The Making of a Sarvodaya Yogi

Blog update

Posted by Gopal on August 3, 2015


Dear friends,

Have made an extremely good update to 12-point brahmacharya/celibacy formula: “(10) Follow a 10/10-grade concentration/focus maximization formula (CM/FM formula) to improve living from moment to moment, to channel the mental energy fully along creative direction and to avoid distraction and dissipation of mental energy and damage to physical health due to harmful emotional hangups/preoccupations and any compulsive/addictive behaviour.

Please read above link if interested in 12-point brahmacharya/celibacy formula.

Thanks,

Gopal

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The Mission of my life

Posted by Gopal on August 1, 2015


Hi friends,

This post will explain the Mission of my life as concisely as possible for me to do.

As mentioned in “About me“, I am pursuing 3 great aspirations in this life with utmost devotion:

  1. To develop all kinds of creative powers such as intellectual power, physical health, spiritual power, financial power, etc. to the highest possible level whole life and to share all my insights, techniques and knowledge in every creative field with people through website, social media, books, videos, etc.
  2. To contribute my utmost to social reforms in the fields of education, health-care, gender equality, caste-free society, human values and healthy/functional families.
  3. To contribute my utmost to reforms in the fields of politics and administration in order to make them clean, efficient and people-centric. I consider Chanakya, the celebrated Umayyad Caliph Hazrat Umar Bin Abdul Aziz (also known as Umar II), Guru Govind Singh Ji, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Bhagat Singh and his comrades, Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi as my role-models in this mission.

If one asks me to express in one sentence the Mission of my life, it would be: “To make India (Bharat) the greatest nation ever in her entire history and a leading light for the entire humanity”. There is no sacrifice which I am not willing to make for the complete success of this Mission.

How I developed such a Mission of life has an interesting story which is as follows:

  • Once I started the process of learning at the age of 3 (or earlier), I started showing a gifted level of sincerity in academics. I enjoyed studies more than everything else. For example, even at the age of 4-5, whenever my sleep would break untimely sometimes and I would be unable to fall back asleep, I would at once start studying with great relish till I again felt drowsy and went back to sleep. Once I started going to school, I enjoyed it so much that even in class nursery (the entry level) at the age of 4, I developed on my own clear-cut time-management principle of prioritization in which finishing homework before going out to play became my natural priority. I was noted down from that age itself for my amazing interest in academics and I was popularly known as a special kid with both quite high perseverance level as well as quite high intelligence who will achieve great things once he grows up. My sincerity was actually not just in academics. Whatever I takes up in life (even something in which I did not have great interest or ability such as drawing class), I always try to give my best to it. So, “top-class sincerity” defines me from the earliest phase of life.
  • But, my first ideological breakthrough came at the mere age of 8 year or 7 year (when I was in class II or I – do not remember very well which one). I volunteered in class to give a speech in school on 15th August on the occasion of “Independence Day” along with some more kids. During the preparation of the speech at home, I asked my family elders to explain me about Independence Day and they explained to me about the sacrifices made to free India from the Britishers. I was just amazed that so many people not only faced lathis and bullets at the hands of Britishers, but many willingly became martyrs also such as Bhagat Singh, Khudiram Bose, etc. to give us Independence. I was thrilled to learn that such people also existed in our country. I understood very well the concepts of society, family and individual that time itself that I am individual, my parents and siblings are my family and everyone that I see around together constitute society. I asked myself, why these people sacrificed so much and even willingly died also for the country or society. The answer came to me naturally from within – they did so because society is more important than individual and family. I was completely thrilled with this revelation and naturally considered it the greatest principle that is possible for anyone to base one’s life upon and at once pledged to do so myself by following “society comes first” principle, always putting society above self and family and never hesitating in making any sacrifice for the society including even gladly dying for the society if the need arises.
  • The above ideological breakthrough happened as the first ideological breakthrough in life at the mere age of 8 (or 7) and that too so easily and so naturally from within that I always believed as a small kid that everyone else also understands such an easy and great principle at my age and then follows this like I aim to do. Once I started reading newspaper at the age of 10, I got more and more shocks. The more I grew, the more I was shocked till I got completely puzzled to realize that it seems no one is following “society comes first” principle in the present times. I felt in teenage that I became born to a weird world where people hurt the collective interests due to their selfish agendas related to self and family. The amazing ideological breakthrough became the greatest existential crisis of life in teenage then and simultaneously rose the fieriest vow of my life to resurrect India to her highest glory by destroying all anti-national elements in her politics and society even if through an armed revolution similar to “Indian National Army” of Subhas Chandra Bose.
  • In late teenage and early 20s, I got so disillusioned with the dysfunctional society all around myself coupled with my own severely dysfunctional family that I turned to spirituality (Vedanta) and decided that I will leave this world after earning enough money and become a Sannyasin and live whole life in Himalaya to get Self-Realization as this world seems to be a hopeless world and mere Maya (illusion).
  • But, meditation practice started in 2003 (Self-Enquiry preached by Sri Raman Maharshi) during 2nd year of B. Tech. gave me so much inner peace that in 1 year, I again was back to my “fight it out” mode. In October 2004, the idea came to me that India needs a clean political party and I started “Bharat Uday Mission” in Oct 2004 during my 3rd year at IIT Kanpur (from where I did my B. Tech during 2002-2006). It was meant to be a clean political party which will clean up Indian politics completely. We created a website, yahoo-group and chapters in many cities for the Mission. Due to my ideological immaturity that time, I put even spreading yoga in its ideology (I now realize that this type of spiritual work should be done by a social organization only). The other ideological shortcoming was no clear-cut economic ideology which was a direct outcome of my own poorer understanding of economics in early 20s. Caste-free vision was also part of “Bharat Uday Mission” ideology which eventually created so much conflict in the party that I came upon the understanding that the mass psychology being distinctly lower than the psychology of pioneers of any political or social reform movement (else why it would be a reform movement in the first place), full internal democracy in such a movement ends up pulling down the high ideology of the movement to the level of the mass itself and thus destroys the whole purity of the movement. Hence, I left Bharat Uday Mission in 2006 upon seeing the change of colours in many members who after becoming powerful started mocking caste-free vision and decided to create the new party in future after more studies and reflection.

