Barbosa, Prajal Sakhardande and many others,have exploredthemes surrounding the pioneer. But the greatest credit is owing to Dr. D. G. Dalgado, whofaithfully documented José Custódio’s life and times, and who provides the basis for much of the subsequent writing on Faria, including the essay by the Nobel Laureate Dr. Egas Moniz.

     No, Goa has not really ignored Abbé Faria. But perhaps it is time for a more sizeable tribute tohis memory. A small museum in his ancestral villages of Colvale or Candolim would be afitting start.


    Mind, Moods and MagicDr Harish Shetty


    Contemplation by Dom Martin

    ‘Mental Health/Illness is too important to be left to Mental Health Professionalsalone’ sharedDr N. N.Wig some years ago. A statement that has been ringing in my mind and has far 

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    reaching repercussions clearly makes a clarion call for a people- based, ‘Mental HealthMovement’ across the country. As the nation is caught in a web of cross currents: ideological,cultural, industrial, sociological and political, the mental health scenario has deteriorated withindividual and family mental health has become a great casualty. Suicide among the youth hasincreased manifold and the World Health Organization has raised a red flag recently. Inflation,crumbling institutional edifices, rapid pace, and anonymity has added to the mental health

     burden in India and its different states.

    A malnourished body is a place where bacteria and viruses flourish and similarly anemotionally fragile society provides the right milieu for violence, abuse and human rightviolations against the mentally disabled - a reality. This already adds to the existing mentalhealth burden. Goa is a unique state with one of the highest women enrolment in higher education 61.2% [2011] and yet is a society in turmoil similar to different parts of the country.The need of the hour is to weave traditional wisdom and modern science and launch a ‘Mental

    Health Movement’ of the people, by the people and for the people’. The thrust areas can beas follows:


    Building Emotional Wealth & Emotional Equity

    A nation in lucid sleep for centuries as a consequence of foreign rule is awakening through aseries of historical events and milestones. ‘Memory can exist without imagination butimagination can never exist without memory’ writes Abbe Faria in his book. This maxim is soapt for today where creative imagination needs to stem from collective memories and theconsciousness of our populace. Resilience building  and Preventing depression needs to bethe pillars of our Health Posts apart from preventing Malaria, Polio, Tuberculosis and 

    other infectious diseases. A health worker/teacher or an anganwadi teacher can be easily

    trained to screen for suicide and mental illness. Mental Health Science is not rocket sciencethat needs to be archived, frozen and put in captivity. Building Emotional Wealth is the sameas building resilience. Educational institutions should be mandated to have full- fledgedCounseling Centers that work towards building resilience and identifying students at high risk for mental illness. The investment in mental health may appear invisible but will help increase

     productivity, mood, self-esteem and wealth both fiscal and emotional of the state and thecountry. It goes to the credit of the Chief Minister of Goa for investing in the appointment of school counselors this year. Many educational institutions are wealthy enough to support suchan initiative for themselves and the other under-privileged schools. Building a sense of equitywhere every student is viewed with equal compassion and affection irrespective of his caste,religion or economic status needs to be interwoven in the processes.


    Bare foot mental health worker

    India is a developing country where we have to work with numbers. Training bare foot mentalhealth workers can be a reality. A top -heavy Mental Health Framework is neither feasible nor necessary in the country. Experiments of training lay workers in mental health have beenconducted in different parts of India more so in the disaster affected areas for e.g. KandlaCyclone, communal riots etc. Formal education may not be a pre-requisite for choosing a

     barefoot mental health worker. Such Community workers may work under supervision of atrained Mental Health personnel. Their functions would be to assist early identification of 

    emotional disorders, provide simple psycho-education /counseling, help the ill to accessservices at the earliest, shattering myths/stigma of mental illness and prevention of suicide.The State and the Private sector can join hands in the endeavour. The barefoot mental healthworker is a volunteer who is interested in the welfare of the community and emotionally fit to

     be involved in this activity. T hey can be drawn from villagers, farmers, teachers and studentsetc. Building capacities of these workers across time will help improve the P eace Index of the



    Harnessing indigenous wisdom

    Today there is evidence to suggest that Yoga, Meditation and Exercise help treat depressionand stress. Yoga is a very cheap and easy method to strengthen, heal and enhance mentalfaculties apart from helping various diseases. Vipassana is also a method mandated to becompulsory for many groups; religious, ideological and Government officers in different partsof the country. These methods are not based on religious texts and are fiercely secular. At anearly age Yoga may be introduced as an activity in schools. Making it ‘cool’ and fashionableis the need of the hour. At the same time one needs to maintain the balance and understand

    that these practices may not help major mental illness just as boiled drinking water does notcure gastroenteritis. Shedding the attitude of being excessively apologetic, there is a need toincorporate literary pieces such as the Bhagwad Gita, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Parables fromthe Bible, Koran etc. Every revered text is a piece of rich literature and can be used in MentalHealth P ractices judiciously. Cultural literacy and cultural competencies need to be enmeshedin the educative practices of mental health professionals. While interviewing approximately 85

     psychologists in Goa recently I was surprised to discover that except for one, none knewanything about P atanjali. Making mental health training relevant, contemporary, useful andculturally relevant is the need of the hour.


    Defeat Depression Campaign for the youth

    In Mumbai we are looking at launching ‘Support groups for Adolescents’ across the city. T hiswill help them to connect with each other, support mental health professionals and others liveand through digital media/social media. This is aimed at building a sense of belonging, provideforums to bring down distress, providing coping skills and help those ill to access treatmentservices early and at low cost. Such groups across Goa may be stimulated and coordinated bythe Association of P rincipals and the Goa Psychiatric Society. This will address scholasticissues, addiction, self-esteem problems, depression and others. If a young boy/girl is

     befriended in trouble by a support professional self -harm and downward descent inconfidence and career can also be thwarted. This will have a ripple effect in the family andsnowball into improving family health. Defeat Depression campaigns can drastically bringdown the incidence of suicides in the state.


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    Emotional Empowerment o f Families.

    Emotional Contact Time and Family Contact time is a casualty in a fast paced world.Marriage as an institution is under great duress. Intra- family conflicts are on the rise. Manyreligious groups have activities to enhance mental health of couples and families. ‘Couples for Christ’ is one such activity by the Catholic Church. Many such experiments and emotionalarbitration processes do exist but the compliance on the same is poor and the respectability /authority of such structures have gone down in the past few years. Christian retreats andsimilar activities among other religions also focus on improving family mental health. The needis to give this activity a great fillip and impetus by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women &Health and others.


    Mental Health Minister

    Every state needs a Mental Health Minister. Well, mental health problems have multipliedmany folds. More than 3 people commit suicide in Mumbai every day. Though the MunicipalCorporation of Greater Mumbai has put posters against dengue and malaria in residentialareas, no such activity has been seen for prevention of suicide. Mumbai has a Nodal Officer for tuberculosis and we are pitching for a Mental Health Commissioner. Every state needs aMental Health Minister. Critics will always jump and say that every illness cannot berepresented by a minister but the fact is that mental health problems are on the rise and needsincere and urgent attention. A separate minister will help build existing mental healthinstitutions, increase man power, work towards reducing the mental health burden andincrease the Happiness Quotient of the given state.

