In the following discussions we intend to present a scientific, objective view of amaroli - assessing all the points on the kidney, urine and its uses - in order to approach the subject with adequate understanding and a more balanced perspective. Much of this material has been collated from the seminar on amaroli held at the Bihar School of Yoga, IYFM Research Coordinating Center, in March 1978. The panel included Dr. Swami Shankardevananda Saraswati, MB, BS (Syd); Dr. Swami Vivekananda Saraswati, MB, BS (Syd), MANZCP, DPM; and Swami Buddhananda Saraswati, BA, Dip. Ac. (HK & Aust), DNMN, all of whom have had experience with amaroli. In the text they are referred to as Dr. S; Dr. V; and Sw. B respectively. Many of the swamis and visitors to the ashram who participated in the seminar also contributed their experiences, some of which have been recorded here. Other material was collated from various scriptures, books and magazines.
The case history presented here are some of those collected during the seminar on amaroli held at BSY in march 1978. They do not include and cases of miraculous cures claimed by some therapists, but are concerned with mild, acute and chronic cases of common problems faced by many people during the course of their lives. It is hoped that they will serve as examples of experiences with amaroli and thus make the path easier and smoother for others.
Dr. S: There are many seeming contradictions in amaroli that can be resolved quite easily if we regard urine as a therapeutic agent. Although there is no proof for this, we need to develop some explanation to account for the many positive experiences. I do not believe that we can just dismiss the accounts without further investigation or at least without conjecture as to the method of action. Therefore, we can take one or two approaches towards solving this problem.
Dr. V: All this conjecture is fine in its place, but it still doesn't explain what is really going on. Proponents of amaroli need to experiment and fully research this possible immunological effect of amaroli if they are to have any credence in the eyes of the scientific world.
Dr. S: I agree, but before we experiment, we need to discover what are the guidelines and the best directions to pursue. You see, I have a lot of faith in people. Within us there is some sort of intuitive faculty which can be developed consciously through yoga and other disciplines. There is potential here for the development of discrimination between 'right' and 'wrong'. It may be a return to the natural harmonies, or a return to the inner and outer environment, but whatever it is, we begin to develop a new faculty that allows us to know certain things with a degree of certitude that may be surprising to many people. Of course, this is an unscientific approach, and at the same time science is beginning to prove its validity. No matter what we think, if we rely on this faculty we can sense whether amaroli is good or bad for us, and act accordingly. Provided of course, that we can open ourselves sufficiently and leave our old conceptions and preconditioning behind.
I would like to open this part of the seminar and ask participants about their personal experiences with amaroli in order to get a better idea of the processes at work.
Amongst the practitioners of amaroli the best known claim to cure from disease comes from J.W. Armstrong, author of The Water of Life. He claims to have cured his tuberculosis and diabetes when inspired by a Bible passage. After forty five days of fasting, taking nothing but urine and water, and massaging his body every day, he says he was cured. An integral part of his cure was a well balanced diet and moderate intake. He says he then went on to cure people from such diseases as gangrene, growths and cancer, kidney disease, leukaemia, heart disease, malaria, orchitis, venereal disease, wounds, and common cold.
His book has inspired many to try amaroli and to write books on the same subject covering their own experiences. Who else would like to contribute their experience?
Sw. K: Two experiences that I have had may throw some light on the subject. About two months ago I cut one of my fingers with an axe. Luckily it didn't cut any arteries or veins, but it did leave a very deep gash at the base of the first finger, between the finger and the thumb. Bleeding wasn't a real problem and so I just bandaged it. Then I remembered amaroli which I had previously utilized quite successfully for similar wounds. So I soaked the bandage with urine continuously for a period of two days, and on removing it I found that the wound had filled in to a considerable degree and was healing rapidly. Continuing this treatment in the same fashion, I found the wound healed almost completely in five days leaving only a small scar.
