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Keep Calm and Eat Cookies

An easy recipe of chocolate cookies that you enjoy making and eating as well!

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India and it’s Mysteries

A hidden truth in the Ramayan’s Hanuman Chalisa. You will love top know what possibilities India has and how it can change and grow with time is those treasures are revealed

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Escape for Love

This post is about how a woman escapes the painful tragedy of life in a torn land and finally reaches her happy life and peaceful life.

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Shanta: Ram’s Sister

A year has passed since I published my book Ram’s Sister: True scion of Raghu. It is a mythological fiction which speaks the story of Shanta the elder sister of Lord Ram. The woman who was lost long ago in the pages of itihas. A strong woman is always despised by this world. She is

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Sita : Daughter of the Earth

The book written by Saraswati Nagpal is a beautiful outline of Ramayana. For starters it is an easy and convenient method to understand the main essence of the epic. The story has been started with an explanation of minutes detail of Ramayana. It has an image of Sita explaining  “treta yuga” and the structure of

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5. Understanding human evolution through cave paintings

(Published on 16-05-2021in Meghalaya Monitor, Online newspaper)

SANSKRITI SINGH explores the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters in Madhya Pradesh

Reporter Send an email 5 hours ago0 30 2 minutes read Share Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Share via Email Print

Art, which is ever-evolving, is an expression of human intelligence, philosophy and emotions. It is always interesting to know what thoughts led to the beginning of art amongst the earliest humans. It is not surprising then that everything that connects us to the past piques our interest. The beginning has a certain beauty that attracts us towards it.
The first Venus figurines which archaeologists found opened a whole realm of new ideas and created a new dimension of studies of human mind and beliefs through art. For instance, the feminine figurine of fertility may symbolise not only a belief system but also the structure of a metrical society that had been a part of the early socio-cultural fabric.
One can also study the first rock paintings in our country in the gigantic caves located in Madhya Pradesh. The Bhimbetka Rock Shelters are a World Heritage Site and, according to the Archaeological Society of India, show signs of the earliest human habitations. The rock art shows the evolution in painting as a form of expression.
Human mind is always ready to embark on any vehicle that takes one back in time and provides insights into the lives and struggles of the ancestors. The name of the place has a fascinating story itself. Bhimbetka is derived from the word Bhimbaithaka, which means the sitting place of Bhīma, one of the Pandava brothers from Mahabharata. Legend says that during their banishment they had resided in this region of the state, although there is no scientific evidence. Nonetheless, the site’s relevance in history is worth knowing.
It has been established that the Homo erectus inhabited the area over a million years ago. Dr Vishnu Wakankar was fascinated by the formation of rocks in the region and en route to another place he discovered the paintings. A set of excavations led to the discovery of the fascinating world of valuable revelations about human history in this part of the world.
There are about 15 rock shelters and numerous rock paintings showing the life of early men. The paintings, as old as 30,000 years, showcase the evolution of the human understanding of shapes, forms and the developing capabilities of expression through paintings.
These paintings cover the journey from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic periods.
During one of my archaeology classes, I came to know that the typical composition of minerals used for paintings has helped in their preservation for thousands of years. I was fascinated and intrigued by the human mind. How wonderful it would be if we could go back to those times and witness the evolution.
Some of the paintings show the use of geometrical designs to draw humans or animals. These are similar to the shapes used by toddlers today. The paintings have elephants, horses, peacocks, deer and bison. One can also find depictions of humans riding horses with arrows and spades. As the ability to paint evolved so did the sophistication of the images. The quality of paintings became finer as the work evolved with human mind.
As I believe, archaeology is a world full of imagination and wonders and the remains are like a time machine that transports one back to the stone age. Human’s first attempt to art is the very basis of the deep satisfying art that we see today, not only as a medium of expression but also a way to understand the unseen past.

(The author is a student of Archaeology at Maharaja Sayajirao University)

BLOG 6. CONCEPT OF MIND: The Psychological effect of Mantras and Gita on the human mind in present times.

Introduction

Sanskrit the celestial language of the gods and goddesses is a structurally complex one that needs years of practice and patience to master. It is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages.

The language leads into a complex history ranging from the stories of gods to heart-warming classical literature that tells stories that have been impacting society for generations.