    Happy days are here again. The country is on the thresh hold of a great tomorrow. We needto kindle the spirit of the renowned scientist Abbe Faria who thought far ahead of his timesmore than 250 years ago. Lighting the mental health lamp for a great sunshine on the horizonof Goa, a state that has shown compassion and love as its greatest gifts to mankind would be

    the best tribute to Abbe Faria who bestowed on mankind the beautiful jewel of ModernHypnosis.


    [Dr Harish Shetty may be contacted at [email protected] or mindmoodsandmagic.blogspot.in]


    Psychology and Mind

     - Prof C.G. Deshpande

     Self-contemplation  by Dom Martin


    1 . Introduction :

     N o one questioned about the mind until psychology started with scientific orientation. Themind-body problem is not defined in contemporary psychology, though it is a genuine one.F.A. Lange coined the term “psychology without a soul” but the problem of mind still persists.We cannot deny dualism. Wellek has defined an empirical dualism. He states that monism istheory, dualism is an experience. The existence of conflicts in the personality tends to supportthis theory. For example, the conflict between hunger and a desire to fast. The duality is alsosupported by terminology concerning the mind-body problem – psychophysics,

     psychophysically neutral, psychosomatic, somatopsychic, mind-body unit, etc.


    2. Ancient views about the concept of Mind:

    Plato was a rationalist and strongly believed in the functioning of reason. He took dualistic position and asserted that mind and body are two separate entities. He was more interested inthe nature of mind than body and considered that mind is permanent as ideas live on for generations, while body perishes. Rene Descartes, French philosopher and mathematician,symbolizes a transition in human thought from the Renaissance to the Modern Period. He was

    interactionist dualist, that is, he believed not only that mind and body are separate but alsoemphasized that mind and body interact in the pineal gland, located at the base of thecerebrum. Spinoza was a bilateral theorist and considered body and mind as separate. Leibnizreferred to unity in the substance and duality in the function as two clocks keep time with oneanother. Indian scriptures also considered the problem of mind and body. In Yogavasistha,Seer Vasistha defined mind as Chaitanya- manaao ih pushya: and emphasized mind and body

    as separate entities. In Bhagwat Gita ( 10th Adhyaya -22) it is stated that amongst senses LordKrishna functions as mind. It is the psychic energy or Chaitanya in a human body.

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    3. Mind-Body problem and brain:

    All our conscious processes and states are dependent on the brain, if the brain does notfunction properly due to chemical or mechanical influences or if there is any failure in thespecific area of the brain, psychological processes are affected immediately. It means brain

     pro ces ses are indispensable prerequisites for psychological processes. The mind-body problem can therefore be reduced to two questions:-

    i. What happens in the brain when we experience something? Andii. What is the casual relationship between psychological and cerebral processes?


    The answer to the first question is that during all conscious experiences an enormous number of electrical and chemical processes take place in the ganglionic cells and fibers of the cerebralcortex - that is - nervous system. The resulting “excitation constellation” must be “specific”,corresponding to each individual content of our conscious experience.

    Therefore, it follows that there are contents of experience. The second question concerns thecasual relationship between psychological and cerebral processes. Psychological processes arenon-physical while cerebral processes belong to the organic-material sphere. Old theories heldthat there could be an interaction between the two processes. New theories have tried toexplain the dependence of psychological processes on cerebral activity and assumed thatconscious experience is an effect of the brain processes but itself cannot act on the latter.

    For natural-scientific psychology, the conscious experiences are biological phenomena; theyhelp to maintain life and individuality. The mental processes can be considered as the highestexpression of natural development and as the ultimate effect of the organic process as thetranscendental experience.


    4. Jolt to the concept of mind and mental processes:

    Scientific psychology began with schools. T he first school was “Structuralism” founded byE.B. Titchener. He embraced a dualistic position on the mind-body problem in the form of 

     psychophysical parallelism. He defined psychophysical as the science of consciousness and“introspection” as a method for studying consciousness. William James and Harvey Carr established the school known as “Functionalism”. According to them psychology is the studyof Mental Activity. Mental Activity, in turn is concerned with the acquisition, fixation,retention, organization and evaluation of experiences, and their subsequent utilization in theguidance of conduct, Carr had stated that there are two aspects of every individual, namely,mind and body, and both must be taken into account in any analysis of behavior. He was alsoof the view that all mental activity is psychophysical in the sense that both mind and body areinvolved in any task. The other school was Gestalt School. The word “gestalt” means ‘whole’or ‘organization’. Instead of trying to break consciousness into its elements, Gestalt

     psychologists argued that our perceptions are organized so that “the whole is greater than thesum of its parts”. This school stimulated interest in cognitive topics such as perception and

     problem solving.

    The other important school was “Behaviorism” founded by J. B. Watson. He gave a severe jolt to the concept of mind and mental activities. He considered overt and covert behaviors as

    the subject matter of psychology. Because of this school, the study of mind was relegated tothe back burner. He totally excluded the method of introspection. He believed that mentalisticconcept such as “mind”, “consciousness”, “image” and the like, have no place in the scientific,objective science; they are the carry overs from the days of mental philosophy. The aim of 

     behaviorism as stated by Watson, is characteristically forthright and objective; given thestimulus to be able to predict the response and given the response, to be able to predict theantecedent stimulus. For behaviorists research he proposed following four methods-

    1. Observation with or without instrumental control2. The condition reflex method3. The verbal report method4. Testing method.

    Here, then, is the new psychology - a real science free from mentalistic concept and subjectivemethod.


    5. Renewed interest in the mind:

    During the hay day of behaviorism, cognitive psychology was almost forgotten. The study in psychology was confined to overt-covert behavior or molecular-molar behavior. In the 1950sseveral factors contributed to a renowned interest in studying cognitive processes. Computer technology provided new information processing concepts and terminology that psychologist

     began to adapt to the study of memory and attention. A new metaphor was developed. Themind was considered as a system that processes, stores and retrieves information. Theinformation-processing approach to study the mind continues to be influential.

    I n the 1950s, a heated debate arose between behaviorists and linguists about how childrenacquire language. T he behaviorist led by B.F. Skinner, claimed that language is acquiredthrough basic principles of learning. The linguists led by Noam Chomsky, argued that humansare biologically “pre-programmed” to acquire language, and that children come to understandlanguage as a set of “mental rules”. Many psychologists agreed to examine it from a morecognitive perspective. Even the definition of psychology has changed. Passer, Michael andSmith, Ronald published a book entitled “Psychology- the Science of Mind and Behaviour”.They have defined psychology as “the scientific study of behavior and the mind”. The term

     behavior refers to actions and responses that we can directly observe, whereas the term mindrefers to internal states and processes – such as thought and feelings that cannot be seendirectly and must be inferred from observable, measurable responses. T he cognitive

     perspective examines the nature of the mind and how mental processes influence behavior. Inthis view humans are information processors whose actions are governed by thoughts.


