Sunday, December 10, 2017

Suicide Bombers of LTTE and Posttraumatic Phenomenon

By Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge
There’s a hole in the world tonight.

There’s a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There’s a hole in the world tonight.
Don’t let there be a hole in the world tomorrow. – Eagles

Suicide attack is an ancient practice with a modern history. The Mahabharata an ancient epic describes suicide warfare. Islamic Order of Assassins (hashashin) during the early Crusader times was well-known examples. The concept of “terror” as systematic use of violence to attain political ends was first codified by Maximilien Robespierre during the French Revolution. Vladimir Illich Ulyanove (Lenin) used terror against classes, which was later developed by Stalin in a ruthless form.
During the World War 2 the Japanese kamikaze pilots launched suicide attack against the US forces. In Guerrilla Warfare authored by Ernesto Che Guevara described suicide attacks as a path to victory which naturally boosts the morale of other rebels. In the early years of struggle, Che and Fidel Castro used deadly suicide attacks against Batista’s regime.
Social instability in the North since Nineteen Seventies provided a fertile ground for terrorist activities. As a small undercover terrorist group the LTTE transformed into a large group with a massive financial backing and producing Black Tigers who are motivated kill and get killed. The LTTE suicide bombing emerged as a politically based violence. Since July 5, 1987 when the current wave of suicide bombings began, Sri Lanka had been facing a new threat and it has changed the dynamics of the Sri Lankan society. The people became more vigilant and suspicious especially in public places and responded to suicidal bombings with a collective anxiety.
Suicide bombing is not a simple phenomenon with easy explanation. In a suicide attack, the attacker intends to kill others and inflict widespread damage with the knowledge that he would die in the process. The LTTE used suicide as a political and a military tool to spread terror, create mass fear psychosis, and cripple the economy and to disrupt peace.
What is the devastating culture behind suicide killings?. A suicide bomber do not act alone, there are many factors and people behind him. He is hand picked, indoctrinated and given a mission. This is a prolog process, which needs intensive training. He undergoes a dramatic transformation mentally and physically. After a vigorous training, the bomber is ready to detonate himself to fulfill a specific political, religious or ideological goal which he believes completely. He believes that the suicide bombing is an act of martyrdom. After his death, the peer group recognizes suicide bombing as an act of altruism, heroism and adoration.
Group-dynamics play a major part in suicide bombing. Paul Gill in his case work “A political psychology analysis of suicide bomber radicalization highlights this factor. Evidence from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere concur that suicide bombers do not act individually. Following the group pressure, the suicide bomber is strongly dedicated to the mission. Dr. Jerold Post of George Washington University did series of interviews with suicide bombers and of the view that group pressure and identity motivates suicide bombers to act. Psychological manipulation by the group leader directs him to self-destruction.
Although the LTTE did not promote religious extremism, most of the Sri Lankan suicide bombers believed in life after death.(based on the findings by the late Major Major Thuvan Meeden of the SL Army Military Intelligence Corps) They were promised a happy afterlife. As they believed after the mission, they go to the heaven and observe the struggle of their comrades. They become immortals. Many Black Tiger songs carried this radical message.
How does a man turn in to a suicide bomber? Philip Zimbardo’s 1971 research at the Stanford University gives a positive clue how ordinary men can be turned in to outrageous personalities via physical and mental torture. The repercussions of war trauma psychologically affect many suicide bombers. For instance, most of the Al-Qaeda suicide bombers were exposed to combat situations. Research findings indicate that most suicide bombers have had at least one of their loved ones killed or severely harmed at the hands of their enemies. With severe rage and resentment, they begin to act.

Often suicide bombers have extreme thinking patterns. The researcher Randy Borum identifies a four-stage process whereby individuals develop extremist beliefs. A group or individual first identifies some sort of undesirable state of affairs; then frames that event or condition as unjust ; then blames the injustice on a target policy, person, or nation; and then vilifies or demonizes the responsible party so that aggression seems justified.

