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Krishna was world’s first counsellor: IMA chief

Indian Medical Association chief KK Aggarwal says Krishna, in the true sense, was the first and perhaps the most celebrated counsellor, whose “sessions with his patient, Arjuna, not only led to his spectacular recovery but also constituted” one of the most revered ancient texts -- the 700-verse Bhagavad Gita.

india Updated: Jul 26, 2017 23:34 IST
Rhythma Kaul
Rhythma Kaul
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian Medical Association,IMA chief,KK Aggarwal
Indian Medical Association national president KK Aggarwal.(PTI File Photo)

Modern psychiatry has its roots in the Bhagavad Gita, which is the unrecognised textbook of counselling to most psychiatric problems, the president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has claimed.

“Lord Krishna, who many revere as God, was the world’s first counsellor and Bhagavad Gita is the first textbook of counselling that has answers to most psychiatric problems,” said cardiologist Dr KK Aggarwal.

“I have always believed that what we call cognitive behavioural therapy in allopathy came from Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna, who gets an acute panic reaction in the battlefield, goes to Krishna, who holds 18 counselling sessions with him...,” Dr Aggarwal said.

“Arjuna narrates his symptoms to Krishna, who counsels him in great detail, which is nothing but modern day talk therapy,” he added.

Dr Aggarwal has also contributed to the current issue of The Equator Line magazine where, in a piece titled Psychotherapy in the time of the Vedas, he says long before the term psychotherapy was even coined, a brilliant warrior got over his dilemma about vanquishing his clan members.

“Krishna, in the true sense, was the first and perhaps the most celebrated counsellor, whose sessions with his patient, Arjuna, not only led to his spectacular recovery but also constituted one of the most revered ancient texts...” it reads.

Some however, do not agree with this line of thought. “There are similarities but also some critical difference in that modern western model of psychotherapy is mostly influenced by Sigmund Freud. But comparisons are misplaced beyond a certain limit as Gita presents one form of crisis and its resolution, and psychotherapy needs are more varied,” said Dr Nimesh Desai, director, Institute of Human Behaviour and Applied Sciences (IHBAS).

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 17:01 IST