Aura of healing

By Smriti Daniel, Pix by Saman Kariyawasam

The small garden of the Pranic Healing Centre down Moor Road, Wellawatte is an oasis of beauty and calm in the middle of my hectic workday. The little waiting area is full, and the air is redolent with incense and soothing classical music.

I am here to see Deva Somasundaran - a one-time civil engineer, turned master pranic healer. He believes that pranic healing, based on the wisdom of the ancients, can cure illness in modern times, bringing near immediate relief to those plagued with all manner of mental and physical conditions.

Mr. Somasundaran explains that his healing is based on the work of Master Choa Kok Sui, and that it is a system of non-touch, non-drug healing that utilizes prana or universal energy to heal both oneself and others. In this system, prana is the invisible bio-energy that keeps the body alive and when it is flowing freely through us we enjoy a state of good health. Though it is most often associated with countries like China (where this subtle energy is known as 'chi' in Chinese acupuncture), pranic healing has long been an integral part of indigenous Sri Lankan medicine, contends Mr. Somasundaran, explaining that in his time as a civil engineer he has seen that it still thrives in different forms in the island.

Modern pranic healers base their practice on the belief that the body is meant to be an entity capable of self-repair and regeneration. Mr. Somasundaran works with the bio-electromagnetic field he calls the aura. Physical ailments appear as energy disruptions on the aura, warping or discolouring it. Occasionally, they even leave scars, allowing Mr. Somasundaran to spot old fractures, among other things.

The test comes when Mr. Somasundaran offers to heal me. He introduces one of his young students, Thilini Perera. Now a strong healer in her own right, Thilini has been learning pranic healing for five years. She seats me on a chair, and asks me to fold my tongue so that the tip touches the roof of my mouth. My hands are to be placed palm up and my feet kept uncrossed. On either side of me are bowls filled with salt water into which bad energy is discarded. As they prepare me for the 'scan', Mr. Somasundaran once more draws my attention to the importance of a clean environment - the space around me is uncluttered, positively generating calm.

Using crystals, the two healers examine my aura. They are thorough, their hands sculpting the air several inches away from my body, pausing here and there as they sense disturbances. 20 minutes later, when the moment of reckoning arrives, I am startled to find that they have pinpointed one condition accurately. It is difficult to know what to make of the other diagnosis. Mr. Somasundaran asks me if there is anything wrong with my ear, and Thilini if there is anything wrong with my legs. I have only a decade old, now extinct ear infection and a weak ankle to offer, and so there is nothing wrong - yet. Pranic healers claim to be able to sense disturbances before they occur, and while they identify the general location affected by disease, they will never offer a diagnosis, avoiding the specifics of what it is exactly that plagues you.

Deva Somasundaran

Understandable then, that there are plenty of disbelievers. Unfortunately for them, the more you doubt, the less effective the treatment is supposed to be. On the flip side, believers need not even be in the room with a pranic healer to experience relief from their symptoms - Mr. Somasundaran often consults with patients as far away as Australia. A phone call starts the session in which the patient is instructed to sit in the right position and so on, after which the healer hangs up and sends energy winging across the ocean. Another phone call at the end of the session verifies if the patient feels any improvement. While most report immediate relief, patients are instructed not to bathe for approximately 12 hours after the session, allowing any energy to settle into them.

Pranic healing is not intended to replace orthodox medicine, but rather to complement it, emphasises Mr. Somasundaran, saying that if symptoms persist or the ailment is severe, patients are encouraged to supplement their pranic healing sessions with visits to regular doctors. He has treated kidney stones, depression, heart ailments, strokes, diabetes, gastro-intestinal problems, painful conditions like arthritis and frozen shoulder and migraines among a long list of diseases.

His students, all of whom emphasise the importance of meditating for an hour or more everyday also talk of the sense of physical, mental and spiritual well being that they themselves have discovered after having learnt pranic healing. Thilini says that while she derives much satisfaction from healing others, she also enjoys her ability to heal herself. She is rarely if ever ill these days.

Along with the others, she first learnt pranic healing at a two-day workshop organised by the centre. So far over 600 students have benefitted from the courses. A basic course in pranic healing provides a sound introduction, says Mr. Somasundaran. Held on a weekend, it includes practical demonstrations and culminates in your graduation as a pranic healer, though it takes many years of practice to develop to your full potential.

Today, Mr. Somasundaran and his team of healers see patients on weekdays in the mornings. He welcomes people wanting to learn the art of pranic healing, explaining that anyone can learn, anyone can use prana to heal and be healed. Those interested in learning more can contact the Pranic Healing Foundation on 011-2580048.

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