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STRESS

AND

PHILOSOPHY

DR.
SHRINIWAS
KASHALIKAR
Consciously perceived stress increases if the conflicts in
our mind increase. The conflicts increase if there are
apparently contradictory sets of information bombarding
us. Such conflicts cause confusion and chaos (and
confused and chaotic behavior) in personal and public
life.

We generally turn to philosophy when we are conscious


and apprehensive about our stress. But often we come
across contradictory statements and we get far more
stressed than before!

Why does this happen? Are the philosophies and their


study counterproductive? In fact many of us may arrive
at such a conclusion and give up reading altogether!

One of the aphorisms of various philosophies and


spiritual observations; is that; happiness is within.

However; most of us find that pleasures or pains are


actually outside; and hence the conflict and stress begins
to build up!

Who can deny that the pleasures of tasty delicacies,


haunting music, artistic landscapes, changing skyscapes
in the evenings, setting sun, twinkling stars, soul stirring
moon, and romantic experiences are outside us?

The pleasure or pain due to the fulfillment or otherwise


of bare minimum necessities; is also outside us. Thus
supply or deprivation of food, water, shelter and health
care; is outside us; and determines our happiness or
sadness.

The success or failure of marriage, procreation and


rearing of children and is outside us and causes pleasure
or despair.

Availability or denial of employment, business, income,


profits, comforts, compliments etc also; is outside and
results into our joy or frustration.

The fair or unfair policies for working in farms,


factories, workshops and getting proper remuneration,
production or price; are all outside us and contribute to
our wellbeing or misery.

The good or bad conditions of roads, nature of traffic,


status of transport such as buses and local trains; are all
outside us and provide comfort or discomfort.
The time has to come to understand once and for all;
that; needs, wants and ideas of happiness or sadness
vary.

Thus for a baby sucking the breast milk, there is nothing


like happiness or sadness being inside or outside. Same
argument can be put in different situations and in
different words!

The philosophical aphorism has to be understood as; the


happiness (in terms of the ultimate culmination of
individual and global life; an imperishable state of being;
a greatest ever aspiration of mankind) is within and is
usually cluttered or blurred due to subjective and hence
erroneous cognition, affect and conation.

This is why; we all experience pleasures and pains, as


described above. This kind of happiness and suffering is
a reality for all of us and it is not at all abnormal. It is
also true that the proportion of pain leads to stress which
is real and needs solutions.

Mere preaching of the aphorism that “happiness is


within” is irrelevant and absurd for most of us; exactly
as preaching a new born to eat bread, ride a horse or
solve a trigonometric theorem.

It is only some of us, who transcend the subjective


barriers; through practice of NAMASMARAN; realize
the transtemporal blissful existence common to whole
universe; and shower it in the form of spoken, written or
silent benevolence so as to create perspective, policies,
plans, rules, laws and their implementation for making;
such realization possible and feasible for the whole
universe. In short; some of us realize that HAPPINESS
IS WITHIN; after acquiring increasingly objective and
accurate cognition, affect and conation; through the
practice NAMASMARAN.

In yet other words; the aphorism “happiness is within” is


actually the experience of some of us who have
transcended their subjective and physiological existence.
They in turn; give us holistic solutions in the form Total
Stress Management; to conquer the stress; at an
individual and universal levels. They do not merely give
the aphorism; but guide us in evolving holistic
perspective, policies, plans and administration so that we
all (the citizens of the world of all ages, all regions, all
religions, all races and all socioeconomic conditions); get
empowered to share their realization.