… that today is Lucy’s Price Increase Day? On this day in 1992, Lucy Van Pelt, one of the most well-known members of the Peanuts gang, raised her Psychiatric Help booth cost from 5 to 47 cents. Perhaps she was feeling the pinch of rising inflation. 😉
Today’s Inspirational Quote:
“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.”
Our human ancestors didn’t have the luxury of modern medicine that we enjoy today. They had to deal with the raw pain of surgical procedures using nothing more than natural remedies and “cures” from old wives’ tales.
No licensed practitioners administered anesthesia to make these patients completely numb or render them unconscious. Thus, plants and various concoctions had to suffice to aid the sick and possibly dying through the surgeries which were meant to save their lives.
Although we have these medical tools at our disposal today, it took a lot of trial and error to get there. Here are 10 important moments in the history of anesthesia.
The tale of anesthesia and its rudimentary versions begins around 4000 BC when medical practices were also in their infancy. It makes absolute sense that the ancients, whose civilizations were appearing in and around what is now the Middle East, would turn to the opium poppy for its painkilling properties.
Artifacts have shown that the opium poppy was used at least as far back as 4000 BC for dental surgery in an attempt to sedate the patient and reduce the agony of an extremely painful procedure. Thus, if you were fortunate enough to live in an area where these plants were abundant, you could get a good, strong dose of this painkiller before they began drilling your teeth with a bow drill.
Opium wasn’t the only substance available to relieve the pain of invasive surgeries. There was also beer.
Believed to be up to 12,000 years old, beer may have been invented before bread. So it is very likely that beer served as the first way to treat discomfort in general and obviously the pain of surgery.
In and around Sumeria, an ancient powerhouse of the beer-making world, plenty of people had access to enough of this beverage to get sufficiently drunk before surgery. Concoctions were often made with various plants and flowers. The analgesic properties helped to numb the pain and let people sit still long enough to successfully complete their surgeries.
Although henbane is a highly toxic plant with a light yellow flower, it has been used traditionally as a folk remedy to alleviate pain—from Babylon to ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome.
When smoked or applied directly to a wound, the plant isn’t poisonous. However, when eaten, it can lead to severe sickness and even death. The infamous belladonna was also used in and around the Mediterranean for the same purpose. This shows the desperation of the ancients for pain relief when they had no beer, wine, opium, or other intoxicating substances available.
On Christmas Eve 1298, an Italian physician reached back for an old remedy to assist with his pain from surgery. His name was Theodoric of Lucca, and he had published many medical works, even about veterinary science, before finalizing his magnum opus, Surgery, in 1266.
While his father, Hugh, had used opium to treat pain as well, Theodoric would soak sponges in opium and hold them under the nose of the patient as a means to administer the drug to the brain. That way, the patient could more fully feel the effects.
Theodoric’s authorship was a turning point in the history of anesthesia that would begin to shape how the medical field dealt with patients’ pain. Although other surgeons had used opium dating back to at least 4000 BC, Theodoric canonized it in the medical literature.
In 1540, German botanist Valerius Cordus would synthesize ether, a clear liquid that emits a strong vapor. Ether is a highly flammable gas, which proved to be a serious problem for doctors trying to focus intently and carry out operations by candlelight.
One wrong gust of wind, and the whole operating theater could go up in flames. Ether was a dangerous substance, but it was preferable to nothing in the eyes of many.
Although Cordus was credited with the synthesis of ether, Paracelsus, a rebellious German-Swiss physician who rejected contemporary medicine and the traditional teachings of medical school, would study it further. He noted that it rendered chickens unconscious.
While testing ether on animals, Paracelsus also discovered that it had the analgesic properties that physicians and scientists of the day were trying to find. And just like that, both rudimentary medical chemistry and the hunt for the best anesthetic were born.
Next time you find yourself in the dentist’s chair having a laugh after the good doctor administers nitrous oxide, feel free to thank a man born in England in 1733. Political theorist and scientist Joseph Priestly first identified the substance in 1772.
His work, Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air, was written in a massive six-volume series as Priestly worked tirelessly at his studies. In all, he is said to have discovered 10 new gases. However, there is some controversy over whether he was the first to identify oxygen.
In 1800, Humphry Davy conducted experiments by inhaling nitrous oxide himself and noting the way it made him laugh hysterically. He further explored its use for painless surgery on animals, though his work didn’t have much of an impact on the medical community of the day.
About 20 years later, Samuel Cooley of America hurt himself while under the influence of the substance and noticed that he wasn’t in much pain, if any. And thus, nitrous oxide became a staple anesthetic for centuries to come.
In 1831, an invention rocked the world of anesthesia. Chloroform was independently produced by Samuel Guthrie in the United States and Eugene Soubeiran in France. This chemical compound had a powerful narcotic effect which was capable of knocking people completely unconscious.
On November 4, 1847, James Young Simpson was the first to put himself into a complete stupor, perhaps even rendering himself unconscious with it. Thus, chloroform as a means to help with major medical practices was born.
At the time, chloroform killed about 1 in every 3,000 patients, making it medically unsafe. Of course, this didn’t stop anyone. It became a chic medical anesthetic in the Victorian era, with Queen Elizabeth even going so far as to be chloroformed during the birth of her son. From there, its use spread widely in the UK and America.
Morphine was first isolated in 1804 from opium and took considerable time to get off the ground. This was largely because the first tests of morphine on animals were almost invariably lethal. Later, Friedrich Wilhelm Serturner, the man who discovered morphine, used the substance on himself in smaller doses and found the results quite pleasant.
After the invention of the hypodermic needle, morphine became a viable option in the treatment of pain and was produced commercially. It wasn’t long before the addictive properties of morphine were revealed, especially in former soldiers.
Morphine addiction was nicknamed “the soldier’s disease,” and some restrictions were applied over the course of the late 1800s and early 1900s. But morphine was never wholly banned and is still used in medical practices today.
It wasn’t until 1895 that the Bayer company of Germany finally released heroin to the market as a painkiller, though it was first synthesized from morphine in 1874. However, almost nothing was done with heroin for about 20 years until it was resynthesized by a man in Germany named Felix Hoffman.
In approximately 25 years, the problems associated with heroin were realized. In the US alone, an estimated 200,000 people were already addicted to the drug. The United States banned it, long before many other drugs like cocaine and LSD became illegal.
At that point, heroin use went largely underground and had its ebbs and flows in popularity. But it is still used illicitly to numb pain of all sorts, both physical and emotional.
Since the introduction of heroin, many more opioid drugs have been released on the market, creating what some would call an epidemic. We now have anesthetics that don’t stem from opium as a base, such as ketamine and many others.
Anesthesiology is a complex science and field of study, with the continuing development of new drugs and careful consideration as to how best to alleviate pain. Although there are other options currently and the promise of better drugs in the future, products derived from the opium poppy have long remained the staple when it comes to pain relief and anesthesia for surgical procedures.
Still, we should feel quite accomplished. Anesthesia mortality rates have dropped dramatically. As previously mentioned, chloroform killed 1 in every 3,000 patients in the 1800s. By the 1980s, the number of patients dying from anesthesia had declined to 1 in every 5,000 patients. By 1999, the death rate was more like 1 in 200,000–300,000.
The practice of anesthesia and thus surgery has become significantly safer over the centuries. Technological advancements have been made, and procedures are quite different. Still, we find ourselves largely doing what our ancestors did thousands of years ago to relieve surgical pain.
A few months back, an app developer friend asked me to beta test his new friend-management tool for Facebook… I think you can guess where this is going. Overnight I noticed about 90 friends had vanished. By the time the weekend hit, I’d unintentionally divested myself of about another 200 online friends. By the time I figured out how to safely delete the program, I was down about 550 friends.
It was weird, but who are we kidding, how many genuine friends do you really have on social media? Weirder yet was the fact that I didn’t notice who was missing for quite a while. By then, I realized it was more of a relief not to have to keep track of people I didn’t much care about.
All this got me thinking about what’s important in life, and what we should delete without looking back.
Even if you’re not a hoarder by nature, these are some things it’s time to let go of:
1. Does it spark misery?
In her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo advises readers to rid themselves of objects that no longer spark joy in their lives. Many argue that she’s taken it too far, in basically advising people to get rid of any clutter, knickknacks, or clothing to the point of being a total ascetic.
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Let’s flip that notion on its ear for a moment and find a way to rid ourselves of things that make us gnash our teeth or remember awful things.
