Stress and meditation dr shriniwas kashalikarDocument Transcript
Beware of mediation!
“Beware of meditation”? Why should we or any one;
bother about such caution? Isn’t such caution itself;
actually misguiding and harmful?
What is wrong in the instructions given at the time of
meditation workshops also? These instructions also
appear to be meant for composure and relaxation of
For instance, these instructions are; “Lie down in the
open on your terrace; focus your mind on the blue and
clear sky, gradually the sky would enter in you and you
would have transcended mind”, “Sit in lotus position.
Let the atmosphere in your room be free of insects, free
of dust, free of noise and free of other distractions. You
may light an incense stick. You can have a photo or
painting of your Guru or a deity who elevates your
mood or inspires you. Then begin by breathing slowly
and observe your own breathing”, “Sit in a lotus
posture. Breathe slowly. Focus your mind on a spot at
your navel”, “Observe a round spot on a plane
background of the wall. Sit quietly. Let the thoughts
flow”; and so on! There appears to be nothing wrong in
Yes! All this is absolutely irrefutable and undeniable!
Actually there is nothing wrong in the meditation per se
and there is nothing wrong in the instructions as well!
Meditation is a state that follows the process of
evolution of body, instincts, emotions, intelligence and
The word meditation has its root, which means healing.
Meditation is in practice in different forms for millennia
in countries like India. Meditation has no religious bias
or cultural prejudice. Meditation has whatsoever no
element of any kind of coercion. Apparently meditation
relaxes and endows peace!
Hence we should differentiate between the “SO
CALLED meditation” (which has become a commodity
and mirage that is hyped, marketed, sold; as if it is an
instant panacea for all the problems of universe; which
we purchase or pay for; heavily and happily and with
great hopes!); and meditation proper!!!
Let us understand that such “so called meditation” is
actually a gimmick, caricature or even a vulgarization
Let us ask ourselves following questions!
Can we feel relaxed simply by meditation even as we are in
the STRESS of paying about 30 percent income tax (apart
from sales tax, property tax etc.) without knowing how it is
Can we feel relaxed by sheer practice of meditation; even
as we have to undergo STRESS of taking such decisions
under some pressure and against our conscience?
Can we feel relaxed just by meditation; even while taking
all such decisions lying down and suffering from them?
Can we conquer the STRESS of commuting irrespective of
the crowding and other traveling menaces; merely by
Can we conquer the STRESS of lack of housing, water,
electricity, education, medical care etc. by meditation
Hence; let us reiterate to ourselves; Beware of the “so
called Meditation and study, practice and propagate
Total Stress Management (TSM) i.e. individual and
What is the difference between “so called meditation”
and Total Stress Management (TSM)?
1] Total Stress Management (TSM) constitutes;
understanding the concept of STRESS, going to its root
causes, effects, pathophysiology, mechanism,
dimensions, support systems, holistic measures of
management; as completely as possible! This requires
active intellectual efforts by the participants. Active
intellectual participation makes it more difficult and
Relaxation programs; meditation, pranayama, bhajan,
arbitrary tips in the management books; as well as
ready to use products; are easy and provide; instant
emotional solace and relaxation; even if it is temporary
2] TSM constitutes efforts towards simultaneous
welfare of one and all and not merely individual
welfare. This requires broadening of perspective. We
can call this paradigm shift. This is time consuming and
may not give instant results in terms of tangible petty
This also makes it more difficult and less popular
because everyone is already preoccupied and hard
pressed with personal problems of one kind or the
other. Coming out of one’s own “individual and petty
universe” is a Herculean task for most of us, because
we fail to understand how welfare of others would
contribute to our welfare!
The gimmick of meditation does not require this. In fact
it provides; much cherished indolence, inertia and easy
3] Most of us are not aware of the concept of STRESS.
The STRESS is equated with tension, anxiety, worry,
sleeplessness, irritability, depression, frustration etc.
Actually this is only a small and conscious part of
STRESS. STRESS is universal. Every living being has
STRESS. STRESS is actually conscious and also
unconscious. Unconscious STRESS forms a major part
and is not perceived!
