The shadows in my mind



May 2016

By Nandini Sarkar

Depression can be rooted out through spiritual methods such as prayer, japa, meditation, pranayama and affirmations, says Nandini Sarkar

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I put down the phone and got ready to visit a friend, whose husband had called in distress. Their handsome young son opened the door and led me in. She was lying on the couch, pale, listless and inert, like a corpse. Her husband informed me she had been like this for the past fortnight.

“I just want to die!,” she said, dully, when she saw me. I looked at their beautiful home and the concerned faces of her husband and son. Her son had taken two months’ leave from his PhD at a foreign university to be by his mother’s side. “But they don’t want you to die, isn’t it a glaring contradiction!,” I exclaimed. “I am just a burden on them,” she said, in a faint voice. For a moment I was quiet, wondering what to say. My friend’s life was undoubtedly tough. After years of dialysis, my friend’s family had finally found a kidney donor for her. However, after the kidney transplant was done, the new kidney did not function, throwing her into severe depression. Long spells of dialysis and recurring infections had put a brake on her active, happy, social life and had led to bouts of depression. Now, the failure of the kidney transplant was more than what her fragile mind could handle, and she was ready to give up on life.

Miracles from the master

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Normally, I never impose my beliefs on anyone. But this situation was grave and I was convinced that we needed a dynamic spiritual solution, and a great spiritual master who could take on and lighten her heavy karmic load. My friend used to do daily puja but somewhat mechanically, more as a social tradition, than out of any interest in spirituality. For some reason, which I cannot explain, the image of the great master, Lahiri Mahasaya, had entered my mind when I was preparing to come to her home. I always have a stack of Autobiography of a Yogi at home, and I had brought one along with
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