Thursday, 25 October 2012

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Plastic Feet & Divine Eyes

Tirumala, India

Last evening a naturopathic doctor from Andra Pradesh, Uddhav, ministered a treatment on my left foot. It's known as 'seed therapy.' He first of all applied some acupressure to the middle toe which is connected to the knee joint, an area of physical contention for about six years now.

After the acupressure he applied some jms tape which had an interspersed row of pepper corns, fenugreek seeds, and rice kernels. A u-shaped application of these seeds was affixed from the large toe to the mid-metta-tarsal region and up to the inter-metta-tarsal joint. It left an appearance of an artistic bandaging which was to remain there for 24 hours. The seeds stimulate the inactive nerves in that region of the foot.

Well, what can I say? Uddhav did wonders with this therapeutic approach. It was lubricated at the knee, or so it felt. And another doctor, Balaram, who inspected my knee by pumping it at the joint said, "There's no more tak tak sound, meaning there is no more crepitus."

To hold all the seed in place it was suggested I wear plastic bags. So with this morning's outing up to Tirumala for darshan (viewing), I sported white plastic bags as shoes for six hours enroute and back and in the interim of the day's pilgrimage to the top of the hill. We went via vehicles. There were 30 of us monks and nuns who went for the 'purging' by seeing the image of Balaji. Some waiting at queues at certain times takes anywhere from two to twenty-four hours. Fortunately our group had pre-arranged a visit for a short one hour wait.

Security is such that foreign passport holders had to fill-out forms for their name, address and passport as well as identifying the religion they were born into and not ones acquired form of spirituality. I and my colleagues lightly resented the fact that we could not write 'vaishnava' in the blank.

In any event viewing Balaji was just ecstatic. I saw before me a most powerful deity. And of course, He has the power to see me. I'm sure He didn't judge me for the plastic-bagged feet.

It was a great day of pilgrimage, one I won't forget.

4 KM

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