Dr. S: One point of interest in your story is the time factor. In this tropical climate a wound of that description often takes as long as a month to heal.
Sw. K: The other incident I wanted to tell you about was when I had boils. For a few days I noticed that a boil was developing on my buttocks, so I rubbed urine there, three or four times a day for ten minutes at a time. Then, and I feel this is the important part, instead of washing the urine off, I left it on.
Leaving the urine seems to allow its properties to be fully absorbed into the affected area. Most people, I have found, just dab the urine on and after a few seconds wash it off. It must be rubbed in for at least ten minutes and you have to be careful not to be heavy handed. After one or two days of this I found that a potentially large boil had completely dissolved. I know a few other people who have treated boils in this manner and all have obtained the same remarkable result.
J. P. Sharma (Calcutta): I have had some unpleasant experiences with amaroli as well as some good ones. Last year, after a prolonged bout of fever and diarrhoea, I tried amaroli because somebody had suggested that it was a powerful body cleanser and that it would help restore my energy. My fever had already gone down and the diarrhoea was subsiding. The urine being produced was very dark, salty and strong smelling. However, I persisted and the first thing that happened was my diarrhoea came back. I continued drinking all my urine and eating two small meals a day for one week. The urine didn't get lighter and the diarrhoea did not stop, so I stopped the practice. Immediately the diarrhoea stopped too. I began to recover after this, but I don't know to what extent this was due to the urine.
Dr. S: Perhaps the salt in the urine was flushing water through your system as in shankhaprakshalana.
Swami Tantrashakti (Bombay): I find urine neti very unpleasant. It burns my nose, my eyes start to water and I get a very bad headache.
Dr. S: This is because you are not diluting the urine. I find half water and half urine eliminates the burning and makes the practice - quite pleasant. Using this I was able to clear up a very acute-on-chronic sinus infection in just a short time. I had always suffered from sinus trouble but this infection was particularly bad, in fact, my sinus was so full of pus that it felt as though it would burst. The pain was excruciating and I could not sleep. I then did urine neti and immediately a flow of pus came out, the pain went away and I could sleep. I continued the practice for two weeks in which time not only did the acute infection go away out my chronic sinusitis cleared altogether and today is no longer any problem.
Dr. V: Well this certainly sounds like a better method than antral washouts for chronic sinusitis. For those of you who don't know this method, a sharp tube is inserted into the anaesthetized nose, through bone and into the sinus. This is particularly unpleasant. Saline water, antibiotics, and so on are then passed through the tube and the sinus is washed out. If urine neti really has such dramatic effects, then it may one day supplant this method in hospitals and general practice.
Sw. Tantrashakti: On the subject of concentration of urine, the same urine that I couldn't pass through my nose went into my eyes without any trouble. One time when I had conjunctivitis, I bathed my eyes in urine. They were swollen, red and painful, but by the next morning you would not even know there had been any problem.
Sw. Nigamananda (Colombia): My experiences with amaroli differ considerably. Having suffered from a number of chronic diseases, including asthma and eczema, for several years, I have now discovered amaroli and have been experimenting with it over a period of time. Before I learned yoga I was crippled by my physical condition. Now I can say that I am over the worst of it and well on the way to a complete cure. Amaroli has provided me with a potent medicine and afforded a great deal of relief from suffering. These are the experiments I made on myself:
Urine must he a very powerful substance, and I think it also has some special cleansing action. In fact, I am a little scared to try amaroli unless I am sick, as it always has some reaction on my body. Sometimes it gives me loose motion, some times a mild fever sometimes it just takes my appetite away and I want to just sit Something very strong goes on inside; it feels like a cleansing process rather than an illness, for it only lasts a short time and afterwards I feel stronger and cleaner. I have developed a lot of faith in this technique and am quite confident in its application.
