Spiritual Healing According
Jainism & Other Faiths
By Prof. P. L. Jain
Spirituality and Jainism Jainism is one of the oldest living religions of India. It predates recorded history as per references indicated in Hindu scriptures. It is a religion of purely human origin. Jainism holds that the universe is without a beginning or an end, being everlasting and eternal and runs according to its own cosmic laws. The fundamental entities in the universe continuously undergo countless changes but no new entities are created nor any destroyed. The concept of a superhuman God as a creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe does not exist in Jainism. Spiritualism has been used for obtaining mental peace and tranquility, preventing evil thoughts and ensuring healthy life. Spiritual practices, yoga and meditation are now being increasingly accepted as techniques for preventing physical illnesses and for leading tension-free and healthy life.
Power of Prayer There is ample proof that prayer works. Many scientific studies have been conducted that validate this observation. In the most widely publicized studies of the effect of intercessory prayer, cardiologist Randolph Byrd studied 393 patients admitted to the coronary-care unit at San Francisco General Hospital. Some were prayed for by home-prayer groups, others were not. All the men and women got medical care. In this randomized study, neither the doctors and nurses nor the patients knew who would be the object of prayer. The results were dramatic and surprised many scientists. The men and women whose medical care was supplemented with prayer needed fewer drugs and spent less time on ventilators. They also fared better overall than their counterparts who received medical care but nothing more.
The prayed-for patients were significantly less likely to require antibiotics, significantly less likely to develop pulmonary edema-a condition in which the lungs fill with fluid because the heart cannot pump properly, significantly less likely to require insertion of a tube into the throat to assist breathing, and were less likely to die. Experiments also showed that prayer positively affected high blood pressure, heart attacks, anxiety, headaches, wounds and body pains. The processes that had been influenced by prayer were: Activity of enzymes, The growth rate of leukemic white blood cells, mutation rates of bacteria, firing rate of pacemaker cells, healing rates of wounds, size of goiters and tumors, time required to awaken from anesthesia and autonomic effects such as electro-dermal activity of the skin, rates of hemolysis of red blood cells and hemoglobin levels.
Jains salute the virtues of the five benevolent beings, called Tirthankars, by regularly chanting ‘Navkar mantra’ also called ‘Namaskar mantra’. They do not pray to a specific God or any ascetic by name. By saluting them, Jains receive the inspiration for following the right path of true happiness and total freedom from the misery of life. The universally accepted "Navakar Mantra" itself has been used as a powerful tool for eradicating all types of ailments, worries and tension from the mind. "Aiso panch namukkaro, Savv Paav Panasano", meaning that these above-mentioned five entities, if recited with full concentration and faith would enable one to get rid of all the sins committed by him, which could be the cause of diseases. This prayer in the form of a mantra is so powerful that it effectively acts as a faith healer. Many Jain devotees, ascetics and saints practice this prayer as well as other spiritualistic endeavours to the point that they attain the powers to receive and accumulate the desired energy and transmit the same to a patient, needing eradication from a particular disease.
As a typical example, one such successful faith healer, a highly dedicated devotee of Jain religion, Shri L. C. Jain, residing in Jodhpur, is a brilliant example of a spiritualist, who has been able to invoke the Almighty and draw strength (energy) from Him in order to pass it on to the suffering patients and cure them from their sufferings. His guru, a jain saint had inspired him to He took up the true path of spiritualism, studied various scriptures, under the guidance of his spiritual guide and guru and then started practising, what he had acquired to heal all types of patients, suffering from incurable diseases, often in advanced stages, such as Cancer, Diabetes, Fits, Convulsions, Paralysis, Cardiac problems, Kidney problems, cerebral problems, diseases of knee joints, lumber pains and others.
He has been practicing this faith healing for the last 25 years selflessly, with high degree of success. Hundreds of persons have been benefited by his miraculous therapy, which needs no medicines, no expenses and no precautions, except that he has to lead simple life, observe self control (Sayyam) and take vegetarian meals. For patients staying far away, he calls them for a few days and then subsequently, the energy in the form of spiritual vibrations is transmitted to the patient, wherever he is. The entire process of spiritual treatment, as developed by him, is a combination of reiki, telepathy, 'nadi vigyan' and meditation.
The author of this article, has himself undergone his spiritual treatment some time ago, for acute and severe lumber pain caused by spine disc bulging and lateral recess stenosis, as revealed from M.R.I. There was no sure and permanent remedy for this ailment by any other means. He could get complete relief from the problem just after a couple of sittings with him.
