The Making of a Sarvodaya Yogi

Blog updates

Posted by Gopal on February 24, 2014


Dear friends,

I have increased the recommended duration of inverted asanas from 3-5 to 5-10 min in 12-point brahmacharya formula: http://gopal4mission.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/greatly-inspiring-brahmacharya-quotes/ because Sirshasana (Sarvangasana) is really amazing for brahmacharya and I think, serious aspirants can and should go for 10 min Sirshasana also.

I am very pleased with the evolution of brahmacharya formula. This is my “magnum opus” because to give a really powerful formula on the most tricky challenge of spiritual path is no joke. It took an enormous amount of studies, analysis and experimentation. It is the result of great spiritual insights which dawned only after strenuous efforts.

But, as is the wont of many creative work, I suppose, this formula will be appreciated mainly by people of next generations (and not my generation).

My other great effort has been to compile all powerful techniques for thoughtless awareness meditation: http://gopal4mission.wordpress.com/2007/12/29/thoughtless-awareness-faq-on-basic-concepts.

I have been so impressed with these two parts of this blog that I have shared my login/password to my friend to keep the blog up if I inadvertently … I will try to ensure the continuity of this blog even after discarding the physical body by giving login/password to a couple of people in brahmacharya facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/668071976567981/.

Being an engineer, I believe in being to-the-point and optimally efficient (getting the best by expending the least :)) and hence, 12-point formula has been developed to a very high level of optimality. And I am even now open to improve 12-point formula further to make celibacy practice even easier.

I believe that good guidance helps the sincere people a lot by speeding up the progress. Thanks to internet, good guidance on every self-help challenge is available to all netizens. I salute this spirit of sharing and caring – this is what makes us noble and worth calling humans.

I can vouchsafe that brahmacharis will gain a lot in life. Brahmacharya is a great principle and if one does not follow it, one diminishes oneself because this principle cannot be diminished by failings of any individual, however great in the worldly sense. To be a master of senses and mind is always a great achievement and only a brahmachari can be considered to be a master of senses and mind. Secondly, there is definitely much more joy and satisfaction in consciousness than in senses. Sensual pleasure is fleeting and does not elevate any person because it is available to all the lower creations as well. With time, one feels much more joy through brahmacharya than sensuality.

So, let us feel happy that we are trying to achieve this mastery through brahmacharya practice.

Thanks,

Gopal

 

 

 

Posted in Socio-political issues | 4 Comments »

“Legs up the wall” asana

Posted by Gopal on February 15, 2014


Dear friends,

Here is the description of “Legs up the wall” asana or posture.

TECHNIQUE

Above picture (courtesy: http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2011/07/06/mama-yoga-legs-up-the-wall-pose/) explains it well.

Even small babies can easily do it as can be seen in above picture.

PRECAUTION

  1. This asana should not be performed by people suffering from high blood pressure, serious heart conditions, back conditions such as sciatica and slipped disc, or soon after abdominal surgery. If there is any doubt, please consult a competent therapist.

BENEFITS

  1. The nervous system gets a signal to slow down and there is relaxation of body and mind because upper part of body (heart, lungs and brain) repose in rest in horizontal position.
    1. The primary reason I use this asana is to recover successfully on days when my sleep quality is quite bad and hence, there is a mild headache or lack of freshness. On such days, doing meditation in sitting position is not relaxing at all and doing meditation in fully lying position (savasana) may induce sleep and occasionally even extra sleep related migraines, disrupting whole day’s productivity. But, doing meditation in this particular asana ensures that I get relaxation induced by this asana and meditation without falling asleep and hence, getting victim of migraine. Falling asleep in this asana is not possible because of alertness created by the intensely felt pressure caused by the wall on contact area of legs.
    2. The other use of this asana is when you feel tired at any point of time in a day and want to take a rest without any risk of untimely sleep, then you can do this asana for few minutes.
    3. When one gets a bit tired of doing this asana after say 10-15 minutes, one can bring down the legs with knees bent and feet still over wall while keeping the upper body in lying position (Similar to below picture) and then after 5 minutes or so in this posture, again go back to “Legs up the wall” asana. Thus, one can finish even 30 min meditation in these two postures when the mind is not fresh or feeling some mild headache due to poor sleep or any other reason. After doing so, the freshness comes back and headache disappears and one can work quite fine throughout the day.
  2. This asana strengthens the abdominal muscles and massages the organs.
  3. It strengthens the digestive system, lower back, pelvic and perineal muscles and helps correct prolapse.
  4. Blood drains out of tired feet and legs. Thus, it helps release sore legs after long run and heavy workout.
  5. It relieves swollen ankles and varicose veins.
  6. It relieves mild headaches or lack of freshness.

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Study skills and celibacy during bachelor life, Time-management skill, Yoga & other spirituality related things | 2 Comments »

Inverted asanas

Posted by Gopal on February 14, 2014


Dear friends,

This article will explain in details about inverted asanas. It is divided into below parts:

What are inverted asanas?
Precautions for inverted asanas
General benefits
Sirshasana
Sarvangasana

What are inverted asanas?
As the name indicates, the inverted asanas are asanas in which body is inverted from its normal position such that lower part of the body is up and upper part of the body is down. I aim to describe 2 chief inverted asanas in this article, namely, Sirshasana and Sarvangasana with details on their benefits.

If you can do only one, do Sirshasana. Otherwise you can do both as Sarvangasana does provide a couple of physical health benefits (explained later) not directly provided by Sirshasana. I am using direct because indirect benefits to all systems are provided by Sirshasana also because it acts upon entire endocrine system and provides fresh blood to all muscle groups of the body.

Fat people or people whose neck muscles are weak may find it difficult to do Sirshasana and hence, can do Sarvangasana till they get physically fit for doing Sirshasana.

Precautions for inverted asanas

  1. Health precautions:
    1. These asanas should not be practiced by people suffering from heart conditions, high blood pressure or back conditions, especially slipped disc, arteriosclerosis, glaucoma, cervical spondylosis, eye problems, headache, diarrhoea, hernia, an active ear infection or any disease of the brain or any illnesses which make the blood impure.
    2. Also, these asanas should not be practised during pregnancy or menstruation.
    3. People recovering from operations or the infirm or the old may not be able to practise these asanas because these asanas require certain physical fitness.
  2. Time of practice: These asanas should be preferably practised on an empty stomach – better to do so after having bath and just before breakfast so that the nose is not blocked particularly for doing Sirshasana in which one cannot do inhalation through nose if it is blocked (one may inhale from mouth in the worst case, but still better to do after having bath). If that is not possible, then do it after at least 3 hours since last meal.
  3. Equipment: Always practise these asanas on a folded blanket, hard mattress or yoga mat thick enough to protect the vertebrae of the neck and back of the head. Never practise on a soft mattress, spring bed or cushions.
  4. Rest: Always follow inverted poses with shavasana (lying on bed on the back). Rest until the breath and heartbeat are completely normal. 1 min is usually sufficient for this.
  5. Duration: One should try it first as long as one feels comfortable and using a timer (every mobile phone has one) find out the duration. Let us say it is x min. From x min, gradually over a period of few months, one should increase the duration finally to 5-10 minutes a day through increment of 10-15 sec every week (30 or 60 sec increment is not comfortable at all for inverted asanas and hence, try only small 10-15 sec increment). More than 10 minutes a day is not needed in my personal opinion: rather the extremely important thing is to practise it daily for gaining the most.

General benefits

General benefits of inverted asanas are (described in the book “Asana Pranayam Mudra Bandha” by Swami Satyananda):

  1. Inverted asanas reverse the action of gravity on the body; instead of everything being pulled towards the feet, the orientation shifts towards the head. Similarly, on the emotional and psychic levels, inverted asanas change the normal patterns, throwing a new light on old patterns of behavior and being.
  2. Generally, these practices are refreshing and revitalizing. They improve health, reduce anxiety and stress, and increase self-confidence.
  3. They also increase mental power, concentration and the capacity to sustain large workloads without strain.
  4. Inverted asanas encourage blood to flow to the brain, nourishing the neurons and flushing out toxins.
  5. Blood and lymph, accumulated in the lower limbs, pelvis and abdomen, are drained back to the heart, then circulated to the lungs, purified and re-circulated to all parts of the body. This process nourishes the cells of the whole human organism.
  6. The enriched blood flow to brain also allows the pituitary gland to operate more efficiently, tuning the entire endocrine system. This has a positive effect on the metabolic processes and even on ways of thinking.
  7. While the body is in an inverted asana, the breath becomes slow and deep, maximizing the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, and generally encouraging correct respiration. In addition, the abdominal organs: the liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys and pancreas, receive a powerful massage, helping them to perform their functions more efficiently.
  8. One of the most significant benefits of inverted asanas is they open Sushumna Nadi and raise the vital energy up the spine. Thus, they sublimate sexual energy into spiritual energy and makes brahmacharya practice much easier than it is otherwise as any brahmacharya aspirant who practices an inverted asana daily will vouchsafe.
  9. Improves blood circulation to eyes, ears and scalp, thereby improving their functioning and stemming hair loss or graying.

Sirshasana

Sirshasana 001

Sirshasana 002

Sirshasana 003

Sirshasana 004

The technique is explained in the picture above. The final posture is the state of Sirshasana. It can be done with the help of a wall also – the benefits will stay the same.

TECHNIQUE

  1. Sit on your knees before a fourfold blanket spread on the floor.
  2. Interlock your fingers making the palms of your hand to assume the form of a cup. Adjust the little fingers so that both palms may rest evenly on the blanket.
  3. Place the hands on the blanket, the little fingers touching the blanket. The line joining the elbows would be the base of the triangle now formed by the position of the hands on the blanket.
  4. The space between the elbows should be within the width of your chest.
  5. Next, place the crown of your head on the blanket so that the back of the crown touches the cupped palms.
  6. Raise the knees from the ground and keep the toes on the floor. Secure the position of your head, and bring the toes and thighs nearer to the body. Draw the knees close to the body and slowly raise the toes of the two legs simultaneously just off the floor and try to balance for a few seconds.
  7. When the balance becomes steady and the spine erect, straighten the knees and stretch both the legs up slowly bringing the whole body to a straight line with the head down and the feet high up.
  8. Do slow, deep breathing through the nose while in this posture. Retain the posture as long as you can without any discomfort.
  9. Slowly bring down the body and without raising the head, put yourself in lying position and stay in it for 1 min so that the blood flow which was up the brain in Sirshasana becomes normal. Thereafter, get up.
  10. After some days of practice, when you feel ease and comfort, try to concentrate on the crown of your head with normal breathing.

PRECAUTIONS

Following additional precautions apart from those covered in “Precautions for inverted asanas” section above should also be followed for performing Sirshasana:

  1. Sirshasana should not be practised by people with neck problems, headache or migraine, high blood pressure, heart disease, thrombosis, arteriosclerosis, chronic catarrh, chronic constipation, kidney problems, impure blood, severe near-sightedness, weak blood vessels in the eye, conjunctivitis, chronic glaucoma, inflammation of the ears or any form of blood haemorrhage in the head.
  2. It should not be practised during pregnancy or menstruation.

