Sadhana Institute’s New Age psychology, priests apostasize

DECEMBER 15, 2016


Sadhana Institute’s New Age psychology, priests apostasize


Sadhana Institute was originally named the
Pastoral Counseling and Spirituality Institute
when it was founded by Jesuit Father Anthony de Mello
at the
de Nobili College
in Pune, Maharashtra in 1972. It has exerted a detrimental spiritual influence on thousands religious, seminarians and priests who taught or attended its psycho-spiritual courses, many of whom lost their vocations while several others left the Catholic Church. Those who remain and serve in the Church are oblivious to the knowledge that they have imbibed New Age as well as theological errors in the courses that they attended at the Institute.

The Sadhana Institute, relocated from Pune to St. Stanislaus Villa, Lonavla, and later to its present location, is a doorway to eastern meditation systems and pseudo-spiritual techniques as we will see.


In May 2004, Fr. Joseph Aymanathil SDB, a Kolkata priest with a Doctorate in Canon Law, wrote to me:

Dear Michael,

Your letter to Rome* is well done.

But it would be necessary to include the role of psychologists who today have gone beyond the limits of rational psychology and gone to transpersonal psychology and into the New Age and occult beliefs. These Catholic psychologists (belonging even to religious congregations) have got such ideas from centres outside the Catholic Church.

In India these psychologists are conducting their programmes in centres which propagate New Age ideology and some of them are experts for different religious congregations and strengthen their position through the organization: The Association of Indian Psychologists and have a big clout in the all religious circles.

There are certain programmes like those at Sadhana Institute which are a combination of psychology and oriental beliefs and practices, and these experts are the ones who promote such things. Lonavla is a centre that has trained a lot of formators in the art of pseudo-mysticism and therapies in keeping with the New Age Ideology. There are other centres doing similar things. So we need to make a more thorough inquiry.

See if you can contact persons in different areas to help you with information.

Fr. Jose



Three years later, Fr. Joseph again lamented about the Sadhana Institute:

aymanathil jose
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2007 9:40 PM Subject: New Age seminar

Dear Michael,

I am very glad that the seminar that you gave went on well, in spite of some blocks. There are many, who think that some of the practices of the New Age are not harmful as they are tried out in the Sadhana Institute in Lonavla. Many have attended such courses. That’s why there was some distancing and aloofness on the part of some, including Fr. Tom. They are not able to perceive the harm done to their spiritual life. We cannot convince those who have done such things.

Fr. Jose


As a result of this correspondence, several articles were written by the two us. His 12 articles were published in the Calcutta Charismatic Renewal bi-monthly Streams of Living Water, which has carried many of my articles on New Age issues.

They were followed by a series of articles on New Age psychology from my side along with reports on Catholic institutions that had set up this New Age Trojan horse in the Indian Church. (This file is the latest).

See the list of titles and links at the end of the present report.


A study of the Sadhana Institute is incomplete without a study of its founder, Fr. Anthony de Mello SJ.






Lonavla – 410 401, Pune, Maharashtra State,

Some extracts from the web pages of


Sadhana, a Sanskrit word rich in meaning and challenging in its implications, is vital to Indian spirituality*. It means an instrument, a way to attain our goal, the spiritual means we adopt, the sacred path we walk. Over the years this word has also meant for us our inner quest, our being on the way, our willingness to be led. That is why we understand that Sadhana is every means we employ for finding inner freedom, for attaining wholeness and integration and for discovering the divine in all things and all things in the divine.

While maintaining a psychospiritual thrust in all of the programmes – whether short or long, there has been a spirit of receptivity and flexibility about what others bring and receive instead of enforcing a rigid structure. The Institute’s strongest contribution to anyone who dares to face change in their life is the three or four weeks of intense individual therapy in group which has become an essential part of almost all the programmes.

