Hello friends! We are excited to have with us Prof. George Vithoulkas once again. Today we will be discussing his experience of treating an Indian spiritual celebrity, Jiddu Krishnamurthy.
George Vithoulkas is today Honorary Professor at numerous universities including Univ. of the Aegean, State Medical U. of Chuvash Republic (Russia), National Educational Centre for Traditional and Complementary Medicine (Russia), Pontifical Javeriana Colombia), All-Russia Scientific Research Center for Restorative and Resort Medicine of the Ministry of Health of Russian Federation, PHEE “Kyiv Medical U.”, Dnipro Institute of Medicine (Ukraine), and is Doctor Honoris Causa -“Dr. Viktor Babes” U. Timisoara (Romania) Doctor Honoris “Iuliu Hatieganu U. (Romania) and Professor at the Kiev Medical Ac. See more details about his work at the end of the interview.
MB: Prof Vithoulkas, I have spoken with you about your diverse interests earlier too. Homeopathy has remained central to our discussions. However, today I would like to ask you about something very different. I have read your Celle Seminars transcripts and I have been intrigued about your association with Jiddu Krishnamurthy, one of India’s most well-known philosophers and thinkers of the modern era. Can you please share how you got to meet Jiddu Krishnamurthy?
GV: As I have mentioned before in my lectures, I have always had a great interest in spiritual matters since very early in my life after I lost both my parents during the second world war and later experienced several other relatives dying around me.
My mind was set to wondering what exactly was happening and why so many beloved persons around me were leaving this world. Even before coming across homeopathy, one of my desires was to travel to India and explore spirituality in this land of mystics as I had heard a lot of interesting stories that had intrigued me.
I finally decided to make the journey and travel to India after working in South Africa for four years where I had managed to save the necessary funds. It was my personal quest to learn about Indian philosophy and spirituality, as I searched for answers to human suffering.
In South Africa – where I had worked with a construction firm – I met a famous young pianist Alain Naude who was deeply interested in spiritual matters like myself, but also in homeopathy which he shared with me. We became firm friends and I will be forever grateful to him for introducing me to the subject of homeopathy.
At that time, he was searching for a spiritual guide and had got involved with a guru who had just come to South Africa from India. Having been disappointed in the end by this experience, he ended up reading J. Krishnamurti’s books who outright denied the need of all spiritual guides, teachers and gurus.
Alain was so enthralled with these ideas of Jiddu Krishnamurthy that he decided to travel to India to try to meet him and hear his teaching. Meanwhile I also left South Africa to enrol in the Bombay Homeopathic Medical College. This was in 1964, and after my departure for India, I sadly lost contact with Alain and had no idea what had happened with him and JK.
Then when I was in Bombay in 1964, attending the College of Homeopathy there, I had gone to listen to one of JK’s lectures. Jiddu Krishnamurthy was looking so old and exhausted that I thought he would surely soon die. To my surprise, a few months later I received a telegram from my old friend Alain saying that Jiddu Krishnamurthy wanted me to treat him. I later found out that Alain was now working with Jiddu Krishnamurthy and had been put forward as his secretary.
As Alain explained to me later on, he was having lunch with Jiddu Krishnamurthy and some of his close followers like Pupul Jayakar, as well as some other distinguished guests, and the discussion had come round to JK’s health. Alain mentioned to Jiddu Krishnamurthy that he had a Greek friend who was studying homeopathy at this time in India, and who had been a very successful prescriber already in South Africa. Alain said “to my surprise Jiddu Krishnamurthy grabbed my arm and said, please call your Greek friend to take my case.”
Everyone at the table at the time voiced their objections. “But Krishnaji, he is only a student!” someone said. “We can call any doctor from anywhere to treat you.” JK insisted “This one will help me.” He had apparently tried several famous homeopaths of the time for his chronic bronchitis but no one had been able to help him and now he was under allopathic treatment.
A few days later I received a ticket to fly from Kolkata – where I had transferred to the Kolkata Homeopathic Medical College – to go to Benares to meet Jiddu Krishnamurti, the most famous philosopher of our times, to treat him for his bronchitis, exhaustion and headaches. I was thrilled of course with the idea that I might possibly be able to help this remarkable man.
MB: When you met Jiddu Krishnamurthy, what was your initial impression of the person that JK was?
GV: He was looking very old and exhausted, coughing, with deep furrows on his face, a real ‘Hippocratic face’. However, his manners were of a humble gentle person and I was surprised how he was so willing to answer my many questions, although I was careful not to exhaust him further by trying to elicit more and more symptoms.
I felt I had very little time to find the remedy, and it was agonising as I deeply sympathised with his difficulty in breathing. He was coughing and bringing up sputum yet he appeared serene in spite of his suffering. Towards the end of the consultation, I was still considering different remedies, in honesty I was desperate.
Then suddenly I noticed a small eruption on the tip of his nose, a keynote symptoms for Aethusa cynapium and then things suddenly fell in to place – the exhaustion, the deep furrows, the Hippocratic face. I prescribed the remedy one dose of 200C and let him go back to bed to rest.