BENEFITS

Apart from benefits described in “General benefits” section above for all inverted asanas, Sirshasana has following specific benefits:

  1. This asana is very powerful for awakening sahasrar chakra (crown centre – the highest centre of consciousness) and therefore it is considered the greatest of all asanas (“The king of Asanas”). It is a special help for brahmacharya aspirants as it opens up Sushumna channel (the central channel in the vital body) and pulls up vital energy from lower centres to the highest centre of sahasrar.
  2. Regular and correct practice also ensures proper and sound development of the body and mind. The power of concentration, memory and will is increased. The thought-power also increases and thereby thoughts become more clear. It is thus a blessing for brain-workers.
  3. This Asana is specially beneficial to people suffering from loss of sleep, memory and vitality. It revitalizes the entire body and mind. Proper and correct practice of this Asana provides abundant energy and alertness.
  4. It relieves anxiety and other psychological disturbances which form the root cause of many disorders such as asthma, hay fever, diabetes and menopausal imbalance.
  5. It also helps to rectify many forms of nervous and glandular disorders, especially those related to the reproduction system.
  6. This asana reverses the effect of gravity on the body. Strain on the back is thus alleviated and the reversed flow of blood in the legs and visceral regions aids tissue regeneration.
  7. The weight of the abdominal organs on the diaphragm encourages deep exhalation so that larger amounts of carbon dioxide are removed from the lungs.
  8. The pituitary and pineal glands in the brain get proper blood supply and this ensures promotion of good health, growth and vitality.
  9. The lungs build up power to resist variations in climatic conditions, and makes one free from colds, coughs, tonsillitis, foul breath, palpitations, etc.
  10. It regulates the body temperature, removes constipation and tones up the blood content.

Sarvangasana

Sarvangasana

TECHNIQUE

  1. Spread a thick blanket on the floor. Lie flat on your back with legs stretched out, heels and knees together and the hands close to the sides of the body, palms facing the floor. Slowly inhale and simultaneously raise the legs without bending the knees. Slowly lift the trunk and support it at the back (in the middle of the spine) with your hands, bent at the elbows.
  2. Keep the spine vertical i.e., perpendicular to the floor. The back of the shoulders, neck and the back of the crown of the head should touch the floor, and the chin kept pressed tightly against the chest.
  3. When you get the spine vertical and establish balance in the posture, slowly stretch the legs with the toes pointing up. Keep the legs, the back and the spine in a straight line, vertical, in a relaxed position, with normal breathing.
  4. Concentrate on the throat where fresh blood is flowing abundantly which promotes the secretion of the thyroid and para-thyroid glands. This is most important.
  5. Exhale slowly, lower the legs without jerks and release the position of the hands. One should not lift the head from the ground while lowering the legs to its original position. Slowly bring down the body and without raising the head, put yourself in lying position and stay in it for 1 min so that the blood flow which was up the brain in Sarvangasana becomes normal. Thereafter, get up.
  6. The duration for this posture may vary from 5-10 minutes for daily practice.

PRECAUTIONS

Following additional precautions apart from those covered in “Precautions for inverted asanas” section above should also be followed for performing Sarvangasana:

  1. This asana should not be practised by people suffering from enlarged thyroid, liver or spleen, cervical spondylitis, slipped disc, high blood pressure or other heart ailments, weak blood vessels in the eyes, thrombosis or impure blood.
  2. It should be avoided during menstruation and advanced stages of pregnancy.

BENEFITS

Apart from benefits described in “General benefits” section above for all inverted asanas, Sarvangasana has following specific benefits:

  1. By pressing the chest against the chin, this asana stimulates the thyroid gland.
  2. It generally balances the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems.
  3. It also tranquilizes the mind, relieves mental and emotional stress, and helps clear psychological disturbances, boosting the immune system.
  4. Its influence on the parathyroid glands ensures normal development and regeneration of the bones.
  5. Abdominal breathing is induced, improving the exchange of air in the body, relieving stress and massing the abdominal organs.
  6. It releases the normal gravitational pressure from the anal muscles, relieving haemorrhoids.
  7. It tones the legs, abdomen and reproductive organs, draining stagnant blood and fluid, and increasing circulation to these areas.
  8. Flexibility of the neck vertebrae is improved and the nerves passing through the neck to the brain are toned. Circulation is increased in this area generally, revitalizing the ears, eyes and tonsils.

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Brahmacharya, Study skills and celibacy during bachelor life, Yoga & other spirituality related things | 2 Comments »

Jnana Bandha technique

Posted by Gopal on February 14, 2014


Hello friends,

Mental celibacy is one of the biggest challenges for every spiritual aspirant and, in general, for anyone aiming to achieve good concentration power. Having spent so much of my thinking faculty on celibacy challenge, I have done a lot of experimentation on various techniques for mental celibacy.

I am describing my latest and most effective “Plan A” technique for mental celibacy in this article. “Plan B” technique is only one: 20-30 min “Nadi Shodhana Basic” once or more and “Plan C” technique is only one: “give up next 1 or more meals” technique as explained in “(3) Practise brahmacharya (celibacy) at mental level also by using these means.” of legendary 12-point brahmacharya formula.

TECHNIQUE

The name of technique is “Jnana Bandha” (Jnana means knowledge and Bandha means bonding –  the technique means bonding one’s energies together in a focused manner for acquiring knowledge.)

In this technique, whenever any lustful thought cause disruption, do the following:

  1. Say once, “Focus Focus Focus” mentally and simultaneously inhale fully and hold yourself in the state of internal breath-retention. Staying in the state of internal breath-retention as long as possible, focus on your work/studies. To add to the effect of this technique try to make your entire body as still/motionless as possible while using this technique because making the body still/motionless also helps making the mind still/thoughtless.
  2. Whenever you feel like exhaling, exhale fully.
  3. This is one round of this technique. Repeat more rounds. Using 2-3 rounds will suffice most of the time. If it does not, simply increase the rounds to the desired number to make your mind completely free from brahmacharya-unfriendly thoughts.

NOTES

  1. The main advantage of internal breath-retention is that the mental activity becomes less intense in the state of breath-retention thereby reducing at once the intensity of lustful thoughts and making it easier to bring the mind back to original work/studies. Also internal breath-retention can be done for a longer time. External breath-retention as used in traditional “Great lock exercise (also known as Maha Bandha in yoga)” makes one feel out of breath soon and one cannot do any work/studies in the state of external breath-retention. But, in Jnana Bandha, since one does internal breath-retention, one can do many rounds and still focus on the work/studies while doing this technique. Hence, this technique is surely superior to “Maha Bandha” as a mental celibacy technique.
  2. The best advantage is you are able to get back to your work/studies in the least possible time even while dealing with power passions like lust. So, it is great for time-saving and optimum concentration during work/studies.
  3. This technique is also in tune with the strategy used by great scientist Newton for mental celibacy. The physicist who established the three laws of motion, Newton, put a stop to any and all sexual activity throughout his 84 years. One of history’s greatest thinkers did give some insight into his sex life (or lack thereof) in a message to philosopher John Locke, according to Newton biographer James Gleick. “The way to chastity is not to struggle with incontinent thoughts but to avert the thoughts by some ploy, or by reading, or by meditating on other things,” Gleick quotes Newton.
  4. This should always and always be used for dealing successfully with lustful thoughts whole life as long as your lungs and heart are healthy – this is its main purpose. Since internal breath-retention does take some application of will and human will has its own limit of exertion, I would recommend targeting only distraction due to lust by this technique rather than using it for every type of distraction. For other types of distraction, just use “Focus Focus Focus” part without any internal (or external) breath-retention.
  5. In the last 1-1.5 hours before sleep, internal breath-retention needs to be avoided as by increasing the energy level in mind, it will make it difficult to fall asleep. So, in that last 1-1.5 hours before sleep, one can replace internal breath-retention in this technique by external breath-retention. This will make the technique less effective in the sense that one cannot think well during the state of external breath-retention nor external breath-retention can be sustained as long as internal breath-retention. So, the technique becomes diluted. But, in all rest hours of the day, always use the original technique.

PRECAUTION

  1. People suffering from cervical spondylosis, high intracranial pressure, vertigo, high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid all internal or external breath-retention techniques. So, this technique is unfortunately not for them.

Thanks,

Gopal

ps: Please let me know what mental celibacy technique you found most effective for yourself. Being an atheist and hardcore rationalist, bhakti-based techniques cannot work for me. All celibacy techniques tried and incorporated by me in legendary 12-point brahmacharya formula do not require any faith in any entity.

Posted in Brahmacharya, Breathing Exercises, Study skills and celibacy during bachelor life, Time-management skill, Yoga & other spirituality related things | 6 Comments »

The ungratefulness problem

Posted by Gopal on January 23, 2014


Dear friends,

Many times we are told that we owe something to society. But, many of us get duped when we try to do good to others. I have shared my understanding on this “Ungratefulness problem” in this article. If interested, you may read and share your own understanding on this serious issue.

The ungratefulness problem” is experienced by many sensitive people in their lives. This means you do good to someone and that person instead of showing gratitude for whatever good you did to him/her (1) turns against you and do harm to you emotionally or materially or (2) never tries to do anything for you in your needy situation even when he/she is capable.

When I was a teenager, my mother used to say many times, “People are very ungrateful.” That time I used to find her assertion most ridiculous due to my inexperience with the world. Years later I read a quote by Lord Buddha, “Kind and grateful people are rare.” and I was shocked beyond expression because this was the first really harsh quote of Buddha that I had read in life by that time. All other quotes of Lord Buddha were very sweet-worded and positive. Still, I could not accept it even a bit. But, I eventually had to accept this to some extent once I got some very, very nasty experiences which, in short, is described below:

I met a lady during my 6th semester during B. Tech at IIT Kanpur who was weeping while talking to someone. Overcome with great empathy, I asked her, “Why are you weeping?” She replied, “I had married Prof. A of IIT Kanpur and I had a child with him and he left us. (This was just a false story she used to cheat me and other students at IIT Kanpur.) Now, I have a tumour problem and I have no one to help me treat it. I may die one day due to lack of treatment.” I promised her that I will find a way to get her treated. She took lots of my time in 7th and 8th semesters and I used to be liberal in giving her time because I felt that she was suffering from depression and wanted to vent out a bit to someone. Meanwhile I was trying to figure out a way to get her tumour treated. I finally managed to do so in 8th semester at IIT Kanpur. Under my initiative, IIT Kanpur students raised Rs. 1.2 lakh for her treatment and we got her treated. Some of us even stayed at SGPGI hospital, Lucknow during her treatment. Long story cut short – “I went to USA after finishing B. Tech for higher education and she told me when I was in USA that her treatment was not successful and that she will need more injections. First she did not show bills for injections but later showed fake bills and even sent a mail from an IIT Kanpur Professor confirming me that she had indeed spent money on her treatment.” She ended up cheating me total Rs. 15 lakhs in name of her fake treatment and her household expenses.

Her two sons also helped her cheat me. I spend additional Rs. 8 lakhs on both her sons’ education for IIT-JEE coaching at Kota. Both proved to be insincere students despite having good scores in Class X board exam and could not crack any engineering entrance exam. Both sons actively cheated me. One of his sons saw me helping her family since he was just 11 and still when he was 16 and was sent by me to Kota, he cheated me money repeatedly in many ways (like taking Rs. 12k per month for his expenses whereas, as I learnt later, Rs. 6k per month was enough in Kota for a student). So, even a pre-teenager did not learn any virtue from me.

