No Success without SACRIFICE

Have we ever thought as to why always the Saints request us to sacrifice? Well, they do so because ‘Sacrifice’ only is the most fruitful way to success. Through sacrifice we can weed away our own faults and bad intentions.

All of us strive to attain knowledge but most of us tend to forget that we have to pay a price for it. Whatever little or more we have, we must share it, be it money, food, knowledge, faith, principles, trust, love, devotion, time, physical effort- in return we are sure to receive a million times back.

Gautam Buddha forsake his royal throne, Mahatma Gandhi left his prestigious post of a barrister. But, they got much more than what they had relinquished. The renowned poet, Rabindranath Tagore has cited in one of his compositions, ” He spread his hands in front of me and begged for food. I had only one grain of food in my bag and I happily gave it to him. In the evening I was astonished to see a grain of gold in my satchel. I wept badly and repented-Why didn’t I donate my entire being, I would have become a King from a pauper.”

Akhand Jyoti March 1940 pg-9

Our mind can also accept our affirmations

affirmations

The words we speak and think hold great influence over the kind of life that we create for ourselves. Many people live their lives plagued by negative thoughts and never even realize this. They tell themselves and others that they are doomed to fail, not good enough, or not worthy of love, yet they are amazed when their reality starts reflecting these words. Just as the subconscious mind accepts as truth the critical statements we tell ourselves, it is also equipped to instantly accept the veracity of our affirmations.

Affirmations are statements chosen and spoken consciously. Once they enter our realm of consciousness, they also enter our subconscious mind where they have the power to change our lives. The affirmations you create should be specific, not too long worded, positively formed, in complete sentences, and spoken in the present tense as if what you are affirming is already true. It is a good idea to repeat your affirmations daily. You may want to tell yourself that you deserve to be happy or that you are in control of your destiny Or you may want to focus on a particular goal, such as attracting new friends. Rather than telling yourself you want to be well-liked. Just say, “I am well liked.” Your subconscious mind will pick up these positive messages, and you will begin to live your life as if what you are affirming already has happened. Soon, your reality will begin to reflect your affirmations. If you find that you are thwarting yourself with negative thinking, try repeating your affirmations several times a day. Write your affirmations down and say them aloud or in your mind. Allow your conviction to grow stronger each time you say your affirmations, and your negativity will be overridden by your motivation and positive thoughts.

Affirmations are a powerful tools for creating desired reality. We consciously and subconsciously invite opportunity into our lives when we say affirmations. Trust in the power of your affirmations, and you will very quickly create what you have already stated to be true.

Always perform your best

We must try to invest our entire capability in whatever venture we accept. Be it a petty household chore, a job pertaining to our profession or a project relating to the welfare of the society where we do not expect any sort of return or favor.

Once we perform the task assigned to us with utmost care, attention and diligence, we expect to see that it is acclaimed everywhere. Above all, we ourselves would feel happy and contented from within after doing a good job.

Akhand Jyoti,
March 1954,
Pg.-84

Believe in Yourself

Believe in yourself

Inspiring Quote

quote1

When you are giving up….
remember someone is still trying

Eight-Fold Path of the Buddha

Buddha
  1. Blessed are they who understand That Life is One. Its “forms” do come and go: But Life itself floweth on!

    RIGHT VIEW (Samyak drishti)

  2. Blessed are they who resolve That they will build the strength To lessen suffering and pain And attain to Wisdom pure!

    RIGHT RESOLVE(Samyak sankalpa)

  3. Blessed are they who speak In sympathy and gently to all, Who do away with bitter words And never speak in anger or in hate!

    RIGHT SPEECH (Samyak vak)

  4. Blessed are they who rightly act and put away all thought of gain, Who know that motive is the deed And who, renouncing power, are pure, indeed!

    RIGHT EFFORT (Samyak Prayatna)

  5. Blessed are they who earn Their daily bread in such a way That brings not hurt nor pain To living creatures on the Earth!

    RIGHT LIVELIHOOD (Samyak ajiva)

  6. Blessed are they who cast Out ill-will and pride in daily life And act obedient to the Law In sympathy and love!

    RIGHT ACTION (Samyak karmanta)

  7. Blessed are they who walk the Way, Aware by night and day that life is sacred still! They strive for Peace: and ever before them shine The noble Truths of life!

    RIGHT MINDFULNESS (Samyak smriti)

  8. Blessed are they who meditate In silent joy and see how rich, indeed, Is the life of compassion, Service, Love! Radiant as the Lamp of Light is such a life!

    RIGHT CONCENTRATION(Samyak Samadhi)

Thus taught the Blessed One, moving from town to town and village to village, teaching men and women the Way of Deliverance the Way of Peace, Compassion and Illumination.

Souce – AWGP

Be Careful of what you say
Never Give Up

A group of frogs were travelling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the unfortunate frogs they would never get out. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead.

Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and simply gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs asked him, “Why did you continue jumping? Didn’t you hear us?” The frog explained them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

The story holds a lesson: There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day; and a destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them.

BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU SAY.

