Kochi | “Awesome” is how Kalyana Chakravarthi Miriyala described his 50 days inside the ‘trigarbha kuti’ (three-chambered house) along with his son Theer Miriyala, after the Ayurvedic Rasayana Chikitsa that is mainly associated with rejuvenation therapy at the Padhinarkara Ayurveda Hospital and Research Centre in Ottappalam.
He and his son were the eighth and ninth persons to undergo this wonder treatment practised in its truest form here.
The vice-president of JP Morgan Chase in Texas in the US, Kalyana Chakravarthi (53) says Covid-related problems had literally made movement uneasy. Different treatment modes were tried, but in vain, he admits. His search for a lasting solution finally saw him land at PAHRC run by Dr P Sethumadhavan. “I found it so difficult to walk or even stand when I came here,” he told Metro Vaartha on Thursday, the day he came out of the kuti. He had digestion problems and his weight dropped to125 pounds (57 kg) from 175 pounds (79 kg). “Things did really go for a toss, " he says and cheerfully adds that today he feels fresh and has no problems whatsoever.
The 19-year-old Theer has communication challenges and rarely uttered a word before entering the kuti. A bright student when he was in the lower classes, Theer suddenly went silent and also developed problems in moving around freely. He showed restlessness, avoided eye contact and lacked clarity of speech and never ever spoke in full sentences. But on Thursday, he recited aloud a number of mantras he learned during his secluded stay inside the kuti. Amazing even his father, he addressed a small gathering outside the kuti when he stepped out. And this around 20-minute talk, his first such public one, was indeed a great achievement, says Dr Sethumadhavan. The doctor feels that owing to his strong analytical ability, Theer wants to be reassured of what he has to stay which results in his fumbling. He needs to strike a balance between his thought and words.
The cheerful duo will fly back to the US on August 27 to come back next year for a check-up.
Ayurveda is all about the knowledge of the span of life or its cycle. And according to ancient texts those wanting righteous mirth can take the path of Ayurveda, making it possible to lead an exhaustive life with its fullness, ensuring that both the body and the mind are free of illnesses.
It was over four decades ago in the mid-70s, when the first batch of degree students of an Thaikkattu Mooss Ayurveda College at Ollur in Thrissur district was being initiated to this science of medicine and life, the teacher made a mention about the seventh branch in Ayurveda, Jara (geriatrics) Chikithsa (treatment) or Rasayana Chikithsa. He said it was a mode of treatment of yore and not practicsed now. Immediately, a student responded: “Why then should we study it? Won’t it be better to say that Ayurveda has just seven (saptha) branches and not eight (ashta)?” The perplexed teacher asked the young Sethumadhavan to sit down and said it was a pertinent question, but reasserted that it was not being practised now.
Dr Sethumadhavan then felt that if it were not possible now, it should be dumped into history. But since it was there in the texts, it could never be termed impossible and took a vow then to delve deep into the subject and practise it sometime. Years of research, travel to far off places to collect ancient texts and meeting scholars to interpret them finally made Dr Sethumadhavan prove in 2011 that this treatment of rejuvenation was possible and youthfulness can be regained. And now as many as nine people have successfully undergone this mode of treatment and to a great extent regained their youthfulness.
Perhaps, Theer was the first youth to enter the kuti and perhaps also the first having serious problems.
The first among those to undergo this treatment was Yugal Saran Maharaji, a 91-year-old ascetic, way back in 2011. He had the uniqueness of being associated, when in his teens, with similar treatment for social reformer Madan Mohan Malaviya in 1938, the last time such a one was undertaken during that century. This, he had admitted, gave him hands-on experience which proved very beneficial during his treatment.
Dr Sethumadhavan says it is a tough process both for the patient as also the physician. During the treatment under kutipraveshika, the patient stays secluded in the three-chambered griha or kuti for days together with just the rasayana, the herbal preparation and milk as food. The whole process bestows one with longevity, improved memory power, youthfulness, better strength of the body and the mind, perfection in hearing, which US citizen Will Fox alias Kedar, who has been staying for years in Uttarkashi, says was very remarkable in his case.
