Back on the health route. In January when everything was looking dark and I was clutching at any straw to make sense of the situation (post-decision to postpone kidney biopsy and steroid route due to uncertainty), Sailaja, in her typical enthusiastic manner dragged me to 'this wonderful practitioner who deals with an age old healing that comes from herbs and plants, a knowledge that has been transferred from ancient times through healers to their families, through word of mouth and through personal training of healers who show a propensity to heal'. I listened with apprehension, what will he give me? Is is ayurveda, which Mani had said will lay me low in a few days and take me to the grave (drama)? What is it that he will give me? Trust me, she said, I have great faith in him, he has treated my aunt, my father and treats many high profile patients quietly. I trusted her and off I went quietly without telling anyone.
He has a health camp every Sunday at the AG colony near ESI, close to my home. I was quite surprised to see that there were close to 100 odd people from all walks of life milling about, the list actually had over 150. The old, the infirm, the young, people with all kinds of problems seemed to be there. There were people waiting from early in the morning, people from out of town, out of state, the very poor which constituted much of the patients and some of the upper strata.
The clinic, a residential quarter of the AG office, is located right at the very back end of the beautiful campus. Not many living quarters appeared to be inhabited, most were locked. Tall trees swayed about, well laid out roads, a nice ground where children played cricket, it is a peaceful place for healing. They erected a shamiana at their own cost so patients do not suffer in the sun and rain, provide cool drinking water and even butter milk in summer and do everything to make the ill comfortable. The entire operation is driven by volunteers, mostly older.
Sailaja dragged me into a vortex of patients who surrounded a sixty year old man sitting at a desk. When our turn came (eveything is strictly on first come first basis, no exceptions), I was asked to fill in a form with details of my case and then given a number on a chit. That chit and number is sacrosanct because in all their thousands of files, they can trace mine only through that. And then we waited for our number to come.
Our turn came. We must enter the area without footwear, they are very particular that we take the footwear off even before the steps.
In the small room inside, Yogananda garu sat. A wise man with a twinkle in his eye, maybe in his late fifties or sixties, an energy that exudes confidently, a demeanour that says he knows the impermanence of life and the dramas we play with our health and most importantly the love that he bestows on each and every individual with a deep intent to heal to the best of his ability. He is assisted by a team of 3 younger healers who periodically look to him for guidance.
The entire process took no longer than five minutes. He first chatted with Sailaja, held her wrist, smiled, asked his fellow healers to hold her wrist and nodded satisfactorily. Later Sailaja told me that he always appreciated the energy flow she radiated. Then he heard me out, saw my foot, saw the reports, held my wrist and declared 'You have been losing protein for more than a year'. Which was true. I had noticed some changes in the urine almost a year ago. He reeled off a set of diet instructions - boil all food twice, no non veg, no certain vegetables, no fruit, no salt - interspersed with a 'you will hate me for this, but it is important.' I nodded dazed. 'Don't worry you will be okay,' he said and smiled and off I was.
Outside we waited until our name is called and then a packet of a powder was given, with specific instructions on how to take it and when and what to eat.
It is all free!
For all 200 patients or how many ever choose to come Yogananda does not charge a single paisa! He serves with the commitment of a person who knows that he has a healing secret and he knows how to deliver it and he will do everything in his power to take it to whoever needs it. His band of ollowers, mostly again in their fifties and sixties do their best in sun and rain to keep these surging crowds in check and control for nothing except the satisfaction that they have healed. The entire operation continues throughout the day, from 8 in the morning till late in the evening!
After the biopsy in November (I religiously went to him every alternate Sunday almost throguh the year) and told him him that I was so glad he was there in those days of uncertainty and when he held my wrist and said all was okay it gave me much confidence and thanked him for that, he smiled. 'I do it because I am only the medium. HE is expressing himself through me, the divine, I only let it happen as purely as I can. All else is in his hands,' he said and smiled. 'Now go back and write your books and do your motivational lectures and stop worrying about your health,' he said.
I asked him if he would read my book. I would love to he said. But get me a copy of those reports so my boys can see the case and do some good work.
I think of him and his band on Sundays when I pass by and wonder at the things some humans do, at the love and selflessness that they bring into this world and I think, I will also do something like that. Thank you Yogananda garu, for the thought, the act and the deed. Your healing can never go wrong with such pure intention, such spirit.
Thank you for everyting and mostly for the inspiration. I think of you and know that we can make a difference if we only we wish to in our own way, in our own corner of the world away from the glare of spotlight and commerce.
And the good God will find some way around for us!