Soon after introducing my friend, benevolent Dr. Chalpathi Rao, I feel sad to write uncharitably about the men of his profession.
A co-member of this group, a respected elderly woman, never seen or known to me, recently shared her grief on the loss of her husband which she believes was avoidable had the hospital treated the patient, instead of ‘cheating’ . Ramu, my nephew, a super specialist in medicine, commented when I showed him madam’s mail: ” Luck decides a patient’s recovery in such hospitals ” How true but how sad! The hospitals are for pulling patients out of the jaws of death and not to push them into it.
I am releasing her letter, with her permission along with my response to it.
As I do not wish to burden you with too many problems, I have deleted my personal story though I disclosed to her, hoping that it might bring some solace to that unknown unfortunate lady. The kind soul responded immediately expressing relief and raising my status to that of a ‘non blood -related brother’. “I don’t know how I thought of you and decided to mail you.Though accidental it was meaningful and may be His wish that someone in your form to console.Thanks again, for I feel a bit relieved”.
An affectionate hug, a kind back-pat or even a benign look or smile can relieve mental pain to some extent.
Love and regards,
Thanks for sharing your mental agony with a stranger, whom you have never seen and about whom you know nothing.
I too have passed through similar trauma when—-
Sorry, I have been talking too much about me. It was intentional yes, to assure you that you can trust my words as a partner in distress.
Now let me attempt to answer your query:
The past cannot be undone, however we might long for. That, in fact is one of the blessings showered on us, which ensures the continuity of the world.
Some corporate hospitals have become death-traps and the black monsters in white aprons, who squeeze our pocket as well as the life of our kin, instead of saving them, are having a free time and unless they are sued in a court of law as their counter parts are subjected to in the western countries, their atrocities will not stop. The kin of the deceased, in their depressed mental state concentrate on the rituals initially and immediately after that, on the ways and means of settling the problems of the family left behind by him. We do not have a social organization to fight for the ‘cheated’. I am borrowing that word from your letter.
Leave away the legal part, which is cumbersome and time-taking. The immediate requirement is to find a way to heal your wound. For atheists, probably, the issue is comparatively simple. There is no third agency, other than the deceased’s men on one side and the doctors’ group on the other. For people like me and you, there is a third agency called God, Fate or whatever we designate and for good or bad we seek the intervention of that power-source and feel that we are left in lurch when things go wrong.
“Why should I believe in God who did not offer a helping hand when I needed it most ?” was my query, when I underwent the agony, then. That exactly is your question too now. It is natural for any believer to raise that question. Our ancestors firmly believed that the seeds for what we reap in this birth were already sown in our previous births and the Divine hands propels our life boat. That belief was summer showers for those parched souls. In a way, they were lucky. They had an instant cooling agent.
For thirty years I did Siva panchayathana pooja and as that did not come to my rescue when I wanted the divine intervention most, I almost lost faith in the God . The pity is my children, who were taught our values and raised in a traditional surroundings also lost belief in Him. Even today, my two sons do not wear poonal or visit temples. The eldest one does perhaps to satisfy me or his wife. Notwithstanding their overt disbelief in the Supreme, they are epitome of goodness in all respects, much finer than their father. They woke up from their cradles hearing the ringing of my pooja bell and therefore some amount of the spiritual sediments is bound to stay in the inner layers of their subconscious mind. I am sure, that will manifest at an appropriate time . In me, due to my intense exposure to the Divine influence , the calamitous typhoon did not uproot the tree of faith in God though it did some temporary damage by shaking the branches violently .
As the rituals did not come to my help in time, initially I neglected them but in due course, started performing sandhyavandanam, temple visit etc albeit with lesser seriousness. To make up the loss, I concentrated on Upanishads where I found solace. That unique acquaintance taught me to believe in God just for inner peace and just for that alone. I have now learned that belief in God without expecting anything removes the turbidity in the mind and makes our ‘manasa saras’ absolutely clean, tranquil and transparent. In a clean surroundings good thoughts develop, fresh air blows and life becomes a flower garden.
I am also now convinced that it is impossible for me to live without Him. I have, however, not reached that mental maturity to trust that He is a part of me and therefore, now and then, unnecessarily, plead that He should never discard me and go away .
It will do good for you if you take refuge under the old saying that ‘whatever has to happen will happen’.It may look absurd for an enlightened person like you but such a strong support prevents our sagging moral from complete collapse.
Also, we lose faith in God only because we expect something from Him. If you can tune your mind to trust him, just trust Him expecting nothing in reward, there will be a change in your way of thinking and the way your life moves.
