East is East and West is West


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Clipped from: https://bhavanajagat.com/2010/05/25/set-your-mind-free-let-sarasvati-flow/




Goddess Sarasvati is known as the Goddess of Speech or Vag Devi and She symbolizes importance of Speech Etiquette and Speech Discipline.




Richard Lovelace(1618-1657),English Poet and Soldier


Richard Lovelace, a romantic poet was confined within the walls of Gate House, a prison in Westminster, London. From the prison, in 1642 he wrote the poem, “To Althea, from Prison.” The poem has the following famous lines:     

Stone walls do not a prison make,     

Nor iron bars a cage;     

Minds innocent and quiet take     

That for a hermitage;     

If I have freedom in my love     

And in my soul, am free,     

Angels alone, that soar above,     

Enjoy such liberty.     

Those who had confined him could not stop him from exercising his ability to think and dream. No one can imprison or enslave the human mind. A human being essentially seeks to exist in a free state and when imprisoned, the man can still set his mind free to think and dream. A mind that is free, expresses its freedom in speech, in writing, in songs and music. Speech in all of its forms conveys the ability of a man to communicate his thoughts. Fluent and coherent speech requires the formulations of propositions, which are translated into conventional symbols, earlier acquired and readily accessible, which then reach external expression by means of an efficient vocalizing apparatus. The sequences involved in efficient speech production could be interrupted at various levels to produce different types of speech defects.     


Intellectual impairment due to drugs, disease, and old age cause Speech Disorders.

Broca’s Area – Brain’s Speech Center

Co-ordination of sensory and motor functions is vital for normal Speech.

Since speech is an attribute of a free mind, it is important to understand the problems of disturbances of speech:     

1. Intellectual impairment: Speech is deranged as a result of a deficit of intellectual function which prevents organization of meaningful propositions. A person who is intoxicated cannot speak well. There are several medical conditions associated with cognitive impairment, and the level of consciousness. Apart from these problems, a person, who is uneducated as he is unwilling to learn, cannot deliver good speech. In Sanskrit language such ignorant persons are identified as ‘MOORKHA’.     

2. Dysarthria and Dysphonia: Precise enunciation of words with good volume requires normal function and co-ordination of lips, tongue, palate, and the vocal apparatus called larynx. Several medical conditions could cause a defect in motor output involved in speaking and contribute to slurring and distortion of speech.     

3. Aphasias: These are speech difficulties or absence of speech where the person has no motor disorder and the articulatory system is intact. Three major varieties of aphasias are described. a. Broca’s, motor/expressive/Non-fluent aphasia: Broca’s area of brain produces verbs, builds sentences and predicts what people are going to say. Problems in this area makes the person’s speech non-fluent as the person has profound word finding difficulties. The person speaks slowly and with great effort. The speech is described as ‘telegraphic’ because it has no grammatic structure and small connecting words (e.g., and, or, but), are missing. The person comprehends well. The person can formulate thoughts in appropriate words i.e. internal speech is preserved, but is unable to translate them into corresponding sounds. b. Wernicke’s/Sensory/Receptive/fluent aphasia: Wernicke’s area of brain is involved in learning patterns corresponding to different types of auditory stimulation. It attaches meanings, images, and feelings to sounds and to individual words. Problems in this area would result in severe impairment in comprehension of language (both spoken and written). The person speaks fluently with ease and often in large amounts. However, the speech often goes in circles(circumlocutory) and contains incorrect word usages(paraphasia). The person fails to understand or carry out spoken instructions. Internal speech is disturbed and hence there is impairment of external speech. The person cannot understand what he hears. c. Conductive aphasia:  The nerve fibers between Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas are involved in this type of problem. The person has trouble converting auditory input to verbal output. It is characterized by a marked inability to repeat words or phrases spoken to the person. d. Dyslexia and Alexia:  Impairment of reading ability in individuals with normal intelligence either due to a developmental disorder or due to acquired brain lesions.     

Eloquent Speech is comparable to free-flowing water, the words come out continuously without any apparent effort.


A normal healthy person with normal intelligence and abilities to speak, write, read, and sing may not automatically become a fluent speaker. Human mind needs to exist in a ‘fluid’ state to maintain and sustain a high state of alertness and activity. Mental lethargy is described in Sanskrit language as “JYAADYAA”. The mental lethargy could be due to disease (‘ROGA’), ignorance (‘MOORKHA’), or could be due to a depressed condition or state of mental activity which is described in Sanskrit language as “JADATHA”. This condition of mental weakness or diminished energy is characterized by intellectual sluggishness. The mind is dull, lazy or indifferent. Whatever term is used, mental inertia, lack of interest or energy or lassitude is an important issue, and the man’s speech lacks the fluency and the mind lacks the ‘fluidity’ that is needed for coordinating activities. Very often, man creates ‘mental barriers’, and erects ‘mental fences’ and impedes his own intellect from generating creative thoughts and in expressing such thoughts through creative forms of speech and music. There should be no obstacles to the flow of thoughts and to its physical expression. In its natural state, a river flows without any impediments and that ‘fluid’ flowing state is important for effective human communications.     

The Concept of ‘Mental Fluidity’ is very important to appreciate Eloquent Speech. Eloquence has a charming quality of its own, it is pleasing to the ears of the listeners and captivates the minds of the members of the audience. Speech should make the same impact in terms of its appeal like a scenic picture.

Kunda’s whiteness symbolizes Purity. White Lotus symbolizes Purity.  White and radiant personality symbolizes Purity.

Indian Traditions about Letters, Speech, Arts and Music:     

Mind if it is responding slowly, a condition of ‘mental lethargy’ described as ‘Buddhi Mandhyam’, the man cannot realize his creative potential in the field of letters, speech, arts, and music. The Vedic River of Sarasvati is personified as the patron Goddess of Speech (‘VAC or VAK’). Sarasvati enjoys a unique autonomous position and apart from man, the entire Hindu pantheon of Gods pay obeisance to Her and seek Her protection to destroy and dissolve the problem of mental lethargy which impairs mental activity. The mind of man cannot be set free unless the mental barriers and mental fences are totally eradicated and Sarasvati can flow in its natural state without impediments.     


Jasminum multiflorum, ‘KUNDA’, Star Jasmine, Native of India.

Moon, ‘INDU’ and the radiant personality of Sarasvati.

‘TUSHAAR’, Snow clad peaks of Himalayas, the abode of Snow and Ice.

‘VEENA’, stringed musical instrument, native to South India.

Nelumbo nucifera, White Lotus flower, ‘Shwetha Padma’, Native of India.

The Divine Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva join to worship the Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom.

The Rig Vedic River Sarasvati, the source of pure, nourishing waters. The Sanskrit language and the Devanagari script originated here.

Sarasvati, the destroyer of Mental Inertia and Lethargy.

Bhagavatee, Facilitator of man’s journey from Reality to Ultimate Reality.

‘AUM’, the Sound Invocation for Sarasvati Vandana.




Ya Kundendu Tushar hara dhavala,     

Ya Shubhra vastraavritha,     

Ya Veena vara danda manditakara,     

Ya Shwetha Padma Sanaa,     

Ya Brahma Achyutha Sankara prabhrithi bhih     

Devai sadaa poojitha(Vanditha)     

Saa Maam patu Sarasvati, Bhagavatee     

Nihshyesha jyaadyaapaha.     

Sarasvati is defined as “Saaram vaati iti Sarasvati”, She who flows towards the Absolute is Sarasvati. For river-like streaming and fluent speech the blessings of Sarasvati would help and the mind is set free by the fluid motion of River.     


Shevata Padma  – Symbolizes Purity, Creativity, and Nourishing Qualities

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada   

Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.,


Related Blog Post : East and West – What Sets Us Apart in Learning and Creative Writing 




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Adi Shankara( c. 788 A.D. – c. 820 A.D. ), the founder of the Non-Dualist or ADVAITA School of Indian Philosophy has shared his ideas about human soul or spirit which is called ATMA or ATMAN in Indian Sanskrit language. What is the Truth about Soul or Spirit?

Truth is the quality of being in accordance with experience, and verified facts. Truth or Reality can be established by using a reasoning process called verification and validation. To verify or refute a theoretical claim, we need to clarify statements by demonstrating relation between the theoretical claim and the observational evidence. Such a reasoning process could be applied in two manners; 1. The Coherence Theory of Truth, and 2. The Correspondence Theory of Truth. According to the Coherence Theory of Truth, the standard of Truth is the logical consistency of a proposition with a large system of propositions. According to the Correspondence Theory of Truth, Truth is viewed as a relation between an idea or proposition and its object. To verify Truth or Reality, the Subject and Object of an idea or proposition must have a relationship. Truth when applied to statements or ideas is related to the validity of what we mean and hence it requires correspondence between thought and external reality. It is true that man has the biological ability and capacity called ‘imagination’, but man may not have the ability and capacity to translate the act and power of imagination into actuality, an external experience that could be observed by others. In my imagination, I can seek the existence of an all blissful entity called ‘SHIVA’ while in actuality, I exist in the physical world as a fragile, mortal being. Religion, Philosophy, and Science may represent three distinct fields of learning about Truth and Reality. Scientific knowledge not only provides the knowledge that something is true, but it also provides the reason why it is true. Religion, and Philosophy could use different methods to study Truth and Reality, but the ideas they share require verification, corroboration, and validation. In the study of man, the know-er and the known are one. Man is the observer and the observed fact is that of man’s nature. If man has to know the truth about his self, man has to understand the truth and reliability of his own cognitive powers. If the Subject called man is identified as an Object called Soul, or Spirit, the Truth or Reality of Soul, or Spirit involves a structural/functional relationship between the Subject and its Object.