Importantly, many of those who completed the two year Master’s level ‘Integral Counselling Psychology’, later named as ‘Formative Psychology’, are now serving as Spiritual Directors and quality counsellors in formation houses, religious communities and other places. Guided by the vision of the pioneering guide and teacher, Tony de Mello, and remaining ever flexible and open to growth, Sadhana Institute marches on, continuing to offer the psychospiritual care needed for personal growth and transformation. END


Concerning one of the courses, Tanmaya Sadhana: “The last component of the course is “Sadhana of Jesus,” which helps participants to integrate their experiences and self-awareness in line with the vision of Jesus that is related to the reign of God“, whatever they mean by that.

In their “About Us” section, “History” and “Vision” pages, or anywhere else for that matter, there is not a single mention of Jesus, the Church, the Sacraments, Evangelization, or anything remotely Catholic.

The exception was the use of the name “Jesus” twice for the Tanmaya Sadhana course.

The only time the word Catholic was used was “catholic” with the small case c.

Quotes from Fr. Tony de Mello’s books adorn the Institute’s walls, not Scripture verses.


In the Institute’s photo gallery, there is not a single photograph of anyone in a religious habit.

The typical Jesuit priest or brother (below) wears civilian clothes and has a bag slung across his shoulders.

When my former parish priest Fr. M.J. Victor SJ dropped dead on the road a few months ago, his body was sent to the government morgue as there was nothing on him to identify him as a Catholic priest!


*Indian spirituality
is a euphemism that many Catholics use for Hindu and Buddhist spirituality; there are very many spiritualities in India ranging from those of mainstream religions to tribal and animistic practices but what one experiences at the Sadhana Institute is only Hindu or Buddhist spirituality as will be seeing.


The Institute’s “chapel”


The “altar” is erected only for an Indian rite squatting Mass and there is no crucifix anywhere in sight.

There is no provision for going on one’s knees so one must be having to squat right through the “Mass”.

The “Indian” Jesus, but naturally, is in a meditative position. Indian, they say. I say Hindu. Or Buddhist.

The occult yin-yang symbol (Chinese philosophy and Taoism) is everywhere, even on every seat cushion inside the “chapel”.







The mural outside the “Confluence Hall” depects a meditator in the yogic padma asana position


Fr. Anthony de Mello SJ

Sadhana Staff (10 out of 14 are Jesuits)

Joseph Parakad SJ (Director)
Hermon Anthony SJ (Administrator)
Pravin Severekar SJ
Joy Pulikunnel SJ
Konrad Noronha SJ
Richard McHugh SJ
Mercy Thennattil HC
Philo John DPM
George Pattery SJ
Ajoy Fernandes SDB
Abhay Shirekar SJ
Mr. Mario Mascarenhas
Dudley Mendonca SJ
M.C. Abraham CSC



Dr. Fr. Francis Padinjarekara took over as Director of the Sadhana Institute from Fr. Tony de Mello.

After “directing” thousands of Catholic religious, he leaves the priesthood and the Catholic Church

Becoming aware
EXTRACT (Life Positive is India’s leading New Age journal)

By Sharukh Vazifdar, Mumbai, August 2009

Former Jesuit priest, P J Francis (Francis Padinjarekara)
has a single point spiritual agenda: cultivate awareness and allow it to guide you towards the divine.

A former Christian priest, Francis not only courageously left the order in 2006, but he has also married his soul mate since, an Irish woman called Liz Dillon, with whom he currently lives in Ireland. They got married in 2008 in Ireland in a moving Celtic ceremony. The couple also works together and has started Awareness Arc, an organisation that holds workshops for individuals and corporates, helping the transition from unawareness to wakeful living. 

Francis was in town for the book launch of his book, A Dewdrop in the Ocean (see review in the June 2009 issue of Life Positive) and we met at a relative’s place in Andheri, in the western suburbs of Mumbai.

Francis joined the Order at the age of 17. He carried on as a Jesuit priest for 35 years, becoming a clinical psychologist and the director of the Sadhana Institute of Spirituality and Counselling
in Lonavla for 14 years
. He had a decade-long bout of depression, anguish and fear starting in the ’80s because of his changing beliefs.

Eventually he found himself moving beyond religion.

He says, “I could not compromise my freedom to do what I have to do and teach what I have to teach.” He realised that he did not belong to the Church anymore, because his experience of God did not match what he was taught by the Church. Francis says, “God is not the object of belief, but the subject of experience.”