The LTTE suicide killing was one of the most bizarre forms of political action adopted by its authority via glorification of death and violence. For the LTTE this action was not cleanly a military tactic or reprisal. It was a mass ritual as well as an action beyond death. The LTTE suicide carders better known as Black Tigers (or in Tamil: Karum Puligal) were psychologically motivated to kill and get

The selection of a member for a suicide mission was a complex process. They were handled and trained by experienced personnel. There were a number of issues that had to be taken in to consideration before the selection. The selected member’s loyalty to the organization, psychological makeup, group identity, suicidal ideation etc had to be analyzed. Then the human bombs had to undergo institutionalized indoctrination and systematic injection of odium with adoration of death as well as scrupulous physical training. The intense indoctrination leads to blind obedience. Although the human bomb wasaware of his/her impending death they were psychologically and physically geared up to full fill the task.

The LTTE carried out their first suicide operation on July 5, 1987. Vasanthan alias Millar crashed the truck filled with explosives into Nelliaddy Army camp. In the attack, 40 servicemen were killed. From that day, the LTTE had launched a numerous suicide bombing against military and civil targets killing hundreds. These attacks generated mass fear psychosis and confusion among the public. Between 1984 and 2006, the LTTE carried out 346 suicide bombing attacks (killing 3,262 civilians and wounding another 3,494).
The ICT Researcher Clara Beyler who published the article “Messengers of Death: female suicide bombers” explains that that the terrorist organizations legitimize the use of women as suicide bombers in two ways: by reference to prevalent social norms, and by religious ideology. A LTTE woman suicide bomber, Dhanu, assassinated former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, at an election rally in Sriperambadur, southern India, on May 21, 1991.

Dr. Rajini Thiranagama – co writer of the Broken Palmyra described the widespread rapes of the IPKF in 1988 – 1989 in the North. According to unconfirmed sources, Dhanu was raped by the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force). She may have suffered from RTS or Rape Trauma Syndrome. RTS which is a form of interpersonal violence generates a wider range of conflicting emotions. The victims often have a loss of faith about their sense of safety in society and may feel powerless. Depression and anger after the rape are common features in RTS. Hence, Dhanu’s anger and frustration was projected to the former premier Rajiv Gandhi.
The LTTE suicide bombers choices were often voluntary, but typically under conditions of group pressure and the cult leadership. Consequently, their status as individuals has been nullified by the organization. Suicide behavior is arguably loyalty to intimate cohorts of peers. The suicide bombers see the world subjectively, and are biased and misconstrue the events take place around them. They have stereotyped thinking pattern, extremism and introversion. They justify the murders by a misinterpreted and manipulated faith.
The veneration of death is a form of cult adopted by Jim Jones of the People’s Temple. Jim Jones held a mass ritual of suicides in Guyana in mid seventies. Jim Jones’s followers believed that he was as messiah or a liberator. The black tigers too believed in the cult of Prabhakaran. Therefore, the LTTE suicide bombers did not act entirely under their own authority and responsibility. After a suicide mission their photographs were displayed in public, and stories of their actions were told to the other members. Thus, a strong desire was developed among the carders to follow the example of their predecessors and undertake attacks themselves.
According to Michael Bond who is an expert in analyzing the psychological factors of suicide bombers reveals that the bomber is always recruited and guided by a group with specific political or ideological aims, and the bombers tend to adopt a brotherhood mentality towards each other, encouraged by their common cause, their loyalty to the group and the secrecy of their mission. These factors were common among the LTTE suicide bombers.
The Suicide attackers did not operate in a vacuum. There were large surroundings behind them. The families of suicide martyrs benefited from a financial compensation funded by the LTTE sympathizers. (One of the investigators of the Gamini Dissanayaka’s assassination pointed out that the family of the suicide bomber who killed Gamini Dissanayaka had received a large amount of money from the LTTE sympathizers living in the Western Countries) The LTTE actively promoted suicide bombers, which along with a general climate of martyrdom glorification, served to reinforce a culture of suicide. Among the LTTE there was an adoration of and reverence for suicideattacks.
These martyrs were like human robots. Most of them are traumatized people suffering from depression, PTSD and various other forms of psychological ailments. Their logical reasoning was impaired. They saw people outside their organization as objects or enemies. They were operated by simple ground rules such as “ether you are my friend or you are my enemy”. There was nothing in between. Therefore, they could commit an extreme form of violence without any remorse.
The social conditions nurturing the rise of terrorism are complex and include demographic, economic, political, and educational factors. Poverty, hopelessness, lack of education, and lack of opportunities help to breed terrorism. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu once stated, “at the bottom of terrorism is poverty”.
The rehabilitation of the North after the War plays a crucial role. Human rights violations, negligence of psychosocial developments can re traumatize the people and it will create fertile grounds for terrorism and subsequent suicide bombings. Therefore, successful rehabilitation programs must be implemented in war-wreaked areas of the North uplifting the socio economic conditions and promoting human rights.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