This leaves most of us to commit the blunder of
believing that we do not have STRESS!
The mercenary marketing of “vulgarized caricature of
meditation” has made us believe that we can sit in a
cozy room and solve all our problems, without any kind
of evolution! We remain in fool’s paradise that through
the short cut of such “so called meditation” we can
manage stress; without making any difference to the
material life of ours and the others! We forget the
importance selflessness and simultaneous global
blossoming in all the fields of life.
4]TSM teaches that perspective, policies, planning,
execution of sound intellectual solutions to personal
and social problems can not be substituted by un-
intellectual emotional games and gimmicks; such as so
called meditation and so called devotion and so called
charity. It teaches that real meditation, real devotion
and real charity are impossible in absence of intellectual
efforts to rectify the social homeostasis!
But acquiring and spreading wisdom; so as to solve
individual and social problems; is unique in satisfying
our conscience, i.e. our true self, but it is not easy!
Most of us have yet to appreciate that; giving parties,
donations, gifts and doing charity in other forms can at
best satisfy our ego. Even though, there is nothing
unnatural or unphysiological in such emotional
gratification; we do not realize that it can not help us to
manage stress effectively!
Most of us feel that it is impossible to solve social
problems and hence fail to do our own bit in this
direction and choose to get or passively get dragged
into; the caricature of meditation (as is a part of many
stress relaxation or stress management programs),
which is least demanding and does not involve
thinking, questions, arguments and action, but pampers
our passivity! We simply have to “take the trouble” of
joining some group by paying fees and pamper our
basal needs, petty emotional wants and intellectual
escapism; through similar company, ambience, food
and glamour associated with it!
5] The concept of TSM is not new in essence; but is
new, novel and holistic in its exposition. Many of us;
from media, politics, religion and other fields are not
aware of TSM. It is also true that due to the frenzy of
material success; we do not feel the thirst of our innate
self [soul] and hence may not care to learn about TSM.
It is strange; but true; that most of us; in scarcity (due to
frustration) and in abundance (due to delirious
obliviousness) are not able to grasp and practice TSM!
Marketed gimmicks of meditation never ask us to study
(uphill activity) any social problems! They pamper our
indolence and pettiness! Hence most of us find them
comforting as compared to study, practice and
propagation of Total Stress Management!
6] TSM aims at harmony between perspective,
intelligence, emotions, instincts and body; and aims at
best efforts of global welfare through laws, rules, and
conventions and so on.
The farce of meditation has nothing to do with anybody
else other than the individual himself or herself! There
is no botheration about the world, society or family!
7] TSM firmly upholds individual freedom to achieve
Total Well Being and suggests us to acquire and
practice such freedom!
The marketing of the gimmicks of so called meditation;
is a part of promoting our individualistic pursuits of
petty pecuniary goals, through fashionable escapist
tantrums, which alien us from rest of our brothers; and
degrade us as human beings!
8] The conceptualization, conviction, accuracy and
appropriateness of TSM are not popular today amongst
us, because TSM is not an explicit part of already
existing tradition or religion or atheist [non-believers]
tradition; and does not get any promotion. Since it is
devoid of any profits; and does not pamper any
personal ego; it is not sponsored by any multinationals
or corporate houses, even though it is an irresistibly
incoming thing; that would be a universal force that
would govern and blossom the universe.
The escapist gimmicks of “so called meditation” have
support and sponsorship from; the multinationals,
corporate houses, celebrities, businessmen and political
leaders; apart from the sense of praise, awe and respect
from common people amongst us (even though they are
not benefited at all)! This support and sponsorship is far
more than even that for any entertainment business and
personality! Hence “marketing meditation” is a far
more popular and flourishing a business!
9] Total Stress Management suffers demoralization due
to non acceptance by; the pro-tradition, theist, anti-
tradition and atheist groups!
The so called meditation does not interfere with any
policy matters and does not come in the way of our own
and others’ vested interests or prejudices; and hence has
no opposition; from theist and atheist traditions!