Adi Shankara ( c. 788 – c. 820 A.D. ), the founder of the Non-Dualist or ‘ADVAITA’ School of Indian Philosophy called ‘VEDANTA’ has shared his ideas about human Soul, or Spirit or ‘ATMA’ or ‘ATMAN’ in Indian Sanskrit language. In six short poems popularly known as ‘Nirvana Shatakam’, or ‘Atma Shatakam’, he has presented his mental concepts about human Soul, or Spirit which he called “AHAM”(Subject ‘A’) . Adi Shankara is primarily concerned about establishing the perfect Identity between this Subject ‘A’ and its Object called “CHIDANANDA SHIVAM(Object ‘C’). However, Adi Shankara makes no attempt in his propositions to establish the basis for this Identity between the Subject ‘A’ and its Object ‘C’. Adi Shankara is proposing that the Subject ‘A’ or ‘AHAM’ has no structural, functional, mental, moral, social, and spiritual relationship with its human body or ‘B’. In his view, the human soul or spirit is not involved, and is not concerned with the existence of human body in which the soul or spirit is thought to be residing. In an effort to establish the school of thought called “ADVAITA” or Non-Dualism, he systematically separates the human body from its human soul. Adi Shankara has further extended this proposition to claim that the Subject ‘A’ is the same as the Object ‘C’ and the reason he has given is that of a lack of relationship between Subject ‘A’ and the human body ‘B’. Since, ‘A’ is not the same as ‘B’, ‘A’ is not equal to ‘B’. And, therefore, Adi Shankara claims that ‘A’ is the same as ‘C’ or ‘A’ is equal to ‘C’. He has not stated that there is or there could be a structural, functional, mental, moral, social, and spiritual relationship between ‘A’ and ‘C’. If such relationship exists between ‘A’ and ‘C’, Adi Shankara has not presented any observational evidence in support of his claim that states ‘A’ = ‘C’. Let us briefly review the six verses. Kindly note that the verses are composed in Indian Sanskrit language and there are several minor variations in the words that are attributed to Adi Shankara. The word ‘NIRVANA’ means ‘MUKTI’ or Release( the release of the conditioned human soul ), death, Sunset, and conclusion of an event( such as the end of Life ). I must clarify that ‘death’ may not be viewed as a static, or final event. Death is a dynamic event like Life which is characterized by changes like growth and development and various stages like infancy, youth, man, and old age. Just like Sunset which is followed by Sunrise, the event called death is followed by regeneration, renewal, and rebirth. Living organisms arrive with a plan for their own dissolution and such organic decay and decomposition is influenced by the cyclical flow of Time.


Mano Buddhi Ahankara Chittani Na AHAM;
Na cha Karnam( or Shrotra), Na Jihvaa, Na cha Ghraana Netre;
Na cha Vyoma, Bhoomir Na TejO, Na VaayuH;
CHIDANANDA  RuupaH ShivO Aham, ShivO AHAM.

Adi Shankara excludes the four mental functions known as Ma-nah( the seat of thoughts and imagination, the chief sense organ called Mind), Buddhi(the seat of intellect and knowledge), Chitta(the seat of emotions such as compassion, affection, and devotion), and Ahankara(the seat of ego, self-pride, the sense of pride that is associated with the recognition of ‘SELF’ or ‘I’ as existing or living) as the basis of his true Identity or Essence(What you are). These four aspects of mental activities are described in Indian tradition as “ANTAH KARANAM” or ‘MANO CHATUSHTAYAM”.  The human nature which is known as “CHITTA” or “HRUDAYA”, “KARUNA”, or “DAYA” and “BHAKTI” is recognized as Compassion, Kindness, and Devotion; the mental qualities that are needed for formulating Spiritual relationships both within the Individual and between Individuals. Adi Shankara gives no reason for this separation of human nature from its human Soul. Similarly, he excludes the five organs of Sense Perception( often described as “JNANA INDRIYAS”, the organs that provide sensory information and sensory experience ) such as ears, tongue, nose, eyes, and skin and the Five Primordial Elements described in Indian tradition as ‘Pancha Maha Bhutas’ such as Sky, Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water. He thinks that they are not truly related to his True Identity and Essence. He is specifically excluding all known material substances, material structures and forces that operate in the natural world in the description of his True Identity. In my view, I consider that man comes into existence as a newly created object, one of its own kind, original, and distinctive who could always be identified as a specific individual. I claim that man is a created being and man has no choice other than that of existing as an Individual with Individuality. The physical form, the morphological appearance of man always makes him unique and it has to be explained and accounted for. I suggest that human Soul is the internal reality; and Soul is the basis for human Individuality and the Soul is the unchanging principle that allows man to exist with changing external forms with specific physical attributes.


Na cha Praana SamjnO, Na vai Pancha Vaayur;
Na vaa Sapta Dhatur, Na vaa Pancha KoshaH;
Na Vaak Paani Paadau, Na cha Upastha Paayuu;
Chidananda RuupaH, ShivO AHAM, ShivO AHAM.

In this verse Adi Shankara gives a very detailed description of various tissues of human body and describes all the vital functions and states that the Subject ‘A’ or “AHAM” has no structural or functional relationship with human anatomy and physiology. The term “PRAANA” refers to the vital life-energy and is generally used to describe the chief characteristic to make the fundamental distinction between living and non-living; the important sign of life is the act of breathing or respiration.The term “PANCH VAAYU” refers to, 1. Vyaana – the air that is spread in the entire extent of the human body; 2. Samaana – the air that is in the navel region; it could be the air that is swallowed during acts of eating and drinking and may refer to the intestinal gas; 3. Udaana – the air that is in the throat/neck region; this narrow airway is vital for the respiratory function; 4. Apaana – the air that travels downwards and outwards; it could mean the air expelled from the body as flatus or exhaled air from the lungs; and 5. Praana – the inspired air; air that is in the heart, the chief organ of Cardiovascular System that circulates Oxygen throughout human body. The term “SAPTA DHATU” refers to the seven material essences such as the skin, muscle/tendons/nerves, blood, bones, bone marrow, brain( neural tissue ), and “RASA” which describes fluids like semen and lymph. The term “PANCH KOSHA” refers to the traditional view about the structure of Soul. It is believed that the Soul has five coverings or envelopes and each layer establishes human existence and these are called as the five stages of Self-Realization; 1. Anna maya( related to Nutrition ), 2. Praana maya( related to vital functions like Respiration ), 3. Jnana maya( relates to implantation of Innate Knowledge and Consciousness ), 4. Vijnana maya( relates to the ability to make a distinction between human body or Self and Soul as the Knowing-Self ), and 5. Ananda maya( relates to the experience of Bliss, the experience of Peace, Harmony, Tranquility, and Equilibrium as a Living Experience ) ; these are the five aspects of Self-Realization and refer to complete fulfillment or development of man. I have discussed these five aspects in my blog post:


Adi Shankara also refers to the five organs of action that are described in Indian tradition as “KARMA INDRIYAS” which are the five instruments of Speech(VAAK),  Hand-Grip and Manipulation(PAANI), Locomotion( PAADA), Procreation(UPASTHA) and Excretion(PAAYU). Adi Shankara has not bothered to state as to how these different organs and organ systems could function together to support the existence of the human person who lives because of those varied living functions. Life is nothing but to function and in my view, the human Soul is the central element that generates the structural and functional coordination that is required for human existence.


Na Me Dvesha Ragau, Na Me Lobha MOhau;
MadO Naiva , Me Naiva Matsarya BhavaH;
Na DharmO, Na cha ArthO, Na KamO, Na MokshaH;

Adi Shankara correctly claims that the human Soul may not contribute to human feelings, and thoughts associated with hatred, sexual passion, greed, arrogance, and envy or jealousy. At the same time, he rejects the traditional Indian view about man’s purpose in Life; the purpose of Right Action or “DHARMA”, the purpose called earning money or material wealth to support Life or “ARTHA”, the purpose of Procreation or “KAMA”, and the purpose called God-Realization, Liberation, or “MOKSHA”. In other words, Adi Shankara is suggesting that human life and human existence may have no underlying purpose. He is also not giving any coping mechanism to deal with the problems associated with human emotional experiences like passionate desires. Indian tradition consistently recommends that man can exercise self-control as the human Soul is superior to human mind, human intellect, and human sense organs. If human body has no structural or functional affiliation with its human Soul, it will not be likely that man can exercise self-restraint and self-control. In my view, man, the Mental Being can establish himself as a Moral Being using the discerning ability to make the distinction between right and wrong, and distinguish good from evil by knowing the existence of the Knowing-Self or the Soul.


Na Punyam, Na Papam, Na Saukhyam, Na Dukham;
Na MantrO, Na Teertham, Na Vedaa, Na YajnaHa;
Aham Bhojanam, Naiva Bhojyam, Na Bhoktaa;
Chidananda RuupaH, ShivO Aham, ShivO Aham.

Adi Shankara is describing that he has no sense of attachment to the consequences of his actions either good(“PUNYA”) or bad(“PAAPA”). He is recommending that man need not perform temple worship, and there is no need to observe religious rituals, sacrifice, and perform acts of pilgrimage. He is rejecting the desire to seek pleasure and comfort(“SAUKHYAM”) and he may not be able to totally avoid the pain, misery, and the experience of suffering(“DUKHAM”). He specifically undermined the role of food and its five functions in support of human existence. The problem is that of the nature of human existence. In my view, man at any given age, in any given condition, under all given circumstances including good health or ill-health depends upon the Power/Energy/Force called MERCY/GRACE/COMPASSION. Man is not in control of his own existence. Man needs a guiding, and controlling force called the Divine Providence. In my opinion, the human Soul operates as the Connection between man and the Divine Providence that supports, sustains, and preserves human existence irrespective of man’s experience of pain or pleasure. Man has no choice other than that of seeking Mercy, Grace, and Compassion that is called “KRUPA” in Sanskrit language. 


Na Me Mrityu, Na Shankaa, Na Me Jati BhedaH;
Pitaa Naiva, Me Naiva Maataa, Na Janma;
Na Bandhur, Na Mitram, Gurur Naiva ShishyaH;
Chidananda RuupaH, ShivO AHAM, ShivO AHAM.

Adi Shankara very boldly asserts that he is without a trace of doubt(“SHANKAA”) and further adds that the Soul that he calls “AHAM” has no Father, or Mother. Indian tradition calls Father(“PITAA”) as the originating principle, and Mother(“MAATAA) as the sustaining principle. In my view, the human Soul comes into existence(“JANMA”) because of the Supreme Will or the Supreme Soul which is the Prime Cause, the Cause of all types of things and all kinds of Existence. The human Soul is conditioned and is not totally independent and hence, the human soul still needs a Divine Mother Principle to maintain its Spiritual Condition and Spiritual Existence.  




Aham NirvikalpO, Niraakaara RuupaO;
Vibhur Vyapa(or tvaa cha) Sarvatra, Sarvendriyaanaam;
Na cha Sangatham( or Sada Me Samtvam), Naiva Muktir, Na BandhaH;
Chidananda RuupaH, ShivO Aham, ShivO Aham.


In this final or sixth verse, Adi Shankara tries to eliminate the classical dualism that is called the dualism of Universal-Particular. He claims that his human Soul or “AHAM” is universal entity that is limitless, formless(“NIRAAKAARA”) and is without any attributes or attachments(“BANDHAH”). In his view, the human Soul is essentially free; it is everything, everywhere, every time and is always in a state of equilibrium. He has stated this view without a trace of doubt(“NIRVI KALPA”). I would like to suggest some caution and ask my readers to recognize the importance of separation between the human soul and the Ultimate Reality. I can understand that there is no disunity between man and his Creator. I would ask my readers to know the philosophical system of thought called ‘NOMINALISM’ that does not grant universality to mental concepts outside the mind. Universality could be applied only to words or “nomina”, mental habits, or concepts. Nominalism only maintains the objective existence of the concrete, individual thing. It denies all objectivity whether actual or potential to universals. The human soul is attached to the human being and the human being has his existence on planet Earth and hence is not an universal entity. Since the human condition demands existence only on planet Earth and not the rest of the universe, the human Soul cannot escape from its conditioned status while it exists as a human Soul. The Universal Soul as proposed by Adi Shankara is just a mental concept and it can only exist in the mind of the man and it may have no correspondence with the facts of external world and the Universe.


