1 March, 2021

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Pirith, Preventing Covid, And The Mega-Vitamin Lobby

By Chandre Dharmawardana

Dr. Chandre Dharmawardana

The Kingdom of Vesali was famous for its pleasure gardens, beautiful courtesans, as well as the democratic rule of the Licchavis.  However, drought, pestilence, crop failure, and famine fueled an epidemic that ravaged Vesali. Brahmins and their attendant Kururaals (‘Kapuwas’) followed the time hallowed Vedic writ, offered animal sacrifices, performed Yagas and Poojas. Yanthra armed with Manthra were distributed. Herbal cures hallowed from ancient times were administered. The city was washed with Gomuthra following tradition. Freshly made pots blessed by holy men and filled with milk and holy basil were launched down the Gangak River – a branch of the Ganges that flows by Vesali.  Great torches made of herbs and incense were carried in procession to the Abhishek Pushkarini, the coronation tank, to banish evil spirits.

Unbeknownst to the ancients, all such events got the people to congregate, and aided the epidemic to rage stronger. Dead bodies piled up with none to bury, as the Chandalas and the poor were the first to die.  Allegedly, non-human ghouls, vultures and wild animals feasted on the corpses. Mara himself, in the guise of a headless body – a KABANDHA – was said to lead the ghouls.  None dared to step out.  

The King was at his wits ends. The wisdom of the Vedas, the “time-tested truths, treatments and remedies”, had failed. Even the medicine men were dead. A group of Licchavi princes made a week’s journey to Rajagaha to seek the Buddha’s intervention. The Buddha understood that the epidemic would reach full herd immunity by the time he reaches Vesali. What already prevailed in the land was mass hysteria and fear. Reassuring a mortified public and psychological redress were the dire need.

The Buddha and Monks arrived in Vesali, when a quarter-moon had passed. Ven. Ananda and younger monks fearlessly entered the city and chanted the “Ratana Sutra” along its streets. The Buddha, the Elders and the Licchavi walked in procession to the City Hall to reassure all and chant the Sutra. The Ratana Sutra, presumably 26 centuries old, is remarkably modern in NOT appealing to Occult Powers – it was no BHAKTHI POOJA or YAAGNA what so ever. It extols a human, the BUDDHA, his teaching (Dhamma), the mindfulness and compassion of his disciples (the Sangha). They are said to be “steadfast in mind, free of passion but full of compassion”. That is, the Ratana Sutta is a rationalist discourse that could have pleased Spinoza, Bertrand Russell or Francis Crick.

Buddha’s presence and Pirith provided the PSYCHOLOGICAL courage, solace and catharsis that the Vesalis needed, but without any appeal to any occult “Brahmajaala”. Ancient societies did not have the scientific tools to fight pathogens that cause epidemics. They had to heroically await herd immunity. Physiological tools, i.e., medications and vaccines for fighting the pathogens are available to us today because of the systematized body of scientific knowledge that the human species has acquired over centuries.

However, just as charlatans and quacks exploit the gullible with miracle cures, there more educated are attracted to more sophisticated marketing trends. These exploit the public preference of familiar home remedies and the distrust of the novel. Human health depends on many factors, and “boosting immunity” is an easy sell. The social media are flooded with “immunity boosters”  amulets, natural diets, “organic” herbal elixirs, “detoxifying portions”, thermal cures, and mega Vitamin therapy.

We have medical doctors lobbying for mega vitamin D to “cut the Covid”. The numbers of firm believers in Vitamin C or Vitamin D as immunization against Covid, and sales of Vitamin D, have hit an all-time high! U-tube videos on Vitamin D have suddenly joined the club of “most viewed”. Because Vitamin D does not become toxic easily, we are told to NOT TO WAIT till scientists say “OK”. You are to go for 4000 IU/day or even more Vitamin D! After all, the CNN doctor has recommended it! Sadguru says it is “Soorya Shakthi”. Trump plays golf in the sun!

The Washington Post (Jan. 11) ran a feature in favour of Vitamin D although carefully titled “Vitamin D sales are up. But experts still don’t know whether it can prevent or treat Covid”. The regulatory bodies only recommend 800 IU/day for seniors, and less for the younger. The US dermatology society has allowed that 1000 IU/day may be taken. The regulatory bodies in all countries have been very hesitant about mega Vitamin doses, and with very good reasons.

The Prestigious British medical Journal, Lancet (January 11) editorially wrote, “evidence supporting the role of Vitamin D  in …acute respiratory infections remains patchy, …. Randomized clinical trial in 20,000 Australian adults suggest that … Vitamin D did not reduce the risk or severity of acute respiratory infections”.

