Sadhguru in conversation with prominent heart surgeon Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty looks at how yoga benefits the health of a patient and also creates a comprehensive process of wellness. Here’s the second of two parts.
Devi Shetty: When I look at the younger generation of doctors, today, medical science has reached a level where we really do not have to touch the patient. When I see a patient in my office, he would have undergone all kinds of tests. All the images are displayed, the history is written, everything is planned. Technically, I can see the reports and tell the patient, “Okay, you need a bypass.” or “You need valve replacement.” But I always make it a point to take my stethoscope, put it on the chest, listen to the heart, look at the patient’s eyes, put my hand around his shoulders, touch the patient, and then explain to them what is going on and talk to the family. I personally feel that touch has more healing power than anything else that we have invented. Do you believe in that?
Sadhguru: Yes, in the sense what the young doctors may not know is, tomorrow someone will come up with a new software that will read all these tests and come out with a diagnosis by itself. You can load the whole medical textbook into it. You won’t need a doctor. No touch.
Sadhguru: What is not understood is – yes, one part of us is mechanical, but there are other dimensions. When the mechanical part goes wrong, most of the time, it is because we have not tended to the other dimensions. There are substantial studies where for example, two monkeys are living together as a couple. If you put one in isolation, this monkey develops heart problems, plaque in the arteries, and this kind of stuff. They would not have to waste these monkeys’ life to find this out. A whole lot of human beings are going through the same thing on a daily basis. What is lacking is, essentially, their life is not touched by anything. Physical touch is just one manifestation.
It need not necessarily be a relationship – you can be touched by so many things. How many decades ago have you watched a sunrise or sunset or moonrise? When was the last time you waited for a flower to bloom? When was the last time you paid attention to a butterfly, a leaf, a flower, or another human being? You don’t like faces – you like Facebook! Contact with life – whether it is human, animal, plant-life or just the elements around you – is lacking. How many people take a moment to even look at the food that they are going to consume with a little bit of involvement? Are they touched by it? No. At last, when things have gone bad, a doctor, or in the end, the undertaker has to touch them.
Does touch have relevance? Tremendous relevance. Touch need not always be physical – it can be in so many different ways. If you are not touched by life, you are not a living life but a progressively dying life. It is common medical knowledge that the number of cells in your body is more than the number of stars in the Milky Way. Every day, millions of cells in your body are dying and the same number of new cells are being born. Leave the old cells – if you just take charge of these millions of new cells that are coming up in your body every second, if you have some influence as to how these fresh cells are born and you create and structure them properly, your heart, your brain – everything should get fixed. This is the level of opportunity you have – you can rejuvenate your life second-to-second. But this does not happen because you are totally oblivious to life. Most of the time, your thoughts and emotions are dominating everything.
Thoughts and emotions are nothing but a psychological drama – they have no existential relevance. A thousand people can sit here and live in a thousand different worlds right now – that means no one is in reality. You do not experience life – you are only thinking and reacting to situations around you. Today morning, the sun came up on time. You may think, “so what,” but if the sun does not come up tomorrow morning, life on this planet will largely seize to exist after some time. But the sun did come up on time this morning. None of the planets in this solar system collided today. In the whole universe, in this endless cosmos, everything is going great. But you have one nasty little thought crawling in your head, and you think it’s a bad day. You have completely lost perspective on life. It is a kind of madness. Once you lose perspective as to who you are and what your space and status in this existence is, you are sick. Even if no doctor diagnoses you yet, the process is already on. One day, it will manifest to a point where his instruments or his touch will tell him that you are sick, and he will give you a prescription or surgery. You are working hard towards it.
Instead of being a thought, instead of being an emotion, you just become life – simply life. If you stop being a bundle of thoughts, opinions and emotions, and just exist here as life – just throbbing pulsating life – knowing life is just natural.