Adi Shankara claims: “Brahma Satyam, Jagat Mithya, Jivo Brahmaiva Na paraH.”
Brahma is the Only Truth, the World is Illusion, and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and Individual True Self. My question is: “WHERE DOES THIS TRUE SELF EXIST? WITHOUT EXISTENCE, THERE IS NO ESSENCE. ONLY WHEN A THING EXISTS, IT CAN DEFINE ITS ESSENCE.

Adi Shankara is fully convinced in his belief that ‘A’ and the human body ‘B’ are not connected or related. It must be noted that, ‘A’ or “AHAM” refers to a singular person called ‘I’ and that singular person ‘I’ is in a state called ‘Being’, one who lives, or exists. If ‘A’ is stated to be existing, I would like to ask the following questions:

1. Who is Existing?

2. What is Existing?

3. When it is Existing?

4. Where it is Existing?

5. Why it is Existing?

If the Subject ‘A’, or “AHAM”( I AM ), has no size, no shape, and no form, how could we establish the fact that ‘A’ is existing? Adi Shankara has not categorically stated the place or site where ‘A’ could be existing. If ‘A’ is existing, we may like to know the purpose of this existence. If there is a purpose for the existence of ‘A’, the question would be, What is that purpose? How is the nature of ‘A’ or the nature of ‘C’ is related to its purpose? The Truth and Reality about human Soul, or Spirit can be verified, can be corroborated, and can be validated by knowing the structural, functional, mental, moral, social, and spiritual relationship, partnership, connection, association, or bonding between ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’. Indian tradition suggests that human body has three aspects; “Tri-ani-pada”, or three-in-one; and the three aspects of human body are, 1. Causal, 2. Spiritual, and 3. Material. There is a material connection between ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’, if the human body has a ‘causal, and a ‘spiritual’ dimension. It would be very interesting to note that Adi Shankara has specifically avoided to describe the connection or relationship between the human Soul and human Consciousness. In Sanskrit language, Consciousness is called “CHETANA” and this term is not used in any of the six verses. Indian tradition believes that consciousness is the evidence for the presence of the human Soul and there is a structural and functional relationship between Soul and the Living Entity that is Conscious. We need to explain the concepts of Subject-Object, Appearance-Reality, Perceptual-Categorical, Immanent-Transcendent, Regulative-Constitutive, Conditioned-Unconditioned Dualism in respect of man’s existence and man’s status in Nature. In the context of human existence, the human Soul, or Spirit belongs to the Immanent Realm.

Rudra N . Rebbapragada, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

Biographical Information :

1. Place of Birth: Mylapore, Madras City, Chenna Patnam, Chennai, Madras State, Tamil Nadu, India. Born Hindu( Brahmin, Niyogi, Smartha), Telugu-Speaking.

2. Date and Place of Marriage: January 29, 1973. Congregational Town Church, Cuddapah, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Please view this melodious presentation of Adi Shankaracharya’s Nirvana Shatakam or Atma Shatakam at http://www.Youtube.com site:




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SPIRITUALISM-INDIAN NATIONALISM – KARGIL WAR 1999 : Indian Army Personnel salute the Kargil War Memorial in Drass, Jammu & Kashmir, India on August 12, 2012 in celebration of 65 Years of Independence. The photo insert shows the winner of Gallantry Award of Param Vir Chakra, Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav.


SPIRITUALISM AND INDIAN NATIONALISM : On August 15, 2012, Indian people are celebrating the 66th Independence Day in commemoration of 65 Years of Independence. The Red Fort in New Delhi is the traditional venue for this celebration and the Indian National Flag is hoisted by the Prime Minister of India, the elected representative of People of India. In this context we have to explore the relationship between Spiritualism and Nationalism.

Today, on August 15, 2012, people of India also known as ‘BHARAT’ are celebrating the 66th Independence Day in commemoration of 65 Years of Independence. In this context, we have to examine the relationship between Spiritualism and Nationalism. In the ancient Land of India, human beings have lived continuously for thousands of years. But, it was a Land divided into several hundreds of small and large kingdoms until Indian people joined together in a Nationalist Movement to win their Freedom from foreign rule and occupation. Indians won this Freedom on August 15, 1947 when Great Britain ceased its occupation of India.


SPIRITUALISM-NATIONALISM-THE LAND OF INDIA : This National Flag of India known as ‘Tricolor’ has infused a sense of new ‘SPIRIT’ called Indian Nationalism, a sense of Devotion to one’s Nation.
SPIRITUALISM-NATIONALISM-THE LAND OF INDIA – Indian Nationalism won Freedom at a huge cost in human lives. The British Empire while leaving India during 1947 had divided the Land creating new National entities. The disorder that followed the Partition of India caused the loss of over one million human lives. The concept of Cultural Nationalism cannot and will not defend and preserve human life in the Land of India.

Nationalism is the state of mind in which the individual feels that everyone owes his supreme loyalty to the Nation-State. Nationalism is a modern movement and it belongs to the modern world. Before the 18th century, people gave their loyalty to their communities, tribes, feudal lords, princes, or religious groups. The historical sense of attachment to the native soil, to social and cultural traditions, and to established territorial authorities has changed by the end of the 18th century when Nationalism began molding public and private life. Since then, Nationalism has become an important factor of modern history. The American Revolutionary Wars(1775-1783), and the French Revolution(1789) could be regarded as the first manifestations of Nationalism. It led to the formation of modern National States in Europe. The 19th century has been called the Age of Nationalism in Europe. The World War I, and World War II resulted in the spread of Nationalism in Asia and Africa and has manifested itself as a struggle against European Colonialism. Nationalism began to appear in India after World War I. Indian National Congress founded in 1885 began a new political process in the private and public lives of Indian people. It had produced leaders such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi(1869-1948) who had joined the Nationalist Movement for Indian Independence during 1915. The people of India started replacing the king as the center of the Nation. The State had become the people’s State, a National State, and a Motherland. Nationalism is not a political program or ideology; it is a perspective on such programs or ideology. Nationalism can be described as a sentiment that places the existence and well-being of the Nation highest in the scale of personal loyalties. In political terms, it signifies a person’s willingness to work for the Nation against foreign domination. It reflects a person’s willingness to resist foreign political, economic, and cultural domination. Nationalism implies a group’s consciousness of shared history, language, race, and values. Its significance lies in its role in supplying the ties that make the Nation-State a cohesive, viable entity. The terms such as nation, state, or country describe a political entity in which people are united under a particular political organization and are occupying a defined territory. However, the term ‘Nationalism’ demands more than the existence of boundaries or political institutions. Nationalism includes the feelings or thoughts of patriotism, zealous love of one’s country, advocacy of national unity or independence and it involves the creed that fidelity to one’s State or Nation is more important than fidelity to individual interests. We, the people of India and of Indian origin have to truthfully examine if ‘Nationalism’ has ever existed in the Land of India. We have to truthfully explain as to why the Land of India exists as an easy target for foreign invasion, foreign conquest, foreign occupation, and foreign political, economic, and cultural domination.


SPIRITUALISM-NATIONALISM-THE LAND OF INDIA : Mahatma Gandhi is correctly recognized as the Father of the Nation. He won a huge political battle and won Freedom for millions of Indian people. Did he secure Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the living experience of the People of India??? The Past is Never Dead. Spiritualism is the potency generated by Consciousness; the Consciousness or Awareness of the fact of existing in a given physical environment. Spiritualism demands the existence of a Living Soul or Spirit.

There is a fundamental problem with the experience of life in the Land of India. The Nation – State was nonexistent during the greater part of Indian history. People did not give loyalty to the Nation – State but to other, different forms of feudal states. Before 20th century, political allegiance was determined by mostly local and regional factors such as that of a local princely ruler, regional language or regional culture. Indian Cultural Nationalism mainly consists of expression of some national characteristics through nonpolitical activities such as art, literature, music, dance, and other forms of culture such as the performance of Temple Worship and Pilgrimage. A vast multitude of people may come together at a particular place in celebration of an event and return to their native places. India did not exist as a large, unified territorial state with political, and economic centralization. The political, and economic centralization that existed in India was largely a product of foreign rule and foreign occupation of the Land of India. This lack of National Unity and the lack of a National identity and Individuality made India an easy target for foreign, military attacks. Sir Jadunath Sarkar, a former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University, a historian who had reviewed the records kept by Al- Utbi, the Secretary of Sultan Yaminu -d- Daula Mahmud bin Subuktigin known as Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna. The Secretary in the Persian document called the Tarikh -i- Yamini recorded the details of several episodes of bloody campaigns waged by Sultan Mahmud between 1001 A.D. and 1027 A.D. Persian historian Ferishta(“Tarikh-e- Fereshteh” work by Ferishta about Mahomedan Power in India ) also recorded the military conquests of India by Sultan Mahmud. The Sultan of Ghazna had directed his military attacks on places of spiritual pilgrimage in India. He had attacked the temple towns of Nagarkot, Thanesar(1011), Mathura(1018), Kannauj(1019), Kalinjar(1023), and Somnath(1024-25). He had also attacked the holy places of Varanasi, Ujjain, Maheswar, Jwalamukhi and Dwaraka. These attacks were witnessed by Persian writers such as Al-Biruni(Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Biruni) and Ferdowsi(Abu ol-Qasem Mansur or Firdawsi/Firdusi). All of these historical records and documents reveal the scale of loss of human life. It is estimated that about two million people had died in the Land of India during Sultan Mahmud’s repeated attacks. Asaru -l- Bilad, a Persian geographer had also described some of the foreign conquests of India. K.S. Lal, an Indian historian estimated that about sixty to eighty million people in India may have died between 1000 and 1525 CE due to foreign invasions. It clearly demonstrates that the idea of Cultural Nationalism did not play a significant role in defending Indian people and had failed to preserve human life. Apparently, Cultural Nationalism did not generate the cohesiveness or Unity that is needed to resist and to defeat foreign military campaigns.