Change – The First Step towards Progress

Change - Firt Step towards Progress

A person, who does not fear the process of change, is called progressive. He knows that becoming static is synonymous with inactivity, dullness and sluggishness. One who does not move forward, does not welcome new ideas and new experiences, loses his energy. A progressive person has to forget the past, accept the present, and prepare himself for overcoming the obstacles. Only those who are active should be considered alive and conscious. They possess all the virtues needed for success. Those who fear change should be considered lifeless and dead.

A number of changes, like day and night, profit and loss, meeting and separation, etc, are encountered in everyday life. In spite of appearing opposites, they are all inter-related. A person’s individual and social life is a collection of such events of change. Their purpose is to make a person or community alert, courageous and brilliant. Human dignity lies in welcoming the challenge of change in order to move forward. Fearing change and accepting the status quo is cowardice. Only those people are successful who consider change to be as an opportunity for progress and accept it wholeheartedly and gladly.

At the dawn of the New Year 2010, let us resolve to meet the challenges of change with a positive attitude inspired by faith and hope.

Source – AWGP

Improve your self-confidence

Self Confidence

Ahmindro na para jigya id dhanam Na mrityavai va tasthe kadacan Somminma sunvanto yacata vasu Na me purvah sakhye rishathan

– Rigveda 10/485

“I am Indra. I never face defeat. Death cannot overpower me. Those desirous of extracting somras should beseech me only. Friendliness with me can never be detrimental.” One who wants to lead a fulfilling life should try to develop self-confidence, which is the only source of courage, success and victory. Those possessing self-confidence are capable of accomplishing anything. Difficulties, obstacles and hurdles can neither deter nor discourage them. On the contrary their courage multiplies thousand-fold during adverse circumstances. They always go on marching ahead with a positive attitude of achieving success. Circumstantial hindrances may sometimes compel them to stop or to retreat but they never get disheartened under such situations. They take a pause and restart their struggle with fresh agility and redoubled courage.

A self-confident man never accepts final failure and he never fails finally because of his confident will power. He firmly believes the grand truth of his identity as the undecaying, immortal, pious, enlightened and liberated soul. Being the child of the Almighty Lord he concretely feels himself to be the source of infinite powers.

This very specific faith endows him with success in every noble endeavor. But this deep self-confidence should not give way to self- conceit. Both are entirely different. A self-conceited man attributes his success to his own mental and physical powers. Success puffs him up with pride while failure throws him into the dark dungeons of frustration. When an egotist person gets success, applause and honors he starts treating others with disdain. On the contrary, depression caused by failure starts pushing him towards cowardly suicidal tendencies. Genuinely self-confident persons treat their achievements as godly gifts. They try their best to utilize their talents, prosperity and powers to relieve suffering pain and distress of the needy and the helpless.

Their struggle for success becomes a process to cultivate and promote virtues while failures help them to identify their own deficiencies. They do not have a tendency to grab success, credit and fame by fair means or foul. All these automatically come to them because of their virtuous qualities and attributes. How to develop self-confidence?

The truth is that we go on molding ourselves according to our own perceptions. A man who thinks himself dust is definitely trampled upon. Everybody walks over dust but none moves over glowing coal. The persons who think themselves capable of doing the hardest of jobs and believe in their own capabilities create favorable circumstances all around them. The moment we firmly resolve to do a job, it is already half done; while habitually indolent people go on building castles in the air like a proverbial fool. Self-confident persons always ultimately achieve their goals.

Potential of a huge tree is always inherent in a small seed. This seed, when sown in fertile soil and is nurtured with proper manure and water sprouts up into a large shady tree. Similarly all possibilities lie dormant within us like seeds, which can be activated into sprouting with the water of discrimination and manure of virtuous thoughts. If we are able to touch and tap the unimaginable powers and capacities lying dormant within us we can very easily achieve the highest peaks of greatness.


While addressing a meeting of volunteers, Yugrishi reverend Gurudev outlined some specific guidelines for developing self-confidence. Practicing these guidelines in life anyone can achieve grand self-confidence. They are:

  1. A firm belief and deep faith that we are immortal souls inseparable from the Supreme Spirit.
  2. A belief that we dormantly contain all attributes of God  we have just to awaken them from dormancy into activation.
  3. We are capable of executing the toughest of jobs provided it is in tune with the innate attributes and qualities of our soul and the Supreme Soul, because a self-confident person cannot do anything ignoble under any circumstances.
  4. Even the hardest of situations of life are just a challenge and never a misfortune. Our courage should be resolutely awakened to meet the challenge.
  5. Whatever we term as distress or difficulty is actually a means provided by God to awaken our will power and dormant capacities.
  6. A truly self-confident man has three intrinsic qualities: determination, courage and a positive attitude of ultimate success. For him moments of struggle are welcome challenges, which develop his will power and strengthen his talents.

As regards obstructions in the path of awakening self-confidence Gurudev indicated the following factors:

  1. Habit of worrying. Those who always worry can never be self-confident.
  2. Envious nature. In fact one feels envy only when he considers himself inferior to others, while all of us being children of God are uniquely equal.
  3. Doubts and suspicions do not let us concentrate and rely on us.
  4. Those who suffer from fear of uncertainties and apprehensions always lack self-confidence. Get rid of these negative and enervating tendencies and inculcate the qualities of self-confidence and self-esteem.

