Traditional Wisdom for Contemporary Coping

The postmodern man, on the threshold of embarking on a revolution of Artificial Intelligence and Creative Robotics, is still facing challenges posed by the most primitive set of emotions, Anger-Anxiety-Depression, and Guilt.  With strides in the field of  Neuropsychopharmacology and the development of Cognitive Behaviour Therapies…..this man and his culture are still looking with hope towards the wisdom emanating from the past, may it be Yoga, Vipassana, Mindfulness, Art of Living or Inner Engineering.

What is so endearing about these pages of the past?  What is it that makes this scriptural wisdom relevant in the globalized, gadget-dependent world? Why are even some of our most ‘Scientific’ brains delving deep into this ancestral treasure?….And of course how can this society benefit from these pearls from the past in this OZONE depleting environment?

This interesting phase in Human Evolution, where unabashed consumerism is growing in stature every day and individualism is reaching new peaks of self-centric intoxication, there is also a quest to transcend mundane materialism and seek a fresh meaning in life.

With multidisciplinary and multiracial teams getting together to study unsolved scientific and cultural riddles on one side….Fanatic streams of thought in nearly all corners of the world are trying to hold this globe for ransom. It’s a strange co-existence of liberal thought and restrictive, sectarian dogmatic thinking co-existing at the same time.

Or is it that THIS is an eternal conflict that man has faced throughout his journey, and that’s the very reason why past wisdom still finds a place in a world that has changed outwardly beyond recognition if a sage from the Upanishadic times visits the globe today.

As a student and activist in the field of Mental Health for a period of almost four decades now, I find myself at a remarkable crossroad…..Trying to understand torn minds amidst apparently bountiful consumer goods, people still having existential problems and in contrast, people with a treasure of pleasures, still unsatisfied and even complaining about getting a raw deal from life.

As a mental health professional, I have been dealing with individuals and families in distress with Psychopharmacological molecules, liberal dosages of REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy) and also giving them genuine support. At times I have crossed my limits of being a ‘Clinical Psychiatrist’ and walked an extra mile with many of my clients.  Yet, I felt I need to extend my understanding of Life……Life, existence, death . …..Meaning of Life and of death, the relationship with the self……And with others!

Here I decided to go back to the basic treasures from wherein arises the stream of ancient Indian wisdom – Vedanta.!!

The Vedanta philosophy and its origin had been an eluding puzzle for me for over two decades….. My attention turned to the Bhagavat Gita, after I started receiving queries on it by some of my participant executives at Corporate Seminars on the theme of ‘Stress Management’.

The study then became a habit of sorts…..unsettling my emphasis…..First, the Gita…..Then its creative presentations in my mother tongue, viz. the Dnyaneshwari (by Sant Dnyaneshwar), Gatha (by Sant Tukaram) and some other scriptures. With my interest in History, I also closely studied the works of Swami Vivekananda, Lokmanya Tilak, and Mahatma Gandhi. I am deeply touched by how these visionary leaders in their times fell back upon this pool of wisdom for their altruistic goals……Then came the modern commentators of Vedanta, most prominently amongst them Vinoba (Bhave), the spiritual heir of Gandhiji and a profound Rishi whose insights have become the illuminating lights on my daily life. Closely followed by Osho, whose lucid style still encapsulates my attention. When I started studying Vedanta, this luminous trail was enlightened by others like Eknath Easwaran, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Mr. M (a Muslim scholar of Vedanta), scholars from the Ramakrishna order, Gandhian writer, Mrunalini Desai, and many others. Each of them, while explaining the major Upanishads, banked on the wisdom of people like Adi Shankaracharya, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Ramana Maharshi, J Krishnamurti, and others.

I wanted to link insights in Cognitive Psychology with Vedanta and explore how Vedanta was going beyond cognition….Recent strides in Neurosciences related to imaging techniques added to my excitement. What was still lacking was the presence of a GURU… enlightened teacher.

Since the last four years, I have had the good fortune to learn from two special teachers of Vedanta, Neema Majmudar and Surya Tahora. Neema is an economist by training and Surya has a doctorate in pharmacology. Neema was working with the UN and Surya is a faculty at the S. P. Jain Institute of Management. Both have done their study of Vedanta with Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who is the peer of Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati and who founded the Vedanta University near Coimbatore in the South and who has an Ashram at Hrishikesh.  Both my teachers are extremely articulate as well as empathic. With a globalized world view, they add their understanding of the modern world to the delivery of Vedic knowledge.

