Spiritual quest- A challenge to the Physician

Dagmar Liechti

My work and my aim as a physician is to help the sick and recognise and accept the laws of nature, which guide man to the sources of health and wisdom in body and mind.

I have been taught by a great master, Dr. Max Bircher Benner, and since thirty years I followed his path within my possible limits. I have had innumerable proofs of the rightness of this path. There has been revelation, blessing and joy but also much suffering, deception and sadness over the human slavery dictated by habit and fear.

I therefore longed for new instruction and knowledge. As my teacher had been deeply inspired by the wisdom of ancient India, I decided to go there and learn.

In February 1970 I came to India in order to follow an inner call. I wanted to study Ayurvedic medicine, which I was told, contained a great number of natural healing methods and represented a source of enlightened wisdom collected through thousands of years in the medical, philosophical and spiritual realm.

I was welcomed in a most generous way by the Health Ministry of India who delegated an expert in Yarded, Professor Dwarakanath, to be my adviser.

To begin with I stayed in the Lakshmipathy Ayurvedic Research Institute, Adyar, Madras, then went to Coimbatore (Dr. Rama Varier), Trichur, Shoranur, Kottakal, Varanasi, Bombay and Poona. I was deeply impressed by the depth of knowledge, experience and efficiency of Ayurvedic therapy as well as of the extremely careful procedure of scientific research.

From Madras I took a day off to visit Kanchipuram. It was to be a day of revelation and spiritual experience. When entering the town there was striking atmosphere of stillness and harmony. Inhabitants and foreigners streamed in one direction, where His Holiness Sri Shankaracharya had come to stay. We followed and found Him: a frail aged body in complete calm, radiating an immense flow of strength, security and love, a soul gone beyond suffering, its roots in everlasting units. In His presence there was wordless communication, a link with the eternal.

Only when the sun went down, did I realize that we had been completely withdrawn from worldly affairs for a couple of hours.

He left with a smile.

Since that day my time in India was blessed and enriched and the radiance of those hours is vivid and remains unforgotten. Coming back to Europe I found myself in a new security of thought and action. In spite of hardship and distress I found I had been given strength from a source that is beyond description. My work and my aims ever since have been blessed.

It was His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya at Kanchi who first opened my eyes.

May I try to put into words, what it has meant to me and my work to have met His Holiness?

I can only say: Healing is a blessing from beyond. To be a physician is a continuous service to this challenge and demands the whole-hearted readliness to act in modesty as its instrument.