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Old Age – A Myth

The essence of Brahmavidya lies hidden in the power of faith, the belief that enables man to bear the fruits of his endeavors. The great Master who brought this science to us, demystifies this secret and explains in great detail how and why Brahmavidya makes us look and feel young, how it cures our illness and where lies the secret to longevity. Read on and enrich yourself for life!

How old are you? When posed with such a question, we immediately start calculating and as situation demands we may tell more or less or the correct age. Depending on the number we tell. We feel that we are young or old. Higher the number, the older we feel we are. We feel that we are using our body for so many years and due to wear and tear it is getting old. We see the onslaught of old age everywhere around us. We believe that it is quite normal and everyone falls prey to the ageing process. Yet no one has ever proved that it is necessary. This in other words means that no one has ever proved a definite cause of the ageing process.

Hence looking past the illusion around us we have to ask ourselves. Do we have to grow old? Thousands of years ago, one of the greatest Indian sages declared: Human beings grow old and die because they see others grow and die. In this brief article I will present before you some research findings about the ageing process and I hope that these will be helpful in tearing away from the roots your belief in old age and about the ageing process.

When asked about our age. The most obvious answer would result from the calculation of a mathematical figure, which in the modern medical terminology is called Chronological age (CA). Besides this chronological age with which we are familiar, modern science defines two other ages, which are – Biological age (BA) and Psychological age (PA).

BA indicates how old your body is in terms of critical life signs and cellular processes whereas PA indicates how old you feel you are. Compared to CA, it is not possible to exactly estimate BA or PA. But the main point is that your BA and your PA is not exactly similar to your CA and these two ages may differ from individual to individual.

Though much research has been conducted, no scientific consensus exists regarding the true nature of ageing process. The present research is carried out on the basis of the following three theories:

  1. Genetic Theory – This theory assumes that the defects of ageing result from accumulation of random genetic damage or from small errors in the flow of genetic information. Such damage or errors would reduce or prevent proper cell function.
  1. Cellular Theory –In the study of human cells, scientists have found that the cells in a tissue culture are capable of only limited number of cell division. As the cells approach this limit the rate of division goes down and the cells die after reaching the limit. This finding may suggest that ageing is programmed into the cells.
  1. Physiological Theory – This theory focuses on organism systems and their inter-relationships for instance, the immune system. The immune system gradually loses its capacity to fight all infections and other invaders as the organism ages.

All the above theories are different from each other. Most experts now believe that ageing is not a result of a single mechanism but represents many phenomena working together.

The basic building block of human body is the cell. Each cell has its intelligence, which is called DNA. Scientists have found that there has been no change in the DNA for thousands of years. The DNA of man in Stone Age is the same as the DNA of modern man today.

The human body grows and maintains itself by division of cells. Based on the research conducted about 50 years ago, it seemed possible that human cells were potentially immortal and they could divide indefinitely given a favourable environment. There however, were mistakes in the earlier experiments. Now it is established that the human cells can divide only for limited number of times, which is about 50. As the cells approach their fiftieth division they divide slowly and begin to look older. By looking at these results one may expect that all human beings will grow old at almost the same rate. We however, do not find so in reality. This implies that there may be other mechanisms working within the body besides this limit of cell division.

The human organism contains a mixture of cells in three stages. These are premature, partly mature and mature cells. Mature cells are those cells, which have differentiated and have taken a form of a particular organ cell. The DNA of each cell contains intelligence to create every type of cell required within the body. Depending on the requirement, the premature cell may become a heart cell, a brain cell, a stomach cell or a kidney cell.

Students of Brahmavidya will find this fact about DNA interesting. In Brahmavidya we say that whatever exists in the Macrocosm has its counterpart in the Microcosm, the human body. As the Universal Creative Intelligence pervades the whole universe and has within itself the potential to create anything, the DNA present in all the cells of the body contains intelligence to create any cell required by the body.

The finding that a cell dies after certain number of divisions appears to be oversimplified. A cell has experiences. It remembers what happens to it. It is capable of losing its skills if the knowledge contained in it is lost or damaged. The difference between life and death for a cell lies in its memory. (Think of the importance of our Memory developing breath). A perfect memory in the cell would lead to immortality, because there can be no death as long as cell division and renewal continues without flaws or mistakes.

By the results of various experiments, it has been established that the cells are influenced and programmed by thoughts and emotions. An experiment was conducted with a polygraph or a lie detector. The lie detector measures the ability of the skin to conduct electricity. Depending upon whether the body is relaxed or tense its ability to conduct electricity changes. These changes are measured by the lie detector. The lie detector needle will jump if the person looks at an erotic picture or relives a past trauma. This emotional excitement is captured by the lie detector.

An experiment was conducted with such a lie detector in which some cells scraped from the mouth of the person were conducted to another polygraph in a separate room. It was found that when the person got excited his cells, which were in, another room totally disconnected from him also got excited and showed similar results. This simple experiment shows the effect of thoughts and emotions, which are deeply embedded in the memory of every cell.

All the experiments conducted on cells are performed in a laboratory where the cells are not influenced by the organism as a whole. These theories appear to assume that the part (cell) is more important than the whole (the body) and do not take into account the psychological factors. But from our experience we know that mental health plays a very important role. Depending on the mental health some people look much younger than their age, whereas some others start looking very aged even in youth. Thus when the psychological factors are added the phenomenon becomes very complex and no single theory can explain old age.

It has been found in various experiments that Meditation helps in retarding the ageing process. Depending on the duration for which the person has been meditating regularly, his BA may be lower than his CA by about 5-12 years. Time or consciousness of time is the psychological enemy of man. This enemy is so well entrenched in our mind and bodies that under normal circumstances it appears impossible to ward off this powerful foe. Only in meditation we can reach the timeless states of experience (Students of Brahmavidya must have had his experience, that while in meditation we lose sense of time.) In silence we come closer and closer to our real self, which is new and youthful. During meditation the body absorbs these qualities of our real self.

Our belief that wear and tear is taking its toll and making the body old and worn out does not have any scientific basis. If this were true then taking rest would be the perfect solution to avoid wear and tear. But we do not find so. If we do not use the body it starts losing its capabilities. Hence proper exercise has a rejuvenating effect on the body. The body contains tremendous intelligence in all its cells to respond to the demands made upon it. It has been found those athletes who train rigorously for competitive sports develop their body well. This means that particular organs within their body become stronger and more powerful as required by the particular sport activity. In the case of athletes the size of the heart increases and their heart is able to pump more blood than an average person’s heart. With old age human beings start losing muscles and become weak. With regular exercise even in old age muscle loss can be avoided and the strength can be maintained.

All the above information indicates that in spite of much research: man has not yet been able to find an answer to this myth called old age. It appears that the more he uncovers, the more complex the problem becomes. The sages of the past however, had intuitively solved this problem and had declared that old age is nothing but a ‘fallacy of intelligence’ (PradnyaAparadh).

Whether modern science is able to find an answer for the ageing process is immaterial to us in Brahmavidya. We are already in possession of a practical method to ward off old age and express youth continuously. So let us renew our faith! Rather than believing in the appearance of the cells or the organs or the body, let us believe in the intelligence, which has created it! Only such firm belief can save us from this illusion called – OLD AGE.

 

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