The shadows in my mind

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Depression can be rooted out through spiritual methods such as prayer, japa, meditation, pranayama and affirmations. Their handsome young son opened the door and led me in. She was lying on the couch, pale, listless and inert, like a corpse. Her husband informed me she had been like this for the past fortnight. “I just want to die!,” she said, dully, when she saw me. I looked at their beautiful home and the concerned faces of her husband and son. Her son had taken two months’ leave from his PhD at a foreign university to be by his mother’s side. “But they don’t want you to die, isn’t it a glaring contradiction!,” I exclaimed. “I am just a burden on them,” she said, in a faint voice. For a moment I was quiet, wondering what to say. My friend’s life was undoubtedly tough. After years of dialysis, my friend’s family had finally found a kidney donor for her. However, after the kidney transplant was done, the new kidney did not function, throwing her into severe depression. Long spells of dialysis and recurring infections had put a brake on her active, happy, social life and had led to bouts of depression. Now, the failure of the kidney transplant was more than what her fragile mind could handle, and she was ready to give up on life. Normally, I never impose my beliefs on anyone. But this situation was grave and I was convinced that we needed a dynamic spiritual solution, and a great spiritual master who could take on and lighten her heavy karmic load. My friend used to do daily puja but somewhat mechanically, more as a social tradition, than out of any interest in spirituality. For some reason, which I cannot explain, the image of the great master, Lahiri Mahasaya, had entered my mind when I was preparing to come to her home.
I always have a stack of Autobiography of a Yogi at home, and I had brought one along with me. I opened the page which had Lahiri Mahasaya’s picture on it, and touched his picture to her head, heart and belly. I read out to her various miracles that Lahiri Mahasaya was credited with, including raising a man from the dead. I also mentioned that some years ago, the master had helped a colleague of mine, whose wife had suffered three miscarriages in a row.
In Autobiography of a Yogi, it is recounted that Lahiri Mahasaya had helped a lady who had suffered eight miscarriages. With his divine intervention, the ninth child had survived. My daughter’s birth had also been blessed, in somewhat miraculous circumstances, by Lahiri Mahasaya. Firmly believing him to be one of the guardian angels for humanity, I had urged my colleague to reach out mentally to Lahiri Mahasaya. A great master lives on even after his physical body has been laid to rest and responds compassionately to sincere calls for help. My colleague and his wife had prayed earnestly and ardently to Lahiri Mahasaya all through her fourth pregnancy and the fourth child, a daughter, lived to see the light of day. Today, bless her, she is six years old. After this incident was reported in the office, two other colleagues, a female and a male, also turned to Lahiri Mahasaya for help in similar circumstances, and were graciously and unconditionally helped. Normally, I don’t talk much. But surprisingly, in a chat that lasted nearly two hours, I found myself discussing the science of healing affirmations and the power of the superconscious mind to heal. I asked her to fight to the finish rather than give up tamely. I also told her that it was no casual coincidence but Divine will that we were having this conversation. I told my friend that I would demand of her that she do a 41-day tapasya that involved a healing affirmation, japa and praying to Lahiri Mahasaya. I also told her that I was convinced Lahiri Mahasaya had already taken up her cause and that at the astral level, she was already healed.
She told me it had not been easy and she was tempted to take her mother’s advice rather than carve out time for spiritual practice. But then she remembered the futility of medicines that suppress the problem rather than cure its root cause, and willed herself to do practise daily, no matter how busy her home, child and husband kept her. Eternal joy waits for us. Let’s pledge for our own sakes, that we never stop reaching out for it, no matter what the circumstances. We just need to take that first step and move towards the light with optimism, saying, “Help! I need you badly!”

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