One of the persons who has most impacted him is the enlightened Jesuit priest, Father Anthony de Mello*… 

His book A Dewdrop in the Ocean
is published by Zen Publications (

Surely, this church man has transformed into a man of God. END


Having completed his doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at the School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University, USA followed by work experience in USA and post-doctoral training with special emphasis on psychopharmacology. He has undergone training and certification in a variety of approaches and interventions such as Focusing, Holotropic Breathwork, Enneagram, Eriksonian Hypnosis, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and Somatic Psychology, Victim Support Training, Human Sexuality. He has received broad training in somatic psychology and body-oriented approaches to healing such as Cranial-Sacral Therapy, Somato-Emotional Release, Braddock Body Process,Formative Psychology, Lomi Somatics, Bioenergentics, Gestalt Body Work and Bio-Psychology and incorporates them in his work with groups and individuals.

He has also explored the relationship between psychotherapy and spirituality and undergone extensive training in Eastern spirituality, particularly in the meditative approaches of Vipassana, Yoga and Zen. Other areas of special interest include mysticism, psychological dimensions of spirituality and the use of dreams and imagery in healing.

After his training in Clinical Psychology in the US, Francis returned to India in 1990 and succeeded his friend and mentor, Anthony de Mello as the Director of Sadhana Institute for the next 14 years. His professional work included individual and group psychotherapy, psychological assessments and the training and supervision of the students who attended the Integral Couselling Psychology (ICP) course, an innovative programme of a two year course of psychology and spirituality at the masters level which he pioneered. END


Padinjarekara runs the De Mello Institute for “Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy” in the U.K.

Check out
and its subpages for the New Age courses that he offers.
His earlier website
had a list of programmes he conducted on “awareness”.

Padinjarekara‘s training and certification is as New Age as it can get. Some of his “training and certification” are named in the Vatican Document on the New Age as well as in Ratzinger’s Document of November 1989.

Such a man (a priest at the time) was in charge of the spiritual direction of hapless Catholic laity, religious and priests. What were/are the Bishops of Poona doing about this Institute? The previous bishop, Valerian D’Souza, was the spiritual advisor of the Natonal Charismatic Renewal for almost three decades. The present bishop, Thomas Dabre, was the Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission of the Bishops’ Conference.

Note that Catholic applicants to Sadhana Institute courses have to be vetted by either one’s bishop or one’s religious superior (To be completed by the Bishop / Major Superior / Sponsor)



The de Mello poison is disseminated far and wide. Four examples:

1. Ex-Sadhana Institute staff member Dr. Fr. Anthony J. D’Souza completed his doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at the School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University, USA, which is the same alumnus as
Padinjarekara. He now runs his own show with a “meditation pond”.

Premanjali Counselling Services,
Taki Pada, PO Sopara, Ghas, Nallasopara West, Thane Dt – 401 203
Fr. Anthony J. D’Souza 
received Doctoral class award for excellence in the practice of Clinical Psychology and awarded Outstanding Alumni of the Year by Wright State University, School of Professional Psychology in 2004. He was invited by the University to give the keynote address to the doctoral students at their convocation in the States. He was also invited to conduct programmes for the Staff and doctoral students of the same University. He has training in the States in NLP, Rubenfeld Synergy – Body-Mind, Ericksonian Hypnosis, Group Therapy with Bill Schultz and practiced Family Therapy under the supervision of Drs. Scott Frazer and Mary Talen and worked as a consultant in Child Rehab. Centre. He has counselling and therapy experience of over 25 years and has worked with teenagers, children, couples and families as well as conducted group therapy for diverse populations with a variety of problems. He is a former Staff member of Sadhana Institute, Lonavla. 


Premanjali Counselling Services staff, all heavily into New Age like the founder-director Fr. D’Souza:

Dr. Bernadette R. L. D’Souza 
Along with a PhD in Psychology and an MSc in Child Development and Family Relations (Human Development), she has a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling from the University of East Anglia, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education Management, and training in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Neuro-linguistic Programming, Emotion Focussed Therapy and Eye-Movement Desensitization and Re-Processing.