Do you have a pen that your former boss gave you… right before she fired you? What about your resume that still lists that job that destroyed your career or email signature that has your ex’s last name instead of the one you use now?
Just hit delete, take it to the trash, reset or otherwise allow yourself to eliminate the reminders of moments or people you’d prefer to forget.
2. Manage your mess
It’s a little bit weird that most of us brag about how many unanswered emails we have in our inbox at any given time; so, what about trying to make your inbox work for you instead of finding workarounds to that overcrowded space?
Nicholas Reichenbach, Founder, and CEO of Flow Water, said that instead of worrying about what to hold onto, perhaps it’s better to rethink the way you use your email. “The key is to use your inbox as a ‘to do’ list with all current emails representing an action required by me or others. The rest of the emails are immediately filed under key business activities (such as accounting, sales, marketing, etc.) or deleted,” Reichenbach said.
“I never go one night with my inbox not up to date; and all messaging have been read, filed or deleted,” Reichenbach added. He says his method is highly effective for managing 150-200 emails and never missing a beat on important and rapid communication.
3. Don’t be on fleek
While there are some catchphrases and expressions that are instant classics, others can make you seem like you’re trying way too hard. Just because you read it in Teen Vogue or The New Yorker, doesn’t mean that the latest cool expression belongs in your updated vernacular.
Pay close attention to the way your colleagues or boss react when you slip a word into conversation. Are you faced with blank stares or sneers? It’s time to cut back on the hipsterisms and pay closer attention to the way people at your age or stage actually speak.
4. Fly guys or girls
In a recent Women in the Workplace video on WSJ.com, a linguist tackled the issue of Creaky Phonation, AKA Vocal Fry, the style of talking in which you sort of crunch or sound creaky at the end of sentences. And while people can identify the trend in both men or women’s voices, it was perceived more negatively in women’s voices, especially in the workplace.
It’s one thing to try to affect more of a regional sound or dialect, quite another to take on a manner of speaking that mimics Kardashians and irritates potential employers.
So, if frying is your affectation of choice, perhaps it’s time to let it go the way of uptalking. Away. Far, far away.
Some years back I felt extremely adored when a British colleague ended his email with his initial followed closely by an ‘x.’ A bit later I realized that I probably should have been insulted that there was only one; and for the few months we worked together I started counting email kisses. These days, x’s and o’s are pretty much every day sign offs in some industries.
Others consider including smileys, or other emoji to be just fine on all manner of correspondence, but before you assume that it’s okay to send your boss a happy face, take a moment to think about whether it diminishes your message or overall professionalism.
While it might be entirely acceptable to start an email to a stranger with “Hi, love” if you work in beauty PR, it could come across as a form of harassment in a more buttoned-down industry.
Baba had once stated: “Words that proceed from the Source of Truth have real meaning …” And direct from the Source came the following words for his lovers, through Mani’s Family Letter of 14 December 1966:
Desires and longings are the root cause of all suffering. The only Real Desire is to see God, and the only Real Longing is to become one with God. This Real Desire and Longing frees one from the bondage of birth and death. Other desires and longings bind one with ignorance.
To desire the Real Desire and to long for the Real Longing you need my grace, and you cannot have that until you surrender all other desires and longings to me.
Your love for me will help you to surrender these desires and longings, and my love for you will help you to desire the Real Desire and long for the Real Longing, which are by my grace.
Lord Meher Online 5255
Painting: “I Had To Come And I Have Come”….Meher Baba
Effective leadership depends on the ability to inspire and positively impact people. In preparing for an important meeting – with your staff, leadership team, or clients – you concentrate on what to say, memorize crucial points, and rehearse your presentation so that you will come across as credible and convincing. This is, of course, something you already know.
But did you also know that the people you’re hoping to influence will be subliminally evaluating your credibility, confidence, empathy, and trustworthiness — and that their evaluation will be only partially determined by what you say? Did you know that your use of personal space, physical gestures, posture, facial expressions, and eye contact can enhance, support, weaken, or even sabotage your impact as a leader?
Here are five crucial things that every leader needs to know about body language:
1. You make an impression in less than seven seconds
In business interactions, first impressions are crucial. Once someone mentally labels you as “trustworthy” or “suspicious,” “powerful” or “submissive,” everything else you do will be viewed through such a filter. If someone likes you, she’ll look for the best in you. If she mistrusts you, she’ll suspect all of your actions.