In the meantime, I was very glad to have met my friend Alain Naude again and he spent the rest of the day telling me about how he met JK and all his experiences with him. The next morning Alain told me that Jiddu Krishnamurthy had an aggravation from the remedy with some low fever and an extreme irritability. The third day, however, things started calming down. I reassured JK that this was a good reaction and I left for Kolkata a few days later.
A few days after my departure, Alain sent me a letter trying to persuade me to come and stay with JK to be his permanent personal homeopath in order to continue to look after his health which thankfully was in fact improving day by day. I accepted his proposal.
MB: Were you nervous treating him as he was quite a celebrity?
GV: I was not only nervous. I was extremely anxious! Until, that is, I saw the result of the treatment. Whenever I’ve treated celebrities in the past there was always high anxiety as I felt that the outcome would be noticed and thus establish homeopathy in the eyes of the medical world.
The higher the celebrity the better for homeopathy, was my thinking. In retrospect I am not sure that this dictum worked. If all the famous people who have benefitted from homeopathy to date had spoken out about their experience where they felt able to, homeopathy should surely by now have taken its rightful place within the medical professions and specialities.
MB: I have read that many of your initial prescriptions did not work? In hindsight, to what would you ascribe those failures now? And how could others avoid such failures?
GV: I have spoken before about these failed prescriptions the time that JK suddenly developed acute bronchopneumonia with a high fever while lecturing in Switzerland. At that time we were staying in Gstaad, in the mountains. This was around one year after the start of JK’s treatment with me where his health had improved a great deal.
I cannot remember now what symptoms prompted me to give the sequence of remedies that sadly had no effect during such a critical stage for Jiddu Krishnamurthy. Perhaps my judgement was clouded by anxiety and concern about the negative response I might get from those close to JK at the time. At the height of JK’s health crisis Alain was relaying back to me the hostile reactions of the people around Jiddu Krishnamurthy who thought he was in danger under my care.
Only Alain and our Swiss host Seniora Vanda Scaravelli appeared to be friendly and to trust in my treatment. Everyone else appeared to be angry with me and working in this environment led me to have a terrible dream one night where I saw JK dying and falling down from the sofa. I will never forget it.
It was clear that JK’s team wanted to call in an allopathic doctor or have him taken to hospital. I don’t think any homeopath can avoid such situations. In fact, when there is a critical acute health situation like this, it is my experience that the responsibility is overwhelming and many homeopaths step back at this point and accept the allopathic treatment.
To answer your question, the only way to reduce such mistakes as a homeopath is, as ever, the study of the Materia Medica and the need for proper repertorisation. Homeopathic students luckily now have the expert software that I have devised to help in the analysis of such cases.
MB: How did you then stumble upon Phosphorus? What did it do to Jiddu Krishnamurthy?
GV: I had done a complete eliminating repertorisation by hand with all the symptoms I had gathered all through the previous days and there before my eyes Phosphorus emerged!
After this acute incident with high fever and the Phosphorus Jiddu Krishnamurthy’s health kept improving for the first time. At this point onwards JK trusted my prescriptions and I continued monitoring his health by having a consultation with him every day, at a certain hour each morning, with Alain Naude present.
Alan was looking after him with such great tenderness and affection and eventually with adoration. During these consultations JK would relate to me in detail what happened to him in the previous 24 hours, how he had slept, whether he had a headache.
He mentioned many times that in the night he would go through a ‘mutation’ adding “You know sir what I mean!” What he was referring to was not a pathological symptom but a state of altered consciousness. I had understood from being close to him for so long what he meant by this ‘mutation’. When I had to go back to Greece for a short time Alain continued to keep a kind of diary of Jiddu Krishnamurthy’s health for me.
MB: I have also read that treating Jiddu Krishnamurthy helped you discover the chronic picture of Aethusa. Can you please tell us more about that?
GV: My description of Aethusa in my Materia Medica Viva describes what we knew already about this remedy as well as my observations on JK’s condition. The experience with him certainly helped me understand the chronic picture better.
After the Aethusa that had acted so well, JK felt better and better so a whole year had passed with his health greatly improved. However, I believe the acute bronchopneumonia had suddenly come on in Switzerland because JK had been exposed to the cold mountain air there.
This acute illness was a sign that Jiddu Krishnamurthy was now over the chronic condition of bronchitis and headaches and that his health had improved so much that he was able to jump to a higher level in his health. This phenomenon of raising a high fever after a correct treatment of chronic conditions was something that I was not aware of at the time of treating JK.
Later this understanding led me to the formulation of the “Continuum Theory” and a few years later to the theory of the “Levels of Health”. In any case, after this event with JK, I started a systematic observation of this phenomenon which led me later to formulate the above theoretical aspects which are mentioned in my books the “Science of Homeopathy” and “Levels of Health” more than ten years later.
MB: Did you ever get a chance to listen to his discussions or discourse on his philosophical thoughts? And did those interactions with him have any effect on your own philosophy and understanding of life in general?
