( By Dr Ramesh Kapadia )

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An Opportunity To Think

It was a fine winter morning, November end 1988, my younger brother, 53, an advocate was convalescing after a by-pass surgery in a cosy room at St. Louis Hospital, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. This was the 4th day of his surgery. He was sitting up quite relaxed and happy. Dr. George J. Reul, an eminent surgeon of Texas Heart Institute entered the room and inquired of my brother as to how he was feeling that day. My brother answered, ‘I am feeling fine.’ Dr. Reul responded saying, ‘Yes, you are bound to be fine as we have started circulation to your heart.’ He paused a little and added, ‘ This is not a cure of the problem, far from it. We have given you an opportunity to think. So, think ... ‘ My brother who was in U.S. for the first time could not understand Dr. Reul. So he asked , ‘ You said, "think "? Think what ?’ Dr. Reul said, ‘Yes, think, we all like to be successful. We like to work hard. It is nice to achieve success, but there are other things in life ... and I think your elder brother here, who is cardiolosit, would explain it to you so that you don’t have to come back to me. ‘ There was silence. My brother was left in a thoughtful mood. He enquired against of Dr. Reul, ‘ When will you see me again ?’ Dr. Reul smiled and said, ‘ I do not have to see you again, your brother will explain. I am going out of the country tomorrow and you may take discharge from the hospital as soon as you wish. ‘ Dr. Reul said so eloquently all that needs to be said about by-pass surgery for the treatment of coronary heart disease. Having realised his own self as the Self, a man becomes selfless ; and in virtue of selflessness he is to be conceived as unconditioned. This is the highest mystery , betokening emancipation ; through selflessness he has no part in pleasure or pain, but attains absoluteness.

Maitrayana Upanishad