April 07, 2012
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Her Excellency Ambassador Sherry Rehman,
Embassy of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan,
3517 International Court, NW,
Washington, D.C. 20008.
Your Excellency Ambassador Sherry Rehman,
1. I am writing this letter after reciting Al-Fatihah, “The Opening”, Surah I, Fatihatu’l – Kitab, “The Opening of the Scripture of Holy Book of Quran. You would need no introduction to this Surah I, as it is the Daily Prayer, and Muslims recite this to offer Salaat or Namaaz. However, kindly permit me to quote the opening sentence and the second verse which read as follows :
Bismillahi r – rahmani r- rahim ( In the name of Allah the most Beneficent, the most Merciful )
Ar rahmani r – rahim ( The most Beneficent, the most Merciful )
2. I am writing this letter in response to the news story that stated that a Court of Law in Pakistan has sentenced Osama bin Laden’s three widows and two daughters to 45 days imprisonment or house detention for living illegally in Pakistan. This action will be followed by deportation of Osama bin Laden’s family members to their countries of origin. I want to submit to you and to the Judge of that Court of Law and other concerned officials of Pakistan’s Law Enforcement, that this punitive action is not consistent with the Daily Prayer that Muslims recite. While we all need the Mercy of the most Beneficent, and the most Merciful Being, we may have to project our prayer for Mercy in our actions towards others. In Islamic tradition and culture, wife(wives), and unmarried children are expected to live in obedience and follow the directions given by the husband/father. It is a natural principle and people of all faiths to some extent believe in the unity of family and the stewardship of family by husband/father. Any punitive action against the members of Osama bin Laden’s family for simply following the rules of tradition is unfair and is unjust. They have not displayed any intention to disobey the Laws of the Land of Pakistan and may not have indulged in any criminal or illegal act. We need to understand their action or desire to enter and live in Pakistan with the same attitude and expectation with which we address Allah as the most Beneficent, and the most Merciful. I would like to ask you and the citizens of Pakistan to act in the manner that reflects the nature of their Daily Prayer. The family members of Osama bin Laden need love, care, and comfort and may need physical and moral support to maintain their family unity after they lost the husband/father, their natural guardian. The family of Osama bin Laden may be given an opportunity to live together and if they wish and desire, they should be helped to continue their residence in Pakistan with a sense of mental peace, harmony and tranquility.
3. I define man as a spiritual being who is known from the nature of his existence seeking Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility within himself and with others in his environment and community. There are no exceptions to this spiritual nature of man. We often get mentally confused when man displays hostility, animosity, and aggressiveness in his interactions with others. Spiritualism is the potency that brings man’s essence and existence to come together to sustain his biological existence in the material, physical world. Aggression is caused by ignorance and by man’s lack of understanding of his real or true human nature. On the eve of Holy Easter, I would suggest that all of us must seek Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in all of our actions and in our interactions with others.
4. I would also seek the favour of your assistance to extend my feelings of sympathy to the three widows and two daughters of Osama bin Laden and any of his other children and relatives. Kindly assure them that they are not alone in this world. I cannot ask Allah for the favour of His Mercy without communicating my feelings to these innocent victims and give them some comfort by sharing my thoughts and prayers for their well-being and safety.
5. I would much appreciate to hear from you and I would thank you in advance for taking action on my simple request to convey a message to this family who lost a husband or father.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Ex- Number. MS-8466 Rank Lieutenant/Captain AMC/SSC,
Medical Officer, South Column, Operation Eagle(1971-72),
Ex- Number. MR-03277K Rank Captain/Major AMC/DPC
Medical Officer, Headquarters Establishment No. 22 C/O 56 APO(1971-74),
Directorate General of Security,
Office of Inspector General Special Frontier Force,
East Block V, Level IV, R. K. Puram,
New Delhi – 110 022
THE THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE : “SARVESHAM SWASTIR BHAVATU”
What is Man? The motivation for asking this question comes from a statement expressed in Sanskrit language, “Sarvesham Swastir Bhavatu” which seeks the well-being of all humans of all races, of all cultures, of all religions, and of all nations. Our efforts to support the well-being of man would be affected by our understanding the ‘real’, or ‘true’ nature of man. All human traditions including several philosophical and scientific traditions make assumptions about human nature. The basic assumption about human nature is that of finding it displayed in feelings, thoughts, moods, action, and behavior. I try to know human nature from the functional characteristics that are observable in biotic interactions of cells, tissues, and organs that constitute the human organism. If man is viewed as a multicellular organism, I need to discover the human nature of this subject who lives because of the functions of the cells, tissues, and organs that provide the structural basis of the human organism.