10] Relative delay in publication, reading and
consensus building of TSM; is often misinterpreted as
It is true; that such a delay; is God’s will! The success
of the crass mercenary, treacherous and mean gimmicks of
meditation is also God’s will!
But the change that is imminent; is also God’s will, which
we find difficult to see!
11] The Total Stress Management (TSM) being a relatively
new exposition can be misunderstood, ignored or criticized;
hence there is delay as well as obstacles. But it is bound to
succeed; because it is God’s will, cosmic decision and the
plan of absolute enlightenment or writing on the wall!
The so called meditation has no such fear! It is going to
perish because of the inherent limitations, vanity and
contradictions, whether understood by us or not!
12] TSM can involve real dynamics of life. Thus there can
be dominance of asceticism followed by frustration and
inaction or non-assertion. Sometimes this can lead to
escapism of one sort or the other; also.
The caricature of meditation lacks the genuinity, honesty,
intensity, involvement, dedication and the adventure of
pursuit of truth! Hence it is trivial, irrelevant, ineffective and
insignificant in every respect. It does not involve any risk
and ups and/or downs in the life of an individual and the
13] The TSM involves unavoidable uncertainty of life! This
is because there is no false assurance about tangible gains
such as; health, money, fame, power, or even moral
superiority! One gets engrossed in the understanding and
experiencing the uncertainty of life. This leads to the sense
of urgency of TSM and SUPERLIVING mission amongst
the proponents but are not shared by most individuals, which
leads to delay in propagating TSM.
The mediocrity of so called meditation makes it superficial
and farcical. It does not have anything to do with our (and
others’) hearts and souls; and our wellbeing! Since it does
not need serious involvement it keeps on appealing most of
us as a casual activity; and hence it spreads like a wild fire!
14] The TSM totally lacks the dictatorial attitude and
nurturing of vested interests e.g. forming a cult or
establishing an institution or organization! It is universal and
hence; even though it goes on making a definite and
significant difference in several ways; nobody is eagerly
waiting to claim and devour the credit or earn profits by
making even a deserving hype of it!
The traders of “so called meditation”; succeed; largely
because of the business and/or vested interests and the
inevitable games of management!
15] TSM lacks the excitement associated with glamour and
glitter involved in entertainment businesses such as cinema,
sports etc. Hence it does not pick the fancy of even talented
The so called meditation and stress relaxation programs are
emulating the entertainment and showbiz and hence no
wonder; are amassing money, glamour and glitter. But with
globalization, the passivity is dwindling (though
imperceptibly) and compelling the global political and
intellectual leadership to study and practice TSM (even
though in different forms).
16] Some of the books on TSM are comparatively less lucid
and little more tedious, because of the emphasis given on
accuracy and efficacy rather than literary qualities. But,
when the social psyche gets ready for digesting certain
concepts (e.g. oneness of spiritualism and materialism and
oneness of theism and atheism); TSM is bound to spread like
wild fire and become vogue of the day.
The mirage of “so called meditation dwells” in hallucinatory
utopia and hence easily sold! We are bound to understand its
true nature and hollowness; as all of us are evolving; and
hence abandon it forever; due to its being palliative, alien,
escapist and thus counterproductive in nature (multiplying
problems in individual and social life)!
18] It is also possible that there are still some inaccuracies
and or deficiencies left in TSM, which have to be rectified,
while studying and practicing it. This is going to happen as
the world is already coming together and blossoming
together; in spite of the apparently dismal picture!
The hyped and marketed stress management and stress
relaxation have built in contradiction of pettiness. Hence
they are bound to vanish.
19] The personal deficiencies of any one who studies TSM;
are considered as human and hence neither glorified nor
hidden. TSM does not flourish on such falsities; but aims to
The deficiencies of the traders of the vulgarized meditation
however; are concealed and hidden; and often an unjustified
and unphysiological asceticism is claimed, hyped, glorified
and sold! All this is due to utter darkness (TAMAS) of
ignorance; and bound to vanish with rapidly spreading
enlightenment of TSM.
