Something usually considered unpalatable comes to my fun-doctor mind when I come across fun-ideas such as declaring tea or alcohol our national drink (“Tea and whisky” ~Arif Zakaria 27 April 2012 & “Chai or beer, let’s raise a cheer” ~Jug Suraiya 28 April 2012 : in the TOI blogs).
Here is a thought for a universal drink most of us would readily swear to be an unpotable option but which, nevertheless, finds its way into our human system on a daily basis as much of humanity partakes of it unwittingly through contamination from a bad case of sanitation still present around most parts of the world. It’s a sort of ubiquitous karma cola flowing through every drain, nallah, lake, river, sea and ocean on the globe. And it carries the interesting epithet ‘Morarji Cola’ derived from the drinking habits of no less a personage than a past prime minister of the most populous democracy on earth.
It is the familiar waste product secreted by the kidneys that, in mammals, is a fluid which is yellow to amber in color, slightly acidic, and discharged from the body through the urethra. But this clinical definition apart, try telling anyone about the virtues of this ‘pee-wee‘ (in terms of quantity consumed by all the urophiles of the world combined, compared to all other popular drinks of the world) stuff and you are virtually assured of a gruff ‘piss-off‘ rebuff. But true urophiles – and there are many of the ilk to whom this deglutition is a milk ranging from Queen Cleopetras to Sarah Miles to Morarji Desais to Baba Ramdevs of the world – would have none of this deter them from being a consumer royale of this ambrosia regale doing service to an ailing humanity since antiquity.
In the article “Mutra-an Ayurvedic Medicine” in ‘davayurvedaezine’ written by Dr. P. K. Rai, Dr. Richa Rai & Dr. O. P. Singh, the urine of man, cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, elephant, horse and camel have been described (in Ayurveda) for their medicinal properties. The wikipedia page on Rasa Shastra informs us that in traditional medical lore of Ayurveda, there are methods corresponding to the alchemy familiar in the Mediterranean and Western European worlds which entail heating of thin sheets of metals & immersing them in cow-urine among other substances to bring out their medicinal properties.
Auto-urine therapy is an age-old practice of ancient India. Its practitioners talk of Shivambu, auspicious water of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god and promote it as an inexpensive way to gain health and vitality. In one commentary on the ‘Shivambu Kalpa Vidhi’ from the Damar Tantra, subsequently rumoured to have been imbibed by Jesus following his Tibetan trip, it is informed: “Many of you neophytes wonder what Tantra has to do with Urine Therapy. For millennia, this Tantra Vidya was very secret, but the Damar Tantra was open and literal enough to contain an entire chapter on Shivambu Chikista, also known as Maanav Mootra or UrineTherapy”. Jesus, too, warned us against secrecy: “Don’t hide your candle in a closet. Freely you have received: freely give to yourself.”
Cleopatra is perhaps the most famous beauty in history. Was her beauty just the luck of good genetics or was there something more that kept her looking her best? A common practice of the time in Egypt was to bathe in water with one’s own urine added. This was believed to be part of how Cleopatra maintained her youthful skin. Sarah Miles, the beautiful British actress, well known for her 1970 Academy Awards Best Actress nomination for David Lean’s ‘Ryan’s daughter’, has been a practitioner of auto urine therapy. Citing Gandhi, who was an adherent of it, she has followed the tradition for thirty years, saying that it has kept her healthy and vigorous.
Former Prime Minister of India Morarji Desai, who lived up to the age of 99, has been the most well known proponent of this therapy. He claimed that India would have been better off if more people used this extremely inexpensive and effective way of treatment. He also attributed to Auto Urine Therapy the credit for his longevity. So fond & regular consumer of his own nephric filtrate was he that all the media attention on this (considered) quirky habit of his brought name & fame to his delicious, drink divine – and also the sobriquet Morarji Cola!
In recent times, the likes of Baba Ramdev have tried to re-introduce the therapeutic intervention of this delectable (to them) remedy as a cure for mouth ulcers, eye disease, acne, psoriasis, obesity among many other ailments. Has the clock come full circle since Morarji bhai’s time and is it time for another intersting label for this nectar around Baba Ramdev’s name? Or are we headed for the times when Baba Ramdevs of the world succeed in giving us the habit of a daily taste of our own medicine!
It’s a small mercy, yet, that with such a long history of human consumption of ‘Amaroli‘, the lovely Indian name for Urine Therapy, as attested by London based Yoga teacher Swami Pragyamurti Saraswati & the European researcher Coen van der Kroon (the celebrated author of ‘Golden Fountain: The Complete Guide to Urine Therapy’), they don’t seem too pee-tulant about enforcing its widespread use with their brand of moral policing!