The only place black magic works is in your mind

When he was dumped by the JDS for a second time last November, the BJP’s B.S. Yediyurappa provided an obscurantist spin to his physical wellbeing by claiming that he was facing a “death threat” and that former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and his family were indulging in maata-mantra (black magic) to get rid of him.

“I am facing a threat to my life. I am aware of the places where they are performing the pujas to finish me off. Many of his opponents have suffered this fate fate in the past, and I could be the latest victim,” the ten-day chief minister of the “hi-tech state” said, with a desperation that beggared belief.

Soon after, Yediyurappa’s former party colleague, Uma Bharati, too accused her political opponents of using tantrik powers to inflict damage upon her. In fact, within a few days, she had lost her favorite uncle, hit the door of her car against her head, and found her legs covered with wounds and blisters.

But does black magic work? How does it work? Who makes it work? Should politicians be allowed to get away with such ridiculous claims in 21st century India?


Earlier this month, Sanal Edamaruku, the president of Rationalist International, challenged Pandit Surinder Sharma, who claims to be a tantrik of top politicians and is a wellknown face on Hindi television, to demonstrate his powers on him. Thus began an unprecedented experiment in rationalism—and television.

On Rajat Sharma‘s ultra-tabloid channel India TV, the tantrik and the rationalist were invited for a “Tantrik power versus Science” discussion.

During the discussion, the tantrik showed a small human shape of wheat flour dough, laid a thread around it like a noose and tightened it. He claimed that he was able to kill any person he wanted within three minutes by using black magic. Sanal challenged him to try and kill him.

The tantrik tried. He chanted his mantra: “Om lingalingalinalinga, kilikili” But his efforts did not show any impact, not after three minutes, not after five. The time was extended and extended again….

Now the tantrik changed his technique. He started sprinkling water and brandishing a knife in front of him. Sometimes he moved the blade all over his body. Then he touched Sanal’s head with his hand, rubbing and rumpling up his hair, pressing his forehead, laying his hand over his eyes, pressing his fingers against his temples. When he pressed harder and harder, Sanal reminded him that he was supposed to use black magic only, not forceful attacks to bring him down. The tantrik took a new run: water, knife, fingers, mantras.

But Sanal kept looking very healthy and even amused.

After nearly two hours, the anchor declared the tantrik’s failure. The tantrik, unwilling to admit defeat, tried the excuse that a very strong god whom Sanal might be worshipping obviously protected him. “No, I am an atheist,” said Sanal Edamaruku. Finally, the disgraced tantrik tried to save his face by claiming that there was a never-failing special black magic for ultimate destruction, which could, however, only been done at night.

Bad luck again, he did not get away with this, but was challenged to prove his claim this very night in another “breaking news” live program.

The encounter took place under the open night sky. The tantrik and his two assistants were kindling a fire and staring into the flames. Once the ultimate magic was invoked, there wouldn’t be any way back, the tantrik warned. Within two minutes, Sanal would get crazy, and one minute later he would scream in pain and die.

Didn’t he want to save his life before it was too late?

The countdown begun. The tantriks chanted their “Om lingalingalingalinga, kilikilikili” followed by ever changing cascades of strange words and sounds. The speed increased hysterically. They threw all kinds of magic ingredients into the flames that produced changing colours, crackling and fizzling sounds and white smoke.

While chanting, the tantrik came close to Sanal, moved his hands in front of him and touched him, but was called back by the anchor. After the earlier covert attempts of the tantrik to use force against Sanal, he was warned to keep distance and avoid touching Sanal. But the tantrik “forgot” this rule again and again.

Now the tantrik wrote Sanal’s name on a sheet of paper, tore it into small pieces, dipped them into a pot with boiling butter oil and threw them dramatically into the flames. Nothing happened. Singing and singing, he sprinkled water on Sanal, mopped a bunch of peacock feathers over his head, threw mustard seed into the fire and other outlandish things.

Nothing happened, and time was running out. Only seven more minutes before midnight, the tantrik decided to use his ultimate weapon: the clod of wheat flour dough. He kneaded it and powdered it with mysterious ingredients, then asked Sanal to touch it. Sanal did so, and the grand magic finale begun.

The tantrik pierced blunt nails on the dough, then cut it wildly with a knife and threw them into the fire. That moment, Sanal should have broken down. But he did not. He laughed. Forty more seconds, counted the anchor, twenty, ten, five, it’s over!