I always require a culminating goal point to all my studious journeys. Three decades of our organization, IPH (Institute for Psychological Health) coming up in March 2020, is one such occasion. Why not share the process of my journey with all, on this occasion and also perform a ‘Dnyanyadnya’ by raising some funds for our institute? Almost fifteen years back I had done a similar experiment for our work and helped realize the dream of our institute in its own, owned space. So I have made a plan.

On December 13th, 14th, 15th, 2019, evening 6 p.m. – 9.30 p.m., 180 minutes per day, 540 minutes on three evenings, I will share with all, my journey around the theme
‘Vedanta Ethos and the Enlightened Personality.’

My serious limitation at this point is my emphasis on the Cognitive approach. To me, all study is about Thinking and Attitudes.  That’s my conditioning……Being Empathic is something that I have tried to sharpen over the years. Therefore, the doctrine of ‘BHAKTI’ is not new to me. Altruistic behavior is something that comes naturally to me quite a number of times, as material gain has hardly ever been a priority in my life…..But I am still away from any illuminating spiritual experience that goes beyond cognition. However, there are many times during a day when I do experience the dissolution of my ‘Human MEness’ and the awareness of only a Flow of Being. I just experience it, acknowledge it and leave it.

The advantage of this limitation is that I can relate to all the sorrows and disappointments of my day-to-day practical life in a ‘common’ way.  Sometimes it is more useful to share your journey midway than after reaching the destination….. You are still there with miseries around and within you, awaiting transcendence!!

So, here is what it’s going to be…

Audiovisual communication…..A Monologue draped as a dialogue…..For all these 540 minutes, on three evenings, at the end of this year.

Want to join in?  Reserve your place and help our cause of ‘Mental Health for All’

-Dr. Anand Nadkarni.


Date: December 13th, 14th, 15th, 2019
Time: 6.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.
Venue: Shiv Samarth Vidyalay, Opp. Gadkari Rangayatan, Near Talao Pali, Thane- West
Donation Contribution: ₹ 500 per person for all three evenings.
(Your further voluntary contributions to our cause are welcome at the venue)
Seating Arrangement: Limited

Book your seat in advance NOW.