බීජ ව්‍යාප්ත නිලධාරී

හසලක මගේ නිල නිවාසය අසල කෘෂිකර්ම දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ  කාර්‍යාලයක් තිබුනා. මෙහි එක නිලධාරියෙක් හිටියා ; තනතුර - බීජ ව්‍යාප්ත නිලධාරී. මේ නිලධාරියා දිගන පැත්තේ කෙනෙක්. හවසට පොර ශොට් එකක් දාගෙන ගමේ ගොඩේ ඇවිදලා බීජ ව්‍යාප්ත කරලා රෑ දෙගොඩහරියේ කාර්‍යාලයට ඇවිත් මේසයක නිදා ගන්නවා. සමහර විට බීජ ව්‍යාප්තිය අප්සෙට් ගිහින් මිනිස්සු දවල් කාලේ මාරාවේශයෙන් එනවා මෑන්ව සොයාගෙන කාර්‍යාලයට. එතකොට මෑන් හසලක තිබ්බ තිස්ස අත්තනායකයේ කාර්‍යාලයට රිංගනවා. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

අරක්කු බීම

මා මුලින්ම  අරක්කු බිව්වේ 1985 අගෝස්තු මාසය අගදීය​.  ඒ වන විට මගේ වයස අවුරුදු 19 කි.  එදින අපට අපොස උසස් පෙළ විභාගයේ අවසන් ප්‍රශ්න පත්‍රයවූ රසායණ විද්‍යාව විෂය තිබූ දිනය විය​.  අප​ට උසස් පෙළ විභාගය අවසන් වීම විශාල බරක් හිසින් ඉවත් වූවාක් මෙන් විය​. මේ නිසා විභාගයෙන් පසුව සවස අපගේ බජාර් එක  කොලඹ මහජන පුස්තකාලය​ට එක් විය​. එලෙස එක්වී අප විභාගය ගැන කතා කලෙමු. අප අතර ආනන්ද නාලන්ද රෝයල් , ඉසිපතන මෙන්ම ලුම්බිණි විද්‍යාලයේ සිසුන් වූහ​. ඒ අතර උසස් පෙළ දෙවන හෝ තෙවන වර කරන කලර්ස්මන් ලා කිහිප දෙනෙකුද වූ අතර ඉන් එක් අයෙක් "නවත්තපං බං ඔය විභාග කතාව දැන්වත්. විභාගේ ඉවරයි ආතල් එකේ ඉඳපල්ලකෝ කීවේය​. මේ නිසා අප විභාගය ගැන කතා කිරීම නවතා වෙන වෙන වල්පල් කතා කලෙමු. 

එක් කලර්ස්මන් කෙනෙක් පබ් එකේ (කොලඹ මහජන පුස්තකාලයේ) ඉඳන්  මොනා කරන්නද , අපි ගෝල්ෆේස් යමු කීවේය​. අප සියළු දෙනා මීට එක පයින්ම එකඟ වූයෙමු. ඉන් පසු අප කොලඹ මහජන පුස්තකාලයේ සිට ගෝල් ෆේස් යාම සඳහා ටවුන් හෝල් වෙත පාගමනින්ම ගියෙමු. ඒ අතරවාරයේ අල්පතර සිත් ඇත්තෝ හිමීට මාරුවී ගියහ​. මේ නිසා ටවුන් හෝල් වෙත ලඟා වන විට සිටියේ කොල්ලන් දහ දෙනෙකු පමණය​. මේ කණ්ඩායම ලීඩ් කරන ලද්දේ නාලන්දේ කලර්ස්මන් කෙනෙකි. 

