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Happiness or sorrow are the two ends of a continuum (the same situation) and are dependent on its interpretation. The same situation may provide happiness to one and sorrow to the other. There are many situations in our day to day practice, which can be converted into happiness by changing the interpretation.
I often ask my patients two questions: how old you are and what your age is. How old are you indicates the chronological age of the body? The age of the person, on the other hand, is the number of years remaining.
If we take the age of a person as 100 years, then a person who is 55 years old will have an age of 45 years. [जीवेम शरदः शतम् [अथर्ववेद, काण्ड १९, सूक्त ६७]: We should live for 100 years]
When you say ‘I am 55 year old’ you get a feeling of depression but if you say ‘I still have 45 years to live’, you have a positive emotions and an influx of positive hormones in the body.
Another Vedic message is that one should grow and not age. Here age is in physical context and growth is in terms of experiences in life. One should biologically grow over the chronological age. The aim of life should be to die young in old age.
The same message can also be given by someone as “I am 20-year-old with 35 years of experience”. After 20 years you only grow young in terms of mental and social health.
One-point determination is the key to inner happiness and is one of the most prominent Vedic principles of life, which means everyone should have an aim in life and should have a determination to achieve that over a period of time.
One should accept failure and success as the two sides of a coin and continue his or her journey towards accomplishment of the purpose of life for which he or she is born.
“Once there was no rainfall in a village for almost a year. A mass prayer was organized by the villagers. Only one child came with an umbrella”. Being a pure soul, full of consciousness, he was convinced that their faith and prayer would bring rain. This should be the level of faith and determination for accomplishing any job.
Your present is based on the past and your future will be based on the present. That is what Vedic science says that one should enjoy every moment of his or her life and not worry about the past or future.
“Once a 45-year-old male suffering from cancer, with a remaining life spam of only one month, was counseled by his doctor. When the doctor asked him to recall the purposeful days of his life, he has lived till that day he could only remember 13 of them. The counseling was obvious that during his whole life of 45 years he had lived only 13 days and now he has another 30 days left. He should enjoy them the same way as he enjoyed those 13 days”. This Vedic message became the main story of the movie “Kal Ho Na Ho” where Shah Rukh Khan played the role of a patient and showed to the community that how can one live in the present and enjoy every moment in life.
Cases of suicide by doctors and nursing students after failure point toward certain Vedic messages.
Failure in life whether in the exams, love or in finances invariably lead to a period of acute grief and then to an illness called acute post traumatic stress disorder. It has to be treated in the same way as if a person has died in the family. The victim in question should be watched, cared and looked after for the next two weeks. Attempts should be made to repeatedly counsel him or her. Somebody senior in the family must give lessons that failure in life is a part and parcel of the journey of life and has no serious implications. The period of depression usually lasts for 2 weeks and in these two weeks repeated discussions by multiple people and counseling can de-stress an individual and take him or her away from the depression. If the same is not done, and if the person has some underlying depression, he or she may commit suicide.
“A school was celebrating its achieving a result of 99%. Nobody bothered about the one who failed. For him the result was not 99% but 0%. If this child is not taken care off in the next two weeks, he or she may end up in acute post traumatic stress disorder”. The Vedic message, therefore, is to anticipate acute grief reactions and provide proper counseling for the next two weeks till the person comes out of stress.
Remember that the time is the biggest healer. Remember 45% of your happiness depends on your past experiences and 45% on your new chosen experiences. Only 10% of your happiness is not in your hands.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA