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Old June 24th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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Lightbulb Krishna the cardiologist

Krishna the cardiologist
RAVINDAR RAJ | Jun 24, 2011, 12.00am IST
The Song of God has a store of useful tips for stressed-out professionals, harangued homemakers, and anxious students swotting for their examinations...

Heart specialists have been advising their patients as well as the general public of the need to avert heart ailments. Today, cardiovascular disease is widespread, killing millions of people worldwide. Hence, the need to create public awareness of the ways in which heart disease can be avoided. There are ways, too, of getting cured of the disease by combining medical advice with holistic living.

No one disputes the fact that a healthy lifestyle promotes a healthy heart. The three key words are: aachar, vichar and vyavahar. Let your thoughts, actions and deeds be such that you are able to be free of undue anxieties, worries and tensions, especially in the current ambience of intense competition and greed. Choose to think positively, rather than giving in to negativity that only leads to a needless fear psychosis. A balanced diet and regular exercise help greatly. Add to this a bit of yoga and meditation and the results could not be anything but good.

Faith and prayer have the power to heal, so there is no harm in cultivating faith. It could provide you with a sense of security, in the knowledge that there is a Supreme Consciousness that could guide and enable you to heal yourself. This way, the mind is preoccupied with constructive thoughts, and these are important to keep your creative intuitions and optimism alive. With all these aspects in place, you cannot be anything but healthy and happy! Dale Carnegie and Norma Peal have, through their experiences, affirmed the idea that we need to feed the brain with positive thoughts if we are to expect peace, progress and happiness.

Let's go back to the ancient epic, the Mahabharata. I would describe Sri Krishna's role as that of a master cardiologist. Krishna was able to uplift and liberate a most capable but confused and therefore depressed warrior, the Pandava prince, Arjuna. Krishna accomplished this by imparting to Arjuna pragmatic wisdom in the form of the Bhagavad Gita.

"He who is unattached to everything, and meeting with good and evil, neither rejoices nor recoils, his mind is stable," says Krishna in verse 57 of the second chapter. A balanced mind - akin to the state of samadhi - is achieved when people acquire a state of equilibrium with a degree of perfection by neither going overboard with good results nor getting depressed with a bad outcome. In the verse before this one, Krishna advises Arjuna: "The one whose mind remains undisturbed by sorrow and, in who, the unquenchable thirst for pleasure has altogether disappeared, and who is free from passion, fear and anger, is called the one who is of stable mind." Once you have attained such a state of mind, it is difficult indeed to invite a heart attack!

The biggest lesson of restraint, constraint and contentment ought to be directed at the large body of executives - officers , managers, CEOs in all sectors - who find themselves running against time to outperform , outwit and outmanoeuvre their competitors. Anyone who has jumped into the rat race would find himself rushed for time, ensnared by a punishing mental, physical and professional schedule that stretches from dawn to dusk, maybe more, all the while taking a toll on the individual's health and well-being. The result? Most end up having health problems. Their hearts give in, their reflexes go haywire and they turn jumpy and irritated, angry and frustrated. This is an invitation to cardiovascular disease, and several succumb to it while others live in fear and dread of impending ill health and perhaps premature death.

The key factor here is tension. Including the Gita as part of the executive manual would not be a bad idea. CEOs and administrators need to review their work ethic and system, keeping in mind the invaluable tips Krishna provides in the Gita. The Gita upholds natural law even as it discourages both elation and depression as reactions to success and failure. It promotes even-mindedness, a very good attribute that will enable the taking of decisions with a cool head.

By toning down expectations and maintaining a pragmatic perspective, we can save ourselves from becoming robotic, and find release from a mechanistic lifestyle that neither improves our health nor elevates our consciousness. Get out of the rat race. Think positive and maintain a stable and happy perspective. The Gita says that action is your duty but reward is not your concern. Just do the best you can and leave the rest to God or the Universe. Good actions will reap good results. "Your right is to work only, but never to the fruit thereof. Let not the fruit of action be your object, nor inaction your attachment."

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