අප සලාකා එක කිට්ටුවට ආ විගස කලර්ස්මන් අඩෝ නිකං ගෝල් ෆේස් යන්න බෑ අරක්කු බෝතලයක් වත් අරගෙන යමු කියා අප සැමගේ සාක්කු වලට අත දමා එහි තිබූ මුදල් ගත්තේය​. ඉන්පසුව ඔහු එම මුදල් රැගෙන සලාක එක ආසන්නයේ තිබූ බාර් එකට ගොස් අරක්කු බෝතල් දෙකක් මිලට ගත්තේය​. තවද යාබද වෙළඳසැලට ගොස් කොකාකෝලා බෝතල් දෙක තුනක්ද යෝගට් එකක්ද මිලට ගත්තේය​. මුලදී යෝගට් එක කුමටද කියා මම කල්පනා කලෙමි. එහෙත් පසුව තේරුම් ගියේ යෝගට් ඉවත් කිරීමෙන් පසුව හිස් යෝගට් කෝප්පය අරක්කු වත් කිරීමට යොදා ගැනීමට ඔහු සැරසෙන බවය​. 

දැන් බෝතල් සහ කෝප්පය රෙඩිය​. මේ නිසා අප නමෝ විත්තියෙන් බස් රථයකට නැග කොන්දාට ලා තගක් දමා ටිකට් නොගෙන  ගෝල්ෆේස් ගියෙමු. කොන්දොස්තර ටිකට් කියා ඇසූ විට අපි " සීසන් ඕයි" කියා කලහකාරී ස්වරයකින් පැවසුවෙමු. එහෙත් අප කිසිවෙකුට මේ රූට් එකේ යාමට සීසන් තිබුනේ නැත​. අපගේ ආක්‍රමණික ලීලාව නිසා බියගත් කොන්දොස්තර අප අසලින් ඉවත් විය​. අප ගෝල්ෆේස් එකෙන් බැස්ස විට ඔහු සැනසුම් සුසුමක් හෙලන්නට ඇත​. 

මේ වන විට අඳුර වැටී තිබුනේය​. ඒ නිසා අප ගෝල්ෆේස් එකේ තණබිඩැල්ල මත ඉඳගෙන මුහුදු සුලං වින්දනය කලෙමු. කණ්ඩායමේ නායකයා වූ තෙවන වරද උසස් පෙළ ලියූ කලර්ස්මන් ඈතින් තිබූ නානාගේ නයිට් කඩයට ගොස් මස් කරියක් ඊයම් කොලයක දමා ගෙනාවේය​. දැන් සියල්ල සූදානම් ය​. කලර්ස්මන් එක් අරක්කු බෝතලයක මූඩිය ඇර එය යෝගට් කෝප්පයට වත් කොට එයට කොකා කෝලා ස්වල්පයක් මිශ්‍ර  කොට එක හුස්මට ගුඩුස් ගා බීවේය​. ඉක්බිති කාරා කෙල ගසා නානාගේ මස් කරියෙන් මස් කෑල්ලක් කටේ  දමා ගත්තේය​. 

අප වාඩිවී සිටියේ රවුමටය​. කලර්ස්මන් බෝතලය සහ හිස් යෝගට් කෝප්පය තම දකුණු අත පැත්තේ සිටි මිතුරාට දුන්නේය​. ඔහු කලර්ස්මන් අනුගමනය කරමින් අරක්කු සහ කොකා කෝලා යෝගට් කෝප්පයට වත් කර එය සැනකින් උගුරේ හලාගෙන නානාගේ මස් කරියෙන් මස් කෑල්ලකට වග කීවේය​. ඉන් පසු ඔහු බෝතලය සහ හිස් යෝගට් කෝප්පය යාබද මිතුරා අතට දුනේය​. මෙලෙස පළමු වටයේ අර්ධයක් පමණ යන විට මගේ වාරය ආවේය​. මම අරක්කු නොබොන බව පවසා අරක්කු බෝතලය සහ හිස් යෝගට් කෝප්පය මගේ දකුණු අත පැත්තේ සිටි  තැනැත්තාට දුන්නෙමි. මගේ ක්‍රියාව කලර්ස්මන් බලාගෙන සිටි බව මට ඒත්තු ගියේය​. 