I am back to this Mission of my life now. I will give “the Mission of making India the greatest nation ever in her entire history and a leading light for the entire humanity” my everything in this life. I have more than enough determination and public-spiritedness to do so.

So, I am back to this Mission in my habitual all-out mode which will be based on 3-pronged strategic vision of

  1. Politics through a new, clean and visionary party. The new party will be formed soon with the only aspiration to become the greatest political organization ever in the entire history of India in order to “make our motherland the greatest nation ever in her entire history and a leading light for the entire humanity”. I will start the work on it from today (core ideology is already finished – developed it over last 2 years) and the party will be registered by February 2016 (a bit earlier or later). If you support the Mission of my life explained in this article, please email me the name, profile and contact details of 10 most public-spirited persons you have ever met or learnt about in life (more than 10 is always better and having around half of them women and many from minorities and different parts of India and from different professions will be most awesome for the Mission). My email address for this purpose is: gopalkrishna.mission@gmail.com and facebook profile is: https://www.facebook.com/gopalkrishna.mission.
  2. Social work and activism through a series of social organizations under an ideological family and
  3. Building a series of business ventures to develop the financial base for both the party and myself and also to develop my business skills because as, per my opinion, for removing poverty, clean and public-spirited business is billion times more important than charity so fondly preached in the misfortune-plagued history of human race by so many “saintly fools” with bleeding hearts for the poor who neither preached nor worked on business, socio-political reforms and scientific and technological progress – the sole factors which have removed poverty from many countries and will remove it all-over the world one day.

One question many people may ask me here: Why do I not join Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) instead of starting a new party? My 1-line to-the-point answer is: her top-leaders including “Arvind Humanity_is_his_only_caste” do not have even 50% of my character level as well as nation-building vision (public figures who use caste surname will get Humanity_is_his/her_only_caste surname from me – India as the greatest nation ever in her entire history and as a leading light for humanity can be so only if we make her a caste-free society through youth-driven and youth-focussed steady and strategic efforts and hence, caste-free vision is an integral party of the ideology of new party as well as the series of social organizations I will create along with other like-minded people for social work and activism).