The Miraculous Workings of the Subtle System of Human Body

Chakras

The visible structure and functioning of the human body are wonderful in themselves. More peculiar are its inherent, imperceptible and subtle aspects. A mysterious and all-powerful world of electromagnetic waves and neurochemicals is hidden inside this system. A comprehensive approach incorporating the macromolecular, micro-subtler and consciousness levels will be required for a complete decipheration of the complexity and marvelous functioning of this system. In simple terms, integration of material based scientific research and the science of consciousness and its extrasensory powers alone can lead to a complete understanding of the origin, structure, functioning and enormous potential of the human being. The philosophy and science of yoga and spirituality invented by our Rishis (Indian Sages, scientists and yogis of Vedic Age) guide us on the way to achieve this.

Here, we highlight some aspects pertaining to bioelectricity and electro-physiology in the present context.

Our body, with this bioelectrical property, functions like a dipole magnet whose North Pole resides in the central brain and South Pole in the center of the genital organs. Scientists claim that its polarization process is similar to the polarization of the earth and that it begins right at the level of a zygote. Mitotic and meiotic divisions occur after this polarization. An electro-sensitive micron-image processing of even a child’s body can show the halo of light – emitted by etheric dense spots – near the brain and genital organs. The North and South poles of the bioelectric magnet of human body match respectively with the term ‘ Sahastr³ra ’ (the crownchakra , nucleus of extrasensory energy in the central reticular activating system) andM¿l³dh³ra (in central genital organ) as referred in the description of ‘ Kuñdilinº ’ (galaxy of supernormal vital spiritual energy) in esoteric science. Sahastr³ra and M¿l³dh³ra are described as the terminal points for the subtle energy and information processing inside the body’s universe.

Dr. Harold Saxton Burr (1889-1973) was a Professor at the School of Medicine, Yale University, USA , when he experimentally demonstrated the electrical characteristics of living system. His papers (with CT Lane and others) on “The Electro-Dynamic Theory of Life” gave new directions of understanding of cellular functions. Describing the “L-fields: the fields of life” in his book Blueprint for Immortality (Neville Spearman, 1972), he writes that the high magnitude of the electro-potential difference between the two poles of a Zygote is amazing. This bio-electromagnetic property naturally has an important role to play in the multi-cellular development of this single cell into a whole human body. In fact, sperm itself is a dipole in which the upper pole –– carrying the nucleus –– is the center of information and the lower pole, the tail, contains energy for transmitting this information. These poles ultimately perform the roles of RNA and DNA in the cell.

The continuous and controlled flows of electric currents between the involved cellular dipoles play the key role in embryogenesis and the complete development of the body. According to Dr. Jean Mark (Science, Issue 1 in 1981) electrophoresis is fundamental to various cellular processes occurring inside the body. Even the circulating RBC s and WBC s rely on electro-secretions through their membranes.

Maximum work on electrophysiology that led to life-saving device-development is focused at the cardiac pacemaker and conducting tissues, which control the pumping action of the heart. On basic research fronts, electrophysiological phenomena have also been studied microscopically in the spinal cord and connecting sympathetic and parasympathetic ganglions. Transport of calcium ions across the cell membranes is found to be responsible for the bio-electromagnetic properties of the cells. The extrasensory subtle energy channel – the SuÌumn³ N³Ãº – is hidden deep inside the spinal cord along side of which – on the left and right – lie the two sublime channels of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ currents of vital energy. The poles – at the two ends of this channel – of the ‘circuit’ of bioelectrical and biomagnetic flows have remarkable resemblances with those of the Geomagnetic Force.

Geomagnetic Vs Human Body Poles:

The terrestrial magnetic lines of force enter through the geo-north pole of the earth and exit from the geo-south pole. The reception and transmission of cosmic rays is also most effective at these poles. The charged high-speed solar rays are always concentrated at the receiving center (North Pole) and are dispersed at the exit (South Pole). Geomagnetic South Pole plays the exit door also for the heat and pollution gathered at the Geomagnetic North Pole. These examples are cited to explain the importance of polarization stored in our body too. The successive development and control of the two poles in human body result in the external appearance of the Tejovalay (Aura) at the upper pole.

The spinal cord is like a connecting wire that transmits bioelectric power transmission from the central nervous system to all sensory organs within a thousandth part of a second. The spinal cord is made up of collagen tissues constituted by the compact assembly of stable protein molecules. The upper end of this cord (of nerves) is charged positively while the lower end is charged negatively. In terms of the tissue-structure this cord forms a coiled cluster at the lower end and spreads at the upper end to form an elliptical surface as the reticular activating system in the brain. Body’s immense electrical energy is centrally stored at this place. Due to its hidden storage and nullification due to opposite charges it is usually difficult to measure the electric fields by electroencephalography. This is the reason why EEG is considered to represent only about 13% of the entire brain-functions.

In Indian Scriptures on Yoga, these electrical fields and the center of the Pineal-Hypothalamus-Pituitary system of neuronal transmissions is termed the Brahmrandhra and the Sahastr³ra . This crown chakra is described to be the extrasensory ‘source’, which receives the cosmic signals and subtle transmissions from the universe. Under proper spiritual training, the desired supernatural powers could be received through this end and the evil effects could be discarded through the M¿l³dhara (the lower pole). The quality and extent of the reception of cosmic-energy currents at the upper end (the Brahmrandhra and Sahastr³ra) of the dipole magnet of spinal cord depends upon the mental and spiritual level of the person.

The way the cosmic rays are received by the geo-north pole of the earth and the waste thereafter is thrown out through the geo-south pole is similar to the subtle process of the reception of cosmic signals at the upper end ( Sahastr³ra Chakra ) of the SuÌumn³ N³Ãº and exit (after necessary absorption and processing at other extrasensory energy nuclei – the remaining chakras ) of the unused part through the lower end (the M¿l³dh³ra Chakra ). In Indian scriptures on Yoga and KuñÃalinº , the M¿l³dhara is described as a deep pond and theSahastr³ra as profound mountain allegorically likened with the Kailash peak of the great Himalayas; the conformity and union of the two chakras ( M¿l³dhara and Sahastr³ra ) is considered to cause eternal bliss of the complete merger of the individual self ( Âtm³ ) into the ultimate, infinite Supreme Self ( Parm³tm³ ).

At the Sahastr³ra , the cosmic rays form the aura ( Tejovalaya ) specific to the consciousness and vital energy of the receiving person. One might ask whether it is possible to photograph or record this aura of vital energy at the upper pole of spinal cord like the visual recording of different features of polar spectrum at the terrestrial North Pole. Will this aura resemble the sort of bright sphere (halo of light) picturised in the different images of gods and goddesses in ancient books? The answer to these questions is affirmative as published in the two volumes of ‘Psychic Discoveries Behind Iron Curtain’ and in other references cited in earlier articles, in Akhand Jyoti on topics covering the micro-subtler effects. Kirlian Photographic techniques have made it possible to record the aura (halo of light). Dr. Narendran, a neurologist at the Madras Medical College is reported to have recorded the vital energy zones (halo of light) around other parts of the body including the fingers. The Kirlian technique of sensing and recording of micro-ionic energy spheres of subtle form is a remarkable scientific achievement after the development of Thermograms and Electromagnetograms in recent decades.

According to Bioenergy researchers like Dr. Narendran, the intensity of aura (the halo of light) around one’s body increases with vital energy. It exists even in inanimate matter and in plants and trees but is difficult to be photographed due to its low intensity. For measuring the aura in normal human beings a ‘high-voltage projection recording’ is done using a modified version of Dr. Kirlian’s instrument (original design developed in 1939). Researchers in this field opine that the measurement of aura and the analysis of its spectra would be useful in understanding the mental state of the patients and would therefore add to the psychosomatic means for diagnosis and management of diseases. According to them, the knowledge about this new branch of science exists since ages but was misinterpreted due to unscientific practices of Mesmerism, Holography etc.

Using the dicyanine screen Dr. Kirlian had shown that the distribution of ions in the atmosphere surrounding our body is affected by the number of dead cells being disposed off through the skin-pores and the extent and rate of cell decay is associated with the level of bio-energy; hence a relation between the aura (visualized due to ionic zone) and the vital energy. He mentions (ref. Book entitled ‘Human Atmosphere’) that due to their tiny structures the charged-particles in the aura remain invisible; however, people with supernatural powers can see and measure (`read’) the aura.

The present state of investigations in this area indicates the beginning of a collaborative research in physical and spiritual sciences. Further information on the ‘physical’ properties of `aura’ will successively be published in the Hindi magazine Akhand Jyoti.

Complete knowledge about the subtle mechanisms of the living system will help unveil the mystery of the universe. This in turn will increase our faith in the supreme powers of its creator and hence in humanity in the truest sense. The Sukïmºkaraña S³dhan³ (Spiritual experiment of subtlization and magnification of life-energy) is a consistent and phased process of the realization, unification, expansion and transmutation of the individual consciousness into the supreme universal soul.

As the modern science would proceed to know more about the subtle mechanisms of the living-system within us, it will become clearer that the power of consciousness is far more superior to that of matter. Integration of Science with Spirituality will one day brighten the knowledge of the science of s³dhan³ and motivate each one of us to follow this preeminent science and practice it for divine transmutation in this very body.

Source – AWGP

Human Brain A Marvellously Rich Storehouse of Memory

Indefinable source of distinct talents and uncountable potentials is embedded in the human brain. It is often referred to as “Pandora’s Magical Box”, “Amazing Wizard”, or a “Celestial Computer” in view of the enormous mental functions, immeasurable hidden complexities and undecipherable impulses of consciousness processed through it.

The role of their sagacious brain and mental eminence is most significant in what the great personalities of the world have accomplished rather than the support of circumstances, resources or anything else. Mental faculties are most precious bequests of the Almighty bestowed upon us. However, the belief that we can’t expand or elevate the God-gifted mental potentials we are born with is not correct. The difference in people’s intellectual and other mental abilities is only that of the degree of arousal and activation of the grand powers indwelling in the human self.

