He feels the pulse and treats you with love
Ever seen patients embracing doctors and doctors reciprocating it in a warmer manner? Ever seen a doctor insisting that patients should have something from his kitchen so that they won’t remain hungry? Ever seen a doctor paying his patients for their treatment? If you haven’t, come and meet Dr Raghavan, a doctor who doesn’t have a visiting card; who doesn’t have any advertisement; who doesn’t have any interest in name or fame.
A quick peek into this bhishagvara’s (eminent doctor) biodata will give us a foretaste of his all-embracing personality. `Born to treat’ — we can describe him that way. From dermatomyositis to multiple sclerosis, from tonsillitis to psoriasis, from obesity to Parkinsonism — there is no known disease for which he hasn’t got an efficacious treatment. His mode of diagnosis is a bit mysterious to the modern patient. He takes our hand in his and feels our pulse. There begins that wonderful symbiosis between the doctor and the patient. That loving touch, that all-scanning look and pleasantries which he exchanges, more as part of his diagnosis than as a courteous gesture, will put us at ease. His probing questions, whose answers we ourselves may not be sure of (for example, `did somebody harass you sexually 18 years back when you were staying alone at your residence?’, etc) will throw new light on our knowledge about ourselves.
This method of diagnosis —`pulse examination’ in common parlance — is a very ancient method whereby a gifted Vaidyan (`Vaidyan’ in Sanskrit means `Vedajnan’, ie, `one who has mastered the Vedas; not `chikitsakan’, a mere doctor’) accurately diagnoses a patient’s state of health. The Vaidyan will get an accurate picture of the health of the patient, and a general picture of the health of his/her mother, father, etc. Even his mental constitution, his inborn proclivities, his spiritual status, etc. will emerge on his intellectual screen a la on a computer screen. Plus the herbs corresponding to his disease. That is, a revelation about which herb will help cure his malady.
With the diagnosis over, treatment begins. Even for the treatment, there are some uncompromising rules. If possible, it will be begun only after New Moon (during the period of `suklapaksham’). There is a strict ban on certain food items. We should not miss sleep. For some, prayers will be recommended. Once the doctor and the patient understand the pulse of each other, a beautiful symbiosis blossoms between them.
So far as our doctor, Raghavan, is concerned, he has no privacy in the sense we use that term. His house is open to all, literally and figuratively. Anybody can come there at any time, have food from there, sleep there and play there, sing there and pray there. We will be stunned by the status and nature of the patients who come there for treatment.
Irrespective of caste, creed, age, or nationality, all can be seen touching the feet of this bhishagvarabefore interacting with him. For two reasons: some will be doing this because they have heard that he is extraordinary; others have known from experience that there is none like him.
His patients include a galaxy of India’s celebrities like Acharya Rajneesh, O V Vijayan, IIT Directors and well-known modern medicine doctors.
Regaling them with stories of his `dharma yuddhas’ with the not-so-weak opponents, in no time he will carve in our hearts a niche for himself. If anybody feels that he won’t get due consideration from Dr Raghavan because he hasn’t got enough money for treatment, he is mistaken. The doctor will pay for him from his pocket.
Strongly rooted in our Vedas and spiritual culture, his personality has branched off to different regions of the world. Off and on he visits foreign universities and centres in India to broadcast our culture and science of holistic living, epitomized in our Vedas, Upanishads, the Gita, etc. One of the most beloved of his Guru, Swami Dattatreya, now settled in Nepal, Dr Raghavan never does anything without getting the prior sanction of the Swami. Can you believe that the Guru will describe the disease of a patient Dr Raghavan has treated by feeling the pulse of Dr Raghavan? You may believe it or not; but, that is none of the Guru’s or sishya’s concern. Doing swadharma — abating the agony of the suffering patients — in a spirit of `idam na mama’ (`this is not mine; this is not for me’) and `Isavasyam idam sarvam’ (`all these are the multifarious manifestations of the same Reality’) is their life mission. In robust health even at the age of 68, Dr Raghavan, on many days of the month, observes `upavasa’, restricted diet or abstinence from food altogether, and prayers.
When we meet him at his home, on one day he may be cutting grass for his cows. The next day when you phone him up, he may be in Massachusetts delivering a lecture at some international medical conference. Two days afterwards, he can be seen driving a car to Munnar, some 100 km away from his home. And the next day, he may be pounding some ayurvedic medicine.
That is Dr Raghavan, the incomparable Dr Rhagvaran who breathes Ayurveda, not the present commercialised ad-driven Ayurveda, but the science in its pristine purity — which is as edifying, soothing and spiritually nourishing as the Himalayas, or as free and flowing as the majestc Periyar on whose banks he has pitched his tent. No wonder he has
selected that place to settle down — so close to the birthplace of Adi Sankara who had all the prescriptions for a nourishing and fulfilling human life.
When you bid goodbye to this colossus in medical science after undergoing and drinking deep his treatments — in all senses of the term — you will be overflowing with an ineffable feeling of fullness and gratitude. He won’t forget to accompany you till the gate, as if inviting us again to his palace — actually he bought the palace of Sakthan Thampuran, the erstwhile king of Cochin and renovated it a little bit.
If you close your eyes for a moment, then you can feel the whole Nature there echoing the`Namaskaram’ uttered by the doctor as a gesture of leave-taking at the end of the Veda mantras`Aa no bhadra kratavo yantu visvatha’ (`Let noble thoughts come to me from every side’) and`Loka samstha sukhino bhavanthu’ (May the whole world remain in the tight embrace of sukham — comfort or wellbeing’).