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Depression

Mind:

“If mind loses, a man loses, if mind feels it has won, man wins”

Human mind is subtlest element. It is also greater than the greatest. Its vastness has never been measured. It has no adjuncts of sound, touch, form, liquidity or smell, even then if anything seen here gets out of place; mind takes up a big dispute. On a trained level, where mind is intelligent it is clear aware and conscious where as a raw-mind can be confused and misleading. The same idea, the same thought, the same action may occur in two different people, but the interpretation, enactment and culminating results will depend entirely on the level of mind, intellect and ego of each of the persons.

Lord Shri Krishna has said in Shrimad Bhagavad Gita that mind is the source of happiness or unhappiness experienced by a human being. In Sanskrit, and according to the classic and authoritative Raja Yoga of Patanjali Maharishi and generally in the Vedic knowledge, the mind as a whole is called the "Anthakarana" or internal organ. It consist of four functions, Manas or conscious mind, Chitta or subconscious, Buddhi or intellect, and Ahankara or false ego.

Four functions of mind:

Mind: Manas is the first function of the mind. It is the lower mind, which processes thinking, and which is the operator of the ten senses, the Karmendriyas and Jnanendriyas. . Manas questions and doubts, which can cause great difficulties if this tendency becomes excessive. As Fire cannot be separated from its nature of burning. Similarly mind cannot be separated from its nature of sustaining ups and down. This process of likes and dislikes, this is good and that is bad vacillates the mind. This pendulum like movement is the cause of unrest and disquiet.

Subconscious mind: Chitta is the memory bank, which stores impressions and experiences. The sub­conscious mind collects all the real and imaginary works, thoughts and events. And while it can be very useful, Chitta can also cause difficulties if its functioning is not coordinated with the others.

Intellect: Buddhi is higher mind. At a more gross level Buddhi is the aspect of mind that knows, decides, judges, and discriminates. Intellect is an element where rise and falls of decisions and counter-decisions arise, ebbs and tides form, where one either doubts or has faith, where such a mind can decide about the propriety and impropriety, where that mind can decide and draw conclusions.

At a more subtle level, Buddhi is discovered to be the function that separated the individual from the true Self in the first place.
Ego: Ahamkara is the sense of "I-am-ness," the individual Ego, the I-maker. It is the strong wave of awareness that declares, "I am!" When one holds that his thinking only is correct. His decision only should be upheld. His conscious only could be correct. This type of stubborn and dogged nature indicates ego. Though it provides identity to our functioning but Ahamkara also creates our feelings of separation, pain, and alienation as well. Our wishes, desires and hopes are unlimited. Whenever our desires are not satisfied, the ego of our mind feels hurt and responds by a reaction.

Meaninglessness

We are not accustomed to accept the situation as it is. We are not satisfied with whatever we have, whatever we get, and whatever we obtain. We keenly desire to have what we have not; what we have not been able to obtain and which we cannot get. We may not be even aware of the existence or otherwise of an item yet we make unfruitful efforts to obtain the thing of our dreams! It immediately renders human mind clouded. Mental aberration is a condition of clouded mind. 

This hypnotized condition cannot take into account the propriety or impropriety, the goodness or badness of any action. All these mental problems are the creators of depression. In such a situation a man nurtures dislike for himself, takes himself as an improper person, feels that he is useless and of no avail, he is wrong, he is sorrowful, he is helpless and he is absolutely useless. A slightly clouded sky will get cleared with sunrise. But a sky, which is full of tornado and typhoon, will create terrible destruction before it gets cleared.

Results

Mental pain resulting from such displeasure results in anger, this creates hypertension and if the vehemence or spars of anger is too fast or terribly quick, it can even result in brain hemorrhage. Most important aspect to be ascertained under all such circumstances is the sudden evolution of such a depression. The occasions like, the sudden loss of a family member, failing in an examination, gathering a setback in a love affair, ups and downs in a business, incidents of honour and disrespect; disturb the mind and cause terrible depression in the mind and the mental tension that results could cause a serious paralytic attack. 

A man surrounded by the pain of separation and who has gone deep into the eyes of mental depression also falls a prey to the various wrong habits. The man who gets caught by the demoniacal paws of mental deterioration suffers from two types of depression viz Physi­cal and Mental. A person can suffer pain in the hands and feet, he may feel lazy, he will show no interest in any type of work, he will have no interest in meeting and mixing with people. The bodily pain, heaviness in the head, peevish nature, schizophrenic, not feeling hungry, sleeplessness, and one feels his life a burden and life feels fully depressed.

As people keep green plants and flower vases in their verandas, sitting rooms, bathrooms and sleeping rooms but these flower vases have to be kept once every two to three days under an open sky for the whole night to give them dew bath, fresh natural air, draw from moonlight under the open sky and a look at the shining bright stars. Similarly every week at least for one day they are to be brought in bright sunshine under the open sky. It is thus clear that the plant, which gets hot under the sun, which gets cold under the moon, remains healthy and strong. Similarly if one closes himself within walls of a house, he would create dejection and gloom in the long run, which is the cause of depression.

Frustrated creativity

Whenever a patient suffers a bipolar or mental depres­sion, he hardly knows what he does or he does not even know what is happening all around him. However, when the bout of depression subsides, the patient becomes very sorry and feels as if he were living a lifeless non-vital life. It is possible that he may not find interest in any food or any work. This is quite natural because for a mind, which is depressed, one cannot expect concentration. The depressed person has his thinking capacity very much reduced, he feels his strength has reduced, he feels that he is useless to the society, he is helpless, he is hopeless, not only that but his conjugal life as well as sexual life gets entirely depressed. He may only think of death or suicide. It is quite possible that such a person may resort to suicide.

The entire nature is made up of three qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas (purity, activity and ignorance). These attributes are responsible for behavioral patterns, which can be changed by practices of spiritual activities such as Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. One has to make efforts himself by his willpower and reconditioning to purify his life to alleviate depression

Reconditioning

Following is advised:

1. By approaching a psychiatrist, for timely advice and treatment.

2. To consume fresh vegetables, fresh juices of fresh fruits, sprouted grains, skimmed milk without cream and the like.

3. One should go for a long walk in the early morning hours in clear atmosphere.

4. One should sit for meditation early morning, at noontime, in the evening and at night for 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Deep breathing, Shitali, Shitkari, Sukhpurvaka Pranayamas should be regularly practiced.

5. A study of good books, company of people of matured thought and positive thinking, company of people who can infuse faith, self-study ,inspire and leave deep impression would be of much help.

6. The patient should go on repeating to his mind “I am quite well, I am quite healthy, I am quite composed.” This thought is as powerful, or even more powerful, than hundreds of tranquillisers and antibiotics. Once you get the idea into your head that you will be all right, you will be.

7. He should continue thinking that all around is beautiful, all around is auspicious, and then everything will turn out beautiful, healthy, sound and happy.

Depressed patient can perform all the flexibility exer­cises and all the Asanas. However,more emphasis should be on Suryanamaskara, Sravangasana, Matsyasana, Halasana, Vajrasana, Ushtrasana and Shavasana. In addition practice of Pranayama and meditation will clear all depression and will surely generate new willpower.

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna
Aum Shanti

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