This difference is not due to the structure of the brain, inheritance or destiny, etc. Rather; it is a reflection of the extent of dormancy or activation of its unlimited potentials. Trenchant memory is seen to have a predominant impact upon the intellectual capabilities of the brain. Forgetful persons are, in general, not only deprived of deep knowledge in general, but they also suffer because of the negligence of necessary tasks in day-to-day life due to their short memory. The acquisition and future application of knowledge and past experiences becomes possible only with the help of memory.

This is what affects the course of decision-making, resolution of problems in hand and further expansion of perspicacious attainments. The power of memory was given pre-eminent importance in the learning system of the Vedic Age. Specific methods and practices were also devised for greater sharpening and augmentation of this faculty. The Veda-Mantras are called- “shruties” (meaning: perceived through hearing). The slokas of the Shastras are called “smraties” (meaning: retained in and retrieved from the memory). Thus memory was the only basis of generation and expansion of knowledge in those days. Despite the collection of “shruties and smraties” in book form in the later ages, the tradition of Vedic Schools has been to memorize the hymns and slokas and contemplate upon them analytical discussions.

Memorizing Gita and Ramayana by heart is quite common among the Indian masses even today. It is true that some people are born with supernatural memory but that does not mean that others lack the capability of awakening this natural potential of mind. Like any other field of life, success or failure in this regard would largely depend upon one’s focused efforts and enthusiasm. The depth of mental domains can be traversed and explored most effectively by spiritual methods. Development of sharp memory and sane intelligence, too, is achievable through these modes of yoga-sadhanas.

Adept psychological conditioning and positive attitude towards whatever we attempt in this direction is the first prerequisite for desired progress. Inspiration from the living wonders of memory also boosts this psychological transformation.

Let us look at some historic expressions of exceptionally sharp memory in different walks of life. In his articles on mysteries of human mind, noted psychological scientist Professor Ferdinand Von Nue Triter has cited the case of a Lithuanian boy, who could recite any paragraph or stanza of any prose or verse in any language as it is just after hearing it once. In his concluding remarks the professor has mentioned that such live examples prove that what we used to regard as mythological or imaginary a hundred years ago (about the supernormal faculties of human mind) may come as real before our eyes today.

It was before the French Revolution that an innocent person was proved as guilty in a court. Renowned attorney Louis Bernard came forward to defend his case as per the request of some well-wishers. Although the court had ordered death sentence to the accused, Bernard appealed for a stay of five days on the grounds that the King, the ultimate appellate authority was out of town. However the court showed inability in staying the hearing any more. Then Bernard continued his defensive arguments for 5 days and 5 nights marshaling and citing his stupendous knowledge of law and justice across the world.

His rigorous defense would have continued even longer, had the King not arrived by then! The latter too heard the case and granted mercy to Bernard’s client on the basis of his Bernard’s excellent defense. Lord Macaulay had an exceptionally sharp memory. This erudite scholar of the 19th century had written the history of Britain in eighty volumes without opening any reference book for this purpose.

He used to remember all the references, dates and venues of the events and the names of the people associated with those events since the day he met them or heard or read about them. Map of any place ever visited by him, names and addresses of the people whom he had interacted with at least once, information or knowledge of any kind ever required by him, were so easily recalled by him as if he had crammed them by heart a short while ago. People used to call him a ‘moving library’. Richard Porson was a nineteenth century classical scholar of Greek. He knew by heart all the books written in this language till his times and all the plays of Shakespeare. Mr. Richard Garnet, a one time assistant superintendent of the British museum had become the chairman of the publication section of another museum for about twelve years.

The catalogue and locations of the books were so perfectly stored in his memory that without lifting himself up from the chair, he used to tell the exact location of the book asked for from the library’s stock. Moreover, he was even able to give an oral report on the contents of the text inside the books. The “Guinness Book of World Record -1981” had published the records of exceptional memory in arithmetic.

The record of recalling a number of 28013 digits in 9 hours 14 minutes was broken that year by Mahadevan, a Banglore based student, who could recall and write the numbers up to 31811 digits in 3 hours and 40 minutes only. Shankuntala Devi of South India had also gained global recognition in the 1970s and early 80s for her amazing ease with arithmetic operations that could beat even the fastest computers of that time. Alaibda Baghdad was a great writer. Despite losing his eyesight, he had completed the thirt-two volumes of his treatise on Arabic just with the help of his exceptional memory. Renowned French philosopher August Comte (1790-1857) used to thoroughly assimilate his thoughts in his memory before expressing them orally or in writing. So marvellous was his memory that he did not have to refer to any books, notes or other sources, in order to complete his 6 volumes (running into 4,712 pages) of “Positive Philosophy” during 1830 to 1842. So fluent was his writing as though a pre-recorded cassette was fixed in his brain.

Distinguished psychologist Prof. Bartlett suggests that deep interest in the subject matter of importance, its thorough study and pondering over the benefits of retaining it in the memory help its vivid storage in the long-term memory.