While you can’t stop people from making snap decisions – the human brain is hardwired in this way as a survival mechanism – you can understand how to make those decisions work in your favor.
First impressions are made in less than seven seconds and are heavily influenced by your body language. In fact, studies have found that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Adjust your attitude. People pick up your attitude instantly. Before you greet a client, or enter the conference room for a business meeting, or step onstage to make a presentation, think about the situation and make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody.
Smile. Smiling is a positive signal that is underused by leaders. A smile is an invitation, a sign of welcome and inclusion. It says, “I’m friendly and approachable.”
Make eye contact. Looking at someone’s eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye color of everyone you meet.)
Lean in slightly. Leaning forward shows you’re engaged and interested. But be respectful of the other person’s space. That means, in most business situations, stay about two feet away.
Watch your posture. Research from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University discovered that “posture expansiveness,” positioning oneself in a way that opens up the body and takes up space, activated a sense of power that produced behavioral changes in a subject independent of their actual rank or role in an organization. In fact, it was consistently found across three studies that posture mattered more than hierarchy in making a person think, act, and be perceived in a more powerful way.
Shake hands. This is the quickest way to establish rapport. It’s also the most effective. Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake. (Just make sure you have palm-to-palm contact and that your grip is firm but not bone-crushing.)
2. Building trust depends on your verbal-nonverbal alignment
Trust is established through a perfect alignment between what is being said and the body language that accompanies it. If your gestures are not in full congruence with your verbal message, people subconsciously perceive duplicity, uncertainty, or (at the very least) internal conflict.
Neuroscientists at Colgate University study the effects of gestures by using an electroencephalograph (EEG) machines to measure “event related potentials” – brain waves that form peaks and valleys. One of these valleys occurs when subjects are shown gestures that contradict what’s spoken. This is the same brain wave dip that occurs when people listen to nonsensical language.
So, in a very real way, whenever leaders say one thing and their gestures indicate another, they simply don’t make sense. Whenever your body language doesn’t match your words (for example, dropping eye contact and glancing around the room while trying to convey candor, rocking back on heels when talking about the organization’s solid future, or folding arms across chest while declaring openness) your verbal message is lost.
3. What you say when you talk with your hands
Have you ever noticed that when people are passionate about what they’re saying, their gestures automatically become more animated? Their hands and arms move about, emphasizing points and conveying enthusiasm.
You may not have been aware of this connection before, but you instinctively felt it. Research shows that audiences tend to view people who use a greater variety of gestures in a more favorable light. Studies also find that people who communicate through active gesturing tend to be evaluated as warm, agreeable, and energetic, while those who remain still (or whose gestures seem mechanical or “wooden”) are seen as logical, cold, and analytic.
That’s one reason why gestures are so critical to a leader’s effectiveness and why getting them right in a presentation connects so powerfully with an audience.
I’ve seen senior executives make rookie mistakes. When leaders don’t use gestures correctly (if they let their hands hang limply to the side or clasp their hands in front of their bodies in the classic “fig leaf” position), it suggests they have no emotional investment in the issues or are not convinced about the point they’re trying to make.
To use gestures effectively, leaders need to be aware of how those movements will most likely be perceived. Here are four common hand gestures and the messages behind them:
Hidden hands. Hidden hands make you look less trustworthy. This is one of the nonverbal signals that is deeply ingrained in our subconscious. Our ancestors made survival decisions based solely on bits of visual information they picked up from one another. In our prehistory, when someone approached with hands out of view, it was a signal of potential danger. Although today the threat of hidden hands is more symbolic than real, our ingrained psychological discomfort remains.
Finger pointing. I’ve often seen executives use this gesture in meetings, negotiations, or interviews for emphasis or to show dominance. The problem is that aggressive finger pointing can suggest that the leader is losing control of the situation – and the gesture smacks of parental scolding or playground bullying.
Enthusiastic gestures. There is an interesting equation of hand and arm movement with energy. If you want to project more enthusiasm and drive, you can do so by increased gesturing. On the other hand, over-gesturing (especially when hands are raised above the shoulders) can make you appear erratic, less believable, and less powerful.
Grounded gestures. Arms held at waist height, and gestures within that horizontal plane, help you – and the audience – feel centered and composed. Arms at waist and bent to a 45-degree angle (accompanied by a stance about shoulder-width wide) will also help you keep grounded, energized, and focused.
