“The rain drop from the sky: if it is caught in hands, it is pure enough for drinking. If it falls in a gutter, its value drops so much that it can’t be used even for washing the feet. If it falls on hot surface, it perishes. If it falls on lotus leaf, it shines like a pearl and finally, if it falls on oyster, it becomes a pearl. The drop is same, but its existence & worth depend on with whom it associates.”
Always be associated with people who are good at heart. This is what Swami Vivekananda said.
My mother shares her birthday with Swami Vivekananda ( 12th January).
Association and Satsang have been her strong points . She nurtured strong bonding with all religious faiths and spiritually inclined people . I recall her association with Satya Sai Baba, Ganapathi Sachchidanda Swamiji, Raghavendra Swami Mutt, Swami Chinmayananda , Jiddu Krishnamurthy Mahesh Yogi and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar . Not to forget her association with Mother’s International, Mother Teressa , CBCI and CARITAS.
She wanted to pursue medicine but life did not take that trajectory. ” Faith plus action becomes unstoppable” writes Jonathan Lockwood Hue . So she upend the pyramid and became a qualified medical social worker and worked diligently at the Rajan Babu TB Hospital , Delhi .
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says,” Open your hands and sky is in your hands.” Inorder to combat and challenge the disease of tuberculosis she initiated several rehabilitation projects. This included creche for the children of those afflicted with this malady, stitching centre,candle and match making units.
She used to tell patients and their children that” Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” Thus patients afflicted with TB , but not bed ridden participated in the projects . This was what she called ” Diversionary Therapy.” The patient’s mind was diverted from the disease and recovery rate was rapid. In these endeavors she was extended tremendous support from eminent people like Shri A Rama Rao of Khadi and Village Industries , Professor sh Pathak of Delhi School of Social Work, Shri AVK Chaitanya a Trade Union leader and confidante of Shri George Fernandes , Bibi Altussalam a veteran Congress leader , Shri Dhanraj Ojha a RSS leader and Bishop Remegius and Bishop Rego of the Catholic Church( CBCI and CARITAS). The mission was to serve . And religious barriers did not pose any problems. As the objective and goal were so lofty the universal energy ensured that the left, right and centre all collaborated with certitude .
” Mind is not a dustbin to keep anger, hatred and jealousy . But it is the treasure box to keep love , happiness and sweet memories.” said Swami Vivekananda . Thus RB TB Hospital became the melting pot of all religions to forge hands and assist in the mammoth task of rehabilitation of the afflicted . The TB Hospital became a unique template for the methods adopted by doctors, para-medic staff , social workers , government bodies and NGO’s all to contribute in the rehabilitation of the patients.
Climate changes, civilizations collapse , government change , political affiliations alter and even the best possible model collapses . This is inevitable . As Buddha says.” The only permanent thing in life is impermanence.” The lofty objectives were not approved by a new set of hospital administrators and the beacon of hope collapsed .
This was extremely traumatic for my mother and she became a patient of paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia( PAT) . This is a type of arrhythmia ( irregular heartbeat) . Paroxysmal means that the episode of arrhythmia originates and terminates abruptly. Atrial implies the arrhythmia starts with atria or in the upper chambers of the heart . The tachycardia results in significant increase in the heart beat per minute. It abnormally increases the pace , like an athlete on a treadmill. PAT significantly increases the heart beat of an adult from the normal 60 to 100 to 130 to 230 and among infants and children it shoots up from 100 to 130 to 220 beats per minute.
It is accompanied with severe sweating, dizziness,palpitations, angina and acute breathlessness. Normally a patient suffers from such a condition owing to emotional upheavals , physical exhaustion, deep anxiety , consumption of caffeine or alcohol.
I saw my mother suffering from this condition on several occasions and being admitted to the ICU. It was a distressing and disturbing sight . While it is not life threatening affliction , it certainly disorients the psychology and attitudes of the patient. During her suffering we saw her clutching on to her rosary as a life saver , while we prayed fervently for her recovery.
She was administered medication but it worked only to an extent . The real help came in form of a pentagon shaped talisman. That is through Siddha Healing, Pranic Healing , the 10 day Vipassana Course and the Part1 and Part2 Art Of Living courses.
This is the infinitesimal power and scientific power of breath. Breathing techniques , meditation , medication and proper diet changed the trajectory of the life of the patient and brought back the mojo in her life.
” When you take breath in , let become your meditation that all the suffering of all the beings in the world is riding on that incoming breath and reaching your heart , and see a miracle happens” says Osho.
She has retired now but continues with her Sadhana unfailingly. Senior citizens , those in pain and agony and even the able bodied should undertake the courses mentioned.
Swami Vivekananda took Yoga to America and spread the Ramakrishna Mission. He was the Arjuna of Shri Rama Krishna Paramahamsa. This article is a tribute to Swamiji and also to my mother both born on 12th of January. My mother imbibed the trait of service to mankind by reading extensively about Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda.
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