She has 20 years experience as Lecturer in Human Development and conducted and guided research studies largely in the fields of marriage and family, conflict management, stress management, death and dying, and complementary therapies. Her experience includes individual and group counseling of school children, youth and adults, skills training and counseling supervision. She has also developed and conducted sessions in the psychospiritual field.

Dr. Nandita Pereira 
Acquired Ph.D. in Clinical Counselling Psychology with high distinction from De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines. After completing her training in Integrated Counseling Psychology at Sadhana Institute, Lonavla, her experience is wide; from individual and group psychotherapy and counseling, couples and family therapy to working with a variety of concerns of adolescents and adults such as trauma, grief / loss, family concerns, sexual abuse, relational and developmental issues.

Fr. George Cordeiro SJ
Apart from having a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, as well as Law, he holds a Masters degree in Theology and a Masters in Counseling Psychology. Has about twenty years of experience in Counseling and Therapy and has conducted several programs in Personal Development, Counseling Skills, Group and Individual Therapy, Spiritual Direction, Art Therapy, Family Therapy, and Pastoral Counseling. His recent programs have been on Emotional Well Being, Mind Processes, and Somatic Integrative Therapy and is also involved in developing Energy Healing for various Pscyhosomatic ailments.

Reader, study the list of files on the last page of this report and beware of these Clinical Psychologists who practise psycho-spiritual counseling techniques without Catholic pastoral care and the Sacraments.


2. Socio Religious Centre (SRC), Christ Hall, Malaparamba, Kozhikode, Kerala, run by the Kerala Jesuits


Fr. Ephrem Thomas S.J., Director

Fr. Joe Thayil, S.J., Programme Director

Fr Joe Thayil, S.J., had training in spirituality at Gregorian University, Rome and training in counseling at Sadhana Institute, Lonavla. He was Novice Master, Spiritual director and Tertian Instructor for Jesuits.


Several of their courses are New Age, see:


3. Retreat ministry of the Madurai Jesuit Province

Psychological processes in retreats

Do you find yourself at the same juncture in spite of a number of retreats?

Do you struggle with the same issues over and over again?

This course will offer understanding and insights about your psychological stagnation at various levels on the spiritual way, with possibilities for a breakthrough. Further, you will begin to recognise how psychological wounds unconsciously impact the quest for spirituality. Finally, it is by entering into the healing of one’s psyche that the Divine Spirit is experienced and lived out – proportionate to one’s healing processes.

Resource Person: Rev. Fr. Dr. Dudley Mendonca, SJ, Maryland University, USA (Former Director of Sadhana Institute, Lonavla).

Date: 26 -30 September 2015 (9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.)

Course fee: Rs. 2500 (Board and lodge) for residentials; Rs. 1500 for day scholars

Venue: Dhyana Ashram (Jesuit house), 25 Mada Church Road, Chennai – 600 028, Tamilnadu




Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Maturity: Handbook for Religious and Priestly Formation was released simultaneously in several Indian cities, on Jan 31, the feast of St. John Bosco. 
The book, published by the Salesian Psychological Association and edited by Jose Parappully SDB, PhD (clinical psychologist) and Jose Kuttianimattathil SDB (theologian and formator) has 29 chapters divided into two volumes. 
Seventeen men and women (formators, theologians, psychologists, spiritual directors, civil and canon lawyers) have contributed chapters to the book. 

“Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Maturity is a precious hand book for formees, formators, psychotherapists as well as decision makers… I whole-heartedly recommend this as a handbook to anyone who is seriously interested in the ministry of formation for mission.” M. C. Abraham, CSC, Ph.D. (Psychologist, Former Province Leader, Former Programme Director at Sadhana Institute, Lonavla) END

Fr. Jose Parappully, SDB, is the Founder-Director of Sumedha Centre for Psychology and Spirituality, Bosco Psychological Services, New Delhi and President, Conference of Catholic Psychologists of India.





