Sun Gazing is an unusual and highly controversial practice that has been gaining some popularity in recent years, with Japan’s First Lady making headlines when she revealed that she was a ‘sun eater‘. The practice involves looking directly at the sun with your eyes unprotected, in an attempt to harness its energy, for the purpose of nourishing and healing the body. This is in direct opposition to the standard advice, that looking at the sun directly is extremely dangerous, with the potential to cause serious and permanent damage to the retina.
Looking at carvings and paintings, we can see that many ancient cultures worshipped the sun. This is not surprising considering that life as we know it on this planet would be impossible without the great burning ball of fire. The practice of Sun Gazing has its origins in India, when over 2,000 years ago Lord Mahavir of Jain established a religion known as Jainism – in which they believed that every soul had the potential to access God.
It is also thought that the ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Greeks, Mayans and some Native American tribes felt that they could be nourished in this way.
Hira Ratan Manek
A well known advocate of Sun Gazing is Hira Ratan Manek (who likes to be known as HRM), who was born in India in 1937. Hira is a regular Solar Gazer, who claims to have reached enlightenment, healing and nourishment thanks to his practices. He says that he can sustain himself for long periods of time with no food. He has mainly consumed only sun energy and water since June 18th 1995, taking the occasional tea, coffee or buttermilk for “hospitality and social purposes.” HRM describes the brain as a super computer, which he calls a ‘brainuter’. He says that sun gazing activates the full potential of the brain, allowing us to access powers that have remained dormant since ancient cultures.
Being a holistic entity it needs a holistic power supply. Sun energy is the source that powers the brain, which can enter and leave the human body or the brain only through one organ that is the human eye. Eyes are the Sun Energy’s entry door to the human brain.
HRM set up a Solar Healing Centre in Orlanda, Florida back in 2002. Today there are numerous centres across the world and many devoted Sun Gazers follow his process. He regularly gives lectures, and is a source of great fascination, the subject of many articles and documentaries. His method for becoming a Sun Gazer was developed by him over many years of study and trial and error. He says that anyone can become accomplished at it, no matter what time of year, or location of residence. The basics are explained below.
HRM’s Sun Gazing Process
HRM states that Sun Gazing is a one-time practice which is completed over the course of 9 months. It is taken in three phases. The main rule to remember is that Sun Gazing should only be done in the hour after dawn and the hour before sunset, when the UV index is 0 or 1, with complete novices aiming for the first 5 minutes after sun rise or last five minutes before sunset.
It is particularly advised that Sun Gazing is practiced bare foot on beach sand, mud or dirt, but not grass. Glasses, contact lenses and sun glasses should be removed. The eyes should be allowed to blink and flicker as they naturally would. Try to maintain focus on the sun, standing comfortably, trying to keep the feet and neck relaxed with eyes soft.
The process simply involves gazing at the sun for a maximum of 10 seconds on the first day, during the safe zones of time. HRM recommends that individuals stand on warm bare earth in bare feet while gazing, in an attempt to ground the individual.
Throughout the first three months a further 10 seconds are added each day, so it would be 20 seconds on the second day, 30 seconds on the third day and so on. Keep a journal in order to track your progress, and if you miss any days simply ignore those and carry on from where you left off, although caution should be used if you miss more than a few days at a time.
Once the allotted time is complete you should close your eyes for around 30 seconds, until the internal image of the sun fades. Let your eyes relax and then take a moment for them to readjust before going about your day.
It is said that people will start to experience an energetic shift in this phase, with the main benefits being mental and emotional at this stage. People may feel more confident, positive and compassionate. Reports show that individuals feel more peace and clarity, with a reduction in irritability, stress and anger. Levels of euphoria and joy are said to increase.
By this stage, HRM says you will have reached the point where you can Sun Gaze for around 15 minutes per day. It is claimed that your body will begin to show the results of self healing by now, and physical disease should have started to decline.
HRM also claims that spending this amount of time gazing at the sun will decrease your need for food. Additionally, more energy will be released from the food that you do consume. By the time an individual can spend half an hour gazing at the sun, the organs will be receiving enough life ‘prana’ – or living energy from the sun to “slowly liberate [the body] from physical disease”. It is at this point that he states that food actually becomes a “secondary energy source.”
Other physical benefits seen at this stage are improved vision, overall health and immune system. Many people report feeling increased energy alongside the reduction in hunger.
