Homeopathy Book Reviews

The Sensation in Homeopathy by Dr. Rajan Sankaran – reviewed by Vatsala Sperling

Written by Vatsala Sperling

Homeopath Vatsala Sperling gives an in-depth review of The Sensation in Homeopathy by Dr. Rajan Sankaran. She explains Sankaran’s idea that the central state of the patient is a vital sensation, deeper than the mental state and is connected to mind and body.

Published by Homeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, India

Year of publication: 2004, hardcover, 720 pages.

Disenchanted with mechanistic medicine, Americans spend billions of dollars annually 1, 2  seekingalternative medical specialties, among which, homeopathy happens to be the energy medicine of the future. Homeopathy allows for merging of medicine and spirituality as the remedies not only remove symptoms, they are also able to elicit a deep healing response that originates from the innate spiritual core within us where we experience the blending of energies from the differentiated material world of names and forms.

This is the impression and inspiration I received from having dwelled deeply into Dr. Rajan Sankaran’s books 1 through 7 so far. In these books you will find that Dr Sankaran’s journeys as a homeopath and a healer have been grounded in the solid foundation of homeopathy – philosophy, materia medica and repertory.

He started out as he was taught in his homeopathy medical school – gather symptoms, repertorize, choose and give a remedy. This approach is linear, one-dimensional and predictable, but it did not work for him all the time.  He questioned his unsuccessful cases and tried to find out why he was failing.

Instead of discarding homeopathy philosophy, materia medica and repertory, he dug deeper into them and came to a conclusion that linear thinking has miniscule relevance in homeopathy when you want to use it as an artistic science.

On getting past the tangible reality, at the core where truth is, human energy (human song) co-exists with energies borrowed from the non-human realm (non-human song.) When the non-human song plays louder, the result is dis-ease. In exploring these human and non-human songs, Dr. Sankaran was aware that he knew very little, and the unknown is utterly limitless.

The expanse between the limited and limitless is awe-inspiring when you think about it, because if you are curious enough to get a glimpse of the limitlessness, you will begin to take the very first baby steps toward knowing a “little bit more.”

In the process of knowing a little bit more, Dr. Sankaran admits that his is a work in progress and does not claim to get results 100% of the time.

As students of homeopathy, we have to be aware too that when we make a choice to study what Dr. Sankaran is teaching, we are wading into an area that is called, “work in progress.” Our results will depend on our own spiritual preparedness, our dexterity in using the basic tools of homeopathy, i.e. philosophy, materia medica and repertory, and our ability for integrating our knowledge with our intention for initiating a deep inner healing in our patients.

We are part of the picture, and so is the patient, so are the tools of our trade, so is time, our collective destiny and karma. When all these pieces fit together well, a beautiful healing experience can emerge, and that is what I mean by saying that homeopathy does have an undeniable spiritual component to it. It deals with energy, instead of matter. Through his books, Dr. Sankaran points us in the direction of making this observation for ourselves.

As to the book, the Sensation in Homeopathy, I was delighted to read that the cheeky title was suggested by my dearest teacher, Misha Norland, and this book, comes with clear instruction from the author, ‘Read the prior books, Spirit and Substance of Homeopathy, Soul of Remedies, System of Homeopathy, Insight into Plants volume 1, 2 and 3, and do not discard your philosophy, materia medica and repertory.’

At the very outset, the author gives a summary of the progression of his ideas and inquiries from (1) mechanical repertorization, (2) central disturbance, (3) mental state, (4) delusion, (5) vital sensation at a level beyond body and mind – reflected in chief complaint, mind state, dreams, hobbies, interests, and expressions like hand-gestures, (6) energy and finally, (7) beyond energy.

He also gives a bite-size extract of his take on miasms and his addition of seven new ones to the three already known since Hahnemann’s time. There is a mini-version of ‘System in Homeopathy’ i.e. how to go about with case taking following the sensation method. There are cases solved by the old approach, meaning, inquiry into basic delusion. This path led to understanding of the emotional phenomena and the practitioner could easily get lost in the story while exploring feelings.

In this current book, Dr. Sankaran clarifies that the central state of the patient is not merely emotions or feelings but a vital sensation that is deeper than the mental state and is connected to mind and body. This vital sensation can be arrived at by inquiring into the chief complaint because the chief complaint gives a direct access to the patient’s central state.

