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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Mind of a Mystic




By R. Murali Krishna, M.D.
President, James L. Hall, Jr. Center for Mind, Body & Spirit
President, INTEGRIS Mental Health
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
President COO, INTEGRIS Mental Health and James L. Hall, Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit


Sri. Nithyananda Swami is a trim, healthy looking young man with dark, shoulder-length hair. Handsome and polite, possessing an open manner and a wealth of curiosity, he could be any ordinary American college student.

The difference is that ordinary American college students do not wear orange robes and turbans, have not experienced spiritual enlightenment and are not regarded as a teacher, healer and mystic by millions of people in all corners of the world.

A mystic? The term is not a bad fit for "Swami," as he is known. Mystics, popular culture tells us, have direct communion with God. Through means not understood or measurable, mystics are thought to have access to ultimate realities or truths. Picture a mystic and you’ll probably picture someone full of bliss, someone gifted with lofty thoughts and insights the rest of us do not possess. The very presence of a mystic is thought to bring peace and healing to others.

That’s an apt description of Swami, a 27-year-old from South India. He is approached by thousands of people a year seeking relief from diseases and ailments that conventional medical approaches have not cured. Swami’s background lends him the air of a mystic, too. He left his home as a teen, visited ashrams across India, immersed himself in philosophy, read extensively and mastered the art of meditation.

When Swami passed through Oklahoma City recently as one stop in his world travels, I asked him if he would let me use some of modern medicine’s newest technology to peer into his brain while he meditated. My goal: to understand, measure and demystify what happens during the mystic phenomena. Swami, who believes that meditation has a scientific basis, happily agreed.


The procedures Swami went through were administered by some of Oklahoma City’s finest and most experienced physicians, neuropsychologists and researchers: Drs. Fordyce, Ruwe and Higgins of the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center Neuropsychology Department and Dr. Chacko of the PET Center of Oklahoma. These doctors were using technology they use with patients on a routine basis. When they look at images obtained by their technology, they know what’s normal and what’s not.

The results from testing Swami? Decidedly not normal.



IMAGING BRAIN ACTIVITY 

Our first look into Swami’s brain was achieved with the help of a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) device. Unlike traditional diagnostic techniques that produce images of the body’s structure or anatomy, such as X-rays, CT scans or MRI, PET produces images of the function of the brain through the metabolic activity of cells. An analog of glucose is attached to a radioactive PET tracer. The PET scanner then images the metabolically active brain areas at any given time.
In the case of Swami, the drug was intended to identify highly active areas of the brain in an alert and conscious state, in the early stages of meditation and during deep meditation.


The results of the PET scan tests were stunning. To begin with, the activity in the frontal lobes of Swami’s brain were significantly heightened, even in early meditation stages. The level of activity was higher than would be seen in the average human brain under any conditions.
When we then asked Swami to go into the deepest meditation state, there were two more remarkable findings.


First, the dominant hemisphere of Swami’s brain was more than 90 percent shut down. It was as if Swami’s brain had packed up and gone on vacation. It was quiet and still, completely at peace … and Swami had made it so at will.

A second amazing aspect of Swami’s deep meditation was that the lower portion of his mesial frontal areas lighted up in a very significant way. This area roughly corresponds to the reputed location of the mystical "Third Eye."

When we later asked Swami what he was doing when the mesial frontal areas lighted up, he said he was opening his third eye.

Associated with both cosmic and inner knowledge and thought to be a place of clarity and peace, the Third Eye is considered by many to be the seat of the soul. Were we seeing an indication that deep meditation can open an area of the brain responsible for communicating with the divine, looking deep into the mysteries of self or creation? I believe the PET scan revealed what I call the brain’s "D-spot." Whether you consider the "D" in D-spot to stand for delight, the divine or even dopamine, the chemical through which our bodies experience pleasure, initial indications are that meditation can stimulate it.



MEASURING BRAINWAVES 

The second procedure we used to look into Swami’s brain is known as Quantitative Electroencephalography, or QEEG. QEEG measures electrical patterns in the brain, patterns commonly referred to as brainwaves.

There are four bandwidths of brainwaves, each different in speed and each associated with a different state of mind. For instance, beta brainwaves are small and fast and linked with an awake, alert state of mind. Alpha brainwaves are slower and larger and are connected to feelings of well-being. Theta waves represent a state of consciousness between that is close to sleep, a stage in which there is a sense of calmness and serenity without active thought.