The whole treatment process corrects dhathuparinama or metabolism. The rasayana has to be taken in complete isolation with limited flow of air and sunlight for a specific period of time. This isolation period is in a specially constructed three-chambered structure called kuti where all aspects required to control the senses are incorporated.
Yugal Saran, who died recently at the age of 100, had said it was no easy task to stay secluded inside the innermost or third chamber of the kuti for days together. “It’s not for the weak or feeble-minded,” Yugal Saran, who stayed inside the kuti for 45 days, had said. He made clear his purpose - “I’m doing this not for myself or not to become younger, but for Ayurveda. It is to impart knowledge to all other physicians about jarachikatsa or rasayanachikatsa about which all may not know and give them practical experience of what is extolled in Ayurveda texts,” he had said immediately after coming out of the kuti in 2011. It is like going back into the womb and being born again.
“The ingredients of the rasyana depend on the mental and physical constitution of the person inside the kuti,” says Sethumadhavan. This time Medhya rasayanagal, very effective in tackling neurological diseases and helping brain development, were used. Lactating cows from which milk is to be collected are to be fed with the rasayana in advance.
When the person comes out, he or she will have to be prepared to get exposed to nature outside and get accustomed to normal diet.
Medhya rasayanagal- very effective in neurological diseases
Intake of this inside the kuti can result in hair, nails and teeth falling off to give place to new. But in the case of all who went inside, the teeth never fell but instead turned strong to be like new. Black hair began to sprout.
Being an ascetic, Yugal Saran did seek treatment for controlling amorous feelings he experienced initially inside the kuti. He achieved a haemoglobin count of 15.5, uncharacteristic among people of his age, he turned roboust with perfect functioning of his kidneys, liver and heart. The swelling of his feet vanished and even two days before his death, he had trekked a few miles to treat patients in Rajasthan, and had always claimed that he would not go beyond 100 years.
Kolachek Antonin (59) from Czech Republic stayed inside for 60 days in 2012 and came out roboust and healthy and even saw jet black strands of hair growing. He says he has been able to maintain his youthfulness to this day.
He was followed by Lalitha (69) from Canada who stayed in the chamber for 60 days in 2014. In the dark chamber, she scribbled on a daily basis the changes she felt and at one stage had to send a message to the doctor for sanitary napkins as her periods restarted. She documented what she felt physically and mentally inside the chamber and came out with a book.
Brenton McNut (69) from the UK was the next in 2016 to enter the kuti and remained there for 90 days and came out to claim that he felt younger by at least 15-20 years.
Kedar, who remained in the kuti for a record 152 days, admits he gained a few many years. His friend, younger than he, said jocularly that Kedar was now a child.
Former bureaucrat Sashi Gulati (59) said she had been preparing for such a treatment and had taken voluntary retirement. After staying inside the kuti for 108 days in 2020, she came out younger. She rang up recently to say she finds herself “young, hale and hearty” even now.
In 2022, 71-year-old Raman Shah from Gujarat successfully completed 74 days in the kuti and came out saying he was “strong and young”.
After Yugal Saran tasted success, there was a flood of requests from people to go for this treatment. But Sethumadhavan had to reject their requests (at least over 200) and in some cases bluntly tell them that they were unfit for this sort of treatment.
“Not all can get into the kuti. There’s a tough selection process. Ideally, the young and the middle-aged can see more astounding results. The mental and physical strength of the person has to be considered. Besides, what is important is what benefit will society get from this person who has turned younger. What service he can render to people is vital,” says Dr Sethumadhavan.
Dr Adrija, a gynaecologist in Ayurveda, assisted her father and said such care was taken that since the first person entered the kuti, minute details such as blood pressure, haemoglobin count, etc are recorded and documented and validated. A team of doctors Akhil, Anjana and Lakshmi were part of the team.
Dr Sethumadhavan believes ayurveda is for insulating people from known or unknown illnesses and helping them gain immunity so that they lead a life free of diseases and drugs. This is the consummation of the mantra `sarvesantu niramaya’ -, a life free of illnesses and medication.
Asked how he would go on if he did not have patients when all became healthy and wise, Dr Sethumadhavan quips, “I’d be 100 per cent satisfied as my science has been proved successful.”