Healthy, waking again

writerDeepti Gulati,
Jhansi, India

Life is nothing but the sum total of experiences that one gathers in this journey of life.... mine is unique in the sense that my experiences are written in black and white today only because the grace fell on me and the strength to fight the darkest moments came from “Sudarshan Kriya” I was born with an auto immune disorder called SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus). People with lupus produce abnormal antibodies in their blood that target tissues within their own body rather than foreign infectious agents.

The disease surfaced in 1983, I was engaged to be married. My fiancée a paediatrician knew at that time, life expectancy with Lupus was seven years. Still he decided to tie the knot as God had decided to give me in the hands of the most wonderful human being. Life continued with lot of pain, which was so severe at times that I needed help in bed to turn sides, which my husband Pramod gladly provided. My in-laws were very supportive throughout this struggle. Joint pain, biopsies, all kind of medicines (steroids and immunosuppressants) became a daily routine. I was extremely lucky to have had normal pregnancies and deliveries. Between all the struggles my son Pranay came into our lives in 1986, who is now a dentist doing further studies in the US and Deeksha completed the family in 1988 now doing final year law program in Pune.

In 1992 my condition worsened and I was in and out of AIIMS. I also took treatments in PGI Lucknow. I was labelled as steroid dependent and had to take them as a life saving drug. As I became a shade better I thought of doing something worthwhile in Life as I did not want to leave without leaving a mark on people around me. I joined the Science Center Jhansi in 1993, a voluntary organization for science popularization and in 1995 joined SPIC MACAY (Society for promotion for Indian music and culture amongst youth). I became busy in work but the physical suffering continued. The strength always came from my husband to carry on.

In 1998 I was going through one of the lowest phase of my life with very high doses of steroids. I was not able to sleep and had to take sedatives. As I was travelling to Delhi for my routine check up, my aunt, an Art of Living teacher Tripta Dhawanji motivated me to do the course. I joined the course in Delhi in June 1998. After the first Sudarshan Kriya, I had very high temperature but was asked not to take any medication for it. After the second Sudarshan Kriya, I stopped my sedatives totally and decided never to go back towards them.

I used to tell everyone that these six days were the best days of my life, I recognised my strengths and completely accepted my illness that even after 15 years of extreme suffering, I was not able to accept. The processes instilled a very different kind of confidence in me.

I started doing the Sudarshan Kriya regularly and took more responsibility and remained cheerful through my sufferings. I started working with a RCH (Reproductive Child health) project with a Hunger Project. In 1999, as I was working in villages and was immune compromised, I developed TB which went undiagnosed for months and I developed meningitis. I lapsed into a two-day coma and returned back to life with a disability of normal walking. I kept the Kriya going and became normal again.

In 2000, I organized the first Art of Living course in Jhansi for which Dr. Vinoda Kutchipiilai then Director of IRCH (Rotary Cancer Institute AIIMS) and Triptaji jointly conducted. The journey towards a more meaningful life and purpose started from here.

All courses - the Part I course, the Art Excel, Breath-water-sound workshops, Prison Programs started happening. Satsangs were organized at different locations. Life became a celebration and despite of my limitations with Kriya and the blessing of people around me whom I motivated to do the courses. I made wonderful friends who still remain my lifeline.

We moved to the US in the beginning of 2004, thinking that there may be better health care facilities and my fight with Lupus would be smoother. There one day after a jogging routine, I developed severe pain in hips and was diagnosed with AVN (Avascular necrosis is a condition that results from poor blood supply to a particular area). In my case this happened due to prolonged usage of steroids. I took the fact that I will never be able to walk normally quite badly and developed a flare of Lupus. My eight-month stay in the US was only in and out of hospitals. Through all this, the Sudarshan Kriya continued.

I returned to India on crutches and became the finance facilitator of the local Art of Living chapter. The only answer to my extremely painful condition was total hip replacement but with my history of steroids, surgery is always a risk. On the Internet, we found traditional Chinese treatment for AVN and started it in the right earnest in March 2005. The treatment was overwhelming and tiring but the emotional strength surpassed all hurdles. People would turn around and ask, “Don’t you feel conscious walking with crutches?” I smilingly answered, “For people who love me it doesn’t matter and others don’t matter to me.”

After 14 trips to China, in 2010 I was allowed to walk slowly on my own. The Chinese treatment still continues but I found my feet again.I am not allowed to run.but who wants to do that? It’s enough to stand smilingly in gratitude to Guruji for the blessings and the greatest gift of Sudarshan Kriya.