In a day’s time, most people will experience all four types of brainwaves. The progression from one bandwidth to another, though, is not so easily in their control.

From Swami’s QEEG, though, we can see that he has complete control over his brainwaves. When in deep meditation, his brain smoothly shifted from one state to another, like a talented pianist playing the scales. There was no hesitation and no retreating, just continuous, fluid shifts from one type of brainwave to the next. Because the QEEG represents the five brainwave bandwidths as colors, it was as we were watching Swami float from color to color within a rainbow.



CONCLUSIONS

The brain is the body’s most complex organ, containing more than 100 billion neurons, each of them in chemical and electrical conversation with up to 10,000 other neurons. Its sheer capacity to process information is astonishing.


Remarkably, that complexity presents little difficulty for Swami in managing his brain activity. Swami’s mind – his thoughts, emotions and intellect – control his brain. He can, in a very fluid, easy way, shift his brain function and alter his brainwaves.

More than answering questions, the voyage we took into the mind of a mystic brings intriguing questions for study.

Are there techniques we can learn and teach that will bring balance and peace into people’s lives?

Can we invoke a healing response or accelerate healing through specific training? Can we learn techniques that will allow us to control pain or alter the course of a disease?

Can we learn to activate what I call our D-spot, thus putting us in instant connection to delight or the divine?

The results from our study of Swami are new pages in our world’s growing book of research on the brain. There continue to be indications that the human mind may be able to choose to heal the body. We’re now looking at the possibility of people learning and acquiring these healing capabilities, an event of immense benefit for humankind. The potential for altering the rates and progression of many diseases – heart disease, cancer, arthritis, alcoholism and many others – is beginning to look achievable.

Swami is a bridge between the invisible, ancient world of mysticism and the modern, visible world of science and discovery. As brain research continues on a widespread basis, and as we appropriately bring the phenomena of mysticism into the realm of science for further study, we are taking strides on a path of hope and health.

9 comments:

Hari said...

Very nicely put. Yes its true, that people easily jump and follow the negative news, instead of using their head and logic. That why a man, should go through such strenuous scientific research experimentations, and prove the benefits of meditation and even his state of enlightenment, if he is interested some dirty stuff as they have potrayed in the video.

Its TRUE that people who judged him, forgot technical stuff or did not know about it. But one thing they SURELY FORGOT is, if people can make movies with Dinosaurs chasing humans in a field (Jurassic Park I, II, III) and Godzilla in a city. Then this morphing which they have done in media is a childs play

kalpana said...

In these days of graphics and morphing one can create any visual which appears to be real.

All the scandals are brought out only by disgruntled elements from within. Kalki ashram and Nityanada ashram are no exception. In running any organization some politics will be there. What was shown in visuals is nothing but consensual Sex of two adults in a private bedroom which is absolutely nothing illegal. We have to expose the media which plays to the galleries. Coming to the moral standards, Morals change according to time. We have heard stories in our puranas that even Rishis, Maharishis have fallen prey to the charm of women. If at all what is shown in the visual is true, there is nothing unusual about it. Any how I would like to conclude with the following 7 sentences.

1. Never challenge anyone nor accept challenge from any one.
2. Never threaten anyone nor be threatened by anyone.
3. Nothing will come free of cost including trouble.
4. One’s real strength lays in restraint, tolerance & action; not in reaction.
5. I am responsible for my destiny; fate is not to be blamed.
6. It is much easy to face a trouble than to think about troubling.
7. The less I desire the more content I am.

De_Alchemist said...

Thanks for the counter-negative efforts.
But truly, it doesn matter.
I remember in recent Past a politician was in news for having very many cloth pairs. even though he was amused by the allegation, I liked the way he replied in Public. He said "of course it is baseless allegation, but even if it is true, are you ready to forgive me ??" And people applauded him for that, the growth and success he has brought from them, over shadowed the fake news.

And what Swamiji has added to so many people is much beyond that. I was so glad to see all his supporters and followers are backing him.
Our faith was tested and we all lived up to our expectations.