20] Most importantly, the NAMASMARAN i.e. being
connected with God is a hallmark of TSM.
The “farce of meditation”; ignores, neglects or even
discards this aspect completely! This is because; the fashion,
fancy or whim of meditation and yoga can be “marketed and
sold”; and have a greater potential to cheat and (and for
common people to get cheated) financially. Whereas
NAMASMARAN is free; and hence without any scope for
financial cheating or getting cheated. (Many self styled gurus and
cults organized around them; can sell the “specialization of
giving or advising name of God”; though NAMASMARAN as
such is not directly marketed or sold).
Can the practice of MEDITATION, “help” the leaders, policy
makers, decision makers, planners, administrators and the
sufferers amongst us; to evolve and transform the scenario, and
if yes; when? Is the philosophy and practice of MEDITATION,
mere “running after the mirage of STRESS MANAGEMENT?
Are these questions erratic, irrelevant or heretic? Is it arrogant
to think; that it is “self inflicted spiritual castration; to neglect
every evil; merely and keep practicing the called MEDITATION,
without any reference to the objective material conditions”?
The answer provided is that; all religious precepts, spiritual
endeavors, spiritual disciplines, festivals, celebrations and a
variety of rituals including; MEDITATION, YOGA and
NAMASMARAN are basically meant for evolving objective or
holistic perspective and working in accordance with it.
If we take the analogy of the body functions, then the
MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN; constitute the
biochemical, biophysical and bioelectrical activities in brain; and
holistic international perspective, policy making, programs and
implementation at ground level; constitute intellectual,
emotional, instinctual and physical manifestations.
MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN never were, never
are and never would be sterile in terms of individual and global
blossoming; but when marketed, sold or freely distributed, if
they are cut off from ground realities; and devoid of the holistic
solutions, then they are merely the “so called MEDITATION,
YOGA and NAMASMARAN” or just caricatures of them; and
hence sterile and often counterproductive!
Looking at from another angle; MEDITATION, YOGA and
NAMASMARAN are actually the states of being when we are
connected with our true selves or our innate core; in as much
the are procedure or methods! As the methods; they are really
incomplete and inadequate; without certain essential
prerequisites. In other words; MEDITATION, YOGA and
NAMASMARAN as methods; are like breathing OXYGEN and
are essential for life; but incomplete and inadequate without
other physiological activities required for optimum health; so
as to reach the ultimate enlightenment; the states of
culmination of the practice of YOGA, MEDITATION and
Let us remember that as methods; MEDITATION, YOGA and
NAMASMARAN are NOT complete and certainly NOT the
ENDS in themselves.
Taking example from day to day life; all of us know, that as a
rule; we have to finish, primary, secondary and college training
before we take up the study or research of Ph D. Similarly; we
have to; as a rule; go through; physical, psychomotor,
productive, instinctual, emotional, intellectual, creative and
spiritual study and practices; for our inner growth and
blossoming; and arrive at, understand and practice the holistic
solutions in the fields of health, education, agriculture,
education, industry, environment (schools, colleges and
universities) and reach their culmination the final enlightened
states of MEDIATTION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN (Ph.
The practice of “so called MEDITATION” in absence of such
solutions is harmful and a schizoid and knowingly or
unknowingly hypocritical and hence detrimental activity of
trying to convince ourselves and preach others; that we are
ATMA. SOULS, BRAHMA, YOGIS, SACCHIDANANDA i.e.
the eternal bliss personified etc; when in fact we are in agony
MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN are actually the
evolved states of being as we blossom; in the process of active
efforts to implement holistic solutions to individual and social
problems! The validity of this statement can be verified
through our experience; but NOT merely by a casual approach
and casual enquiry; without any study and practice.
While we are talking about the so called or caricature of
meditation; we have to realize that there is a problem of fear;
when we deal with true MEDITATION, YOGA and
This fear is not of death, disease, dejection, debility etc; but of
depersonalization; i.e. living without a particular identity; such
as lawyer, artist, scientist, and farmer; because of
MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN.
