Kiran Bedi's latest foray is to bring spiritualism to the police. Vipassana is
an ancient method of meditation used for purification of the mind. It emphasizes on control of
one's conscious and subconscious mind through a breathing process. It requires focusing on body
parts sequentially from top to bottom and back, as in Yoga Nidra.
This technique was practiced by emperor Ashoka 2000 Years ago. lt was
brought back to India about 30 years ago from Burma by the principal teacher Sayagyi Satya Narain
Goenka. A Vipassana camp of about 1000 Delhi Police personnel was held recently at the Police
The aim was to improve self-control of the police, says
Kiran Bedi It helps one to understand his desires. We work in public under extreme pressure
and thus get antagonized easily. Vipassana teaches how to keep calm in such situations. The
alternative therapy also helps in reducing anxiety, sense of hope-lessness and is a cure for many
Bedi herself suffered from low blood pressure because of less food
intake. After the course her condition normalised inspite of missing a meal. Similarly Inspector
Ved Prabhakar's hyperthyroid was contained remarkably after the course.
Once these results were discussed the course was also organized for
other senior officials and evoked a good response. And Vipassana was introduced to trainees at
It was conducted by 16 teachers from Vipassana International Academy at
lgatpuri near Mumbai. They were helped by Dhamma workers and volunteers from across the country. A
rigorous schedule of 16 hours of daily meditation began as early as 4.30 am. and ended at 9 PM.
with breaks for the three meals. These comprised vegetarian food, mostly khichdi and vegetables.
The most difficult part of the course was the nine day Noble Silence. Initially it was very
difficult, said a participant, because we felt strained and even broke our Maun vrat a couple of
later it seemed Interesting and we were able to keep the silence. During the course the
participants were forbidden to read, write, watch television, listen to the radio or communicate
in sign language. All PCO booths and canteens were closed. Radio sets and the like were
confiscated. An Inspector was appointed in each barrack to keep a watch.
The course generated a good response. Bedi admits that she is now
clearer about her work. It helped her seek forgiveness and forgive, thus making her feel lighter.
She says that Vipassana has taught her, to police herself before policing others.
One participant told that after Vipassana he feels enthusiastic about work.
Another chipped in saying that earlier he was addicted to tea but now he can live his whole life
without it. Yet another was of the opinion that 'if the whole Delhi Police underwent Vipassana,
the media probably wouldn't have anything negative to write about us. And if the whole country
does it, our work would reduce considerably.'
A happy Bedi says, I feel good as I have given not just physical
training but moral ethics too to the students.'
The Delhi police plans to make Vipassana an ongoing programme. It is now being
proposed as a compulsory part of training. A two hour Vipassana class would be held at Training
College every month for the probationer Sub Inspectors who will join various police stations soon.
A permanent meditation centre Dhammarakshak (Protector of righteousness) has opened In the PTC.