GV: Being his private homeopath travelling around with him for two years, I was present at all the discussions in his inner and outer circles, and on many occasions he would ask me to accompany him on his walks. To walk with Jiddu Krishnamurthy was considered the highest privilege, as there was the opportunity to ask him private questions.
I never in fact put a question to him as I felt that I might bother him, and in any case I had listened carefully to all his answers in the inner circle meetings. Unless he asked me something we usually kept silent for most of the walk.
MB: When you were in touch with him, did you experience his theosophist background or had he moved away from it totally?
GV: By the time I met him he had since long already moved away from the Order of the Star and all the commotion preparing the grounds for announcing him as the New Messiah. All his speeches were now very much against the practices of devotion to gurus, spiritual teachers or saviours. He was focused on trying to turn the minds of listeners to the inner self which he saw as the only way to arrive at the real meaning and purpose of life.
Jiddu Krishnamurthy gave every conceivable explanation possible about how this state could be attained but to no avail. Sometimes he would say “I see here some people who follow me for the last 30 years…” implying that after all these years they had understood nothing of what he was saying.
MB: Literature about him speaks about his awakenings or ‘the process’
Were you able to understand these from a medical point of view?
GV: JK’s brain was one which came from the future as I had said to Peter Michel in 2008 when he was writing a biography of JK and had come to interview me in Alonissos.
One has to understand the evolution of JK’s brain since childhood. He was a boy who would wander around totally absorbed and always with a drooping mouth. Leadbeater – the man who had ‘discovered’ him, had many times told JK to close his mouth but the boy was so absorbed in a wondering state that he could not pay attention to this instruction.
Jiddu Krishnamurthy remembered, as you said, that finally Leadbeater struck him under the chin one time in order to force him to close it. This was an important experience that one has to take into consideration when trying to analyse JK’s development. The boy looked like he had learning difficulties but actually he was perceiving everything in a different and unique way.
The second point that strikes me is what he told me of his strange unexplained severe headaches that would reach him when in a delirious or semi-comatose state where he was yelling and screaming and falling to the ground. He used to describe the excruciating pains that starting in the cervical region then went up to the whole of the head. These headaches would come suddenly, last a few days and then disappear as suddenly as they came.
During such times he could hardly eat or drink anything. The wise people around him would tell him that these processes were what happened with the rising of the Kundalini. After such processes, JK was certainly totally exhausted for a few days.
The third thing that we must take into consideration is his periodical symptom of urinating blood. I was mentioning this to Jiddu Krishnamurthy in front of Alain Naude one time. JK looked at me as if to say ‘I will tell you later.’ I understood his meaning and was correct when privately JK confessed to me that he thought that such a phenomenon was taking place in him because he thought that the two elements of male and female were balanced in him, implying that the bleeding was a symbolic function of menses.
In whatever way we want to explain these symptoms it is a fact that JK was perceiving reality in a different way than you or I, therefore you might say that the structure of his brain was an “exception” in Nature. Given the qualities of his brain and his personality, the love, the integrity, the deep thinking, the gentleness, his desire to give to humanity what he felt was freedom from the conventional thinking and acting – which he hated – we can say that he had a brain that might only manifest in the general human race in the far distant future. This is why so many people of scientific ‘genius’ around him could not attain the mental states he was describing where the mind becomes ‘still’.
When the human race has gone through the crisis of excruciating suffering like JK’s ”headaches” which he had sustained in order to open the higher portions of his brain, then we may have a different world where love will prevail.
I had already treated Jiddu Krishnamurthy for about one and a half years with great attention assessing his condition every day. It was about this time while we went walking that he stopped for a moment and said to me in great enthusiasm about his health: ”Sir, I feel like a 16 years old boy”.
He continued to do well and, about six months later, I felt I could leave him and return to Greece to spread homeopathy in my own country where classical homeopathy was practically unknown.
Jiddu Krishnamurthy remained in the best of health after his two years of homeopathic treatment until his death at 91 years old. As his biographer Mary Lutyens wrote in her second volume of his biography, these years were the most creative as JK felt in his best of health.
MB: That was quite an experience. It is heartening to know that homeopathy played a crucial role in the life of Jiddu Krishnamurthy. You were fortunate to see him up close and he was fortunate to have you as his homeopath! Thank you Prof. Vithoulkas for sharing your journey with us.
This interview was conducted by Dr. Manish Bhatia for Homeopathy for Everyone (hpathy.com) and is copyright protected. No reproduction allowed without permission.
Prf. George Vithoulkas is a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, UK, Honorary Member of Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis and Honorary President of the Hellenic Homeopathic Medical Association (established 1970) In 1996, he was honored with the Right Livelihood Award (also known as Alternative Nobel Prize, www.rightlivelihood.org) “…for his outstanding contribution to the revival of homeopathic knowledge and the training of homeopaths to the highest standards”.
His main contributions to medicine include:
“The Levels of Health”
The Continuum of a Unified Theory of Diseases ,
How an acute inflammatory condition could be transmuted to a chronic disease,
The Definition of Health and How Can Healthier Children be Born?