30th November 1997


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Thinking good, chanting good

By Roshan Peiris

The Occult-supernatural phenomena is taking a hold of people both in the East and West. It is becoming as popular a trend as vegetarianism.

Take Jeoffrey Gunasekera and wife Indra. He is a retired superintendent of prisons and she is a veterinary surgeon. Today they are devoted to curing sicknesses with the help of chanted pirith water kept tightly corked in a bottle, joss sticks and what is known as Anjanam Eliya, a kind of light reading- something like what the gypsies still practise in the West. But this is done with no special light, but a slim tube of pirith water held in the right hand with a lit joss stick in the left hand.

Jeoffrey is a man of stately proportions with a balding head with bits of grey hair around the bald patch who will greet you with chanted saffron water dropping on you like dew drops from the sky. One enters the sitting room and on a modest table are kept joss sticks, boxes and boxes of matches, ola leaf, a tray of white flowers, an unusual picture of Lord Buddha in colour, a conch shell given by a priest in an upcountry devale and most sacred of all, a dry Bo leaf enclosed in glass from the Sri Maha Bodhi in India.

Jeoffrey is not slow in explaining the power of chanting Buddhist stanzas and the power of pirith water which has been chanted over and bottled. The chanting of pirith has been done three hundred thousand times, he claims, before the water was bottled.

By chanting and evoking the forces of good and chanting stanzas of which his wife Indra keeps count he says he has succeeded in recent times in curing a man who could not use his hands and arms because of arthritis.

A man who had a racking cough due to lung cancer was also cured, says Jeoffrey. Another case Jeoffrey relates is of a boy who was a genius and suddenly found he could not cope with his work in class.

Instead of heading the class he had come way down. His agitated parents brought him to Jeoffrey and with the aid of Indra and the pirith water which she looked at, they saw that there had been some evil done to the boy. After he was cured he remembered seeing a human tooth in his school bag which had been put there by his friend's mother when he visited their home. It was apparently charmed.

I myself have some pain on either side of my spine. When I got back to office despite the chanting I still had pain on the right side but on the left side the pain had left me altogether. Even the right side is better in that the pain is now bearable. Don't say it is some kind of psychological effect for I am normally a cynic with regard to such cures.

While Jeoffrey chants pirith keeping the bottle of precious pirith water on the head Indra holds a slim tube of pirith water in her right hand and a joss stick on her left. She tells you to keep looking at the tube of pirith water. In my case I suddenly found a clear silver line similar to that of mercury in a thermometer. They asked me to say a prayer in my religion and when I did so a straight red line replaced the silver one and there were gold patches here and there on the red line. This apparently shows that one's time is good. I must wait and see!

When Jeoffrey was ten he had a dream where an Indian Rishis a tall handsome man held him by the hand and took him to a long hall where other Rishis stood chanting pirith and Buddhist stanzas. The leading Rishi introduced him to the others as 'my golaya' my pupil. "I chanted with them and I still remember the words. Being young, I did not realise its implications until I was much older and was guided by a person who got into a trance at a devale and explained things to me," said Jeoffrey.

"Believe me, what I do is only five percent and my wife's help is only about three percent. The rest is because of the benefits endowed on us by the devas, and by the chanting of pirith and Lord Buddha's sayings which has a lot of positive power. We are only the humble instruments used to help mankind lead a trouble free life refraining from doing evil, having good thoughts as Lord Buddha has asked," he adds.

The couple do not take any money only a token amount if they give some pirith water in a tiny tube to wear on one's person. So there is no monetary motive attached.

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