This article examines the pursuit of scientific legitimacy in spiritual movements that target the urban middle class in India. Based on fieldwork in a non-congregational ashram in Haridwar and six spiritual movements in Delhi that teach meditation of some kind—including Art of Living, Golden Age Foundation and Healing Rhythms—this article makes two points. First, participants articulate spiritual appeals to science in highly different ways, each of which merits analytical attention. Second, spiritual appeals to science are primarily directed at outsiders rather than long-term members. To explain why this is so, this article develops an analytical framework that takes into account religious uncertainty, differing degrees of religious involvement, and the narrative context of spiritual transmission.
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