Residents of Florida and California love sun bathing, and yet these are the worst Covid locations in the USA. Manaus in Brazil is a tropical town with sun loving white-skinned people who are, however, dying like flies in the face of Covid. So Vitamin D seems to fail them, even though in some instances Vitamin D seems to help. In sunny Andalusia, Spain, Covid cases have increased with a vengeance even after a program of public Vitamin D supplementation.

Since it is hard for most people to go sun bathing, and given the publicity for mega doses of the Vitamin, many will opt to buy tablets. However, while the drug companies and their doctors will make handsome profits, the cheapest, safest and SUREST DEFENCE against the virus IS THE VACCINE. Furthermore, even if 4000 IU/day of the Vitamin were consumed, the bio availability, the method of encapsulation and drug delivery are critical issues that the average consumer is unlikely to know about,  to make the right choice. The “right choice” turns out to be too expensive for most of us.

In effect, only about 50% of the Vitamin D ingested is available to the gut for absorption from the cheaper tablets. According to a 2017 study by Maurya et al ., only a fraction of this 50%  is actually absorbed depending on  the complexity of the food  eaten (the amount and type of fatty acids, dietary fibers and presence/absence of Vitamin D enhancer and inhibitor), and its interaction with other fat soluble compounds as well as  consumer-associated factors (age, disease, surgery, obesity, genetic variation etc.).  In a 2019 Study on laboratory rats, Simolunas et al found that micro-encapsulation was needed to obtain high  bio-avalability.

In Sri Lanka Vitamin D tablets are at least as expensive as in rich countries, and typically cost Rs 4000 for 90 capsules with 2000 IU. It is not clear if they ensure high absorption in the gut. Assuming 60% absorption, with Rs 200 to a dollar, it will cost about $300 per year per adult at Colombo’s prices

to provide 4000 IU/day of Vitamin D. On the other hand, the AstraZeneca vaccine would cost about $2-3 per person per year, with 80-90% efficiency. Furthermore, the Vitamin-D based immunization has no authenticated efficiency although there is much hype. So it is a gamble of $300 against a near sure $3 bet!

Even the more expensive Pfizer-Biontech vaccine, at $20, would be 15 times cheaper than using Vitamin D as a preventive. Furthermore, the new RNA technology is the perfect answer for new mutants. BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said to Bloomberg News that the vaccine will work just fine against mutant strains, and that “the beauty of the messenger RNA technology is that we can directly start to engineer a vaccine, which completely mimics any new mutation,”

What happens to the partially absorbed Vitamins and other pharmaceuticals consumed orally by the public? The unabsorbed vitamin ends up in the sewers and in the ecosystem.  Unlike traces of glyphosate that are destroyed by aquatic green matter and soil organisms, pharmaceutical byproducts have a long life. A seven-year study of the great Lakes in Canada showed that chronic low-level exposures to common pharmaceuticals like metformin and birth control drugs affected the fish, causing near extinction of the study sample. Vitamin D is a steroid, and the consequences of the influx of trace amounts of it into the ecosystem are in uncharted territory. So, if mega doses of Vitamin D are to be used, then only the highly absorbent nanotechnology-enabled micro-encapsulation should be used. Alternatively, mega doses of the Vitamin has be administered intravenously.

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Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    Dear CD

    Good summary and case making for all due consideration tq.

    (1) Withe regard to Covid and its impact (disproportionate amount of death) on the darker skin people/colder countries a correlation exist = Vit D deficiency and the difficulty in making the required amount with the limited exposure of sun light with our skin pigment barrier ie darker people need more sun exposure to achieve the same result as a lighter skinned person.

    (2) Studies that dates back 50’s and 60’s identified the health issues of the darker skinned people in the US for example and related them to Vit D.

    (3) If one is battling various health issues chronically where ones immune system need to be shared for various battles within ones body (be it darker or lighter skinned people), generally not so fit people (who has bad diet and no fitness and obesity issues) could still be the victims and the studies evaluated the real time date collected during the pandemic backs ups the “Vit D” theory?

    (4) The vaccines have not had the full/normal validation process fast tracked??? is the general complaint but am sure this makes a lot of sense for many if backed up by data etc.

    • 2
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      Yes Mr Dharmawardhana thanks for your article with some publications being cited as info. But how many would care about it a different question.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55780425
      .
      People in the developed countries or poor developing world are always selfish. Politics should protect the people not allowing them to fall deeper. Saddest reality is, both politicians and media criminals are the greater problem in our home country.
      .
      They dont care much about the facts and what could be the best as a remedy to come out of the pandemic but are promoting them for their selfish gains. This is very clear behind CROOK politicians and so called kaliamma controlled men in our country than anywhere else.