“You are your own master at the end of 6 months.” – Hira Ratan Manek
At this advanced stage of the Sun Gazing process your body is said to have access to ‘micro food’ which is delivered from the sun.
Hunger should be decreasing substantially by now, with around 35 minutes of sun gazing happening daily. Energy levels are expected to be high with a profound sense of well being experienced. Spriitual benefits can be enjoyed at this stage, with increased consciousness, with reported access to psychic abilities. People can often meditate effortlessly in this state.
End of 9 Months
HRM recommends that Sun Gazing should cease after the nine month process for the sake of your eye health.
The benefits can be maintained by walking bare foot on the earth as often as possible, ideally in sunlight. This keeps the body charged with the sun’s energy.
Many individuals that practice Sun Gazing claim that they do not need to eat. This may be tempting to people, imagining all of the time that they would save, no food shopping, preparing meals, and of course eating. But can it really be possible to convert the sun’s energy into nourishment?
HRM took part in two long term fasts which were controlled and monitored by scientific teams, in an effort to answer this very question. The first fast took place in 1995, conducted by Dr Sudhir Shah and lasted 411 days. “He was consuming boiled water daily only between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. no other liquids and just no other food, No I\V or I\M injections. He was completely kept isolated while under strict observation.” The findings surprised the scientists greatly.
Except for loss of 19 kgs weight, (which is now stable with no further weight loss for 3 months) a slight reduction of pulse rate and B.P. and definite reduction of respiratory rate (from 18 it is now 10/minute) amazingly, there is no medical abnormality. Even the brain and mental capacities are absolutely normal. There are hardly any findings.
Dr Shah suggested the following hypothesis to explain the energy-metabolic mathematics.
(1) Reducing calorie requirement by chronic adaptation.
(2) Deriving basic energy from cosmic source-chiefly, `sun energy’.
(3) Utilizing the energy in the efficient way and recycling the same in his body.
(4) Genetically or phenotypically a different body disposition.
The second study lasted 130 days and was observed by Dr. Andrew B. Newberg in England. HRM claims that the studies discovered that his brain’s grey cells were regenerating and that his pineal gland was expanding, highly unusual for a man of HRM’s age. The toxins (especially fluoride) in a typical western lifestyle cause the pineal gland to calcify and shrink – reducing the production of melatonin and serotonin (explained below). HRM’s sun gazing revealed that his pineal gland was three times the size of an average man.
The pineal gland is a small, pea sized endocrine secreting gland located near the centre of the brain, between the two hemispheres. It is often considered of spiritual significance, a centre of ‘inner wisdom’, which enables us to access our ‘third eye’. It is activated by light, as research has confirmed that direct sunlight entering through the eyes stimulates the pineal gland, causing secretions of both melatonin and serotonin. These ‘happy’ hormones regulate sleeping cycles and positive states of mind. Melatonin is also known to slow the ageing process.
Dr Shah said the following regarding the pineal gland:
The hypothalamus is the commander of autonomic nervous system, and the pineal gland is in proximity to the autonomic nervous system, so it is logical that new energy transportation may either activate this system or it may use this system as vehicle.
Is It Safe To Sun Gaze?
There is a substantial body of evidence which proves that looking directly at the sun can cause damage to the eyes. Solar retinopathy is one particular eye condition, where the retina is damaged by solar radiation. It is often brought on by looking directly at the sun during a solar eclipse. Most eye care professionals would warn against looking directly at the sun, so the fact that many individuals do so during their supposed safe times remains controversial.
Vinny Pinto of the Raw Paleolithic Diet website, is a regular Sun Gazer who has conducted a great deal of research into the area. He is quoted on the subject below.
There is definitely some potential danger to staring at the sun for any significant length of time anytime after a couple of hours after sunrise or a couple of hours before sunset, and particularly at high noon and during early afternoon, but even then the harm would likely be minor or temporary. There is also some significant danger from staring at an eclipse for even a short length of time, since the pupil may be tricked by the apparent low light intensity into allowing too great an influx of solar radiation at harmful wavelengths into the eye.
Dr. Edward F. Group III of the Global Healing Center has the following suggestion for anyone considering starting the practice:
“Sungazing is an interesting practice that touches the spiritual and psychological realms, which are very personal things. Everyone is wired a little differently … If you choose to partake, do your own research, be careful, be cautious, and document your experience.”
What are your thoughts? Is Sun Gazing something that you are interested in exploring further? Or is this nothing more than a dangerous fad?
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