DNA Bangalore - Sunday September 19th, 2010 - by PK Surendran

You are born with the baggage of past lives, and you see those lives in patches till about the age of five, when the critical filter in mind takes in the ambience, and gradually the past is pushed into the subconscious archive.

From this repertoire it is possible to take out strains of a past life and re-script your subconscious mind, thus solving many ills that border on irrationality, so says Dr. Neelam, a leading healer and trainer at the Sanskruti Holistic Centre, Bangalore.

Dr Neelam reinforces the general posture of Past Life Regression (PLR) theory that claims to give you a glimpse of your past life. Startling, she says, is the fact that our conscious mind constitutes of only 10 to 12 per cent and the subconscious takes up the remainder.

She performed PLR therapy for a patient who used to faint every time he visited a hospital. The medical reports were normal and doctors couldn't understand the reason for it. He underwent the therapy and saw that he died of blood cancer in the hospital in his past life. This created a strong enough impression in his mind that he carried this thought to this current life as well. He now feels comfortable going to hospitals and even donated blood recently.

The concept of Punarjanam (rebirth) is woven into Indian and Chinese culture, so it is no surprise a majority believes in it. But what is surprising is the surge of it in the West. Throughout the Western hemisphere, parapsychological research is an accepted field.

There are presently five universities studying paranormal subjects — Princeton (USA), University of Edinburgh (UK), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), University of Freiburg (Germany) and the University of Virginia (USA).

Dr Ian Stevenson, MD, and a professor of research at the University of Virginia, for instance, travesrsed the globe for four decades and collected an amazing pile of evidence on rebirth. The concept is gaining popularity worldwide, thanks partly to a dramatised television series aired on many channels.

From Dr Bryan Jameison, Dr Ian Stevenson and Dr Brian Weiss to India's own Dr Satwant Pasricha, they have all conducted and reported thousands of past life experiences that sound eerie and crazy to the uninitiated. In a reverse way there exists a practice of future life progression too. But, the well known debunker of PLR, Joe Nickell dismisses PLR as hogwash and a fraud. Rationalists have all along been branding it a "quirk of the jerks".

And yet, in Bangalore about 25 to 30 practioners are successfully practicing PLR. The credible ones have a steady stream of patients and are booked 15 to 20 days in advance, even though a kaleidoscopic view of your past lives does not come cheap. It could cost you a small fortune.

So how do the PLR work? Those doing PLR in Bangalore are not all psychologists. G Ravi, for instance, calls himself "an engineer by profession and regression therapist by passion". He goes in for its utility rather than its academic value.

"It's an exciting field. When I see a person who walked in with stooping shoulders and walk out with his head held high, I feel the satisfaction. In the process I have recently cured an Infosys employee of an attached entity and since Ravi's Mind Power lab has been flooded with similar requests."

Tarun and Celia Cherian, founders of Devadhara Healing, say, "The reality of Past Life Existence, can be leveraged to enrich life in multiple ways. PLR is useful principally in enhancing one's awareness. We've discovered deep direct healing is most useful in 80 per cent of problems generated through Past Life Conflict. PLR being of additional assistance in 20 per cent of cases. "

Veteran psychologist Ali Khwaja, who has conducted PLR on request for many years, however, is forthright in saying he does not prescribe it for all ills. But he is not a debunker either, because experience has showed him there are inexplicable things in metaphysics that defy logic.

He tells the story of a three-year-old boy from a village in Karnataka whose parents were terrified when he, a rural Kannadiga, started breaking into chaste Hindi with a Bihari accent. Parents brought the boy to drive away the "bhooth" (ghost), and during a couple of sittings Khwaja found the boy talking in Hindi and recalling how as a young man he was killed in his grass-thatched house in a Bihar village.

But young women who are increasingly coming into this fertile field are enthusiastic about PLR's positive side. Shashikala, a practioner, says it helps people sort out the knots in life. She does not use drugs or hypnotism, rather, she gets her 'patient' in a trance by making him or her totally relaxed in body and mind. Both conscious and subconscious mind are open and it is like seeing
oneself from a distance. "It is the person who talks, not I.

Practically, we only facilitate a self cure."