CULTURAL NATIONALISM vs SECULAR NATIONALISM – THE CLASH AT KURNOOL MEDICAL COLLEGE : The clash at Kurnool Medical College is a consequence of my participation as a student delegate in a National Student Seminar on National Integration that was sponsored by Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, International Youth Centre, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, India during June 1967.
SPIRITUALISM – NATIONALISM – THE LAND OF INDIA : Dr. Sripada Pinakapani, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Superintendent of Kurnool Government General Hospital worked at Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool City, Andhra Pradesh, India from January 1957 to August 1968. He represents the face of forces opposed to the idea of Secular Nationalism. I was a student at Kurnool Medical College who had advocated the need for a National Identity and National Individuality and promoted the idea of formulating marital social relationships neglecting traditional cultural values based upon religion and caste. He had actively opposed my personal initiative and had encouraged my paternal uncle, Dr. R. Anjaneyulu, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, B. J. Medical College and Sassoon Hospitals, Pune City, Maharashtra State, India to sabotage my career in Indian Army Medical Corps by using his influential contacts with senior Officers of Indian Army Medical Corps.


I submitted an application to Chief Minister Office, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, India on September 02, 2012. The request made by me is registered by the Secretariat Departments of Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Application Number is shown as : SR 12014477 and it reads as follows:

“I was a student at Kurnool Medical College from November 1965 to June 1970. I had represented the State of Andhra Pradesh as a student delegate at the four-week long National Student Seminar on National Integration sponsored by Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, New Delhi during 1967 to promote the need for developing a National Identity and National Individuality for National Unity and National Integration. I had encouraged students to ignore any identity that is derived from region, religion, language, and caste as India needs Secular Nationalism and not Cultural Nationalism. This was opposed by Dr. Sripada Pinakapani, M.D., who then served as the Professor of Medicine and the Superintendent of Kurnool Government General Hospital. Since he had actively opposed the principle of Secular Nationalism, I would request you to reconsider the decision made by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to name a building on Kurnool Medical College/General Hospital Campus to honour him.”  


The ideas about human soul or spirit( Atman or Atma in Sanskrit language) find their profound expression in the oral and written literature of India. Indian thoughts about the nature of man and his existence can be traced to the ancient texts of Vedas( the Rig-Veda, the Sama-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, and the Atharva-Veda) which were compiled from c. 1500 B.C. to c. 500 B.C. The Sanskrit texts known as the Upanishads( c. 900 – 500 B.C. ) have systematized Indian philosophy. There are six classical systems of Indian philosophy that accept the authority of the Veda and the Upanishads; 1. NYAYA( 6th century B.C. ) is a school of logic and epistemology, 2. VAISHESHIKA( 3rd century B.C. ) posits a sixfold classification of Reality( Substance, Quality, Activity, Generality, Particularity, and Inherence ), 3. SAMKHYA( 6th century B.C. ) expounds two basic metaphysical principles; Purusha or Soul and Prakriti or Material Nature, 4. YOGA( 2nd century B.C. ) of Patanjali accepts Samkhya metaphysics, presents an eight-stage discipline of self-control and Meditation, 5. PURVA-MIMAMSA( 2nd century B.C. ) sets forth principles of interpretation of the Vedic texts, and 6. UTTARA-MIMAMSA or VEDANTA which includes different schools of thought based on the Brahma-Sutras of Baradayana( early century A.D. ) which summarize the Upanishadic doctrine and explain the teachings of the Upanishads. The most important schools of Vedanta are 1. the non-dualist(ADVAITA) Vedanta of Shankara( A.D. 788-820 ), 2. the qualified non-dualist Vedanta of Ramanuja( A.D. 1017-1137 ), and 3. the dualist Vedanta of Madhava( A.D. 1197-1276 ). Buddhism and Jainism are two important schools of thought that do not accept the authority of Veda and Upanishads. To a great extent, Indian traditions claim that man is an embodied soul. The mind, and body that represent the physical person is an illusion as the human body is thought to be “ASAT”, or unreal, perishable, full of ignorance, and not happy. The real or true man as represented by soul or spirit is unborn. The real person is viewed as an eternal person who is not subject to change called life and death. Indian tradition considers that the Objective Reality of man or Essence of man is soul or spirit. We must note that it is impossible to describe this mental concept called soul or spirit if it is never associated with its human body. The separation of man into body, mind, and soul is not supported by scientific study of man. Man comes into existence from a single, fertilized Egg-Cell. This man cannot be separated into distinct entities like material or physical body, thinking substance called mind, and an immaterial principle called soul. These three aspects of man have no independent existence of their own. There is no Life and there is no human Existence if body, mind, and soul are separated. Who you are describes your Essence and it is defined by What you do to establish the fact of your Existence. In other words, the Essence(Who you are) is preceded by the reality of Existence(What you do). Thus, Existence is the precondition to recognize Essence. Hence, I describe man as a living soul and not as an embodied soul. In my impression, the traditional Indian views about human soul or spirit have failed to recognize the importance of human Existence as a precondition to define the nature of human Essence. Indian people have to give due recognition to the problems of human existence and must realize that Essence has no value if its meaning is not attached to the condition called Existence. In my opinion, Spiritualism demands the existence of a Living Soul or Spirit to understand its characteristic functions that generate Peace, harmony, and Tranquility as a living human experience. If India seeks its existence as a Nation, Indians have to forget the parochial differences to develop National Individualities and the primary focus of allegiance must be the Republic of India and not that of the local language, religion, or culture.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Danavaipeta Municipal/Corporation High School, Rajahmundry, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India,

S.S.L.C.  Class  of March/April, 1961.

Biographical Information :

1. Place of Birth: Mylapore, Madras City, Chennai, Chenna Patnam, Madras State, Tamil Nadu, India. Born Hindu(Brahmin, Niyogi, Smartha), Telugu-Speaking.

2. Date and Place of Marriage: 29 January, 1973. Town Congregational Church, Cuddapah, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India.



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The origin of love
Image by svennevenn via Flickr


Sri Satya Sai Baba has descibed man as an embodiment of PREMA and it appears that he was inspired by The New Testament of Holy Bible which defines God as Love and asks man to Love God and Love one another.

 Love is a powerful emotion felt for another person manifesting itself in deep affection, devotion or sexual desire. If love is viewed as fondness or affection it may include or based in part on sexual attraction which is related to libido( sexual urge or instinct ), and lust( a desire to gratify the senses or bodily appetite that seeks unrestrained gratification ). Love implies feelings that are attached to relationships or objects and assumes various forms such as sexual love, brotherly love, and love of God. The attachment may be felt for inanimate things as well as people, or ideas, or expressed as an abstraction. There are many different kinds of love; different in object, different in tendency, and different in expression. The problem of the kinds of love is further complicated by the need to differentiate and relate love and desire. The category of love known as sexual love has the tendency to desire possession of the object that is loved. The tendency of desire is acquisitive. Sexual love is a love born of desire, and the drive of desire continues until it is satisfied by possession of the loved object. Physical possession is the basis for the satisfaction of sexual desire, sexual appetite, or sexual hunger, or sexual thirst. The other forms of love do not tend to possess the object loved but seek to benefit the object that is loved. Love is selfish when it acts like hunger, thirst, or appetite which need to be satisfied for the benefit of the person expressing that love. Love is altruistic when it acts for the good or the benefit of the beloved. Conjugal love may include a combination of selfishness and altruism. The ancient languages have three distinct words for the main types of love; EROS, PHILIA, and AGAPE in Greek language; AMOR, AMICITA or DILECTIO, and CARITAS in Latin language. However, English language has no such distinct words and hence it becomes necessary to use such phrases as “sexual love”, “love of friendship”, and “love of charity” in order to indicate plainly that love is common to all three, and to distinguish the three meanings. The idea of love expressed in Biblical Scriptures makes no distinction between AMOR, DILECTIO, and CARITAS. For example, in The Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 22, verses 37, 38, and 39 speak of the Great Commandments of The Laws of Moses: Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the LORD thy GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Jesus brings unity between the idea of self-love, love of God, and the love of one another without making distinction between the three different kinds of love. Jesus does not specify if man should wish and expect to be loved in return. Jesus did not attach any purpose to this act of love, and did not describe the nature of desire, the attachment, and the gratification of his Love Commandment.


Sigmund Freud places the origin of Love in sexual instincts and he claims that the many varieties or categories of Love are simply the forms which love takes as the libido fixes upon various objects.

Sigmund Freud’s theory places the origin of love in the sexual instincts, and so for him the many varieties of love are simply the forms which love takes as the ‘LIBIDO‘ fixes upon various objects. He states, “The nucleus of what we mean by love naturally consists …… in sexual love with sexual union as its aim. We do not separate from this; on the one hand, self-love, and on the other, love for parents and children, friendship and love for humanity in general, and also devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas….. All these tendencies are an expression of the same instinctive activities…. They differ from sexual love only because they are diverted from its aim or prevented from reaching it, though they always preserve enough of their original nature to keep their identity recognizable.” If love is the passion of the sexual instinct, temperance is an inadequate restraint. Neither reason nor law is adequate to the task of subduing the nature of the sexual instinct. Sexual instinct is a very powerful biological instinct and it profoundly influences human behavior. Hence it becomes necessary to transform sexual love either by repressing it, or sublimating it, or mixing it with tenderness or kindness. In that context, friendship, charity or compassion, and devotion to God could be stated as transformations of sexual love. Sexual instincts are inhibited or actually repressed in the expression of brotherly love, or feelings of deep affection for children and others where the relationship should not be based upon feelings of sexual attraction.


Love is a very complex emotional instinct and it is complex as it may not always provide a sense of joy or happiness. There is a fact about love; love frequently turns into its opposite, HATE. Sometimes there is love and hate of the same object; sometimes love inspires hate, and love may also cause jealousy, anger, and fear. Love seems to be the primal passion, generating all the others according to the oppositions of pleasure and pain and by relation of cause and effect. The individual’s experience of love is extremely variable and it includes the operation of both positive and negative impulses. Indian tradition has carefully examined this complex instinctual behavior and has instructed people of the Land of Bharat or India to understand the three major distinctions or categories of love and to apply a sense of restraint, or that of repression has brought love under the purview of morality, the code of Right Conduct or DHARMA. Indian Culture does not provide the linguistic tools to express feelings associated with sexual passion without using temperance. There is no linguistic equivalent in classical Indian languages to profess love. The terms and words that Indians use have specific meaning attached to them.


