Abstract: Mr. Guruprasad Bapat could not find any medical solutions to overcome his condition of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Once he began to complement his medical treatment with spiritual solutions, he noticed significant improvements and is now able to go about his daily life with a positive attitude. This is his case study in his own words.
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My name is Guruprasad Bapat and I am from Belgaum, a city in Karnataka, in South India. I was a computer instructor at the NIIT Institute, which teaches computer science. Now I am 31 years old and have been doing spiritual practice under the guidance of SSRF since the year 2006. Currently I am doing full time spiritual practice at the SSRF Research centre. Before starting spiritual practice, I faced many problems that were psychological and physical in nature. Only after starting spiritual practice did my problems begin to improve. One of the problems I faced was obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
2. How obsessive-compulsive disorder affected my daily life
After doing any action, I would have a doubt as to whether the act had been performed well or not. My mind would not be satisfied so I would have to do the same action over and over again. For example, I would repeatedly close the tap to ensure it was not going to leak.
This happened for other actions too. For example, while leaving a particular place, I would have doubts about whether I had taken all my personal belongings with me. Although nothing had been left behind I would go back to check the same place many times. Or, after folding a bed sheet, I would feel as though I had not folded it properly, so I would open it and fold it again several times.
As a result of these actions, my self-confidence reduced because I knew that other people did not do this. No medical treatment I had taken over the years helped me and when this started happening after every action that I did, my condition worsened further.
3. The turning point when spiritual remedies provided solutions for obsessive-compulsive disorder
Right when I felt I had no where else to turn, I got in touch with Dr. Mrs. Asha Thakkar, a seeker of SSRF who is a psychiatrist by profession. She advised me to start spiritual practice and to complement every action with efforts to increase my spiritual emotion (bhāv). I tried to have the perspective that when I prayed I was calling out to God for help and maintained the spiritual emotion that God Himself was getting any action done from me. With this perspective, I no longer doubted whether or not the action was done properly because God never commits any mistakes. Having to repeat actions was not necessary anymore.
Another benefit I noticed is the amount of time saved due to not having to repeat the same action over and over. What I was not able to accomplish in 20 years, I was able to do in only a few days. From that day onwards, I have internally called out to God to get actions done from me and I feel happiness from within.
4. A spiritual perspective on obsessive-compulsive disorder
I remember that in 2006, His Holiness Dr. Athavale had met with a few seekers about their spiritual practice. A seeker narrated that due to obsessive-compulsive disorder she experienced a great deal of distress at the mental level. The seeker felt that since other seekers do not face this obstacle, her spiritual progress will not happen like theirs. Because of this, she had gone into a depressive state.
H.H. Dr. Athavale told her, ‘You can use this psychological disorder to benefit your spiritual practice. From this condition, you get recurrent thoughts, so if you remember God when the thoughts come, then you can benefit a lot from it. In this way, the condition will be a positive aspect in your spiritual practice. ’
These words that He shared with her have stayed with me throughout these years and have helped me a great deal. Only due to starting spiritual practice and making efforts to increase my spiritual emotion was it possible for me to control this incurable condition in such a short time. I hope that others who are in similar situations will feel inspired to also start their spiritual practice and find spiritual solutions to their problems. I express immense gratitude to God and H.H. Dr. Athavale.