A TOUCH OF PRANA
By Kumkum Bhandari
Revived and well-packaged by Master Choa Kok Sui, pranic healing is actually an ancient Indian system that heals diseased energy levels, effecting miraculous cures, and helps further spiritual growth
August 11, 1999. Outside, as the world awaits the solar eclipse, we sit in cramped anticipation in the auditorium of Sri Aurobindo Center in Delhi, India, waiting for the master of pranic healing, Choa Kok Sui. While two assistants thump mattresses on the floor, another strews rose petals on the audience. Soon, in strides the stocky Master, a 40-something, Manila-based Roman Catholic businessman of Chinese descent. Chemical engineer, spiritual teacher, writer, globetrotter and healer, Choa Kok Sui repackaged and introduced the ancient science of pranic healing to the world in 1987. Today, thanks to his efforts, numerous healing centers and retreats dot 26 countries around the globe.
So what is pranic healing all about? Let's say it gives you the power to resolve a host of physical, emotional and mental problems by moving your hands in a certain prescribed manner. Unbelievable? Surely, you may argue, such paranormal healing skills belong to yogis of the Himalayas. But then, how do you account for a friendly neighbor or a colleague at work brandishing such abilities? According to pranic healing, disease first appears in the energy body before rooting itself in the physical body. Any blockage, excessive build up of energy or depletion of it prevents prana (life-force energy) from flowing easily. This results in corresponding problems for the physical body. In this no-touch therapy, the healer transfers energy to heal the patient's invisible energy body, which interpenetrates the physical body and extends a few inches from the skin's surface. Unusual though such information may seem, it is well documented in ancient Indian scriptures, such as the Taittiriya Upanishad, which deals with the body and its five layers.
Many still dismiss such concepts as totally unscientific. Take Jitender S. Khamesra, a marketing executive based in Mumbai, India. Perfectly healthy, Khamesra met a pranic healer who told him that he was a "potential diabetic" and advised pranic healing, a suggestion promptly brushed aside. A few weeks later, however, Khamesra was diagnosed highly diabetic. Today, he asks with palpable unease: "Could steps taken earlier really have kept the disease at bay?" So, how did the healer know of Khamesra's impending health problem? According to pranic healers, we live in ananta urja (a sea of energy). Pranic healing provides you with the know-how to use these subtle energies to spur on the body's process of self-recovery. Most pranic healers develop the ability to scan or feel energy bodies by activating and sensitizing first the chakras on their palms, and later, at an advanced stage, those on the fingertips. Sustained experiential work helps pranic healers scan the chakras and even small body organs. They learn to discriminate between vibrations of a healthy and an unhealthy aura. For instance, even before a person suffers from cough and cold, the bio-plasmic throat and lungs will be depleted of prana. After scanning, the healer cleanses the diseased energy from the aura and affected chakras. Then, the chakras are energized by prana sourced from the sun, earth or air.
Says Ashima Singh, a pranic healer-teacher based in New Delhi, India: "I've seen arthritis go away, hormonal disturbances settle and frigidity overcome with this system." Emphasizing the importance of pranic healing's preventive aspect, Ashima says that people generally come for healing long after the disease has manifested itself, whereas it is much faster to clear the energy body in the early stages. Cancer patients, for instance, whose auras have a lot of dirty, sticky energy, require long and frequent healing sessions. Choa Kok Sui's basic manual, Miracles Through Pranic Healing, emphasizes a step-by-step approach to healing. Consistent results follow if the technique is properly used. Dunk rules and you could become the patient.
The main focus in the basic pranic healing training session is on how the chakras absorb, process and distribute prana. Out of the 360 chakras in the human body, pranic healing uses only 11. Choa Kok Sui also lists in his books the different ailments caused by malfunction of certain chakras. For instance, your child's nosebleed could be set right simply by cleansing and energizing the ajna or third eye chakra. Much of the real learning, however, begins with individual practice. The advanced course is a quantum leap for the healer. It involves the use of color pranas, visualization skills and the power of intention to produce better results. According to most traditional healing practices, colors have healing properties. Green, for instance, has a marked disinfecting effect. But there is more to pranic healing than mere cures. Says Krishnan Veerappan, founder trustee of the Delhi Pranic Healing Foundation (DPHF), New Delhi, India: "This method can also put you on the path of self-growth." The resultant personal transformation manifests gradually. Then, as awareness grows, you begin to notice small perception shifts. An important part of pranic healing is twin hearts meditation where you focus on the heart chakra and the crown chakra to bring about a deep inner transformation. But the journey into pranic healing is not always smooth. Many don't have a stomach for the deeper emotional work required. Healers have often seen a cured person return with the same problems. To effect permanent cure, the healer must work at underlying emotional causes and behavior patterns. This is where the final pranic healing course, Pranic Psychotherapy, comes in.
Here, the stress is on preventing, alleviating and treating psychological traumas and ailments. And the results sometimes border on the miraculous. For Deepak Bhalla, meeting healer and teacher Manu Roychowdhary, who is based at Noida in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, was a godsend. A paralytic stroke had affected Bhalla's left arm and leg four years back. Healing sessions with Roychowdhary put him in touch with the emotional causes that had triggered the stroke. From then on, the road to recovery was open. As Dr David Goheen, director of the Canada-based Global Institute that trains pranic healers, puts it: "The key to pranic healing is to suspend your disbelief."
The mainstream medical fraternity is also gradually waking up to the role of pranic healing in trauma control and pain relief. For example, at the Apollo Cancer Hospital in Chennai, capital of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the pranic healing department assuages the ravaging effects of chemotherapy. In spite of well-established foundations and possibly the largest number of practitioners in the world, pranic healing is yet to match reiki's popularity in India. It has, however, made successful inroads into rural India down south, thanks to reasonable course fees and vernacular editions of Choa Kok Sui's books.
But is the technique safe in the hands of enthusiasts who overlook relevant guidelines? One healer gives the example of a school assistant in the northern Indian state of Punjab who applied such rigorous healing to a feverish child that the temperature came crashing down to subnormal and the limp, cold child had to be rushed to hospital. The danger, actually, is only for healers themselves who are susceptible to contamination. Does this not bode ill for the system, ask critics. Danial Gorgoria, general manager of the World Pranic Healing Foundation, has a succinct response: "If healers say that they get ill, they haven't followed the rules. Further, moderation is essential. When you are healing a large number of people every day, you are bound to get too tired to meditate, a must for healers."
To a layperson, pranic healing may sound similar to reiki. But there are crucial differences. Pranic healers believe that energizing without first cleansing is like pouring fresh coffee into a cup that contains leftover. Experts even report that reiki works better when preceded by cleansing techniques borrowed from pranic healing. It is only a matter of time before India becomes a pranic healing hotspot. A major indication of this is the construction of the first-ever pranic healing ashram in the world near Mumbai. Primarily a healing-cum-training center and spiritual retreat, the ashram will have facilities both for trainees and patients and will further Choa Kok Sui's one-line goal: "A pranic healer in every home." Many healers also affirm that the new millennium is going to see a descent of tremendous spiritual energies with India as the epicenter. Pranic healing, say ardent practitioners, will help people deal with these energies and the challenge and growth opportunity they will present. Ultimately, the thumb rule for making a final choice about pranic healing is: "You like it. It suits you. Move ahead with it." The underlying philosophy is rather simple: What counts is to be on the path. Does it really matter what finally got you there?