අරක්කු නොබීවද මට මස් කෑමේ තහනමක් නැත​. මේ නිසා මම මස් කරියට අත දමා තරමක ලොකු මස් කෑල්ලක් ගත්තෙමි. එවිට කලර්ස්මන් " අඩෝ බයිට් එක ඩයට් එක කර ගන්ඩ එපා"  කියා කීවේය​. 

 දෙවන අරක්කු වටය යන විට කලර්ස්මන් මා ඇමතීය​. " අඩෝ ඔක්කොම බොනවා උඹ විතරක් නොබී බයිට් එකට වැඩේ දෙනවා " මෙසේ කියමින් ඔහු යෝගට් කෝප්පය පිරෙන තෙක් අරක්කු වත් කොට මගේ  අත​ට දෙන්නට උත්සහ කලේය​. ඔහු මෙසේ කීවේය

 " බීපිය​" 

මම අරක්කු නොබොන බව ඔහුට කීවෙමි. එවිට ඔහු මා හට භාවාත්මක තර්ජනයක් කලේය​. 

" උඹ මේක බිවේ නැත්නම් අපි උඹව මෙතන ඉඳං  ගනං ගන්නේ පොන්සියෙක් (නපුන්සකයෙක්) හැටියට " 

ඔහු මාව සිරකරන ල්ද්දේය​. මාගේ අනෙකුත් මිතුරන් මා දෙස බලා සිටිති. මෙය නොබීවේ නම් ඔවුන් ඉදිරියේ මම නපුන්සකයෙකු වනු ඇත​. මේ නිසා මම  කලර්ස්මන්ව

" මෙහෙ දීපිය ඕක​"

ඔහු ඉතා සතුටින් යෝගට් කෝප්පය මා අතට දුන්නේය​. මම එක හුස්මට එය හිස් කලෙමි. මගේ බඩ සහ නාසය දවාගෙන ගොස් ඇස් වලට කඳුළුද ආවේය​. එහෙත් මම අපහසුතාවයක් නොපෙන්වා මස් කෑල්ලක් කෑවෙමි. 

" අන්න එහෙම වරෙං " කලර්ස්මන් මට ප්‍රසංශා සිනහවක් දුන්නේය​. මෙය Peer Pressure බව ඒ කාලයේ මම දැන සිටියේ නැත​. 

ඉන් පසු සාමාන්‍ය ලෙස අරක්කු රවුම් ගියේය​. දෙවන බෝතලයද අරිනු ලැබීය​. 

මේ වන විට කොකාකෝලා මෙන්ම බයිට් එකද අවසන් ය​. මේ නිසා කොල්ලෝ නීට් ගැසූහ. දෙවන බෝතලයේ අඩක් පමණ  අවසන් වන විට කලර්ස්මන්ව  " අඩෝ අද මට බඹර පදමට වැදුනා " කීවේය​. තවත් කොල්ලෙක් මත නිසාදෝ කොලඹ මහජන පුස්තකාලයේ පෙම් කේස් එකක් නිසා ඔහු සමග විරසක වූ අල්මේදා නම් සිසුවාට දිගට හරහට බනින්නට විය​. 

" අඩෝ මම ලබන සුමානේ ඔය ගල්මේදාකාරයාට නෙළනවා අම්බානක " කියා කීවේය​. 

එවිට ලුම්බිණි විද්‍යාලයේ සිසුවා  " පළ පළ  ඩෝ යන්ඩ උඹ අල්මේදාට ගූ බයයි"   කියා ඔහුව ෆෝම් කලේය​. 

අල්මේදාගේ  ප්‍රතිවාදී සිසුවා ඔහු විශාකා විද්‍යාලයේ සිසුවියකට පෙම් කිරීමට උත්සහ ගත් අයුරුත් අල්මේදා කඩාකප්පල් කාරයෙකු ලෙස මැදහත්වී කෙල්ලව යාළු කරගත් ආකාරයත් විස්තර කලේ නහයෙන් අඞන්නාක් මෙනි. 