I will repeat my request: If you support the Mission of my life explained in this article, please email me the name, profile and contact details of 10 most public-spirited persons you have ever met or learnt about in life (more than 10 is always better and having around half of them women and many from minorities and different parts of India and from different professions will be most awesome for the Mission). My email address for this purpose is: gopalkrishna.mission@gmail.com and facebook profile is: https://www.facebook.com/gopalkrishna.mission.

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 5 Comments »

What did I learn from my 3 attempts in civil services?

Posted by Gopal on August 1, 2015


Hello friends,

I gave 3 attempts in civil services exam, 2012, 2013 and 2014 – all through fulltime preparation. I did not give the final attempt as I realized that the time to work on original Mission has come. I will talk about the original Mission in next post.

Lessons from 2012 attempt:

  1. This attempt crashed out badly at mains stage (I did not pass mains) because I did not have enough financial savings to return back to India from the USA at the right time (1.5 years before mains 2012) and came 1 year before mains 2012, which turned out to be quite insufficient for 2012 mains. So, the FIRST LESSON is – “It is not ethical or truth dynamics but power dynamics alone which determines the outcome of every struggle in this world. Ethics or truth never triumphs on its own – it triumphs only when ethical people are able to acquire and apply more power than unethical people.” I relied too much on “Satyameva Jayate” in life (meaning “Truth always triumphs”), but that beautiful verse clearly is a half-truth at best and what is actual reality is mentioned in bold above. During my ~5 year stay in USA (August 2006 to Sep 2011), despite making Rs. 1 crore (all personal expenses and taxation excluded), I messed up my financial power by trusting people beyond the limit in the name of compassion (taught by our sages) who then financially cheated me in return for my magnanimity and gave me the shock of 2012 attempt (details in “The ungratefulness problem“).
  2. The SECOND LESSON is “5 categories of subhuman beings in the world are criminals, bullies, the corrupt, emotional exploiters and cowards. They have to be kept neutralized all the time to the maximum possible extent using various psychological, technical and management techniques. Only then there can be any happiness, fulfillment and progress of human civilization.”
  3. The THIRD LESSON is “The hierarchy in every creative as well as destructive field for every type of physical and mental quality as well as skill is a fact. The most that can and should be done is to provide equality of opportunity in every creative field and to destroy every opportunity in every destructive field.”

Lessons from 2013 attempt:

  1. I got qualified with 593 rank which was the range for Indian Railway Traffic Service (and other Indian Railway Services). My health problem of chronic tension headache (starting just after sleep and remaining till sleep at night) started in USA (in 2010 or earlier) caused by inability in letting go of complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (complex-PTSD means PTSD caused by multiple traumas and normal PTSD is PTSD caused by one trauma) brought in life by parental abuse and negligence between the age of 11 and 19 had brought my quantity of studies to mere 8-9 hours a day and quality of studies to 60-70% of the best level during 2012 as well as 2013 attempts. I had to take psychiatric medicines in last 3 months before mains 2013 (for the first time in life, I was on psychiatric medication) which gave me some relief but no cure. But, at least the psychiatric medicines helped me get some rank in such a gruelling exam. So, the FIRST LESSON is: “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is so difficult to handle and does such a great damage to emotional resilience, happiness, mental ability particularly concentration and memory and partly even IQ and can even bring some very serious disease one day that couples should not produce children if they cannot feel emotional sensitivity towards their own children”.
  2. The SECOND LESSON is: “Anyone who suffers from PTSD should never underestimate this amazingly challenging mental health issue and go all-out for curing this like doing yoga, meditation, focussing on career or hobby or other interests, etc. and definitely consulting a professional psychologist for even 1-2 psychotherapy sessions and in the case of “close to breaking point stress”, using psychiatric medication prescribed by a qualified psychiatrist for a couple of months before such stress causes some serious physical disease like it did to me (psychologists are for psychotherapy and psychiatrists are for giving suitable psychiatric medicines – both are the gods needed for serious mental health issues in life like PTSD, depression, chronic anxiety, etc). So, I should have met a psychologist in 2002 during B. Tech at IIT Kanpur itself rather than trying only yoga and spirituality, internet reading and self-reflection to cure my PTSD, an approach which eventually started crumbling after I went to the USA in 2006 and finished my physical health by 2010 by giving chronic tension headache.”

Lessons from 2014 attempt:

  1. Trying to improve my rank from 593 in 2013 attempt to a top 90 rank in 2014 attempt to get selected for IAS, I was very hopeful that Lady Luck will smile on me now like it did when I improved my rank from 1253 in IIT-JEE 2001 to 85 in IIT-JEE 2002. But, my chronic tension headache problem became the worst ever in both frequency and severity and brought down my quantity of study to 5-6 hours a day and the quality of study to 50-60% of the best level. I tried Hatha Yoga techniques of neti, kunjal, Laghu Shankhaprakshalana apart from trying psychiatric medicines, but nothing gave me enough relief from the chronic tension headache problem which was at its worst, much to my chagrin. This health problem factor, in combination with “random luck factor that is characteristic of civil services exam”, destroyed my mains 2014 (I did not pass even mains 2014 from being selected in 2013 with 593 rank). So, the FIRST LESSON from 2014 attempt is: “A chronic health problem like my chronic tension headache is so complicated and damaging that one should start the treatment as early as possible (the more one delays, the more disease gets complicated and difficult to cure – I delayed the treatment due to the illusion that my physical problem of chronic tension headache is a temporary problem caused by poor sleep and cold weather in USA and that I just need to do more and more yoga and self-healing to cure it and also what chemical compounds of psychiatric medicines can do to a primarily mental health issue, etc.) and simultaneously try all kinds of therapies like Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Allopathy, etc.” Having understood this, I simultaneously tried all kinds of therapies together after giving 2014 mains and in another 7 months, got promising result from a particular allopathic medicine combination. I hope, this promising combination will completely cure my chronic headache problem in 2015 and make me physically fit.

Now, having already given 3 attempts, having lost another 7 months to chronic tension headache even after 2014 mains (the frequency and severity in 2015 have been worse than even 2014 till I started getting promising result one week ago which is continuing till now) and most importantly, my having gained the requisite emotional positivity and confidence back, I decided to stop at 3 attempts in civil services and am now back to my original Mission of life.

I am glad that misfortunes humbled me in life so much till now (please leave me alone, Lady Misfortune, at least now – hehehe :)) – it makes me much less arrogant than I would have been otherwise and has given me much more understanding about human psychology in all her glory as well as gall. If I stay physical healthy and alive for another 20 years, I will completely settle scores with each of my misfortunes.

I will explain my original Mission of life in next article as that is trillion times bigger and more important than the success or failure of civil services attempts.

Thanks,

Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 5 Comments »

“Something is happening inside” technique

Posted by Gopal on June 28, 2015


Dear friends,

“Something is happening inside” technique is a very effective technique to deal with challenging thoughts and emotions in the mind such as lust, anger, frustration, anxiety, sorrow, disappointment, etc.

I formulated it recently after reading and reflecting over Osho’s below quotes:

Be conscious – don’t do anything! Just remain conscious. Try to be in an alert state. Don’t fight with the sex, don’t condemn it – don’t go to indulge in it. Simply remain conscious of the fact that something is happening inside. If you can remain conscious of the fact that something is happening inside. If you can remain with the fact without doing anything, you will feel that your consciousness is growing and penetrating the dark realm of the unconscious.

If you are alert, two things happen: the energy that was going to be used as indulgence or as suppression will become part of your alertness. Your alertness will be strengthened through that energy. That energy will move to your alertness; you will become more alert. That energy will become a fuel to your consciousness. You will be more conscious, and for the first time the unconscious will not be able to force you. For the first time unconsciousness will be incapable of manipulating you. And once you know the feeling of this freedom, that the unconscious cannot manipulate you – without any fight, without any struggle, without any conflict – then your consciousness has become stronger. And, by and by, the field of consciousness will grow and the field of unconsciousness will shrink. your human iceberg will have gained one part more: you will be two parts conscious, eight parts unconscious. This is a long journey, and by and by you will become three parts conscious, seven parts unconscious. As you gain more it is just like reclaiming land from the ocean. The unconscious is a vast ocean; you have to reclaim land inch by inch. But the moment you reclaim land, the ocean shrinks back. A day comes, just like it came to a Buddha or to a Jesus, when you are conscious all the ten parts and the unconscious has disappeared. You are just light inside and no darkness. This is the flowering. And for the first time you become aware of your immortality.