WhatsApp/ SMS/ Telephone: 9870600098

वेध कट्टा आणि तरुणाई ने केलेली स्वरांची बरसात

‘वेध’ हा डॉक्टर आनंद नाडकर्णी यांच्या पुढाकाराने सुरु झालेला उपक्रम गेली अनेक वर्षं महाराष्ट्रातल्या १० जिल्ह्यांमध्ये सुरू असून पुण्यातही गेली १० वर्षं सातत्यानं संपन्न होतो आहे. वर्षभरानंतर होणार्‍या भेटीपेक्षा सातत्यानं सगळ्यांशी जोडलेलं राहावं, परस्परांत संवाद व्हावा या हेतूनं वेध कट्टयाची पुण्यात सुरूवात झाली. प्रत्येक महिन्यात एका कार्यक्रमाचं आयोजन केलं जातं. पहिल्या कट्टयापासूनच हा संवाद रंगत गेला.
कालच्या वेध कट्टयात पावसाळी वातावरण असल्यामुळे पावसाळी कविता, गाणी, किस्से ऐकण्यासाठी वेध कट्टयावर अनेक रसिक वेळेत येऊन पोहोचले होते. ब्रह्मे सभागृह सहा वाजता पूर्ण भरून गेलं होतं. व्यासपीठावर तरूण मंडळी लगबग करताना दिसली. कार्यक्रम सुरू झाला.
पल्लवी आणि प्राची गोडबोले या दोघी बहिणी (खर तर या बहिणी नाहीत! आडनाव भगिनी!), हर्षद आणि हर्षल हे त्यांना हार्मोनियम आणि तबला/ढोलकी यांची साथ देणारे दोघं तरूण आणि निवेदन करणारे शिल्पा चौधरी आणि प्रदीप कुलकर्णी असे सहा जण व्यासपीठावर होते. प्राची ही कम्प्युटर इंजिनिअर असूनही तिची शास्त्रीय आणि सुगम संगीतातली गाण्याची तयारी लाजबाब! कालचं गाणं लोकांना खुश करण्यासाठी, स्पर्धेत पळापळ करून यश पटकवण्यासाठीचं नव्हतं. हे गाणं आनंदासाठी होतं आणि म्हणूनच कार्यक्रम रंगतच गेला. मल्हार असो, मिया मल्हार असो रागांनी आपलं वातावरण तयार केलं होतं. बोले रे पपिहरा, ये रे घना, ऋतू हिरवा ऋतू बरवा सह अनेक रचना….केवळ अप्रतिम! त्यातच शिल्पा आणि प्रदीप यांनी मधून मधून केलेली इतर कवितांची पेरणी आणि किस्से हे देखील तितकीच रंगत वाढवणारे होते. यात दासू वैद्यची फेसबुकी पावसाची कविता आणि गुरू ठाकूरच्या कवितेतला पाऊस अंतर्मुख करून गेला.
मध्यंतरात वेध कट्टयावर गरमागरम भजी, चटणी आणि वाफाळलेला चहा असा फक्कडसा बेत रसिकांसाठी होता. लोकांनी आस्वाद घेतला मात्र कार्यक्रम वेळेत सुरू व्हावा यासाठी बरोबर १५ मिनिटांत आपापल्या जागा पटकावल्या. मध्यंतरांनंतरही कार्यक्रमाची उंची वाढतच गेली. पल्लवीनं गायलेली विदूषक चित्रपटातली आनंद मोडक यांनी संगीतबध्द केलेली ‘श्रावणातलं ऊन मला झेपेना’ ही लावणी आणि प्राचीनं गायलेलं सलिल चौधरींनी संगीतबद्ध केलेलं शैलेंदचं गीत ‘ओ, सजना बरखा बहार आयी’ या गाण्यांनी वन्स मोअर मिळवला. खरं तर प्रत्येक गाण्यानंतर वाजणार्‍या टाळ्या वन्समोअरचीच मागणी करणार्‍या होत्या. पण कार्यक्रम वेळेत सुरू करणं आणि वेळेत संपवणं याबाबतीत वेध कट्टा टीम काटेकोर असल्यानं त्याकडे सगळ्यांचं लक्ष होतं. शेवटची ठुमरी (भैरवीतली) मनाला चटका लावून गेली. कार्यक्रम कसा संपला कळलंच नाही.
कार्यक्रमात वेध कट्टयामागची भूमिका आणि सप्टेंबरमध्ये साजरा होणारा वेधचा १०० वा कार्यक्रम याविषयी डॉ. ज्योती शिरोडकर हिनं लोकांशी संवाद साधला. हिचं वैशिष्ट्य असं की, कार्यक्रम संपल्यानंतर खरं तर लोक पटकन निघायला बघतात. पण ज्योती जेव्हा तिच्या मधाळ आवाजात बोलायला सुरू करते, तेव्हा लोक जागेवरून उठत नाहीत. कालही हाच अनुभव आला. पावसाविषयी, कालच्या कार्यक्रमाविषयी तिनं जे भाष्य केलं, केवळ लाजवाब! हास्याचा पाऊस, दुःखाचा पाऊस, विरहाचा पाऊस, आनंदाचा पाऊस……जिवात्म्याशी घडलेला संवाद…..क्या बात है!
या कार्यक्रमाचं वैशिष्ट्य असं की ही चारही मुलं जाहीर कार्यक्रमात पहिल्यांदा व्यासपीठावर आली होती (अर्थातच, उद्या त्यांना प्रचंड यश मिळणार यात शंकाच नाही!) तसंच पल्लवी, प्राची, हर्षद, हर्षल ही चौघंही वेधचे संयोजक दीपक पळशीकर यांचे विद्यार्थी आहेत. निवेदन करणारी शिल्पा, आभार व्यक्त करणारी डॉ. ज्योती शिरोडकर या देखील पळशीकर सरांच्या विद्यार्थिनी! असे गुरू लाभल्यावर माणूस समृद्ध तर होणारच आणि त्याच वाटेवरून चालणार याची साक्ष ही मंडळी देत होती!
देशाची सांस्कृतिक आणि शैक्षणिक राजधानी पुण्याला म्हटलं जातं ते उगाच नाही. एकाच दिवशी इथं वेगवेगळ्या भागात एक से एक अनेक कार्यक्रम होत असतात, ज्यांना जिथे जमेल तिथे रसिक जाऊन पोहोचतात. वैयक्तिक आमंत्रणाची गरज भासते, ना आग्रहाची! तरुणाई पासून ते ७५ पार केलेले रसिकही जेव्हा तैय्यार होऊन येतात आणि दाद देतात तेव्हा खरंच पुण्यात राहत असल्याचा अभिमान वाटतो. आपल्या सर्वांगीण विकासासाठी, रोजच्या ताणतणावांतून मुक्त होण्यासाठी, आपल्या आनंदासाठी, आपल्या समाधानासाठी, वेध कट्टा आणि अशा प्रकारच्या कार्यक्रमांची नितांत आवश्यकता आहे.
आता वेध – पुढल्या वेधचे!