4. Your most influential communication medium is (still) face-to-face
In this fast-paced, techno-charged era of email, texts, teleconferences, and video chats, one universal truth remains: Face-to-face is the most preferred, productive, and powerful communication medium. In fact, the more business leaders communicate electronically, the more pressing becomes the need for personal interaction.
In face-to-face meetings, our brains process the continual cascade of nonverbal cues that we use as the basis for building trust and professional intimacy. Face-to-face interaction is information-rich. We interpret what people say to us only partially from the words they use. We get most of the message (and all of the emotional nuance behind the words) from vocal tone, pacing, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues. And we rely on immediate feedback – the instantaneous responses of others – to help us gauge how well our ideas are being accepted.
So potent is the nonverbal link between individuals that, when we are in genuine rapport with someone, we subconsciously match our body positions, movements, and even our breathing rhythms with theirs. Most interesting, in face-to-face encounters the brain’s ”mirror neurons” mimic not just behaviors, but sensations and feelings as well. When we are denied these interpersonal cues and are forced to rely on the printed or spoken word alone, the brain struggles and real communication suffers.
Technology may be a great facilitator for factual information, but meeting in person is the key to positive employee and client relationships. As Michael Massari, Ceasars Entertainment’s SVP of National Meetings and Events, told me: “No matter what industry you work in, we are all in the people business. Regardless of how tech-savvy you may be, face-to-face meetings are still the most effective way to capture the attention of participants, engage them in the conversation, and drive productive collaboration. In fact, at Ceasars, our mantra is: If it’s not that important, send an email. If it’s important but not mission critical, pick up the phone. If it’s critically important to the success of your organization, go see someone.”
5. If you can’t read body language, you are missing half the conversation
More business executives are learning not only how to send the right signals, but also how to read them. Peter Drucker, the renowned management consultant, understood this clearly. “The most important thing in communication,” he once said, “is hearing what isn’t said.”
Communication happens over two channels – verbal and nonverbal – resulting in two distinct conversations going on at the same time. While verbal communication is obviously important, it’s not the only message being sent. Without the ability to read body language, we miss crucial elements to conversations that can positively or negatively impact a business.
When people aren’t completely onboard with an initiative, leaders need to be able to recognize what’s happening – and to respond quickly. That’s why engagement and disengagement are two of the most important signals to monitor in other people’s body language. Engagement behaviors indicate interest, receptivity, or agreement while disengagement behaviors signal boredom, anger, or defensiveness.
Engagement signals include head nods or tilts (the universal sign of “giving someone your ear”), and open-body postures. When people are engaged, they will face you directly, “pointing” at you with their whole body. However, the instant they feel uncomfortable, they may angle their upper body away – giving you “the cold shoulder.” And if they sit through the entire meeting with both arms and legs crossed, it’s unlikely you have their buy-in.
Also, monitor the amount of eye contact you’re getting. In general, people tend to look longer and with more frequency at people or objects they like. Most of us are comfortable with eye contact lasting about three seconds, but when we like or agree with someone we automatically increase the amount of time we look into his or her eyes. Disengagement triggers the opposite: the amount of eye contact decreases, as we tend to look away from things that distress or bore us.
Body-language savvy is becoming part of an executive’s personal brand. Great leaders sit, stand, walk, and gesture in ways that exude confidence, competence, and status. They also send nonverbal signals of warmth and empathy – especially when nurturing collaborative environments and managing change. As an executive coach, I’ve been awed by the impact that body language has on leadership results. Good body language skills can help you motivate direct reports, bond with audiences, present ideas with added credibility, and authentically project your personal brand of charisma. That’s a powerful set of skills for any leader to develop.
Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., is an international keynote speaker and leadership presence coach. She’s the author of “The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help – or Hurt How You Lead” and creator of LinkedInLearning’s video series: “Body Language for Leaders.” For more information, visit https://CarolKinseyGoman.com.
You’re having a conversation at a party. It sounds normal enough, but something doesn’t feel right, although you can’t quite put your finger on what. You recognize that your friend is telling you something without telling you something — “I normally don’t like the way you dress, but that dress looks great on you!” she says.
Ouch. It hits you: She’s being passive aggressive.
