S. J. Basu
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In 1979, it happened again. I had my second attack. My anginal attack in 1975 had left me a bit shaken up. Having time to think during this period of forced rest, I had suddenly realized that the rat race in which I found myself was not worth the risks involved. After all, what was I working for? Why was I so involved, that I spent sleepless nights and days away from my family? And for what was I allowing my health and spiritual development to take second place to my work and ambition?
On leaving the hospital, I joined The Yoga Institute in Santacruz, though only for the physical benefits. However, under the supervision of Dr. Jayadeva, I discovered that Yoga was really a philosophy in itself. Dr. Jaydeva, through subtle suggestions and simple discussions gradually aroused my interest in the scriptures. And so I started reading the interpretation of the Bhagwad Gita.
Though for a year or so, I attended the ashram regularly, as my health improved and I grew more confident in my ability to deal with life, I became irregular in my attendance and without realizing it, I was back in the rat race.
In September 1979, the attack was more serious and my heart received a minor but permanent damage. It was followed by another attack in march 1980 and I was advised coronary bypass surgery. After my operation, for almost a year I had minor problems with chest pains due to an infection in my lungs. At this stage, I went back to The Yoga Institute, but this time with more faith and dedication.
For the last one-and-half year, I have been regularly attending The Yoga institute every morning, trying to make it part of my day. By following this, I have been keeping healthy and there have been no recurrences of my lung problem.
Though this is important, the major benefit, I think, has been in changing my perspective of life. I have reverted to reading books on the Vedanta. In the beginning, we used to have a group discussion with Dr. Jayadeva. These discussions have helped considerably in reinforcing ideas and strengthening my faith.
I find that my attitude towards life has moved away from the purely materialistic one. Peace of mind can be gained only by reducing our desires and controlling our minds. This conviction has come through my having more detached approach towards life.

Published in the November 2010 edition of Yoga & Total Health Magazine

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