Amongst the variety of literature, we also find scientific ideas that are much relevant even in today’s world. The presence of this literature can be traced archaeologically from the Gupta period from where we can conclude the Rig Veda came into presence (Was composed) followed by the other three Vedas. The most archaic of these is Vedic Sanskrit found in the Rig Veda, a collection of 1,028 hymns composed between 1500BCE and 1200BCE by Indo-Aryan tribes.

It can be easily concluded that we get an insight to the cultural system of the past from this literature. From all the evidence we also find “shlokas” that have psychological and scientific effect depending upon the use of it in different situations.

  Mantra and Tantra

These two are two different strings adjoining the siddhi yoga in the Vedas. A person striving for “mukti” tries numerous ways of meditation that would lead to eternal peace.

Mantra as explained and deciphered by philosophers is said to be the science of mind where the first syllable means “Manas” or the mind.

Tantra on the other hand is explained as the science of body where the first syllable means “Tan” or body. We can derive from the word itself that when an individual tries to control the mind through difficult, painful and even pressurising methods it becomes a part of Tantra. Taking an example of the Naga Sadhus, the sanyasis who perform numerous “tap sadhnas” by using difficult ways of self-control thereafter controlling their mind is an example of tantra vidya.

Tantra is commonly known as “Black magic” is not what it is said to be. It has numerous life-threatening yogic practices that might harm the one practicing it even causing death sometimes. Hence, to curb this kind of threat, the yogic suggested a more miraculous side of yoga and worship that as well helped in controlling the mind of an individual as in the end meditation is all about the ways of controlling the mind so that one gets rid of all wants and wishes hence moving towards spiritual freedom.

Mantra

A mantra is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, a word or phonemes, or a group of words in Sanskrit believed to have religious, magical or spiritual powers.  As written above the philosophers define Mantra as the science of human mind. It isn’t necessary that a mantra must be of a whole line or of a page. It can also simple be a single alphabet. The use, structure, function, importance, and types of mantras vary. Mantras come in many forms, including the saman(humns from the sama veda) or the musical hymns. They are typically melodic, mathematically structured meters, believed to be resonant with numinous qualities.

 Like the “Om” syllable is considered a mantra in its own right in the Vedanta school of Hinduism. The reason it is given so much importance is that the syllable “Om” is the sound of existence. ॐ , ओ३म् is a sacred sound and a spiritual symbol in Indian religions. It signifies the essence of the ultimate reality, consciousness or Atman. More broadly, it is a syllable that is chanted either independently or before a spiritual recitation. When scientists recorded the sound in space they found the voice of “Om” echoed in the endless space even where there is no one to chant it. “Om” hence being the sound of nature is the sound of our existence as well. Vacuum or no vacuum. At its simplest, the word ॐ (Aum, Om) serves as a mantra, it is believed to be the first sound which was originated on earth. Aum sound when produced creates a reverberation in the body which helps the body and mind to be calm. In more sophisticated forms, mantras are melodic phrases with spiritual interpretations such as a human longing for truth, reality, light, immortality, peace, love, knowledge, and action. Example; it is said that when a person dreams, one’s soul leaves the body and re-enters it. In one of the scientific experiments, it was also found that when the heartbeats of two people in deep slumber were monitored continuously, it was noticed that their heartbeats slowed down nearly to null at different times of the night. Philosophically explaining this with experience, I would say that the time when we move from the state of slumber to awareness or from the state of unconsciousness to consciousness is also the time we can hear the sound of “Om” all around us. It might not be a very commonly noticed or felt experienced, but once one starts meditating, one can hear that voice of transition from the state of nothingness to everything.

Hence, a Manta is not only a set of words joined together for the sake of worship, but it is related to the existence of humanity and its relationship with the entire power of existence or even the universe.

Mantras- Instrument of Mind

There is a long history of scholarly disagreement on the meaning of mantras and whether they are instruments of mind, as implied by the etymological origin of the word mantra. One school suggests mantras are mostly meaningless sound constructs, while the other holds them to be mostly meaningful linguistic instruments of mind. Both schools agree that mantras have melody and a well-designed mathematical precision in their construction and that their influence on the reciter and listener is gradual and lasting.