THE KEY TO HUMAN NATURE – EVOLUTION vs CREATION :
Man’s evolution from ape-like ancestors is thought to be the key to our true human nature. Ethology or the scientific study of animal behavior is based on the Theory of Evolution. In order to explain human condition, ethological theories of human nature appeal to the evolutionary past of man.
Lorenz sees man as an animal who has evolved from other animals. He thinks that human behavior is subject to the same causal laws of nature as all animal behavior. Many patterns of animal behavior show “hereditary coordination” or “instinctive movements” that are innate rather than learned. The ‘instinctual’ behavior is fixed and may not be eliminated or altered by the environment. Instinct is inherited and it is essentially unlearned behavior. Some of the most important aspects of animal behavior are innate. Lorenz studied the nature of instinctive behavioral acts. The instinctual behavior is caused by a ‘drive’ which causes the behavior to appear spontaneously. The “four big-drives” are feeding, reproduction, flight, and aggression. Very often, behavior is activated by two or more basic drives. To account for an instinctive behavior pattern in a species, reference is made to its survival value it has for the genes for that behavior. To explain the existence of any particular organ or behavior pattern, Lorenz looks for its survival value for the species. In his book, “On Aggression” ( 1963 ), he explains the natural history of man’s aggressive behavior. He considers that man has an innate drive to aggressive behavior towards his own species like many other animals. Fighting and warlike behavior in man have an inborn basis. He seeks an evolutionary explanation for human innate aggressiveness or ‘Intra-Specific’ aggression which is concerned with fighting and threats between members of the same species. The most destructive aspect of human aggression is its communal nature and the fighting is not between individuals but between groups. Humans fight as groups and human beings are the only animals to indulge in mass slaughter of their own species. He explains that this innate aggressive behavior has evolved from the communal defense response of our pre-human ancestors. However, Lorenz made no scientific study of behavior displayed by apes. Among the members of Homo genus, man is the only surviving representative of the Homo sapiens species and hence it will not be easy to validate his conclusions about evolutionary origin of innate human aggressive behavior. If aggression is viewed as a hereditary behavior which is based upon its survival value for the genes for that behavior, it must be noted that all human ancestors had perished and have gone extinct and the behavior of aggression could not be of value in defending their survival as a species.
COMPASSION WITHIN THE INDIVIDUAL AND BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS :
Compassion or sympathy( sym=together + pati=suffer ) describes the emotional feelings of sorrow for the sufferings or troubles of another person or others accompanied by an urge to help. Compassion describes an understanding arising from the sameness of emotional feeling. When man recognizes pain or sorrow in the lives of others, it spontaneously arouses the emotional feelings of compassion. This understanding and the emotional response to the pain and suffering in the lives of others appears to be instinctive. Apart from the “four big-drives”, compassion is operated by an innate drive or it is a motivated behavior. Compassion and altruism( any behavior that appears to favor another individual’s chances of survival ) is a response generated by human nature. Compassion acts like a physical force, power, or energy. It has the power to uplift man from physical pain and mental, or emotional pain or sorrow. The instinct of compassion comes into play and acts as a force, power, or energy when man experiences sorrow and reacts to the suffering or troubles of another man. I am also suggesting that the emotionally motivated behavior of compassion is found within individuals apart from between individuals. If my experience of pain or suffering does not elicit the emotional response of compassion from others, fortunately, I can derive the benefit of the uplifting power of compassion by simply knowing the source of compassion that exists within myself. When a person is enjoying a state of good health, we find that the cells, tissues, and organs of that human person are interacting with each other in a harmonious manner and these intraspecific biotic interactions display characteristics such as mutual assistance, mutual cooperation, mutual tolerance, and mutual functional subservience to provide a benefit to the human individual who lives because of the functions of these cells, tissues, and organs. The constituent parts of the human body interact with each other with a sense of devotion, sympathy, compassion, and understanding. We often try to find compassion in the actions performed by others in response to the pain, and suffering that we may experience. We describe compassion from the thoughts, emotional feelings, understanding, and sympathetic response that we witness in the behavior and action of others. I recognize compassion in the nature of the interactions between the cells, tissues, and organs of my body and consider that such compassion always operates to keep me the human person in good and positive health. I understand the reality of human existence and suggest that the existence is made possible because compassion is innate to human nature guiding the normal living functions both in health and sickness. I observe the operation of compassion in the wound healing mechanism that is described as ‘Inflammation and Repair’. The emotional feelings of compassion are important for the survival of man who exists to find emotional satisfaction from his living experience. The instinctive behavior of compassion supports the survival of man as it provides an emotional sense of satisfaction and contentment which contributes to the experience of joy and happiness in life.
