INTERVIEW WITH DR. AJIT KULKARNI
1.How and when did you first become acquainted with homeopathy?
Ajit: My entry in homeopathy is interesting and a little bit different. You may not believe (and that will not change the reality). My first introduction to homeopathy was when I was 14 years old. My spiritual Guru told my father ‘Ajit will become a homeopathic doctor and I see that he will serve homeopathy in future’. My Guru’s words touched neither my father nor meat that time, as we were entirely oblivious of homeopathy. When I passed out the 12th examination, my father went to see the Guru and discuss with him about my career. My Guru reminded my father about what he visioned before.
Thus I was introduced to homeopathy and I became a student. Slowly my acquaintance with this wonderful healing science grew over years and now I realize that I am a tiny fish in the ocean of homeopathy.
- There are several new methods of homeopathic practice created after Hahnemann. Whichever method a homeopath follows, the case taking remains an important aspect. What is your advice for the novice homeopaths?
Ajit: Yes, you are right that adequate and accurate case taking is the cornerstone of any medical practice and there is no alternative for this.
Formulation of new concepts is a continuum process and it reflects the liveliness of science. The human science of homeopathy can’t be an exception to this. I am not against any method but certainly against any method’s rigid and exclusive followers. Homeopathy is both science and art and it demands a flexible attitude to its practice, as the therapy is based on individualization and the concept of totality. Its like you are following the theory in a scientific and rational way but artistic enough to open up and implement the science.
Let us take the Jainism doctrine called as ‘Anekantavad’. This is the doctrine of ‘many-ness’ of truth that there can never be only one point of view. There cannot be only ‘one’ way to reach the truth but there are ‘many’ ways. We can apply the concept of Anekantavad to the concept of totality and perception. Anekantavad is like studying a center of the circle from any point on its periphery. There are many ways of reaching to the center. Likewise there are many approaches to one single thing. Curing the patient is the center of the circle. We can reach to the center (cure) through many different ways, which are correct from that point of view. Problem occurs when we fail to understand other’s approach in reaching the center (cure). We are adamant in proving ourselves right. Our narrow vision and diseased intellect sinks us in a delusionary state in which we believe that ‘we are right and the whole world is wrong’. If a supreme journey of reaching to the God – which everyone undertakes, has many ways then how can treating the patient have a single way?
In order that a student should grasp the concept of totality, I wrote an article “OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE CASE: 20 POINTS RECIPE: A blueprint to use Homeopathic philosophy and Organon into clinical practice”. The purpose is that you don’t go away from the totality and you evaluate the components of data to arrive at the similimum. You are flexible yet total.
- Which book has influenced you the most and why?
Ajit: The book by Fritjof Capra “The Turning Point”.
The book focuses on the need of a new ‘paradigm’, a new vision of reality; a fundamental change in our thoughts, perceptions and values. You better perceive the value of holism which homeopathy proposes emphatically. The book discusses about the merging systems view of life, mind, consciousness and evolution; the corresponding holistic approach to health and healing; the integration of Western and Eastern approaches to psychology and psychotherapy; a new conceptual framework for economic and technology; and then ecological and feminist perspective which is spiritual in its ultimate nature and will lead to profound changes in our social and political structures.
I will quote one sentence from my favourite chapter ‘The Biomedical Model’.“By concentrating on smaller and smaller fragments of the body, modern medicine often loses sight of the patient as a human being, and by reducing health to mechanical functioning, it is no longer able to deal with the phenomenon of healing”. See, you have a feeling as if a homeopath is talking!
- Tell us about your clinical practice. What are the scope and limitations of homeopathy in the treatment of the ailments of the modern world?
Ajit: I work as a classical homeopath although what is classical is relative. I usually practice with a single remedy but do not follow a single dose therapy in all patients. I strongly believe that ‘when an individual needs repetition, repeat it, when he doesn’t need, don’t repeat’. This is the golden rule and I think this is the scientific attitude. Science defines when the dose is required, and when it is not required. Unnecessary repetition can cause aggravation and may cause failure. At the same time, failure to repeat may also be the cause of failure and this can also be an authoritative statement. I use mainly constitutional approach but don’t hesitate to make use of mother tinctures, nosodes, bowel nosodes, sarcodes, intercurrent remedies and organ remedies when required.
The application of the law of similars holds that homeopathy cures in curable cases while palliates in incurable cases. Each therapy has its scope and limitations and homeopathy can’t be an exception.
Modern world is too imposing and at one pole it allows us to embrace the wide field of objects that gets produced and disseminated and at other pole it dehumanizes in a sneaky and manipulative way. The modern man has to bear the brunt of this and the result is stress and consequent life-style related diseases. Homeopathy has a great scope here because it views the situation in a totalistic way andtries to resolve the problem not in fragments but in synthesis.
- Do you think homoeopathy is made only for chronic ailments or it goes well with acute diseases too?
Ajit: It is sad that the interviewee has to ask this question due to the imposing situation. My experience (and the experience of thousands of homeopaths over the globe) is that homeopathy is effective in both acute and chronic cases. For the treatment of acutes, we need to know how to erect the totality of acute, what are the fundamentals and what is the philosophy of acutes. One of the reasons of failure in acute cases is that we just chase the symptoms and lose sight of totality.
See, our predecessors treated many strong acutes when there were no antibiotics and steroids; our old journals are replete with such cases. Every hospital must have a homeopathic department and every ICU patient must receive the homeopathic treatment too. This will go a long way in knowing the potentiality of homeopathic remedies.