Love is not a universal term and this idea is not expressed in Indian tradition and classical literature. The word “LOVE” appears repeatedly in the Bible, in several different editions of Bible. I am not a language expert and I believe that people who had translated Bible have exercised great care to convey the meaning of love. Many editions of Bible have further clarified the meaning of Love in their glossary section or Bible dictionary and define Love as a deep sense of affection, devotion for someone or something and they very carefully exclude sexual desire and sexual passion. In English speaking world, and in English literature, the word Love is used to describe desire, libido, lust, and passion based upon sexual attraction. So, Love is a generic term and it may not always mean brotherly love and goodwill. Indian Culture has erected subtle barriers and has not provided linguistic tools to use the word Love as we like. It separates Love into various categories and sets them apart. The feelings of affection, or fondness that are associated with sexual attraction are specifically known as ‘KAMA’ and intense sexual passion or desire is called ‘MOHA’. Any intense or passionate desire could be called KAMA and to act under its influence could be stated as MOHA. My love for God could only be expressed in terms of Bhakti or Devotion, and the desire could be called PREET. The desire called PREETI or Preet is a legitimate desire. It is also called “ISHTA”. I am allowed to seek or desire certain things in my life and that desire is subject to the rule of Good Conduct or Dharma. I can express the sentiment of Preet only when, and where such desire is allowed to be stated in a legitimate manner, and is acceptable to tradition and established conventions and social norms. If I entertain thoughts of sexual attraction about my attractive and rich neighbor, I am not allowed to express my feelings as Preet. It can not be called “ISHTA”. I can call it Kama or Moha. In the epic poem of Ramayana, when King Ravana of Lanka had wanted to marry Princess Sita and had attended her Swayamvara, the desire was legitimate and he was allowed to feel sexual attraction and it was not Kama. But, when he had abducted her while she was lawfully married to Prince Rama, that desire and sexual attraction represents an impulsive action of Moha, and Kama. King Ravana was not entitled to express his Love for Sita if it is formulated by Kama, and intense sexual passion known as lust or Moha. Similarly, a man can express his love or Preet for a woman in a respectful or legitimate manner and to seek a valid relationship. If the relationship is illegal, it can not be called Preet. A father’s love, or mother’s love, or brother’s love is described as “VASTHALYA”, a natural sense of affection and fondness which is not related to sexual attraction or desire. The word “PREMA” or “PREM” is used to describe the feelings of affection, fondness, friendship(SNEHA), kindness(DAYA, or KARUNA), compassion(KRUPA), happiness, joy(ANANDA) that have no direct relationship to the satisfaction of sexual desires and passions. The deep sense of affection between husband and wife is often called “ANURAG” which indicates an intimate friendship. I can not literally translate this word LOVE into any of the Indian languages as such expression is not allowed without stating the nature of its contents.

If Jesus gives the Commandment of Love your neighbour as thyself; I would not be able to express that thought in Indian languages. Jesus has not stated that idea in terms of friendship(SNEHA), kindness(DAYA), or giving happiness(ANANDA). Only when, and if those qualities of friendship, kindness, and giving joy or happiness are specifically included; Jesus could Command others to express PREMA to one another. However, in Indian tradition, the deep sense of affection or fondness of God is stated as Bhakti or devotion. Mirabai has expressed such deep sense of affection and I would not call it as her love of Krishna. Jayadeva in his famous description of Lord Krishna’s creative activities in Brindavan(Vrindavan) has depicted the intense erotic feelings of the young maidens as a product of their intense devotion to the Lord. I can not use the word Love to describe the sexual passions of the Gopis or the young maidens of Brindavan.


My concern is not about PREMA or LOVE. My concern is about self-love, a man’s love of himself. In psychology the word ‘NARCISSISM’ is used to describe excessive self-love. In my medical practice, I have not encountered such narcissistic tendencies among people of Indian origin. Indian tradition has erected barriers and would not easily let us identify ourselves with the physical-self. Indian tradition repeatedly instructs us about our Essence and true Identity and reminds us not to get attached to the physical-self. If I have no feelings of attachment to my physical-self, I can not really love myself. If I can not truly love myself, I can not also love my neighbor in the same manner, or to a same degree of my self-love. If man is not expected to love himself, the issue of loving the neighbor is redundant.

The Times of India has published a news story about the likely reincarnation of Satya Sai Baba as “PREMA SAI BABA.”My impression about this story is, Sri Satya Sai Baba has attempted to import a foreign idea to the Land of Bharat without fully understanding the subtle cultural barriers that exist in the Land. The notion of PREMA could only be expressed in terms of Friendship( lack of animosity ), kindness and goodwill, and that of giving happiness to others. It can not be related to the idea of Love. The theory of reincarnation is not the issue. The issue is about the idea itself. He has to attach meaning to the word “PREMA” that he used and distinguish from the word “LOVE” that is used in English language.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.

“Prema Sai will be born in Doddamalur”

M B Maramkal & K R Rajendra Kumar, TNN | Times of India, Apr 28, 2011, 05.52am IST

DODDAMALUR(Mandya): Will the reincarnation be reality or not?
Whatever happens, the tiny village of Doddamalur, off the Bangalore-Mysore highway, will definitely be in the news in the coming years, with scores of stories doing the rounds here over the reincarnation of Sathya Sai Baba as Prema Sai.

What has lent credence to claims of people of the Vaishnava sect temples of Aprameya (Vishnu) and Ambegalu Krishna (toddler Krishna) is based on a book `Sri Sathya Sai — Anandasai’ authored by one Swami, an ardent devotee of Sai Baba. In that, he claims that the godman, during his visit to Doddamalur, had told him that Sai Baba had three avatars in kalyug, and of them, he is the second avatar (reincarnation) of Shirdi Sai Baba. The third will be Prema Saiand he will be born in this village. He also claims that Baba, during his visit in the ’60s, showed a small house where he will be born.

However, confusion prevails among people who are making claims of Baba’s reincarnation in the village. According to Ramadas, who runs a Krishna charitable trust, Prema Sai will be born in this village after 2023, as predicted by Sathya Sai Baba. Ramadas said Baba had predicted that his personal assistant, Narayan Kasturi, who died long ago, will reincarnate himself as a woman in a village near Bhadravathi, marry a person from this village and give birth to Prema Sai. “Today you are my assistant, in the next life you will be my mother,” Sai Baba is supposed to have said.

Doddamalur, located on the banks of the river Kanva, will be called Gunaparthy after the reincarnation, said Raghav, an aged villager, disclosing that the soil and water of the village have curative powers. The village will be called Gun (cure) parthy (place) in the years to come.


Villagers who are well-versed with its history claim that Baba was carried away by the religious history and mythological importance of this village. People say a Kanva sage did tapasya (penance) here and it was an agrahara (Brahmin settlement) in medieval history. It is said that saint Purandaradasa visited the Aprameya and Krishna temples here and presented a kirtana (discourse) on this village and temples. Baba was enamoured by the historic significance of this village.


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photo of billboard with likeness of Sathya Sai...
Image via Wikipedia
The Individual is Association of Cells that performs living functions because of a Connection, Association, Partnership, or Relationship called Spirituality. Sri Sathya Sai Baba is that Spiritual Individual.

This blog post is dedicated to Bhagavan Sri Satya Sai Baba who has defined the word “SAI” : The letter ‘S’ stands for Spirituality, the letter ‘A’ stands for Association, and the letter ‘I’ stands for Individual. Man is an Individual, an Association of trillions of Individual Cells which formulate the Identity of the Individual because of a Cellular function known as Consciousness which establishes God-Connection, or Spiritual Connection between the energy dependent Individual and the Cosmic Source of Energy/Power/Force which supports, sustains, and preserves the Living Functions of the Individual and all that is living on the planet Earth.


The Totality of Things have been divided by describing The Three Fundamental Distinctions; 1. the Distinction between the natural and the supernatural, 2. the Distinction between the material and spiritual, and 3. the Distinction between the lifeless and the living(inanimate/animate, non-living/living, inorganic/organic). How do we make these Distinctions? The Difference, is that of Kind or that of Degree? If physical matter is called natural material substance, Is there an immaterial, transcendental substance called supernatural? The material substance is governed by The Laws of Physics and interacts with other material substances as per The Laws of Chemistry. Who or what governs the nature of Spiritual substance? The Laws of Thermodynamics are applicable to both non-living, and living systems. What is the Difference? The Living matter or Living cell is a thermodynamically unstable system. This means that without a continuous input of energy, a Living cell will degrade spontaneously into a non-living collection of molecules. If Deoxy Ribo Nucleic Acid or DNA is viewed as a Living Organic Molecule, it lives as long as energy is supplied to manifest its living functions. If the supply of energy is withdrawn, this Organic Molecule degrades into its constituent inorganic elements, and molecules.


Death is defined as the extinction or cessation of Life. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Dean of the Harvard Medical School(1847-1882), defined Life: “To live is to function, and that is all there is in living.” Life is defined as function at the level of physiology, of molecular biology, biochemistry, and of genetic potential. If Life is defined by function, Who or What is the Subject who lives because of its Function? What is that Function that could establish all other living functions? If living functions are goal-oriented, purposeful, sequential and not random, who provides the guidance or what is the source of Knowledge to perform goal-oriented functions? Life is described as a state of an organism characterized by certain processes, abilities that include metabolism, growth, motion, reproduction, responsiveness to stimuli, and awareness of its own condition of existence in a given environment. Functions depend upon the use of information; the information that is stored at a particular site or location is transferred to a different site or location where its is transformed into action which describes the nature of the function performed. Life could be defined as “Knowledge in Action.” The living functions or actions depend upon the use of energy. If Life is a manifestation of a System that is energy dependent, it requires Knowledge to acquire energy from an external source of energy. Life could be defined as a State of Knowing the Connection between energy- seeker and energy-provider. If a cell or matter to exist as Life, it must exist in a State of Knowing, or Awareness, or Consciousness that gives it the ability to acquire energy from its environment. Man has the Capacity of Consciousness in the presence of the vital functions operated by structures in Brain Stem. Man is certified to be dead when Consciousness departs and the same is evidenced by the absence of his Brain Stem functions. Consciousness is a transcendental term. It establishes a connection between matter or substance and a source of energy that is extraterrestrial or of Cosmic origin.


In a multicellular organism, cells have short lives as individuals. The Whole Organism has a life span of its own. However, the Identity of the Individual who is seen as a living person is defined by a process called Cellular Death. The Identity is formulated by what is known as Programmed Cell Death. To achieve proper numerical balance between functionally related cell groups, the death of many cells is necessary for others. This Programmed Cell Death plays an important role in embryological Growth and Development of human fetus. Waves of genetically driven Cell Deaths are critical to the proper modeling of organs and organ systems. Such Programmed Cell Death events are essential if the organism as a whole is to develop its normal, final form and acquire a recognizable morphological appearance. Lord Gautama Buddha had observed; “Whatever is born, produced, conditioned, contains within itself the nature of its own dissolution.” Life and Death are the two sides or the two faces of the same coin. Without death, the Identity can not be expressed, and death also takes away the Identity that it has established. Identity and Individuality are not the same. Identity is established by the Phenotype which undergoes changes under the influence of Time. The Individuality is supported by Consciousness which operates the Genotype. Man’s Essence( Who you are ) is defined and is preceded by the Physical Reality of Existence. There is no Essence without Existence. There is no Existence without Connection, Association, or Partnership between energy-seeker and energy-provider. There is no Connection, Association, or Partnership without Consciousness. Man begins his life journey as a single cell and during his entire life journey the individual cells that describe his physical body constantly experience Cell Death while the Conscious entity survives the dying process. Consciousness is not affected by the dying process that gives the human a shape, a size, a form, and an Identity. Identity is dependent upon Consciousness and Consciousness is independent of the changing Identity such as infancy, boyhood, adulthood, and old age.