The above examples seem to affirm such possibilities. Savants like Galesburg find oral or written repetition also as a supportive tool in this regard. They consider the ancient system of cramming by heart as quite efficient. Prof. Eveguards adds that it will be easier and faster to memorize and recall something if its key points are also attempted to be visualized or imagined and its meaning or implications are also considered while reading, listening or studying it. Some people seem to have naturally built-in mechanism of such optimal links to memory. A courtier named “Shrutidhar” of King Bhoj of Medieval India had made place in history because he was able to recall and reproduce, without any error, any subject matter or verbal discussion in any language heard by him for 24 minutes or lesser duration at a single stretch of time. Swami Ramtirath was revered for his exceptional mathematical skills and memory. In one peculiar incident, when he was going to America, two British men travelling in the same ship fought with each other one day. Swamiji was also siting nearby. The dispute led to a court case where Swamiji was also asked to despose as an eyewitness. He said – “I do not know who is guilty but I can narrate the entire discussion exchange of words between the two fellows”.

He indeed did that in the same language in which the duo had quarreled and thus helped in arriving at a fair judgment. General Stumptas, former Field Marshal of South Africa had also developed extraordinarily sharp memory. He used to remember the location of every book kept in his town library. Contents page by page, word by word of each of the books ever read by him were known to him by heart.

About a century ago, a major market in a city of Denmark was caught in devastating fire; all the records and cash of a bank’s branch were charred into ashes. By the next day the anxious depositors began to crowd around the bank premises in panic. The supramental memory of a clerk in that bank saved them from the unprecedented crisis. This man could recall the names, account numbers and the latest bank balance in the accounts of thousand odd customers of his bank. His information was found correct by appropriate inquiry with the customers and police investigations.

He was soon honored by the post of chairman of the corporate group of that bank. Renowned Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle (b1795-d1881) had given the first handwritten manuscript of his book on the French Revolution to noted scholar John Stuart Mill for editing. By mistake, the latter’s servant burnt many pages of this manuscript in the cooking fireplace. When Mill apologised before the author, this shocking news did not perturb him at all. Because of his extraordinary memory and dedication to the work, Carlyle could reproduce the revised version of the manuscript with new enthusiasm. It is said that our interest and attention in the subject and the importance and influence of an event or assimilated knowledge plays a predominant role in registering of the associated matters into deeper folds of our memory which can be retrieved by sincere practice. According to Carl Emil Seashore, a noted American psychologist of the 1890’s, an average man uses only about 10% of his natural memory.

Remaining 90% is left unused in a haphazard or dormant state. This is why one generally remains intellectually deprived or dull. If one is alert and systematically attempts to awaken and adeptly use the natural memory, the latter would be activated creatively and offer intellectual benefits of higher order. Some people are endowed with exceptionally sharp memory since the time of birth. Their extraordinary mental potentials often startle others. John Fielding was one such gifted person.

He lived in Gloucestershire, England during 1901 to 1960. This man was born blind. His memory was so vivid that he could easily remember the names and addresses of over ten thousands persons whom he had ever met or interacted with. He was able to recollect this information without any mistake just by hearing the voice of any of these people. Another Englishman, Montugunes also had similar memory. Incidentally, he too was blind since birth. The British Government had selected him for the job of a postman because of his exceptional memory. He used to sort out and arrange the deliverable letters with the help of an assistant. The latter used to read the addresses loudly – this was sufficient for Montugunes to store the entire sequence of corresponding addresses in his mind.

This is how he was able to distribute, on his own, hundreds of postal articles every day. There was never any mistake on his part or any complaint against him during his tenure as a postman. The example of Mr. Nebur of Germany is rarest of its kind. Exceptional memory of this man had made him known across the world only in a single day. Once the office where he used to work as a clerk caught fire. Many important papers and files were burnt. Nebur’s supernormal memory came into light when he successfully reproduced the lost records in a short span of time. Many of these records, reference numbers etc, were verified against the copies available with the clients and no mistake or slip of memory (on Nebur’s part) was detected.

His hidden talents were also recognized on many other occasions after this amazing incident. Mr. Joseph Burnheart Duncan had nine secretaries for different languages when he was the director of the national library of Munich. He had such a control of mind and command over several languages that he used to dictate official letters and other deliberations in nine different languages to all his secretaries simultaneously. He had also memorized the Bible by heart and was able to reproduce the corresponding sections completely whenever asked from any page of the Holy Scripture.

Recalling the location of the millions of books in the library was so easy for him as if the catalogue was kept open before his eyes. It was popularly said that his brain (intelligence) would ‘weigh’ more than any amount of linguistic knowledge and stock of information existing on the earth. Rebi Elisa of Lithuania was popular for her exceptional mental power. However, for want of proper direction and control her talents could not be used for anything significant. In her lifetime she memorized about two thousands books just after one reading. You open any page from any of these books and ask her, she was able to repeat every line, every word of it without any mistake. In the days of emperorship in Germany, the royal library was located in Prasa.

Its Librarian Mathurin Bessire had unique hearing memory. In one of the planned tests of his exceptional memory, twelve ambassadors of different countries visited him at the same time. One after the other, they spoke twelve different sentences in their languages before him. After a few moments, Bessire repeated the same sentences without flaw although he did not know any of those languages. Benjamin Schultz had translated the Holy Bible in three Indian languages. He was able to speak and read about hundred languages of the world. He remembered and used to sing devotedly the Christian prayer hymns and their translations available in as many as 215 languages and dialects.