    6. Theory of mind: Understanding mental states:

    The term ‘theory of mind’ as proposed by Passer and Smith refers to persons beliefs aboutthe “mind” and the ability to understand other people’s mental states. Different people havedifferent mental states which means the functioning of their minds is different. Piaget believed

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    that children younger than 6 or 7 years have trouble recognizing what other people arethinking. It means their mind is not yet developed.

    Lying and deception also provide evidence of theory of mind. They imply an ability torecognize that one person can have information that another does not and therefore we caninfluence what other people think by withholding the truth.


    7. Mind skills:

    Richard Nelson - Jones have propagated the term “mind skills” in their book entitled“Practical Counseling and Helping Skills. Theyconsider mental processes as mind skills. Wecan train the individuals for these skills so that they can properly understand and control their 

     behavior as well as of others. Mind skills can influence the communication. The major mindskills are given as under.

      i. Creating Rules Skills:

      Rules are “dos” and don’ts by which people lead their lives. They accept certain rulesand reject some other ones.


    ii. Creating Perception Skills:

      Preferential thinking and propositional thinking are useful mind skills. Individuals perceive themselves, others, their   clients and events with varying degrees of accuracy. A principal skill of learningto perceive more accurately is being  able to distinguish fact from inference.


    iii Creating Self-Talks Skills:

    We must learn coping self-talk and not negative self-talk. With coping self-talk a personcalms himself down, becomes  clear regarding his goals and coaches himself in an appropriate communication.


    iv. Creating Visual Images Skills:

      When experiencing any significant feeling or sensation, people are likely to think in pictures as well as words. Those  whose most highly valued representational system is visual, tend to respond to theworld and organize it in terms of   mental images.


    v. Creating Explanations Skills:

      Explanations of course are the reasons that people give to them selves for whathappens. These explanations can  influence how they think about their past, present and future.

     vi. Creating Expectations Skills:

      Humans seek to predict their future so that they can influence and control them.Consequential thinking entails  creating expectations about the consequences of human behavior. For good or ill, peoplecan create and influence  their consequences including their own and other ’s feelings, physical reactions, thoughtsand communications.


    The other two minds skills are:

      i) Creating realistic goal skills and

    ii) creating realistic decision-making skills. Goals are important in life and decision-making, if well developed,  makes life more effective and useful. 

    8.  Concluding remarks - How do we view the concepts of mind today in Psychology?Mind is considered in terms of mental processes and not as an entity. D ifferent mental

     processes combine together to constitute the mind. We cannot do away with the concept of mind. Our thoughts and feelings affect out behavior andthoughts consist of various mental processes like thinking, reasoning and imagining.

    Methodical dualism would probably be a description of the attitude to the mind-body problemin contemporary psychology. Every psychologically relevant process or state must bedescribed, analyzed and interpreted through its physical, neuro-physiological and psychologicalcoordinates.



    1. Bhagwat Gita

    2. Chaplin, James and Krawiec, T .S.(1968), Second Edition.

    Systems and theories of Psychology. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

    3. Eysenck, H.J.; Arnold,W.J. and Meili, R.(1975).

     Encyclopedia of Psychology,Vol.Two. Fontana/Collins.

    4. Passer, Michael,W; Smith, Ronald, E.(2007).T hird Edition.

    Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behavior. Tata-McGraw Hill, New Delhi.

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    5. Richard Nelson - Jones. (2005).Fifth edition. Practcal Counselling and Helping Skills, Sage.

    6. The Yogavasistha. Nimays Sagar Press.


    (Courtesy: Souvenir of the ANCIPS Conference 2014)


    Clinical hypnosis and Patanjali yoga sutrasShitika Chowdhary and Jini K. Gopinath

    Additional article information


    Siesta by Dom Martin



    The trance states in yoga and hypnosis are associated with similar phenomena like relaxation,disinclination to talk, unreality, misrepresentation, alterations in perception, increasedconcentration, suspension of normal reality testing, and the temporary nature of the

     phenomena. While some researchers consider yoga to be a form of hypnosis, others note thatthere are many similarities between the trance in yoga and the hypnotic trance.

    The present study aimed to find similarities between the trance states of hypnosis andPatanjali's yoga sutras. The trance states were compared with the understanding of the

     phenomena of trance, and the therapeutic techniques and benefits of both. An understandingof the concept of trance in Patanjali's yoga sutras was gained through a thematic analysis of the book Four Chapters on Freedom by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. This led to anunderstanding of the concept of trance in the yoga sutras.

    The obtained concepts were compared to the concepts of trance in hypnosis (obtained throughthe literature on hypnosis) to investigate whether or not there exist similarities. The findings of the study show that there are similarities between the trance in hypnosis and the trance inPatanjali's yoga sutras in the induction and deepening of the trance states in hypnosis and thatof Samadhi, the phenomena present in hypnosis and the kinds of siddhis that are obtainedthrough Samadhi, and the therapeutic techniques and the therapeutic process in P atanjali'syoga sutra and hypnosis.

    Keywords: Consciousness, hypnosis, trance, yoga


    Consciousness and Altered States of Consciousness

    Consciousness can be defined as the subjective awareness of the momentary experienceinterpreted in the context of personal memory and present state.[1] Altered state of consciousness is also defined in terms of a change in the subjective experience. One popular definition is the one given by Tart in 1990. He defines the altered state of consciousness asone in which the individual feels a qualitative shift in his pattern of mental functioning; there isa change in the qualities of mental processes. It is not just defined as a quantitative shift, interms of more or less alert, more or less visual imagery, etc.[2]

    This definition highlights that primary phenomenal consciousness; which is awareness of achanged pattern of subjective experience; and reflective consciousness, in which a cognitive

     judgment must be passed so as to recognize that the experience is different from normal; are both involved in the altered state of consciousness.

    Altered states of consciousness or trance state have also been understood as a deviation fromthe normal states of consciousness. It has been understood as a state in which the world or theself tend to be misrepresented. This is caused by an internal or external change in theorganism's biological makeup and it alters the representational relations and hence is not afunctional, original or permanent state of the organisms’ consciousness. An altered state of consciousness is thus, due to a change in the representational state of consciousness and is not

    restricted to any specific cognitive, affective of sensory modality, but is a combination of them, and it is a temporary phenomenon.[2]

    According to this understanding of altered states of consciousness or trance state, hypnosis can be considered as one, because it changes the background mechanisms of consciousness, asstrong and multiple changes in conscious experiences are experienced as hypnotic suggestions.


