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Sun Gazing 101


A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Hira Ratan Manek (HRM) in my home state of Delaware. He was on a panel at an India Day festival with 8 doctors who had been studying him for over a year. The panel was a basic Q/A session on the practice of sun gazing and how HRM used the energy of the sun to live without food on a regular basis and to als do a supervised fast for 411 days. Yes you read right - four hundred and eleven days.

Ever since that initial meeting I've been totally inspired by the history, science and possibilities of Sun Gazing. Recently HRM's name has syncretistically come up in conversation and my thoughts, so I thought I'd run with that and share this article about HRM and sun gazing by Maurie D. Prressman, M.D, (originally published in the Monthly Aspectarian Magazine):

Realized Beings Among Us
by Maurie D. Prressman, M.D.

An introduction to HRM, whose trained physical responses--for humanity's betterment--are being studied at various institutions in the U.S. and around the world.

The Tibetan (Alice Bailey's teacher) predicted that in the near future, we shall become the next race of men/women. At that time we shall operate upon mental energy, magnetic energy, sun energy. Scalpels and chemical agents will no longer be necessary.

There is some evidence that this shift is beginning, and I have met an individual, whom I believe is a realized being, hinting at the fact that this movement forward may be happening NOW.

I have had the privilege of meeting, and spending personal time with HRM (Sri Hira Manek Ratan Ji). HRM has come to the United States to offer himself for study at various institutions. More than that, he offers his body as an experimental station for the betterment of humanity. He is well-known in his native country, India, for having fasted on water alone, for 411 days! He has done this by training himself to look into the sunlight at dawn (carefully, and very little by very little) and to walk on the hot earth, in this way absorbing energy from both earth and sun. He believes this is an ability that can be cultivated in all people. He believes and hopes that this will lead to a higher and greater civilization, and most certainly a purer body.

I had the opportunity to spend personal time with him because of the generosity of his host, Dr. Anil Patel. Dr. Patel is well known in the field of herbal research and Ayurvedic Medicine. He is on the streering committee of the University of Pennsylvania (amongst other credits) for the incorporation of Ayurvedic Medicine into the roster of Integrative Medicine.

Sri HRM's story is as follows. He had studied the ancient literature and had learned of advanced humans (throughout the ages) who had the ability to fast for extremely long periods of time, and who had taken their energy from the sun. This was the highly regarded literature of the Vedas and Upanishads. He was, by training, a mechanical engineer. In 1962, he stumbled upon Sri Aurobindo's ashram in Pondicherry There he met The Mother (Aurobindo's partner, who carried on Aurobindo's work after his death). The Mother looked at HRM and said, "You must bring down the sun's energy to the earth, in order to help the Supermind to descend upon humanity." He did nothing with that for quite a while. Much later he met a Rishi. A Rishi is a human (or someone beyond human) so advanced that he has extraordinary powers and knowledge. Many people were visiting him (for he made himself accessible). He looked over the crowd, and his gaze rested directly on HRM. He told him that he must bring the sun's energy down to earth. This stirred HRM, his imagination and his excitement and his commitment. But--he was puzzled about what to do next. He walked in the sun for long periods of time. He left his profession and dedicated himself entirely to his spiritual commitment. As he kept walking in the sun, he felt progressively energized. He also felt less and less need to eat food There was no compulsion to do a fast; no will power was necessary, just a lessened desire for food, but an increase in energy. One day, he came to the conclusion that he must bring the sun's energy directly into his brain--and the best way to do that would be through the eyes. This was something that was not unknown, and I have heard of Mikhael Aivanov, a famed Hungarian teacher who advocated to his students that they must look into the sun. Certainly whole civilizations have given themselves to the worship of the sun. Rudolph Steiner (recent Western Spiritual Scientist and originator of Anthroposophy) taught that the Christ Being inhabited the Sun and spread His energy thus, from the sun to us. Aurobindo taught that the sun was the seat of the Supermind energy, as quoted by Georges Van Vrekehm in Overman pg. 97 Rupa & Co. (2001); New Delhi: "It (the Mind) always vaguely remembers the fundamental Unity at its base; therefore it cannot but persistently try to recover that Unity, which is the clouded Sun behind all human strivings. It is that Sun, that Unity, the Supermind which upholds all existing things, even when they apparently seem to be separated or self-existent."

HRM decided to experiment cautiously. He also submitted himself to medical study as he began to look at the sun for seconds at a time, during the early dawn when the sun was weakest. He increased his ability little by little, until he was able to gaze for a full thirty minutes. At the same time he made it a point to walk the earth barefooted, the hot earth. His explanation is that not only was he able to absorb energy, the sun's energy, through the eyes (to have it energize the brain and the commanding endocrine glands such as the pineal and the pituitary) but also that he was able to draw force up from the earth—and especially through the feet, where every organ of the body is represented in reflexology. He found that there is a North-South flow, the earth being the North, the sun being the South--and flowing through the central, governing vessel of the body. He made certain that he was followed by and advised by physicians, who constantly studied him. When asked if he would be willing to give a year of his life to science, his answer was "Yes." Accordingly, he left his family (with their full consent) and was asked to fast for 365 days. However, because of certain indications in the Hindu literature, he felt that 411 days was a more auspicious time. And so the date was set.

In the beginning he lost perhaps 90 pounds, but no muscle tissue. He found himself to be progressively healthier, calmer, happier. Former disorders such as anxiety, fear, worry and self-occupation left him. Physical ailments were no longer present. He lived on water and sunlight alone.

Now he has come to this country by invitation, and is being studied by Dr. Patel, by Jefferson University, and by other institutions in our country.

During the time I spent with him, I was struck by the fact that his body looked so whole: slender, but graceful, firm, with smooth and elegant movements. He had a calmness about him that was also accompanied by a quiet self-assuredness. His dedication to bringing this to our civilization is real.

He feels that anyone can accomplish what he has. In fact he has perhaps 4000 or more followers throughout the world, who have incorporated this new way of life, and this new source of energy.

It is his offering of himself to the service of humanity that is the mark of a realized being. It is his absolute faith in the process, in the bringing down of the Supramental (as Aurobindo described it) through the sun. It is his desire to give a gift to humanity in that disease, disorder and hunger can be wiped out. And this seems to have achieved a solid start in other countries.

Dr. Patel, amongst others, will study this gentleman, and I will participate, to understand the changes in psychology and spiritual reach which accompany this type of evolutionary adventure. The very fact of being amongst such realized humans, is in itself a gift.

We are on our way to becoming the next race of men and women.