Sr. Deena Philip Medayil, MMS

Medical Mision Sisters, Ayushya, Veroor P.O., Ithithanam, Changanacherry – 686 104, Kottayam (Dt.), Kerala

A Pharmacist by profession graduated from Christian Medical College Vellore. She did her studies in Counseling and Psychology at East Asian Pastoral Institute, Manila and Ateneo de Manila, Philippines. Later studied Spiritual Direction,
Counselling and Psychotherapy
using different approaches and methods at Sadhana Institute, Lonavla.

She is specialized in HRT Counselling and Brain Wave Therapy at HRT Psychotherapuetic Foundation, Trivandrum and Aluva with Dr. Berchmans Koyical- the deviser and Founder of HRT system of counseling coupled with Brain wave Therapy.

Sister Deena is working as professional HRT counselor and Brain Wave Therapist at Ayushya for the last 12 years.

is a Centre for Healing and Integration. It was started in 1985 under the auspices of Medical Mission Sisters, to promote Health, Healing and Wholeness. The Centre conducts regular training programmes in Non- Drug Therapies, and runs a daily clinic using various non-drug therapies for treatment of Physical, Psychological, Emotional and Spiritual maladies. A team of experts trained in Holistic Health and several non – drug therapies from the East and the West heads the clinic. Besides non-drug therapies, the team also provides counselling, group therapy, psychotherapy and emotional body work. END
The Centre is run by the Medical Mission Sisters who conduct therapies at this centre using Pranic Healing, Healing with Crystals, Reflexology, and other New Age/occult practices.

We have repeatedly seen how New Age and pseudo-psychospiritual techniques go hand in hand.



Austine Crasta, the owner-moderator of Konkani Catholics allows a pro-de Mello post:

An extract from Konkani Catholics yahoo group digest no. 1942, July 7, 2009:

Bombay: Basic Course in Personal Counselling

Posted by: “Rupert J. Vaz”   rupertjvaz Mon Jul 6, 2009 10:56 pm (PDT)

FIAMC Bio-Medical Ethics Centre, Goregaon announces its Basic Course in Personal Counselling for the fourth year running. Conducted by the Anthony de Mello Institute, Goa, the Course will run in its tried and tested format consisting of five full weekends spread out from the first weekend of August 2009 to the first weekend in October 2009, along with Internship.
The Course will be held at the Centre’s premises in Goregaon, Mumbai, and is open to anyone who has a graduate degree in any discipline, and has a genuine interest in becoming a personal counsellor. It is especially recommended for school and college teachers, social workers, health workers, working youth and others in the helping professions.
Details may be had from FIAMC Bio-Medical Ethics Centre, Goregaon. E-mail:

Tel: 2874 7310 Cell: 98203 32965

Clifford deSilva*, Owner,
The Anthony de Mello Institute

Co-Founder at Awareness Arc (See Padinjarekara/ on page 5)

Co-Founder at Chetana – de Mello Awareness Institute

Director at Sadhana Institute

*Clifford deSilva
is a Jesuit priest who left the priesthood. It is mentioned in the New Age journal; not edifying for a leading de Mello fan who allies himself with ex-priest ex-Catholic Padinjarekara.

Clifford deSilva co-edited the book Anthony deMello – Happy Wanderer, A Tribute to my Brother, by Bill de Mello. Bill de Mello, the brother of Fr. Tony de Mello, is an agnostic! That speaks eloquently for itself.

So we find that many of the close associates of the late, great Jesuit Tony de Mello, left the priesthood, left the Catholic Church, are engaged in disseminating grave spiritual error, do not believe in the existence of God (his own brother) … and every one of them is making money using his name!



de Mello had set the trend by introducing Vipassana to the Catholic Church, syncretizing prayer/meditation methods and blending them with New Age therapies and psycho-spiritual counseling techniques:

Sadhana, by Miguel LaFont SJ (don’t miss the title of the link below)

In the book Tony De Mello Companero de Camino by Jose Vincent Bonet, it is stated as follows, “Tony was influenced in diverse ways by the spiritual direction and insight of Fr. Calveras, whose modus operandi resembled the present approach of staying beside the other. Later while in India he conducted thirty-day retreats for several years, and by this means influenced many Jesuits and initiated a movement of spirituality among the younger members of the Society. He realized that unless the scholastics had an experience of the spirituality of India and Asia, it would be hard for them to exert any substantial influence upon the Indian people.