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    One important factor to note when considering socio-cognitive hypnosis theories of this sort isthat they do not imply that subjects are always “faking,” or not really experiencing aninvoluntary hypnotic response. Although these models use terms such as “role enactment” or “self-presentation” they are still entirely consistent with the notion that hypnotised participantshave unusual experiences.

    The ecological theory of hypnosis is based on Shor's idea that the depth of hypnotic trance isrelated to the degree to which the participant loses awareness of the distinction betweenimagination and reality. This distinction is termed as the generalized reality orientation. Ego-

     psychological theory distinguishes between primary processes (emotional, holistic, illogical,unconscious, developmentally immature) and secondary processes (affect-free, analytical,logical, conscious, developmentally mature). Whereas normal adult functioning is biasedtoward secondary processing the induction of hypnosis makes the subject “let go” of somesecondary process activity. Critically, this theory is not as well-specified as some other 

    cognitive theories, and is thus not as easily testable or falsifiable.The third way research in hypnosis understands the phenomena in hypnosis as both a state of cognitive change that involves basic mechanisms of cognition and consciousness, and as a

     product of social interaction as the hypnotist and the subject come together for a specific purpose within a wider socio-cultural context.[9] T he third way theories include the integrativecognitive theory which makes a distinction between being in a mental state and being aware of 

     being in that state. An emphasis is placed on perception and consciousness. It includes thedissociated control theory concept which suggests that responses are facilitated by an inhibitionof high-level attention and the response set idea that suggested that involuntariness is anattribution about the causes of behavior.[10]


    The trance in hypnosis

    It is difficult to define a hypnotic trance state, but it can be inferred from hypersuggestibility, passivity, disinclination to talk, and fixed facial expressions, feelings of relaxation, unreality,automaticity and compulsion, alterations in body image, and unusual sensations have been

    reported to accompany hypnotic trance.[4] The hypnotic state has been described as one inwhich there is focused attention, concentration in which learning is maximized, alterations inself-awareness, a state of internally focused absorption and the suspension of normal realitytesting, alterations in perceptions.[11–15]

    The trance in hypnosis is characterized by a quiet, calm and peaceful mind. There exists ageneral sense of wellbeing. They describe it as a state of alert restfulness as the person isawake but the state is more like sleep than awake. The subjective time moves slowly, and thedistinction between the present, past, and future is lost. There is a shift of space location andone can experience oneself at several different locations in space. The depth of trance may bemild, moderate, or intense in depth.[6]

    Initially, the pulse rate and blood pressure rise, but they soon go below the resting levels. Therespiratory rate also first rises and then falls below the resting level. The metabolic rate fallssteeply and it may fall below the level of sleep. The body and face seem flushed as the

     peripheral flow of blood increases. There is also a decline in the plasma cortisol levels andthere is increased functioning in both the hemispheres of the brain.[4,6]

    Lethargy is present in a light hypnosis state. It is characteristic in this state that muscles

    contract at the slightest touch, friction, pressure, or massage. This contraction can berestricted, by the by, the repetition of the stimuli that caused it. In this state of light trance, thesubject appears to be in deep sleep, the eyes are closed or half closed and the face isexpressionless. The body appears to be in a state of complete collapse with the head thrown

     back, and the arms and legs hang loose, dropping heavily down.[4,6]

    Catalepsy characterizes a deeper level of trance and in this the subject becomes rigidly fixed inthe position in which they were in while they were entering catalepsy. Whether it is standing,or sitting, or kneeling. Arms or legs can be raised and will remain in that position.

    Since a trance state is also described as one in which there is a “heightened focus of attentionor concentration on internal or external cues” one can say that hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness or a trance state.[16]

    In this trance state, perception is clarified. What an individual perceives is colored by various projections of the mind. They refuse to accept perceptual clarity and the perception of realityis through these projections, in the hypnotic trance state however, reality is perceived free of the projections.



    Consciousness in yoga can be conceptualized as William James’ idea of consciousness.William James compared consciousness to a stream that was unbroken and continuous. Thisstream however, goes through constant changes and shifts and Patanjali yoga sutra states thatthere are seven states of consciousness or Saptadha prantabhumihi pragyana. These sevenstates are as follows:

    1. Awake

    2. Sleep

    3. Dream

    4. Turya

    5. The fifth state is defined as “abiding in mere non-duality, with all distinction and

      division extinguished, he is seen as one asleep”

    6. The sixth state is described as where he dwells “without knot,” liberated while

      living and without conception or ideation

    7. The seventh state is the state of enlightenment, which is the state of liberation  without the body. 

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    The turya state has been described as a tranquil settlement in the state of liberation and thestate of witness in action.[6] The state of turya has been explained in the MandukyaUpanishad as: “…th at which has no parts, soundless, the incomprehensible, beyond all 

     senses, the cessation of all phenomena, all blissful and non-dual AUM, is the Fourth, and 

    verily it is the same as Atman. He who knows this, merges his self in the supreme self – theindividual in the total .”[6]

    Since there is a distorted sense of self in this state, which is a misrepresentation, this state can be considered as an altered state of consciousness. The altered state of consciousness or trance state of yoga is that of Samadhi. It is described by the phrase sat-chit-ananda, whichtranslates to truth-consciousness-bliss. T his relates to a different realm of experience which is

     possible to describe only by metaphors and paradoxes.[12]

    According to Patanjali yoga sutras, Samadhi is the goal of yoga. It can be defined as the

     pointless point of consciousness beyond which nothing else remains. It is the deepest level of consciousness where even the sense of individuality does not remain. From the literaturereviewed it can be seen that the trance states of yoga and hypnosis have certain similarities.Trance in both the states is associated with relaxation, disinclination to talk, unreality,misrepresentation, alterations in perception, increased concentration, suspension of normalreality testing, and the temporary nature of the phenomena. Yoga can be considered to be aform of hypnosis and many similarities between the trance state of hypnosis and yoga have

     been noted.[4,12] While yogis are credited with performing difficult tasks like walking over  burning coal, or being able to lie on nails, individuals under the hypnotic trance are reported tohave “heavy weights on their abdomen while lying stretched in midair with supports only at hisheads or ankles.”

    Apart from this, not much research has been carried out, which investigates the similarities if any in the trance of yoga and hypnosis. In this study, I aim to aim to fill this gap literature bycomparing the trance state in hypnosis and yoga. Along with this I will also focus on thetherapeutic techniques of yoga and hypnosis.


    Research design

    In this study, whose aim is to investigate the similarities between hypnosis and yoga in termsof the altered states of consciousness, regression and therapeutic value, a qualitative design isused.

    A qualitative study is one that provides an in-depth understanding and interpretation of  phenomena by learning about the social and material circumstances, and histories.[17] Aqualitative design is suited for this study as it helps to investigate whether or not there aresimilarities between the trance states of yoga and that of hypnosis. The qualitativemethodology also helps to explore the historical, philosophical, and scientific roots of yoga andhypnosis and the conceptualization of the trance states in them. The study uses a pragmaticapproach as methods and procedures that work best for answering the research question have

     been employed.


