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In the previous Issue we had highlighted that the current crises, with no end at sight, is taking toll on many of us. Individuals who are not so resilient mentally are breaking-down due to too much negativity surrounding the pandemic. If it be so, then what could be the remedial measure(s)?

There are two approaches which complement one another. First, engaging in physical activities, consuming healthy food, refraining from intoxicants and reading wholesome books. Such activities are indeed good for our physical and psychological well-being but these are external to us. So, what is the other approach which complements the above? The answer lies in one the rich sources of Indian culture – Yogavashistha. It offers an insight on the internal approach to mental well-being.

The young prince Ram, a teenager then, was residing in the gurugriha of Sage Vashistha. The Sage was grooming Ram as the future king of Ayodhya. In one of the classes the great Sage was expounding the nature of mind. The young prince was unable to understand. It is then that Vashistha explained its nature with the help of an analogy. He said that mind is like a monkey (habitual restlessness) which is drunk (endless desire) then stung by a scorpion (envy) and finally, a demon (egotism) has entered into it. He concluded by saying that if such is the nature of mind then how difficult it must be to control it. Now, fast-forward to 2020. Anxiety and fear about future are overpowering us. Our thoughts are making us restless. Therefore, it is important for us know if we can integrate in our 24-hour cycle (like a few mentioned in the previous paragraph) a practice that will help us to soothe our nerves. The answer lies in the Quality Mind Process (QMP) whose inspiration is drawn from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and Patanjali’sYogasutras.

The steps are:

  1. Deep, mindful and slow alternate nostril breathing

  2. Normal mindful breathing

  3. Brain-Stilling (thoughtlessness in the head)

  4. Opening up upwards above the head to the Cosmic and

  5. Bringing down the awareness from the top of the head into the cave of the heart and concentrate

When practised regularly for atleast 20 min, in empty stomach, in the morning and in the evening the following mental benefits are derived:

  1. Gradual strengthening of will-power

  2. Development of penetrating insight

  3. Feeling of deep inner serenity and poise beneath the surface turbulence

  4. Greater courage and capacity for introspection

It calls for perseverance & patient tenacity and only then stress can be busted. QMP has after all withstood the scrutiny of time & modern science accepts it as well. Porosh has in-house expert to teach QMP for augmenting mental health.

Updated: May 3, 2020

A true optimist is one who views a glass half full as against half empty. Over last month and a half we are mostly fed by the electronic and print media on what is going wrong with Covid-19 pandemic. The fallout of this has been growing incidents of individuals falling prey to psychiatric problems due to brooding over cataclysmic end to the world. Faint-hearted have started losing their nerves. However, Porosh, as usual, offers a different take on this issue.

The forced lockdown has made many of us realize the futility of unnecessary necessities. We have started to live with less. This is the new normal, Atleast for the time being. Scope for extravagant spending and money splurging is no longer possible. We are compelled to lead a simple life like it, or not. Suddenly designation and status appear meaningless. Yet the superfluity of 24*7 lifecycle is yet to sink-in with many. Those accustomed to leading bahirmukhi lifestyle are probably finding it unsettling to adjust to the unexpected shift in gear. However, what we may fail to realize is that it might be once in a lifetime opportunity for us to find true meaning of our existence. This period of lockdown could be the turning-point in many of our lives in terms of setting priorities beyond the narrow confines of one’s career and material accomplishments. Is there anything else to look forward to?

Yes. At the societal level we have become more self-reliant by way of performing household chores be it mopping floors, cooking, washing utensils, dusting etc. In this sense, lockdown due to COVID-19 has been a great leveller. It has blurred the difference between the haves and have-nots, a common man on the street and a celebrity. Not only this. There are news reports claiming that the senior citizens (and others as well) having asthmatic problems have reduced breathing problems.

On a still broader scale the good old Earth has finally got the much-needed healing touch. What global conferences on climate change could not achieve over the years, COVID-19 has been able to. It has proved beyond doubt that without genuine fear of death we are happy paying lip service to nature conservation. The Nature is reclaiming its lost territories and evidences are aplenty. Thus, COVID-19 has proved to be a great leveller by bringing the developed, developing and under-developed nations together and make them work in unison.

Although humanity has taken a beating yet we are confident of bouncing back a lot more wiser.

In the year 1973 EF Schumacher’s seminal book titled Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered was released. When COVID-19 has left the entire globe reeling under its impact, analyses made by him about half-a-century ago may help us appreciate deeper reasons triggering the pandemic.

Schumacher had observed, “Already the environment is trying to tell us that certain stresses are becoming excessive. As one problem is being ‘solved’, ten new problems arise as a result of the first ‘solution’. … the new problems are not the consequences of incidental failure but of technological success.” If we are to believe that COVID-19 is a man-made virus,then cannot it not be attributed to technological success which has gone wrong? The above statement calls for deep introspection. Superficial arguments will only obfuscate what is obvious.

He went on to add further, “The developments of science and technology over the last hundred years have been such that the dangers have grown even faster than the opportunity.” Unless we are opinionated it should not be difficult to appreciate that unbridled technological innovation has brought upon humanity unfathomed uncertainty along with material comfort as a mere palliative. Hence, Schumacher cautioned about the need for a conscious and fundamental change in the direction of scientific effort. What is it resulting in?

He contended, “Every increase of needs tends to increase one’s dependence on outside forces over which one cannot have control and therefore increases existential fear.” Can there be a better example than a sense of collective fear overpowering us today? We are mortally scared about our very survival as the threat of from an invisible enemy is making us feel so helpless.

Amidst all this the Nature, in its own way, is offering us a chance to recalibrate our fast-paced lives, an opportunity to slow down and a glimpse of simple living (and perhaps high thinking). After all this is over, mankind will probably emerge wiser and more humbles.

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