The Individual is a Physical being and is a mortal being. The Individuality survives unchanged during the physical life journey of the Individual who lives with changing identity all his life. What happens to the Individuality? Does it continue without change? It depends upon the Flow of Time. Things in Nature change with Time but certain things like Mass, Energy, Momentum remain constant, unchanged, and they can not be created or destroyed. If Time flows in a cyclical manner, the Past flows into the Present, the Present flows into Future, and the Future soon becomes a Past event. Man’s existence depends upon the cyclical flow of Time, and Man’s existence depends upon his inability to directly experience the events that cause this cyclical flow of Time. Man exists not because of things that change in nature, but because of the constancy or unchanging nature of the change he perceives. Day is followed by Night, and the Winter Season is followed by the Spring Season with unfailing constancy. Very often, the cynical people would ask for verification. If not Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Jesus has provided some experience to His disciples and had verified the fact of His Resurrection. The Book of John, Chapter 20, verse 29 quotes the conversation between Jesus and His disciple Thomas. Today, Sunday, April 24, the Christian community is celebrating the Holiday known as Easter. Man will have no direct experience about the unchanging, eternal nature of his Individuality as his perception abilities, his cognitive abilities operate under the powerful influence of Illusion. As long as man lives on this planet Earth without direct experience of Earth’s Angular Speed, and Linear Speed, he will not know what changes and what may not change under the influence of Time. Man has to be uplifted from his State of Conditioned Existence to know his true nature. In a changing world, that is characterized by changes in function such as Life and Death, man has to seek the Unchanging Reality, the Unchanging Constancy that supports all Life.

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.

Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba passes away on Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 7:40 a.m. at Puttaparthi

The Hindu A child pays floral tribute to a portrait of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the Satya Sai Nigamagamam in Hyderabad on Sunday after the spiritual leader passed away at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh . Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

Sathya Sai Baba passes away


“Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is no more with us physically. He left his earthly body on April 24, 2011 at 7:40 a.m. due to cardio-respiratory failure,” Director of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences Dr. A.N. Safaya said in a bulletin »

Related: Questions crop up over Sai Baba Trust successor

Related: End of a chequered spiritual journey


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"The Blue Marble" is a famous photog...
Image via Wikipedia














What is Reality? The Golden Gate Bridge is real, Pacific Ocean is real, Sun is real. The Sunset is not real. Can man experience the Reality? How would Reality impact man's existence?


The social scientist Bruno Latour, from France’s “Institut d’ Etudes Politiques de Paris” was in New Delhi, India and spoke about what it means to be modern with Deep K Datta-Ray of Times of India. In essence, I support his view and there is a need for a new approach; the use of irrational belief and not that of scientific rational belief.






Pencil in Water Illusion. Can Science influence the nature of Perception? The Perception of bent Pencil is caused by the properties of Light rays. Science can only explain the reason for this Optical Illusion. Science has no Power to eliminate the Illusion. The only way man can experience the Reality of this Pencil would be that of changing the State of Pencil's Conditioned Existence. It is easy to remove the Pencil from Water and experience the Reality. But, can Man remove himself from his State of Conditioned Existence and experience Reality?


It would be totally irrational to believe that Science could provide the experience called Reality. Science is not POWER/FORCE/ENERGY which operates in the natural world. Science provides information to understand things and it has no power or force to influence things. Science may reveal understanding of the nature of Reality and such revelation could be of no use  in the context of human existence on planet Earth as man lives because of illusional experience of the world and the universe in which he exists.








Science can explain the Motions of planet Earth. Science can not provide the experience of the Speed of planet Earth’s Motions. The Reality of Earth’s Motions is known and is understood. But, man exists only if this Reality is not directly experienced. The physical and mental experience of the Speed of Earth, the Angular Speed, and the Linear Speed would not permit man’s physical existence on the surface of planet Earth.

The speed of earth’s motion can be described in two ways; 1. The Angular Speed: The earth rotates 360 degrees in 24 hours and the speed is 1,000miles/hour. 2. The Linear Speed: The distance earth travels is 584 million miles per year. The Linear Speed of earth is 66, 660 miles/hour. 

Science may explain the fact of the speed of a point on the surface of the earth but can not force man to experience the Reality of that Speed. Man exists on the surface of the earth without ever experiencing the Reality. There is no physical experience of this basic Reality. There is no direct mental experience of this fundamental Reality. Man may intellectually visualize this Reality by understanding the facts explained by Science. If the human brain and body is constantly engaged by the fact of earth’s motions, the Reality of earth’s Angular Speed and Linear Speed, man would immediately experience a mental breakdown and would not be able to function as a living organism. Just think about the sense of fear, anxiety generated by a brief event like earthquake. The Subjective Reality of man’s Physical Existence on the surface of earth is sustained, is supported, and is protected by a Fundamental Force called Gravitation. Because of the operation of Gravitational Force man is virtually saved from any experience of Earth’s motions. Man only experiences the environmental changes caused by Earth’s motions. Further, this Subjective Reality of man’s Physical Existence is governed by a FORCE/POWER/ENERGY that causes an illusionary experience of Sun’s movement across the sky. Science would explain the Reality of Sun’s motion at a speed of 155 miles/second. But, man exists on the surface of earth with no physical or mental experience of Sun’s true or real motion. What man experiences is the apparent motion of Sun and experiences Sunrise and Sunset. Science may explain the Reality and teach us the fact of Sun shining with brightness all the time. Man has invented stories and has created folk tales about Sun’s Journey in the Sky. The Reality described by Science does not govern human existence. The biological activities, the Biological Rhythms( Circadian/Diurnal/Solar Rhythms) are synchronized with the experience of ILLUSION and not that of Scientific Reality.











Man's existence on the surface of planet Earth and the duration of his life's journey is measured by the internal Biological Clock. The time duration is measured by the alternating periods of Light and Darkness, the experience of Day and Night, the experience of Sunrise and Sunset which drives the Biological Rhythm. In Reality, the Sun is shining with brightness at all times during the entire length of man's life journey. Man gets no chance to experience that Reality and the Biological Clock is not influenced by that Reality of Sun shining at all the hours of man's earthly existence.


Man can not exist on the surface of physical earth if he has direct body or mental experience of the Reality explained by rational Scientific Belief. The very nature of human existence in this vast universe can not be rationally understood. There is no evidence to suggest that Life could be discovered in other parts of our universe. There is no chance that man could find an opportunity to leave the Solar System and find a Home in a different part of the universe. Man has no control over the structure and organization of the universe. Man has no choice other than that of accepting the conditioned nature of his energy dependent existence with no other place to call as Home. Rational beliefs have no role and do not define the status of man in nature and in the universe. It is more likely that man’s existence could be supported by an irrational belief in Ultimate Reality, which operates the POWER/FORCE/ENERGY which delivers MERCY/GRACE/COMPASSION to spread a veil of ILLUSION to defend man from the direct physical or mental experience of Reality of the Universe in which man lives.

Man can only exist in this Universe if he does not directly experience the Reality of this Universe. Man's earthly existence is defended by ILLUSION and Science has no Power to provide man a chance to experience Reality which is hidden by the ILLUSION.



Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,

M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.

‘The only shibboleth the West has is science’

Apr 4, 2011, 12.00am IST, Times of India


The social scientist Bruno Latour , from France’s Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), was in New Delhi and spoke about what it means to be modern with Deep K Datta-Ray .

Why do you argue that Western Europe has never been modern?

The only shibboleth the West has is science. It is the premise of modernity and it defines itself as a rationality capable of, indeed requiring separation from politics, religion and really, society. Modernisation is to work towards this.

A move away from the pre-modern, which is a period of embroilment and entanglement of everything but when one looks at the practice of science in a laboratory, as i did, this division is revealed as false.

Scientists are very much entangled in their culture and this culture is not pristine, untouched by other cultures and practices. The real history of Europe therefore is one of a constant interaction, a mixing of peoples, various cultures and the material.

What does this mean for our understanding of what the modern world actually is, how institutions thought of as quintessentially modern function?

There’s very little on how today’s world actually functions. Instead there is the official story of modernisation. Meanwhile, there is a prominent discourse in India about modernisation.

My argument is that the baseline for understanding modernity requires interrogation, which destabilises expectations of what a modernising society should do.

Traditionally, the moderns criticised the supposedly archaic, symbolised by the East. Everyone wanted to become modern – but my work demonstrates that being modern was never as clear as presumed. So, when India begins to modernise what happens?

There is a double instability – of an uncertain baseline and then what happens when that is implemented in a society far away and especially in an institutional setting and in an area so close to the state such as governance. So there has to be more work on this.

This is especially important because there are so many more people here, it is possible to have institutions of a different complexion altogether, of alternative ways instituted here. India is a reservoir of alternative interpretations of what the global is and these ways of viewing the world need to be exposed.

Could it also be said that the idea of a universalising ‘modern’ rationality is not necessarily European but became dominant in Europe?

For that there has to be more work on the non-western world. Regardless of place, there have to be thicker descriptions of practice, of what the modern world actually is, how do banks work for instance, because all we have is utopian description of how modernity functions. The dream of utopia killed descriptive work because the focus was on a universalising rationality, not how rationality actually plays out in practice. It should be clear that i’m not saying the East is somehow different, exotic. If one looks at the works of Newton to Einstein they were never scientists in the way modernity understands the term.

What are the implications of this type of work on politics?

Well, politics cannot keep to the scientific ideal quite simply because science in practice meant our moving from the country to the city and getting progressively disconnected from nature. But now one cannot discuss anything without thinking of the whole. Science was supposed to take us out of the cosmos and into a universalising rationality but that has produced all sorts of problems which are being corrected today by new approaches which are reminiscent of the non-modern, such as the politics of nature. This is a cosmological approach, one that ties in everything to make a decision.


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The subjective reality of man's physical existence is conditioned by his physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual well-being.


If man is viewed as a multicellular human organism, we may have to ask ourselves the following question. Who or what is the subject who lives because of the functions of the trillions of cells? Man has to explore the biological basis for his existence in nature. The subjective reality of man’s physical existence is conditioned by his physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual well-being.     