COMPASSION IS THE KEY TO HUMAN NATURE :
The biological properties, characteristics, and the biological nature of the living substance or protoplasm could account for an instinctive behavior pattern like compassion. Biological functions and characteristics such as nutrition, recognition, awareness, responsiveness, and communication with other living cells have not evolved because of their survival value for the species. At a fundamental level, certain living characteristics or nature is innate or implanted in matter at the beginning of life. The nature called compassion is implanted or innate to the living substance or matter known as protoplasm.
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE – THE SPIRIT OF FREEDOM :
While I had served in a multinational defense organization called ‘Special Frontier Force as its Medical Officer, I had a direct opportunity to study and observe the interaction of human aggression and human spirit of compassion. Human aggression as displayed by the Tibetan soldiers of this military Establishment is in response to a stimulus from the external environment to which they have been exposed. The brutal, military occupation of the Land of Tibet by People’s Liberation Army of Communist China has provided the environmental stimulus and has influenced the external behavior and action of these Tibetan men who have volunteered to fight China’s act of military aggression. Since, as a Medical Officer, I have a spiritual relationship with these Tibetan soldiers of my Unit, I can easily recognize their true spiritual nature that seeks Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility both within the person and with others present in the external environment. The human spirit seeks Freedom and it resists military occupation and repression. I could easily recognize the Spirit that makes man to use aggression to defeat the purpose of an enemy who has compromised the desire and the quest for Freedom. I would like to invite all of my readers to visit my Facebook Page and show their support to ‘The Spirits of Special Frontier Force.
Personal Number: MS-8466/MR-03277K; Rank: Lieutenant/Captain/Major;
Branch: Army Medical Corps/Short Service Commission(1969-1972)/Direct Permanent Commission(1973-1984);
Designation: Medical Officer( September 22, 1971 to December 18, 1974 );
Unit: Headquarters Establishment Number. 22, C/O 56 APO;
Organization: Special Frontier Force.
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.
- Spiritualism and Knowledge of Human Nature (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – the New Synthesis (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – Psychoanalysis and Human Nature (bhavanajagat.com)
- Whole Dude – Whole Compassion (wholedude.com)
- Spiritualism – Spiritual Being and Self-realization (bhavanajagat.com)
THIS ENTRY IS DEDICATED TO LORD GAUTAMA BUDDHA KNOWN AS SIDDHARTHA ( “HE WHO WILL ACCOMPLISH”)
( The photo image of Lord Gautama Buddha belongs to Ms. Ewa Serwicka. www.dalekoniedaleko.pl )
Prince Siddhartha got married at age 16 leading a life of luxury and comfort in a royal palace. While he took a fateful chariot trip outside the palace, for the first time in his life, the young prince witnessed irremediable suffering in the form of physical disability, sickness, old age, and death. He left the palace at the age of 29 leaving behind his young wife and an infant son. After 6 years of ascetic life, while meditating under a pipal tree ( later called ‘Bodhi’ or Tree of Enlightenment ), he became Supreme Buddha ( c.528 BC ) and preached his first sermon at Sarnath and had continued his preaching until his death 49 years later. The Full Moon Day of the month of May or Vaisakh is celebrated as ‘Buddha Purnima’. He had outlined his doctrine of the Four Noble Truths; 1. Suffering or Dukha is implicit in Existence. 2. Suffering has a cause – the Doctrine of ‘Dependent Origination’ – suffering is the result of one’s desires for pleasure, power, and continued existence. 3. Suffering can cease ( stop desiring ). 4. Cessation of suffering can be brought about by the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path; Right Views, Intentions, Speech, Conduct, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Concentration. Buddha had preached to his followers, known as ‘Sangha’, the True Law or Dharma. He had described a three-part scheme of Buddhist life which combines 1. Initial Faith or Saddha, 2. Training in concentration or meditation called Samadhi, and 3. Ethical and Disciplinary practices called Sila. Unlike Jesus Christ, Buddha had never performed miracles. He was not superhuman. He did not restore life to any dead person. He did not restore vision to any blind person. He did not restore the hearing ability of any deaf person. He did not restore the ability of speech of any mute person. He did not miraculously heal any sickness or cured bodily disabilities or infirmities. Gautama Buddha had believed that the greatest miracle was to explain the truth and to make a man realize it.
