Questioner: I have heard that Reiki, pranic healing and that sort of thing works on the karmic level and involves some sort of energy manipulation. Does it cause damage to practice these things?

Sadhguru: There are too many healers on the planet! A few years ago, one very popular healer from America came to Chennai and there was a huge campaign, and a big group of people gathered for healing on Chennai beach. People came and asked me, “Sadhguru, what is this healing? Should I go? I have this ailment, that ailment.”

I said, “If you want, I will gather the addresses of all the hospitals on the planet and provide it to the healers. If you want to heal the sick, you must go to the hospital. Why the beach? I thought healthy people go there!”

When a Con-job Turns Dangerous

I am not saying there is nothing at all to it. 90% of the time there is nothing to it, but 10% of the time there could be something to it. When there is nothing to it, I am okay with it. Suppose someone sells nothing to you, he is just a smart businessman and you are a little stupid, but no harm happens to you. You have the pleasure of shopping and he is doing business. Most of the time when you go to the mall, you only buy some “nothing,” isn’t it? You buy it, bring it home, and probably don’t even open the cover. Whatever you bought just stays there many a time, because it is about the shopping, not about what you get. They are satisfying your shopping quest by selling nothing to you; there is no harm happening to you. But now, if he sells you something which causes you harm, that is worse than selling you nothing. Nothing is just a clean con-job. It only costs money, it does not cost life. But this “something” can cost life. That 10% of the time when something does happen, that is when the danger is, and it is unnecessary.


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With chronic ailments, the disease is just the surface. The symptom that you notice is just the tip of the iceberg.

Today with modern medicine, you can handle almost all infectious diseases. When you use any kind of medicine, it is an attempt to change the chemistry of the body with an external input. Because of this, the system suffers in some way. On one level, the medicine cures you of the disease, but on another level it creates a kind of suffering. When it goes beyond a certain point, we say side-effects have manifested themselves because of the drug. But with any kind of drug or any kind of input, there will always be some disturbance to the system. If you are doing yogic practices, you can distinctly see that when you go on medication, your system is not the same. Whenever you try to influence the inner chemistry with external chemicals, there will be a disturbance. There is a price to pay, but it is needed because the disease is a bigger problem for you. But chronic ailments have not come to you from any external organism.

With chronic ailments, the disease is just the surface. The symptom that you notice is just the tip of the iceberg. And like the proverbial tip of the iceberg, it is only a small portion. The ailment that a person suffers is the symptom, which is all you notice, but it is just a small portion of the problem which is elsewhere. Or in other words, the symptoms are like indicators.

The Root of the Problem

Whenever someone attempts any healing, they are always trying to remove the symptom, because that is what they consider as disease. If you take away the indicator, the root of the problem still exists. The indicator manifested itself on the physical body just to bring that root to your notice. Instead of taking notice of it and seeing what should be done about it, if you just wipe out the indicator, the root will take effect in a much more drastic way in your system. What was asthma can become a big accident or some other calamity in your life. It is possible.

If the root has to be removed, it cannot just be removed and dissolved like that. It has to be taken out and worked out in some way. These attempts to heal somebody are a very juvenile process, it is a very childish thing to do. People have not understood and experienced life in any great depth; they have seen life only in the physical dimension, so they believe that relieving a person of his physical pain at that moment is the greatest thing they can do. It is not so.

Just getting instant relief will relieve you in one way but bind you in some other way.

It is understandable that once the pain of the disease comes to you, you just want to be relieved, it does not matter how. But if you are beginning to feel life a little deeper than the physical body, you will see that how you get rid of your disease also matters.

Disease will go away if you dedicate enough attention to reorganizing your own energies. But you have to go through something. Just getting instant relief will relieve you in one way but bind you in some other way. No one who genuinely walks a spiritual path will ever attempt healing because it is a sure way of entangling yourself. Some of these things which have become famous around the globe today came from people who dropped out halfway through their spiritual process, after acquiring a little power. They wanted to use it and market themselves well.

At Isha, we teach you sadhana for liberation, to go beyond all your limitations. One can easily acquire such powers doing this sadhana, but we are taking a lot of care that you do not acquire any such thing. If you are on any live spiritual path, whoever is heading that place will always make sure that you never acquire any kinds of powers. We want to be ordinary, very ordinary – extra-ordinary. We don’t have the disease of wanting to become special by doing something that others cannot do. It is not necessary. In trying to play God, in some way you want to do something that other human beings cannot do. This can lead to lots of entanglement. These things are a sideshow. In India, as you approach any temple, there will be shops on both sides with all kinds of trinkets. If you get too drawn to these trinkets, you will never reach the sanctum sanctorum. By the time you go there, the doors will be closed.

Editor’s Note: Excerpted from the book “Body: The Greatest Gadget”, available at Isha Downloads.