A French Minister of yesteryears Monsieur Leon Meijere was also endowed with outstanding memory. Just after hearing them once, he remembered the speeches of even the leaders of the opposite parties. He was also able to narrate the data of the national budgets of the past ten years like those retrieved from a computer-memory.

A former teacher of the Harrow School of England remembered the Latin works of the Roman poet Lucan by heart.

The printed version of this work would add up to about 2600 pages. During one of the excursion trips of about sixteen miles, he entertained his colleagues by singing around eight thousand hymns of the historic epic “Pharsalia” (written approx. in AD61-65), which appeared to have been registered like a recorded tape in his memory- The annual report of the French Army used to be published since the 12th century. It contained the name, date of birth and rank of each officer and soldier. Interestingly, a waiter of a military canteen remembered the whole of this annual report of the year 1856.

This man, named Felix Martini could tell the details of each of the 26208 records in this report whenever asked for. Piere Moschutz of Geneva had successfully memorized the eighteen lacs words printed in the seventeen volumes of the French Encyclopedia. Hedian, the celebrity emperor of Rome had a multitalented personality. He could write and converse simultaneously. Not only that, at times he even used to dictate letters along with these two simultaneous jobs. Equally amazing was the fact that he remembered the names and permanent addresses of all the pensioners of his empire. Meglia Vinnie of Italy was the chief librarian in the city library of Florence in late nineteenth Century.

The information referring the title, price, publisher, of each of the thirty thousands books in his library was always ready on his lips. Not only that, he even remembered the location of each book correctly. Justice Hardayal Singh of former Delhi Court seemed to have multiple layers of memory. It is said that once he simultaneously read four books of four different languages written by different authors on separate topics. The reading was carried out in a peculiar manner -some portion of one book was read for some time followed by some other in continuation, and so on in the respective sequence. At the end of this session, he had orally reproduced the text of each of these books correctly without opening a single page of any book. The advanced models of electronic brains (computers) are far ahead of the normal memory of humans. But the above wonders of astonishing memory do illustrate the superiority of Nature and make us realise that what we know about our brains is only a small fraction of its marvellous potentialities.

The potentials of human brain are indeed limitless. It is a pity that only a few of us make adequate use of this invaluable gift of God. Its immense powers remain dormant or ignored in most of us and we usually employ its faculties only in earning and eating and in the routine chores of expanding and raising our families. We ought to awaken, activate and illuminate our dormant mental faculties of memory and other talents and enrich the quality of our lives.

Mahatma Gandhi was on a fourteen-day fast without water in Sough Africa. After fasting for four days he received a telegram from a German friend, Kellen Bake, offering his nursing services during the period of fast. On the fifth day of fasting Gandhiji, along with his associates, walked three miles to the railway station to receive his friend. He said that Kellen’s nobility of character gave him the energy to walk to the station.

Source: AWGP

The Psychology of Fear

When the disease of stiffness starts it badly engulfs the whole body. Joints become stiff. Sitting, walking and other bodily movements become extremely painful. Mind goes numb. Blood becomes cold. Body refuses to obey the brain. These symptoms may be caused by other ailments too but in otherwise healthy persons they appear in the face of grave fear. The sight of a lion mesmerizes the deer; it is transfixed, forgets galloping and gets killed. The same thing happens when a person is faced with unexpected crisis. He is dumbfounded, his mind stops functioning, his body become cold and limp and consequently mishappenings occur. J. Krishna Murthi in his work ” The First and Last Freedom” writes that the popular perception about fear and its causes is not what the reality is.

Fear can only be caused by the known, and not the unknown. People fear death. But death per se can not cause fear. In normal circumstances, death can not be known or perceived. How can we fear something which we have not seen or of whose pain or severity we have had no personal experience? Then what causes fear? Krishnamurthy explains that the fear actually comes from the imagined pain of permanent separation from the near and dear ones and from the cherished possessions , luxuries and life’s enjoyments. It is this perception of separation that is the real cause of fear. Suppose a child who has never heard about or seen a ghost suddenly comes across one. What will happen? It is certain that the child will not run away. Indeed the chances are that he would be glad to find a companion.

This is the fearlessness of ignorance. It is for this reason that children all over the world are found much more fearless and bold than adults in general. They have no idea of the all consuming power of fire or the dreadful nature of venomous creatures like snake or scorpion. That is why we often hear of their touching fire or catching poisonous insects and in the process suffering burns or painful stings. Pious persons, on the other hand, fear God because they are aware of the scheme of karmaphala – law of “As you sow so shall you reap”. The presence of lepers, handicapped and diseased persons in the society presents to them visible proofs of the terrible fate, which befalls wrong doers.

Hence, they ever remain conscious of avoiding such wrong or sinful acts as would beget them suffering and pain in future time or future birth. Then there is also a category of persons who are well aware of the risks involved and yet would play with dangerous situations, things or animals. Snake-charmers daily catch deadly snakes, hunters frequently go on tiger hunts. These things do not frighten them. In fact, they keep searching for their prey and are glad to find them, whereas ordinary persons would shiver at the very thought of fiddling with them. People are scared of darkness.

