Sun gazer Hira Ratan Manek is intereviewed by Mirian Knight, author for New Connexion: Pacific Northwest’s Journel of Conscious Living. HRM answers 15 questions about the sun gazing practice and it’s benefit to humanity.
Human Photosynthesis – back to our origins?
An interview with Hira Ratan Manek by Miriam Knight
Hira Ratan Manek was born in 1937 and grew up in Kerala, India, getting his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Kerala. After graduation, he joined the family business, which was shipping and spice trading, and continued working there until he retired in 1992. After he retired, he began to study sun gazing, particularly the teachings of Lord Mahavir of the Jains, who practiced this method two thousand six hundred years ago. Since June 1995 HRM has lived on sun energy, water and the occasional cup of tea or buttermilk “for social purposes.”
MK: Hira, you stopped eating solid food in 1995 and have baffled the doctors and scientists who have studied you during water fasts of 211 and 411 days. How do you manage it?
HRM: This is an ancient practice based on logic and modern biological science that relys on water and sunlight for energy. This is really photosynthesis taking place in the human body.
MK: Do you feel that we all have the latent ability to do this?
HRM: Everyone…each and every human being! In his autobiography, Yogananda mentions a few people living on sun energy, like Teresa Neumann and Giri Bala, who survived for over 50 years without food or liquid on sun energy alone. Giri Bala would not disclose the technique because she said the world was not ready for it. The humble work that I have done is to study others and disclose these ancient practices. I have not discovered anything.
MK: Why is it that we no longer do it?
HRM: There was a communication gap in the last thousands of years. I don’t claim discovery of this practice – only revival. All cultures in the past had this practice. In India it is called suryanamaskar; in Egypt it was the worship of the sun god Ra, and they had pyramids to harness the sun energy; Native Americans had the sungazing dances; Peru had the sun temples like Macchu Picchu; Brazilian and Mexican people had sun god worship. When we say sun worship it is because of the communication gap about how they made use of the sun in olden days. Human beings are so intelligent, that they will not worship anyone unless there is some benefit! They knew how to make use of the sun in their day to day life.
MK: You say this is coming back now because the world needs it.
HRM: Yes, people are fed up with modern medicines to cure their illnesses.
MK: Is it an all or nothing thing or are there increasing benefits from increasing exposure to the sun?
HRM: Yes, there are three divisions. First comes the mental health that you get with three months of gazing at the sun. You must start slowly with 10 seconds and work up to, say, 15 minutes a day, but only within the first hour after sunrise or before sunset. For children you limit it to 5 minutes. You don’t have to give up food, just reduce the quantities. And the best health drink is solarized water – leave it in the sun in glass jars. It is even better if you put gemstones in it.
If you do this for six months you get physical health. If you go for nine months, then you get spiritual health also. It is your choice.
What we are scared about nowadays is the ultraviolet effect of sunlight. Modern science has misguided us by referring to UV light at midday. But sunlight doesn’t always have the bad ultraviolet. It has been proved that during the first hour after sunrise or before sunset in any part of the world and at any time of the year, there is zero UV.
MK: What happens if you live in a part of the country like Portland where we get a lot of rainy or cloudy days?
HRM: In such a case your success may be delayed, but it will still come. If you are in a tropical country, you make your body a solar chip within two years. Here it may take four years. In the correct hours you can gaze at where the sun should be through the clouds, or later when it comes out you can gaze through a glass window so that the ultraviolet is filtered out to some extent, and you will get some benefit. Success is guaranteed.
MK: What do you mean by mental health?
HRM: Ah, mental health. That is a very big, serious subject the world is facing. We all lack balance of mind and that is why we make blunders. With perfect balance of mind you will start thinking in a positive way – negative thoughts go away. You are full of self-confidence and become fearless in life.
MK: Why does the light bring that kind of effect?
HRM: Because from birth we have infinite powers. Our brain is a supercomputer. We are moving into an age where computers will be a thing of the past. We will be using our “brainuter!” The power we enjoy from birth is the software of this computer. Then our thinking process is the combination of the keyboard and the mouse. Now what this computer lacks is the power supply, and the power supply is the sun energy. After all we know that this generates electricity. This light can enter the brain only through the human eye. The eye is connected directly to the brain – that is a medical fact.
MK: So absorption through the skin isn’t relevant?
HRM: It has only a temporary effect. Light needs to be thrown on the eyes to energize the brain, if you want permanency. You see in your region [Pacific NW] how people get the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder without sunlight.
MK: Does that mean that when we go out of mental or emotional balance, our batteries are running low?
HRM: Yes definitely. Our cells need recharging, and they can be recharged like a battery. I am sorry when I hear people are treating these emotional imbalances with antidepressants instead of sunlight. You need to make your body like a solar chip. Once you do that, and it takes about two years, you can stay in darkness for a while and nothing bad will happen.
MK: Can artificial sunlight, like full spectrum bulbs achieve the same thing?
HRM: Artificial sunlight doesn’t have the photons that natural sunlight has. We can never compete with nature.
This practice is very apt for the United States, where obesity is the greatest terror. The best thing for obesity is walking barefoot by the sea on dry, warm sand for 45 minutes in the evening hours and also gazing at the sun. This activates all the 5 main glands through acupressure points. If obesity is not cured you will have very big problems. But people cannot fast and control hunger by themselves. With sun gazing you are not fasting, because hunger disappears.
Even medical men agree that the body requires only energy, not food. When we eat plants, we convert food into energy, but it is a secondary source of sun energy. That is why the raw food people say not to cook, because the sun energy will be lost. The energy in non-vegetarian food is even more degraded.
MK: What other effects does sunlight have on health?
HRM: Your body has the mechanism to absorb sunlight directly to the brain and stimulate five important glands. The pineal gland, what we call the third eye, used to be considered useless by medical science. But it has been scientifically demonstrated, with before and after MRIs, that as the pineal gets activated, more and more neurons regenerate in the brain.
MK: So could this have implications for treating Alzheimers and Parkinsons?
HRM: Definitely! I have a group where the people are getting cured from depression, Alzheimers, Parkinsons – all those things. I had a gentleman who was in a wheelchair. He took only sunbaths for one year and now he is totally OK. Medical science has said that neurons do not regenerate, but they do; and when they regenerate your aging process slows down, your life span increases, also memory and intelligence become superb.
Your body has auto-repair and auto-healing abilities. If your mind thinks that you are improving, you do, but we are negative towards ourselves.
MK: Tell me about the development of the spiritual side after a year of this practice.
HRM: Yes, that is the best thing. Why are we backward in spiritualism? Because we lack mental health and spiritual balance. We have so many desires, desires… They are killing our physical system and disturbing our peace and world peace.
When you are in perfect balance, positive and fearless, you will not harm other people. What is sin, after all but harming others? When there is no sin, you are in the spiritual kingdom; the best things will come to you automatically. It is simple – don’t harm others.
MK: What is the vision that drives you to lecture all around the world?
HRM: Global healing and peace everywhere. There will be no energy crisis because sun energy will never end; no pollution because sun energy never produces pollutants; no obesity and no hunger; no aids and no cancer. All will be mentally, physically and spiritually fit. Yes, we are moving towards the golden age of satyayuga from the present kaliyuga – from bad to eternal good.