    Research questions

     Broad Research Question: To investigate the similarities between yoga and hypnosis.

    Specific Research Question: To investigate the similarities between Patanjali yoga sutras andhypnosis in terms of the altered states of consciousness, and their therapeutic value.



    The sample consists of a text on Patanjali yoga sutra: Four Chapters on Freedom: ACommentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, by Swami Satyananda. The book is published

     by the Bihar School of Yoga, which is the world's first yoga university. The Bihar School of Yoga was founded by Swami Satyananda Saraswati in the year 1964.

    The book, Four Chapters on Freedom is a text used for the courses in the university, and is awidely accepted text on Patanjali yoga sutras. This is the reason this text is selected for analysis.


    Data collection

    The following serve as data for the study:  1.  The text on Patanjali yoga sutra. ( Four Chapters on Freedom: A Commentary on


      Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satyananda Saraswati)  2.  Discussion of findings with expert: Findings obtained from the thematic analysis

    are communicated  to an expert and discussed with her. This discussion provides insights, which are

    incorporated into the study. 

    The study is conducted in two phases. In the first phase, analysis of the book  Four Chapterson Freedom: A Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satyananda Saraswatiis carried out. In the second phase, the concepts obtained through the analysis are compared tothe concepts of hypnosis to uncover the similarities between the two.


    Data analysis

    Thematic analysis is the method of analysis for the first phase of the study. Thematic analysisis defined as a general method of analysis of text. It is a method for “identifying, analyzing andreporting patterns within data.” There are six steps in the through which thematic analysis

     progresses.[18] In the first phase the familiarization with the data is achieved, followed bygeneration of initial codes, following, which there is the search for themes, which are thenreviewed, defined and named and then the report is written.

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    Following the same process, in the first phase Four Chapters on Freedom: A Commentary onthe Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, is read to become familiar with the text. This is followed by aninitial coding which leads to the formation of themes. The themes are then reviewed and thendefined and named. T hrough this process meaning units are created, which describe andexplain each of the phenomena under study. These are then used to form themes, whichillustrate each of the phenomena.

    In the second phase of the study, the themes generated through the thematic analysis of thetext are compared with the concepts in hypnosis to investigate whether or not there aresimilarities between the phenomena in Patanjali yoga sutras and phenomena in hypnosis.


    Issues of trustworthiness and process of validation

    The themes obtained from the analysis were finalized after discussion with a student pursuingher Masters in Psychological Research Methodology who went through relevant passages fromthe text independently • The findings were discussed with the supervisor and an expert in thefield of yoga which provided further insight. This served as a method of triangulation • Peer debriefing: A competent peer was given regular progress reports of the research • A paper trailof the documents used for analysis, and the different stages of analysis is maintained and isavailable on request.



    The text which was analyzed, Four Chapters on Freedom: Commentary on the Yoga Sutrasof Patanjali by Swami Satyananda Sarswati was published in 1976. This book is acommentary on the yoga sutras written by the sage Patanjali. Sutra means thread and it isimplied, by the use of this word, that the written verses carry and underlying, continuous andunbroken thought. The various ideas in the sutras connect with each other and one thoughtleads to the next resulting in a complete philosophy.


    The yoga sutras of P atanjali consist of 196 sutras, which are organized into four chapters.These are:

    • Samadhi Pada: This consists of 51 verses and is the chapter on Samadhi.

    • Sadhana Pada: This consists of 55 verses and is the chapter on practice.

    • Vibhooti Pada: This chapter discusses various psychic powers and consists of 56


    • Kaivalya Pada: It the chapter on isolation or aloneness. It consists of 34 verses.

      From the thematic analysis, it was found that there are similarities between the trance

      state in hypnosis and yoga. These similarities are found in terms of:

    • The induction and deepening of the trance states in hypnosis and that of Samadhi• The phenomena present in hypnosis and the siddhis obtained through Samadhi

    • The therapeutic techniques and the therapeutic process in Patanjali's yoga sutra

      and hypnosis.


    Along with the similarities between the two, there were many ideas in Patanjali yoga sutraswhich were found to be similar to psychological concepts.


    Psychological concepts in Patanjali yoga sutras

    There are many ideas in Patanjali yoga sutras that are parallel to and resemble concepts thatare present in psychology. The mind or chitta as described in P atanjali yoga sutras is said to becomprised of the conscious, subconscious and the unconscious. Patanjali yoga sutras also

     believe that self-realization can take place only when the chitta vrittis cease their activity or when the chitta is no longer affected by the three gunas. Only when there is a cessation of identification with the outside objective world, the mind is able to see things as they are. Thisis similar to the idea in psychology of the presence of schemas through which we make senseof the world. Schemas can be conceptualized as organized patterns of thought and behaviorsor structures that organize our knowledge and assumptions about something that is used for interpreting and processing information.

    They influence our attention to a situation and also influence what we look for in situations. Itis the schemas that guide our thinking and information processing. All the information that isreceived from the external world is interpreted through the schemas we hold.[19] In order togain an objective understanding, one must look at this information outside of the schemas.This is essentially the same idea that is present in Patanjali yoga sutras as well. The mind,Patanjali explains, is colored and conditioned by its likes, dislikes, and false beliefs. It further explains that the external reality is superimposed with the modifications of the mind. This canresult in misidentification leading to feelings of joy, sadness, fear, like, dislike, etc., Suffering isa result of the identification of the modification of the mind with the external object. In order to overcome suffering this association has to be broken.

    Patanjali yoga sutras also hold that memory is made up of past impressions. Smriti, itdescribes as an independent awareness on which impressions are embedded. It also believesthat even if the past clears up, the smriti remains. Thus we see that smriti is analogous toschemas as schemas too, are mental structures that help us organize information regarding theexternal world. T hey are cognitive representations of the self which guide the kind of attention

     paid to external events and the meaning that they convey.[19]

    The modifications of the mind, according to the yoga sutras are of five kinds (depending onthe sense that is res onsible for the erce tion) and are either ainful or leasurable (there is a

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     liking of the pleasurable and a disliking of the painful). This holds that an object or event initself is not painful or pleasurable, but it is the mind that makes it so. It is the attachment thatone has toward objects that causes attraction and repulsion toward them. Abandonment of thisattachment or the process of detachment gives rise to freedom from this attraction or repulsion, thereby helping in controlling the pleasure and pain one experiences. This is thesame as the concept of cognitive theory and cognitive hypnotherapy. Cognitive theory positsthat people tend to perceive and interpret situations in characteristic ways that color their feelings and shape their behaviors. People often have spontaneous, automatic thoughts abouttheir past, current or future situations.