Frits Staal a professor of Philosophy and Southeast Asian Studies at the university of California presents a non-linguistic view of mantras. He suggests that verse mantras are metered and harmonized to mathematical precision (for example, in the viharanam technique), which resonate, but a lot of them are a hodgepodge of meaningless constructs such as are found in folk music around the world. Staal cautions that there are many mantras that can be translated and do have spiritual meaning and philosophical themes central to Hinduism, but that does not mean all mantras have a literal meaning. He further notes that even when mantras do not have a literal meaning, they do set a tone and ambiance in the ritual as they are recited, and thus have a straightforward and uncontroversial ritualistic meaning. The sounds may lack literal meaning, but they can have an effect. He compares mantras to bird songs, that have the power to communicate, yet do not have a literal meaning. On that saman category of Hindu mantras, which Staal described as resembling the arias of Bach’s oratorios and other European classics, he notes that these mantras have musical structure, but they almost always are completely different from anything in the syntax of natural languages. Mantras are literally meaningless, yet musically meaningful to Staal. The saman chant mantras were transmitted from one Hindu generation to next verbally for over 1000 years but never written, a feat, suggests Staal, that was made possible by the strict mathematical principles used in constructing the mantras. These saman chant mantras are also mostly meaningless, cannot be literally translated as Sanskrit or any Indian language, but nevertheless are beautiful in their resonant themes, variations, inversions, and distribution. They draw the devotee in. Staal is not the first person to view Hindu mantras in this manner. The ancient Hindu Vedic ritualist Kautsa was one of the earliest scholars to note that mantras are meaningless; their function is phonetic and syntactic, not semantic.

However, we must not forget that these well-structured mantras are the voices that arise all around us as sound waves. They are all natural sounds of the universe and hence deeply affects us just like our surrounding affects us.

Fritz Stall

Effect on Mind

Mantras can be highly beneficial for your brain. The primary effect of chanting mantras is on our mind and nervous system, not on the brain. Scientists have done a lot of research on mantras effect on our brain. They found that certain brain parts activated when we recite mantras. Mantras give peace of mind. It is a positive vibration that eliminates negativity from our mind. Read below the benefits of mantras:

Relaxes the brain: Mantras directly affect your mind and science has proved it. Chanting of mantras brings peace in your mind. When you recite mantras your mind releases the stress and your body will automatically start to relax. In one of the scientific research, the effect of mantras experienced on various mediators. In this study, the scientist noticed that chanting ‘OM’ has increased mental awareness and reduction in heart rate.
Decrease stress from the mind: Mantras are positive words or phrases. When you chant mantras your mind releases the positive energy that decreases the negative thoughts or stress. Chanting mantras is an ancient practice that calms your mind and soul. Scientific studies have found that chanting mantras like “Om” for 10 minutes can decrease anxiety and depressive symptoms in the human body.
Improve attention and change mood: Mantras has many psychological benefits. It can improve attention and change your mood. Mantras repetition for 10-15 minutes daily can improve your attention and lift your mood. Mantras can be repeated silent or vocal, done either individually or in a group.
Increase concentration: Mantras are very useful to focus on single tasks. Chanting mantras will help increase your ability to concentrate and focus your attention on a single task. Sit and practice mantras daily for 10-15 minutes and you will see the result in the next couple of days. Like once you start practicing Bhramri asana (one of the five pranayama) within a few days once you pay attention to sound you will notice the constant echo of “Om” from within your own body. And thereafter, it also affects our mind and body as well.

Notable Hindu mantras

Gayatri

 भूर्भुवस्व: | तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम् | भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि | धियो यो : प्रचोदयात्

Oṁ Bhūrbhuvaswaha Tatsaviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥa prachodayāt

“Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine Light (Vivifier, Sun). May he stimulate our understandings (knowledge, intellectual illumination).

Pavamana mantra

असतो मा सद्गमय  तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय  मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय  asato mā sad-gamaya, tamaso mā jyotir-gamaya, mṛtyor-māmṛtaṃ gamaya.

“from the unreal lead me to the real, from the dark lead me to the light, from death lead me to immortality.

Shanti mantra

Oṁ Sahanā vavatu

sahanau bhunaktu

Sahavīryam karavāvahai

Tejasvi nāvadhītamastu

Mā vidviṣāvahai

Oṁ Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ.