Spiritual Healing : Spirituality involves the recognition and acceptance of a God beyond our own intelligence and with whom we can have a relationship. This God can provide an experience of inspiration, joy, security, peace of mind, and guidance that goes beyond what is possible in the absence of the conviction that such a power exists. Spiritual healing is when energy is transmitted to the person who needs it. The treatment works on the body, mind and spirit, which are seen as one unit that must harmonize for good health. If a separate healer is involved, the healer will place the hand on the person being treated to channel the energy from the Higher Source. The spiritual healing can help mental and emotional problems and physical conditions such as a frozen shoulder.
The channeling of healing energy from its spiritual source to someone who needs it is called spiritual healing. The channel is usually a person, whom we call a healer, and the healing energy is usually transferred to the patient through the healer's hands. The healing does not come from the healer, but through him. On the other hand, you don’t need a healer to take advantage of spiritual healing. You can pray. The word "spiritual" refers to the divine nature of the energy, which healers agree comes from one external, invisible intelligent source. The healing energy from this source is available to all. Healers see the body mind and spirit as one interdependent unit and believe all three must work in harmony to maintain positive health. Any problem - be it a broken leg or depression needs the power of healing to restore the balance of the whole person. It is felt that sickness often starts in the mind, or at the deeper level of the spirit, and it is often here that healing begins. In western countries, specially America, the so-called spirituality movement is growing by leaps and bounds. Time magazine reported that in 1996, about 44 million Americans identified with the healing movement. It is estimated that Americans alone spend about $1.5 billion annually on books about spirituality and religion. About 42 percent of Americans have sought out alternative health care.
Spirituality vs. Religion Spirituality can be seen as being distinct from religion. Different world religions have proposed various doctrines and belief systems about the nature of a God and humanity's relationship with it. Spirituality, on the other hand, refers to the common experience behind these various points of view. It is an experience involving an awareness of and relationship with something that transcends your personal self as well as the human order of things. This "something" has been given various names.
Christianity: The term "faith healing" is sometimes used in reference to the belief of some Christians who hold that God heals people through the power of the Holy Spirit, often involving the "laying on of hands". Those who hold to this belief do not usually use the term "faith healing" in reference to the practice; that expression is often used descriptively by commentators outside of the faith movement in reference to the belief and practice. In the four gospels in the Christian Bible, Jesus is said to cure physical ailments well outside the capacity of first century medicine, most explicitly in the case of "a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was not better but rather grew worse." However, when asked for other types of miracles, Jesus refused some but granted others in consideration of the motive of the request, but He healed all present every single time, sometimes determining whether they had faith that he would heal them, but the sole contributing factor was His faith for them.
Catholics: Faith healing is reported by Catholics as the result of intercessory prayer to a saint or to a person with the gift of healing. Among the best-known accounts by Catholics of faith healings are those attributed to the miraculous intercession of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary known as Our Lady of Lourdes at the grotto of Lourdes in France, and the remissions of life-threatening disease claimed by those who have applied for aid to Saint Jude, who is known as the "patron saint of lost causes. The Catholic Church has given official recognition to 67 miracles and 7,000 otherwise-inexplicable medical cures since the Blessed Virgin Mary first appeared in Lourdes in February 1858. These cures are subjected to intense medical scrutiny and are only recognized as authentic spiritual cures after a commission of doctors and scientists, called the Lourdes Medical Bureau, has ruled out any physical mechanism for the patient's recovery.
Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard University and author of ‘Relaxation Response’ conducted scientific experiments to determine efficacy of prayer or mantra. Benson believed that there is no magic to the mantra. He taught people to meditate using the any word or phrase they felt comfortable. Initially, the mantras worked equally well in invoking the relaxation response and stimulating the healthful physiological changes in the body as a result of it. But Benson also found that those who used the word one or similar simple phrases that had no particular spiritual meaning did not stick with the program whereas those who used prayers continued because of their belief. It has also been scientifically shown that to be effective They feel that developing a relationship with their God provided the moral support, courage, hope, and faith for them to follow through with their personal recovery program. It provided them with a sense that they are not alone in the universe, and that there is a source of guidance and support that is available at times of confusion and discouragement. the person using the prayer of mantra has to have an unqualified faith that it will work.
Specific Benefits of Developing Spirituality : Edmund Bourne, author of ‘The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook,’ has described a number of benefits to spirituality as it applies to healing emotional problems. Dr. Burke has personal experience of his patients benefiting from a deep spirituality. He has listed a number of benefits that are gained through spirituality. Through developing a connection with God, you gain security through the conviction that you are not all alone in the universe, even at those times when you feel temporarily separated from other people. You feel increasingly safe as you come to believe that there is a source you can always turn to in times of difficulty.
