“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.” ~Daniel Goleman
With two major chiropractic service trips under our belts, we arrived in Mumbai rearing to go, hungry to get our healing hands on more people and experience the vast influence of our third service trip, the Mumbai Sant Nirankari Samagam Mission. Being as Mumbai is a much larger city than Delhi, the entire mission was on an even larger scale than the first one we had attended in Delhi, only a couple of months before, which you can read about here: The Mission and The Mission of the Mission. We once again had the chance to tour the premises of this giant production and witnessed how much care and attention was being placed into making all the food from scratch, endless amounts of hot spicy chai, and delicious fried snacks for millions of people, in addition to the spiritual and health services that were being provided free of charge. We didn’t think it would be possible to feed, shelter, and take care of even more people than we had been blessed to have done in Delhi, but here we were, with twice the amount of Chiropractors showing up from a place of pure service for all the people in need.
In addition to its significantly larger size, Mumbai’s Sant Nirankari mission was also twice as hot, twice as noisy and at least twice as fun. There was something about the commotion and the heat that created a magical excitement in the people, for both the attendees as well as the volunteers. Even the spiritual leader of the Sant Nirankari Mission, Sat Guru Mataji, was delighted and came around to meet all of the chiropractic doctors. There was a higher caliber of teamwork and camaraderie at play, and since this was now our second Nirankari service trip, we were already familiar with the way things were being run and what was expected of us. On a service trip of this size, there is a certain amount of time that is necessary to properly adjust to the culture shock of the environment. Since we were already seasoned in this respect from our first service trip in November, we were able to jump right in and instantly swim in the magic of it all.
We spent our days completely in the zone with our patients, so connected and so in tune with their experiences that we would often forget to eat or take any kind of break. Before we knew it, a supervisor would usher us to go and eat our dinners, and only then would we look up from our chiropractic tables to realize that it was already dark outside. I remember taking a short moment on the third day of service to look around the room and see what a symbiotic organism we had all become, flowing all together to meet new patients, understand their medical histories through our amazing interpreters, and then adjust them with as much love and attentiveness as possible. Doctors were taking care of their translators in addition to their patients while translators were taking care of their doctors and of each other. It was such a beautiful thing to witness that it made me wonder what the world would be like if we all had this mentality of just putting our own baggage aside and truly making sure that our neighbors were okay, that we were ALL okay, together, as a unit.
It is quite the unfortunate thing how few chiropractors there currently are in India. With only approximately twelve licensed doctors of chiropractic serving a nation of more than 1.3 billion, most of whom cannot even afford chiropractic care, there is a great necessity for the growth and spread of this profession. The percentage of people in India with diabetes and on multiple medications with no knowledge whatsoever of preventative wellness lifestyle choices, among other things, is rising at an alarming rate. Much of the population has a diet excessive in sugar and carbohydrates, does not exercise and spends much of their time sitting and standing on marble or cement flooring. With such a large population also comes a significant amount of poverty. Many people in India are not granted with the luxury of a soft yet supportive bed to sleep in, good quality shoes for walking, or access to clean water and food. A majority of citizens are in great need of the heath benefits and wellness education that chiropractic offers, Fortunately, the future of Chiropractic in India looks bright. Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Jimmy Nanda and Dr. Ron Oberstein, as well as the efforts and dedication of the core organizing group of amazing chiropractic doctors, volunteers, and Nirankari coordinators that continue to make this work possible at each Sant Nirankari Samagam Mission, there is a great possibility that India’s first chiropractic school will be started in Delhi in just a few years, which will rapidly spread the awareness and accessibility of chiropractic within the country.
It is in these moments when I can see the direct impact of our work that I truly feel so blessed to be in this field. Nothing compares to seeing a patient’s eyes light up after an adjustment, experiencing their excitement grow at the possibility and reality of being out of pain so they can return to their beloved activities, and hearing them share about their decrease in medications or their increase in healthy lifestyle choices. The love for my profession grows with every human I touch:I love how it brings people together, and I love how it wakes people up to themselves and to those around them. Within the walls of the mission, attendees and volunteers greet each other by saying “Dhan Nirankar Ji”. This roughly translates into “praise the formless divine within you”. This is followed by bowing and touching each other’s feet as a way of humbling themselves to the divine spirit within each human being. There is no ego involved, no separation, no criticism, and no complaining. In place, there exists only gratitude, faith, thoughtfulness, and compassion. May we evolve into a world where we replace the criticisms of our differences with reasons and intentions to love and take care of each other. Dhan Nirankar Ji.
For more information on the Sant Nirankari Mission, please click here