He was also convinced of the need for them to acquire skills in modern psychology, and hence he began various programs, not only with the desire that they attain expertise in Christian spirituality, but also that they gradually get a grasp of oriental mysticism. For example he invited the world-renowned authority S. N. Goenka and arranged for him to conduct the Vipassana meditation for ten days, and he also organized weeklong group therapy sessions by a Jesuit expert.

Tony acquired his basic inspiration from three different sources, but passed them on to others by uniting them into one. These three sources were Christian and Ignatian spirituality, oriental spirituality, and present-day psychology.

In 1968, on the conclusion of his training as a priest and religious he was sent to the city of Pune in India as Rector of the Jesuit school of theology, and here he also served as spiritual director to the Jesuit scholastics.

Sadhana is a Sanskrit word which in Hindi means to aim at or aspire to.

From a psychological standpoint we see that the techniques Tony used were Neuro linguistic programs, Focusing, and Group Therapy sessions. He made free use of gestalt and other forms of psychology, and the Progoff Intensive Journal was included.
The 1979 Sadhana program was divided into the following three stages.
The Mini-Sadhana, which was a month-long course

The Midi-Sadhana, which was for ten weeks

The Maxi-Sadhana, which extended for half a year.

Apart from Christian prayers oriental forms of prayer such as the Vipassana meditation were also included.



Sadhana, A Way to God, Christian Exercises in Eastern Form

By Anthony de Mello, Image Books/Doubleday/Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 237 pages, 1978

The cover of the book shows Jesus on the cross, and a person seated in the lotus position, meditating at the foot of the cross.

The ‘Imprimi Potest’ was given by his Provincial, Fr. Bertram Philips, S.J., and the Imprimatur by Bishop C. Gomes, S.J., of Ahmedabad.

The priest writes about Catholic retreat masters who conduct “retreats very similar to Zen retreats” (very probably Fr. Ama Samy S.J., a Zen master). He admits to having attended a Buddhist (Vipassana) retreat and finding it “beneficial”.

Accordingly, he recommends using the “same place, same corner, or a room that is reserved” for meditation because “the good vibrations that were generated… seemed to persist in that place long after the contemplation was over.”


As I demonstrated in my detailed report on him, Fr. Tony de Mello taught syncretism and pantheism. He didn’t specifically write about yoga but its philosophies were there in his writings that inspire yoga enthusiasts. He however openly promoted the use of mantras and especially the ubiquitous “Om“.

Anthony De Mello and Christian Yoga

Robert Joseph, February 18, 2009

Anthony de Mello, SJ, was a famous Jesuit priest, psychotherapist and seminar leader who sought to fashion a “Christian spirituality in Eastern form.” Anyone interested in Christian Yoga should definitely check out his many books — especially his seminal and fascinating 1984 text, Sadhana: A Way to God.



Contemplative practices are a bridge to Paganism

By David Cloud, August 26, 2008

Anthony de Mello
readily admitted to borrowing from Buddhist Zen masters and Hindu gurus. He even taught that God is everything: “Think of the air as of an immense ocean that surrounds you … an ocean heavily colored with God’s presence and God’s bring. While you draw the air into
your lungs you are drawing God in” (Sadhana: A Way to God, p. 36).
de Mello suggested chanting the Hindu word “om” (p. 45) and even instructed his students to communicate with inanimate objects: “Choose some object that you use frequently: a pen, a cup … Now gently place the object in front of you or on your lap and speak to it. Begin by asking it questions about itself, its life, its origins, its future. And listen while it unfolds to you the secret of its being and of its destiny. Listen while it explains to you what existence means to it. Your object has some hidden wisdom to reveal to you about yourself. Ask for this and listen to what it has to say. There is something that you can give this object. What is it? What does it want from you?” (p. 55).


Many Catholic apologists including Brpo. Ignatius Mary, Susan Brinkmann, Michael Akerman, Eddie Russell and Randy England have condemned Tony de Mello, his book, his religious philosophies and his prayer techniques.