The technique is really very effective and hence is included now in a mental celibacy technique in 12-point brahmacharya formula. It can be and should be also used for anger, frustration, anxiety, sorrow, disappointment, etc.

Technique as applied for mental celibacy purpose:

  1. Whenever any sexual fantasy arises, say once “Something is happening inside” and thereafter become wordless/thoughtless and pay attention to whatever physical and mental sensations (=feelings) are there. If feasible, close your eyes and keep the body as still as possible – this improves the effectiveness of the technique.
  2. Become wordless/thoughtless means – do not use any label/thought for the present state of mind like “I have sexual fantasy/lust.”, etc. “Something is happening inside” are the only words you have to use in this technique and that too just in the beginning. Thereafter, the technique is all about paying wordless/thoughtless attention to physical and mental sensations. In the case of lust, mental sensation is energized mind and the physical sensations are energy flow towards reproductive system, faster heart-beat and faster breathing. Pay attention to whichever sensation feels stronger – be it energized mind or energy flow towards reproductive system, faster heart-beat or faster breathing – or pay attention to many of these together, whatever comes naturally to you (i.e., with the least conscious effort).
  3. If any thought comes to the mind again, repeat the above steps by again saying once “Something is happening inside” and thereafter become wordless/thoughtless and pay attention to whatever physical and mental sensations (=feelings) are there. And so on so forth.
  4. Keep doing this till you experience a very peaceful state of body and mind.
  5. Thereafter revert to your original work.

Technique as applied for dealing with anger/frustration/anxiety and sorrow/disappointment:

  1. The only difference from the application to sexual fantasy here is where to pay wordless attention which is described below. Rest aspects of the technique are same.
    • Mental sensation in case of anger/frustration/anxiety is energized mind and in case of sorrow/disappointment is low-energy mind.
    • Physical sensations in case of anger/frustration/anxiety are faster breathing and faster heart-beat. Physical sensations in case of sorrow/disappointment are slower breathing and slower heart-beat.

Final comments:

  1. The technique is a bit subtle and may not click with everyone in the very beginning. But, once it clicks, it is an amazing technique in its effect.
  2. It changes the attention from the object to the subjective feelings. There must be the energy of lust, anger, frustration, anxiety, sorrow, disappointment, etc. within us beforehand – an external situation or thought cannot arouse an energy which is not present even a bit in the mind. Hence, this technique brings a part of this energy from the unconscious part of the mind to the realm of our conscious attention and by doing it, removes a part of this energy from the unconscious permanently, leading to the purification of the mind.
  3. The technique combines choice awareness with some insight from Vipassana technique in the most easily practisable and effective form.

Posted in Socio-political issues | 2 Comments »

Slog, slog, slog!

Posted by Gopal on March 20, 2015


8 lines poem to help me slog out various titanic challenges that I keep on taking one after another due to the effect of some “gallant fighter” genes!
Hope, it helps other folks as well!

Slog, slog, slog!
And set life agog!
Even when you are an underdog,
Slog it out to dismantle any clog!
Always show the tenacity of a bulldog!
And slog until your vision faces any fog!
Even when trapped in a vicious bog,
Slog, slog, slog till you leapfrog!

Thanks,
Gopal

Posted in Socio-political issues | 1 Comment »

Sampoorna Dhyan technique

Posted by Gopal on October 30, 2014


Dear friend,

Aim: Sampoorna Dhyan (Sampoorna is a Hindi word meaning complete and Dhyan means meditation) aims to help one maintain present moment awareness during entire waking hours. Present moment awareness means either the state of thoughtless awareness or the state of consciously (and not unconsciously/unwillingly) thinking about the past, present or future. It brings us freedom from dissipation of inner peace and energy due to useless memory flashbacks, future anxieties or fantasies. The technique is described below:

  1. Two catch phrases to gently pull attention back to present: for some 1 may suffice. Add “friend” word in the end or the beginning (whatever you find more pleasant) of catch phrase to make the whole process gentle (friend is a gentle word, isn’t it?) and to develop the attitude of considering one’s mind as a friend which can enjoy perfect peace, happiness, productivity and satisfaction only by living in the present. So, “friend” refers to self or mind here:
    1. Always live in present, friend. (Hindi: Hamesha vartnaman mein jiyo, dost.)
    2. Present moment awareness, friend.
    3. Live from moment to moment, friend.
    4. Life is here, friend. (Hindi: Jeevan yahan hai, dost!)
    5. Present is life, friend.
    6. Focus focus focus, friend. (Hindi: Ekagra ekagra ekagra, dost.)
    7. Present present present, friend. (Hindi: Vartman vartman vartman, dost.)
    8. Om Om Om, friend./Amen Amen Amen, friend./Amin Amin Amin, friend.
    9. Here here here, friend.
    10. Now now now, friend.
    11. Attention, attention, attention, friend.
    12. Alert alert alert, friend.
    13. Avoid catch phrases which pay more attention to distraction rather than the task at hand – all catch phrases in above examples do pay more attention to the task at hand rather than distraction and hence, they are all right catch phrases.
    14. Very useful tip: pick the keyword in the catchphrase which is the target moment for attention/awareness to definitely switch to the work at hand. For example, every catch phrase has such keyword marked in red in above examples. Please note these keywords carefully by reading above examples again.
  2. Switch to the other catch phrase whenever the mind gets too habituated to one and hence the phrase loses its effectiveness. Generally, for many hours or days, one catch phrase will work and then you will need another catch phrase and then back and forth. Of course, for some people, just one catch phrase will work well. While switching to a new catch phrase, you can say it 10-20 times to yourself to remind yourself that the catch phrase has changed now. In case, any catch phrase is your most favourite, you can always start  your day with that as the mind is generally not habituated to any catch phrase after sleep – just say it 10-20 times after waking up in the morning to remind yourself that this is the catch phrase you will use today till you feel the habituation effect and have to switch to the other catch phrase.
  3. In case of mind getting repeatedly distracted by same type of thoughts, also give yourself a bit of self-talk like “Friend, is it useful to live in the present? Yes, very useful.” and thereafter use one of the catch phrases and get back to the task at hand. This is PLAN B and is meant to be used when PLAN A of directly bringing the mind to the present after using a catch phrase does not produce satisfactory result due to more restlessness in mind. Self-talk should vary as per the situation to have the real effect. Generally the most effective self-talk uses the most motivating reason for oneself to stay focussed on the task at hand or the most pleasant aspect of the task at hand. Both categories overlap to some extent and examples are given below for each. Begin or end every self-talk with “friend” word for the same two reasons described for “catch phrase”, namely: to make the whole process gentle and to develop the attitude of considering one’s mind as a friend which can enjoy perfect peace, happiness, productivity and satisfaction only by living in the present.
    1. The most motivating reason category of self-talk examples – begin or end each with “friend” word for the same two reasons described for “catch phrase” – “friend” refers to self or mind here:  (Please note that in case of heavy distraction, it is obvious that one is not finding the task pleasant enough, otherwise the distraction would have been mild and not heavy. So, in such a case one should use self-talk belonging to “the most motivational reason” category rather “the most pleasant aspect” category.)
      1. Friend, study with focus! Exam is very near.
      2. Friend, get focussed! Deadline is quite close.
      3. Friend, do not lose mental energy in any non-sense distraction, then only you will become a genius.
      4. Friend, the food must be super-tasty. Cook with focus.
      5. Friend, do meditation with focus! Only then you will feel relaxed whole day.
      6. Friend, make the teeth super-clean.
      7. Friend, awareness/present is the only reality.
      8. Friend, clean clothes/kitchenware/house to perfection.
      9. Friend, remaining stuck to unpleasant experience of the past will only cause pain and frustration to the mind. So, just let go, friend.
      10. Friend, worrying/fantasizing about the future cannot improve the future, only working in present with full focus will do so.
      11. Friend, there is no use of living in fantasy world.
      12. Friend, there is no use of living in the graveyard of the past.
      13. Friend, what cannot be cured should be ignored. So, friend, do not waste precious mind power in thinking about these incurable issues.
      14. Friend, you are not the doer, you are just a non-attached witness of whatever happens around. Friend, it is 3 gunas (qualities of nature) which produce all actions and you are beyond all 3 gunas and hence all actions. (This is for followers of Vedanta philosophy).
      15. Friend, everything is being done by God and you are just an instrument. So, friend, do not bother about the result and just keep doing your duty. (This is for theists).
      16. Friend, you are giving your best. So, friend, there is nothing more which is possible for you to do and hence, you should not feel any anxiety about the result and stay fully peaceful and focussed on the present.
