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1. Background of the phenomenon

The following phenomenon was initially observed at the Spiritual Research Centre and Ashram located in Goa, India by His Holiness Dr Athavale who is a Paratpar Guru and is the founder of the Maharshi University of Spirituality. On 30 Dec 2015, when His Holiness Dr Athavale looked out of the balcony of His study room towards the sky at night, He experienced something quite unique. He found that as He continued to gaze at the sky and the surrounding environment, it began to change both in colour and in brightness (luminosity). This is even though there were no lights in the area where the changes were seen.

He called the spiritual research team to the balcony to find out whether they too could observe what He was seeing. After spending some time to get their eyes accustomed to the darkness, the seekers began the experiment. His Holiness Dr Athavale once again focused His gaze on the environment in front of the Ashram while the seekers from the spiritual research team observed the environment in the direction He was looking. The seekers from the spiritual research team were all able to see the changes. They observed that not only were there colour changes in the surrounding environment but that the area in the distance towards the hills became brighter. The trees on the horizon could be seen more clearly. The sky too became brighter. The spiritual research team conducted an experiment to document this phenomenon.

2. Set up of the experiment

At night on 31 Dec 2015, the spiritual research team conducted an experiment to examine whether the phenomenon mentioned above could be captured on camera as seen by one’s eyes. As the video cameras, currently available with the research team are not capable of capturing such changes in the environment in very low light conditions, a still camera was used for the experiment.

  • The spiritual research team used the Canon EOS 7D camera to capture any changes in colour or brightness in the environment while His Holiness Dr Athavale gazed into the distance. After some trials, the team settled on the following settings for the camera for the entire experiment.
    Parameter Value
    Camera Canon EOS 7D
    Lens EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
    Flash None
    Aperture 18.0
    Exposure 20 sec
    ISO 1250
  • These camera settings were kept constant throughout the experiment so that the team could compare the images and study the impact of the gaze of HH Dr Athavale on the environment.
  • The camera was placed on a tripod on the balcony of the study room of His Holiness Dr Athavale. It was connected to a laptop which allowed the photographer to click the pictures without touching the camera thereby eliminating any disturbance to the frame.
  • Images were captured at regular intervals of the scene in the front of the Spiritual Research Centre (shown in the slideshow below). The frame of the photo camera was set to include the sky, the hills in the background and a tall tree in the foreground.
  • The bottom part of the frame was set high enough so that the elements within the frame were not impacted by any light changes or vehicular movement on the road below.
  • The distance of the tree on the right is approximately 36 metres from where His Holiness Dr Athavale was standing during the experiment.

The following pictures show the setup of the experiment and the elements in the final frame.

The experiment was conducted over almost an hour i.e., between 22:01 and 22:56. We took readings as frequently as possible allowing for an elongated exposure time of 20 seconds per picture. A total of 46 pictures were taken during this period.

During the experiment, HH Dr Athavale stepped out of the balcony. While He was away, we continued to click pictures. During the one hour period, HH Dr Athavale was not present on the balcony for half an hour from 22:16 to 22:45.

3. Methodology for analysis

To measure differences in colour and luminosity in the photograph, we used Adobe Photoshop – a picture editing software. We used the following steps for the analysis

  1. All the 46 pictures were imported into a single Photoshop .psd file. Each picture was placed as a single layer exactly one on top of each other and were matched exactly to the pixel.
  2. 3 points were chosen within the frame. They were points in the (a) sky area, (b) the tree on the right and (c) the exact centre of the frame. The points were marked by guides so that all pictures would have the same guide and would have the points marked in the same place.
  3. The pixels around each point were merged in each picture to obtain average readings for each point.
  4. Using tools within Photoshop, the merged pixels were measured for colour and luminosity. Colour was measured by the values of red (R), green (G) and blue (B).
  5. While all points registered changes in RGB, the maximum fluctuation in luminosity was observed in the point at the tree (on the right of the frame).

4. Observations and comments

In the slideshow below, some sample pictures from the experiment have been displayed. One can see changes in colour and luminosity especially around the area of the tree on the right-hand side. The exact time the picture was taken is given on the top left-hand side in the time format [hh:mm:ss]. The changes in each picture are best observed when the slideshow is viewed in a darkened room.

The following two charts show changes in colour and luminosity. The first chart shows how the colours in terms of RGB values changed over the course of the experiment. The spikes in values in this chart can be correlated to the changes in hue in the images in the slideshow above.


In the chart below one is able to see definite spikes of brightness (luminosity) while HH Dr Athavale was present on the balcony gazing out into the open and even while He was not. In fact, the biggest spike in luminosity was observed just after He left the balcony.


These observations open many questions and also reinforce some spiritual concepts :

  • How is it possible that a person at the level of a Parātpar Guru can orchestrate such changes in the environment with just His gaze ?
  • What do these changes in colour and light mean at a spiritual level ?
  • Why did the luminosity spike to the highest level in the experiment just after His Holiness Dr Athavale left the balcony ?
  • Up to what distance can a Saint and higher level Saint affect the environment in such a manner ?
  • The spiritual research team will be conducting research into this phenomenon to understand how it happened.
    We appeal to the scientific community to let us know if they can help provide the spiritual research team with any clues as to how such a phenomenon can take place and the reasons behind it.
  • Any person who makes sincere and dedicated efforts in spiritual practice has the potential to reach the level of a Saint in one lifetime itself. When one attains Sainthood and thereafter progresses to higher spiritual levels such as 80% and 90%, one begins to have an exponentially higher positive influence on the environment. This experiment shows the importance of spiritual practice and the effect that Saints can have on the environment.

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