What’s in a word?

By Catholic evangelist Eddie Russell FMI, Australia, September 23, 1998


Sadhana: A way to God.

Another Christian book that I came across some years ago, would have us believe that “Sadhana” is the way to God. The author of this book, Fr. Anthony de Mello seems to have forgotten, or rather, ignores the truth that there is no way to the Father except through Jesus Christ who is the only “Way”. The fact that the picture at the top of this page was used by someone [not Anthony de Mello] to promote a “De Mello Weekend” is testimony enough to make my point regarding the real influences within, and behind this kind of syncretism and inculturation.

A Hindu ceremony begins with Suddhi [purity]. Sadhana is a word that means ‘purification’. These are vital in Hindu religious observances; they are related to the concept saucha which means cleanliness. The Hindu religion teaches that he who practices this, “is qualified to witness the Self”. When you sum up de Mello’s doctrine, one finds that all religions have the same divine nature which is shared by all human beings.
de Mello holds the view that Christ’s presence in the Eucharist for example, is merely ‘one’ way in which God’ presence is manifest in all ‘created’ things. 
Surely, God is omnipresent? Well yes he is, and in him we live and move and have our being, but de Mello’s view makes God and creation equal and one. True doctrine understands that God is separate from creation, whereas Hinduism holds that all is god and god is all. In other words de Mello seems to hold the classic sign of a heresy, which is when creation is lifted to the level of God, or God is brought down to the level of creation. Therefore God is impersonal and Cosmic.

“It is clear that if any Christian is using this particular Om mantra (amongst other Sanskrit words), then they are calling on this [Hindu] deity and not the True God that they intend. It is also clear that those Christians that dabble with eastern mystical prayer come to embracing the Cosmology of Christ in their attempt at Syncretism as we find underpinning Bede Griffiths, Anthony de Mello and Matthew Fox‘s
‘Creation Spirituality’.”



And the poison of the Sadhana Institute continues to envenom the Church

NLP with Soul

By Abhishek Thakore, February 2006

A Jesuit priest,
Fr. Richard [Dick] McHugh
teaches a unique adaptation of
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) that emphasizes mind fulness and spiritual awareness.

During his early days in India, Dick studied at Sadhana Center in Pune. This was perhaps one of the turning points in his life. At the end of the year of the course, Tony De Mello (author of the wonderful book, One Minute Wisdom and many others), the head of the center, asked Dick to stay on. For the next two decades, Dick learnt and gave courses on psycho-spiritual subjects, group work, gestalt, bio-energetics, intensive journals, rational emotive therapy and NLP. ‘By then, Indians had taken over the center and began to run it quite well. So in 1993, I decided to return to the States.’ But the attempt to return to the US did not prove to be too successful. ‘India was home for me. So I returned for good,’ says Dick with his trademark smile. Today, he spends eight months in India, two in Ireland and two in the US in a typical year, delivering his courses in gestalt, communication and NLP. He also does group work and individual counseling.

Dick also does ‘Tools of the Spirit’ which is, essentially, using NLP for increasing awareness and specifically, working on the spiritual level.

My daily method of prayer is Vipassana. When I realized and experienced Vipassana, it was the opening of a whole new world for me. It made me realize that you don’t have to do anything or change anything – just let awareness take over. It was something I had been looking for – a very basic and easy way. I teach this, and strongly recommend Vipassana to my participants as well,’ he says.





At the cutting edge of Christian Spirituality

(Life Positive is India’s leading New Age journal). July 2004

Sadhana, a virtual transcript of a workshop on vipassana meditation, was Fr. Anthony de Mello‘s enduring best seller. His other books included The Song of the Bird, One Minute Wisdom and Wellsprings. The first two were collections of transformative stories and the last a collection of exercises in the mould of Sadhana.

Fr. David Toolan S.J., a Jesuit editor, wrote: “In my judgment, Father de Mello’s Sadhana remains the best Catholic ‘how to’ book for someone looking for instruction in methods of prayer.”

