Saturday, May 25, 2024

Pankaj Pathak talks about his journey, his association with Rajiv Dixit, and his future plans (Exclusive Interview)

Interviewed by- Mohsin Khaiyam (Senior Sub-Editor)

Written and edited by Robin Bhuyan (Editor-in-Chief)

When it comes to holistic healthcare experts in Assam, Acharya Pankaj Pathak is a name that comes at the top. For around one decade, he has been serving the people of Assam, by providing them guidance and giving them solutions to combat numerous health problems. The founder of Sanjeevan, a company that manufactures herbal health and cosmetic products, he is also among Assam’s successful entrepreneurs. Join us as we have a discussion with Mr Pathak, regarding his journey, his association with Mr. Rajiv Dixit, his future plans, etc.

To begin, we’d like to ask you- Who is Pankaj Pathak beyond his role as an Ayurveda and Health expert?

I would describe myself as an everyday individual who earnestly follows the path shown by his esteemed guru. I embarked on a journey to spread his message and teachings to the public, and as a result, more and more people started seeking my guidance. Soon, this helped me to recognize the poor quality of some of the everyday products we use. Thus, I decided to manufacture products of higher quality, thus commencing my journey as an entrepreneur.

Could you share your experiences and journey alongside Rajiv Dixit ji? How did your association with him come about, and how was your overall experience?

I had my initial encounter with Rajiv Dixit ji in Kalombali, a location near Navi Mumbai. At that time, I was suffering from severe stomach ailments, and doctors had diagnosed me with cancer. However, after meeting Rajiv Dixit ji, I told him about my problems, and he assured me that there was no need to worry, and he provided me with few tips and advice to follow. Astonishingly, within a week, I had made a full recovery! This left me wondering about the identity of this remarkable man. I decided to inquire further and discovered that he had an ashram in Sewagram, near Nagpur. I travelled all the way to his ashram and requested to become his disciple, to which he agreed, although he warned me that it would be quite difficult to follow in his footsteps. This opportunity allowed me to spend around 3 years working closely with him, traveling alongside him, until his untimely demise in 2010, an event still believed by most to be a murder. Following his death, all of his disciples, including myself, returned to our respective states, each committed to continuing Rajiv Dixit ji’s mission.

Could you provide insights into the state of the healthcare sector in Assam and the reforms you believe are necessary?

The poor state of healthcare is not exclusive to Assam but is an international concern. Worldwide, healthcare systems often fall short in meeting the needs of the population. The ratio of healthcare professionals to the population of Assam is shockingly low, with fewer than 1 doctor for every 10,000 individuals. This is why we should realize the importance of imparting basic healthcare knowledge to the public. In the past, our forefathers would easily diagnose ailments and prescribe appropriate remedies, leading to healthier and happier lives, as compared to today. Thus, if we reintroduce this kind of awareness, focusing on holistic health, people can return to a healthier and happier life. Instead of relying on healthcare systems, the focus should shift towards educating the public about holistic health, rather than merely increasing the number of hospitals and doctors.

The government established the AYUSH ministry to promote Ayurveda and holistic health, but Ayurveda has not gained significant popularity among the public. Do you think the government has truly succeeded in promoting Ayurveda?

When it comes to promoting Ayurveda, I believe that it can be achieved effectively only through a genuine guru. I don’t think it can be achieved in a professional, formal or commercial manner because that would involve turning patients into customers. Ayurvedic principles fundamentally aim to maintain the well-being of healthy individuals, ensuring that a healthy person stays healthy, which is in contrast to modern medicine, which primarily focuses on curing illnesses. Education is of utmost importance if we want to truly promote the essence of Ayurveda. Today, the healthcare sector is hugely influenced by pharmaceutical companies, and this is what hinders individuals from receiving genuine healthcare.

Can we revive our ancient traditions of holistic health?

Absolutely, this is of huge importance. In fact, I have been dedicatedly working on establishing centers in Assam to educate people about our ancient traditions of holistic health. The most significant challenge I’ve encountered is the scarcity of manpower. Although verbal support is easily available, it is challenging to find individuals who offer tangible support. My goal is for every village in our state to have at least 5-6 experts who can guide people in traditional holistic healthcare practices and work on preventing serious ailments.

Let us discuss mental health. We witness a rising number of suicide cases today, among students and even older individuals, owing to the prevailing stress and pressure. What would you say on this issue?  

Similar to Mahadev consuming poison that had only reached his throat, but did not go inside, we should adopt a similar perspective toward the challenges and problems that we encounter in our daily lives. We should not allow these stressful situations to impact our inner peace. Consider the lotus flower, which thrives beautifully despite being surrounded by filth. Therefore, we should shift our focus toward the positive aspects of life, rather than allowing stressful circumstances to affect our well-being.

What are your future plans?

My future plans and goals include having at least one holistic health expert in every village. This endeavor will aim to guide people towards authentic healthcare practices as shown in our ancient scriptures.

 

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