The whole family was supposedly devotees of Sai Baba and Gayatri Pariwar. I did everything for them that was possible for a person to do and I ended up getting cheated Rs. 23 lakhs without getting any good result.

I also helped one relative with lakhs of rupees, but he also broke my trust by indulging in some serious cheating like sitting in place of his brother in a competitive examination. Though he repents for his mistake now, yet it was not fair to me as I believe in putting society above self and family which his wrong deed completely violated.

And all this cheating was done to me when I was emotionally the purest and the most selfless person – I was so much devoid of personal desires that I was not willing to even marry that time in order to serve the society. They all knew these things and yet cheated me. Even my teaching them mindfulness meditation of Buddhism, Self-Enquiry meditation of Sri Raman Maharshi and other yoga techniques did not change them even a bit.

Just today, I read this quote in “Jnana Yoga” book by Swami Vivekananda:

I want to do work, I want to do good to a human being; and it is ninety to one (i.e., out of those whom one does good, 90 turn out to be ungrateful for every single person who turns out to be grateful) that that human being whom I have helped will prove ungrateful and go against me; and the result to me is pain. Such things deter mankind from working; and it spoils a good portion of the work and energy of mankind, this fear of pain and misery.

Reading above quote motivated me to share my experience and insight on “The ungratefulness problem” in this article. Karma Yoga’s solution is quite simple (quoting from above book):

Karma-Yoga teaches us how to work for work’s sake, unattached, without caring who is helped, and what for. The Karma-Yogi works because it is his nature, because he feels that it is good for him to do so, and he has no object beyond that. His position in this world is that of a giver, and he never cares to receive anything. He knows that he is giving, and does not ask for anything in return and, therefore, he eludes the grasp of misery. The grasp of pain, whenever it comes, is the result of the reaction of “attachment”.

Despite Karma Yoga principle of working without expectation of result, I think it is very natural for any intelligent person to aspire for optimization of one’s efforts. If I know that person A is insensitive (and hence will turn out to be ungrateful) and person B is sensitive and truly good-hearted, I will obviously find it better to do good to person B rather than person A. So, the principle 1 to deal with “The ungratefulness problem”:

Principle 1. The help should indeed be given to only the deserving.

Since it becomes very difficult to know who is the deserving, hence, in general,

Principle 2. It is a good idea to avoid spending more than a very small (not more than 10%) percentage of time, energy, money and other resources till the first 3 decades of one’s life (till the age of 30) on doing good to others because during this period, humans are very sentimental and immature and hence are prone to emotional blackmail and exploitation and also because the first 3 decades of our live constitute the foundation upon which the whole life is built and hence, must not be weakened by dissipation and emotional, foolish idealism.

Principle 3. It is a good idea to do good to someone with the charity of knowledge rather than the charity of money and other material resources. This is because in comparison to the charity of money and other material resources, the charity of knowledge is more useful and lasting, requires less involvement and does less damage to the giver even when not used properly by the recipient. This is also because it is better to teach people to grow apples rather than give them apples. In one of the letters to his Gurubhai (brother disciple) Swami Brahmananda, Swami Vivekananda writes: “I see very well that my policy is wrong, and yours is correct, regarding helping others; that is to say, if you help with money too much at a time, people instead of feeling grateful remark on the contrary that they have got a simpleton to bank upon. I always lost sight of the demoralising influence of charity on the receiver.” A great lesson indeed for us!

Principle 4. It is a good idea to do good to someone under the framework of full transparency and adequate accountability and without exposing oneself to emotional blackmail and manipulation one should stop the help the moment full transparency or adequate accountability is not shown by the recipient.

Principle 5. It is a good idea to do good to someone with feedback from multiple sources on a continuous basis. This ensures that the giver knows whether he is getting emotionally blackmailed or duped by the recipient by taking feedback from others who can give an objective, independent view of the situation and the recipient’s character.

Also, even if we accept that individuals, more often than not, turn out to be ungrateful, we have to accept that enough good work is getting done by individuals and organizations with great support from individuals. How is that possible? The explanation, in my humble opinion, lies below:

Principle 6. One should always prefer doing good to society on group basis rather than on one-on-one basis. This is because group psychology works differently from individual psychology: every individual wants to maintain a good image before his/her group even if he/she may have a very defective character. If I do good to 91 individuals on one-on-one basis, 90 will turn against me in most ungrateful manner and only 1 will stay grateful. But, if I do good to 91 individuals on collective basis (all together), the group of 91 will most likely stay grateful towards me and help me in my social and political work because even the worst type person wants to maintain a positive image in his/her group. That probably explains why people like Anna Hazare got so much support and respect from his villagers eventually and how people like Gandhiji, Subhas Chandra Bose and other social and political activists were able to do so much good to humanity.

If some people show ungratefulness, should we never render personal help? No. We should, but

Principle 7. One should do good to others on individual basis also but only after an intelligent analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the persons being helped by a team of people (and not just alone) and only to the extent that any ungratefulness does not hurt one’s bigger plans for social and political work beyond the completely manageable extent.

The significance of principle 7 is many times the needy people can be helped only on individual basis and not doing such help just because of the possibility of “the ungratefulness problem” will be quite inhuman and selfish.

What if one actually experiences “the ungratefulness problem” despite taking all intelligent steps to avoid or mitigate it or due to an erroneous faith leading to subsequent betrayal?

Principle 8. Even in face of ungratefulness, one should still believe that the vast majority of humans want to be good people, but many fail because of weak minds and deserve compassionate forgiveness rather than hatred and hence, despite ungratefulness shown by some people, one should consider the ungrateful people as teachers, learn the lessons they taught for ever and continue practising intelligent compassion with one’s zeal and faith in humanity fully intact.

Are there other principles or insights involved in managing “The ungratefulness problem”? If yes, please share with me and my readers in comment section below.

I will end this article with a heart-warming instance of gratefulness and honest character :).

In 2013, my maid said to me one day, “I am going to my village to get my daughter married and will need to spend Rs. 50k to Rs. 1 lakh for this purpose and will be taking loans from people for this. Please give me some loan. I will get my daughter married and then come back after 4-5 months and then return loan to you.” I, being too short on money these days, wanted to give her a loan of Rs. 5k, but even that much money was not present with me that time and hence, I could give her only Rs. 1k loan. Though I was feeling quite frustrated that I could not give her more, she was quite glad with even Rs. 1k loan and went away.

But, she did not return even after 6 months. And I started thinking that she will never return and just fooled me. I said to even my room-partner, “Even she cheated me. If she would have just said that she cannot return the money, I would have gladly accepted and yet would have given her the money for her daughter’s marriage? Why do people cheat? Sigh!” What was hurting me was not the loss of money, but the betrayal of trust.

After 9 months’ gap, one day someone knocked on my door and when I opened her, I found my maid there and became extremely elated because I knew that she did not cheat me and had come to return money. My faith in the principle of helping others restored, I told her not to worry about returning the money. But, I asked, “I thought, you will not come back and have cheated me. Would you have come back if the money would have been tens of thousands or lakhs of rupees?” She replied, “I do not believe in cheating anyone. I would have come back even if it would have been lakhs or crores of rupees. Why would I cheat anyone? This is a big sin which I can never do with anyone.”

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 7 Comments »

A great day for India and Indians

Posted by Gopal on December 23, 2013


Dear friends,

Today is a great day for India and Indians. The optimism won over pessimism today. The hope won over despair. The integrity won over crookedness and conceit.

Today Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) decided to form the government in Delhi with Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister. This is the first time in India when a political party has won through full financial and ideological integrity, without using the dividing yardstick of caste, religion, language and so on, by successfully appealing to the collective interests and aspirations of the masses.

For people of my generation who have seen mega mega crore scams and scandals engendered by a rotten collusive nexus of businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians and who saw people blindly voting the worst breed of politicians again and again to power in name of caste, religion, region and language, the electoral success of AAP culminating in today’s government formation in Delhi represents a political and cultural renaissance of our country. AAP’s concrete vision of “power to the people” through grassroots democracy and “no compromise on corruption” attitude sets it apart from all previous political movements in our country.

It is great to see Arvind Kejriwal choosing to lead the government by becoming Delhi CM. Generally, the top 2-3 leaders of the movement are the best in integrity and determination and the best should continue leading, else the movement disarrays and finally decays. AAP’s success in bringing institutional integrity to governance in Delhi will be a model for the rest parts of the country and will set the tone for the spread of this movement to all across the country. This will force eventually other political parties to clean up or get cleaned up. It will awaken the slumbering energy of the masses and hitherto subdued idealism of India’s young generation. With 65% population of India below the age of 35, young India can change everything, that is rotten in the inherited social and political system, through self-belief and determination.

I appeal to all patriotic Indians and particularly the youth, who believes in cleanliness and publicness of politics, to join AAP movement and set themselves upon the giant task of cleansing the political system of India with full faith and full might. If we all work together under this inspiring movement, we can usher into a people-centric, clean politics by 2025 at the maximum. It is now or never. It is do or die. It is our solemn duty to redeem our country of all the miseries that rotten political culture has produced in last 50 years. Hence, we must ensure the cent percent success of AAP movement through collective efforts.

Politics is the toughest and the most effective form of activism. Let us be political activists under AAP movement for the sake of our countrymen and women.

Long live our great nation and her great children!

Jai Hind,

Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 7 Comments »

The greatest shortcoming of our great saints/”spiritual leaders”

Posted by Gopal on December 9, 2013


Is that “they always showed first-class good will, but also third-class ability for practical thinking and execution”. There are only few exceptions like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda, Guru Govind Singh, etc. to this general trend of our spiritual leaders. Let me cite some instances of such third-class ability for practical thinking and execution (my apologies if anyone gets hurt – as long as my language is civil, I am within my ethical and legal bounds to express my opinions).

