Kathmandu: Ever since he got off the plane, Hirokazu Kobayashi has been busy showering his blessings to people swarming around him. Unlike other saffron robed gurus, however, one is likely to mistake this affable healer for a celebrity. Most are even sceptical about his powers. But those who’ve been graced with his blessings know what it’s like to commune with a man who, according to them, is a “divine spirit”.

Born in Hogyo, Japan, Kobayashi is a well known healer having an international repute. A high school graduate and a licensed practitioner of shiatu, a Japanese tradition in medicine, he is believed to have healed innumerable people from across the globe, working with medical experts and other healers (in Japan and abroad), often leaving them astounded with his powers, for the past 22 years.

“I am an ordinary person, but one chosen for the mission of God to assuage people’s sufferings,” Kobayashi says. He claims to have cured patients of ailments like tumours and mental illness. “But not all cases are successful,” he adds, “It also depends on the state of mind of the receiver of the energy. An open mind and faith in God are crucial for effective treatment.”

All that Kobayashi does during his healing sessions are stroking of the unwell part of the patient’s body with his hand and spelling of magical incantations, barely audible. Doing so, he says he transmits his energy into the person so that they, themselves, can heal minor ailments in future. “This, actually, is not my power. The light ball that embodies celestial energy sends good vibes to me that helps me heal people,” he says. Kobayashi feels honoured helping people and spreading the message of peace and goodwill round the world. In his mission to help spread the message of peace, he has arrived in Kathmandu on June 22, accompanied by 108 disciples.

Kobayashi, now 38, says he was bestowed his powers at age 16 when the said light ball reportedly appeared in his room and entered his body while he was lying afflicted with asthma. ‘The Mysterious and Inexplicable Phenomena of Light Balls’, an exclusive exhibition of 57 photographs of these balls by more than 10 amateur photographers, is on at Siddhartha Art Gallery, Babermahal till July 8.

In the inaugural function of the exhibition, Swiss national Vajra Zweiacker, expressed her astonishment when she found the balls captured in her camera. Likewise, amateur photographers Dr Badri Kayastha and Frances Klatzel have also been able to photograph the balls. The exhibition also showcases works of Japanese photographers in which the bright light balls are as distinct as in the aforementioned photographs.

Kobayashi frequently visits Nepal and offers free services and healing sessions. He views Nepal as Buddha’s birthplace with a mix of cultural diversity and religious tolerance that’s nowhere else to be found. His mission this time is not only healing but also praying to bring back peace in this land.

“Let’s hope Kobiyashi’s prayers will bring the change we’ve all been praying for,” says Sangeeta Thapa, curator of Siddhartha Art Gallery. “All of us like to believe in a little magic,” adds Thapa.