दीपा देशमुख, पुणे

कालच्या वेध कट्टा चे व्हिडिओ बघण्यासाठी खालील link वर click करा:

A treasure of learnings

Palshikar sir stopped his science class before time. Huge bundles of some yellow colored pamphlets were brought in and kept on the desk. “Hmm, this is new”, I thought. For all we could see, Sir was extremely excited to tell us about something. It was a complete novelty of experience from usually seeing him as a hard- working teacher with ultimate equilibrium.  All our naïve selves were happy we wouldn’t have to sit through some more physics.

Sir started with a question that wasn’t new to us SSC aspirants. “Tell me, what are your professional ambitions?”, he asked in his gentle voice, filled with genuine curiosity. Personally, this question wasn’t one I liked to answer. Not that I didn’t have an answer in mind. I was extremely sure of my goals. I wanted an education in the humanities. Previously, when I had answered questions about my aspirations, most people didn’t react encouragingly. I was met with remarks like, “Why are you taking up arts when you’re intelligent?” Like the two are mutually exclusive! While I sat there, worried as to how my answer would be received that day, a few of us had already answered. Then, something I dreaded happened. Sir pointed his hand in my direction. “Yes, you tell me…”, he said whilst lifting his eyebrows very encouragingly. “My deepest desire is to become a writer”, I said hesitantly. A very supportive Palshikar Sir instantly started telling me about his impressive library. My ambitions had never received such genuine support from anyone but my parents; let alone from a science teacher!

That was the day I was introduced to the revolutionary movement that VEDH is. Growing up, I have always loved biographies, interviews and the like. This love, along with the description of the work of that year’s faculty members compelled me to attend the conclave. This was in the year 2013. Ever since, I’ve been attending Pune VEDH regularly. After giving it a pragmatic thought, I sincerely think that VEDH has taught me more than my school has.

There is a different theme to VEDH every year. People treading different paths grace the stage and inspire us students. Many a time, our aspirations differ from those of the faculty members. Here, it is the ‘how’ of their work that is more educative than the ‘what’ of it. Over the past six years, VEDH has given me a lot to think about and incorporate in my life. I invite you all to walk through the remainder of this blog as I share my learnings.

Fulfilling career goals isn’t a mechanical event. It is a process of metamorphosis, of continuous learning. When one loves their field of study, they feel involved. It creates a strong sense of meaning, a deeper, more authentic happiness. It feels like one is fulfilling their life’s purpose and there is nothing else they would be doing but this. Imagine, what a luxury this state might be! Here, the work is the reward in itself; one doesn’t have to wait to reach the goal. This kind of happiness, identified by a sense of involvement and meaning is called ‘Preyas’ in Indian philosophical literature. It is supplementary to the more temporary happiness that one experiences after material gains and short- lived satisfactions. This kind of happiness is called ‘Shreyas’. VEDH has inspired me to aim for involvement in everything I do.

While one is on the path to goal fulfillment, one hopes he achieves the goal. Hope is not a passive prayer, but an active state of initiative, monitoring progress and being flexible in the way to achieve the goal. An American psychologist, Snyder, conceptualized hope as having two components: ‘willpower’ and ‘way- power’. Willpower refers to a strong desire to reach the destination, while way power refers to an active journey towards the goal. For this journey, one also needs to have a rational understanding of the resources one has. They could be economic, social, emotional or in any form; as long as they contribute to one’s cause. He needs to enhance what is and cultivate what isn’t. I see the personification of this concept of hope in the faculty at VEDH. Seeing them, I try to imbibe this virtue in myself. It helps in such a way that I feel centered. Neither am I too calculative to sit in front of a white board like Sherlock Holmes; nor in a state of inaction like Jon Snow before battle.

As cliched as it sounds, the journey towards our goal is not going to be a bed of roses. All the challenges along the way will have to be met resiliently. We will have to bounce back from failures, learn from them and land on our feet as gracefully as gymnasts. This bit is a hard nut for me to crack, but I’m trying.

 Many difficult decisions need to be made along the way, too. Decision making is only a one- time event; bearing their consequences is a long one that requires immense patience and courage. All these virtues, I’m still trying to cultivate in good measures.  

Apart from all the above qualities, what impresses me the most is being a good citizen. The faculty members have always contributed to the society. They’ve all dreamt of a better world and are working for it. I think it is such work that defines spirituality. It truly unites you with something greater and beyond yourself.

