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On 11th June 2012, I was watching TV and suddenly there was this news about the local healer. Like me, the news from Bhutan Broadcasting Service(BBS) must have surprised many people.
The culprit involved was a Lama; -a highly revered Buddhist monk, who was well known for his skills in treating people with Zerkham. I don't know whether Zerkham can be equated to stroke or not, but when my dad suffered from a mild stroke due to high blood pressure in Bumthang, I travelled all the way from Paro to Bumthang and got him to Thimphu. I wanted my dad to be blessed by a compassionate buddhist healer and I was hopeful that Lama could bring swift and lightening recovery to my dad's health.
Appointment was duly made and lama consented to treat my dad. Therefore I took my dad to his place every morning for about a month. But my dad was not alone, there were over hundred other patients, some as young as 3 year old kid to some as old as 90 years old grand parents.
Outwardly, his treatment looked very simple. On our first morning, he blessed my dad with a sanctified water that came pouring from copper vase. He chanted some mantra till his very lips turned to blueish colour. He never spoke anything until the very last person in the row was attended to. That was one part of his treatment.
The other part involved lama prescribing and selling certain pills which were mostly home made. But besides those home made ones, lama also sold mineral water and lotion creams. Which local people called as Nga Chuu (holy water purifies with Sutra?) and Nga mar (holy lotion purified with sutra?). A bottle of mineral water was sold at a price as high as Nu. 100/-. 50 gram vaseline were slod at an exorbitant price of Nu 50 each. I was little astonished but I was even willing to pay more if it meant healing my dad's sickness.
Now that his home made pills were found toxic, I am seriously more concerned about my dad's health, because my dad was on those same pills for about a month last year. I am also worried because some of our buddhist monks are now willing to compromise human health for money!
Lastly, be careful everyone, because there are many such local healers who are treating sick people with concentrated antibiotics solution.