Free Press Journal

The art of healing

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The healing has to be both physical and spiritual, says RAVI VALLURI.

Humans are creatures of their habits. Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Habit has also been defined as acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary according to the Merriam – Webster dictionary. I was addicted to smoking, drinking and consuming Pan Parag. It had become almost quotidian.

So my colleagues and staff at Bikaner, where I was posted were amazed that  I, known for my bouts of  fantods when not consuming the vices mentioned was sober for a couple of days.


The reason was “Operation Parakram”, and also a resounding dressing down given by my superiors to remain sober in wake of acute crisis the country was facing. The Indian Parliament had been attacked in a most audacious manner by terrorists and the government had marshaled its troops to fortify our borders. Defense personnel in their fatigues had populated our control office as they too were monitoring the troops arriving by special trains from various parts of the country.

Ailments could be self-inflicted (as in my case), it could be a professional hazard or could be circumstantial. In all such cases the victim suffers physically and emotionally. The healing has to be both physical and spiritual.

I vividly recall the Sri Lankan cricket team was a victim of terror and violence in Lahore. They underwent therapeutic care by psychiatrists and underwent several mind management and mental strengthening therapies. Similarly, the Tsunami victims  of 2004, those affected by 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes and earthquake victims of Gujarat (circa 2001) and Uttarakhand (2013)  were revved up by the bouquet of self-healing courses by several spiritual organisations and  professional help offered by numerous self–help groups.

Such tragedies are traumatic experiences. Cities, towns, villages and settlements are razed to rubble. It is a gargantuan effort to reconstruct the disrupted lives. This perestroika requires the ingenuity of physical help arranged by government and NGOs and healing provided by spiritual organisations.

I come back to my story, where like an ignoramus I started consuming liquor ignoring all warnings. Thus my morallead 2 compass fell prey to the predilections of a weak mind.

It was at this time that my mother, a trained social worker and a practitioner of Siddha and Pranic healing, refused to entertain my supercilious and specious arguments and extolled certain dormant virtues in me so that I could upend my pyramid.

 My mother was afflicted by repeated attacks of Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia (PAT). This is a type of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) which is accompanied with severe sweating, dizziness, palpitations, angina and acute breathlessness.

I had seen my mother suffering from this condition on several occasions and being admitted to the ICU. It was a distressing and disturbing sight. While the condition is not life threatening, it certainly disorients the psychology and attitudes of the patient.

However after undergoing the ten day Vipassana spiritual sojourn, she recovered from the debilitation. She simultaneously learnt the Siddha and Pranic healing, which augured well for her recovery. These healing techniques along with proper medication and diet helped her in healing.

This is the unbounded power and scientific attribute of the breath. Breathing techniques, meditation, and proper medication and diet are all healthy habits. These can change the traction of our lives, rejuvenate the body, mind and self and bring back the “mojo”.

After my initiation into observing my breath, I underwent the Art Of Living Course and the other courses it offers for my road to recovery in order to overcome my addictions. And in the process Ifound both physical and mental solace.

Meanwhile the defense forces, after a protracted stay of more than a year at our borders returned back to their cantonments. The fractious behavior of our unfriendly neighbor did not make them lose their sanity. More than 50,000 troops were deployed during Operation Parakram and according to the then Defence Minister George Fernandes, 798 were killed, many of the deaths occurred while laying or removing 1 million mines along the border.

It is not only the deaths, but defense personnel get maimed during such operations. Further their mental state becomes foggy and they become highly irritable. Mere administration of drugs does not act as a panacea. It is medication plus something more to revive their physical and mental bodies which are mandatory.

As our defense and paramilitary forces work in hostile environment it is heartening to know that Yoga, Vipassana and Art of Living Courses are conducted for them so that they can maintain physical and mental equilibrium.

A soldier apparently asked Guruji as to whether he would become passive if he continued with his Sadhana, to which Guruji responded, “Most certainly not”. Further he added that Gita Upadesh itself was revealed by Lord Krishna during the Mahabharata war. Arjuna regained the power of discrimination after witnessing the “Divine Spectacle.”

Be it an individual, a cricket team, those affected by environmental disturbances or our defense forces, all require continuous physical and mental healing. Only then would the car be properly conditioned to perform its journey.

The mystic Rumi has succinctly said,” The wound is the place where the light enters you”.  Thus the need for the Art of Healing.