Mental health is an important component of the total positive health when health is defined as not the mere absence of disease, but as a state of man’s physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual well-being. Physical conditions and ailments affect mental well-being. Mental health and well-being could have important consequences affecting the physical, and social well-being of the man and may even threaten his ability to maintain the biological integrity to survive as a human organism. Mental health is defined as the capacity in an individual to form harmonious relations with others and to participate in or contribute constructively to changes in the social environment. A living organism has a tendency to maintain normal internal stability by coordinated responses that automatically compensate for environmental changes. Claude Bernard had explained this concept of ‘milieu interieur’ as that of “all the vital mechanisms, varied as they are, have only one object; that of preserving constant the conditions of life.” This concept of homeostasis, the maintenance of stability and equilibrium is applicable to man’s existence within a social group. A living thing maintains its individuality while being a member of a social group. Mental equilibrium, and mental tranquility is needed to maintain internal stability and for developing harmonious relationships with others present in the social environment. The different constituent parts of one’s personality should work in harmony so that an individual faces life situations rationally, successfully, and happily. The aim of the positive mental health care is to strengthen and develop well-integrated personality by influencing the behavioral pattern of the individual so that psychological situations are controlled by the individual in a logical, and rational manner. The individual while facing challenging life situations must arrive at solutions without disrupting the physical, mental, or social well-being. Mental health comprises the well-being of the intellectual and the emotional components of the mind. The intellectual breakdown of the individual deprives him of logical and rational thinking. The decisions taken will be faulty if the individual is not capable of logical and rational thinking. Such faulty decisions tend to affect the individual’s well-being. Intellectual breakdown is always accompanied by emotional breakdown. Emotional imbalance affects individual’s reactions. The individual may show inability to cope with life situations. The inability to withstand the strain and stress of the life situations could affect the physical well-being of the individual. The aim of this presentation is to understand the nature of man’s essence and existence in the physical world and to use that information to prevent the problem of suicide.     


A person with a well-integrated personality acquires high resistance against stress and will be able to react healthily while confronting unwholesome life situations.


Resistance against mental and emotional breakdown is built up by the autonomic process of integration of personality. It is the normal process of the growth of personality within the group environs. An individual with a well-integrated personality acquires high resistance against difficult situations. The individual will be able to react healthily while confronting unwholesome life situations. A healthy mind and ability to be moulded in an integrated personality depends upon several factors including the physical, social, and psychological environment in which the individual is growing. It also depends upon the culture patterns and attitudes handed down from one generation to the next. From a very young age, integration of the personality proceeds along with intellectual development  and emotional moulding. Children must be given a better chance to develop integrated personalities with resistance against stress. Stress stimuli generate a chain of psycho-physical reactions strong enough to cause manifest effects. Personalities can be divided into 5 types according to their ability to resist strain and stress to master a given difficult life situation without a physical or mental breakdown. The same psychogenic stimulus may not cause similar reaction in all individuals. Each person reacts in a different manner according to the level of preformed stress resistance.     

GROUP  I  : Highly stress resistant. These persons have a high level of preformed resistance. They also have the ability to develop resistance within a short time when exposed to stress stimuli. This group comprises of people with well-integrated personalities with dominant will power and power of endurance. They carry out the task even while under great stress without experiencing any negative consequences. They successfully master the stressful and difficult situation. These individuals live in good positive health and may not have a preexisting disease condition or a predisposition to such disease conditions that may undermine the physical and mental aspects of their health and well-being.     

GROUP  II  : These persons have an average amount of preformed stress resistance. They overcome the stressful situation partially. In the attempt to master the stressful situation and to achieve success the person may suffer from precipitation of internal conditions such as hypertension, coronary artery disease and so on when other predisposing factors are also existing. However, the individual completes the task while facing the stressful stimulus. These persons perform better if they maintain good positive health.     

GROUP  III  : These are persons with very low preformed stress resistance. They still have the ability to develop resistance on exposure to a prolonged stressful situation. While performing the task under a stressful situation, they may display psycho-somatic symptoms of the overt stress syndrome.     

GROUP  IV  : These are persons with no preformed stress resistance. They have a very low ability to create resistance upon exposure to a stressful stimulus. These individuals are more likely to abandon the task which may have exposed them to a stressful experience. They would try to escape from stress rather than attempting to create resistance to stress stimuli. If they cannot escape, the lack of stress resistance is manifested in a variety of bizarre symptoms.     

GROUP  V  : These are persons who are non-resistant to stress. They have no preformed stress resistance. They are not capable of favorably reacting to stress producing situation. Their biological existence could be threatened if they are exposed to a stressful situation. They may manifest an overt psychiatric illness apart from the inability to perform a task that could generate the stress reaction. Such individuals must be recognized in their childhood and they must be provided proper environment and psychological counseling.     

The part played by stress varies in different individuals according to their basic personalities. The factors that impact the role of stress include environmental influences, community with its varied backgrounds of culture patterns and life habits. Pre-existent resistance against stress reduces the requirement of immediate psycho-physical response. If the problem of suicide is viewed as a stress reaction, prevention of suicide would require promoting the idea of stress resistance.     


A man’s right to life is a well-recognized principle. Very often, the law would defend a man’s right to life and would condone the act of killing if it is purely intended for purposes of self-defense. Does a man have the right to kill himself or renounce his life? Suicide is condemned by various societies. Major religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam oppose the practice of suicide. Attempts to commit suicide are punishable by law in several countries. In the East, some cultural traditions have glorified acts of self-immolation or of renouncing life to resist enemy or to defend personal dignity, honor, or as an extreme measure of self-preservation.     

To defend her true nature, to preserve her essence, to resist the violation of her personal dignity and honor, Rani Padmini of Chittorgarh, India had courageously responded to a difficult and challenging life situation by an act of self-immolation. Her physical being was destroyed by the fire which she had willingly embraced and yet her spirit has survived. She has declared Victory over Death and she lives as an immortal person in the hearts of Indians and gives them a sense of Pride and Identity. Indian Culture and Tradition glorify the act of giving life to resist the Enemy.


In the West, attitudes have been slowly changing. The law may permit euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide under very special circumstances that affect the quality of life of an individual.     


While serving as Medical Officer of Indian Army Medical Corps, I had provided Comprehensive Health Care to the troops and their families. The concept of Fitness to Fight includes both Physical Fitness and Mental Fitness. The goal is to keep the troops Fighting Fit at all times and under all conditions that may impose physical, psychological, social, or biological Stress. Indian Tradition has always paid attention to the well-being of all the aspects of health and it includes the Moral well-being, and the Spiritual well-being of the human being. During the years I had served, the incidence of Suicidal Death in the Indian Armed Forces was minimal.

 To the members of the Armed Forces, the problem of suicide is of special significance. The Armed Forces as a military establishment has a very challenging and difficult duty to perform. It has to conserve man-power, keep up the morale of its troops, and retain its fighting abilities and capacities at all times, both during peace and during war. In ethical, and moral terms, Armed Forces believes in the act of killing and accepts the inevitability of causing deaths during the conduct of military operations. Armed Forces also actively prepares its members to overcome the fear of death and willingly exposes its members to the risks of getting killed both for the purposes of training and during actual combat situations. A soldier is not expected to kill himself to escape from the stress of his military duty and at the same time he must retain a very high level of motivation to kill the enemy and be willing to get killed in the performance of his task. Armed Forces selects its members with due care and chooses people with preformed stress resistance and further uses training as a tool to build up the stress resistance level of its members. The qualities of valor, duty, and honor define the essence and the spirit of service and Armed Forces members must exist to display their essence. I had participated in the military operations that were conducted in the Chittagong Hill Tracts during the Indo-Pak War of 1971 and I had encouraged men to overcome stress and had promoted the attitude of stress resistance. Kindly refer to my blog post titled ‘The Victory over Death – The Psychology of Warfare.     



Suicide has become much more common and it ranks as the second or third most common cause of death during adolescence. Suicide is also most pronounced in the older age. The rate of suicide is greatest between the ages of 35 and 75 years with a peak at about the age of 55 years. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in the year 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. Among ages 65 and older, of every 100,000 people, 14.3 died by suicide in the year 2007. This figure is higher than the national average of 11.3 suicides per 100,000 people in the general population.     


Suicide constitutes the greatest risk in manic-depressive psychosis . During depression, or mania, the psychotic individual shows no insight into the abnormal nature of his mood. Depression is a major symptom of neurosis. Attacks of depression are characterized by signs that the person has deep feelings of melancholia( sadness ). The sufferer typically looks unhappy, he feels hopeless and worthless, considers his life a torment. The depressed individual may experience a desire to punish himself by self-destruction and may directly or indirectly express such feelings or thoughts.     

The American Society for Suicide Prevention posted these warning signs of suicide, and signs of depression :- Unrelenting low mood, pessimism, hopelessness, desperation, anxiety, psychic pain, inner tension, withdrawal, sleep problems, increased alcohol or other drug use, recent impulsiveness & taking unnecessary risks, threatening suicide or expression of a strong desire or wish to die, making a plan, giving away prized possessions, sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm, obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications, unexpected rage or anger. Changes in attitude, personal behavior could be always discovered and the individual who is at the risk of taking his life could be helped by simple observation.     


Current research nad thinking on suicide tend to view biological, psychological, social-structural, and social-situational factors as interacting with each other. Sociological theories of suicide usually emphasize the importance of either the social structure or the social situations, and the cultural pressures that individuals face. Psychological theories emphasize personality and cognitive factors.     


EMILE DURKHEIM ( April 1858 to November 1917 ) is considered to be founder of the French School of Sociology.


Emile Durkheim in his paper ‘Le Suicide’ published in 1897, had tried to explain the apparent and purely individual decision to renounce life as a product of social forces or ‘social functionalism’. He had introduced the term ‘anomie’ or anomy. Suicide results from the breakdown of social standards that people need to regulate their behavior. A failed society produces in its members a sense of futility, lack of purpose, emotional emptiness, and despair. Anomie is a condition of relative normlessness of a society or social group. It may also mean a state of mind of a person who has no standards or sense of continuity or obligation to maintain his social bonds.     


The desire to escape depression is the most frequently cited motivation to explain suicide. A personality factor could be involved in persons who believe that suicide constitutes a solution to the problems that they may be facing. The suicide victim’s ideas, beliefs, and ways of thinking have a causal relationship with an underlying personality. The way people view their problems can produce a greater or lesser tendency to depression and suicide.    


Philosopher, Nobel Laureate Jean Paul Sartre recommended the quest for authentic existence. He had claimed that Suicide is absurd; it is absurd to get rid of what man is(etre-en-soi) as the true subjectivity of man(etre-pour-soi)disappears at the same time.