“Om! Let the Studies that we together undertake be effulgent;

“Let there be no Animosity amongst us;

“Om! Peace, Peace, Peace.

Psychological Research on Mantra

A team at the University of West Virginia interested in examining the effects of mantra on cognitive impairment found that engaging in a mantra known as Kriya Kirtan for 12 minutes a day for 12 weeks altered plasma blood levels involved in cellular aging, which were associated with improvements in cognitive function, sleep, mood, and quality of life.

Another team at the University of Pennsylvania, which studied the effects of mantra on patients with memory loss, found that after eight weeks the brain scans of participants showed significant increased cerebral blood flow in several areas. Most importantly, their performance on neuropsychological testing showed improved visuospatial memory, increased connectivity, and improved verbal memory.3 The Alzheimer’s Prevention Foundation recommends the Kriya Kirtan meditation on its website. 

So what exactly is mantra meditation? Mantra is essentially the rhythmic repetition of words, phrases, or syllables. Because it occupies your mind to chant or sing the sounds, it stops your normal train of thought and clears your mind. 

Some forms of mantra meditation will also include finger-tapping to engage more of your senses. In the case of Kirtan chants, music enhances the rhythmic pattern and creates a deeper meditative experience. It can be done alone or in a group using a call-and-response pattern. Traditional mantras are often based on Sanskrit; some Kirtan chants have roots in Hinduism.

How is mantra meditation affecting the brain? This is still under investigation by neuroscientists such as Andrew Newberg at Penn. A recent review article examining the research on this subject suggests that mantra meditation activates areas of the brain such as the thalamus, which is related to sensory perception, and the hippocampus, which is related to memory function, and that it can help synchronize networks in the prefrontal cortex which improves cognitive performance.

Bhagvad Gita and the Mind

Spoken and written commentary on Bhagavad Gita, the distilled spiritual essence of Vedas and Upanishads, is aplenty. Mahatma Gandhi was quoted as saying that whenever he had a problem Bhagavad Gita offered an answer and the solution. For a student of psychology, Bhagavad Gita offers a valuable case study for lessons in psychotherapy – resolution of conflict and successful resumption of action from a state of acute anxiety and guilt-laden depression that precipitated inaction. It is interesting to discuss the therapy process involved in Bhagavad Gita in which Lord Krishna helped the grief-stricken Arjuna through dialogue and discussion. Not considering the story behind the entire text what is more important and relevant is NOT WHAT IT IS BUT WHAT TRANSPIRED in those 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita; the process and content of the dialogue; its usefulness as a model of counselling and possible contemporary application value to current day psychological therapies, especially, but need not be limited to, in the Indian context.

The fact of interest for the individual lies embedded in the dialogue between these two slokas:

  • Sishyasthe Aham Sadhi Mam Tvam Prapannam

(I am your disciple, Guide me, Help me)     II chapter….7th  Sloka

  • Nasto mohah Smrtir labdha Tvat Prasadan mayachyuta Sthithosmi gata-Sandehaha Karishye Vachanam tava

(“Clouds” have cleared; my senses are back, all your gift with my doubts vanished, Ready to act as you direct)      XVIII chapter…..73rd Sloka

The 7th sloka of 2nd chapter is a depiction of the helpless state of Arjuna praying Lord Krishna for help. The 73rd Sloka of 18th chapter is a reflection of the dissolution of anxiety, worry, depression and guilt and preparedness for action with confidence and vigour. Whatever transpired between the 7th sloka of 2nd chapter and the 73rd sloka of the 18th chapter is a matter of scientific curiosity for every student of psychology as it resulted in total relief from the distress.

Counselling/psychotherapy is essential and an integral component of psychiatric interventions in the management of a patient with psychological distress/disease. The psychotherapeutic models available are developed and imported from western literature. The applicability and usefulness of these models in the Indian context were discussed with some scepticism keeping in mind the varying cultural, religious, spiritual, societal attitudes (broadly described as eastern/oriental culture) by psychiatrists in the past.