" මම එයාට හදවතින්ම ආදරය කලා මචං ඔහු කීවේය​. 

" අඩෝ හදවතින්ම ආදරය කරන්ඩ එපාඩෝ බොක්කෙන් ලව් කරපිය " කියා මම ඔහුට කීවෙමි. 

බොක්කෙන් කතාවට ඔහු උරණ විය​. අරක්කුද බඩේ නිසා ඔහු නොනවත්වාම කතා කලේය​.  ඔහුට තරහා ගොස් ඔහු මගේ තෝම්බු අදින්නට විය​. මා ඉන්ටරැක්ට් සංගමයේ සිටියදී බිශොප් විද්‍යාලයේ xxxx ට ට්‍රයි කල බව  සහ සිදත් ධර්මරත්න (සිදත් පසු කාලයක පිළිකාවක් වැළඳී මිය ගියේය​) සපෝටර් කර  ගැනීමට උත්සහ කල බවත් , තවද  සෙන්ට් පෝල්ස් එකේ කෙල්ලෙක්ට දීමට ලව් ලෙටර් එකක් නලීන්දට කියා ලියවා ගත් බවත් ,  ( නලීන් ද වර්තමානයේ සංගීත කණ්ඩායමක සාමාජිකයෙකි) එම ලියුම කෙල්ලගේ අයියා කාර් එක නවත්වා මගේ අතට දුන් බවද එම අවස්ථාවේදී මුචලින්ද (අසංග ලංකාතිලක ; අසංග ජෙනරාල් කොබ්බෑකඩුව සමග අරාලි තුඩුවේදී බෝම්බයකට අසුව මිය ගියේය​) සිටි බවද කීවේය​. ඉන් නොනැවතුනු ඔහු  නුගේගොඩ රොටරි එකට සේනාරත්න සර් ගේ  ෆිසික්ස්  ටියුෂන් ආ   ගල්කිස්ස හුළුදාගොඩ පාරේ ජීවත් වූ   දේවි බාළිකා විද්‍යාලයේ  සිසුවියක ගේ නිවස සොයා සුමිත් සමග ගොස් නිවස සොයා ගැනීමට නොහැකිව සාටර් වූ බවත් කියන්නට විය​. 

මේ කතා අසන විට කලර්ස්මන් ගේ දෑස් ලොකු විය "  අඩෝ මූ මාර පොරක් නේ   ඉතිං ඉතිං කියමින් මගේ තෝම්බුව​ තව තව ඇදීමට බූට්පාලව දිරිමත් කලේය​. මේ යන ආකාරයට රෙදි ගැලවෙන්නේ මගේය​. මේ නිසා මම බූට්පාලගේ නිලයක් ඇල්ලුවෙමි. 

  " අඩෝ බොරු කියන්ඩ එපා මම උඹට අල්මේදා පබ් එකේ කැන්ටිමේ නෙළපු කතාව කියනවා "  කියා තර්ජනය කලෙමි. 

 "අම්මටඋඩු ඒකතාව මොකක්ද ? කියා කොල්ලන් ඇසූහ​. දැන් ඔවුනට මගේ තෝම්බුව ඇදීම අමතකව අල්මේදා ගේ ගෝරිය කෙරෙහි සිත ඇදී ගොසිනි. බූට්පාල මාගේ රහස් පබ්ලික් කිරීම නිසා මම උරණව සිටියෙමි. මේ නිසා බූට්පාල පිලිබඳ මා මෙතෙක් ආරක්‍ෂා කර ගනිමින් සිටි ෆයිල් මමද දිග ඇරියෙමි. 

මූට පබ් එකේ කැන්ටිමේදී අල්මේදා අම්බානක නෙළුවා. මම තමයි මැද්දට පැනලා බේරුවේ. මූ ගොඩ දාපු මාළුවා වගේ ගැහෙන්ඩ ගත්තා. මම හිටියේ නැත්තං මුගේ පාංසුකූලෙත් දීලා. මූට අල්මේදා නෙළනවා බඩුවත් බලාගෙන හිටියා.  මම කියාගෙන ගියෙමි. දැන් බූට්පාල නිහඞය. 