      There is a saying in sinhala vernacular langaugae – Aandi hath denaage kenda haliya wagei (ආඬි හත්දෙනාගේ කැඳ හැලිය වගෙයි) Like the cunjee (porridge) pot of the seven Andiyas. This is comparable to the situation being faced by srilankens today. People as well as their so called BUDDHIST monks are equally stupid to allow Rajakashe be the leaders knowing that they could well be crime ´friendly men in the last phase of the CIVIL war, but for politics ? for sustainable solutions for people problems ?

      • 2
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        Contd.
        .
        They infact have proved to be champions becoming wealthy politicians by sucking the last blood drop the poor. However this has been continuing with the direct patronage of SO CALLED pinguththarayas, hidden behind SANGA costumes.
        :
        Srilankens and poor Malagasy (poor african country Madagascar) are coldbloodely misled by so called witch doctors TODAY.

        Incumbent SPEAKER of the parliament and his GENERAL knowledge is not different to that of AVERAGE monks that control the society today. Monks to enjoy impunity being placed above the law and order of the country should be changed if this country /nation should ever raise its head.

        I thought srilankens would realize that witchery was for those who are said to be primitive, but today developments in SL, prove it, that people are not yet away from the influence being made by invisible forces.

        My question is, our people go on self-proclaiming to be ” MID INCOME EARNING NATION” but world to compare us with far poor african former colonies ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madagascar
        .
        CROOK politicians of Rajapakshes nature would use the last blood drop of the gullible factions (who are the majority of our god punished nation) in order to surive their politics.

    • 0
      0

      (5) Adequate amount of Vit D is required for absorption/adsorption of various Vit and minerals too?

      (6) The actual date during the pandemic also shows Vt D does not fix/prevent the infection…one need to have adequate amount for them to prevent the infection in the first place. Hence the need for the vaccine is a must to save lives?

      (7) The chemistry attached to the impact to the biodiversity is so huge related to the pharmaceuticals in generals…once they find their way to the environment specially the soil/waterways etc.

      • 0
        0

        Therefore the case making for Vaccine shouldn’t be at the expense of the Vit D discussions is critical to human well-being even without the pandemic??

        • 0
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          One should make a case for Vit D cost to be brought down/encourage people to use less make ups/creams and get some sun on their skins as much as possible/the pollution to the environment from the skin care industry is more than the vitamin issue?/life style change/work places with more exposure to sun wherever possible?

          • 0
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            I certainly would not place much trust in the Chinese the vaccine.

  • 1
    0

    Mr. Chandre, Dependent Origination is what the Buddha taught. For a laymen it is multi-causality. Tropical Countries where BCG vaccine is administered universally which are hot and humid (with lots of Sunlight and natural Vitamine D) and the food is less processed than in the west have fare well in the WHO’s Covid-19 panicdemic due to this MULTIPLICITY of causes and effects.
    BCG vaccine which is 100 years old and does not have a PATENT and hence cheap should have been modified for use as a Covid-19 vaccine, but has been forgotten because the WHO paid by big Phama want to profit from sale of hi tech PATENT protected mRNA vaccines and make mega profits.
    Covid-19 is a bioterrorism project and lab maufactured virus that spliced HIV into a Coronavirus, (Like the US Patented Fall army worm, bird flu that is killing birds in India and Sri Lanka at this time, and now Capripox skin virus that is now spreading among cattle for which US is marketing a Vaccine!).
    Covid-19 was conceived and invented by Faucci et al. who run the US bio-warfare labs and subcontracted some Gain of Function Research (dual use virus and vaccine manufacture research) to the Wuhan labs.

    • 0
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      Hi Danuk,

      You certainly have lot of valid points. I too had mentioned it before this is part of the research into biological warfare and it accidentally got leaked out from a Wuhan lab. WHO being an arm of the UN white elephant made a mess of the pandemic. A norm has been set now a world where richer gets rich and poor becomes poorer. Big Phama is having a field day.

      • 0
        0

        It is all about population control too? we need to focus on the family planning aspects too that late Hon Indra and Hon Sirimavo did in 70’s….infact this scenario applies to many 3rd world countries and the respective thinking governments were all toppled thereafter??

        It is strange the Nations/UN who talk about over population were opposed to these measures then by the head of states and accused them of human rights violations????

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8aETK5pQR4

        please listen until the end of program.

        It is all about others and the conspiracy….but we have all played a part in many of our own squanders is what we should fix?