    People are not conscious of the automatic thoughts but of the emotions arising from them.These arise from the beliefs and ideas that are embedded in the mental structures of the mind.These are called schemas. These schemas have the ability to bias processing of informationand external events are colored by the schemas which guide the individual. This makes the

    individual infer an external event as positive or negative, pleasurable, or painful.[20]The yoga sutras also explain the yogic theory of perception. This holds that even though theobject is one, it is perceived differently at different times and by different people depending onthe difference in mental conditions. It is this difference in perception that makes object capableof inducing pleasure and pain and suffering. Once the perception is cleansed of one's mentalmodifications external events fail to evoke pain and suffering in the in the individual. This issimilar to the principle of cognitive behavior therapy.[20]

    The yoga sutras also hold the concept of conscious and subconscious memory. Consciousmemory involves the recollection of things already experienced. This is different fromsubconscious memory that refers to the memory that one does not consciously remember.This may present itself in dreams and the memories that are revealed there are memories of actual events that are not distorted. T he sutras thus, are of the opinion that consciousmemories are distorted due to our impressions are remembered as such and not as what thereality was. This is in line with the idea of memory being a reconstructive process.[21]

    The yoga sutras also discuss pain and its cause. T hey explain that pain is not in the present butis rooted in the past. Klesha is the agony that is present in our very being. According to them,

    everyone feels pain but everyone is not aware of it. Pain is thought to be at the bottom of everything and Patanjali also talks of three different types of pain.

    • The first pain is change, life changes to death

    • The second is acute anxiety, achievement, success and love give rise to anxiety at

      some time or the other;

    • The third pain is habit, we become used to things and are then afraid of losing



    Similarities in the induction and deepening of trance in hypnosis and Patanjali yoga sutras

    The process of attaining the trance state in hypnosis is referred to as the induction process.One of them is the eye fixation method. In the eye, fixation method is a type of hypnoticinduction method that people associate most with hypnosis. In this method, the client isinstructed to maintain a fixed gaze on an object. This could be any object, a spot on the wall,the hand of the hypnotist, a finger held in front of the client's eyes, or even, the flame of alamp.[22] This method is similar to the technique described in the yoga sutras, wherein theaspirant concentrates on an object, internal or external, which could be the image of a deity, aflame, the tip of the nose or even concentrating between the eyebrows to attain Samadhi.


    Similarities in the phenomena of trance in hypnosis and Patanjali yoga sutras

    In the trance of hypnosis, there is a shift in the perception of the external world and theinternal environment.[11] Some of these changes can be compared to the siddhis described inthe Patanjali yoga sutras. Subjective time appears to move slowly and an hour may appear tohave been only a few minutes. Memories of remote events of the past are recalled withuncanny accuracy. During hypnosis, the power of selected groups of muscles can beincreased, which is the same as the attainment of strength. This increase in strength can bemaintained after the trance state through the use of post-hypnotic suggestion. The bodytemperature can be made to increase in the trance of hypnosis; this is found in the yoga sutras

    as well. The action of the organs can be changed, and this is a siddhi too. Hearing is said, can be made more acute in the trance of hypnosis, this is analogous to the siddhi of divinehearing.[11] T hus we see that there are indeed similarities in the phenomena of hypnosis withthe siddhis described in the Patanjali yoga sutras.


    Similarities in the therapeutic process and techniques in hypnosis and Patanjali yogasutras

    Hypnosis and hypnotherapy is a paradigmatic phenomenon. It challenges fundamentalassumptions of self and reality. An individual's perceptions and beliefs can be overturnedthrough hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy also believes that schemas or cognitivestructures regulate psychological functioning or adaptation and give meaning to contextualrelationships. Assignment of meaning at the conscious and unconscious level activates

     behavioral, emotional, and other strategies of adaptation. One of the essential axioms of hypnotherapy is that meanings do not always represent reality but are a construction of a givencontext or goal and are subject to cognitive distortions. Some individuals are vulnerable tocognitive distortions.[23] T his is the same as the mental modifications that influence the

     perception of reality as explained by the yoga sutras; and the techniques of Patanjali yoga sutraand hypnosis allow access to processes below the threshold of awareness, which helps in therestricting of non-conscious cognitions.

    Like the techniques described in the yoga sutras for therapeutic benefits, hypnosis too inducesrelaxation, which is effective in reducing anxiety. It also promotes ego strengthening throughthe repetition of positive suggestions to oneself that get embedded in the unconscious mind.These then exert an automatic influence on feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. This enhancesone's self-confidence and self-worth.

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    Hypnosis and the techniques of yoga sutras facilitate divergent thinking, it maximizesawareness among several levels of brain functioning. They both have a direct impact on focusof attention and concentration.[24] They also help in directing attention to wider experiencessuch as feelings of warmth, feeling happy, feeling of contentment, and general feeling of wellbeing.[23] They serve to expand these experiences in the present, past, and future. Thesefacilitate in the reconstruction of dysfunctional realities.

    Even though modern psychotherapy adopts a curative paradigm and the yoga surtras of Patanjali operates through a preventive paradigm, there are similarities in the therapeutictechniques, and the therapeutic gain obtained from hypnosis and Patanjali yoga sutras. S ince ithas already been pointed out that ancient Indian paradigm of consciousness is holistic and isrelated to mental health, the trance in yoga can be used in modern psychotherapeutic


    The above discussion highlights there are indeed hypnotic similarities in yoga with regard tothe conceptualization of consciousness and altered state of consciousness, the phenomena inthe altered states of consciousness and the therapeutic benefits and the therapy process. InIndia, the therapeutic process is closely linked to faith and hence it make sense to make use of the traditional therapeutic modalities in modern therapeutic paradigm.[26]



    The trance states in yoga and hypnosis are associated with relaxation, disinclination to talk,unreality, misrepresentation, alterations in perception, increased concentration, suspension of normal reality testing, and the temporary nature of the phenomena. Yoga can be considered asa form of hypnosis and similarities between the trance of hypnosis and yoga has beennoted.[4,12] While yogis are credited with performing difficult tasks like walking over burningcoal, or being able to lie on nails, individuals under the hypnotic trance are reported to have“heavy weights on their abdomen while lying stretched in midair with supports only at hisheads or ankles.”

    This study aimed to find similarities between the trance states of hypnosis and Patanjali yogasutras. The trance states were compared on the understanding of the phenomena of trance, the

     phenomena of trance, and the therapeutic techniques and benefits of both. The study wasconducted in two phases. The first phase of the study dealt with gaining an understanding of the concept of trance in Patanjali yoga sutras, through a thematic analysis of the book  Four Chapters on Freedom: A Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami SatyanandaSaraswati. The thematic analysis of the book led to an understanding of the concept of trancein the yoga sutras. In the second phase of the study, these concepts were compared to theconcepts of trance in hypnosis (obtained through the literature on hypnosis) to investigatewhether or not there exist similarities.

