Kolkata - Workshop - The Problem Of Stress In Today's Executive Life

Published: 23.08.2007
Updated: 09.11.2010

Short notes on the lecture at Intellectuals’ Workshop, 5th August 2007

  • Why is stress such a big problem today?
    • Data confirms that nearly 2/3rds of all chronic medical ailments in the USA may be classed as either mental or psycho-somatic
    • While thousands of years ago, Ayurveda made a distinction between adhi, vyadhi and upadhi, but it does not seem if the psychosomatic problems that we talk about today existed at that time.
    • Jain canonical literature also does not mention psychological diseases: Sthanang talks of 9 reasons for disease; none of them include mental problems.
  • Quick reason is that the race today is far more intense than it ever was, anytime in the past.
    • Why is today’s race so fierce?
    • Today, the periphery of competition has expanded tremendously. Thousand years ago, businessmen or students, or just about anyone, had to compete inside a small geographical territory, perhaps a village.
    • Today, geography is irrelevant when it comes to competition.
    • We compete on a global scale.
  • If the race is so powerful, obviously, the mind has far more reasons to be perturbed today, than ever in the past.
  • Mind is like a monkey:
    • Markatasya surapanam, tatra vrischik danshanam
    • Tratropi bhootsancharo, yaddha taddha bhavishyati
    • The mind is like a monkey – too agile. On top of that, if the monkey has drunk wine, and has been bitten by a scorpion, and also has a ghost residing it in, one may imagine how unstable the mind will be.
    • Today, mind has drunk the wine of winning the race, has been stung by the scorpion of urge to win, and has also been taken over by the ghost of attachments.
  • Do busy people get stressed?
    • Umpteen examples exist of people who are very very busy, and yet not stressed.
  • What causes stress?
    • Imagine a string, not tied to anything, lying free. Will it have a stress? Surely not/
    • Imagine the same string tied to two opposite poles, comfortably. There is some stress, but not intolerable.
    • Now, we pull one of the poles – that causes stress.
    • Imagine the two poles holding the string pulled in two opposite directions – there is more stress now, perhaps the string may break.
    • If one pole is pulled in one direction, and the other pole is pushed also in the same direction, there is no stress again.
  • So:
    • In a static state, stress cannot arise automatically.
    • It arises when there are two opposite ends pulling in two different directions.
    • If one end cooperates with the other, there is no stress again.
  • Mutually opposite ends are a part of our life.
  • The mutually opposite ends that cause stress may be:
    • Ability and ambition
    • Income and expenditure
    • Capital and business
    • Availability and desire
    • Strength and anger, and so on
  • How do we deal with the stress:
    • Jainology provides us technique of kayotsarg - we need a similar mano-utsarg – a complete emptying of mind.
      • Mostly, stress is not caused by incidents – it is caused by either thinking about something that has not happened, or brooding over something that has already happened.
    • Divergent thinking:
      • We need to apply our mind on something that is completely different from what we do in regular routine
    • Balance of physical and mental work
    • Samayik – at least 48 min of time when we are completely with ourselves
      • Complete solitude
      • Completely free from the “network” that follows us at all times
        • No phone, no blackberry, no nothing
        • Absolutely to ourselves

Workshop on stress managment was held in presence of Sadhvi Nirvan Shree on 5th August 2007 at Terapanth Bahvan, Kolkata.

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Ayurveda
  3. Kayotsarg
  4. Kolkata
  5. Sadhvi
  6. Sadhvi Nirvan Shree
  7. Samayik
  8. Terapanth
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