The first chapter, narrates the expression of Arjuna’s sorrow, anxiety, fear and guilt leading to a state of inaction after seeing his kith and kin (Gurus, cousins, uncles, nephews, friends…) lined up in the enemy camp in the battle field-Fighting this war, to win the kingdom, means killing all these people whom Arjuna respected and loved; a sin of commission from any angle. Overwhelmed by the acute state of sadness and guilt, Arjuna drops his weapons (Gandiva) and turns to Lord Krishna, his charioteer, for help and guidance.

  • Sishyasthe Aham Sadhi Mam Tvam Prapannam

(I am your disciple, Guide me, Help me)      II…….7

Psychological Analysis

Having studied Psychology for the past two years as one of my papers in intermediate I realized that all of our Vedic literature holds numerous aspects one of them being psychological as well. There hence I present one of my studies on Bhagvat Gita.

Probable diagnosis

This attempt to make a retrospective diagnosis based on the current day diagnostic criteria may sound ludicrous but the limitations are notified. We can only make a diagnosis of Acute, transient, situational adjustment disorder with symptoms of anxiety (single Panic attack), depression with predominant guilt.

No past history of psychological decompensation in spite of major psychological stressors (Aranyavasam, agnathavasam, humiliation in the royal court…) in the preceding years.

The setting is a battle field and the urgency of the issue demands crisis intervention.

The personality of Arjuna: Pandava Prince, no significant neurotic traits, maladjustment or faulty coping pattern; a great warrior and veteran of many battles, in the recent past he fought against the same army and won the battle (Uttara Gograhanam). Proactive role in the preparation for the current war and he drove into the battlefield with great enthusiasm to fight and win.

Therapist Lord Krishna – A long-time friend, relative, well-wisher of the patient, highly respected in the community, supposedly with supernatural powers, legendary mediating skills, mischievous lover boy in his younger days, with tons of common sense and in the contemporary language a kind of Go-Getter.

Descriptive psychopathology of Arjuna:

Anxiety

  • Seedanthi mama gatrani mukham cha parisushyathi vepathus cha sarire me roma-harshas cha jayate

(Weakness of limbs, Dryness of mouth, Shivering of the body, Goose skin)      1……..29

  • Gandivam sramsate hastat tvakchaiva paridahyate na cha saknomy avasthatum bhramati va cha me manah

(Gandivam slips from the hand, “Burning” of skin, Unable to stand, “Dizziness”/Confusion of Mind)      I………30

Depression

  1. Negative thoughts:

Na kankhse vijayam Krishna na cha rajyam sukhani cha Kim no rajyena Govinda kim bhogairjivitena va.

(Do not desire victory, Neither kingdom nor pleasures why kingdom, why luxuries, why this war, wh…..)      I…….32

  • Guilt:

Ahobatha MahatPAPAM karthum vyavasatha vayum Yadrajya sukhaobhena Hanthum Swajana mudyatham

(Preparing for the Sinful act of killing our own kin…)      I……..44

  • Death wish:

Yadi Ma Mapratheekaram asastram Sastrapanayah Dhartarashtra rane hanusthanme KSHEMAtharam bhaveth (Even if I get killed in the war by my enemy it will be good)      I……45

Rational Therapy

Discussion on the natural inevitability of birth and death of life cycle, the immortality of the soul, performance of your own Dharma (duty) otherwise running the risk of shame and public defame. The goal of therapy is removal of guilt and re-motivate for action.

  • Asochyan anvasochastvam Pragna-vadams cha bhashase gatasun agatasumscha n anusochanti panditah

(You worry about events you are not supposed and speak like a learned man, Wise people do not worry about things that are perishable, or immortal)      II…….11

  • Vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya navani grhanti naro parani tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany-anyani samyati navani dehi

(As you remove torn clothes and wear new ones ATMA also leaves… and occupies new bodies)      II………22

  • Nainam chindanti sastrani Nainam dahati pavakah na chainam kledayanty apo na soshayati marutah

(ATMA CAN NEVER BE torn by arrows (bullets), Burnt by fire, Washed away by floods (Tsunami) lifted by winds (Typhoon, Hurricane)      II……..23

  • Jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyuh dhruvam janma mrtasya cha tasmaad apariharye rthe na tvam sochitumarhasi

(Everything born must die, everything dead must get born again and you should not worry about these events)      II……..27

