“An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.” This is how the dictionary describes miracles. One such event was brought to my attention by one of the most sceptic Indian news channels—News18. They went with the sole intention of debunking this so-called miracle in Katni (near Jabalpur). There is a Hanuman temple where the God has a nickname ‘orthopaedic Hanuman’. People come from far and wide to get their broken bones mended.
The story is that they get instant healing in the presence of this orthopaedic surgeon when the temple priest chants a mantra and gives them a herb. They heal instantaneously! The news channel shows them throwing away their medical devices, like crutches, plaster-casts, wheelchairs, etc, and walk away, bearing weight on their fractured limbs right away. If this is not a miracle what is? The news channel’s investigative journalists did all they could to debunk it; but without success. They did not have an open mind called scientific temper but a closed mind.
Another miracle ended in the Western horizon, after defying the so-called scientific wisdom for nearly 45 years, in the death of Stephen Hawking in England. This man had a debilitating disease, namely, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is supposed to kill the victim within two years of the diagnosis. This man defied all that by living more than 60 years after diagnosis leading a full life of 76 as a great scientist and researcher. I had earlier written about John of God in Brazil where the man performed miracles in healing. He was investigated by a team of American scientists with an open mind. They could not debunk him either.
How can one explain this to a sceptic? The first orthopaedic surgeon, Sakkara, who showed the world how to treat fractures, was only an engineer at the Pyramid site in Egypt where he had to set lots of broken limbs. Necessity being the mother of invention, he showed that if you artificially bring the broken bones together and keep them in place, it helps the bones heal themselves. No rocket science there! The essence is that the body’s immune system heals, at the end of the day.
Today, the science of quantum healing tells us that the body is our mind and the two—body and mind—are inseparable faces of the same coin. When the mind gets pleased, the body heals—called the placebo effect. This has been scientifically proven with the most powerful pain-killer, like morphine, surgical procedures, like coronary bypass surgery and angioplasty, etc. Orthopaedic Hanuman must be one such miracle.
Does not that fit in with modern quantum physics? Miracles do occur in the fields of human health and sickness-care. I have met American hardcore scientists investigating piercing of the tongue and cheeks with steel needles without anaesthesia; some of them have experienced it themselves, to show that the feat is not a superhuman miracle!
Prayer (from the Latin precari “to ask earnestly, beg, entreat”) is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. Prayer helps heal. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, maybe either individual or community and can take place in public or in private. People pray for many reasons such as personal benefit or for the sake of others (called intercession).
Scientific studies regarding the use of prayer have mostly concentrated on its effect on the healing of sick or injured people. Meta-studies of the studies in this field have shown evidence for no effect or a potentially small effect. A 2007 systemic review of studies on intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 out of 17 studies had “small, but significant, effect sizes.” There has been some criticism of the way the studies were conducted. Recent research has shown meta-analysis to be highly unscientific.