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Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections – F. Yeats-Brown’s accounts of yogis



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections

F. Yeats-Brown wrote three books that contain accounts of Yogis and their supposed ability to leave the physical body at will. They are Bengal Lancer (Gollancz, 1933), Lancer at Large (ibid., 1936) and Yoga Explained (ibid., 1938).  The first of these books includes reference to an experiment by Yeats-Brown himself. He said,

 I tried the writhing mudra (exercise). This gentle grinding of the inside so stirs the thermostatic arrangements that the student of Yoga begins to perspire freely, and with that opening of the pores comes a sense of detachment from the physical envelope, which may be (and often is) considered to be a self-revelation of Dualism ..."

The second book says,

 " A samadh-swami means an initiate who has achieved the temporary withdrawal of the soul from the body by means of a trance-state in which all the natural functions are quiescent: the body is cold, except for a warm patch at the crown of the skull, which is the only link kept by the Yogi with the living world."

Later it is stated that Yeats-Brown was told that

 "sometimes he [the initiate] leaves his body here [in Madras] while his spirit goes away to cure some sick person in Calcutta or Tibet.

Describing a case of exteriorization in his third book, Yeats-Brown said:

"The whole body relaxed and then became slightly rigid. At the conclusion of the trance (Samadhi, or 'sleepless sleep') the initiate slapped the top of his head vigorously and cried 'Go down, go down'."

Exteriorization from the physical body, together with many other supposed abilities are not the end sought in Yoga (which is union with God). The methods are mainly based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

There are many warnings in first-class books on Yoga against certain methods that are recommended by less responsible authors: it is said that any breathing exercises that involve stopping the nostrils and holding the breath-should be left alone in the absence of expert personal guidance. They may do much harm unless there is adequate supervision of the student.

The source of the experience

Hindu and yoga

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items


Activities and commonsteps



Activity not known