- What should be the role of Homoeopathy in Emergency cases & surgical cases?
Ajit: We have to first know what kind of emergency it is, which organ(s) are affected, what is the pathology and what is the pace at which pathology is progressing. Our experience in acute cases of stroke-both cardio-vascular or cerebro-vascular-is very satisfying and we strongly recommend early homeopathic treatment in all cases of strokes.
Quite a deal of misunderstanding and confusion prevail regarding the respective roles of and relationship between homoeopathy and surgery. Homoeopathy has never opposed the genuine surgical intervention. But the word ‘genuine’ has to be defined thoroughly. Homoeopathic literature amply demonstrates the efficacy of homoeopathic remedies in a host of surgical conditions. As written by Dr. Pulford, the well-known homoeopath, ‘every surgeon must have an acquaintance with a homoeopathic physician.’ This will help avert many unnecessary surgical operations. Cases like abscesses, adenoids, calculi, carbuncles, chronic otitis, cysts, enlarged tonsils, enlarged prostate, hemorrhoids, fissure, fistula, gangrene, papilloma, sinusitis, peptic ulcer, polypi, tumours (including malignant ones), strictures, varicose veins etc. respond favorably to timely administration of homoeopathy remedies.
Here also, homoeopathy upholds that surgery is needed only when medical therapy fails and that generally a call for surgery is an admission of the failure of medicine. The disease develops from disturbed internal economy and must be treated internally. Further, surgery deals with the results of the disease and not with the cause. The cause is constitution itself with all its form, function and structure and needs to be treated with constitutional therapeutics.
- How do aromatic odors, substances etc. affect the outcome of the homeopathic medicines?
Ajit: If the selected homeopathic remedy is right, it works. The most similar remedy or the similimum has the potential to act in spite of obstacles. However, I advise my patients to keep strong-odoured substances away from homeopathic remedies and keep at least half an hour between (before and after) the consumption of a homeopathic remedy and a strong odoured substance.
- How crucial is it for homeopaths to participate in the drug proving?
Ajit: A very crucial role.
Each homoeopathic student or a homeopath must prove at least 5 remedies say, one remedy per year. When a student experiences the potential action of a homoeopathic remedy and narrates this experience in the form of symptoms, sensations, feelings, dreams, delusions, behavioral responses and body language signals, he starts believing on homoeopathy, that it is not only placebo, that as a human I am able to experiencethe dynamic medicine’s action and to express it in realistic term. Further ‘proving the remedy’ plays a major role in making up of a homoeopath.
Your insightful and interactive lectures and case discussions that are available in the form of books are indeed a source of inspiration and learning for the serious homeopaths. Such practical knowledge is quite essential to apply the theoretical concepts of homeopathic philosophy in practice.
9.What is your say on this (i.e. sharing your experiences with students)?
Ajit: No work of any kind will substitute for what homeopathy gives to the serious student of homeopathy. Homeopathy gives us the philosophy of life and makes us aware of our human characters.
I always say that I am a product of two giants in homeopathy – one as a lion Dr. M.L. Dhawale and the other as a cow Dr. P I. Tarkas. They have a big share in my career. I began working as an international teacher since 2004 and this has helped me to know beyond the known dimensions of human beings and of homoeopathy. I gave more than 50 seminars outside India and spoke on more than 100 subjects and wrote more than 100 papers. The literature that has been produced as part of these seminars is huge and will certainly help the profession. My literary work has been translated in many languages and my 20 books in Russian language are testimony of my work, apart from my work in English language published by B. Jain publishers, New Delhi. I must mention my organizers from many countries esp. Bulgaria, Russia and Israel who motivated me to explore homeopathy.
But much work needs to be done. Homeopathic literature ranges from doubtful to authentic and we need a systemic and creative work catering to the needs of students and doctors as well.
My experience with students in India and abroad is very nice. Students want a scientific approach and explanation of each action and this will make a teacher to work hard. I must mention that my students and my patients are my best teachers.
I see a bright future for homeopathy because homeopathy is spreading to the nooks and corners of the world because of its intrinsic merit. The young generation homeopathsare serious about homeopathy and they like the system of homeopathy because it is rational, because it challenges the intellect. I must mention the other side too. Groupism has increased amongst students and rift is getting widened in the profession.
I have to tell the budding homeopaths that all concepts, ideas or methods have their place but they should not surpass the very law of similars on which salubrious science of homeopathy is based. There are three enemies of homeopathy – sub-average intellect, pseudo-intellect and super-intellect. Just be logical and rational and believe strongly in the law of similars and I am certain everyone will be benefitted.
10.What do you feel is the most gratifying for you as a professional – medical practice, teaching, writing or research? Or What has been/will be your most gratifying achievement as a homeopath?
Ajit: Every aspect, be it teaching, writing or practice is gratifying for me. Because no work is isolated, it is interconnected and interdependent. My writing is what as a clinician I face; I try to find solutions to my searching questions. My practice is trying to be a good healer and my teaching is for the sake of modification in thinking, feeling and acting!
The most gratifying is the journey itself! I am happy that I found my way and I didn’t grope in darkness. Homeopathy illumines me, puts me in the light and delight. Almighty entrusted on me the stupendous work on materia medica, repertory and body language. There are many more projects and materialization of them will be possible if the profession renders the needed motivation and help.