The Existentialists suggest that a person must find a situation in which he finds his true significance. In his Existentialist book, ‘Being and Nothingness’, philosopher and Nobel laureate Jean Paul Sartre divides the being( the existing reality ) into two categories. One category is called being-in-itself(etre-en-soi ) and it may describe the essence of the man, the sum of the intrinsic properties without which a thing would cease to be what it is. The second category is being-for-itself( etre-pour-soi ) which comprises the being that has thoughts, feelings, and consciousness. The being-for-itself exists only when it is supported by the being-in-itself. Existentialists view man in terms of his existing thoughts and actions rather than in terms of his essence. According to Sartre, man’s own existence is always attempting to overcome a radical estrangement between man as the object of scientific study or man himself(etre-en-soi ) and the subjectivity man knows in his thoughts and consciousness(etre-pour-soi ). A man’s life in the world and his social transactions often conceal his true subjectivity. A sense of authentic existence is given to each person when he realizes his true subjectivity as a being that is conscious. Sartre claimed that suicide is a final act of absurdity. Suicide is absurd; for in getting rid of what man is(etre-en-soi ), the true subjectivity of man(etre-pour-soi) also disappears at the same time.   


There is no single approach that could be expected to succeed in substantially reducing the incidence of suicide. However, it will not be incorrect to claim that suicide is 100 percent preventable. The act of killing oneself or the action called suicide is totally preventable even when suicidal thoughts may not be preventable. If an individual’s mind is engaged in suicidal thoughts, it may not be possible to prevent those thoughts as the thoughts have already originated. I may succeed in preventing the individual from acting upon his suicidal thoughts. As long as man knows his thoughts, and would not let his thoughts overwhelm him, man can lead a normal life even when the mind explores ideas or thoughts about suicide.  


Suicide is totally preventable if man seeks information about his essence and the connection that maintains his existence.


To help prevent suicide, I would like to keep the man informed by sharing the following information, and the man must reflect upon the nature of the ‘connection’ that sustains man’s existence in the physical world.  


Existence is the state of being in the world of actuality. Essence is the most significant part of a thing’s nature, the sum of the intrinsic properties without which a thing would cease to be what it is. What is the fundamental nature or quality that is important or essential to define the true substance of the man? To understand human essence, a human being must be defined as a physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual being. The subjective reality of man’s existence precedes and defines man’s essence. Existence is the first priority and must be preserved if man wants to define his nature or essence. To defend human existence, the physical, the mental, the social, the moral, and the spiritual well-being of man must be defended. As I have mentioned before, Indian tradition honors the man who may define his moral, or spiritual essence by putting an end to his physical existence. That is the only exception to the rule. The rule is; human existence does not depend upon the contents of man’s thoughts, feelings, desires, emotions, self-pride or ego. Man must always strive to rationally understand and evaluate his thoughts, feelings, desires, moods, emotions, and self-pride and should not act upon them to compromise his existence which is truly independent of such factors that impact human life. If I think that I must live for two hundred years, the thoughts about a long life span would not change the basis for my biological existence. Similarly, if I think that I must kill myself, the suicidal thought does not alter the basis for my biological existence. Suicidal thoughts do not describe human essence. A stress resistant individual would have the ability to investigate and reflect upon his suicidal thoughts and trace the reason for such thoughts. Stress is a problem that is associated with identity and individuality. The human person is a multicellular organism and man must know as to how the human organism establishes its identity and its individuality. While man seeks to define his essence in terms of his identity, the organism seeks to identify the individuality of the person whose existence the cells of his body tend to support. 


If Essence describes one face of the coin, Existence describes the second face of the same coin.
If Identity is described by one side of the coin, Individuality is described by the second side of the same coin.

Mental health is related to the understanding of identity and individuality. We need to understand as to how identity and individuality is established in the multicellular human organism. My mind may define my identity in one manner and my human organism may establish my identity in a different manner. My mind may seek my identity from my thoughts, intellectual information & knowledge, emotions, and false ego. These four aspects of mental activities or functions are named in the Indian tradition as Manas, Buddhi, Chitta, and Ahamkara. These four mental activities are together named as Mano Chatushtayam or AntaHkaranam. Indian tradition asks people to recognize that the true identity of the individual does not pertain to these four aspects of human brain activities. The attempts by man to establish his identity on the basis of his morphological appearance, anthropometric data, biometrical information, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, language, or nation/ place of origin have no biological relevance in terms of supporting the existence of that human individual. Man exists as long as he has the ability to defend his individuality and maintains the integrity of the various physiological/metabolic activities that support the vital functions that impart the quality or condition called Life and keeps the organism living. In the human organism, this functional unity is maintained by an anatomical structure called Brain Stem. Man lives as an individual while the functions of the Brain Stem are intact and man dies if  functional activity is not found in the Brain Stem. Man can seek any kind of identity if he could maintain the individuality that the Brain Stem supports. Man is free to change his morphological appearance, can change his sexual identity, can change occupation, speak a different language, change his place of residence, practice a different religion or no religion, and can change the nature of his personal relationships with others while he maintains his individuality as a living organism. A man must be always conscious of his individuality which exists as a distinct entity from his mind and its mental activities. A man could be aware of the presence of suicidal thoughts engaged by his mind and yet maintain his separation from those thoughts. A man who seeks to exist as an individual will have no problem in resisting his thoughts, feelings, emotions, and mood changes. Such mental activities would not overwhelm or overpower the person. The problem of stress would not go away. However, man can become stress resistant. Such stress resistance from psychogenic stimuli is the key for prevention of suicide. The man who is facing challenging life situations represents just one side of the coin, and on the second side is represented the man who is maintains his individuality as a human organism. This separation of identity from individuality gives us the scope to make people stress resistant and to avoid the psychological compulsions of suicidal thoughts. When this separation is established, a man would not act in ways that could harm him in body or mind. To promote mental health, to prevent the consequences of mental disease, we need to give the tools to people to understand and define individuality and identity as two separate aspects of the same coin. 


Man could be divided into two categories; the 'SELF' represents man as the physical, mental, and social being; the 'Knowing-Self' represents man as the Moral and Spiritual being. The 'Knowing-Self' could be described as the function of the Reticular Formation of the Brain Stem.

The living human being could be divided into two categories. One category could be called ‘SELF’ that may be compared to Sartre’s Being-in-itself or etre-en-soi. The ‘SELF’ represents man’s state of existence as the physical, mental, and social being. Both Rene Descartes and Jean Paul Sartre had divided man into two categories; 1. a physical or inert substance that has no thoughts, feelings, or consciousness, and 2. the mind that has thoughts, feelings, and is a conscious entity. Sartre had further named the second as the Being-for-itself or etre-pour-soi which is capable of making decisions and giving man the freedom to act according to his freewill. I do not subscribe to the views held by Descartes or Sartre and I would not seek separation of mind and body into two distinct categories. Man is a multicellular organism; the body cannot exist without a mind/brain and the mind/brain cannot exist without a body which has vital organs like lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys. The body and the mind/brain have to function together. I have also stated my view about consciousness. Please visit the page titled, “I AM CONSCIOUSNESS, THEREFORE I AM” 


Consciousness is not an exclusive psychological function. Consciousness is a biological function that is shared by all living cells which display the attributes such as recognition, sensitiveness, coordination, cooperation, functional awareness, and awareness of external and internal environment and condition. The category that I call ‘SELF’ represents the physical self with various organs and tissues and the mental self which represents mental activities associated with thinking, intellect/knowledge, emotions, feelings, moods, and ego or self-pride. The ‘SELF’ may describe the essence or nature, or identity of the man in terms of the man’s own mental awareness and other people in his environment. The second category that I describe could be called the ‘KNOWING-SELF’. The ‘Knowing-Self’ is aware or conscious of its state and fact of biological existence. It may not always be aware of its external environment. A man who is in a  state of sound sleep, a man who is under the influence of drugs, chemicals, or pharmacological agents like anesthetics, or a person with a head injury loses some components of the function called consciousness. However, a man at all times of his living condition is conscious of his internal condition/environment, maintains the state of equilibrium or homeostasis, and supports the vital functions that define his individuality as an organism. The category called the ‘Knowing-Self’ is related to the individuality and in the multicellular human organism this function is served by the Reticular Formation of the Brain Stem which gives the person the ‘Capacity for Consciousness’. Man needs the ‘Capacity for Consciousness’ to compose the ‘Contents of Consciousness’. In the absence of the ‘Capacity for Consciousness’, man has no ‘Contents of Consciousness’ and could be declared dead if the function called ‘Capacity for Consciousness’ could not be sustained. The ‘Capacity for Consciousness’ is essential for man’s biological existence. The ‘Capacity for Consciousness’ is required for man to exist as a moral and spiritual being. Man exists with an intrinsic ability to discern right from wrong, and exists because of his spiritual nature which gives him the ability to acquire energy for his various metabolic, living functions. The category called ‘Self’ may experience all the difficult, and challenging situations posed by life, and the category called the ‘Knowing-Self’ is not subject to these sensory or mental experiences that impact the ‘Self’. 


Man must recognize that his biological existence depends upon energy acquisition. Man leads energy-dependent existence and must acquire energy from external sources right from the beginning of his life journey from the moment of conception. Man does not acquire this energy because of his intellectual effort, or acquired knowledge. The ‘egg cell’ that is fertilized is conscious of its energy dependence and it implants itself into the tissues of the mother who may not be mentally aware of this process called implantation by which the human embryo starts deriving its energy from its mother. This embryo grows and develops into a complex, multicellular organism and continues to derive energy from external sources. This ‘CONNECTION’ between the energy-seeker, and the energy-provider could be called ‘GOD CONNECTION’. Man has no ability to establish this kind of energy acquisition for his survival. If Sun is viewed as the source of extraterrestrial or Cosmic Power, the Solar Energy is trapped by chloroplasts found in the cells of all green plants. This energy is further made available to man by the presence of intracellular organelles called mitochondria which are described as the powerhouses of the cells. Man has no direct control on the nature of this ‘Connection’ and its operation. Man simply exists as there is a Provider for his energy requirements. In good health, or ill-health, under all circumstances and conditions, and during all the stages of his mortal existence, man needs this grace, mercy, and compassion to keep himself alive. This is a supernatural mechanism, or a ‘God Connection’ that supports man while he leads his energy dependent existence. Man who experiences this compassion, mercy, and grace that is sustaining his life would derive a sense of joy and experiences the condition called true happiness. A man who has discovered true happiness cannot experience a mood called depression. It is really hard to kill oneself while the man is connected to a source of Happiness. Man must experience this sense of Joy and Happiness and realize its uplifting power to alter any depressed feeling or mood. If pain is an inevitable aspect of human life, compassion is also an inescapable aspect of human existence. If pain is true, compassion is also equally true. I invite people to find Compassion, Mercy, and the Grace of the Divine Providence in their lives. It would be irrational or absurd to break the God Connection by the act called Suicide.      

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,     

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,     

M.B.B.S.,  Class of  April, 1970.