On Thursday, Swami Pragyapad, a IIT graduate and senior teacher of the Art of Living foundation, offered online trauma counselling for those affected by the Mumbai terror attacks. Following is the transcript of the chat he had with rediff.com readers
saad asked, want to know your point on view on recent terrorist attack
Swami Pragyapad answers: The act which is only destructive and inflicts suffering both on oneself and others is terrorism. In such an act, human values are lost in the process of achieving a goal. Some of the factors that lead to terrorism are: Frustration and desperation to achieve a goal Confused emotion Shortsightedness and Impulsive action Belief in a non-verifiable concept of heaven and merit; a childish concept of God favoring some and angry at others, thereby undermining the omniscience and omnipotence of the Divine. Terrorism induces fear psychosis in all, increases poverty, suffering and loss of life with no apparent gains. Instead of solutions the terrorist looks for destruction as an answer. If you simply criticize without giving a solution, know that this criticism comes from the same seed as terrorism! You will have to learn from them things that you should never do: * Valuing some ideas and concepts more than life. * Having a narrow perspective of life and dishonoring its diversity. The Remedy for terrorism is: * Inculcate a broader perspective of life -- value life more than race, religion and nationality. * Educate people in human values -- friendliness, compassion, cooperation and upliftment. * Teach methods to release stress and tension. * Cultivate confidence in achieving noble aims by peaceful and nonviolent means. * Create spiritual upliftment which can weed out destructive tendencies.
Manish asked, Sadhuji I cannot sleep... every time I go to bed, I feel there is bomb under my bed !!! HELP !!!
Swami Pragyapad answers, Some of the common symptoms of trauma are lack of sleep, extreme fear, repeated visions of the traumatic experience, extreme sensitivity to sounds and restlessness. There is no freedom from the memory of the traumatic experience. But one can definitely feel freedom and relief from the pain connected with those memories. From our experience and studies of the tsunami of 2004 therapies like breath therapy, sound therapy, humour therapy, music and dance therapy help calm down the mind in an effective way. 95% of the people benefited immediately through programs developed based on these. The remaining people were given personal trauma counselling sessions through trained people. What we can do at home? a. Practice asanas with deep breathing during holding of postures b. Practice breathing exercises (pranayamas) like kapalabhati, nadi shodhana and bhramari. Deep breathing will also help. c. Practice of Yoga Nidra just before going to sleep will help. d. Keep smiling and laughing even though it appears difficult. It is the best medicine. e. Keep yourself busy throughout the day and tire your body. What more we can do? Learn Sudarshan Kriya. It is a very powerful breathing exercise very helpful in removing negative emotions. If the trauma is severe take some trauma counselling. We have specially set up FREE counseling center in Mumbai at the following address. 502, Prabhukunj, Pedder Road Contact person Nanda Botadkar 9820342276 Session timings 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 noon, 4 pm, 5 pm, 6 pm and 7 pm.
Bahubali asked, Hello namaste guruji, I have left my job and am sitting at home. I always fear of bomb blasts outside. So I spent the whole day in bathroom or in front of TV... Please advice me to use my time efficiently.
Swami Pragyapad answers, No point sitting in the house everyday. It will only increase your problem. Start moving out, be with friends, do some service to the poor. There are many slums in Mumbai who require people like you to help them. Serving others is the best way to get out of your fear.
Bahubali asked, These days my child has started surfing the internet to search for Bomb making techniques...he idolises the terrorists rather than the police...Am worried about my son guruji...
Swami Pragyapad answers, We have a special program to give direction to the life and mind of children. Art EXcel-- All Round Training in Excellence. I am sure it will help your child.
Meena asked, A six year old's mother does not believe that her child is no more. She waits endlessly for the kid to return. How can I help her?
Swami Pragyapad answers, Be with her as a strong support. Lovingly take care of her. Be gentle when you talk about her kid but be truthful. Do not be impatient with her. You can also bring her to our free trauma counseling sessions happening in Mumbai.
munshi asked, How does meditation help an individual cope with stress
Swami Pragyapad answers, Benefits of meditation... a. It leads one to alpha state of brain activity 7-14 cycles per second b. Deeper states of meditation leads one to theta state of activiy 4-7 cycles per second c. This leads to relaxation of the brain and hence helps one become stress free
nm1 asked, Jai Gurudev, My 5yr old daughter does not want to see the TV, particularly when I watch the news and those discussions on terror for the last one week. She is scared and crying and also ask me why do you watch the same news? I stay in Navi mumbai. How do I get her to normal? Pl. suggest
Swami Pragyapad answers, For some time stop seeing the news especially when they are around.