  1. Swami Vivekananda
    1. Suggested his Ramakrishna Mission members to “follow the line of the least resistance” and “avoid politics completely for ever” with the reasoning that then Mission work will last for the longest time (as if longevity of organization rather than its actual contribution is the real virtue). So, RK Mission became just a charitable organization despite all his good will for changing the face of India through his Mission. His RK Mission did not contribute to any social or political reform, not even on something innocuous and inhuman like bondage labour problem in rural Bengal.  Truth is India needed RK Mission for pressing social and political reforms, but they stuck to their line of charitable work in spite of so many problems in India.
    2. Believed and preached that only people who become monks will be able to do their best to humanity. (What about J. R. D. Tata, Bill Gates, so many married scientists and engineers etc. then – who invented polio vaccine to save children from crippling handicaps – an RK Mission monk???) Such extremist views degrade and demoralize those who perpetuate the human race and do so much good to humanity. The contribution of good-hearted married people is billion times more than that of good-hearted monks if we count all the blessings that democracy, mass education and various researches of science and technology brought to humanity.
    3. More resources should be spent on the less capable than the more capable sections. One of his quotes was along this line: a person of less intellectual abilities should be given better teachers than a person of more intellectual abilities. So, as per him, the best teachers should be given to the least capable persons. This type of socialistic vision is a total disaster because only to some extent, egalitarianism can be followed in intellectual and spiritual planes – beyond that, individuals constitute a clear-cut pyramidical hierarchy on these planes which can never be leveled down as people are born with different levels of talents in different dimensions of life.
    4. Preached but did not give practical knowledge on yoga and brahmacharya which could be spread to the masses and thus, all his exhortation to spread yoga and brahmacharya from door to door remained just on paper.
    5. I am so dissatisfied with the implications and impracticality of his teachings on social and political dimensions that I consider him now a role-model only on personal development aspects as explained in this article.
    6. Still, his good will was so strong that despite above impracticalities, he influenced so many non-RK Mission good-hearted people who did many good social and political reforms in India. But, unless we realize the practical shortcomings of our great spiritual leaders, we will get only miseries while trying to go good to humanity. So, I have included his shortcomings as well here.
  2. Ramakrishna Paramahansa
    1. Wept by seeing the poor during a pilgrimage and relented to move ahead only when his rich accompanier fed and clothed the poor. What next? Nothing, the story was over with this.
    2. Why did he not think deeply on how India had so much poverty? More than 2 crores of people died in India due to famines under British misrule in his own lifetime. But, all his compassion did not lead to finding the root cause of British misrule and he was the person who berated the “rajasic” nature of politics and politicians so much before his disciples that even his brilliant disciple, Swami Vivekananda, could not avoid berating politics while talking about compassion to the poor. What a great intellectual self-contradiction and paradox shown by him and his disciple, Swami Vivekananda. And since, RK Mission did not do a single thing to solve the political angle of poverty in last 110+ years of its existence, we cannot claim that Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Swami Vivekananda berated politics for the time-being because the time was not ripe. Also, from the anti-politics language that Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Swami Vivekananda used, it is fully clear that they berated politics ideologically which means for ever and not for the time-being.
  3. Swami Sivananda
    1. Supported the fully impractical advice of Gandhiji that parents should use lifelong celibacy as the only family planning method after 1-2 kids and all contraceptives should be banned in India because they give us licenses to avoid celibacy and thus weaken us morally and spiritually. The truth is: lifelong celibacy after having 1-2 kids is not possible for a majority of people and if Indian Government would have followed the fully impractical advice of ban on contraceptives, then our population would have been at least 3 billion rather than 1 billion. Thanks heavens! There was no ban on contraceptives in India.
    2. He clearly says, 6 hours (from 10 pm to 4 am or so) is enough for every adult. The fact is different adults need different sleep hours from 6 to 8 and I have myself seen more productive people in 7-8 range than 6-7 range of sleep hours. Our sages do not follow scientific approach of gathering lots of random data and then arriving at the conclusion as done in every scientific study of worth – they inevitably indulge in illicit generalizations and give many impractical advices to others.
  4. Osho
    1. I need not mention many things about him, but here I will mention one thing. He derided modern psychiatry as useless by citing maximum suicide rate among the psychiatrists. This is using a piece of information without going into deeper reasons like done in a truly scientific approach. Truth is that the suicide rate among psychiatrists is high only because they do self-medication or ignore their emotional problems before it is too late (like many of us do at times) instead of going to some other psychiatrist when facing serious emotional problems – this is just a professional blindspot which psychiatrists and other physicians need to overcome and does not in any way take away anything from the importance of psychiatric medicines in dealing with serious emotional problems in emergency situations. But, when you learn a fragment of information and make a doctrine out of that without doing proper studies, you end up with unscientific and misguiding conclusions. This is a problem with not just Osho, but, in my humble opinion, with many influential saints of India in present as well as past.
  5. Overall failings
    1. No real thinking on high degree of political accountability. Ravan, Kansa, Duryodhana, etc. so many kings proved that due to lack of political accountability, monarchy can bring ruin to millions and for decades. Even if we consider them mythological stories, still they clearly point toward the shortcomings of monarchy. This is the failure of our Rishis and Munis in my opinion. Have we ever heard our great Lord Buddha doing anything on this issue – he could have influenced a couple of his king disciples to abolish monarchy? No, he did nothing like this despite all talks of compassion and despite all the mass crimes that concentration of power with no accountability produces in monarchy and dictatorial regimes. It is a pity that we became a democratic country after the British rule and not earlier.
    2. No real thinking on roots of poverty despite all the talks of kindness. Otherwise, some economic and financial reforms would have been introduced by our spiritual leaders for sure.
    3. No real thinking on roots of crime despite all the talks of kindness. Otherwise, some administrative reforms would have been introduced by our spiritual leaders for sure.
    4. ….
    5. No real thinking on anything except how to get personal liberation.

Conclusion

  1. So, it is clear that barring few exceptions, our saints have done no real thinking on anything except how to get personal liberation. They took the lopsided view that the experience of world depends on our mind and by transcending our mind, we will transcend the miseries of the world. The reality is that transcending the mind and hence the world is beyond the reach of the majority as it requires lifelong celibacy practice from early 30s onward or earlier. They should have given some thought on practical realities of this world also that for a majority who are not so enlightened, the experience of world depends on our mind as well as how the world is structured and that by changing the structure of the world in its numerous dimensions like politics, economics, education, etc., the true compassion can be shown on humanity by making them have happier experience of the world.
  2. So, basically, our saints failed in making bridge between their own enlightened spiritual state and the practical realities of this world and most unintelligently ignored many practical realities of this world while trying to ease human sufferings.
  3. But, why did this happen?
  4. Because as per the law of karma, you achieve more perfection through more practice and you lose more perfection through less practice. Meditation and yoga require very little hard thinking. Practice of thoughtless awareness or prolonged concentration on an object or idea as done in meditation does not require exercise of one’s thinking faculty and hence, cannot make any one so intelligent that one will become a great thinker on every aspect of life. We, Indians, never understood this and believed that if our saints are silent on political, social and economic reforms, this means such reforms are not meaningful and important for humanity.
  5. Even a brahma-jnani (enlightened saint) can teach us about only one thing which is how to attain brahma-jnana and not about the needed political, social and economic reforms. But, historically we put our enlightened sages on such high pedestal that we lost our own discernment and ability for independent and deep thinking on our political, social and economic problems just because our enlightened sages did not bother to do independent and deep thinking on them. So, if the leader (saint) is to be blamed, the followers (the rest people) are also to be blamed. We should not do foolishness like this again:
    1. If Buddha is fine with walking whole life, we thought, there is no need then to bother about speeding up travel time by going beyond ancient bullock-cart technology.
    2. If no saint of Punjab is bothering about building “Great Indian Wall” in North-Western India to stop foreign invasion (like the Chinese did in their country), we thought, there is no need then for this wall to stop foreign invasion.
    3. If Ramakrishna Paramahansa is happy by just making his rich accompaniment feeding and clothing the poor, we thought, there is no need then to look into the political roots of such massive poverty in India.
    4. If Swami Vivekananda is berating politics (under obvious and unfortunate influence of his Guru who used to berate politics whole life) as inferior, then politics is really inferior and we need not bother about politics.
    5. If our Rishis are fine with monarchy, we thought, there is no need for alternative political system with more political accountability.
    6. All such things were instances of our foolishness only. A really intelligent Prime Minister of a democratic country will never hire someone like Buddha as Transport Minister, someone like Ramakrishna Paramahansa as “Poverty Alleviation Minister” (despite his immense compassion), someone like Swami Sivananda as “Family Planning Minister”, someone like Swami Vivekananda as “Panchayati Raj Minister” (as politics is inferior as per Swami Vivekananda and Panchayats are political institutions) and so on so forth.
  6. Final conclusion. If we are or want to become really intelligent, we must never accept anything blindly a saint says about political, social or economic problems with great faith as, in a majority of cases, it is not the domain in which the saint has done enough sustained studies and thinking to be a good enough thinker and hence, cannot be expected to be authoritative and correct despite any illusions that the saint or his/her followers may like to harbor – because “those who do not learn from the history are doomed to repeat it like we, foolish Indians, have repeated till 19th century.” But we did not repeat such mistakes that much in 20th century. So, India of 2000 AD is million times better than India of 1900 AD and if we completely eliminate the habit of getting blindly influenced by our saints’ attitudes and thinking on political, social and economic dimensions of our national life and do fresh, independent thinking ourselves, basing such thinking on universal spiritual values preached by all spiritual saints and traditions to the extent it is practically effective in face of (often more harsh than honeyed) ground realities, India of 2100 AD will be a trillion times better than the India of 2000 AD.

Thanks,

Gopal

ps: Mar 20, 2014 update -

These days one thought keeps coming to mind almost every day: ‘The people who blindly believe in saints will always get a very rude shock from this world. “Virtue is its own reward. Only good comes out of the good. A person with intense spirit of service and renunciation can induce goodness in others. The end of justice must be served at all costs. Social interests should always come before personal and family desires. So on and so forth.” These assertions of saints used to be my guiding posts in pre-teens, teens and 20s even though I got many warnings from common man about their untruth but which I totally rejected as utterances of people who lack high inner purity and social consciousness.

But, I realized that at least in the short span of my life till now, the warnings from common man turned out to be true and whatever I ended up learning and emulating from the teachings of the saints turned out to be false.

I have reached the rock bottom of my ideological journey. I will have to reinvent my life and social consciousness. What I mind is not failures and disappointments despite one’s best efforts, but foolishness and blindness. I think, I became more foolish and blind about the world’s realities due to naive faith in the teachings of saints. The saints who knew the absolute and universal truth of Supreme Reality turned out to be so ignorant about the relative and partial truths of this world.

But, as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. My next phase of life will surely see me coming up with the highest level of will, tenacity and practicality. I will prove that the good, the just and the true can and will triumph in this world eventually.

Posted in Socio-political issues | 29 Comments »

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!

Posted by Gopal on November 9, 2013


Dear friends,

There are times when you face the most serious ideological crisis of “to be or not to be”, a crisis which makes all the convictions and ideals for which you pledged your life to be so topsy-turvy as to sound an unachievable utopia and with that you feel your life has lost its vitality and purpose, perhaps never to gain them back again. Amidst such crisis, sometimes a blazing inspiration comes from the soul which can be perhaps expressed well only in the form of a poem. Here is my expression in the form of below poem as a result of facing such a crisis in my own life for over last 2 years:

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Amidsts the fallen comrades and forsaken hopes.
Cross this bottomless abyss upon conviction’s ropes.
Let ground beneath shake, but may thy soul be firm!
Thy dreams may seem too far, yet, O dreamer, affirm!
Has ever a calm sea made a greatly skillful sailor?
So, even when hit hardest, let thy resolve stay stellar!

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
The toughest only survives the toughest ordeal!
The bravest only fulfills humanity’s greatest weal!
When the wind is smooth, anyone can sustain hope!
Amidst tempests in voyage, only true heroes cope!
Even when thy hopes fade and thy dreams discolour!
Till the last, stay a hero and honor them with valour! (“them” here refers to dreams which have become less attractive due to fading hopes)

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Victories may be praised by the crowd, but defeats are also great.
When like Socrates, the defeated stoically challenge tyranny’s fate.
The resolute smith’s unyielding hammer strikes finally its ultimate blow.
Cracking the hard rock in hot sun, though sweet success may seem slow.
Like the resplendent palace, the last blow may have earned the crown.
Seldom praised is unseen foundation, which but only failed blows own.