It is easy to preach so but extremely difficult to practice.If you develop the belief that God is not there to give you what you ask for but to give what you deserve, disappointment can be avoided. Much better if you can believe that God is not there to give you anything at all. He is just a sakshi, witness.
Vishnu sahasranamam helped me a lot to regain steadiness and restore my faith in myself. You may loose faith in anything including God, but if you loose faith in yourself , that is the end of the journey. I have in a recent article mentioned that each word in that composition is a ‘madu chaskam’ and my scholar friend VVR has endorsed my view in his erudite article, which you would have read.The advantage is your knowledge in Sanskrit. You can spend hours together enjoying the meaning of each word and how they are linked. I am now able to forget all my worries and play like a child with other children and sing like other players of nature, the sky, the clouds, the moon and stars. Upanishads and Vishusahasrnamam act as stimulants.
I am not particular about my sandhya, pooja or even about the Sahasranamam. But most of the time, while moving in a car or jet, while sitting in front of food or even while lying on the bed awaiting sleep, knowingly and often unknowingly, the memory of the Lord appears in one form or the other, like a lotus leaf or a log of wood or a swan floating on clear waters. That is the advantage of our stotrams if you know the meanings. Just the first word ‘Viswam’ alone can keep your mind engaged for the whole day . So is the first word of ‘Sree and then the second matha’ in the Lalitha sahasrnamam. Soundarya lahari and Sivandalahari are life-long joy-givers. Some say our mantrams and slokams will give the expected benefits when recited even without knowing their meaning. May be. What about the joy they shower ? You are lucky, you know their meaning.
Expect nothing more from life, madam. You have received the best of what you are entitled for.Think, sitting in a corner, away from your people . Compared to many others known to you, are you not luckier despite the recent disaster that struck your life? Also just assume that your life -partner leaving the stage, before you, was predetermined. The chain had to be broken and one of you had to leave the stage before the other does. The friend who advised you to admit him in that particular hospital and the doctors who were instrumental for pushing him into the jaws of death, no doubt were to be blamed but nothing could be done about that now. So consider them as the agents sent by Mrithyu to remove your partner from the stage. As I already mentioned, the past is a post ‘sent’ . Try to reduce its impact on the present so that the future doesn’t suffer a stroke.
As a child and later as an youngster, I disliked my elders blaming Fate for any disaster. I labelled them as superstitious. Even now I feel that 90 percent of our losses are due to our ignorance, inefficiency or inability to act in time and in the correct way or due to our ego or the compulsions of our environment or any such matters. But in spite of acting in the best way, when things go wrong, what do I do ? whom do I blame ? my so called education stand in the way of throwing the blame on Fate. But some one has to own the responsibility, right? Who is that someone ? I pity myself. My less educated ancestors were lucky to have had ‘blind’ faith in the Fate. I envy them.
When the mind is in the midst of such a sorrowful state of amavasaya darkness, there raises from the distant horizon a powerful sun with all the glory of a Heavenly bliss, Geethacharya’s ‘ Karmanyeavadhikarasthe, Ma bhaleshu kathaachana ‘- Do your job and don’t worry about the result’. My shrunken mind jumps up asks, “have you done your duty ? ” I reply, yes, yes, yes ”
“Then why do you look up ? Go and sleep “, the mind says. Simple, so simple
In fact life is handed over to us in the most simple form, no clothes on, no wants except for a mouthful of mother’s milk. We make it complicated wrapping it with more and more clothing and packing inside with more and more wants and desires.
There are many secret holes in the Universe to explore which science is struggling. In no way less are the hidden secrets of our own life.It takes you nowhere if you go too deep into the secrets of life with our limited knowledge. Our ancestors have suggested some herbs and tools to treat our jaundice. Sahsranammam is one among them. There are many others. Choose from the invaluable treasure trove any jewel you like. They are all luminous, they will show you the path.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts purely personal. They are not intended to teach you something new or even for counseling you. You have to search for your own path.
From my own experience I can however advice you to concentrate on your children, grand children and when time permits think of the Supreme Reality, in whatever form you want, Sai including.
Live the remaining part of your life. The God has a purpose. Otherwise, He would have removed you from the stage either along with your husband or before or after his exit.
May the Easanan, who is the praanada and also the praana revive you. I am sure He will . He did it for me. Live on the memory of the good days and nights you spent with your husband, rather not on those which are lost. As I told you, past is a post ‘sent’
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change things I can and the wisdom to know the difference
P.S There may be some more parched souls like ours in our group and I would like to share this note without mentioning your name, if you have no objection.