After five days of taking ghee and having a daily yoga session I could indeed perceive my skin changing and becoming a little oily. Dr Vivekanand was very satisfied with the outcome of the treatment. He explained: "It very much depends on the patient's attitude and surrender to the treatment and the doctor. With some patients their body shuts down, and they cannot assimilate the ghee - they block off completely. But you are tuning in well. The patient has to surrender to the doctor, otherwise we cannot do anything." It was time to move on to the next part of the cleansing process: Abhyanga & Sweda-Bashpa: a full body massage in medicated oil, followed by a 15-minutes' steam bath. The massage was given by two young ladies working on my body simultaneously - one on each side. And the entire body was swimming in oil. Again, the oil was meant to soak into the skin and tissues and loosen the toxins, which would come out by sweating during the steam bath. This procedure was done on two days, while the diet was still extremely simple: broken wheat porridge, watery soups and liquid millet kitchari without vegetables. The diet was meant to barely maintain life, while all energy was going towards detoxification.
Next was a one-day procedure: Virechana - purgation. I had to take a paste in the early morning, similar to Chyawanaprash, and after one hour I had to run to the toilet - for the following four hours. Intense cleansing of the intestines! It felt good to get rid of all kinds of toxines and unwanted substances.
These eight days were the main purifying elements of the entire treatment. After this cleansing procedure the body needed one day rest, in order to then gradually build up again to its full strength.
I had been regularly working on my writing projects with my computer, which one is actually not meant to do during panchakarma. Dr Vivekanand explained how formerly such treatments were undergone: in complete seclusion, in a dark room - almost like a bhajan kutir, simply going within and concentrating on increasing one's self-healing powers.
One morning he spoke very strongly to me, almost delivering an entire lecture: "You are initiated - you know how to connect on deeper levels. Your life is usually very busy. This is a very rare chance for you to withdraw from everything and go within. Let go of all your distractions and duties. After 4:30pm I don't want you to do anything on your computer. I am not saying to close it entirely all day, but no more work after 4:30pm. You have to strenghten your own healing powers from within. This is the main thing in the whole treatment. We are not doing some external, mechanical cleansing here - it is all about internal work. A person's own healing power is doing so much more than what we doctors can ever do. Simply talk to your system, talk to your body - rest with closed eyes on your bed and listen to some meditation music, spend time in nature.....!" He spoke with such urgency, almost appealing to me - I was caught by surprise and couldn't help but submit to his instructions. I did close down the computer after 4:30pm and spent more time in nature chanting japa, and resting on my bed while listening to kirtan.
One morning Dr Vivekanand stated: "The main problem for a doctor starts, when he thinks he is a doctor, and he has to heal the patient. When he thinks like this, he can't do anything. Actually, we doctors are simply a little instrument in the Lord's plans, and we have to tune in to the higher healing energies. Only then we can become a useful instrument. And depending on how a patient connects and surrenders, we can give inspiration in the right direction. This is why I don't even wear a white coat - I don't want to think that I am a doctor...."
I was amazed to hear such words coming from a doctor's mouth - from somebody who is not even practicing Krishna consciousness.......
Your servant, Devaki dd