      17. Above are just prototypes – in case of heavy distraction, ask yourself once what motivates you to want to do the task at hand with complete focus and the answer will become your self-talk needed to bring the mind to the present.
    2. The most pleasant aspect category of self-talk examples – begin or end each with “friend” word for the same two reasons described for “catch phrase” – “friend” refers to self or mind here:
      1. Friend, living in the present feels so nice/peaceful.
      2. Friend, this topic is so enjoyable.
      3. Friend, this topic is so logical.
      4. Friend, this topic is so important.
      5. Friend, I cook such a tasty food.
      6. Friend, walking/bathing is so pleasant.
      7. Friend, exercise gives such a good health.
      8. Friend, meditation gives so much peace.
      9. Friend, I brush my teeth so well.
      10. Friend, food is so tasty.
      11. Friend, I clean my clothes/kitchenware/house so perfectly.
      12. Above are just prototypes – in case of any light distraction (for heavy distraction, you will find the most motivating reason category of self-talk of much more effective due to reason already explained above), ask yourself once what you find the most pleasant in the task you are doing at present and the answer will become your self-talk needed to bring the mind to the present.
  4. Use the same catch phrase (preceded by a bit of self-talk whenever needed) even in thoughtless awareness meditation and throughout the day so that the mind is not overburdened with too many catch phrases. You should use the same catch phrase (preceded by a bit of self-talk whenever needed) along with breath-retention to ignore any strong sexual thought. For mild type of sexual thought, without breath-retention also, Sampoorna Dhyan method works, but for strong type of sexual thought, use of internal breath-retention except for last 1-2 hours before sleep when to avoid getting strong energy, use of external breath-retention should be done, gives the most satisfactory result in ignoring strong sexual thought and get back to the present task.
  5. Now, comes the part of what to do with after gently pulling the mind to the present using Sampoorna Dhyan method. Do the following:
    1. If the task you are doing is primarily mental (e.g., studies, office work, analysis, planning), focus your attention back to doing your task.
    2. If the task you are doing is physical, you should focus your attention back to one or more of 3 aspects of experience associated with any physical task depending on whatever seems the most attention-grabbing ( and hence effortless), relaxing and pleasant. These 3 aspects are: dominant physical movement(s), sight ahead and dominant sensations of one or more of touch, taste, smell, hearing and the sensation of breathing. Let us consider a common example of eating food. What is the physical movement – the movement of hand picking food and putting into mouth + the movement of jaws and teeth to chew food. So, this physical movement is where attention or present moment awareness can be directed. What is the sight ahead (2nd aspect): food, plate and table and what is the dominant sensation (3rd aspect): definitely the taste of the food (and other sensations are: the sensation of breathing, touch of the food by hand, smell of the food and the sound of the food getting chewed in the mouth – these are relatively less dominant sensations compared to the taste of the food). Now, you need not focus on all 3 aspects: just focus on whichever aspect or combination of 3 aspects like any 2 or all 3 aspects is the most attention-grabbing (and hence effortless), relaxing and pleasant because that is what makes one  enjoy the physical task the most and hence, will be the easiest and the most powerful field of focus for our attention or awareness. I can give many more examples (which I will give once I am free in last week of Dec), but you can understand it with even one example if you sincerely try your best.
    3. If you are unable to bring the mind to the present using above PLAN A and PLAN B techniques, the mind is obviously in the state of very high restlessness (rajas). So, follow the PLAN C by using a catch phrase and then creating present moment awareness in one of two ways (whichever suits you the most) and once that happens to a satisfactory extent, go back to your actual physical or mental task.
      1. Use the catch phrase and then create the sensation of sound by chanting (can do Om chanting synchronized with exhalation) or singing an inspiring song aloud and focus your attention entirely in listening to the sound produced by chanting or singing (listening part is ultra important as only then a very agitated mind can be brought to the present). Keep repeating it for a couple of minutes or 10-20 rounds (with counting done using fingers) till you feel mind getting back to the present quite well. Thereupon, focus your full attention on the task at hand.
      2. Create breathing awareness by taking very deep (as close to full as comfortable for you) inhalation and exhalation and focus your entire attention on the breathing. You can take breathing at a slow pace or even fast pace (pick whatever suits you) but it must be quite deep in order to make focus of attention easy enough – this is because normal breathing is not very deep and hence, the switch to very deep breathing does create an easily attention-grabbing field of focus to easily enable bringing the attention to the present. Very deep breathing on its own calms the mind which helps greatly in bringing oneself to the present. Keep repeating it for a couple of minutes or 10-20 rounds (with counting done using fingers) till you feel mind getting back to the present quite well. Thereupon, focus your full attention on the task at hand.