    The findings of the study show that there are similarities between the trance in hypnosis andthe trance in Patanjali yoga sutras. These similarities are present in the following areas:

    • The induction and deepening of the trance states in hypnosis and that of Samadhi

    • The phenomena present in hypnosis and the kinds of siddhis that are obtained  through Samadhi

    • The therapeutic techniques and the therapeutic process in Patanjali yoga sutra and



    These findings show that there are similarities in the two states and it needs to be exploredfurther to incorporate the concepts of yoga in the modern therapeutic domain. These conceptscan be used not only as preventative measures but as curative measures too.




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    As a schoolboy, I had read Alexander Dumas’ novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. I wasfascinated by the strange and sad character of Abbé Faria, a ‘mad’ genius who is imprisonedin the neighboring cell with the hero, Edmund Dante – a poor sailor, sent to prison by hisenemies and thrown into an underground dungeon of Chateau D’If for serious crimes whichhe never committed. How Abbé Faria before dying, passes on to the hero, the secret of hiddenwealth in an island and how he escapes the dreadful dungeons and acquires the immensewealth from Monte Cristo Islands – that’s the fascinating story of the novel. Many moviesfrom Hollywood (and at least one Hindi film from Bombay) have been made on the basis of this powerful, romantic story.

    When I read this novel as a young boy, little did I know that in real life there is a historical person called Abbé Faria. He has contributed enormously to the growth of our knowledgeabout Hypnosis and thus indirectly, to the rise of the medical speciality of Psychiatry. In this Iwas destined to make my career. The most fascinating part was the information I learnt later:that Abbé Faria was from India, from (then Portuguese) Goa, and he was a Christian priest

     but he would often proudly refer to himself as a “Brahmin” from India.

    It is sad to reflect how little we do know of the contribution of Indians in Modern Science. InPhysics and Chemistry, perhaps, we may recall three or four outstanding Indian scientists inthe twentieth century. But in Psychology and Psychiatry hardly any name comes to mind for any significant contribution. Abbé Faria was one such outstanding Indian in the 18th  centurywho greatly influenced our understanding of the phenomenon of Hypnosis and the role of suggestion in the hypnotic state. The studies on hypnosis contributed greatly to thedevelopment of psychoanalysis and modern psychotherapy in the nineteenth and twentiethcentury. It is sad that most Indians outside Goa, including psychologists and psychiatrists,

     probably have never heard the name. They also do not have any clear ideas about hisimportant contributions. T hose who have visited Goa have probably seen the striking statue of Abbé Faria in P anjim, where he is depicted hypnotizing a young woman. I understand that the

     present Mental Hospital is now also named after him as Hospital Abbé Faria.

    Who was this man from Goa, who so greatly influenced modern psychological thought inEurope nearly two hundred years ago? In spite of some very good biographical studies in thetwentieth century, particularly that by the Nobel P rize winner Egas Moniz (written inPortuguese), and Dr. D.G. Dalgado (written in French), our knowledge about Abbé Faria stillremains very sketchy. There are so many fictional stories about him that it is difficult to

    separate facts from fiction. An interesting incident is recorded by his biographer, that in theearly 20th century when he visited the house in Paris where Abbé Faria used to live around the1790s, he asked the lady concierge about Abbé Faria’s stay in the house. She laughed andsaid, “You must be pulling my leg. There was no Abbé Faria in real life. It was only a fictionalcharacter created by Alexander Dumas”!

    Probably Abbé Faria would have been long forgotten in the pages of fiction and hardly knownto students of psychology for his wise decision to write a book (in French) about his theorieson Hypnosis. This he called at that time, “Sommeil Lucide” or “Lucid Sleep”. He was

     planning to write four volumes but he died soon after the first (and now the only) volume in1819. In 1906, Dr. D.G. Dalgado of Goa, republished the Abbé Faria book in French with afresh P reface and Introduction by himself. It is this book, which has been translated andreproduced now in English and for which I have been asked to write the Foreword. TheEnglish translation has been undertaken by the noted scholar and French teacher, Dr.Manoharrai Sardessai. It is now being published by the distinguished psychiatrist from Goa,Dr. Rajendra Prabhakar Hegde.


    Brief Life Sketch of Abbé Faria

    At this stage, it may be useful to briefly recapitulate the main events of the life of Abbé Faria.Abbé or Abade Faria (in English, Father Faria) was born in Goa on31st May 1756 and giventhe name Jose Custodio de Faria. T he family were originally Hindus – Gaud SaraswatBrahmins of Konkan who were converted to Christianity about three generations earlier.Unfortunately, the marriage of his parents broke down a few years later. His father resumedhis studies to become a priest and his mother became a nun. When Jose Custodio was 15years old, his father moved to Portugal and took his son with him. Jose Custodio later movedto Rome to complete his doctorate in religious studies. That is how he acquired the name“Abbé Faria” and took up priestly duties in Portugal.

    A few years later, he moved to France just before the French Revolution. The details of that period are not very clear. Abbé Faria had a rebellious streak. It is recorded that he led a battalion of revolutionaries against the National Convention in 1795. Some believe that he wasimprisoned in the famous prison “The Bastille” near Paris, during the French Revolution.From P aris at some stage, he moved to Marseilles in the south of France and lived there for afew years till 1811. He became a member of the Medical Society of that city where he wasalso teaching Philosophy. There is an unconfirmed story that he was charged for treason bythe Government and imprisoned in Chateau D’If, off the coast of Marseilles for many years(the same Chateau D’If, as in the novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’).

    By 1813, Abbé Faria in his late fifties was once again back in Paris. Now he was giving hisfamous demonstrations on Hypnosis which became immensely popular. For the next fewyears it became the talk of the town in the high society of Paris. Many patients were cured andmany influential people swore by his knowledge and skills in hypnosis. Women of high society

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    were particularly attracted to his lecture demonstrations. This was perhaps the most glorious period in Abbé Faria’s life. This also led to marked jealousy and hostility among the clergy andother powerful groups in the city. These enemies started ridiculing his motives and methods.The most damaging was the role of a stage actor who got friendly with Abbé Faria. He then

     betrayed him by saying on stage that he was not really hypnotized but that he was only actingto pretend that he was in a trance.

    The famous writer Jules Verne wrote a play lambasting and making fun of Abbé Faria whowas greatly hurt by such insults and accusations. The last few years of his life were quiteunhappy. He died on September 1819, a socially isolated and lonely man, without any money.It was just a couple of years before his death, that Abbé Faria started writing his book for which he is so well remembered. It was in fact published on the day he died. He called it “Dela cause du sommeil lucide ou étude de la nature de l’homme”. Translated in English it would

     be “Of the cause of lucid sleep (slumber) or Study of the nature of man”. The first page

    further adds that the book is by Abbé Faria, Brahmin, Doctor of Theology & Philisophy,Member of the Medical Society of Marseilles and ex-Professor of Philosophy at the Universityof France. The book was published in Paris in 1819.

    What Abbé Faria called ‘lucid sleep’ was subsequently known in medical literature as“Hypnosis”. James Braid, a Scottish surgeon from Manchester introduced this term in 1843,about a quarter of a century after Abbé Faria’s death. Earlier these techniques were generallyreferred to as “Magnetism” or “Magnetic treatments”.