The new method, illustrated with four cases, is based on vital sensation, and it involves the following steps:

  1. Elicit the chief complaint exactly, dig for sensation and miasm. Sensation may be expressed directly, or can be seen in the modalities, or in the effect it has on the patient’s life. Ask about the opposite sensation in detail. The coping mechanism indicates miasm. Observe hand gestures as these express the sensation better than words. Hand gestures are sub-conscious and involuntary.
  2. Go to areas of least compensation – vocation, relations, recreation, hobbies, interests, dreams, fears, childhood – these areas bring out delusion.
  3. Go to other seemingly un-connected areas and see how they connect to sensation.
  4. Go back to the sensation the patient has repeatedly confirmed, take the patient deeper till he gives a situation when sensation, miasm and kingdom concur. Here, local phenomenon becomes general, emotional phenomenon becomes physical. This is vital sensation, something that connects body and mind.   

There is also a case showing how various levels emerge during case taking, i.e. names, facts, emotions, delusions and sensation and how a potency is chosen to match the level where the patient is.

In a chapter on new insight into health and disease, Dr. Sankaran points out the aphorisms # 9, 11, 86, 89, 98, 126 137 in the Organon where Hahnemann has referred to sensation. Dr. Sankaran makes a strong point for the concept that disease is the non-human part of man. The non-human as well as human parts exist side by side, but when the non-human side becomes dominant, dis-ease is expressed at body, mind and spirit levels.

Now we come to the actual process of case taking that enables us to explore the non-human in the man, the part that makes him sick. There are five cases to illustrate this approach and each one exemplifies that sensation is elicited via the route of chief complaint and thru hand gestures. Words and hand gestures can be assumed to be representing vital sensation if they fulfill the following criteria:

M: They have movement / energy.

N: They are non-human specific.

O: They are obdurate, they hold up.

P: They are accompanied by a picture or an image.

Q: They are queer, out of context.

R: They occur repeatedly.

S: They relate to something that has been said earlier, are synonyms or antonyms. 

In a section on follow up, we learn about the questions to ask to determine if there is a shift so that we may be able to change the remedy or potency if necessary. The eventual goal of follow up is to see the patient through his healing journey when he is beyond disease and is able to connect with his higher reality, purpose.  

The author posits that an inquiry into sensation can also be done in acute cases when the chief complaint is very clear, and in children’s cases as they are very expressive of their energy at level VI and can readily use a 10m potency. In the end, there is a Q and A in which Dr Sankaran clarifies doubts that might come up as we begin to use the sensation method.

When all levels of the case, from I through VI are elicited, either in a sequence or with use of bypass, and the dots are connected that lead to a remedy source that resonates with the non-human song within the patient, it is an experience like no other. The patient and the practitioner come face to face with the spiritual point of origin of the disease and realize that it can be cured, after all, by following the most fundamental of all homeopathic laws, “Like cures like.” That is the pure thrill in the chase, that is the ‘spiritual high’ homeopaths can experience from time to time as they practice a discipline of alternative medicine that is energy medicine quite like shamanism.

As Dr. Sankaran has mentioned earlier, in homeopathy, the boundaries between science, art, spirit and matter can blur, because we are essentially dealing with energy that underlies the world of name and form, ease and dis-ease. This much is very clearly expressed in this lovely book, The Sensation in Homeopathy. So, yes, go for it.

  1. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/americans-spend-30-billion-year-alternative-medicine-n596976
  2. https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/alternative-healthcare-providers-industry/

About the author

Vatsala Sperling

Vatsala Sperling, RSHom (NA), CCH, MS, PhD, PDHom was the Chief of Clinical Microbiology services at a children’s hospital in Chennai, India, when she published extensively and conducted research with WHO, Denmark. On moving to the USA to start a family, Vatsala pursued an education in Homeopathy with Misha Norland’s school. She is a published author of ten books including her latest, The Ayurvedic Reset Diet (www.InnerTraditions.com). Journals from US and abroad frequently publish articles and papers written by Vatsala Sperling on topics including spirituality, health and homeopathy. Vatsala continues to study with several teachers and practices classical homeopathy. She has served on the board of directors of NASH and currently she serves as a volunteer with NCH. She can be reached via her website (www.Rochesterhomeopathy.com)

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