By Purnima Coontoor
Divinator Balachinniah can diagnose your ailment on hearing your name
He sits on a mattress in his dingy 6 X 4 room stacked with ancient, well-thumbed scriptures, with his mobile and almanacs within easy reach. A woman, who earns her living as a maid, is next in line for consultation with her sick son. The ‘doctor’ asks the name of the child, and closes his eyes. He asks the woman if the child feels a burning sensation while passing urine. She agrees. The man tells her not to worry, and that it is due to excessive heat in the body, which will subside by itself by next afternoon. Meanwhile, he asks the child to drink plenty of water. The next person walks in, and gives her name. The doctor-without-a-degree indicates that she is suffering from ear infection, and tells her to relax until next week, by which time it will pass. Meanwhile, his former boss calls on the mobile, and without being told, the ‘doctor’ advises the boss to stop all antibiotics and just apply an antiseptic cream to his itching arm!
Yet another call is from a tearful man whose aged mother is critically ill and on the ventilator. The doctors have sought the permission of the family to remove her from it and allow her to die peacefully. The medical astrologer advises them against it, promising that she will regain consciousness by the next morning. And so he goes on throughout the day, dispensing advice and wisdom to troubled patients who have either no means to go to a medical doctor, or have found no relief even after going to one. The fact that all of them come back for more proves that his diagnosis is precise and the advice appropriate.
Seventy-year-old Balachinniah, who retired as a class four employee of the ITI (Indian Telephone Industries) in Bangalore, has been doing this ever since he can remember. One of seven children of a very backward family from Andhra with hardly any means to educate the children, it’s a mystery how he developed this skill of diagnosing people’s medical condition only on the basis of their names. Balachinniah needs nothing more, neither the person’s horoscope or the palm, to know exactly what’s up with an individual. How does this ‘doctor’ do it?
Balachinniah says that the human body is ruled by the nine planets, and these nine planets are in turn constantly orbiting in the 12 rashis or constellations, driven by 27 stars. Apart from the position of the planets at the time of birth, the name of the individual plays a very important role in deciding their positions. The starting syllable of the name corresponds to a certain constellation, planet and star, and their position at any given point of time determines the fate of the individual. For example, the name ‘Suma’ corresponds to the constellation Kumbha (Aquarius) and star Shatabisha. If this person has the planet Rahu in Kumbha at this moment, she is likely to suffer some illness, which will disappear as soon as Rahu moves to the next house. This is because the ruling planet of the rashi Kumbha is Saturn, who is an enemy of Rahu. Rahu represents the entire body of an individual.
This is a very simplistic and basic explanation of how this divination works. Balachinniah says that while Rahu rules the entire body and specifically the face and bone marrow, other planets have dominion over some parts. Venus (Sukra) rules the Sahasrara (tip of the head), Jupiter (Guru) the third eye area, Sun (Surya) the throat, Mercury (Budha) heart, Saturn (Shani) stomach, Ketu the navel, Mars (Kuja) blood, hands and legs, and moon (Chandra) the mind. These planets are always moving in the 12 houses, and depending on whether they are in a friendly house or an inimical house, the respective parts of the body are affected.
For example, if incompatible planets like Saturn and Mars happen to be in the same house, the person is likely to suffer from vomiting and indigestion, as Saturn rules the stomach and Mars is a planet of heat. If Mercury is in a debilitating position, the person is likely to suffer from heart problems. Gastric problems are indicated when Saturn and Mercury are together, as the green Mercury (representing the color of bile) and the blue Saturn who rules the stomach are incompatible. Urinary and gynecological problems if Ketu is afflicted, kidney problems with the combination of Rahu and Mars; depression, headache and weakness of nerves with weak moon and Venus, sight and ear problems with a debilitated Rahu; accidents and wounds with a negative Mars… the permutations and combinations seem infinite and confounding to the untutored.
God’s Good Man
But not for Balachinniah. It’s as if the gods are partial to this humble, uneducated technician, and have surrendered to his simplicity and sincerity. For this unique doctor does it with the sole intention of alleviating the misery of people, not expecting a single paisa and accepting whatever is offered. Just mention your name, and Balachinniah’s brain swings into action like a super computer and immediately places the planets, rashis and stars in their places, diagnoses the problem, and dispenses advice depending on when the planetary positions are likely to change. A technique which works more by divine grace and the intuition of the practitioner whose heart is clean and intentions honorable. Astonishingly, the name may belong to a few thousand people, but Balachinniah’s advice will be applicable only to the person who seeks it.
Balachinniah stresses that the attitude of the parents, especially the mother, at the time of conception, determines the mental and physical attributes of the child. To recall from the Mahabharatha, the king Pandu (father of Pandavas), was born with nervous weakness as his mother blanched with fear at the time of conception, and Dhritharashtra (father of Kauravas) was born blind as his mother closed her eyes tightly shut at that moment, as she couldn’t bear to look at the fearsome form of her partner, Vyasa.
His advice to maintain good health despite unfavorable planetary positions, is breath control. Rahu, the ruling planet of the body, is represented by the snake. The planet slithers like a snake all over the body all the time, wreaking havoc and afflicting bodily functions. The only way to trap the snake is through conscious breathing, so that it operates only in the incoming and outgoing breath. Native wisdom, backed by yoga and science – proper breathing ensures more oxygen content in the blood. Apart from this, Balachinniah recommends a good laugh, sound sleep and righteous living to lead a life free from afflictions of the body, mind and soul.
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