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Too hard though obstacles seem, let mighty be thy resolve!
Know that with dogged courage, they always do dissolve!
In splendid light of success in life, so easily everyone smiles!
But, really great is the soul, smiling even at grim fate’s wiles.
As he sees light of duty within even in completely dark night!
What cruel destiny can bring to him then any pain or fright?

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Disappointments bring despair, yet brave hearts resist!
Even under gloomy sky, let thy soul steadily persist!
Blazing fire is the test for the gold that all adore and adorn.
But, the test for heroes is steady faith even with hopes torn.
One more blow, one more resolve and yet again one more stride.
Such fiery ardour till the last is the soil that grows humanity’s pride.

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Brave one! Recall thy pledge made to fiendish past! (pledge of “never again” to fiendish past)
Die in the battle, but let thy covenant with future last! (covenant with future – to change the past for ever)
A daring great soldier are thou, for a daring great cause!
Quit life but never the cause, albeit thou may take pause!
Sacrificing lower self fully, even gallant heroes at times dread.
Yet without melting, towards jewellery can gold forge ahead?

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Petty desires of life – stained, transient and fleeting.
Even the magnificent fame is fading and retreating.
O noble one! Thy dream, thy ideal lies beyond these straws.
To the pristine purity of love, unwaveringly thy life draws.
Whilst myriad thorns jab thy dream now, yet they shall never last.
Nobility wins even in defeats, so forever shall triumph thy love vast.

Plod on, brave one! With steady faith onward!
Braving every hurdle, onto thy goal forward!
Brave one! Summon all thy will and again reckon thy spirit!
Make the valiant dash and show valour that heroes inherit.
What fear for thou! Thunderbolt is thy will, astounding thy grit.
Before thy stout heart, all gusts and gales of life have to submit.
Lion’s roar in thy radiant heart shall set aflame all trials and travails.
So, stir thy mighty soul and halt not till thy exalted cause prevails.

(Written at New Delhi during 8th Nov, 2013: 11:15 pm to 9th Nov, 2013: 3:15 am)

Thanks,

Gopal

ps: It took 4 hours to express my inspiration – sigh! Blame it on my poor English vocabulary. I had to use Chambers Thesaurus (to find equivalent words) and online rhyme sites like http://rhymebrain.com and http://wikirhymer.com to write the poem. Yet, I must admit that very strong inspiration does not last long and hence, once I felt strongly inspired, I started writing the poem and ended it only after finishing it up. It was like releasing my pent up emotions after 2 year long “trial of fire”. Feeling relieved, relaxed and happy now. Hope, the poem seems inspiring and well-written to all readers. Feel free to offer your comments (and point any spelling errors :)).

Posted in Socio-political issues | 2 Comments »

An honest “thief” was born – my humanity violated most brutally by Indian society!

Posted by Gopal on August 27, 2013


Note:

  1. This article is definitely long and being a firm believer of judicious use of time, I urge you to read it only during meals or when you really need a break from your actual work.
  2. I have used words like animals/beasts many times in this article. They do not have any abnormal connotation – they simply indicate that the so-called human being referred as animal/beast believes and practices “physical might is right” jungle-principle and thumbs his nose at “intellectual might is right” or “ethical might is right” because due to his degraded, animal-class mind and mindset, he considers human society a jungle where “physical might is supposed to rule” rather than human society being a higher state of civilization where truth, goodness and justice are supposed to rule.

 

*********************************************************************************************************************

Dear friends,

Our Indian society is imagined by us to have great ethics and spirituality and Indian women are considered to be epitome of selfless motherhood. But, my experiences are quite different regarding Indian society as well as “selfless motherhood”. How to be positive in face of beastliness and insanity of others is such a big psychological and spiritual challenge that only they can understand it who have faced these things themselves. I got the first directly traumatic experience of life when I was just 13 year old in class VIII from my own mother and from Indian society which teaches kids to blindly believe that parents and especially mothers are the truest protectors of their kids – there was also one indirect trauma before that which made this first direct trauma even more unjust because my parents proved themselves incapable of learning from the past by giving me a direct trauma even after an earlier indirect trauma.

I have reeled under this injustice whole life. No amount of meditation and self-help techniques (including psychiatric medication from an AIIMS-educated doctor) have helped me to have positive feelings for my parents (my father is also extremely insensitive)

Why am I writing this post? To vent out – definitely! But, also to share some lessons for future generation and particularly, for people who are in politics, administration, judiciary and media and hence are capable of transforming India’s pathetically dysfunctional families and schools!

It is not good to write a long post because then readers lose interest. Also, generally people coming from dysfunctional families have so many traumatic experiences from their insensitive parents and socio-economic class they come from that they can never write about them in one blog article. I come from a dysfunctional, lower middle class family of Bihar. I got dysfunctional experiences from other members of lower-middle class families also. I ended up sharing all these experiences in last few years in too many articles on this blog and with too much bluntness that I finally deleted them all except this one – “10 important lessons from my life (Jul 13, 2012)” which is a fully neutral and at times even positive-toned article!

But, as they say, the first wound is too deep and I think, now the time has come for me to uncover this wound in neutral tone and language to the extent I can manage. If you feel that there is nothing to learn from my experience, then I do apologize for wasting your precious time. On my own, I do believe that this article has a strong message for socially conscious people who want to improve the pathetic state of affairs in our country’s homes and schools. A dysfunctional home and a dysfunctional school, where even basic human rights of children are not protected, can never produce functional citizens with pride in their country and civilization!

To come to the story, I studied in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Begusarai (Bihar) from class VI till class X. In that school, the dream of creating a gurukul (a fully residential and model CBSE school) for students from lower-middle and lower class families in every district of India was ruthlessly violated till I was there because the Principal and teachers there did not try to stop the insane habit of physically strong and mentally mean-minded so-called students to physically and mentally torture physically weaker students. I became an instant target for all physically strong and mentally mean-minded so-called students there from class VI itself as I was an introvert, too much studious and too righteousness-minded. There were 4 problems in that school:

  1. Senior students used to order junior students there for getting their things done like fetch a glass of water from handpump, get meal from school mess and sometimes give their own clothes in place of juniors’ clothes quota to the washerman. And all of this was done not though the force of love for juniors as elder brothers, but through the threat of physical beating. And even in case of complaints, nothing used to be done by the Principal and house wardens and so this was rampant throughout my 5 years’ stay there. I suffered taunts and beatings from such seniors from class VI till class X because I found it ethically wrong for a senior to disrupt the concentration during study hours and kill the time of juniors by forcing their personal work upon them just through fear of physical beatings. And the more I resisted, the more I was targetted because I was physically not strong enough and my Principals and house-wardens were insanely insensitive people who never tried to protect the basic human rights of junior and physically weaker students like me.
  2. Physically stronger and mean-minded batchmates also used to taunt and even beat physically weaker students even when they were batchmates and supposed to behave like colleagues. This was due to Navodaya school of my time being a jungle where “physical might was right” and physically mighty were left to prey upon the physically weak students and feel like lions of that jungle for their beastly behaviour. I suffered from taunts and beatings of one such batchmate in class IX and X who finally got well-deserved beatings from and due to me in class X (I had become tall and strong by the end of class IX to pay back the beasts of my class in the only language they appeared to understand – the language of tit-for-tat.) and he became a much more civilized person in class X due to pain induced by those beatings.
  3. There used to be regular stealings of students’ articles like glass, plate, lamp, bedsheet, books, etc. A major part of it was due to there being few thiefs in most batches of that school and a minor role was played by the vicious cycle in which a student whose article was stolen would feel forced to steal others’ articles to avoid financially troubling parents.
  4. Many girls were harassed by uncivilized boys there with taunts continuously even during my time (and it reached to the level of physical misbehaviour also once I left that school). Of course, nothing was done to protect the basic human rights of girls by the Principal and teachers because they seemed to believe in Navodaya being a jungle rather than a gurukul.

I suffered from first three problems throughout my 5-year long stay in that school. No complaints to house wardens or Principals (more than 3 people were Principals there one-after-another during my time due to regular transfers of many to Navodaya schools in other districts of Bihar) made even a tiny amount of effort in removing these problems because they were insanely insensitive people of disastrous previous generation with no sense of duty and ethics.

Taunts and beatings I used to get from seniors got intensified in its impact because it was combined with a deliberate and regular stealing of my articles and for every article I lost in that residential school, my mother used to give me merciless scolding, calling me dolt, careless, someone who had taken birth just to make her a beggar, etc. I got such scoldings from class VI till class VIII from my mother. She was an unrestrained woman in her manners and behaviour because my father had an illusion of her being very intelligent and left her to take care of me and my siblings with full freedom which she abused mercilessly in my case. I also had an illusion of her being very intelligent because of her stories like how she used to get top 3 rank in class during high school and nursing school training – God knows, what kind of idiots used to study in her classes for her to be in top 3 rank!

I also had an illusion till my late teenage which was created by Indian society through societal conditioning and teaching in textbooks that parents are always there to protect and help you whenever you need them. If I had known that some parents are insanely insensitive and dull-minded in every part of the world (in the present, past and probably in future also) to care properly about their own kids, I would have saved myself from the traumatic experience that insensitive behaviour of my mother produced in class VIII.

In class VIII, the stealings of my articles became more and more frequent and my mother got madder and madder in her scoldings. Her argument was that I should keep everything locked inside a box. But, things like glass, plate, lamp, books, etc. are used so often that once in 1 or 2 months, I used to forget them locking for few minutes or hours and they used to then get swiftly stolen. I do suspect that thieves of my 1-year senior batch used to do these stealings to mentally torture me because in my whole life so far, I have never seen such a gang of mean-minded beasts that I saw in students of my 1-year senior batch – they terrorized juniors of every class from beginning till the end of their stay in Navodaya school. My mother at last told me in class VIII, “Take away seniors’ article if they are taking yours.” She did not clarify even once that day or next day or anytime later that she did not want me to steal and that she gave that statement just in anger. I definitely did not accept her unethical instruction for stealing in return for someone stealing my article. But, there is a limit of tolerance to continuous torture from seniors, no help from Principals, House wardens, toxic scoldings of my mother and neutral silence of my father throughout this sordid affair for 3 years at a stretch from class VI till class VIII.

Just within few months after she told me to steal back, I forgot locking back my kerosene lamp one night and left it on my study desk and slept. When I woke up, my lamp was stolen during night. Terrified of mad scolding of my mother, I decided that even if I have to search every person’s article in every boys’ house (there were 8 boys’ house that time there), I will find my article as I cannot tolerate any more pain and frustration from severe scolding of my mother. I searched from house to house and then in one house, I found a lamp which looked exactly like mine. I told one student there that someone had taken this lamp from me and that I was taking it back and then brought that lamp back to my house and started using that as my own lamp.

Few days later, I opened that lamp to pour kerosene and then I was stunned to see that the wick of that lamp was very small, because I remembered the wick of my stolen lamp being quite long. I at once realized that this was not my lamp and at once the thought came to me, “Let me go back to that house and return this lamp to its owner.” But, the very next moment (not even a little gap was there, it was literally “very next moment”), the face of my angry mother scolding me again severely as dolt, careless, someone who had been born just to make her a beggar, etc. came to my mind, and I simply lost all my courage then and there and could not summon courage even later to return that lamp to its owner.