    The History of Hypnosis

    The history of hypnosis during the last two centuries is very interesting. In many ways, it isthe history of Modern Psychotherapy. It begins with the appearance of Anton Mesmer in Parisin the 1770s. Mesmer (1734 – 1815) was a medical doctor from Austria. He starteddemonstrating in Paris his special technique of putting people to sleep and curing them of many ailments. He called his method “Animal Magnetism”. It was also called by some as“Mesmerism”. He claimed that such animal magnetism can be passed on through special

    invisible magnetic fluids from a powerful person with more animal magnetism (like Mesmer)to other persons, to put them into a trance-like state and cure them of their symptoms. It istrue that many people especially women, were helped by his technique but many otherscons idered him to be a charlatan and his animal magnetism to be nothing but a hoax.Ultimately, Paris Academy investigated his claims in 1784 but did not support his theory nor his methods or results. Mesmer became discredited and left Paris to ultimately die inSwitzerland.

    The phenomenon of Mesmerism or what was later called “Hypnosis” has puzzled psychologists and neuroscientists for the last two hundred years. It will not be wrong to say,that even though we know a lot more about hypnosis, the basic brain mechanisms are still notvery clear.

    After Mesmer’s exit from P aris, one of his followers, Marquis de Puységur continued histeachings. The latter came from an aristocratic family; unlike Mesmer, he was highly respectedfor his personal integrity. During the French Revolution, he was imprisoned in the Bastille

     prison and perhaps it was there that he met Abbé Faria and taught him “Animal Magnetism” of Mesmer. Abbé Faria has dedicated his book to Marquis de Puységur in 1819.

    Abbé Faria’s main contribution to this science is that he totally dismissed Mesmer’s theories of “Animal Magnetism” and transfer of “fluids” from hypnotizer to the hypnotized. He, for thefirst time, proposed that the basis of such phenomenon (what he called ‘Lucid Sleep’ and isnow known as Hypnosis) is essentially through “suggestion”. It is the suggestion from thehypnotizer which is accepted by the one who is hypnotized and it is this which produces theremarkable changes in his mind and body.

    Over the last two hundred years, the process of suggestion is now widely accepted as the true basis for hypnosis. T he recognition of Abbé Faria for this remarkable insight was not easy tocome by. Braid introduced the term “Hypnosis” in 1843, which slowly became popular and isnow universally accepted. In English-speaking countries, the credit for discovering Hypnosisand its scientific basis is generally attributed to Braid without mentioning that Abbé Faria hadalready proposed it 25 years earlier. In France however, the contribution of Abbé Faria wasslowly recognized. His pupil, General Noizet first popularized Faria’s theories. In Francearound the 1970s, Dr. Liébeault, a simple rural family doctor was practising Abbé Faria’stechniques. He did not charge fees but cured many patients.

    Dr. Bernheim from Nancy University near Dr. Liébeault, also took deep interest in Abbé

    Faria’s teachings. He wrote about it in academic journals. Bernheim and Liébeault’s teachingson Hypnosis came to be known as the “Nancy School of Hypnosis”. Freud, in his search tolearn about hypnosis, visited Nancy and met both Dr. Liébeault and Dr. Bernheim. It wasfrom Nancy that Freud probably picked up the seeds of his famous theory of the“Subconscious Mind”. If during hypnosis, a person can act in a certain way, of which later hehas no memory, obviously a part of the mind is involved. This is not at a conscious level butat a subconscious level. To this, Freud gave the name “Subconscious Mind”. Thus, we see alink between Abbé Faria, Hypnosis and the whole movement of Psychoanalysis and ModernPsychiatry.

    Slowly, the recognition came for Abbé Faria’s important discovery. The great neurologistCharcot (1825 – 1893) in Paris for the first time introduced Abbé Faria’s writings in themedical curriculum. His clinics were famous all over Europe for the treatment of hysteria byhypnosis. Sigmund Freud visited Charcot in P aris. Many other distinguished neurologists inthat period have paid rich tributes to Abbé Faria. Prof. Bernheim very clearly stated that “Thediscovery of hypnotism does not belong to James Braid, only the word belongs to him. It isFaria to whom without any doubt, goes the merit of being the first to establish the doctrine andthe method of hypnotism through suggestion”.

    Another famous professor of Neurology from Paris, Dr. Gilles de la Tourette, a recognizedauthority on Hypnotism has stated, “It was Abbé Faria, the Portuguese Brahmin priest as hestyles himself, who, coming directly from India, caused all this revolution, and the changefrom the “Theory of Fluids” to “Suggestion”. It was Abbé Faria, who, for the first time statedthat “the hypnotist owned no special virtue but everything was in the individual to behypnotized”.


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    The Scientific Contribution of Abbé Faria

    The life of Abbé Faria is an amazing story of struggle and achievements of an Indian philosopher scientist. He made his mark in the countries of Europe in the 18th  century,expressing himself in foreign languages in the hostile scientific milieu of those countries. I donot think there is any other example of such outstanding contribution by any Indian, in theEuropean science and knowledge of that period. Even when he was being ridiculed andcriticized, his genius was being widely recognized. That he made a powerful impact on theminds of people of those countries is obvious from the fact that the greatest French novelist of that period, Alexander Dumas used his name to depict a powerful character in his best sellingnovel.


    In conclusion

    I feel so happy to know that Dr. Rajendra Hegde and his friends are bringing out an Englishtranslation of Abbé Faria’s book, along with an introduction and preface by Dr. Dalgado,which was first published in 1906. Every Indian must know more about this great ‘Son of India’. However, those who read his book now must keep in mind that the original book waswritten nearly two hundred years ago, when the scientific knowledge about Medicine andHuman Physiology was very limited. In spite of occasional odd medical statements, one isdazzled by the scientific approach and reasoning of Abbé Faria to demolish the persisting“Fluid theories” and “Animal Magnetism”.

    There is a popular story in Goa that when Abbé Faria had to give his first sermon as a young priest in the Royal Court in P ortugal, he got very nervous, becoming tongue-tied. His father was sitting below in the audience. To encourage his son, he shouted in the Konkani language,“Kator Re Bhaji”, meaning, do not be afraid to speak to these people; it is as simple “ascutt ing vegetables” in the kitchen. Listening to this, the young Abbé Faria picked upconfidence and delivered a flawless address.

    I believe this story has a great message for today’s young people of India. With courage and

    conviction, one can achieve great things. Remember senior Faria’s advice “Kator Re Bhaji”. Dr. N.N. WigEmeritus Professor of PsychiatryPost-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhINDIA


    This i s the Foreword by Dr. Wig for Abbé Fari a’s book ‘ Of the cause of lucid sleep or 

    Study of the nature of man” translated i nto Engli sh by Dr. Manoharrai Sardessai and 

     published by Dr. Rajendra P Hegde (Goa- India).