  • Atha chethva mimam dharmyam sangramam na karishyasi Thatha swadharmam keerthin cha hitva Papamavasyasi

(Your “Dharma” is to participate in war, If not You lose your dharma, fame and COMMIT A SIN)      II……….33

  • ….Sambhavitasya Chakeerthi hi Maranadathirichyathe

(For a noble man disgrace is worse than death)      II……‥…34

  • Hathova prapsyasi swargam jitva va bhokshyase mahim thasmad utthistha Kaunteya yuddhaya krta-nischayah

(If you die you will go to heaven, winning will get you kingdom So get up and decide to fight.      II………37

Action and renunciation

The one concept in Bhagavad Gita that received exceptional respect and applause from several great scholars is the emphasis on KARMA (ACTION). Intelligent action (Gnana Karma) without performance anxiety and without the greed for the fruits of the work (Nishkama Karma) and never to have the choice of nonperformance of duty (Akarma) emerges as a key point in the teaching of Bhagavad Gita.

Karmany evadhikaras te

Mma phalesu kaddacana

Ma karma-phala-hetur bhur

Ma te sango’stv akarmani

(You have the right only on Action, Not on the fruits of your work Never own responsibility to the result, Must never lose interest in work)      II……….47

Emphasis on the power and capabilities of individual self, and how the person alone will be responsible for his actions, growth or otherwise. “You are your choices”. “You are your destiny”

  • Uddharedatmana’tmanam atmanam avasadayet atm’aiva hy atmano bandhur atm’aiva ripur atmanah

(Self-Empowerment, No inferiority, Your “Self” can be your friend or your own enemy)      VI……….5

Viswarupa-Darsanam – ? Hypnosis:

Is the therapist inducing a state of hypnotic trance at this point!

  • Vedanam Samavedosmi… Indriyanam Manasyasmi…. Naranam cha Naradhipam….

I am the best of everything – Omnipotent, Omnipresent….      X chapter

  • Pasyame Pardha Rupani Sathasotha Sahashrasu…..

(Arjuna, Look at my Hundreds and Thousnds of forms…)      XI………..5

Trust (Bhakthi): Trust (Faith) remains a single most important element in the therapeutic relationship; not just in psychology but the medical practice in general.

  • Sarvadharman Parithyajya Mamekam Saranam Vraja Aham Thva Sarvapapebhyo Mokshaishyami Ma Suchah

(Leave everything and Trust me, I will rescue you from all the problems, Do not Worry)      XVIII…….66

Guru – Sishya Relationship: Gurukul Tradition

Imparting wisdom with devotion to learn and teach, dialogue and discussion being the process, bound by relationship of trust is the ancient tradition of Gurukul.

“What mattered is not so much the content of a person’s beliefs / religions but whether or not they led to personal transformation of a positive kind”      (William James)

     Lord Krishna seem to have succeeded in making Arjuna rediscover his emotional balance and power as described in the last sloka of Bhagavad Gita. And Psychologically speaking we seem to have a positive result of the entire conversation.

Yathra Yougeeswarah krishno Yatra Partho Dhanurdharah Thathra Sri Vijayo bhuthi dhruva neethirmathirmama.      XVIII……. 78

(……Where Arjuna stands with his Gandiva [Bow] there certainly will be wealth, victory and justice – so I believe)

Points that make the entire work psychologically relevant even in today’s world:

  • Satisfactory Premorbid Personality of the patient with adequate coping skills
  • Therapist is a trusted Friend, Philosopher, Guide
  • Cognitive and Rational emotive approach!
  • Emphasis on Work with renunciation (KARMA YOGA), Smart Action without performance anxiety
  • Behavior Therapy – Flooding!– Prolonged, continuous exposure to the anxiety provoking situation as the therapy was in the battle field itself
  • Insight Oriented !
  • Viswa Rupam – Hypnosis !
  • Trust (BHAKTHI)

   Conclusion

Mantra, Tantra, Vedas, Gita all have been celebrated texts and practices from thousands of years in our society yet they hold not only ritualistic importance but also psychological, scientific and therapist importance which can cure the very bizarre forms of depression, anxiety and other such mental disorders. Gita has immense value with enormous intellectual depth that analyses and explains a variety of life’s experiences and attempts to reach out to everyone with any kind of intellectual and philosophical background.        

