Sun Gazing – A Scientific Explanation?

(Credit for my finally putting this information together has to go to Kurt McMahan of King Corduroy, bluesman of the old school variety, spreading good energy with his presence and his music. Shine on, travelin’ man.)

Sungazing is an ancient yogic practice that involves staring directly at the sun in order to receive nourishment, healing and spiritual enlightenment. Sun gazing was practiced by ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Greeks, Mayans, in Tibetan Yoga and some traditions of Qigong, Tai Chi, and by some Native American tribes.

Commonly held beliefs and professional advice in the West cautions against looking directly at the sun. Indeed, most advise to stay out of the sun and to wear sunscreen, use sunglasses, and warns of skin cancer, sun damage and sun blindness. Some hold that the reasons for these problems is not sunlight per se, but an interaction between toxins released through the skin (the body’s largest eliminatory organ) of those who have a modern diet and sunlight. Skin damage can also be caused by a lack of EPA in the diet (EPA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid).

Paradoxically it’s known that exposure to sunlight aids the healing of melanoma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Research indicates it could be an aid in other cancers also. Vitamin D, which our bodies synthesise directly from the sun, is known to be an excellent healing agent.

What should be obvious so far is that the subject need careful study. The aim of this article is to provide a detailed overview and links to additional sources of information.

hrm07smallMuch of the information in favour of the practice of sungazing comes from the practice and studies of Hira Ratan Manek, HRM, as he prefers to be known. In fact the phenomena is referred to in professional circles as the ‘HRM phenomena’. HRM has lived on the sun’s energy since June 18th, 1995, during which time he hasn’t eaten any solid food, with only occasional tea, coffee and buttermilk for “hospitality and social purposes.” He has also undergone three strict long-term fasts under the control and observation of various scientific and medical teams.

The first fast lasted 211 days in 1995-96, in Calicut, India, and was directed by Dr. C.K. Ramachandran, a medical expert on allopathic and ayurvedic medicine. This was followed by a second fast lasting 411 days in Ahmedabad, India, directed by an international team of 21 doctors and scientists, led by Dr. Sudhir Shah and and Dr. K. K. Shah, the acting President of Indian Medical Association at that time. The third observed fast was in the US, where he was observed by a team at Thomas Jefferson University and, funded by NASA, the University of Philadelphia for 130 days. The specific focus of this observation was his retina, pineal gland and brain, so this observation team was led by Dr. Andrew B. Newberg, a leading authority on the brain who also featured in the recent movie “What the Bleep Do We Know”, and by Dr. George C. Brenard, the leading authority on the pineal gland. Initial results found that the gray cells in HRM’s brain are regenerating. 700 photographs have been taken where the neurons were reported to be active and not dying. Furthermore, the pineal gland was expanding and not shrinking which is typically what happens after mid fifties and its maximum average size is about 6 x 6 mm, however for HRM, it has been measured to be at 8 x 11 mm.  Other medical evidence suggests he is more healthy than a normal person of his age. This year he is 78.

solar_logosmallHRM has set up the Solar Healing Center in Orlando, and others have been set up around the world, along with several books and documentaries produced. He has also toured internationally. He and others have proven that a person can live just on solar energy for very long periods without eating any food. According to The Solar Healing Centre ‘the method is used for curing all kinds of psychosomatic, mental and physical illnesses as well as increasing memory power and mental strength by using sunlight.  One can get rid of any kind of psychological problems, and develop confidence to face any problem in life and can overcome any kind of fear including that of death within 3 months after starting to practice this method.  As a result, one will be free from mental disturbances and fear, which will result in a perfect balance of mind.  If one continues to apply the proper sun gazing practice for 6 months, they will be free from physical illnesses.  Furthermore, after 9 months, one can eventually win a victory over hunger, which disappears by itself thereafter.

This is a straight-forward yet effective method based on solar energy, which enables one to harmonize and recharge the body with life energy and also invoke the unlimited powers of the mind very easily. Additionally, it allows one to easily liberate from threefold sufferings of humanity such as mental illnesses, physical illnesses and spiritual ignorance.  

pineal-gland-and-eyeSo what is Sun Gazing?