PLease celebrate this where ever you are and whichever way you like to celebrate a victory. :)

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Even if he has done it does not matter. It is his privacy and private affair.He did not force the woman in the video.
On top of that one more thing to add - Atleast he even made many dumbsters to sit in a corner and meditate for a while , Not sit idle and do devil's act.
He has diverted man in his sweet words, which most of them liked. I am not a follower,neither have I seen him. This video was quite funny at the beginning,but soon I realized It is his private affair.

The media has played more and way too much that they have forgotten their ethics. They have poisoned public mind with their continuous footage. It is India, People in US think twice before they shake hands with woman dressed in Indian way,showing respect to our culture. This media has to repent on what they have done to our Indian culture, more than what they have implied in this video.
for their TRP rating. If only they were responsible and had a real interest over the public they wouldnt have shown this video so many times.

This is not a crime - Even if it gets justified as a crime, This much huge punishment is not required. the lady could be bit***
But the punishment is severe by broadcasting it on TV,It was equal to hang her till death. it is Democratic country ,and not TALIBAN regime to take justice in hand. Shame on the media.People in india have become cruel ,Ugly in their thoughts. Wonder is our history Our stories are filled with humanitarian deeds and respect for our soil.Where is out Ramayanam and Mahabaratham.
Even the Maharishi vishwamitra had problems , why was this swami not aware of all this ethings.
RamanaMahrishis footage in youtube does not show even a single woman .His footages had only men behind him.
He has open windows and doors. Shirdi Baba had open doors too.
Today nothing.People are selfish,arrogant, rude,stabbers at the back and worser than devilish thoughts. The Idiot box has indeed made the middle income groups a big idiot.

Just some questions -
Why all of a sudden all the so called swamis are getting caught- what was the govt doing all these many many years?

Are these ashrams in any prime area of the state?

Or Is it due to election , do the blacks sheeps need funding or support from these ashrams?

Or is the govt really doing service for the public? Which I cannot beleive - Still there is no healthy clean drinking water in our places.
No strong foundation school buildings
No roads
No respect for our peoplen by govt staff
no electricity
Public dont question all this - But when it comes to our kamasutra topic they love it - funny

It will become ugly if only cameras are fixed in many big shots places and top Artists also.

I am not a follower of any swami-
Just a viewer and by humanitarian grounds hope the media dont concentrate on this and show the real problems of life.

naadal said...

Swamiji,
You changed our lives, no matter what the world says you will live in my heart for ever. Every step I make in my life you voice guids us, and I pray that you come out of all these small issues and guid us further.
Saravana

hiral gohil said...

He has been my strength always and nothing can shake that.Even if the video is true it cannot change my experiences in the ashram or every time I met him.I truly admire you swamiji.

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone,

I am surprised at the Indian media as how irresponsible they have behaved.

They published a defamatory video of a Master Nithyananda without checking the authenticity and facts about the truth behind the incident.

Even if we blindly accpet the video, there is no indecent activity there. There was no force. It was just simple kissing, hugging. What is wrong with kissing and hugging? Indian Bollywood and Tollywood movies and songs are more vulgar and indecent than defematory video of Swamiji.

It only shows the mentality of indian media who doesnt know how to be proud of BHARAT and vedic lifestyle. Sex and Lust is something is which is very poorly misunderstood in india as well as world.

People who did this must be severly punished as this is violation of individual privacy. What happens in others private life is nobody's business? I think media needs to follow some rules and regulation and it is time, they are updated with the advent of technology.

Also people should not lose their faith. It is test of ones faith. All of those who have faith in Master will stand by him and who dont have faith, will fall apart.

I have full faith in Master that he is pure shiva consciousness and is bringing vedic traditions back to its glory. It is no simple task. It is very difficult. And also he is doing it like any other human. SO we are inspired by him and make a difference in the world.

Nithyanandam

Vetri

VedaS said...

Dear Swami ji,
more and more after going through the news these days I realize that WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT to YOU NEED OUR SUPPORT.

Thank you for being with us and guiding our lives. Only fools can afford to leave you for any news or incidents.

Lakshmi Mohan said...

Lets not be judgemental.Lets look at his teachings. At how he has touched our lives.And how he has put things into perspective.
Lets not look at things that doesn't matter. lets look beyond...Look within.When we know the truth, does it matter what others think?