Passive-aggressive behavior is a way of expressing anger in a seemingly non-hostile way — a deliberate and masked way of expressing covert feelings. It’s a behavior that encompasses more than just eye rolls and faux compliments; it involves a range of actions designed to get back at another person without him or her recognizing the underlying anger.
What Makes People Passive Aggressive?
Passive-aggressive behavior, while expressed in many different ways (sarcasm, the silent treatment, running late, to name a few), has the same roots: There is an underlying fear and avoidance of direct conflict, yet a feeling of powerlessness and helplessness.
There can be a number of reasons for the cause of the behavior. One is from a fear of anger. Most of us learn when growing up that it is bad to express anger inappropriately. The passive aggressive person has learned that expressing anger in any way is bad and that he or she is bad for feeling anger.
Another reason is based on upbringing. Children who are raised by overly controlling parents, in an environment where self-expression is not permitted, are forced to learn other ways to express feelings of anger and hostility. Since they are dependent upon their parents, they risk punishment if they don’t do as their parents say. Therefore, they lash out at their parents covertly and maintain that behavior into adulthood.
There are many other biological and environmental factors that can contribute to the development of passive aggressive behavior. A few of these include:
Whether you find yourself in a relationship with someone who displays their anger in a passive-aggressive manner, or you recognize such behavior patterns within yourself, consider eliminating this communication style in order to relate to others in a healthier, more effective way..
Learn to recognize the behavior, check your perceptions, confront it, and create a safe space to communicate in more assertive ways.
1. Recognize your behavior
The best way to nip passive aggressive behavior in the bud is to become aware of when you’re reacting in a passive aggressive way.
2. Understand why your behavior should be changed
It’s important to realize that passive-aggression is not less aggressive simply because it’s passive. Essentially, passive-aggression is an indirect form of aggression — not necessarily a milder form of aggression.
3. Give yourself time
Recognizing your own behaviors and understanding them is a good first step toward change, but altering your patterns and reactions can take some time.
4. Realize it’s OK to be angry
You can still be a positive person and feel emotions we typically label as negative. And you can be a loving friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, mother, father, son, or daughter while feeling anger in response to something the other person has done.
5. Be assertive, not aggressive
State facts clearly and be clear about your opinions. Let the person know the impact of her behavior in clear statements.
6. Be open to confrontation
While directing expressing your needs can lead to potential confrontation, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Keep in mind that confrontation can be direct and respectful — even if positivity isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of it.
Believe in Yourself
Avoiding the slide into passive aggressiveness requires closing the gap between anger and silence — either by dissipating anger or breaking the silence. The more you believe that you have the right to express your wants and needs, the less likely you are to fear being swayed by others’ opinions or rejected for voicing what you want. And the less you fear those things, the more direct you’re likely to be.
It’s a long, often difficult journey, but as a first step, practice listening to what you want and giving it to yourself. If you begin to treat your desires as important and valid and experience how good that feels, you’ll start to believe that you deserve similar treatment from other people.
एका राज्यात एक संन्यासी रहात होता. गावाबाहेर एका मंदिरात रहायचे, येणाऱ्या लोकांना मार्गदर्शन करायचे, मंदिराची आणि गावाची सेवा करायची आणि मिळेल त्यात गुजराण करायची असा त्याचा नित्यक्रम होता.
एकदा त्या राज्याचा राजा त्या बाजूने एका मोहिमेवर जात होता. त्याने या संन्याशाबद्दल ऐकले आणि त्याला भेटण्यासाठी तो त्या मंदिरात गेला.
संन्याशाने राजाचे यथोचित आदरातिथ्य केले आणि राजाला मार्गदर्शन केले. राजा पुढे मोहिमेवर गेला आणि त्यात त्याला खूप मोठे यश मिळाले. हे यशा संन्याशाच्या मार्गदर्शनामुळे मिळाले म्हणून राजाचा त्याच्यावर प्रचंड विश्वास बसला. माघारी जाताना तो पुन्हा मंदिरात गेला आणि संन्याशाला राजवाड्यात वास्तव्यास येण्याची विनंती केली.
संन्याशी म्हणाला, “आम्ही संन्याशी लोक, आम्हाला काय करायचंय राजवैभव. आम्ही इथेच ठीक आहोत.”