Today, I am pursuing my masters in counselling psychology from SNDT, Churchgate. In my family, I was the one to take up an education different from everyone else. I was the non- conformist. Shamefully so, that raised many eyebrows. In VEDH and specifically Palshikar Sir, I found an environment that accepts and encourages me, thus, nourishing my being. In the world of VEDH, I was still the conformist amongst people who had done inspiringly varied work. I am grateful VEDH found me when it did. It has widened my world in so many ways. I hold pride in the fact that my academic decisions, along with many life choices, are being shaped by VEDH. I look forward to many more years of learning

Ketaki Joshi


वेध गुजगोष्टी का?

VEDH- Vocational Education Direction and Harmony.

वेध ची सुरुवात १९९१ साली ठाणे शहरात डॉ. आनंद नाडकर्णी यांच्या संकल्पनेतून  झाली. इन्स्टिट्यूट फॉर सायकॉलॉजीकल हेल्थ या संस्थेचा वेध हा flagship प्रोजेक्ट!

     “सुदृढ मन सर्वांसाठी”या संकल्पनेला जीवननिष्ठा मानून विविध उपक्रमांची आखणी व कार्यवाही करणारे आय.पी. एच. चे संस्थापक डॉ आनंद नाडकर्णी यांचे द्रष्टेपण आज वेध या उपक्रमाची “ सामाजिक चळवळ” झाल्याचे पाहून ठळकपणे अधोरेखित होते. तीन दशकांच्या वाटचालीत वेधचे स्वरूप माहिती ते दृष्टीकोन, जीवन मूल्य ते जीवन की पाठशाला ( Life Skill Conclave ) असे बदलत गेले.    

१९९१ साली सुरु झालेला वेध आता शतकाकडे वाटचाल करत आहे. वेध सुरु होऊन ३० वर्ष झाली. २०१४ मधे पुण्यात ५० वा वेध झाला आणि आता २०२० मधे १०० वा वेध आयोजित करण्याचे भाग्यसुद्धा पुणे वेध ला लाभत आहे. वेध सुरु झाल्यानंतर जवळपास २५ वर्षानंतर ५० वा वेध झाला आणि आता ६ वर्षातच १०० वा वेध होत आहे . ही वाढ भूमिती श्रेढी ने exponential growth झाली हे फलित मोठ्या प्रमाणात समाजाला जोडले जाण्यात आहे.आज ठाणे ,नगर ,औरंगाबाद , पुणे ,नाशिक ,लातूर , कल्याण , परभणी व पेण अशा ९ शहरांना वेध ने जोडले आहे.

या सर्व वेध मधून डॉ नाडकर्णी यांनी “प्रत्यक्ष संवाद’ (Live interaction)  या माध्यमातून जवळ जवळ ७०० संवादकांचे कर्तृत्व सुमारे तीन लाख प्रेक्षकांच्या पुढे उलगडलेले  आहे .माझ्या मते हा एक जागतिक विक्रमच होय ! यातील काही मुलाखती आता avahaniph या यू ट्यूब चॅनल वर तुम्ही बघू शकाल.

वेध ची जादू समाज माध्यमांद्वारे जगभरातील मराठी माणसांपर्यंत नेण्यासाठी ‘ वेध- गुजगोष्टी’ हा उपक्रम सुरू करण्यात आला आहे.  तरुणाई पुढे आशावादाचा अंकुर रुजावा , समाजातील वेगवान बदलांवर स्वार होताना लय व गती बिघडू न देता विवेकनिष्ठा , लोकशाही मूल्य , सर्वधर्मसमभाव जपण्याची मनोभूमिका तयार करणे ,नेतृत्व गुण निर्माण करणे , चांगलं जगण्याचे पर्याय त्यांच्या पुढे आणणे हे वेध चे कार्य अधिकाधिक लोकांपर्यंत नेणे हा हेतू या ब्लॉगचा आहे .

हा ब्लॉग वेध बरोबर निगडीत असणारे संवादक ,विद्यार्थी ,पालक ,शिक्षक ,वेधचे आयोजक व इतर कार्यकर्ते यांच्या लिखाणातून सादर करण्यात येणार आहेत.आजपासून सुरु होणाऱ्या या ब्लॉगद्वारे करियर करणाऱ्या सर्वांनाच वेगवेगळे दृष्टीकोन, करियरमधे कोणती कौशल्य आत्मसाद करावी , जीवनाकडे बघताना चांगले पर्याय कसे निवडावे याचेही भान मिळेल.

सप्टेंबर २०२० मधे १०० वा वेध आहे तो पर्यंत १०० ब्लॉग आपल्या पुढे सादर करणार आहोत . आपण हे ब्लॉग निश्चित वाचावे आणि इतरांना देखील वाचावयास सांगावे.

दीपक पळशीकर,


वेध- पुणे  

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