Only nature can cure nature. Hence, I believe the hymns basically called the sound of existence are spiritually the most special gifts to us which can help us attain peace and cure devastating mental problems that can later become mental disorders. The more we move towards our existence the more answers and solutions we find. These mantras are hidden treasures and can be blessings to the soul and our being.                               

BLOG 7. CBSE Paper Leak! A black spot on the system:

By Sanskriti Singh

Class 10 is a step that secures the future of the students.  It ensures that where an individual will lead themselves to.  And to excel in this one exam each student puts a yearlong hard work and carries a million ton pressure on his/her back. I myself have gone through such problems and pressures.  For students Exams are like those relatives whom you don’t really like, but have to go on with . And the end of exams is like they are released from a lifelong prison.

All the students were thrilled and delighted, we felt that the three months are here and we will rule. Students were wandering around like free birds. Planes made were going to be implemented and friends with their (in the youngsters language) so called #partnerincrime were ready to start their tour in the city. But at 3 pm the worst news of these students life popped up and covered the whole media. Headlines said that “CBSE math paper has leaked and the exam will be reconducted  ” had covered the breaking news slots .

No one ever thought that such a thing would happen to them. The question papers were up to the standard and each and every student was happy to come out of the exam hall. I was also satisfied with what I had written along with my fellow class mates. And yes Math’s something which is not a very good friends of students was again the trouble and the people who were involved in leaking the paper were the trouble makers.

It has been reported that few parents had already complained about the paper leak to the CBSE board but the board had not taken things seriously and the complaints were to no avail. It is a serious point to note that the government agencies are paying no heed to the peoples point and complaints that need to be taken seriously are being dismissed without a reality check. It can be said the board has been careless about the question papers that are made for students appearing on board exams. The year has marked a major change in the examination systems as the CCE has been removed and Board Exams all over has been started by the government and in such situations, there should have been a much serious care in the exam papers . In the last few years, there had been no such cases. But as soon as the old system of examinations has been started the paper leak matter has covered the news headlines.

The students are disheartened and are in protest of this whole scandal and also the system. But the point is that why is the board not paying any heed to the voice of people. It is a fault that none can deny that the board should have checked the papers and changed the Set 1 question paper. The incident has revealed that the board is insensitive towards the student’s future.

Secondly , the education ministry has been promising that next year the electronic system of sending the paper will start . But why has this system not been brought yet. It is a big question, that were they waiting for such a problem  to arise to bring up the change ?

Third , the biggest question is that how were the papers leaked . And how did these miscreants have so much of guts to get the whole question paper and that too a written one and spread it around. The only reason  that can be seen is that they do not fear the aftermath . They have no fear from the punishment that they are supposed to get.

This whole incident is a black spot on the morals of the people living in the country. Such people leak the papers because they are sure that someone or the other will buy the  papers . The first mistake is of those people who buy the papers for their students or children . People complain that the people are corrupt and the nation is not developing . The time till our society will have such people who can spoil the life of lakhs of students for their own good ,development will take a long time to come .

The biggest mistake is of those parents who do not teach their kids to stay loyal and study hard for the whole year. Instead, they persuade them to get these papers and cheat. 15000 ₹! This is the cost of the papers (media reports). If they have so much money to waste on a few questions, why don’t they spend in helping the poor, or why do they have so much problem paying tax? Such people only degrade the image of our country.

I myself have appeared the board exams as a class 10 student, and my question is where the real fault was? Whether these papers were leaked by the people who had set them, or was it at the typing or printing level? Or has it been done at any other stage of preparing the question paper? Not only me, but it is also a question of each student and parent. And why are these faults arising? Also, will the culprits be provided severe execution in response to this crime?

There was a collective lot of mistakes, irresponsibility, and riches that this whole situation arose. And now it’s a pun for our system and even people.

                                                                  The author is a student of B. K. Bajoria School.