Sun gazing (also known as sun-eating) is a strict practice of gradually introducing sunlight into your eyes at the lowest ultraviolet-index times of day – sunrise and sunset. Those who teach the practice say there are several rules to the practice. First, it must be done within the hour after sunrise or before sunset to avoid damaging the eyes. It is important to only look at the sun when it is orange or red according to the ancients. Looking at the sun when it is yellow or white, or uncomfortable in any way is not recommended.

Second, you must be barefoot, in contact with the actual earth and, finally, you must begin with only 10 seconds the first day, increasing by 10 second intervals each day you practice.

The above is a very basic description. Detailed instructions and guidance for the practice can be found here, and should be studied before trying it.

So far, so far out. Fortunately, the scientific studies that have been done have precluded the baaing of the cognitively dissonant naysayers, but although they showed the practice to be effective and the phenomenon genuine, explanations of processes involved haven’t been forthcoming, the consensus being that ‘more research is needed’.

A Scientific Explanation?

Recent R&D by Dr. Arturo Solís of Aguascalientes, Mexico into novel forms of energy may provide the missing piece to the puzzle of how sun gazing works. Dr Solis currently holds the patents in six countries for “A
new photo electrochemical procedure to break the water molecule into hydrogen and oxygen using as the main substrate melanins, their precursors, analogues or derivatives.” The new procedure is alternative electricity generation using self-renewing photoelectrochemical cells which, using melanin, separate the hydrogen atom from water and then bring the atoms together again. Twelve years of research by Dr Solis and his team confirmed that melanin captures photonic energy and transforms it into chemical energy, hydrogen, which is then delivered to the cell.

As well as hybrid generator battery, Solis also set up The Center for The Study of Human Photosynthesis through which a dietary supplement has been produced that works to enhance human photosynthesis, which in turn address a wide range of health issues. The website states (in less than accurately translated English, slightly retranslated here):

Melanin (the human chlorophyll) absorbs strongly all wavelengths of the electro magnetic spectrum, that means visible and invisible, and this photonic energy is then turned into chemical energy by dissociation of water molecule. Medical modulation of human photosynthesis allows the improvement of diseases in a extraordinary manner. Basically because perhaps the majority of common illness begin with a reduction in the process of water dissociation, and when the hydrogen levels are low, then the cell goes into a malfunction. Because every organism is different, this can have different manifestations, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, hepatic cirrhosis, renal failure and so on. When our patients begin to take QIAPI 1, two drops sublingually, every three hours, the therapeutic results are amazing even for ourselves.

Until recently, chlorophyll was accepted to be the only substance widely disseminated in nature that was capable of delivering hydrogen to a plant cell. Results obtained using melanin confirmed that not only plants carry out photosynthesis, but that mammals can also do so. Indeed, so can any living being that has melanin in its genetic code. Melanin is to the animal kingdom what chlorophyll is to the plant kingdom. Not only that, but according to research melanin is a 1000 times more effective than chlorophyll.

The connection between the above research and the practice of sun gazing is that the human eye contains melanin. Could it be that sunlight absorbed through the eyes at particular concentrations can be synthesized directly into bioenergy, hydrogen, that is taken up by the cells?

Again, from The Center for The Study of Human Photosynthesis:

The Center for the Study of Human Photosynthesis, was founded as a result of our discovery of the amazing ability of the human body to transform the visible and invisible light energy into chemical free energy through dissociation and re-formed from the water molecule, which forms a chemical cycle that first part is almost identical to the first reaction that occurs in the leaves of plants, where the chlorophyll in the presence of the ends of the visible light (purple and red) dissociates the molecule water generating hydrogen and oxygen diatomic…

We are a serious organization that since 1990 until now has been  systematically studying the three main causes of blindness/age-related macular disease, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma with the main aim to develop new therapeutic approaches.

On the basis of these studies, we found out that the human retina, as well as every cell of our body (eukaryotic cell), has the amazing capability of taking energy directly from water like vegetables do. This energy comprises 99% of the whole amount that our body needs everyday. The other 1% comes from food.

