It was probably in 2006 that I received my first invite from George Vithoulkas to come to Alonissos. Still under 30, struggling to find my way as a clinician and a teacher, and with no prior international travel experience, the invitation from ‘The George Vithoulkas’ to talk about the possibility of creating a new homeopathic organization, came more as a shock and less as a surprise. I was just not ready for it. I didn’t go!
The online correspondence and collaboration that began in 2004 due to Hpathy.com, continued at various levels. Over the years we have exchanged hundreds of emails, discussed lots of professional and personal matters, and have been part of several efforts to mediate for and preserve classical homeopathy. For a year Prof. Vithoulkas even answered reader’s queries at Hpathy.com. It was very magnanimous of him to do so. Over the years, we talked on Skype and I ended up interviewing him four times, thrice for this journal and once for my post-graduation. He even wrote a very positive foreword to my first book – Lectures on Organon of Medicine. During this long process our respect and affection for each other continued to grow…but the trip to Alonissos did not materialize.
Finally, in 2014, I listened to my inner voice and decided to go to Alonissos…happen what may! I needed to meet George. So in June 2014, I finally landed in Alonissos. However, I was not prepared for what happened after landing there. At around 6 in the evening our boat (Flying cat) reached Patitri port. I was soon in my very scenic room at the Pension Oniro, which was arranged for me by George.
I was hoping to see him the next day at the academy but within minutes of reaching Pension Oniro, I received a call from Maria Chorianopoulou that Prof. Vithoulkas would like to have dinner with me and someone will pick me up from the hotel by 8. I came down from my room at 8 and the last person I expected to pick me up was – George Vithoulkas. But there he was, the man in flesh and blood, driving his red electric car, with his wife and Maria. I touched his feet in respect and he hugged me tightly. It was a dream come true.
He showed me some places around Votsi and Patitiri and took me for a vegetarian dinner. We were both so overwhelmed with emotions that we hardly talked during the whole time. It was too surreal and unbelievable for me.
Next day, 4th of June, was my first day at the academy. I was there to attend the two week long International course. In June the weather there is usually warm and sunny, but when we reached there, it was raining and was unusually cold for this time of year. I had nothing warm to wear so I asked Penny at the office where I could buy something warm. I was told not to buy anything as the weather was likely to clear in a day. However, I soon found a red sweater coming my way. When the word about my need for something warm reached George through Maria, he sent me one of his own sweater’s to wear. I wore that sweater that day. Next day, it was warm, but I still wore that sweater the whole day. The feeling was special 🙂 And I told George that I am not giving that sweater back.
The academy is beautifully located and has a very positive energy. The class was so full that students who had registered late had to be accommodated in the side room with an audio-visual link. It was difficult for me to believe that students from all over the world were coming to this remote island year after year. In the next two weeks, I spoke to many students and realized that even the seasoned practitioner’s were coming again and again to see Prof. Vithoulkas take live cases and teach. The person and the place has a pull that cannot be explained rationally. If you can, do visit the academy once. You can write to [email protected] for future courses and seminars at the academy.
Every morning we would walk to the academy for the morning session, go back to our rooms for lunch, and were back for the evening session by 4. When the class got over at around 9 p.m, the outside was still never dark. The sun there sets very late and it was kind of amusing for me. I had made a good friend on my way to Alonissos, a fellow student and a wonderful human being, Anurag Chandak. He was traveling with his wife and they invited me to have an Indian vegetarian meal with them every day. How could I say no? 🙂 So every evening we walked back to his place humming Hindi songs and talking homeopathy.
The next two weeks were busy, attending classes, meeting and making friends, traveling a bit, and preparing for this special issue of Homeopathy for Everyone. I even got a chance to teach at the academy, which was such an honour for me.
Over these two weeks, it was a pleasure to see the energy and passion of George Vithoulkas. While there are many guru’s in Homeopathy today, he is the only one who has taken homeopathy to universities and medical schools; he is the only one who is converting allopaths to homeopaths. We met every day, hugged often, and had dinner together twice more. There was much more to learn from, and discuss with him, but the time flew by. I left Alonissos with a heavy heart with a promise to meet again.
The love and affection that I received during my stay from George Vithoulkas, his wife Zissula, Maria Chorianopoulou, Anurag Chandak, Aneesha Chandak, Lefteris Tapakis and many others, made my stay in Alonissos and Athens very memorable.
This issue of Homeopathy for Everyone was conceived and prepared at the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy in Alonissos, Greece, during my stay there. It features video interviews with George Vithoulkas, Eric van Woensel, Dr. Dmitry Chabanov, Dr. Carlos Barbosa, Viveca Wilhelmsson, and Helmut Schnellrieder. There are dozens of other very useful articles and cases too.
Go through them all, leave your comments through the comment box at the end of each article, or send us a feedback mail at [email protected]
Thank you for being our partner in this homeopathic journey.
Dr. Manish Bhatia