Though this was a great ethical mistake, but it also shows how much continuous mental and physical torture from one and all in most tender age can break the will of even a person like me who is one of the most ethical persons that my friends, family members and I have ever seen and will ever see in our lives. But, the next mistake was a tactical mistake. I told few persons in my batch whom I considered my friends about this episode few days later and one of them started blackmailing me, saying that he will tell about this to students of 1-year senior and beast number 1 batch. I was so afraid and first requested him not to do so and then even became angry at him for having such mean-minded thinking. Let me tell you here, I told those batchmates clearly that I had brought that lamp considering it my own lamp and my mistake was only when I did not return it back due to fear of mother. So, they knew that I was not a thief, but just a terrorized, helpless son of an extremely insensitive and unintelligent woman. But, that person was so mean-minded that first he took that lamp away for his own use by blackmailing me and then when I took that lamp back (because I was still in terror of my mother), just to see me getting mentally and physically tortured, next day itself he told the students of 1-year senior batch in that house. So, his behaviour was not even a bit guided by ethics, but by pure meanness and jealousy. And even other so-called friends in that house whom I had told about that episode did not do anything to stop him from telling this story of so-called stealing to seniors. Even today, I am ashamed of those so-called friends for stabbing me most brutally in my back.

So, that batchmate told the 1-batch senior students and they beat me black and blue before everyone in the whole house, taking all their revenge for my previous resistance to them on asking me to fetch water from handpump and food from school mess for them. I tried to plead with them that I did the mistake due to fear as someone stole my lamp. But, those beasts were too beastly to care and continued beating me till they got tired (for around 40-45 minutes). So, here I was – the first ranker of my batch from class VI till class VIII (and even thereafter) and someone who was called very brilliant, industrious and good-natured by every teacher who taught him, getting the label of thief from Navodaya students and getting merciless beatings for 40-45 minutes from my 1-batch seniors. No one in Navodaya came forward or even made a mild effort to save me from beatings that day, such was the low level of consciousness, students of that school possessed.

So, after the beating was over, I went to my house warden telling him about this episode and requesting him to give me leave to go back to my house in the town. He gave me that leave, but of course, he was not concerned that a student of his house was physically beaten so mercilessly by seniors (even if I did a mistake, the right to punish me lied with house warden and Principal and not with any senior students.) because he was himself an insanely insensitive person of disastrous previous generation.

So, I reached home weeping throughout my journey due to physical and emotional hurt. I saw my mother and two sisters at the house porch. She asked why I came back from my residential school and why I was weeping. I told her the whole episode and she said, “My children are so simple-minded – they do not even know how to steal.” But, she was surely angry that I was beaten so badly. So, she sent my uncle (my father used to be absent at home because of his posting as a teacher at a far off high school) to the school to complain to my house-warden about this beating. My uncle went there and complained to house-warden and returned back. Of course, house-warden did not do anything just like in the past.

And everything was over for my family regarding that episode except one thing that I did not want to go back to that jungle called Navodaya school and clearly told my mother with great pain and frustration in heart, “I do not want to go back to that school. Please put me in some other school.” She discussed about this with my father and my father told her, “I should study there till class X and then I can leave.” I do not know till today, what my mother told to my father – did my father know about that stealing and subsequent beating episode when he decided that I should study till class X in that jungle? I do not know even now nor knowing that will lessen the misdeeds of my mother and father because I do know

  1. that my father did not talk to me even once why I wanted to leave that school. He took his decision on his own without talking to me even once and forced that upon me like he always had done with his kids due to his Hitlar-style so-called parenting.
  2. that my father never met my Principal, house-warden or torturer seniors even once from class VI till class X to seek solution to my problem even when he knew that I was being physically and mentally tortured by senior students throughout these 5 years.
  3. that my father never suggested even once to my mother to not scold me if my article was being stolen. Because at max, Rs. 20 per month was being lost through such stealings and my family had total monthly income of more than Rs. 5000 that time. Also, I got selected in Navodaya School through an entrance exam and was saving them Rs. 400 per month which they had to pay as school fees in any other CBSE school. So, on the whole I was saving them Rs. 400-20=Rs. 380 rather than making them lose Rs. 20 every month – unfortunately, my mother did not possess enough intelligence to understand this! No family will become a beggar if there is a loss of stealings of Rs. 20 per month through a son who in fact, is saving you Rs. 400 in school fees through his scholarship.

How can someone who has been openly proclaimed as very brilliant, industrious and good-natured by every teacher who taught him during primary and high schools and was getting the first rank in his class even in a school like Navodaya where all students are selected through a competitive entrance exam, be dolt/careless/someone who had taken birth just to make his parents beggars? The fact is my mother was neither intelligent nor sensitive enough to be a good mother. And my father was also in the same category. If his wife was so ill-mannered and unintelligent, why did he not divorce her for the sake of emotional well-being of her kids rather than allowing her to torture the hapless kids in name of “selfless motherhood of a woman”?

So, I returned back to that very jungle, thanks to my parents’ unintelligence and insensitivity to get humiliated and beaten for another two years in class IX and X. Now, the humiliation and beatings became even more torturous because of the label of my being a thief. I was so frustrated and depressed throughout my class IX and X that I would not wish such experience upon even my worst enemies (including upon my own mother and father). I had realized that there is no justice from elders of previous generation for me, be they my own parents or my teachers and Principals and that in a jungle like Navodaya school of my time, the physically weak like me had no choice but to submit to humiliation and beatings. Due to this realization, I had developed a crazy will to become physically strong and in class IX, I grew very tall and much more strong due to that sheer will for self-survival in that jungle.

Due to growing tall and strong by the end of class IX, I was confident that any of my batchmates will not be able to intimidate or beat me again. But, seniors were again a hopeless pain because if you do physical violence against senior even to defend yourself, their batchmates will form a gang and severely beat you till they get tired. In class IX, I saw many animals of that 1-year senior batch stealing goods like plate, bedsheets, etc. from junior students on one single day while we were in classrooms so that they could deposit them as their own goods while leaving Navodaya school after their class X board exam. And then I realized real thieves and animals of that 1-year senior batch had humiliated and beaten a duplicate thief and good-hearted person like me 1 year ago. What an injustice! What a shame!

When I reached class X, all animals of that 1-year senior batch in my house were transferred to other houses (there were total 8 houses in boys’ hostel and there was inter-house transfer of students of that batch that year) and I became a bit happy and free because new seniors of that batch that came to my house seemed much better. But, after few months, my hopes were dashed again when those new seniors also started bossing me even when I was in class X. One of them gave me a slap with full force in class X also over a very minor matter just to show me who my boss was even in class X – that slap changed me completely. I thought, even in class X, when I continuously have been the first ranker of my class from class VI to class IX, just 1-year senior student slapped me so publicly for no real fault of mine. Where is my honour! I am publicly slapped and dishonoured even in class X!

And then, the violent rage and madness came to me. Thereafter, everyday I used to pump my fist in air and imagine beating that 1-year senior who dared to slap me even in class X. And then, that senior did a mistake of indulging into homosexuality with one junior. I got my golden chance for revenge when that exploited junior told me about that episode.

Then, I along with my batchmates of the house summoned entire junior students of my house and closed the door of the house and went to that senior’s bed. And after telling him once why he indulged into wrong thing, I started slapping and pumping fists upon him like a mad person for almost 5 minutes or so in which he got as many slaps and fists as I could rain on him one-after-another, each with the full force of hate-filled anger and energy induced in me by the animals of that 1-year senior Navodaya batch over previous 5 years. And all juniors of my house saw that merciless beating of a senior by a junior. And after beating him to my heart’s content over 5 minutes or so, I went into hiding in another house of hostel for few hours to save myself from any instant revengeful reaction from his batchmates. But, he was so wrong and my house juniors were so strongly with me that he simply left the school weeping profusely over his public humiliation at my hand that very day itself within few hours and his batchmates did not dare to take any revenge from me because it could have led to a fight with my entire house and batchmates who were totally with me.

I had tasted the immense happiness and joy that revenge produced that day and got mad for more and more revenge from every animal of my 1-year senior batch who had beaten me in previous 5 years. But, since I was always afraid of getting mob-beating from that batch (after all, you cannot fight 10-12 people alone!) and also because I had to do well in class X board exam to get admission into a good school for IIT-JEE preparation, I did not fight with any senior for the rest of class X. Once I gave my board exam, I was in my home from which Navodaya school was just 2-3 kilometres. Many students of Navodaya school used to visit cinema-halls or markets. So, I thought, if I have my gang of non-Navodaya friends with me and we catch any animal of that 1-year senior batch, I will teach him how juniors like me used to feel after getting humiliated and beaten by him in Navodaya.

  1. I caught 2 such students from that batch and needless to say, I fulfilled my mad thirst for revenge with them.
  2. When the first senior was caught by my gang near a cinema-hall, we dragged him to a secluded corner and then started beating him, but unfortunately one of my non-Navodaya friends struck his head with belt in the very beginning of our assault and blood started gushing out of his head. I was aghast as I did not want any blood in beating, but only slaps, fists and leg-assaults till we got tired of beating that animal-class senior. So, I let off that senior who, putting his hands on his head to stop the gushing blood flow and crying “bap re bap” (meaning in English, O my father!), left us and went back to Navodaya school and filed a complaint against me with the Navodaya administration who anyway could not do anything as I left the school after class X.
  3. And in case of the other senior who was caught by my gang of non-Navodaya friends, I did not come before him and just allowed my gang to catch and then beat him like animal till they got tired.
  4. I tried to catch 2 more students of that 1-year senior batch for such well-deserved beatings, but they were not caught. One of them eventually got beaten 1 year later by 2-year juniors with cricket-bat in Navodaya school because he publicly humiliated and abused one 2-year junior from my house, who then applied his experience of mob-violence set by me against animals of that batch and making a gang of his batchmates, beat that totally animal-class senior physically first and then even a with cricket-bat.
  5. There were a dozen animals in my 1-year senior batch, a majority of whom got beaten like animals by juniors as revenge for their unjustices to us before they left that school.
  6. What a poetic justice animals of my 1-year senior Navodaya batch got! When juniors like me complained against their insults and beatings with Navodaya administration, the administration did not do anything to protect us and now when these animals got severe beatings from juniors (me included) finally, the Navodaya administration was equally incapable of protecting them from juniors’ violent vengeance.

BUT,

  1. The big question was why these 1 dozen or so animals of my 1-year senior batch and 2-3 animals of every batch (mine included) were not thrown out of the school by the Principals and house-wardens when juniors complained against them even when the Principal had access to the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of district as that school was a reputed residential school of the district!
  2. This was because these Principals and teachers (house-wardens) were insanely insensitive people (what Bhagavad Gita calls tamasic class people) of previous, disastrous generation. Hence, they converted a model school into a jungle where even good-natured people like me had to resort finally to the street justice in sheer frustration due to continuous denial of justice from school administration and even parents!

Apart from this physical response to my traumatic experience at Navodaya school, I also developed an ardent desire to give an intellectual response when one of the students of that animal-class 1-year senior Navodaya batch got 105 rank in IIT-JEE 2000 and got admission into IIT Kanpur, B. Tech Computer Science which in my knowledge that time was the best engineering stream at the best engineering college of India. (At present, I neither consider any stream as the best engineering stream nor any college as the best engineering college of India – all IITs are equally good and all engineering streams are equally good in my eyes now! What matters really is the capability, interest and will of the student and not the engineering college or stream.)