In this night, one of the most dangerous and wide spread superstitions in India suffered a severe blow.

Also read: Cheaper jet fuel at Deve Gowda petrol bunk?

What our stars foretell for our Avivekanandas

How Big B pushed India to a regressive new low

Here’s what the stars foretell for you—yes, you

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42 Responses to “The only place black magic works is in your mind”

  1. Nastika Says:

    I would say result known before the fight.
    But the funny part is the tantrik really believed and still believe he can kill sombody !!!

  2. Doode Says:

    These Tantriks are A**holes believed by Gowda and ilk. Throw these superstitious Bas***** into Arabian sea.

  3. Vitlan Potli Says:

    I am curious….did the tantrik want his 15 minutes of fame even at the risk of making a complete idiot of himself?

  4. Yaake anta? Says:

    I wish Deve Gowda and his tantrik was one the program and made themselves fools .

  5. oochara Says:

    Honestly, tantrik’s means were scarier than what he said he would do (or was it the way it was written?)…And that is where most mortals are a toast!

  6. aslam Baba Says:

    I remember Benny Hines , claiming to cure the Deaf and Dumb , the Blind , the Leprosy Patients , People who were limping , Cancer ( not aids ) in front of the WHOLE MEDIA in bangalore.Churmuri and its backers were unforunatley not able to cover the spectacle.May be the rationalist refered to in the news item can do us a favour and expose those belonging to other religious denominations also.

    Not that , I support the Astrologers , Palmists , Tantriks , Lady Consorts , Reiki , Baba’s etc.There are all in the same league of conning gullible people.

  7. Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi Says:

    I must say this was a well reported incident. Now, what exposing the other tantriks like all ‘swamis’ with the title Sri, sri sri and sri sri sri? What about all Tantriks that have suffixes like ‘baba’ and ‘swami?’

  8. dotslash Says:

    @Doode, @yaake anta?

    yeddyurappa heLiddu Gowda maaTa maaDistane anta. Gowda did not say he is doing maaTa.

    Your reading comprehension sucks A**. get a life.

  9. John Says:

    The Speech of the RATIONALIST in 2006 makes interesting reading.

    Speech delivered at the Centenary Conference of Rationalist Press
    Association (London) at the West Hill College, Birmingham, UK on 26th
    June 1999)

    I shall tell you a true story that happened in Kerala and that I used
    to hear from childhood. A Christian priesthood student came out from
    the church, attracted by the ideals of the rationalist movement.
    Reading broadened his horizon. He collected and read books from the
    Thinkers’ Library series of RPA. He married a lady from a Hindu family
    whom he knew for many years. Though inter-religious marriages were
    legal, such marriages happened rarely only. Especially since the young
    man’s family had priests and bishops and he himself was a priesthood
    student earlier, the marriage was not taken kindly. Both of them were
    thrown out of their homes. They settled in a nearby town and started
    their life. They were young and financially unsettled, with many
    radical ideas about society and beliefs. The lady eventually became
    pregnant. The family of the husband then announced that they forgive
    them and invited them to the ancestral home. Everything seemed to be
    repaired. There had been occasional suggestions that the lady should
    convert to Christianity, but she politely refused. Some weeks passed
    and it was time for delivery. One afternoon the labour pain started.
    Her husband had gone to attend a rationalist conference and she was
    along with his family. Instead of taking her to a hospital, the family
    members, including a priest and a bishop, urged the young woman to
    convert now. She should become a Christian before delivering and
    promise that the child would be baptised. If she was not willing to do
    so, they threatened, she would have to leave the house. During the day
    the pressure continued, and the labour pain increased. By evening, her
    husband came back. He tried to argue and convince the family, he
    pleaded they should let her deliver peacefully. But the family insisted
    on their demand without any human consideration. The pressure mounted
    and the young couple decided to leave. By 9 o’clock in the night, the
    husband took the hand of his wife and they stepped out into the rainy
    night. It was a monsoon month. The last bus from the hill village had
    already gone. They walked into darkness. Rain broke down. No street
    lights. The next house where they could go was twelve miles away. She
    could not walk properly and had to sit down from time to time. He
    consoled her. They walked and walked through the rainy night. Suddenly
    she realised that the placenta was broken. Liquids flew down her legs.
    She lied down on the muddy, rainwater filled ground. Still they had
    some miles to go. Mustering courage, she got up and walked with him
    despite her pain. By early morning, they had reached near her father’s
    house. They thought they would be accepted there in such a situation.
    They opened the gates of the compound and she fell down with a scream.
    In the open courtyard in heavy rain, she gave birth to a child.