                                                                (Appeared for Class X CBSE Examination on 28-03-2018)

BLOG 8. Society and its womanly instincts

Who is a witch? Who is a mystic? People will answer and even Google will answer a witch is a women who has unpleasant thoughts or evil doings. And a mystic is one who is a spiritual man. But are these definitions really true? Who decides whether a women is a witch or a man is a mystic. Before starting this I would like to clear the mist in the eyes of people residing from centuries. None has the power to say that a woman is a witch in the meaning that people today know. Actually the first thing to be clear about is that it was Christianity that condemned the word witch; otherwise, it was the most respected words, as respected a mystic- a wise man. It simply meant wise women, the parallel to a wise man.

But in the Middle Ages the society dominated by man came to face danger. There were thousands of women who were far wiser than the bishops, cardinals, pope and the prophets. They knew the art of transformations. They knew how to change things and how to function. Their whole philosophy was based on love- and women can do that more easily than a man. After all she is a mother and she is always a mother. Even a small baby girl professes the power of motherhood. Motherliness is nothing connected to age, it is a power that only a women has and it is a part of womanhood. Transformation needs a very loving atmosphere. And a man does not have the power of love. His words “I Love You” are hollow and empty. He never means it. Love is the supreme feeling of satisfaction and happiness in seeing the other happy. But love for men now only means pain for the other.

Khalil Gibran, in his work The Prophet had answered the question ‘What is pain?’ The question was asked by women.

Almustafa said: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

A poor statement – so superficial that was never expected by one as Gibran. Any one could say that. It is not worthy of Khalil Gibran: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is a very simple and general statement. It is truism but not truth. It is very factual. If one wants to free his understanding he must undergo pain. We all know that. He should have explained that ’What is the shell?’

All the best questions in The Prophet are asked by women. About marriage, love, children, pain- authentic, real. Not about God, not about philosophical system, but about life itself. To an ordinary man it will look like simple questions but they are the greatest questions in the world, and the one who can solve them enters a totally new world. But Almustafa answers the questions by anybody, any XYZ- he is not answering the questioner.

Why has the questions arisen in the minds of a women and not a man? This happens simply because a woman has faced slavery, prison and economic dependence. This dependence makes her so pained and suppressed that she goes much deep into the meaning of life and truth. This makes her wise and learned. And then when men became insecure of their freedom and knowledge, they filled the women with the feeling of liberalism. Yes, the feeling of liberalism in women was first instigated by a man. The women then get so entangled in this that they forget their knowledge and their womanly nature. She has been excessively abused and suppressed from the early ages that she starts taking revenge from men.

Women have started wearing jeans, using drugs, drinking alcohol and using cigarettes. But is this what a woman is supposed to do? In the quest of taking revenge from men she has lift her womanly nature. And by “womanly nature” I do not mean staying at home and doing the house hold work.  By this statement I mean that her softness, her wisdom, her kindness, her truth, her loveable nature, her motherhood and her beauty. When she starts taking revenge she becomes tough, cruel and hard, on herself and on others, just as men are- hard tough and cruel.

What is the result? The society breaks down. Life becomes a blunder for one and all. The society consists of men, women and children. But who really moulds the structure of this society. It’s always the women. Sanskrit explains women as “Shrijanhar” meaning “the one who moulds or the one who gives birth and shape” this dose not only explain women as the one who is a mother but it says the meaning of the one who gives birth to civilization and society, when she leaves her true nature to become someone who she isn’t she leaves her identity. Being modern is not bad but becoming someone who has a borrowed identity is worst.

Only women have the power to keep the society intact and bounded. If not she then none is capable. And this each woman can feel if she looks deep into her heart and searches her truth and her identity. Osho an influential and inspiring spiritual teacher ones had said;

“The women should search into her own soul for her own potential and develop it, And she will have a beautiful future.”

Taking revenge is not the solution of the suppression she has faced. Solution is that she should mould herself in such a way that a without leaving her womanly nature she should gain freedom and show her importance.

Society without women will break. Women and society are interrelated to each other and society greatly needs a woman to prosper and develop.  And men need to understand that the one who has knowledge will never stay hidden. Suppression cannot hide her womanly instincts and her importance cannot end just by her change in nature. One day or the other she will become what she was. Changes happen to bring about a new change.

Sanskriti Singh

Student(BA), Department of Archaeology

Maharaja Sayaji Rao University

Baroda, Gujrat

and can be reached at readsanskriti2390@gmail.com