He was definitely a good student, but he was definitely an insensitive student for he was in the same House in Navodaya in which I was and his batchmates of that house mentally and physically tortured me and other juniors in his very presence not once but again and again for many years and he did not make even a mild effort even once in those many years to save me or any other junior from beastly insults and beatings of his batchmates. He was a person who was reputed to be doing yoga from the age of 4 (and had taken initiation from the Head of Bihar School of Yoga) and still he did not became a refined and sensitive person. Even later, he was least regretful about all these events (I never heard any words of regret from him till now despite sending him link to this article.), i.e., he continued to remain unrefined and insensitive person.

On the other hand, when I learnt meditation in my 2nd year at IIT Kanpur from internet without any initiation from any Guru, within 1 year, I became so sensitive to even insects that I did not allow one of my IIT Kanpur batchmates to kill mosquitos in my room, telling him, “Do not cause pain to them when you can easily scare them away using mosquito repellents.” So, the truth is yoga-practice does improve a person, but it does improve only 10-20% barring some exceptions who get improved much more. Since I was always good-hearted and sensitive by birth itself, my yoga-practice made me fully sensitive to even mosquitos, ants and other insects within 1 year. But, since my 105 rank, IIT-JEE 2000 senior at IIT Kanpur (and at Navodaya school) was inborn insensitive, even his yoga-practice from the age of 4 and direct tutelage of the Head of Bihar School of Yoga did not give him sensitivity to make even a mild effort even once over many years’ period to stop his beast-class batchmates of my 1-year senior Navodaya batch from mentally and physically torturing me or other juniors.

The lesson is:

Yoga can transform human beings only a little – not more than 10-20% barring few exceptional cases. The real BIG change in the world will not come from spreading yoga or Vedanta philosophy, but by (1) ensuring prompt justice to every child, every adult and every senior citizen and (2) reducing any chance for wrong-doings as much as possible both through (a) extremely strong law and order and (b) other technical and institutional mechanisms.

But, I had my sweet intellectual revenge over that 105 rank, IIT-JEE 2000 senior and his beastly Navodaya batch when I cracked 85 rank in IIT-JEE 2002 and took admission into B. Tech Computer Science, IIT Kanpur. No student of his Navodaya batch has managed to better my rank in any national competitive examination so far – that is the best intellectual revenge I have heaped upon animals of that 1-year senior Navodaya batch and all junior Navodaya students of my time hail this intellectual revenge because many of them were also terrorized by those animals.

In 2001, I had managed to get 1252 rank in IIT JEE and 132 rank in Roorkee entrance examination. But, I had felt so humiliated by animals of my 1-year senior batch of Navodaya jungle, that I wanted to prepare again. I had no confidence that I would be able to change the branch after entering IIT. So, I wanted not to join IIT that year and go to Delhi and prepare one more time to supersede 105 rank of that senior from animal batch. My father and mother abused me when they heard my plan. When I said, I will die but not join IIT this year, my mother told this to my father and my father at once replied before me and my mother, “Let him die. I do not care.” And I waited and waited with great agony for him to take back his shockingly insensitive words, but hours, days and finally years passed, but he never took back those words. Since I was determined, my parents (first mother and then father) had to relent and I prepared in FIIT-JEE Delhi for 1 year, fetching 85 rank in 2002 and finally fulfilling my mission of justice and ethics.

In 2001, I had realized that in Navodaya school’s so-called stealing case of my life, I was not the thief – my mother was the thief. She was the one who deserved all humiliations which I underwent due to her insanely insensitive and unintelligent behaviour. When I realized this, I started burning with rage against my mother and when after few months I went my home and met my mother, I told her how she made me a thief and allowed me to be mentally and physically tortured by beast-class seniors in such a tender age, disturbing my emotional and intellectual growth most severely.

I expected her to feel and say sorry to me. I was 100% eager to see her feeling and saying sorry for her big behavioural mistake with me and I was fully willing that time to forgive her from the bottom of my heart and let go of the whole painful affairs of the past.

But, she started scolding me again, saying that she did no mistake, that physical beating is normal at hostel and that I did not suffer in Navodaya school, but that I had an illusion of suffering at Navodaya school. When I became angry at her insane self-justification and use of words like “illusion of suffering”, she harshly told me that she was not sorry for anything and that I should keep chanting Navodaya, Navodaya whole life.” I was crestfallen and dumbstruck with shock! Here was I willing to fully forgive my mother despite my tremendous mental sufferings and humiliation at the mere age of 13 due to her and she again ended up showing herself fully incapable of feeling and saying sorry for her ghastly mistake even 5 years after that event! I realized that my mother is a pathetically insensitive and unintelligent woman and left arguing with her over my Navodaya trauma till I joined IIT Kanpur in 2002.

Once I joined IIT Kanpur in 2002, my mother started saying sorry about what she did to me all of a sudden. I realized that it was due to the impact of my IIT brand because just 1 year ago, she mercilessly brutalized me when I tried to fetch a sorry from her for her ghastly mistake. And till now, she has been saying sorry and I have been feeling incapable of forgiveness despite many genuine efforts to persuade my aggrieved mind. But, she is a mother (she should not have been so, but who cares about ability to be a good parent in this world – they all live on just biological plane like animals) and I will definitely forgive her if I reach an adequately higher level of consciousness through more and more self-effort, yoga practice and continuous celibacy.

So, it is clear that my humanity was violated when I was just 13-year old by Indian society because

  1. Indian society erroneously conditioned me through textbooks and societal environment that all parents and especially mothers are selfless protectors of their kids.
  2. Indian society allowed an environment where people can produce as many kids as they want and indulge in as much child abuse as they feel like doing without even a modicum of protection of kids’ dignity, emotional health and basic human rights.
  3. Indian society allowed teachers of residential schools to be totally insensitive and careless about their duty to protect physically weak students from any violence at the hands of physically strong and mean-minded so-called students.

I have nothing to write in conclusion except this last lesson from my article “10 important lessons from my life (Jul 13, 2012)” -

  1. One more lesson. There are unfortunately many dysfunctional families in this world – in case you are born into such a family, please do not get shocked by insensitive, unintelligent or unethical behaviour of your elders as that is what is normal in dysfunctional families (otherwise why they will be dysfunctional). You should try the following to deal with “troublemaker” elder:
    1. If you are financial dependent on the “troublemaker” elder, you may not be able to wriggle out of the situation on money front, but you can still try to put pressure to stop insensitive, unintelligent behaviour on a particular elder by writing a letter or email to him/her (because direct talk fails many times to have an effect on unintelligent people.)
    2. If the above fails, talk to other parent or grandparent or friends of the troublemaker elder or whoever in your opinion can have some sobering effect on him/her, so that they can convince the troublemaker elder to stop mentally or physically torturing you.
    3. If the above also fails, take the help of elders from neighbourhood or your teachers and principal, so that they can convince the troublemaker elder to stop mentally or physically torturing you.
    4. If all the above fails, remember that in many countries, even kids have been given legal rights to have a life of dignity. Approach police (Police stations have child welfare officers in India) and tell them your problem and ask them to help you. Unfortunately, unlike countries like Norway, we do not have strong institutions to take the kids out of the hands of dysfunctional families and give them for adoption to civilized people. So, lots of us from such families continue the life of hellish childhood. But, I hope, future civilized bureaucrats and political leaders will create such good institutions in India also.

Sorry if you feel that any part of this article wasted your precious time! I genuinely hope, you got some serious and useful lessons on human psychology from this article and I wish,

  1. women and men of future generations of India and elsewhere will be quite intelligent and sensitive parents and
  2. that in this world, animal-class so-called humans, who shamelessly heap emotional abuse and physical violence upon the weak again and again, will never be shown “punishment-free forgiveness” and will always be given prompt and adequate punishment by the righteous people and system because animal-class so-called humans (called tamasic class people in Bhagavad Gita) are too insensitive and unintelligent to understand their mistakes through “punishment-free forgiveness” and rational arguments as experiences of the past history of humanity amply show.

Thanks,

Gopal

PS:

  1. I do recommend taking psychiatric medication to deal with serious traumas of the past if yoga and meditation do not help fully. I myself believed erroneously throughout 20s that psychiatric medication is futile to deal with past traumas because I read in an article by Osho that psychiatrists commit suicide in large numbers which seem to be empirically verified in many studies, but does not negate the power of psychiatric medication as my own experiences proved now to me. When I tried psychiatric medication few months ago, I found that I can calm my mind down within 30 min using a tranquilizer tablet, Alprazolam, even when it is at its extreme level of frustration and rage over the injustices of the past and thus, it gave me a fulfilling and productive sense of control over life which is the crucial step towards full healing and letting go. So, I believe now in “yoga plus psychiatric medication” to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and recommend the same to others as well.
  2. After writing this article, I got reply on facebook from the person whose lamp was mistakenly taken by me (I learnt that he was that person first time in life now): “I know about yr story, I am the guy whom you helped in Ranchi, and the lamp u took was mine…you may be glad to know i also cracked jee with 577 ranks and consider you as my guru.” So, the moral victory also belongs to me. This reply from him will help me heal faster and more completely. But, the lessons that are in article stay true and reveal the limitations of spirituality (non-violent, punishment-free methods) in dealing with lower-type of humanity (tamasic class).
  3. I am on way to complete healing and recovery through multi-dimensional approach of yoga, celibacy, venting out constructively like I did in this article and contacting and telling all those beasts who humiliated or beat me in Navodaya school about how much behind I left them intellectually as well as spiritually for ever. I thank you all for your wishes and support – they are very helpful for my healing and recovery.
  4. As is normal, I would like to associate only with institutions where my basic human rights and dignity were protected (like IIT Kanpur and UIUC). Since Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) Begusarai did not prove to be such an institution, I do not belong to Navodaya, but only to civilized institutions like IIT Kanpur and UIUC. I wish, no student has to face this type of barbarism that I faced in JNV Begusarai of my time in any institution of India or elsewhere. Best wishes for the readers of this article.

Posted in Socio-political issues | 11 Comments »

Mastering emotional reaction even under the worst circumstances

Posted by Gopal on June 25, 2013


Hi friends,

Like everyone else, I have also faced troubles in “mastering emotional reaction even under the worst circumstances”. Years ago, I thought, daily meditation for at least 30 min (I do “Thoughtless awareness meditation“) will fix this problem in future, but now that I have been doing daily meditation for 30 min for last 10 years and I have not yet mastered it, I have decided to additionally use auto-suggestion in “write and read aloud” mode technique which has given me wonderful results in so many chronic and equally difficult problems in last 1 year, for example, “Internet distraction problem“.

This is very experimental as I have started using this technique only from this week and I am writing this article only for the sake of any reader who may wish to join the experiment from the very beginning. I am explaining this below in full details.