  • 0
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    In “PIRITH” all that content is what Gauthama Buddha preached and taught. The difference is, it is a “RECITAL” that “SOOTHES” and “COMFORTS” the listener. This you correctly stated as having a “PSYCHOLOGICAL” effect. Not only “Pirith”, but even “MUSIC” (both vocal & instrumental) provides that “Comfort” through “Sound Waves” that penetrate to the human body via the “SENSES”. In that context. I know that “Penetration” of any of those soothing sound waves into the body and functional organs would help to “Awaken”, “Rejuvenate” and “Strengthen” the body’s functioning. You also refer to “Sathguru’s idealogy of “Sooriya Shakthi”. Yes, he is correct. Were it not for that “Sooriya Shakthi” (Sun’s reflection and its effect) or more so as “COSMIC ENERGY”, this world where we live would be nothing but a “Ball” of ice. This has been developed into a very latest treatment of “Skin Deceses” in Australia and that is called “Photographic Ray Treatment”. In this, a chamber of “LED” lights are built, where the patient is sent in with only underwear and exposed to a ray of high powered light waves, similar to sun’s rays, for a specified time limit. This treatment is now successfully carried out in many countries. In short, that is how “NATURES’ RESOURCES” are deployed to benefit the Human.

    • 1
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      Dear SImon Aiya,
      .
      You are reading my thoughts Simon.Philosophie gepasst wie die Faust aufs Auge, I do share the same thoughts regarding religious inner peace and harmony of a human mind. Many of us show reactions in the presence of soft, traquil sounds and melodies. For sometime now, I love to listen to Karnataka music though I am previously used to listen to instrumental jazz music because that helped me a lot each time after long day work loads.
      This dont restrict to human beings, because there exist scientific evidence today that some mamalians and avians enjoy peace and tranquility perhaps simialr to the levels being reported in humans. This proves well when changing their locations to a calm and quiet environments. I think looking back it is a learning process from the begining on of a life.

      If politicians would do their job properly, even islamists would not be misled by any other extremists, or external groups easily. In 70ties to until end of 80ties or so, I never noticed any woman in SL wearing full body covering female relgious cloaks (Hijab, niqab, burka – there are lots of different kinds of coverings worn by Muslim women all over the world)- Politicians should have taken actions against at the initial stage of the introduction of the kind of costumes, by showing the limits.

      • 1
        0

        continuing.

        THis should be equally held to all religions. Buddhist monks today behave as if they are akin to ” PARADISE BIRDs Life Style in the west”. That Samantha Badra or the other in srilanken lime light are just monks, that entered to SANGAHOOD to live up their predispositions. They dont know even the basics of true teachings of the LORD BUDDHA. Some monks shamelessly display their tattoos on their upper arms but them being introduced as buddhist monks is seen nothing new to srilanka today. This shows the lack of respect to dignified life.

        I agree with that SENIOR LAWER Nagananda K and his thoughts regarding the law and order of a country, that could make a palatable change in the prevailing systems.
        .
        If you travel around the world, you would notice, europeans, singapore, australia, US are all rigorously adhered ot their harsh law and order. Srilanken monks would not have any chance to enjoy ” IMPUNITY” if they want to enter european countries. ONce I met myself a srialnken buddist monk who had just arrived in Rome for a visit. He was left to be helpless since he had not had all the papers with him. He had to face the unexpected, before the emigration authorties.

        • 0
          0

          Hi LM,

          Did you receive the email forwarded by SM? Where Srilankan minds are concerned they are part empty or totally empty. They bring out more cud than they can chew. What they think they know is not even a pebble or a grain of sand from all the shores or deserts respectively, similar is the infinite knowledge and wisdom possessed by Lord Buddha to make a comparison to what our scholars imagine they have mastered. Lord told Ven. Saripuththa whose mathematical brain is so vast to not try to figure out a Buddha is like because it is so vast which would result getting overwhelmed by confusion.

          • 0
            0

            Hi HP,
            .
            I am afraid, I really dont know what you are talking about. Please clear this with SM.
            :
            To you buddhist explantions – unfortunatley today srilanka dont seem to care much about true teachings of buddha. It has turned out to be ” buddhagama” which I think is far from real teachings from LB.

            Thank you.
            LM

            • 0
              0

              Hi LM,

              I am sorry about the confusion. I did not want to attract much publicity if I can avoid it. SM forwarded an email I sent to him in which you should find my email address. Thanks

              • 0
                0

                Hi HP,
                .
                Let s make it short, I did not receive any. Nor have I yours yet.
                .
                Please leave it, I really dont have time to hang with the kind of issues any more. Travelline home back next time would be more or less like ” we will be asked to collect the PERMISSION from incumbent kings”. See what happened to us, though born to SL and today we are asked to go after provable high criminals to collect PERMISSION to enter the country ?

                Knowing that nothing seems improving for the betterment of the masses, we are just speechless. There are rumours, that UNHRC will bring harder UN resolutions is what we got to know from EU news. And hope not that srilanka will be isolated by world ot the very same manner Iranians are facing it.

                • 0
                  0

                  You have gone speechless. Yes I have heard it before that empty vessels make lot of noise. Good luck to you.

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