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ESpiritual: Prayer for Inner Happiness

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Dr KK Aggarwal    21 September 2017

Stress is defined as the physical and mental reaction to the interpretation of a known situation. In absence of a known situation, there cannot be a stress. One cannot be stressed out for a person who has just died in New York in an accident unless he/she is a person known to us. There has to be a right, conscious-based interpretation of the situation as the same situation can bring happiness to one and stress to the other. The most important consequence of stress, whether physical or mental, therefore, depends on the right interpretation of the situation. The interpretation or judgment in the body is governed by chemical reactions and is controlled by the balance of autonomic balance system, which in turn is governed by the interaction of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. During the phase of acute stress when the sympathetic system is predominant, the heart rate and blood pressure rise and a person cannot take correct and decisive decision. He/she is likely to make mistakes, which can often be detrimental to living. Sympathetic mode is basically the mode of ‘flight or fight’ reaction of the body. Right conscious–based decisions can only be taken in a state of relaxed mind, when the intention is inserted in the field of consciousness. The relaxed mind state of the body is the parasympathetic mode, which is healing and is evident by reduction in heart rate, blood pressure and increase in the skin resistance. Most conscious-based decisions will be based on truthfulness, will be necessary and will bring happiness to both the person and the surroundings. The yogic lifestyle by which a person learns the dos and don’ts of living, does regular practice of correct postures, daily pranayama and practices regular withdrawal from the outer atmosphere, helps in preparing a state of physical and mental body state, which is more receptive for conscious-based decisions. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali included them in Ashtanga Yoga as the processes of Yama, Niyama, Asanas, Pranayama and Pratihyar. Prayers have no value when the mind is not at rest. All of us have participated in hundreds of mourning prayers with two minutes of silence. This prayer has no value if the two minutes of silence is not observed. If prayer is done without it the mind remains restless and we keep waiting for the two minutes to be over. Silence shifts our awareness towards test and parasympathetic state and we, temporarily, get connected with the memories of the departed soul and we pay homage to him/her. Today a large number of organizations are teaching the process of meditation but the same cannot be taught unless a person practices procedures by which the mind gets relaxed. The eight limbs of Patanjali focus in detail about premeditation preparations and once that is learned, one can move on to the other three limbs, which are Dharna, Dhyana and Samadhi. Yoga asanas are different from exercises. They stimulate and stretch all or one of the seven charkas, autonomic plexuses, and ganglion and there located ductless endocrine glands. Also during a yogasana the mind is in the exercise and not wondering here and there. Yogic exercises at rest are termed yoga asanas and the same yogic meditative exercises with activity are called traditional Indian dances. Western exercises and dances do not follow the principles of yoga. Many international studies have shown that over one–third of the people during their lifetime pray for relief from either for their own illness or for somebody else. All hospitals should have spirituals areas. The prayer and meditation rooms in a hospital setting invariably will provide an arena which will improve patient-doctor relationship and will reduce the rising disputes amongst them in the country.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

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