Asha Jha (Bilaspur): I had been suffering from pimples ever since puberty and had a definite psychological problem. I was embarrassed to mix with my friends and started to develop an inferiority complex. After a while I started to use different creams but these only resulted in more disfigurement. When I first applied urine the pimples became more numerous so I stopped. Then after one week it seemed that the pimples were clearing up, so I again started amaroli, this time drinking it. After two weeks my face had taken on a shine and the pimples had completely disappeared.
Sw. Premananda Saraswati (Dhanbad): Ten years ago I became very sick despite the fact that I was doing asanas and pranayama, my body was becoming weaker and weaker. My heart had palpitations, my head was spinning and I was racked by rheumatic pains. At the same time, I had gastric trouble and constipation it felt as though my whole body was falling apart, and I was totally without control. After six months of continuous deterioration and being bed-ridden for two of these months, I decided to try amaroli and began by drinking one glass in the morning. After two months I was improving considerably and by six months I was completely cured. Now at the age of seventy four I feel full of energy. Of course, yogic sadhana plays a big part in this.
Dr. V: Perhaps if you had fasted completely or even partially, you would have regained health even faster.
Sw. M: I have had a similar experience with amaroli just recently, I was feeling very sick and had no appetite. I was nauseous and also had diarrhoea. Some people had told me to fast but even then I had no appetite, so I started drinking one glass of urine in the morning. By the afternoon of the first day I was feeling better and by the second day my hunger had returned. It took four days for the diarrhoea to stop but now I feel fine, I was only eating one meal a day and have continued to do to because I feel no hunger and the extra energy I gain is a real boon. The fasting has been an important part of my recovery.
Eve Lessing (Australia): Six years ago when I was recovering from pleurisy and double pneumonia, I used amaroli in the convalescent stage. I had been in hospital for three months when a swami from Bihar School of Yoga advised me to use amaroli. Every morning I drank one glass of midstream urine and my recovery seemed to improve considerably with the increased energy I felt. After this initial recovery stage, I didn't feel any real difference although my weight increased from 55 to 112 pounds over a three month period. I still use urine and have been perfectly healthy since that last episode.
Anne McKay (Australia): When I had jaundice I used amaroli. In the beginning I felt completely drained and the sight of food was enough to turn my stomach. Drinking three glasses of urine every day seemed to afford immediate relief. At first the urine tasted terrible, and actually made me vomit the second time I tried it. By the third time it had started to taste better and I noticed that my hunger was returning. Eating became a pleasure once again and my recovery was hastened. Even my doctor was amazed.
Edna Mathews (USA): I think we cannot overemphasise the cleansing crisis factor. Most people can become very scared when such crises occur. This happened to me once and it caused me to stop amaroli. I had an infected tooth which had turned into an abscess. As a result I visited one dentist who filled the hole and gave me antibiotics. However, he did a bad job and the infection continued I was advised to rinse my mouth with urine in the morning and after meals. After two days my mouth became red and inflamed and my tongue was very sore, making it difficult to eat. I stopped amaroli, but the swelling and soreness continued for another week. During the time that the swelling was there I had no trouble from my tooth, but as soon as the swelling went away the tooth trouble returned. This led me to think that the urine was actually drawing the poison from the tooth out through my whole mouth. After some time I again tried urine and though the swelling and soreness occurred again, this time it was minimal and after one week all signs of swelling and infection disappeared. During the painful part of the process however, I often wondered whether the urine was eliminating the infection or just irritating it.
Dr. S: I have found determination and willpower necessary for any healing, and this applies to both the healer and the patient. In my own case I used urine to help cure my asthma and to help with my eyes and nose problems. Combining amaroli and yogic sadhana over a period of three years I have gradually eliminated all traces of asthma, bronchitis, allergy and sinusitis from my system and my vision has improved by at least fifty percent, to the point where I no longer need to use my glasses. This was achieved through practices such as shankhaprakshalana, kunjal and neti (all using urine) asanas, pranayama and meditation. Amaroli probably played quite a large role in my cure.