Garima asked, Swamiji, I am a housewife,How can I help in the current situation
Swami Pragyapad answers, a. Go and be with the people who are in the hospital still and with those who have lost their near and dear ones. b. Create a public opinion so that the right steps are taken to prevent these types of attacks in the future. c. if you look around you will find many avenues in which you can help the situation
Charlie asked, Swamiji the thumb rule of Mumbai is survival of the fittest... Kill or get killed... does your philosophy of non-violence hold any ground in todays world... Todays world is all about economics, profit and dollars... You have to kill, murder, steal, lie to survive... I disagree with your shitty philosophy :)
Swami Pragyapad answers, It is this thinking which is the root of terrorism... For me to survive I need to better put others down. There is a place for everyone. If you want peace then you have to sow the seeds of peace. You cannot sow the seeds of hatred and expect peace in return.
a asked, how come god made this happen? my faith in god has really been shaken since this event? pls answer my question... why does god take innocent lives like this....
Swami Pragyapad answers, If you left everything on God then what will you and I do. We need to take responsibility and not put things on God when it is convenient
firstname.lastname@example.org asked, Swamiji, is there any reason that these things are happening and is it really true that if we meditate then the world settles into more peace as some claim? Also how does blessing really work?
Swami Pragyapad answers, If there is more wood in the fire then it burns well. If you pour lot of water on it, it will douse quickly. Unfortunately, today we have more wood than water in our lives and that is why the fire. Meditation is the water which will help us douse the flames.
john asked, dear swamiji... do you think islam is a bad relgion
Swami Pragyapad answers, no
Hello asked, Somehow there's a sense of desperation... so much angst... is there a solution? or do we just have to manage our minds that;s all we can do?
Swami Pragyapad answers, I understand your anger and desperation but most actions out of anger and desperation end in regret. Calming down the mind is the first step. And take whatever action needs to be taken with a calm mind.
NAGESH asked, dear sir, please convey my regards to Sri.Sri.Sri.Sri. Ravishankar Ji,I am interested to serve in your camps in dear sir, please convey my regards to Sri.Sri.Sri.Sri. Ravishankar Ji,I am interested to serve in your camps in if you could give me the opportunity, I will do the same with the blessing of Sri.Sir, Ji. thanks.
Swami Pragyapad answers, yes. you can contact our coordinator whom i have already mentioned
La asked, Jai Gurudev, How do we make politicians realise the seriousness of whole situtaion.. dont u have a special course for these bloody and irresponsible politicians? If not, suggest you to start one.
Swami Pragyapad answers, Politicians listen to people who vote. Unfortunately, the voting percentage in Mumbai and other urban areas is low. It is the duty of every citizen to vote. I dream of a day when 100% of our people vote.
kate asked, The Art of Living is doing a very good job in the society for the common man but what is it doing to eredicate terrorism and corruption?
Swami Pragyapad answers, Please visit our webpage. We are doing lot of work in prisons and terrorist affected areas. It is the responsibility of each one of us to join hands and make the change happen.
Neha asked, Swamiji, how do we envision a peaceful world, when there is so much destruction and fear around? Its hard to be strong at a time like this when all you keep hearing are stories of destruction. How can I keep a focus on helping people?
Swami Pragyapad answers, You keep on helping people and the focus will come.
bv asked, Swami ji, can you also set up some coulselling session in delhi also..it'll be great help to people who are under lot of stress and trauma
Swami Pragyapad answers, Sure. All like minded people can forward and help and we can set it up in many cities
erer asked, What is your secret of happiness?
Swami Pragyapad answers, Recognising that I want nothing to be happy and I can be happy in any situation
shishir asked, my elder daughter not concentrating in his study. when we have asked him to study, she start study and after 10 to 15 minutes she left his chair and busy somewhere. pls advise. shishir
Swami Pragyapad answers, Practice of asanas, prnayamas and meditation will help
anan asked, what is pranayama according to U?
Swami Pragyapad answers, rhythmic breathing exercises based on the principles of yoga
pabs asked, how to remove terrorism from india
Swami Pragyapad answers, when we all will work together to achieve peace and love in society
bbgatkal asked, Jai Gurudev!! I am Pramod from IITB what msg u would like to give to the youth of India regarding terorism?
Swami Pragyapad answers, Stand Up for peace. Today the peaceful are weak and that is why there is so much violence. Make your peace stronger and spread it to people around you and most importantly learn to protect it.
Hindu asked, I want an answer: I think you are absolutely wrong in saying "Peace sowed, Peace grown". Why did Mahabharat happen? Finally, it is war which gave peace. Kauravas wanted war, Pandavas wanted peace. History tells, War is the step to peace. Defence of one's own country, one's own Dharma CANNOT be nonvoilence. Our Gita too propagates Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha.
Swami Pragyapad answers, Sow peace, nurture peace and protect peace. True peace will be possible only when we all practice these. Let us all work together and achieve our goal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam-- a one world family. Wish you all the best Bye