Provings by Rajan Sankaran (USED)
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Proving have been and still are the bedrock of the science and practice of Homoeopathy, ever since the first proving of Cinchona by Hahnemann in 1796. After his proving of nearly a hundred remedies there was a lull for many decades and not many new complete provings were added during this time.
However, in the last decade, more so in the last five years, the scenario has changed remarkably; there has been a radical increase in the number of provings, worldwide. Among the first to initiate the new set of provings was Dr. Jurgen Becker from Freiburg, Germany. He certainly brought Homoeopathy out of the closet, and changed our perception of each remedial substance from being a mere dry collection of data into a living, colourful, throbbing spirit. He devised a new and revolutionary method of provings, that involved making an entire group of persons take a dose of the remedy, a few days before or even during the seminar, and then discussing the effects of the dose during the seminar. These provings were very productive in terms of mental symptoms especially dream. These provings thus gave an idea of the inner processes of the substance. Such a method was received enthusiastically by some but criticized by others, especially the official ones and they dismissed this as a mere figment of imagination. It is possible that there is some truth in the latter presumption.
Later, Jeremy Sherr started his proving of ‘Scorpion’ in England in a detailed Hahnemannian way; however in subsequent provings, he went on to adopt a method midway between traditional Hahnemannian and neo-provings of Jurgen Becker. Dr. Rajans method is also like one followed by Jeremy Sherr midway between Hahnemannian and Becker.
The book contains eleven such provings. In all these provings on the author knew the name of the remedy being proved, except in case of Ocimum Sanctum where even he did not know the name of the remedy being proved. Out of these eleven provings, two provings, i.e. Coca-cola and Lac-humanum are seminar provings.
In presenting the provings, Dr. Sankaran has deliberately left out any summary or conclusions. Although at the end of each proving, he did discuss and connecting proving data to the substance itself, he says, these to be his own ideas and does not wish that the readers get fixated to my views of the proving the reason is that while sometimes the links are clear and revealing, it is always possible that one may try to force such a link and take poetic licence with the proving data. He says ‘the danger of whole proving matter being presented by a person nearing coloured glasses is similar to the danger of case-taking with prejudice. The need to be objective and faithful is of paramount importance, I have therefore tried, as far as possible to be puritan with proving data; in fact most symptoms recorded here are verbatim as the provers have reported them.’
Dr. Sankaran has stuck to what the provers said, rather than his understanding of the remedy or any ‘themes’ that seemed to emerge during the proving.