  1. Relationship goal: My goal is to never allow total breakdown in any relationship except for the cases of physical violence, financial cheating or meanly privacy violation and at most allow such relationship to become highly inactive without any feelings of ill-will, but never totally broken. I guess, this should be the goal for everyone else also because we become more and more emotionally fragile and dissipated by breaking off relationships unless it is severe cases like physical violence or financial cheating in which case we are more often emotionally fine and strong with breaking the relationship as opposed to making it more inactive.
  2. Follow 24-hour break rule (its explanation will follow soon) and to train yourself to actually follow this rule, give 2-3 rounds of below auto-suggestion in “write and read aloud” mode every Sunday for which you should set a reminder in your mobile.
    1. “24-hour break” rule: I always take at least a 24-hour break before responding to anything which makes me quite upset or angry and I always respond through call/talk, if feasible, rather than email/chat, always respond only through soft-worded criticism and conciliatory language, always respond with a view to achieving my relationship goal of avoiding total breakdown except in cases of physical violence, financial cheating or meanly privacy violation, always respond only after reading the detailed meaning of soft-worded criticism and conciliatory language given in my article least once (and preferably twice) and if feasible, respond only after discussion with at least one neutral and rational person.
    2. Use just one of diary/document/article words in above auto-suggestion depending on where you keep the relationship goal and detailed meaning of soft-worded criticism and conciliatory language. (I have given detailed meaning of these two below – you may enhance it even further as per your own understanding.)
    3. I have used “if feasible” twice in above auto-suggestion, explanation for which is below:
      1. because every time we cannot call/talk to the concerned person due to lack of right emotional or physical situation,
      2. because every time our problem is not something which can be discussed with someone else to take a second opinion.
    4. I have used the phrase “soft-worded criticism” which is worth some more explanation. In contrast to praise, criticism is very hard to digest for the person at whom it is directed. So, we should always make critical words as soft-worded as possible. Just consider the difference between the effect of this sentence, “You are very arrogant by nature.” and “Sometimes you are not polite to me and it really hurts me.” Both sentences are conveying your criticism to the other person, but the effect of the first one when compared to that of the second sentence will be much more devastating and the ill-will caused by it will stay for a much longer time even if the sentence is retracted back later, thereby making the possibility of reconciliation and compromise more and more difficult. To use soft-worded criticism, do the following:
      1. Always use negative phrases for critical remarks. For example, use “not polite” rather than “arrogant”, “not very smart” rather than “idiot”, etc.
      2. Always use qualified phrases for critical remarks. For example, use “You are not very smart sometimes.” rather than “You are not a smart person.” The first one is qualified by the word “sometimes”, whereas the second sentence is unqualified and conveys the impression to the other person that he/she is stupid all the times and in every situation, thereby making him/her feel utterly humiliated. In contrast, the first sentence gives some consolation to the other person that he is “not smart” only sometimes, but not all the time, thereby making him/her less hurt and demoralized. Hope, you got the point.
      3. Always use “sad” phrases rather than “angry” phrases for critical remarks. Sadness evokes sympathies, whereas anger evokes more anger. Contrast this sentence containing a sad phrase, “I am very sad after reading your remarks.” with this sentence containing an angry phrase, “How dare you say these things to me!” You can clearly understand that the first sentence containing the sad phrase will evoke the sympathetic side of the other person whereas the second sentence containing the angry phrase will evoke the angry side of the other person, leading to a vicious, dissipative and foolish cycle of attack and counter-attack. Hope, you got the point.
      4. Always avoid using any personal information that the other person gave you in good faith against him/her in your critical remarks. This is otherwise taken as backstabbing, betrayal of trust and unjust humiliation by the other person and hence, makes the reconciliation nearly impossible.
      5. Always use praise for good qualities of the person at the beginning, at the end and even in the middle of critical remarks to make it easier for the other person to receive them without feeling very down and hurt.
      6. Always  cite your own past mistakes, done in similar situations, at the beginning, at the end and even in the middle of critical remarks to make it easier for the other person to receive them without feeling very down and hurt.
      7. Always try to make the criticism idea-based rather than event/personaility-based as much as feasible. This is not perfectly feasible, hence I am using the phrase “as much as feasible”.
      8. Always avoid “group criticism” in your critical remarks. Group criticism means criticizing a whole group with which the other person is associated in your critical remarks, like criticizing his/her family, race, village, area, caste, religion, country, etc. This type of criticism is hitting below the belt in a most unjust manner and makes it impossible to reconciliate. Hence, we must avoid this.
      9. Always avoid criticizing something which is beyond a person to change or improve. For example, do not criticize one’s physical features (beauty, height, disease), family history, etc. This type of criticism is also hitting below the belt in a most unjust manner and makes it impossible to reconciliate. Hence, we must avoid this.
      10. Finally, never hesitate to apologize if the other person is feeling unjustly hurt or very demoralized by your critical remarks or behaviour even if you feel justified about your critical remarks or behaviour. Apologizing for causing hurt to someone is not a sign of inner weakness – it is, in fact, a sign of inner strength and maturity. It does not make us look small in the eyes of others; rather it makes us look positive and praise-worthy. And of course, it assuages the hurt feelings of the other person and thus, makes it possible to avoid a total breakdown of the relationship.
    5. “Conciliatory language” in above auto-suggestion means the following:
      1. Whenever your mistakes are pointed out, if you feel you are right, give your clarification in polite, firm and respectful tone and language and if you feel you are wrong, admit your mistake humbly and show grateful appreciation to other person. For example, you can say, “I really admire the way you pointed out this shortcoming in me. Thank you very much for this. I will surely work on removing this.”
      2. Use proper type of logic, examples, facts and analogies on the matter under discussion and use them in proper sequence. Our views becomes very clear and convincing to other person if we use appropriate logic, examples, facts and analogies to explain them: so, always use logic, examples, facts and analogies during conversation. Since the beginning part of a conversation projects the motive behind the conversation and makes the first impression to the other person, always begin with positive logic (i.e. what should be done and why it should be done.), examples, facts and analogies. Similarly do the same in the end part of conversation because the end part projects conclusion and motive to the other person. But, in the middle part of conversation, do give negative logic (what should not be done and why it should not be done), examples, facts and analogies so that a complete understanding of pros and cons may be shared and discussed during the communication for sake of the greatest benefit to both sides. We should also continuously increase our knowledge and understanding through analysis, reading and learning so that we may become capable of giving right type of logic, examples, facts and analogies to a particular person on a particular matter when the situation arises.
      3. Use the language of ‘we’ and other impersonal language more prominently and use the language of “I” as little as possible. The language of “I” is useful only when we want to provide emotional support and personal example for motivating others. e.g. “I am always here to help you.”, “I also faced academic failure in life and thought, I will not be able to recover. But, then I worked hard, maintained a positive attitude and finally recovered from my academic failure. If I can do this, you can also do this provided you maintain a positive attitude and work hard.” ). This is very, very necessary because ego’s negative manifestation in communication mostly happens through the language of “I” and also, because too much use of “I” makes even positive communication less positive to other side as it is seen as talk of an egoistic and boastful person. Whereas the language of “we” produces bonding and feeling of togetherness between both and other type of impersonal language allows the other person to take the critical feedback without feeling offended or demoralized. For example: (a) Instead of saying, “I will never accept your rude behaviour.”, say “No one can accept such rude behaviour.”/”Such rude behaviour is unacceptable and indefensible.” , (b) Instead of saying, “I will never allow you to smoke.”, say “One who really cares and feels for you, cannot allow you to fall in such bad habits and eventually suffer in life.”, etc.
      4. Withdraw back from conversation when there is high level of disagreement with 2 types of polite response a) polite response , “It was a very nice discussion. We should think over this issue and discuss again some other time.”, in case having full/high agreement is a must (both can fix the time for next conversation that time itself or leave that to future, depending upon the situation) and b) polite response , “It was a very nice discussion. I learnt a lot new things. Let us agree to disagree on some of our views and keep on working together on our areas of agreement.”, in case having full agreement is not a must.
      5. Use the conciliatory language of silence as your response whenever you feel that you can prove your point or reach the resolution of the issue more effectively and convincingly through actions rather than words or whenever you find the other person too irrational or close-minded to engage in any fruitful discussion. This is better than negatively reacting and harming the relations irreparably.
    6. The break of 24-hour lessens our pain a lot thanks to the soothing effect of intervening sleep and more time-space between stimulus and response, making us a lot more calmer and balanced in our response. Animals do not maintain any time-space between stimulus and response – they are completely instinctive. Human beings would do well to avoid reacting instantly and violently like animals and one of the important keys to enable us to do that is to lengthen the gap between stimulus and response in the cases of hurt or anger to at least 24 hours. This auto-suggestion technique is designed to help us do that effectively and in practice rather than let this remain just a theoretical proposition which we keep on failing to execute when actually called upon to do so.
  3. This is an absolute must – whenever you get quite upset or angry, at once give 2-3 rounds of “24-hour break” rule auto-suggestion in “write and read aloud” mode and wait for another 24 hours before responding. Keep on giving  2-3 rounds of “24-hour break” rule auto-suggestion in “write and read aloud” mode every day throughout the crisis phase when you have to actually put this 24-hour break rule in operation. This type of crisis keeps coming at least once every year in life for most of us, doesn’t it? And generally all our normal techniques and past affirmations fail to save us from negative emotional reaction and we repent later taking the pledge not to repeat the mistake in future, but repeat the same mistake again in case of next crisis. Thus, this problem of lack of mastery over emotional reaction even during the worst circumstances continues. My technique aims to to destroy this problem completely.
  4. This is also an absolute must – always read the goal of avoiding total breakdown of relationship except in certain grave cases as well as the explanation of “soft-worded criticism” and “conciliatory language” given in this article at least once (and preferably twice) before responding to the other person after a break of at least 24 hours in such crisis situation. This will make sure that you are more aware of these things while responding to the other person.
  5. This auto-suggestion should be given in “write and read aloud” mode, meaning write it once (on page with a pen) and then read it aloud. Writing it will involve the senses of touch and vision and reading it aloud will involve the senses of hearing and vision. Thus, 3 most powerful senses of touch, vision and hearing get used in “write and read aloud” auto-suggestion, making it amazingly powerful and quickly effective. In fact, “write and read aloud” mode auto-suggestion is the most powerful method of auto-suggestion and gives us amazing results very quickly.
  6. Since “write and read aloud” mode auto-suggestion takes more time also, hence I am not insisting on too high rounds. Still, at least 2 rounds must be used at one time. I myself give exactly 2 rounds. To save time, the auto-suggestion has been made weekly because anyway such crisis does not come usually for more than 4-5 times in a year and hence, weekly auto-suggestion will suffice.
  7. After 1 year’s total success, make it biweekly (once every 2 week) auto-suggestion and after 1 more year’s total success, make it monthly auto-suggestion and stay there because every second of life should be used judiciously. In case of any failing in following this rule, revert back to weekly auto-suggestion and then again move to biweekly and monthly respectively after 1 years’ and 2 years’ total success.

This is the technique, friends, using which I hope to master emotional reaction even under the worst circumstances so that I make a relationship highly inactive at worse without any feeling of ill-will by dint of mature, balanced and non-extreme emotional reaction and do not end up breaking it completely through immature, imbalanced and negative emotional reaction. I will allow exceptions to this rule for the cases of physical violence or financial cheating for which I have neither time nor ideological inclination to continue the relationship.

You may give this technique a try. This is just experimental, but based on very, very intelligent insights. I will add update notes with this article on its successes (and failures) with time – in case of no updates, assume continuous success.

Your comments are warmly welcome.

Warm regards,

Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 1 Comment »

 
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