Sadhak Som gets up at four in the morning and starts performing a series of physical and breathing exercises. Our neighbour uncle is seen happier these days after he has entered the mission of Dr. Swami Vikashananda. In a similar manner, many people are found to be practicing some sort of alternative lifestyle techniques nowadays. As we are either directly or indirectly related to these practices we have decided to do research on the subject. The change in lifestyle brought about in Kathmandu is not the result of a single effort of a single person or an organization but is the combined effect of several reverend Gurus.
Though terms like “yoga”, ”meditation” sound quite familiar to us the topic selected is a vast one like an ocean out of which even by collecting few drops of water we would find ourselves successful. It is not possible for any researcher to do research on such a wide subject that too in a limited area in a limited amount of time by field visits. In our research we have visited the sites of Manokranti, Nepal in Samakhusi and Siddhashram Shakti Kendra, Basundhara. All other information have been taken from books and the internet.
People have been practicing yoga since the ancient times. “Earliest archaeological evidence of Yoga’s existence could be found in stone seals which depict figures of Yoga Poses. The stone seals place Yoga’s existence around 3000 B.C.”(http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/beginnersguide/yogahistory.asp )Now suddenly it has again started entering the homes of millions. The biggest problem faced these days is related in one or the other way to our mind. Millions have become the victims of depression. They are not able to communicate well with others in contact. ”Head to head communication is through though thoughts and words; while heart to heart communication is through feelings, People throughout the ages, have felt that they cannot communicate their feelings, if we could communicate all our feelings through words; then we would be leading very shallow lives. Life is rich because feelings cannot be captured in words! So we use all these gestures-we hug, so that hearts come closer, we give flowers, so that feelings are conveyed ….We put all our efforts in to expressing our feelings….and still, feelings remain unexpressed”(Ravi Shankar,2005,p.1).It has been the nature of human mind to raise several questions and search for respective answers. In questions related to mind, spirit and eternity, only Eastern philosophers have been able to provide justifiable answers. People nowadays are found to be affected by their own negative emotions. Ravi Shankar (2005) says “Love! Love is responsible for all our negative emotions! If there were no love on this planet, there wouldn’t have been any problem at all – nobody would be jealous; no body ever be greedy; no one ever get angry at any thing”(p.11).Statements like the above one soothe people healing their emotional injuries.
Besides ordinary people, in most of the cases patients suffering from serious mental problems are the followers of alternative treatments. “Research however, has scientifically proven that meditation, through contemplation and deliberation, is one of the safest practices in alternative and complementary medicine. Its numerous values have become well known and practiced for thousands of years; therefore more and more doctors are nowadays promoting the benefits of meditation as means to cure many stress related activities”( http://www.thespiritualhealth.com/meditation/meditation-for-mental-health.htm). Also the world wide inclination towards alternative treatments is the result of the probable side effects of following allopathic treatment. Lets take an example: Out of several medicines given to the patients of Mania, lithium carbonate is one. Its probable side effects are:
o Kidney damage
o Intense thirst
o Frequent urination
o Decrease in mental capacity
o Epilepsy(if the drug is taken under or overdose)
We had conducted an interview with Sadhak Som(called by himself,age:22,sex:male,date:24th March 2009,3:45p.m.) of Manokranti Nepal in its branch office in Samakhusi. According to him he had been involved in the mission for 8-9 months. The head of the mission was Dr. Swami Vikashananda. He informed us that besides patients his organization was the source of new life to all those interested in learning new things. For curing incurable diseases the help of some Aayurvedic medicines were also taken as he informed. However modern medicines were completely out of use there. Another interesting thing mentioned was the increasing number of students especially of science faculty (Ascol, was the name focused) joining the mission. He informed us that the head office of the mission was in Godavari and that the programmes conducted were Yog, Reiki, super learning, manokranti dhyan etc. He further informed that the information we were asking for was one to be experienced by oneself practically.
Our next destination was Siddhashram Shakti Kendra, Basundhara.(24th March 2009,4:45pm).We were warmly welcomed with the enchantation “Jay Gurudev” inside the ashram. According to the person at the information department, their mission was led by invisible Gurus namely Guru Gorakhnath and Paramhansha Nikhileshworananda. He told us that the ashram conducted several programmes like healing, tantric meditation and so on. Even incurable disease like cancers could be cured in short duration of time as he told us. The meditation was a 7-level one and was available to only those who were the members of the monthly publication of the ashram “Gorakshya Nikhil Vaani”.
According to history, for the first time Hippies were the people following alternative lifestyle techniques being frustrated by the materialistic western life.” The hippies were a social group that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s during a period of political unrest in the United States. Most were white, middle-class young people who advocated peace, love,and beauty. They withdrew from traditional modern society and “tuned in” to their deeper spiritual feelings. Hippies were most famous for their controversial alternative lifestyle, such as group living (called communes) and for their opposition to the Vietnam War (1957–75). They also claimed to be against the mainstream capitalist (an economic system based on private or corporate ownership and free enterprise), industrial society, advocating a simple way of life that involved owning few possessions and taking as little personal responsibility as possible. They wore tie-dyed clothes, braided beads, and went barefoot. The hippies were followers of a new generation of rock-and-roll artists that included the Beatles,…”( http://www.enotes.com/history-fact-finder/political-social-movements/who-were-hippies).
The popularity and practice of yoga and alternative lifestyle is due to the involvement of celebrated personalities. “”It’s a known fact that golf maestro Tiger Woods meditates and does yoga for concentration,” says Ajay Kumar, director of sales and marketing at Le Meriden Gokarna Forest Golf Resort and Spa, Kathmandu’s pride and one of South Asia’s finest golf resorts.”( http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news/Nepal-to-Introduce-Art-of-Living-for-Golfers-18761-1/).Due to ignorance even the so called educated fellows would be repelled by these practices before.But now time has changed.NASA scientists and molecular biologists can be seen in the retreat centres. “Sw Vasanto and Ma Abhiru are scientist couples from France who came to Tapoban this October to participate in the seven days intense silence meditation camp. While Swami Vasanto has already filed two major patents and has forty three of his designs on the space shuttle, ISS (International Space Station), Ma Abhiru is a holder of two PhDs and works on molecular biology in the R&D center of a private company ” (http://www.sannyasnews.org/latest/archives/188).This shows that the more human society is advancing towards new technologies the more it has become inclined towards the eastern way of living.
Thus with the rise of meditation, yoga and other systems of alternative treatments we are entering into a fusion of technologies. Lets hope that the human life becomes easier by their application.
Shankar,R.(2005).Secrets of Relationships. Bangalore:Vyakti Vikas Kendra, India-Publication Division.
2003-2009 ABC of Yoga. MaxLifestyle International Inc. Retrieved March 30,2009, from http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/beginnersguide/yogahistory.asp
Valen Designs LLC. WordPress. TheSpiritualHealth. Retrieved March 30,2009, from http://www.thespiritualhealth.com/meditation/meditation-for-mental-health.htm
2009 Enotes.Retrieved March 30,2009, from http://www.enotes.com/history-fact-finder/political-social-movements/who-were-hippies
2003-2009 Bio-Medicine. Retrieved March 30,2009, from http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news/Nepal-to-Introduce-Art-of-Living-for-Golfers-18761-1/
4. Name and information of organization:
5. What type of people visit the organization?
6. What are the types of treatment?
7. What is the normal time period of treatment?