    The victims of Christian love, the mother and the child survived. Five
    years later, the little boy became the first student in the history of
    Kerala, who joined school without any religion in his records.

    Today, nearly forty years later, the situation in Kerala has
    drastically changed. No such thing can happen any more. Kerala’s
    rationalist movement has grown very strong and influential. One of its
    major tasks is to encourage and protect inter caste and inter religious
    marriages. A special wing was set up -Intermarriage Bureaus, which look
    after the legal and practical requirements of couples who decide to
    marry against the traditional rules. And today there are thousands of
    school children who refuse to have any religious entry in their
    records. Kerala has become a successful model of a society, which
    transformed from its rigid traditions.

    I should tell you now that the little boy, who was to meet so early in
    his life with the dangerous world of religious fanaticism, was me.

  10. babuds Says:

    vahin TV show pe Chappal se marnaa tha un Badmash ko!

    Aa nanmaganna ekkadaa togondu alle koodalu uduruva varage baaris bekaytu.

  11. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Why did they not invite the infamous Tantrik DirtyDevegowda? He would have shown them!!

  12. Sword Master Says:

    But, why does Sanal Edamurukku go only after Hindu spiritual quacks whereas he has so gently spared a Mother Theresa and even Benny Hinn? I worry about that wonderful miracle that causes his selective blindness.

  13. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Katari Mestrey!

    Nicely observed!

  14. tarlesubba Says:

    rationally, the entire elaborate experiment, if it were true, only means that sharma is a quack.

    do i believe in tantra no. but then i have my doubts about “rationality” too.
    and i get scared of those who are irrational about rationality, especially those who believe they are rational and yet go to irrational lengths to prove others are not.


  15. Faldo Says:

    TS, you have hit the nail on the head.

    One could understand if it were an exercise to prove a scientific fact, so people are enlightened. But to disprove something one does not believe in is not really on.

  16. Anonymous Guy Says:


    “But to disprove something one does not believe in is not really on.”

    Even something which has been used over the ages to hoodwink poor illiterate people? And is still being used by our leaders in public accusations and private practice? If it was something which the person doing it claims to be of benefit, we can let it be without questioning. But if it involves harming or killing someone? Or conning poor(?) souls who actually think it works – off their time and money?


    On the other hand – if Sharma had indeed shown some mysterious powers, it would prove that maata-mantra (whatever we call it) works. Either someone can make these supernatural things which cannot be explained by science happen by will, or they can’t. And one can believe it only if it can be verified under controlled conditions. Otherwise what is there to ‘believe’?

    “do i believe in tantra no. but then i have my doubts about “rationality” too.”

    Can you elaborate? If you dont want to elaborate, it is ok – dont accuse me of rationality :)

    Not asking in spite or anything – Interested to know what you believe in – regarding this whole matter.

  17. Nastika Says:

    Sword Master, check this:

    1. Indian rationalists call Mother Teresa’s miracle hocus-pocus

    2. “India has no reason to be grateful to Mother Teresa”

  18. Nastika Says:

    The links:



  19. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    This is indeed a good development. We need more such exposure of gurus, mahagurus, sadgurus who also claim different kind of power for their manthras and teaching.

    Just like some people including our former PM Deve Gowda believe in these supernatural acts, there are thousands who follow Sri Sri Ravi Shanakr and fall for his “teachings” and ” yogas”. Can media take on these gurus as they have done to expose black magic with the help of rationalists?

  20. Janasamanya Says:

    Maata Manthra ! Bah. However, there is also a belief that it boomerangs to those who indulge in such things. What do our readers say??!!

  21. ptc bus Says:

    These superstitious people are the real hindrance to the progress of India.

