BENGALURU: A session on mental health by Art Of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), has prompted rationalist Narendra Nayak to write a letter to IISc director Anurag Kumar, on the possibilities of patents if the “concocted solution called Shakti Drops” are proven efficacious.
Sri Sri Ravishankar was invited for a talk at IISc on the occasion of World Mental Health Day on October 10.
He had sworn to cure diseases and mental health by his breathing techniques, which provoked this reaction from rationalist Nayak, who is president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations.
He pressed the IISc director — sarcastically — to try the properties of the “concocted solution called Shakti Drops which can increase strength” on live animal models at the institute, to get a joint patent and make a fortune.
Ravishankar’s talk was held amid opposition by a fraction of students and teachers — 700 signatories had opposed Ravishankar’s methods, terming them “unscientific”.
“Your institute is not the sole one for such causes,” Nayak said, before drawing attention to another talk at IIM-B, in which it was claimed that children can see blindfolded because of what he called ‘neuroplasticity’.
“I am willing to cooperate with you to the best of my ability, and if it can be proved through proper experiments that children can see without light from the object falling on the retina, I am also willing to make a small contribution of Rs 5 lakh to further research in the field,” Nayak added.
“I think it is time for your institute to regain its lost glory by investigating this phenomena which is allegedly devised by the same person who spoke at your institution... If such methodology (seeing with eyes closed) teaches hallucinations, as such experiences are usually called, you are inviting a dangerous person to speak on mental health. If it were not so, then we have on our hands a revolutionary new method for the mechanism of vision,” Nayak’s letter read, adding sarcastically that such a case proven true scientifically, would amount to a Nobel Prize for the institute and would revolutionize everything.