Sadhana Institute was founded in Pune by Tony de Mello in 1973 (later relocated to Lonavla) as a centre for spirituality for the training of spiritual guides and retreat masters.

Today it has evolved as an institute that attempts to integrate psychology and spirituality in an experiential way. From the very beginning there was a definite emphasis on the integration of the different aspects of the human person such as the emotional, intellectual and the spiritual. And there was also an emphasis on the integration of Christian spirituality with the Indian heritage. It offers courses that provide the flavour of the de Mello approach and point to his surviving legacy, despite CDF’s strictures which have been largely ignored. The courses are:  Midi Sadhana (a retreat), Human Sexuality and Affectivity, Vipassana Retreat, Chetana: A Journey into Light, Breath and Spirit, Gita Sadhana: A Spirituality for Today, Breath & Spirit and Spiritual Emergencies, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)—Basic and Advanced, Intensive Journal and Process Meditation and Mini Sadhana.  



The New Leader, May 16-31, 2009: “M. A. Emmanuel Arockiam, SJ did his Ph. D. in Counseling Psychology in the U.S. He is currently teaching psychology-related courses and practising counseling at Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai. He teaches part time at Satya Nilayam (the Jesuit philosophate, Chennai) and facilitates group therapy at the Sadhana Institute, Lonavla.” END

I will analyze just one point of Fr. Emmanuel Arockiam’s review of a book (The Beautiful Christian Mind), a point that he stresses all too often in his critique. To me, the Jesuit’s comments appear to be based on his personal belief — one that is shared today by many priests and apparently by most priest-psychologists — that the devil does not exist, at least not as a personal entityequipped with knowledge, will, emotion and ability to speak“, and that he [the priest] does not accept the reality of ‘spiritual warfare’. [The words that the priest chose to put in inverted commas in his review, reveal his mind.] For the priest, the devil or evil is purely a habit or a mental state – to use his words — and psychological counseling with medication is the solution.

It is difficult to understand why the priest, reviewing in a Catholic magazine a book written by a Catholic lay person and published by a Catholic publishing house, would consider the hypothetical reaction of “those who do not take the words of the Bible literally or believe that demons are persons“; unless he is one of that number.

While I might agree with the priest in that it would be irrational to blame the devil for all emotional problems and to completely reject psychiatry and medicine for just biblical counseling alone, I must also disagree with his anti-Christian secular humanistic approach. But then, that is what one must expect from modern psychoanalytical approaches to the problems that beset the human condition, even those that might be related to unrepented [or the effects of even repented] sin, unforgiveness, guilt, etc.

It is hardly surprising that Sadhana Institute Jesuit priests do not believe in the devil.

After coming to know what they teach and do at the Institute, one is therefore led to wonder … if they believe in the personal God of the Bible.



The Guru in Indian Catholicism: Ambiguity or Opportunity of Inculturation?

By Catherine Cornille, Louvain Theological & Pastoral Monographs 6. (Louvain: Peeters Press, 1991), page 167.

Sadhana is the general Indian term used for religious practice or spiritual discipline. It refers to the whole complex of prescriptions which the religious seeker, or Sadhaka, must follow to reach a certain spiritual goal. In India, it is traditionally the guru who assigns a certain spiritual path to the disciple and who follows the progression. The disciple is to blindly and religiously follow every instruction. While
this is the essence of a Hindu ashram, the religious practice in Catholic ashrams follows in addition the ritual life of the Church.






PSYCHOLOGY 01 STRESS MANAGEMENT December 2006-January 2007

PSYCHOLOGY 02 COUNSELING February-March 2007





PSYCHOLOGY 04 SELF ESTEEM June-July & August-September 2007

PSYCHOLOGY 05 PHOBIAS October-November 2007

PSYCHOLOGY 06 INFERIORITY COMPLEX December 2007-January 2008









JULY 2009/JULY 2011

MARCH 2011





28 MAY 2014





JULY 2011

MARCH 2012/APRIL 2013

23 FEBRUARY 2014





Categories: Eastern Meditation, Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India, new age

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


The greatest site in all the land! Testimonies

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai – 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail:,

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai - 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail:,

%d bloggers like this: