living bridge

Thursday, August 9, 2012



This phrase oft quoted by philosophers, spiritual speakers,gurus and others always intrigued,fascinated, me beyond the understanding of true meaning .As I understand human body is a architecture marvel designed by GOD and which is kept going with regular breathing, blood circulating, with decay of cells, and regular replenishment of new cells.In due course the decayed cells are not completely replaced and hence we age with wrinkled skin, memory loss, defective vision,hearing impairment etc.This way our anatomical body has lived physiologically, until we meet with the eventuality .
Then what is living a life ,? Is it life well lived? What is well lived?Can we say that going through daily mundane drudgery of getting up,brushing,shaving,bathing,time for breakfast,drive to workstation {as for me out patient clinic,operating for more than 45 years}is a life well lived ? No doubt that I derived immense pleasure with my surgical work day in and a day out.The diagnostic challenge, the surprise at times at the operating table,above all developing a good rapport with the patients and the relatives are very demanding but at the end of the day it is very soul satisfying Many a times my patients spotted me after many years at a social gathering and when they say hello, I tell you it the best prize we get and which I enjoyed it most.No other profession can boast of such faithful remembrance After nearly 5 decades I was reminded of the quote “If you are doing same thing what you have been doing all these years you will get what you have already got”
Yes, I lived happily with my regular surgical work,enjoying every moment, but I thought if I continue the same work then I will only exist doing the same mundane work and not live a LIFE- I am reminded of BUDDHA’S words ‘TO BE BORN AS A HUMAN IS AS RARE AS A MORNING STAR”
Hence decided to take an alternative lifestyle, disengaging from surgical career ,to live LIFE fully again. As we live we seek pleasure which is momentary,-happiness which is short lived,- and contentment which is blissful rapture. To achieve this contentment we have to live a life with a purpose and not just go through the mundane chorus of daily routine. Now this leads us to a question What is purpose? When I toyed with the idea to find the meaning of purpose I stumbled upon many words which have amazingly four letters.

The three basic most important elements in our LIFE are MIND,BODY and SOUL must act in harmony with a singular purpose to achieve a GOAL and which is contentment . Easily said than done, for it is the most difficult exercise to get this three elements to come into understanding and be in harmony but not impossible . SOUL warns against smoking but the BODY obliges the MIND and picks up the cigarette .It is said that MIND is a wonderful servant but a terrible master Rishis meditating achieved it with the power of silence. Sure not all of us can become rishis- although we may attempt for the three elements to work in harmony- but How? Let us see.!


We are all aware that if we don’t control the MIND it will control
us .MIND is the power house of thoughts and which leads to our words and action.If the mind is not positively occupied it tends to dwell with negative thoughts brooding over the past, worried about the future. Worrisome thoughts must be nipped in the bud or else it will become monumental, draining the energy day in and day out .At such instances get out , to get some fresh air with deep breathing and try to spilt the problem with intuitive thinking rather than rational thinking. To get out of the focus of negativity push yourself to think positively for another subject –say watching the moving clouds, appreciating the color of rainbow, stillness of the lake, the army of birds flying in unison back to their nests all these are nature’s gift and feast for the soul, thereby we are able to get out of the mental clutter and clear the cobwebs .Positive thoughts are vibrant, energizing, inspiring to proceed to realize our dream Once we train our MIND to listen to the voice of the SOUL cigarettes are no longer desired and the BODY will not touch the cigarettes
MIND is the greatest gift GOD has bestowed us. Such positive thinking will enhance our self-esteem, courage,confidence. It has been observed that a average person thinks about 60000 thoughts per day. 95% of thoughts are repetitive, out of this most are negative thoughts.

Now what is this MIND? Does it has a form, shape? In which part of the brain MIND dwells? No one knows for sure, even though we claim to posses MIND we are at loss to answer all queries about MIND. One thing for sure is that human MIND can discriminate between good and bad thoughts,events,actions whereas the animal and birds lack this unique ability.
MIND is the greatest gift GOD has bestowed on us and we must nourish it with positive thoughts otherwise MIND will be clouded with weeds. All our words,actions,first originates in the MIND as blue print thoughts .

Down memory lane in my LIFE there are few instances which are evergreen in my memory and I believe, then I have lived those moments.
1} When I failed in my first year in the medical college it was a lesson for me, that is when I decided to take my studies seriously. I lived then with a new experience
2} While in U.K. for my studies due to work load and living away from family, stressed and had a G.I. bleed. I summoned up all my will power,courage and decided to fight it alone without telling my family at home. It is then I believe I lived with a different experience.
3} in the year 1990 my mother developed aneurysm of a vessel in the brain, and the day prior to operation she died .My father,two sisters,and brother cried uncontrollably –me being the eldest in the family , bottled all my emotions to take care of them and also arrange to transport the body back home. Reaching our ancestral home the bottled emotions burst and I cried uncontrollably . That is when I believe I lived with a different experience

4}After retirement I have established a home for senior care and ever since I can feel myself being molded as a different person ,limiting my expectations,accepting other’s views, and above all developed the art of listening to elders’s grievances .I don’t claim to be empathetic but at best compassionate towards them. Now I am not existing in LIFE but living a LIFE .Certainly it is very demanding and challenging career dealing with elders,their grievances, expectations, but at the end of the day I am happy I chose such twilight LIFE.Now I have learnt my purpose in LIFE

Now as I am typing I believe I am living, creating a new avenue with a perspective to recharge my brain

Well so much has been written by eminent scholars, philosophers’ spiritual leaders –now my MIND says enough is enough.

Let me take up the next dimension the BODY

BODY is the temple in which the SOUL resides
As much as we take care of the mind we have to take care of the BODY as well.The most vital aspect to keep the BODY in sound shape, is regular exercise which helps us to burn extra calories,driving away fatigue,laziness ,rejuvenating to become vibrant.Early morning brisk walk is very helpful – that is time we are able to breathe fresh unpolluted air. Another most important aspect is YOGA, which in addition to making the body supple helps the MIND to be focused. Focusing the MIND is the prerequisite for meditation which takes us to the inner journey of self realization without being disturbed by outward influences

Let me pass on to the next vital ingredient which is exclusive to humans is SOUL.This is most perplexing –Do we know what is this SOUL? Where does it remain? Is it the same as subconscious or super conscious? I s the MIND and SOUL are one and the same?
Certainly not- for we all know that MIND does not always listen to the SOUL and decides with its whims and fancy which are mostly harmful to others and self as well. MIND and BODY must work in harmony for enlightenment which is what all of us trying to achieve. Is that possible? I am at loss to offer any answer but narrate some of my views of other four lettered words

FOOD: No need for me to elaborate on the essentialist of FOOD to maintain life. One aspect I wish to emphasize all the ingredients carbohydrate,proteins,fat,minerals, vitamins etc must be in balance
To really enjoy the food it must be eaten slowly,well masticated and swallowed with total concentration. This is meditation in eating –after all meditation is focusing on whatever we do. Poor quality food drains our energy,and clouds our MIND .Live uncooked food are more energetic and rejuvenating .

LOVE : Every human wish to be loved by all –this is a basic desire. To achieve this I feel that we have to love ourselves first and next we must love whatever our work is . To quote Thomas Edison who recorded 1093 patents “I never did a day’s work in my life time.It was all fun” We need to accept people as they are and not as we wish them to be. Every human being is different and no one is perfect.Being critical of others leads to hatred and destruction of self and friendship.

READ: Reading is to the MIND what exercise is to the BODY and what prayer is to the SOUL.When we read a book it must be studied in depth, contents analyzed, with introspective thoughts. It is only then we have studied the book .Autobiography books by eminent scholars,philosophers,scientists will guide us as to how they were able to overcome difficult times in their LIFE and their strategies could as well applied in our LIFE.The inspirational words will awaken our dormant abilities, characters, to spring back to LIFE. The one book I read and reread often is Reader’s digest condensed book ‘How to live with life”, Reflections by Akbar Ali Jetha,”Inspirational gems to empower your life” By Patel.”In the power of silence” by Vijay Easwaran, Most of the books by Robin Sharma, “ The life of Vivekananda”, “The art of Happiness”-An intriguing encounter between east and west by Howard Cutler. etc and many more inspirational books which have truly charged me to look into myself and more than that, my positive outlook about others.

TIME: Let me type down the poem I have written long time back about TIME
The most precious jewel in our LIFE
That magical number 24
Once lost can never be regained
From one sun rise to another
No room for expansion
Nor to curtail
One and only four letter word TIME
No TIME to procrastinate
Act now to make a purpose in LIFE
Categorizing work to suit your LIFE style
Cellphone,voice mail,e-mail to save TIME,
TIME for everything and any thing
Eat while you eat
Work while you work
Play while you play
3 in 1 all round chaos
TIME to do nothing
Remain in silence
Introspect to rejuvenate
To a journey within
Waste no TIME to say
I am sorry, Thank you,
Take no TIME to forgive
For next sunrise not to be
Forgiveness –good house keeper of the MIND
Dirt, hatred, ego, anger all washed away
Ensure all round peaceful sleep
Wake up to fresh sunrise
Recharge the MIND with prayer and meditation

PRAY: Let me quote Tennyson’s words,” More things are wrought by prayer than these world dreams of”. Prayer is the most powerful energy by which MIND, BODY and SOUL assemble in harmony. Miracles are nothing but answer to the prayer. Prayer has the healing power. I am ardent believer in prayer, and pray, for me to deliver my best while operating –and when I am concentrating in the operation I believe then, I am living and not just existing.
As our MAHATMA GANDHI said”Prayer should be our first choice rather than our last resort” Does Prayer change things? No! Prayer change people,and people change things.-Burton Hillis.

GIVE:HELP: These two four lettered words have more or less denotes the good ,one has done for others. Givers and helpers in return receive the goodness in abundance.When my patients spot me at social functions after many years and enquire about my welfare I am living then,and not just existing .Also when students send SMS on doctors day,happy birth day I am living then with pride and happiness and not existing as anatomical body, with physiological functions

HOPE: All of us hope only to get the best in everything. It is when my left thumb got cut and when it took a long time to heal I hoped to take up surgery.I lived with such hope and thankfully I got into medical profession. Lived with the HOPE and dream and became a surgeon.Living with my HOPE further I qualified as surgeon from Edinburgh university in spite of all the hardships which I have endured, enriching my HOPE and dream every day
HOPE and dream are not just enough, we have set a GOAL and to attain our GOAL we have to meticulously PLAN,setting priorities. As we do that daily on a regular basis and assessing the progress it then I believe we are living rather than just existing

EARN: SAVE: In my profession I have earned enough ,acquired basic materialistic comforts and SAVED enough CASH to take care of myself and wife in our second innings.

WILL: As my hair line receding ,with wrinkled skin I am still living with never ending HOPE,wanting to set new goals. yes it is time for me to write a WILL to make things easier for my children .After more than seven decades in this planet I have learnt to listen to others and most importantly l am learning to forgive which is rather mind-boggling –hopefully I will live and be able to clear the cobweb clutter.

Now I am living happily with my family, looking after the retirement home I have established, and also spending time in my farm trying out new things like vermicomposting, tree planting, goat farming etc. So long I keep exploring new avenues I will continue to LIVE thanking almighty for HIS benevolence

Am I living a life? A big yes I am living a life and not just existing