  22. tarlesubba Says:

    no AG. if the experiment went the other way it would not establish tantra. and that is why this experiment is ir-rational.
    people naive enough to assume that this experiment proves anything should believe in maata and mantra, because, while being equally ineffective as the alteranative, it is the more impactful of the two alternatives + it involves lot of jingchak, which is good on the heart.

    shenoy sir, more than the gurus the media should expose all these scam houses called as hospitals, schools and psychologists and journalists.
    what do you think of increasing number of c-sections?
    and what do you think of the nice little scam that psychologists and journalists have going? for the moment let us assume that psyschologist has done good science. but his science, as published in some self important journal, is not accessible to 99% of ordinary people. what we depend on is an article in the time magazine. “scientists say children exposed to more stimulation become intelligent.” immediately there is a rush for conment schools, karate classes, latest brainiac games, etc etc. idakella metrics enu? who has established the validity of any of these claims? donation ide saar. people have to stand in queques for a lkg admission, not to mention interviews. yella magooge gottidre yoor yen heLkoDodu? yoor alumni ella abe lincoln-na enu?

    ps: i have no kids. speaking from experience of friends and family.

  23. Faldo Says:

    AG, point taken. While these practices need not be condoned, they must be seen in a larger context. In our country, tantrism was associated with early mystical practices and therefore has some following. THe tantriks were similar to witch doctors found in other cultures. That is the reason many villages have people who resort to such practices. Hopefully this will reduce with the passge of time and better awareness.

    As you said, I wish the exercise was really meant to explain this to poor illiterate people. My own feeling is it was telecast to the mainstream audience many of whom could guess the outcome anyway.

    Also, I do not expect that the so called leaders who believe in this practice will stop believing or encouraging this after watching such programs.

  24. TKM Says:

    Some thirty years back, Sanal Edamaruku’s guru late Prof. A.T.Kovoor had this story to narrate. A tantrik in north Kerala challenged him to witness his magic powers and lost. Prof. Kovoor won the Rs. 1 lakh wager. To his dismay he found thousands flocking to the tantrik’s place, the reason ‘he is the real one, who challenged the high priest of rationalism-Prof. Kovoor himself!!”
    So, ultimate winner is always the tantrik in terms of money and reputation among the gullible. That is not surprising as we have CMs and PMs who worship and patronise such Rasputins at government bungalows with taxpayers’ money. Sword master, should charlatans also be classified as Hindus, Christians and Muslims? Some are smart not to throw any challenge to the thinking world for they know what to expect.

  25. Koppal Haida Says:

    awesome stuff TS…


    churumuri is also indulging in its own kindof maata mantra, where it has ‘ magiced’ tibet story and publishing such drivel from a tabloid channel.

  26. aruna urs Says:

    hahaha TS, good point, well made.

  27. shas3n Says:

    I agree with you that ‘scientifically’ this experiment has no validity. But as you say since most of the peopel depend on the media to spoonfeed the ‘sexed up version’ of sience and research, this episode is at least delivering the kind of message you would prefer over the alternative.
    Basically, what I am saying is whats on this

  28. Anonymous Guy Says:


    I think the media is improving with respect to the exposing the conning which goes on in hospitals and schools. Especially the television media. Though there is a tendency to go for the spectacular – which is probably what they think the viewers want to see (How the doctors help the beggar mafia by helping ampute limbs! Watch at 9:30 pm! etc.). It is only a matter of time – once the public taste of media matures – things will get better. For some reason I believe the Indian public due to the nature of the lives we live, will be able to accept more mature and honest coverage as compared to say the bipolar nature of most popular TV ‘news’ programs in the US. Hopefully in the time to come, the media will become a watchdog of public life.

    And I dont think there will be any exposes on journalists for sometime :) BTW I heard sometime back some hacks from NDTV and other channels started a blog which detailed the colourful private lifes and indiscretions of our top media personalities – is it archived somewhere?

  29. Anonymous Guy Says:


    Thanks for the links. But looks like we have all chosen what to believe already – mere facts will not change that :)

  30. Doode Says:

    Grandnanny, Point noted!

  31. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Does not these mATa-mantra also include some sort of biological warfare?

    Like using Yellow Monitor lizard’s saliva to slow poison the victim…

  32. Avadutha Says:

    Dear Rationalists,
    Yes I agree with the title of the article that ‘The only place black magic works is in your Mind’. And that is a good enough place. And also mind encompasses many things from the collective unconcious to the superconcious.
    Black magic works and so does white magic. The Mind is a very powerful and mysterious instrument. The mind can influence people and circumstances in what can be called in your terminology in an (ir) rational way. Through certain rituals these forces can be channelized. It requires sensitivity and awareness to understand the intricacies of the mind. Till you have this sensity and awareness all these will look mumbo -jumbo to you. Through certain practices the mind can be channeled to induce good and bad.
    The mechanistic-cartesian world view which these rationalists adopt have long since been debunked by even western philosophers from Plato to Kant where even pure reason is no longer a valid means to arrive at synthetic judgements. The Rationalists are a pathetic people of low intelligence who cannot understand and see the multifaceted reality.
    Now coming to the fact of Deve Gowda. DG has employed the services of people who know the Dasha Maha Vidyas. These are a group of people who invoke certain psychic energies to create good and bad effects to certain people. The proof is in the pudding. Look at DG the way he rose up in his career from an ordinary diploma holder, to a PWD minister, to chief minister and finally Prime minister. DG started using these after his stint as PWD minister he came in contact with the tantrics who practice the dasha mahavidyas. Look at the way the opponents of DG have bitten dust – R.K. Hegde, Siddharamaih, Yeddy. Finally the law of Karma will take its course.
    You can criticize something from your limited intelligence, but that does not become truth. You rationalists are pathetic losers and can never ever succeed in people from not beleiving or experiencing these things because you are in the dark.

  33. occums razor Says:

    The only time black magic worked was during pre-scientific era.
    There are no true black magicians available now only wanna-be black magicians who use computer networks to post their pro-black magic views.

  34. sakthisagaram Says:

    What if this is a drama by India TV along with Sanal Edamaruku and the Pandit.. giving crores of rupees and money.. to slam the faith of people.. this thing to be never beleived Sanal edamaruku and this pandit all fakes… India is a mess of bribing.. MOney Money Money so even if we see directly never believe. Tantra is the super science. hahahahah there is no only sanal edamuruku and the pandit to prover certain things. and tantra is not a superstition hahahahaha hey fools atheists fly above your hallucination. if you have brains show me the “so called dump Brains” so I will believe that you have atheist brains hahahahaha ooooooooooooo the foolish show magic ever.

  35. sakthisagaram Says:

    Tantra or Tantram is not like this foolish show by wooing by money hungry
    priest in a TV show.. It is a very subtle science super sciecne.

    this fool sanal edamaruku does not know what it is. if he really plays
    with a Tantric he will be killed and for ignorant tantric folks
    A real tantric will not do that just for his challenge. Sanal is a copy cat ten
    years back he and his father use to copy others article and paste it in their
    vernacular magazine

    He is father and mother is from different religion he is having frustation
    to his mother’s great religion because she was not accepted by her parents
    marrying his moron father that is the reason. so dont believe this fool.

    Tantra is an ancient science Rationalism is the most foolish thing one can preach
    I have one question to this fools who wants proof for everything
    show your brains. then only I will believe that you have brains.

  36. Superstitions & India « Sury’s Blog Says:

    […] doctor or a Tantrik (even the most famous one in India) cannot kill a person, using Black Magic ( This may not be a surprise for most people reading this blog but such Myth busters are required […]

  37. cobralis Says:

    The very responses of Avadutha & sakthisagaram is enough to convince me why human beings will be much better off without religion & superstition. Or is it simply that such people habitually lack tact & good manners??

  38. Technocrat Says:

    Dharma doesnt spread superstitions. It is actually spread by the weak minded people and accepted by the same kind.

  39. T Says:


  40. Harshad Panchal Says:

    i think all this is rubbish they can’nt do any thing for themself what can they do for us… their is god but and if god , india is a spritual country ,”belive in god rather then black magic”; they only want money with tricks… good experience with me …

  41. sampy Says:

    yediyurrappa is a foolish person and he belives all these foolish black magic stuffs. He always cry for his seat but not for his state.
    Selfish idiot

  42. Sachin Says:

    Black Magic Exists, there are a very few who perform rituals as mentioned in tantrasaara and tantraparijatha. These magicians are having good knowledge of society and world, they perform rituals on world normally, and affect people for money. They are very cunning and shrewd. They’re life is very painful because they go against God but not religion as a challenge to accomplish name and fame in world. Very very few perform highest tantra which can be used to kill people. People who are affected are not believed because noone knows about it. It is as scientific as frequency, air and voice.
    For Ex: Indian Quartz or Sphatika can be used to vibrate by chanting inorder to speak with people’s mind in distant places. It can be heard by the victim. This is enough to disturb a person’s mind and cause fear in him.
    Different tantriks similarly use different stones based on their capacity to chant, different crystals or gem stones are activated by different counts of chant.
    I know it because I’ve tried it with sphatika, it pulsates when you chant mantras for longtime.

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