Peace of Mind : Peace of mind is the result of feeling a deep, abiding sense of security and safety. The more reliance and trust you develop in God, the easier it becomes to deal without fear or worry with the inevitable challenges life brings. It is not that you give up your self or your will to such a power; rather you simply learn that you can "let go" and turn to God when you feel stuck with a problem in living and don't know how to proceed. Learning how to let go when solutions to problems aren't immediately apparent can go a long way toward reducing worry and anxiety in your life. Peace of mind is what develops in the absence of such anxiety.
Self-Confidence : As you develop a relationship with God, you come to realize that he has created you and hence he has found something good in you. You are part of the universe. You're good, lovable, and worthy of respect just by virtue of the fact that you're God’s creation. This realization can improve the way you look at yourself and will help you to improve your ego and what you think of yourself. You are still inherently good and worthwhile. Your own judgments of yourself, however negative, do not ultimately count if you are a creation of the universe as much as everything else. As one person put it: "God doesn't make junk."
The Capacity To Give and Receive Unconditional Love : The most fundamental characteristic of God is that it offers you an experience of unconditional love. This is a kind of love, which differs from romantic love or even ordinary friendship. It entails an absolute caring for the welfare of another without any preconditions. That is, no matter how another person appears or acts, you have compassion and care for them without judgment. As you develop a deeper connection with God, you come to experience greater degrees of unconditional love in your life. You feel your heart opening more easily to people and their concerns. You feel freer of judgment toward them or of making comparisons among them. Unconditional love shows up both in your increased capacity to give love to others and to experience more of it coming into your life. You begin to experience less fear and more joy in your life and help to inspire others to experience their own capacity for unconditional love. This kind of love also manifests itself through the experience of having everything you need in your life to get on with what you want to do.
Guidance : Developing a relationship with God will provide you with guidance for making decisions and solving problems. God has a universal wisdom that goes beyond what you can accomplish through your own intellect. In traditional religions this has been referred to as the "divine intelligence." Through connecting with God, you can draw upon this greater wisdom to help you resolve all kinds of difficulties. By learning to ask God for guidance, you'll be surprised to find that every sincere request sooner or later is answered. And the quality of that answer generally exceeds what you could have figured out through your own conscious intellect or will. Here, God is like your co-pilot. God is always available in the instant of need to those who have made a habit of waiting quietly before Him for insight and guidance.
Follow these guidelines for an effective relationship with God :
1. Be quiet, patient, and open before God
2. Be confident that he will communicate his wishes and help you execute them.
3. Do not tempt God or make terms with Him. Gandhi said, "Not until we have reduced ourselves to nothingness, can we conquer the evil in us. God demands nothing less than complete self-surrender as the price for the only real freedom that is worth having. And when a man thus loses himself, he immediately finds himself in the service of all that lives. It becomes his delight and his recreation."
4. Be willing to accept what God provides. He knows best. "Thy will, not mine, be done." Have full trust in the wisdom of God.
5. Ask for God’s help. Do not instruct him on what to do.
6. Let God speak to you through his Word. Read spiritual and religious books such as the Bible and learn about the rules of victorious living.
These are some of the characteristics that define a close relationship with God. All of them can significantly contribute to your personal healing process. The extent and sincerity of your commitment will determine the degree of personal healing you experience.
Typically spiritual healing is used to shift subtle energy patterns that may be obstructing the healthy functioning of life in the ordinary world of mind, heart and body. Healing is usually directed to an individual but it can also be helpfully sent to practically any collection of beings or situations. In general the more specific the target for healing is, the more energy that is available to promote recovery and well-being. Such energies are only now starting to be recognized by western medicine. Most eastern medical systems have acknowledged and used such forces for hundreds to thousands of years. "Chi" and ‘prana’ are two of the better-known names for these energies. They are related to, and can be directed by, a person's consciousness. Because of this, one can receive such healing forces either in the presence of, or at a distance from, the healer being worked with.
Spiritual Healer : A spiritual counselor, who can help by way of teaching a person the skills to manage his stress and anxiety about the illness, often carries out the healing process by practice of faith healing. Not only does he feel better mentally, but the effects of lowered stress on blood pressure, digestion and other bodily functions can also be quite dramatic. There are different ways of spiritual counseling but ultimately, the core of any spiritual counseling seeks to attain knowledge and guidance to help one to understand his life and his role in society. It helps to gain inner strength, combined with divine guidance, so as to enable one to take challenging and at times difficult decisions.