Lonely and forlorn places cause fright. Myriad apprehensions arise in the mind- “What danger is awaiting in the dark? What wild creature is lurking behind to pounce upon?” Heart beat increases. Legs tremble. But when one makes bold to enter with a light and looks around, nothing horrifying is seen. It is the feebleness of mind, which makes a mountain out of a molehill. It conjures up phantom fears and then inflates and embellishes these into a life-threatening calamity, which is just imminent. In reality, only some minor cause might be there, and that too so insignificant as could be dealt with easily. Millions of people live and work in the dark. In forest regions, lamp is only occasionally used. Tribal families live in small huts in dense jungles.

Farmers everywhere sleep in the fields to guard their crops at night. The very rich live in open bungalows on the city outskirts. No body is devoured by robbers and ghosts. Occasional indents do occur, but they may take place even in broad daylight and anywhere. Real situations of fear are few and far between. Mostly, people create imaginary crises in the mind and fear these self-constructed mental images. Fear is essentially a reflection of cowardice. As are the facial features, so would the mirror show. It is the inner weakness of a coward that is reflected in the world-mirror. Fear begins only when we accept that we are not capable of facing up to a crisis situation.

Those who have confidence in their capacity to negotiate difficult times and meet the problems head on, who believe that they possess necessary prudence, and strength for the purpose, and who are optimistic that their friends and even providence would help them are able to successfully banish all imaginary fears from their minds and feel unburdened. An eminent Hungarian psychologist Ferange Nadestudy has recounted one more cause of fear in his work “Fear or Freedom”. He writes that fear arises only when there is a desire to live life in a particular mould; there is a craving for a specific kind of life-style. By breaking this mould or abandoning this desire man can get temporary freedom from fear. But for this to happen it is essential to first recognize the nexus between desire and fear, to realize that a particular desire is generating this fear and the fear, in turn, is strengthening that desire.

Even after this realization, according to him, the resulting respite would be only temporary, not permanent. This is because a mould-breaking action would have only limited impact. The only difference it makes is that we would leave one life-style to enter upon a different life-style. If we break this one too, we would get attached to another life-style. All these different life-styles would in turn, produce their own respective fears. The fact is that any such effort directed towards mould-breaking would only produce a new mould, a new system, and ultimately a new fear. Finally, we arrive at the conclusion that freedom from fear is not possible through this process of making and breaking.

Enduring peace will home only when the root cause, the mind, is disciplined and purified. A mind always full of malice, intrigues and plots will know no peace. Such a person is always suspicious of others actions, of being betrayed by them or of their revenge. He lives in constant terror that he would be exposed, that people would become wary of him and would no longer fall in his trap, that their condemnation and non-cooperation would make his future bleak. Such thoughts keep haunting him. Wrong and sinful deeds invite punishments- by the society, by the law and by God. He is sure to get these punishments some day either collectively or separately. This thought constantly gnaws at his heart and terrifies him. Other punishments may be late in coming but self-punishment begins the moment one steps on to the wrong path and continually torments the mind and soul.

The British psychologist Richard Garnett writes in his book “Psychology of Fear” that physical pain is a function of nerves, a nerve reaction to some pain stimulus. But mental-emotional pain arises in a condition of man’s deep attachment to an object. In such a condition, nearness to the object is soothing and comforting. But, conversely, one begins to fear any such person or thing as can separate him from the object. Man is an aggregate of accumulated experiences that act as a bulwark against inner turmoil and disquietude. As long as these psychological and physical experiences are not disturbed they prevent any onset of psychological pain. This being so, man fears all such things as can disturb and de-harmonise those experiences.

His is thus a phobia of the unknown, a fear of those very experiences which he has accumulated to avoid pain and suffering. In the end, Garnett, too, concludes that this knowledge can at best only alleviate pain; it is not a means to secure freedom from fear. Ignorance, too, is considered a major cause of fear. Primitive man was completely in the dark about natural phenomena; the eclipses, thunder and lightning, the comets and the like. He feared them, held them in awe and resorted to numerous rites and sacrifices to propitiate these ‘deities’. Later, as he gained knowledge of these phenomena, the fear vanished. Interestingly.

Even as old fears of ghosts and supernatural things are dwindling away, their place is increasingly being taken over by new fears. It is an irony that man unnecessarily remains in fear of those whom he should not fear, but becomes quite bold and uninhibited vis-a-vis that of which he should be really fearful. Man should fear God, His karmaphala, divine retribution, sinful acts etc. But he does not. How many people do we see flinching at deceit, conspiracy, backbiting, dishonesty, lying, consuming intoxicants and other immoral acts. Instead we find people living in terror of non-existing ghosts or mortal beings like criminals and terrorists.

We should be conscious of this ignorance of ours and refuse to submit ourselves to such persons or things or situations, which are really petty and weak. Fear if we must, should be from God’s Law and our malevolent tendencies. The causes of our sorrow as well as the means of real happiness both are inherent in these. The sooner we realize this truth, the better.

Source : AWGP