Diabetes, Stress and Meditation
Today, the 14th November 2014, is World Diabetes Day as in previous years. The World Health Organisation reported that non communicable diseases, viz., diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, atherosclerosis and cardiac/cerebral strokes), cancer, etc. account for more than 60% of deaths in India at present.
Above: Bolivian police officers during a meditation session
Today, the 14th November 2014, is World Diabetes Day as in previous years. The World Health Organisation reported that non communicable diseases, viz., diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, atherosclerosis and cardiac/cerebral strokes), cancer, etc. account for more than 60% of deaths in India at present. The non-communicable diseases are related to stress. Although some main forms of cancer are directly related to the use of tobacco in both smoking and non smoking forms, they are also indirectly related to stress.
“Stress = diabetes”
Stress causes our bodies to release stress hormones. Hormones are normally secreted by the endocrine or the ductless glands for the biochemical function of the body. However, during stressful conditions, all the hormones of the body, except insulin (which is required for utilisation of sugar in the body), are secreted in excess. Therefore, those hormones secreted in excess amount during stressful conditions (except Insulin) are referred to as the stress hormones.
Now, how do the stress hormones change the biochemistry of the body? One molecule of stress hormone has the capacity to release one million molecules of sugar in the blood. Sugar is normally stored in the body in the form of glycogen in our muscles, liver and spleen. The stress hormones release sugar (glucose) from the stores during periods of stress and the level of sugar in blood rises very high in states of extreme stress. Therefore, extrinsic sugar is not responsible for diabetes. Our brain is the manufacturer of intrinsic sugar in the body. That is to say we don’t have to take sugar from outside our bodies to get diabetes. It’s stress which give us diabetes.
“Meditation will teach us to sublimate stress into it’s natural course out of our minds”
Now how to deal with stress? Acharya Haratmananda Avt., Proutist, during one of his discourses at Haflong, India a few years back gave wonderful demonstrations of the ways of dealing stress. Everybody has stress. However, stress is required for our development. But, the problem is that we absorb stress. Even, the sanyasis/sanyasinis (the moncs and nuns) have stress but they know how to play with stress. Therefore, the science of spiritual sadhana (meditation) or yoga is the only cure for stress. Medicines can only supplement in the cure of diabetes but the cure lies in practising spiritual sadhana.
Sadhana will teach us to sublimate stress into it’s natural course out of our minds. Moreover, meditation will help in the secretion of ‘melatonin’ from the pineal gland situated in front of the brain in the position at level between the two eyebrows. Melatonin is an over the counter drug in the United States and other western countries but abuse of the drug can be very harmful. Therefore, it’s much better to generate melaton in the natural way. All day animals and birds including humans secrete melatonin when dusk and darkness set in. That’s why birds and animals return to their homes and nests during dusk by instinct. But, humans have practically lost this instinct because of the impact of overload of work for survival in the mundane world, we are presently living in.
Shrii Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar described “Ego”, referred to as one of the ten ‘vrittis’ or ‘tendency’ that human beings have in the mundane mind, as one of the main stumbling blocks in one’s spiritual progress. Ego is the result of negative microvita [life force] just like a rotten apple is a result of negative microvita. P.R. Sarkar advised his disciples to form the habit of doing sadhana (meditation) at least twice a day.
Dr Dhruba Hojai, Director of Health Services, Assam.(Retd.) House # 24(Prashantika), Sankar Nagar, Lakhami Path, Beltola Tiniali, Guwahati-781028.