PHILOSOPHY OF MEDICINE :
I define Philosophy of Medicine as a systematic study of physical, mental, social, and spiritual aspects of man’s well-being in relation to health and disease using reflective methods characteristic of Philosophy. This is a systematic study of man as a physical, social, and moral being. I am concerned with the status of man in the universe, in his natural environment, in his community, and as an ‘Individual’. Man has come into existence as an individual and he exists as an individual according to the Law of Individuality. Man’s existence is defended by his Immune System that deploys unique molecules( polymers ) that display Molecular Individualism. Unlike Gautama Buddha, I would explore the problem of human suffering from my definitions of health and disease. If desire is a causative agent of disease and suffering, I would explore that connection. My philosophical insights would help to make inferences about the purpose and meaning of human life. Philosophy of Medicine is not a ‘Mantra’ or a Magical Word. I am not superhuman. I do not promise miracles. Philosophy of Medicine while exploring the Nature of Human Existence provides understanding of the vital connections that establish, maintain, and sustain Human Existence. Such understanding would provide a sensory experience called ‘MADHURYA’, a sensation of Sweetness which would enable man to function better and overcome obstacles; and I am equally hopeful that Philosophy of Medicine would provide a bodily experience called ‘ANANDA’, a sense of Pure Joy, Bliss, and Contentment. The goal is not Enlightenment or Nirvana. The purpose would be to improve the quality of life and gain the experience of a whole life.
“VAIDYO NARAYANO HARI” :
Physicians are able to provide preventive, curative, restorative, and rehabilitative services because of the human body’s natural ability to heal itself. The repair process by which body heals itself is described as Inflammation and Repair. Human existence is possible because of this valuable, protective, natural healing mechanisms. This process and these mechanisms are not under man’s voluntary control. Indian thinkers have speculated that Physician(VAIDYA) could be equal to LORD known as Narayana, or Hari. It does not imply that a physician could be superhuman or could perform miracles. A physician understands the natural mechanisms that assist healing and he could use them and manipulate them to provide a remedy or cure. Physician could aim to get connected to Divine Gifts of Healing that already exist and could seek a better outcome while treating a sick or injured person. The mechanism and the natural process could be identified as DIVINE.
MEDICINE AND FAITH :
The problems of disease, sickness, and disability associated with human life should not come as a surprise. The verse quoted in the above caption states that human body naturally experiences age related decay, deterioration of function, and is prone to infirmities. The verse further mentions that human body is subject to sickness or disease. Medicine is viewed as the equivalent of the sacred waters of Ganga or River Ganges. Indian Tradition believes that the waters of Ganga are holy and could wipe away man’s sins and cure his spiritual sickness. Similarly, the Doctor of Medicine could administer medicine or provide medical intervention invoking the Divine Power of Ganga and qualify himself to be known as Lord Narayana or Hari. It suggests that the Physician should seek positive motivation while giving a medicine and the patient should be inspired to believe in the efficacy of that medicine. In any case, seeking or expecting a negative outcome would not be of any use in real life.
THE THREATS AND CHALLENGES TO HUMAN EXISTENCE :
The threats and challenges to human health and well-being come from several directions. Tragically, very healthy individuals may sometimes succumb to injury or sickness. The causative factors of several diseases still remain a mystery. There are several medical conditions which are well known and well understood but they have no proper remedy or cure. There are medical situations where the only choice that is available would be that of seeking Divine Mercy, Grace, and Compassion.
‘SARVE SANTU NIRAMAYA’ – FREEDOM FROM DISEASE AND SICKNESS :
The Motto of Indian Army Medical Corps is stated as ‘SARVE SANTU NIRAMAYA’. This is an idea expressed in Upanishads. The hymn appears as a benediction to invoke ‘PEACE’ and hence it is known as a ‘Shanti Mantra’. The hymn reads as follows:
OM, Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah,
Sarve Santu Niramaya,
Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu,
Maa kaschidh dukh bhaag Bhavet.
May everybody be blessed with happiness(Sukhinah), May everybody live in perfect health free from sickness(Niramaya), May everybody be assured of well-being , lead a life that is safe and secure(Bhadrani), and May there be no mental thought that could arouse sorrow or grief(Dukh bhaag).