Sampoorna Dhyan method is meant to be used in entire waking hours.

This technique is built on a very solid foundation – at least, this is definitely a very good technique. It is not possible to have a 10/10 level meditation technique to keep the mind in the present as all techniques start becoming ineffective to some extent when mind is too agitated due to some reason. But, this is the best and most integrated technique I have been able to design (after being dissatisfied with traditional techniques) because even for the worst case, Plan C technique will help a lot and in the normal scenarios, Plan A and Plan B techniques work like a charm.

Thanks,

Gopal

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“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. This asana can be used for few minutes when one feels tired at any point of time in a day and wants to take a rest without much risk of untimely sleep which happens in fully lying position.
    2. 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 gets relieved and thus, 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 | 3 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 a good “Plan A” technique for mental celibacy in this article. “Plan B” technique is only one: 20-30 min “Nadi Shodhana Basic (NSB)” once or more (you should read brahmacharya quotes during some or entire duration of NSB practice unless you have some time-constraint in which case you can continue doing your original work.) 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 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, friend” mentally and simultaneously inhale fully and hold yourself in the state of internal breath-retention – here, “friend” refers to self or mind and helps in making the technique gentle for mind as friend is a very gentle word. 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 – in subsequent rounds, there is no need to say “Focus Focus Focus, friend” unless mind has got distracted again – just practise internal breath-retention as long as possible and keep focussing on your work/studies. punchUsing 5 rounds standing for one punch of Jnana Bandha (5-finger punch) will suffice most of the time. If it does not, give more punchs (each punch=5 rounds) of Jnana Bandha – this will definitely fix the problem of sticky (strong) sexual thought at least for a considerable length of time (like a couple of hours) – even if sexual thought comes during this period, it will be mild enough to be removed with just one or more punchs of “Jnana Bandha” technique. On the same day, sometimes we may need to apply this technique of Jnana Bandha many times, but that is not an issue as this technique does not take any time away from our actual work.
  4. The counting can be done using the fingers of the hand or mentally.

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 a powerful passion 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 be used for dealing successfully with lustful thoughts – 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, friend” part without any internal (or external) breath-retention. But, you can use Jnana Bandha for 5 min before beginning your morning meditation to improve its quality as a good quality meditation in the morning itself is a great help for celibacy practice throughout the day.
  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.
  6. This technique brings the mind back to the present moment and is better than witnessing lust to dissolve it eventually because lust is just a biological instinct and witnessing lust is giving more importance to a biological instinct than it is worth and also in witnessing technique, one part of the mind starts witnessing lust and the other part starts indulging in the lust creating a split and tense state of mind. Hence, the better choice is to just ignore lust and bring the mind back to the present using Jnana Bandha technique. This is my personal conviction based on the use of Jnana Bandha for many years – I never got even 10% of the success in mental celibacy from the witnessing technique than what I get from Jnana Bandha. The proof of the pudding lies in eating. But, I do believe that witnessing technique is the right technique for psychological instincts like anger, etc. as they are much deeper in origin for a diversionary technique like Jnana Bandha to give the best result in long run.

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 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 | 7 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 | 8 Comments »

 
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