Life is full of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, happiness and unhappiness. Tension, worry, anxiety and disease are an accepted part of our life style. Peripheral happiness is felt by most of us, for only a short period of time. It is followed by deep unhappiness. We have no alternative but to suffer, accepting this as our destiny.
When some thing grave and serious happens in our life, we have to pause and think seriously. Is it the end of my time on earth? For what purpose have I come? Who am I? If I am only this body, then it can only be source of sorrow and misery. Then why am I alive? Why should not I get rid of it? During those days and nights of intense suffering, questions like this assailed my mind day and night. And there was no one to answer these questions lest alone hear them.
“Jab dukh aata hai to manushaya apne aham (pride) ka chashma utar kar rakhta hai. Ya to wah khatam ho jata hai, ya majboot ban jata hai.”- Swami Satyananda
When I was on the verge of collapse, I came across this teaching of Sri Swami Ji. I derived a lot of mental strength from it and tried to hold on to it with all my sinking low morale. I did not have any other alternative also.
In 1993 I had joined yoga ashram for my sciatica pain. With regular practice the pain vanished completely. In 1997 due to the swelling of my knee I again joined yoga classes because I knew it would definitely help me in getting rid of the pain. The atmosphere of the class is highly motivating because we think that, “oh I am not the only one with a problem. There are many others even worse than me.” Secondly under the watchful eyes of a trained and sincere yoga teacher it becomes much more effective and pleasurable.
By grace of God I became interested in meditation. Meditation is the most powerful teaching of yoga, which is very effective in curing all the diseases. Now a days only asanas are glorified and practiced. Many people I came across are only too happy to practice a few asanas which partially cure their problem. After some time they quit these asanas also. Pranayama is also very powerful and is a great aid in calming the nerves and mind. Meditation can’t be compared with any of the asanas or Pranayama though they are essential for keeping the body fit and healthy; if practiced with awareness of breath, they lead to meditation automatically slowly and gradually.
The best part of it is that it is extremely easy. Swami Satyananda has expounded a very easy way of meditation in the form of ‘yog nidra.’ Yog Nidra relaxes the body deeply and calms the mind. It can give lot of happiness and pleasure if practiced regularly with sincerity. Other practices of watching our breath, observing our thoughts are also very good and relax us both physically and mentally. There are many more ways of attaining mental calmness and physical relaxation.
I had the good fortune of learning it, practicing it, enjoying it; deriving a deep happiness along with many other advantages like increased memory, mental alertness and calmness. During the course of my disease I met quite a number of doctors; one of them suggested to do meditation. I also desperately wanted to do it, but due to severe pain, immobility, lack of sleep; I could not do it. This added to my misery further as my disease progressed in leaps and bounds. But on the persuasions of a yoga teacher I tried with the help of a cassette. I practiced it daily because of its simplicity; my bedridden condition did not pose any problem. Gradually as my condition improved I started going to yoga ashram for meditation only. The asanas I used to practice thrice daily.
My doctors had left hope of my recovery. My husband used to take me to the hospital in the wheel chair. After each visit my condition went from bad to worse. But I had a deep faith in the grace of God, yoga and its effectiveness. I must admit that many times due to intense pain and agony of those sleepless dark nights, I was drowned in a deep pit of depression and misery and prayed to Almighty fervently for my death. Many times I had a strong urge to ask my doctor to give me some medicine which will shorten my life and hasten my demise; but I could not do it, knowing that no doctor would listen to me. Oh God! It was a vicious circle of pain, painkillers, and side effects of medicines, depression, fear, tension and sleeplessness for months and months.
Now in 2006, I am 90% cured. I am off medication! But when I look back I myself wonder, “Is it true?” “Have I really come out of that suffering?” all the people who have seen me crossing this long road agree with me, that it is a miracle! And me! I feel too blessed to put it in words. The ways of God are great! Who can know it! For me, it is a second birth and I am committed to use every single minute of this life in the better and higher pursuits of service of mankind. I sincerely want to help people come out of their miseries and diseases most of which are self created due to ignorance.