Philosophy of Medicine will explore all these concepts and arrange the information into a meaningful pattern and interpret it to describe the Reality. The purpose of Medical Science is to describe and codify observations and experiences. My service in Indian Army Medical Corps had provided me the insights to understand and define Good Health and it would be my desire to keep people in Positive Health.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc. M.B.B.S.,
Ex- Number MS-8466 CAPTAIN AMC/SSC
Medical Officer South Column Operation Eagle 1971
Headquarters Establishment No. 22 C/O 56 APO.
- A Letter to the Living Tibetan Spirits (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)
THE USHERING OF THE NEW YEAR – THE PERCEPTION OF TIME :
Humans have different concepts about time. Physicists view time and space as building blocks of this universe. Time is described as the fourth dimension of a three dimensional space. Natural scientist Charles Darwin had stated that things in nature change with time. Does time exert a force entirely of its own to change things in nature ? If time is viewed as a power, or a force, who controls this force and what are the laws that operate this force ? Time influences, changes, transforms, and eventually dissolves both animate and inanimate objects of this universe. Time with its power of dissolution would eventually compel us to investigate, and to explore the concept of Absolute and Unchanging Reality. The Laws of Conservation of classical Physics explain the Laws of Conservation of Mass, Energy, and Momentum. Mass and Energy cannot be created or destroyed. There is an unchanging aspect of Nature. Planet Earth is in existence for billions of years and life has been established a long time ago. During this long history of this planet, several life forms lived and had also perished. Earth had witnessed several major and minor extinction events. While these changes are happening under the influence of time, the living substance known as protoplasm continues to be the same. All living entities have protoplasm which has the same basic characteristics and composition. A living thing has matter and form. The form describes its actuality and the form is recognized because it is shaped by its matter which represents the potentiality. The potentiality of protoplasm has remained unchanged under the influence of time and it remains constant as long as it can acquire energy from its external environment and is connected to its energy provider. Under the influence of time, man who comes into a state of existence called life passes through various stages of that existence from that of embryo, fetus, infancy, boyhood, teenage, manhood, and old age. Man’s morphological appearance or phenotype keeps changing because of the effects of time and yet his individuality remains unchanged.
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.
- Life and Death – a Changing World and Unchanging Reality (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)
- The Celebration of Spring Season (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)
- Spirituality-the Confluence of Religion, Philosophy, and Science (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)
- Science, Rational and Irrational Belief – the Experience of Reality and Ultimate Reality (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)
- The Science of Consciousness (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)
- Operation Eagle – a Letter to Prime Mini Ster Dr. Manmohan Si Ngh (bhavanajagat.wordpress.com)
Sri Vakra Tunda Mahaa kaaya,
Koti Surya Sama Prabhaa,
Nir vighnam Kuru me Deva,
Subha karyeshu Sarvada.
I seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha in all of my actions that intend to promote my well-being or help in promoting the well-being of others.
While reflecting upon Lord Ganesha it is important to understand the ‘zoomorphic’ form represented in Indian Culture. He is popularly known as the God with Elephant’s head. There are two species of elephants. Elephas maximus is native to India and Southeastern Asia. Loxodonta africana, the second elephant species is known as the African elephant. The ears of the Indian elephant are considerably smaller than those of the African elephant which has large ears with a flatter head.Indian elephants are extensively used as ceremonial animals and are also widely drafted for a variety of purposes. African elephant is never used as a ceremonial animal and used as a draft animal to a very small extent. Lord Ganesha cannot be portrayed with the head of an African elephant. He cannot be depicted with two tusks. He has one tusk and it could only resemble the tusk of an Indian elephant. The long, flexible snout known as ‘trunk’ of Ganesha must always show a bend in its curvature and is never depicted straight and hence the hymn identifies Him as “VAKRA TUNDA”. Some European artists who had no clue about the differences between the two elephant species had depicted Lord Ganesha with the head of an African elephant. The Lord is connected to the Land of India and only the Indian elephant has the honor to represent His zoomorphic form.
Please also read the related blog post titled ‘ A prayer to Lord Ganesha for success with humility’
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 Book of Psalms further states :
“I will say of the LORD. He is my refuge and my fortress:
My God: in Him I will trust.”
Psalm 1, verse 3 gives the hope and the promise for seeking trust in God :
” And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season: his leaf also shall not wither: and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
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.
- Psalm 91 (mikyunglim.wordpress.com)