By Sēvāratṉā Doctor T.S. Narayanaswami, Images: Aras

Sakthi Vikatan 19 Aug, 2014

Calamity from Fear

In the last issue, we learnt the adversity from desire, anger and fear, and Krishna’s advice to extricate from those inauspicious qualities. The elders said, “Easier said than done.” All people try to protect themselves from the adversities emanating from desire, anger and fear.  The efforts deployed for their prevention are not effective for all. This heightens the fear.

Unfulfilled desire and the consequent anger and fear in combination cause evil effects: restricted mind, mental suffering, mental confusion… The sea roils under the effects of depression in the bay.  The roiling of the mind is like it because of sorrow, disappointment and failure.

When the desires do not find fulfilment, disappointment is the result. That provokes feelings of anger and vengeance in the aggrieved.  When a person takes this wrong path, more of disappointment and consequent expenses and finger-pointing by the relatives, friends and neighbors ensue. The helpers backtrack. Because of it, there is diminution of self-confidence and heightened feelings of criminality. When the sorrows continue to mount, agitation of the mind takes place. The mental health suffers.

This is the mental health issue. Social scientists say all ages suffer from mental agitation.  Out of 100 people, thirty-five live with mental agitation.

The effects of Mental agitation

The doctors say it is not a disease, but a disorder. The afflicted exhibit these symptoms: sorrow, fatigue, fear, sudden burst of anger, change in the behavior, self-hate, self-imposed isolation, sudden laughter, crying and shouting out loud.  Behavior may alternate between tranquillity and rowdiness. There is no attachment to anything in life. There is no sense of participation or involvement.  Sleeplessness, lack of appetite…may be present.

       General reasons for mental confusion and or agitation.

எதிர்பாராத துயரம் அல்லது அதிர்ச்சி;

 Unexpected sorrow or shock.


Burden of work.

காதல், அன்பு, பாசத்தில் தோல்வி;

Failure in or unreciprocated love, kindness and affection.

மோசமான குடும்பச் சூழ்நிலை;

Bad family environment.

மது, போதைப்பொருள் பயன்படுத்துதல்;

Use of liquor and mind-altering substances.

போதுமான உடற்பயிற்சி இல்லாமை;

Lack of physical exercise.

முறையற்ற உணவுப் பழக்கம்;

Unhealthy eating habits.

உடல் பருமன்;




ரகசிய பரிமாணங்களால் ஏற்படும் குற்ற உணர்வு;

Criminal feelings from secrets

பொய் பேசுதல், ஏமாற்றுதல்;

Lying, cheating.

பயம், பீதி, அதிர்ச்சி;

Fear, Panic, shock.

உடல்கூறில் கோளாறு;

Physical handicaps or disorders.

பொருளாதாரச் சிக்கல்;

Financial entanglement.

கடன் தொல்லை;

Debt burden.


Moral turpitude.

தவறான வழியில் பொருளீட்டல்;

Illegal accumulation of wealth.

கொலைக் குற்றங்கள் செய்துவிட்டு, சட்டத்துக்கு மறைந்து வாழ்தல்;

To live in hiding from the law after murder…



பிறரால் ஏளனம் செய்யப்படுதல்;

Subject to ridicule by others.

நம்பிக்கைத் துரோகத்துக்கு ஆளாகுதல்;

Betrayal of trust.

பிறரால் ஒதுக்கப்படுதல்;

Ignored by others.

பாராட்டுதல்கள் கிடைக்காத சலிப்பு;

Disgust from lack of appreciation or praise.

நோயால் ஏற்படும் விளைவுகளின் பயத்தால் ஏற்படும் மரண பயம்;

Fear of death from complications of disease.

தொடர் முயற்சிகளில் தோல்வி;

Failure in continued efforts.

மூளை மற்றும் இதயத்தில் ஏற்படும் சில ரசாயனக் கோளாறுகள்;

Chemical imbalance afflicting brain and heart.

தொடர்ந்து எதிர்மறையாகவே சிந்திப்பது...ஆகியவற்றால் மன இறுக்கம் உண்டாகும்.

Continued negative thinking and mental agitation.


Ok! What is the remedy for these?

Psychiatric consultation: Mental agitation will make life ruinous more than any other serious diseases. The only modality of treatment is counselling. Qualified physician, a learned man or a mental health consultant (his counselling sessions) will help the patient emerge from mental agitation.

Counselling sessions with the experts and creative power of the individual will help expunge fear and this positive step will bring about a permanent cure. Finding out the cause of the mental agitation, discussion of the case in utter transparency and finding the remedial measures will lessen the mental burden. The courage to accept one’s mistake and the ability to forgive and forget other’s misdeeds: These will facilitate in a large measure to reduce the mental agitation.

Taking one’s skill set and desire into consideration and determining the prospect of success or failure at an endeavor will to a certain extent help avoid failure.

Those who suffer mental agitation are losing their life (shortened lifespan).  It is the duty of friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and mental health professionals to lift the afflicted from the quicksand and save them.

Spiritual pathways: worship of God, Satsang, good music, healthy body, Yoga exercise, meditation, and reading good books: These help the afflicted to emerge out of mental agitation.

Arjuna’s mental agitation

Before the breakout of the war, we can say Arjuna suffered mental agitation. “ A person going on a sea voyage on a boat forgot to take potable water. ‘Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.',’ said Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Arjuna was in that predicament.

He was a great warrior. He possessed  great weapons as boons. All around him stood heroes like the members of the Pāṇḍava army, Dharma, Bhīma, Nakula, Sakhādeva, Gadōthgajan, Abhimanyu… Above all these, Bhagavan Krishna served as his charioteer. Does it amount to fear under these circumstances Arjuna’s hesitation? Is it hesitation or loss of self-confidence.

In truth, Arjuna was afflicted with mental agitation. In an unavoidable predicament, he was looking for reasons to avoid war. Bhagavadgita is a treatise by Krishna on mental and spiritual counselling to remove Arjuna’s severe mental agitation.

Kannan’s advice

People with mental agitation do not like to take advice. They entertain the thought there are right and others are wrong. The psychologists do not directly approach the subject and advise but use subtleties while advising. The same technique was used by Bhagavan. The passages by Bhagavan in Bhagavadgita sound as if they made him feel proud of himself.  They avoid reference to his smallness. Though Arjuna was in mental agitation, he could accept Krishna’s counsel.

The second chapter Sāṁkhya Yogam, 38th Slokam says, “Holding happiness and sorrow, profit and loss, victory and defeat alike, you will prepare to fight for the sake of fighting. You will never incur sin.”

Sāṁkhya Yogam: “Fixed in Yoga, do thy work, O Dhanamjaya, abandoning attachment, with an even mind in success and failure, for evenness of mind is called Yoga.”


A dictate, ‘Do this.’ cannot be levelled to one with mental agitation. You may inculcate motivation. You may induce craving. You may offer guarantee that loss or mistake are impossible.  Then he may develop an audacity he can do anything. Kannan did that.

The tree grows.

Loss… 10 Lakhs!

A villager sitting on the raised platform in front of the house was reading a newspaper. Suddenly, he cried. The neighbors ran to him enquiring what happened. He sobbed saying,” Loss of 10 Lakhs happened. “You never had 10 Lakhs. How could you sustain a loss?

"I see the lottery results in this paper. The first prize is 10 Lakhs. That is my loss.”
The neighbors: “Did you buy a lottery ticket and lost it?”
The villager: "No, I forgot to buy a lottery ticket. Therefore, I cry.”
Likewise, many of us are unhappy thinking of non-existent problems and live in a state of mental agitation.