The abstract of the study by Geoffrey Goodman, Dani Bercovich “Melanin directly converts light for vertebrate metabolic use: heuristic thoughts on birds, Icarus and dark human skin” sheds more light on the hypothesis:

Pigments serve many visually obvious animal functions (e.g. hair, skin, eyes, feathers, scales). One is ‘melanin’, unusual in an absorption across the UV-visual spectrum which is controversial. Any polymer or macro-structure of melanin monomers is ‘melanin’. Its roles derive from complex structural and physical-chemical properties e.g. semiconductor, stable radical, conductor, free radical scavenger, charge-transfer. Clinicians and researchers are well acquainted with melanin in skin and ocular pathologies and now increasingly are with internal, melanized, pathology-associated sites not obviously subject to light radiation (e.g. brain, cochlea). At both types of sites some findings puzzle: positive and negative neuromelanin effects in Parkinsons; unexpected melanocyte action in the cochlea, in deafness; melanin reduces DNA damage, but can promote melanoma; in melanotic cells, mitochondrial number was 83% less, respiration down 30%, but development similar to normal amelanotic cells. A little known, avian anatomical conundrum may help resolve melanin paradoxes. One of many unique adaptations to flight, the pecten, strange intra-ocular organ with unresolved function(s), is much enlarged and heavily melanized in birds fighting gravity, hypoxia, thirst and hunger during long-distance, frequently sub-zero, non-stop migration. The pecten may help cope with energy and nutrient needs under extreme conditions, by a marginal but critical, melanin-initiated conversion of light to metabolic energy, coupled to local metabolite recycling. Similarly in Central Africa, reduction in body hair and melanin increase may also have lead to ‘photomelanometabolism’ which, though small scale/unit body area, in total may have enabled a sharply increased development of the energy-hungry cortex and enhanced human survival generally. Animal inability to utilize light energy directly has been traditionally assumed. Melanin and the pecten may have unexpected lessons also for human physiology and medicine.

That sunlight can be converted into energy directly instead of the indirect method of processing it from plants that have converted it using chlorophyll, or plant-eating animals, could explain why HRM and other sun gazers/sun eaters reduced need for plant and animal-based foods.

Other research also reflects the above and supports the advantages of sun gazing. According to Dr. Edward F. Group III of the Global Healing Center, a few perks of the practice include:

Enhanced production of melatonin and serotonin – When direct sunlight enters the eyes, it moves through the retinal hypothalamic tract and continues into the brain. The pineal gland is then stimulated to secrete both melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that regulate sleep/wake cycles and positive states of mind, respectively. Melatonin is also a potent antioxidant which slows the ill effects of aging.

Increased pineal gland size – Bombarded by fluoride, toxins and electromagnetic pollution, the pineal gland shrinks and calcifies as we age – compromising melatonin and serotonin production. Sungazing has been shown to enlarge the gland. (Brain scans showed HRM’s pineal gland tto behree times the size of an average person of his age).

More energy – Sun gazers report heightened vitality. Dr. Group believes this is due to the release of melatonin and serotonin.

Sungazing also curbs the appetite and aids in weight reduction. When we don’t receive enough sunlight, vitamin D levels drop which leads to weight gain. Cravings for carbohydrates and sugar also increase due to low serotonin, triggering false hunger signals.

As already said, this information does go against commonly held beliefs and perceptions, but it isn’t the only new information regarding sunlight that does. For example, five studies show that

1) Sunlight Has Pain-Killing (Analgesic) Properties

2) Sunlight Burns Fat

3) Sunlight via Solar Cycles May Directly Regulate Human Lifespan

4) Daytime Sunlight Exposure Improves Evening Alertness

5) Sunlight May Convert To Metabolic Energy

Research from 100+ countries also proves that sunlight prevents cancer and that you can prevent Alzheimer’s by sunning and not using sunscreens. In fact, there is researched evidence to show that sunlight exposure can reduce the risk of over 30 diseases, and that its primary metabolite in our skin, vitamin D, may reduce the risk of over 200, (see the Green Med Info links below).

May the sun light up your life in more ways than one.


Sources and Additional Data

Sun Gazing Data

The following list is taken from The Solar Healing Center’s Solar Links, an excellent resource of links to websites, support groups, articles and newsletters, videos, book and other related information:


Melanin Data (Spanish article, English translation from Page 9)

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  1. […] Sun gazers report heightened vitality due to the release of melatonin and serotonin. […]

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