These are advised as solutions during STRESS; because even
though every identity has some capability, some skills, some
influence. But during STRESS the power becomes less, and the
drawbacks and liabilities of the identity start mounting. Thus; a
lawyer may lose his/her practice, artist may not lose his/her
popularity, scientist may fail in his/her experiments and the
farmer may suffer loss due to drought.
The reason we suffer and build up our STRESS; is not merely
because of the financial loss; but due to the unbearable burden
of the liability of our identity! Our identity is a part of our ego.
Since the identity becomes a liability; our ego is hurt, which
produces unbearable STRESS!
The solution to this problem is to retrieve the strength from the
deepest core that is beyond our ego and identity.
Naturally most of the traditional and rational stress
management experts advise the practice of MEDITATION,
YOGA and NAMASMARAN, which help us disperse the clouds
of our identity and ego (akin to depersonalization); which is
essential and inevitable for reaching our core; the source of light
But since we are habituated or addicted to live with our
identities; egos or personalities; we find it dreadful and insecure
to live without them. We question; “How to (and also why)
forget ourselves; in MEDITATION, YOGA and
NAMASMARAN? Isn’t it frightening to forget ourselves?
Moreover, isn’t forgetting ourselves voluntarily; almost
impossible? Besides isn’t it akin to a defeatist state of total self
effacement, self denial, escapism and cowardice?”
This question is asked; especially because; MEDITATION,
YOGA and NAMASMARAN are devoid of any tangible
assurance or support! They do not provide any sensory
pleasure. They are neither pleasant to look at nor melodious to
ears! Neither they have haunting smell nor do they have
gustatory charm. Neither they are a matter of sexual excitement
nor are they a matter of melodrama. Neither do they satisfy
intellectual urge nor do they produce any humor! Neither do
they bloat our ego nor do they provide any emotional solace.
When we begin the practice of MEDITAITION, YOGA and
NAMASMARAN; we are afraid of this life without any identity,
ego; and without any concrete security and support! This
appears like death!
We have to appreciate that; even as this peculiarity of
MEDITATION, YOGA and NAMASMARAN; makes them
dreadful; it is this very peculiarity of them; that makes us
capable and empowered to live without any support! It is this
peculiarity that makes them the most sought after and
cherished treasure for the seekers of truth; through millennia
and through out the world.
Let us understand that this “supportless living”; without the
clouds of identity and ego; empowers us to be support ourselves!
This life is not the same as; (in fact quite different from)
debilitating depersonalization when we becomes oblivious to our
personality due to dementia, unconsciousness or ignorance as
well as state of getting excited, elated, disturbed, agitated or
unhappy in a variety of situations due to our identities or ego.
In this state there is forgetting of all individual and subjective
doubts and suspicions; while we are engaged in satisfactorily
remedying the situations from the root cause! In this state; we
are focused on; as well as active and in harmony with the
controlling center (which is beyond the concept of change and
often referred to as BHAGAVANT or PARAMATMA) of all
situations, which are ever-changing and illusive (and hence
often referred to as MAYA in Indian literature).
In other words; in this state of “being the support ourselves” we
do not think that “we need support”, or “we provide support”
as we feel when we are caged in our identities, egos and
personalities. In this state of empowerment we have outgrown
them! There is no “kick of doing”; but in stead; there is “ecstasy
of being harmony”; with nature or God.
But mere intellectual explanations; and theoretical
discussions, arguments and deliberations and
controversies on the intricacies involved in stress
management; without actual experimentation; are NOT
useful. They do not reach the seeds of our being; the
seeds of our happiness! The practice and propagation of
NAMASMARAN; however; reaches and nurtures these
seeds of our being and the happiness blossoms!
We need not believe or disbelieve in any of this blindly
and impatiently! It is better accept provisionally; think
over, study and give TOTAL STRESS MANAGEMENT
(the core of which is NAMASMARAN) a fair trial, if and
when we feel the urge!