परंतु राजा म्हणाला, “महाराज, आम्हाला, राज्याला आपल्या मार्गदर्शनाची गरज आहे. राज्याच्या कल्याणासाठी आपण आमच्यासोबत चलावे.”
अखेर संन्याशी तयार झाला आणि राजासोबत महालात रहायला गेला.
राजाचा राजवाडाच तो, तिथे काय कमी? संन्याशाला स्वतंत्र महाल देण्यात आला. उंची वस्त्रे, रेशमी बिछाने, गालिचे, सोन्याचांदीची भांडी, पंचपक्वाने कशाकशाची कमी नव्हती.
संन्याशाचा आता ‘राज ऋषी’ झाला. महालात रहात असताना पण त्याची नित्यकर्मे सुरूच होती. आणि बैठकीत तो राजाला कारभाराबाबत सल्ले द्यायचा.
पण झालं असं की त्याच्या सोबत इतर जे संन्याशी होते, त्यांचा जळफळाट होऊ लागला. त्यांना या वैभवाची लालसा होती, पण त्यांना ते मिळत नव्हते. एकेदिवशी ते सगळे त्या संन्याशाच्या महालात गेले. संन्याशी आसनावर बसून काहीतरी वाचन करत होता. त्याने त्या सर्वांना बसायला सांगितले, आदरातिथ्य केले.
भेटीला गेलेल्या संन्याशांच्या म्होरक्याने त्यास विचारले, “काय रे, तू तर विरक्तीच्या मोठ्या मोठ्या बाता मारत होतास. ‘माझे जीवन मी परमेश्वराला दिले आहे’ असे सांगत होतास. आणि इथे मात्र चैन करतो आहेस. आता तुला विरक्ती नाही का आठवत?”
हे ऐकून संन्याशी मंद हसला. आपल्या आसनावरून उठला आणि सर्वांना म्हणाला, “चला माझ्यासोबत.” सर्वजण आपल्या जागेवरून उठले आणि कुतूहलाने संन्याशाच्या मागे जाऊ लागले. चालत चालत ते सर्वजण महालाबाहेर आले, गावाबाहेर आले, लोकवस्ती संपून जँगल सुरू झाले… मग मात्र एकेकाचा धीर सुटायला लागला.
एकाने विचारले, “अरे इकडे कुठे नेतोयस आम्हाला?”
संन्याशी म्हणाला, “आपण देवाकडे जातोय.”
दुसरा म्हणाला, “अरे, पण आपण इकडे रहाणार कुठं, खाणार काय? आणि आमची झोळी, ती तर तिकडे महालातच राहिली, ती तरी घेतली असती…”
तेव्हा संन्याशी म्हणाला, “बंधुनो, मी माझा महाल, माझे वैभव सोडून आलो…तुम्हाला तुमची झोळी सुद्धा सोडवत नाही?? आता तुम्हीच सांगा आसक्ती कुणाला आहे आणि विरक्त कोण आहे? लोभी कोण आहे आणि योगी कोण आहे?”
“माझ्याकडे जे आहे, ते मी माझे म्हणून उपभोगत नाही, तर मी ज्या स्थानावर आहे त्याची गरज म्हणून वापरतो आहे. मला याचा जराही लोभ नाही.”
हे ऐकून त्या सर्व संन्याशाना त्यांची चूक लक्षात आली.
गोष्ट पहिली तर अगदी साधी…एखाद्या लहान मुलाला ऐकवावी अशी…पण आज ती सर्वांना सांगायची गरज आहे ती यासाठी की, आसक्ती आणि विरक्तीचा विचार करताना आपली गफलत होऊ नये.
देशहिताचा विचार करताना ‘मोदी’ नावाचा संन्याशी, स्थानाची प्रतिष्ठा राखण्यासाठी वैभव वापरितही असेल, पण ते विरक्तपणे…परंतु जे त्यांच्या नावाने अखंड टोळ्या जमवून शिमगा करतात, त्यांचे हेतू आपण ओळखायला हवेत. उद्या जर या संन्याशाला आपण हाकलून दिले, तर तो सहजच निघूनही जाईल… त्याला त्याचा काही खेद नसेल, परंतु तो गेल्यावर संधीसाधू लांडग्यांची जी लचकेतोड सुरू होईल, त्याचे काय? याचा आपण विचार करायला हवा.