Raaz Pichhle... creates stir but psychiatrists stay away: ‘It has no scientific basis’

Rajni Shaleen Chopra

Posted: Jan 19, 2010 at 0416 hrs IST

Chandigarh Past life regression, a hypnoticprocess made famous by ‘Raaz Pichhle Janam Ka’, seems to have caught the fancy of the people.Psychiatrists are being flooded with inquiries about the process. Despite claims that it resolves many phobias, most psychiatristsare not keen to opt for the process, “as it has no scientific basis”.

A number of clinical psychiatrists in the region say such ‘memories’ of a past life may only be the projected imagination of an individual.

“Since hypnosis is part of a psychiatrist’s training, they are getting such requests. But I will not opt for it, even though it is popular,” Dr Simmi Waraich, a clinical psychiatrist in Mohali, said. “I usually refer people who insist upon it to someone else.”

Dr Anshuman Mittal, a psychiatrist based in Patiala, says it is all about “fooling people”. “There is no way one can dive into his or her past life. It is only a persons’ supposition, his imagination, which comes out in a state of hypnosis,” Dr Mittal says.

Dr Mittal jokes that it is difficult to believe in the concept even if one considers mythology. “Even mythologically, we do not get humanbodies repeatedly. How come everyone on the show recalls being a human, not an animal?” he observes. “I will never go for this practice. I will either ask my patient to forget it, or consult someone else.”

Dr Navkiran Mahajan, an Associate Professor at DMCH, Ludhiana, agrees that the programme has generated interest but “I’m sceptical”. “People are certainly curious about the concept, but I’m sceptical. The concept draws on a person’s level of suggestability. I don’t view it as a scientific method, and neither do I practice it,” she says.

But there are some who practice it.

Renee Singh, a past-life regressionist in Chandigarh, says the demand for regressions has significantly increased after the TV show. “After the programme, there seems to be a new level of acceptability among people about the concept,” she says.

Others believe that the concept needs further research. “I do not practice it but I do not agree that past-life regression should be dismissed altogether. I believe that this concept needs to be thoroughly researched,” Dr Divay Mangla, a psychiatrist practising in Yamuna Nagar, says.