නිහඞතාවයෙන් පසු ගී ගැයීම ඇරඹිනි. සම්භාව්‍ය ගීත මුලදී ගායනා කලද පසුව ලුම්බිණි විද්‍යාලයේ සිසුවා සුනිල් එදිරිසිංහගේ ගීත වලට කුණුහරප වචන යොදා ගායනා කලෙන් කොල්ලෝ කුල්මත්ව අත්පුඩි ගැසූහ​. ඒ අතරවාරයේදී බර කිරන උපකරණයක් රැගත් ගැටවරයෙක් අප  වෙත ආවේය​. 

" සර් බර කිරන්ඩ සත පණයි "  ඔහු කීවේය​. 

කලර්ස්මන් ඔහුගේ අතට රුපියල් දෙකක් දී කොල්ලන් සෙට් එකේම බර බලවා ගත්තේය​. බෝතල් දෙකම හිස් ය​. වේලාව රාත්‍රී දහයද පසුවී තිබේ. දැන් ගෙදර යාමට වේලාවය​. එහෙත් ගෙදරදී අරක්කු ගඳ වැදුනොත් කේස්‍  ය​. 

මචං පේර කොළයි ලුණුයි කාපං අරක්කු ගඳ යනවා කියා ඉසිපතනයේ මිතුරෙකු කීවේය ( ඔහු වර්තමානයේ පරිගණක ඉන්ජිනේරුවෙකි) මම ඔහුගේ උපදෙස් පරිදි අපගේ නිවස ආසන්නයේ අසල්වැසියෙකුගේ පේර ගසකින් පේර කොළ ටිකක් කඩාගෙන ගොස් එය ලුණු සමග කෑවෙමි. එදින මම අරක්කු බිව් බව ගෙදර කිසිවෙකුට මීටර් වූයේ නැත​. 

පසුකාලීනව මම වෛද්‍ය නීල් ප්‍රනාන්දු , මහාචාර්‍ය දියනාත් සමරසිංහ , වෛද්‍ය මනෝජ් ප්‍රනාන්දු (මැල් මැදුර​) පුබුදු සුමනසේකර (ඇඩික් ආයතනය​) යන මහතුන් සමග මත් පැන් දුම්වැටි සහ මත්ද්‍රව්‍ය නිවාරණ වැඩසටහන් කලෙමි. මේ යහපත් මිනිසුන් ගේ බලපෑම නිසා මම 2002 වසරේ සිට මේ දක්වා අරක්කු පොදක් කටේ තබා නැත​. තවද විස්කි , ජින් වොඩ්කා වැනි ස්පිරිට් වර්ග පසුපසද මම පන්නන්නේ නැත​. එහෙත් පාටියකදී වයින් හෝ බියර් එකක් ගන්නා බව කියන්නේ බොරු සුචරිතයෙකු නොවීම සඳහාය​. 

වෛද්‍ය රුවන් එම් ජයතුංග 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Atrocities Committed Against Humanity

 By Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge 

As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities - Voltaire

The human history is full violence and atrocities. Some scholars have suggested that aggression should be regarded as a basic instinct. Freud considered aggression as a dynamic factor in mental life. Psychologist Eric Fromm in his most well known work the Anatomy of Human Destructiveness expresses that the violence of the dominant culture is not biological in its origin. The aggression and destructiveness are approached, as multi-dimensional phenomenon .These may be a tragic facet of the human condition. During the past, several hundred years’ mass atrocities were committed against humanity. Most of these atrocities were committed by the technologically advanced nations. The victims suffered and the perpetrators went unnoticed. The history teaches us a lesson. If the humans unable to learn from their past mistakes the violence and atrocities will affect the modern civilization repeatedly.

Atrocities have usually involved torture, maiming, or killing of civilians and noncombatants; destruction of nonmilitary targets; maltreatment and killing of wounded and prisoners of war; and use of weapons to cause superfluous damage or injury.


Genocide is the organized killing of a people for the express purpose of putting an end to their collective existence. Genocide requires central planning and a machinery to implement it. The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide describes genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” This definition applies in the case of the atrocities committed against humanity by various superpowers in the past.

Atrocities Committed by the Spanish Invaders in South America

Francisco Pizarro went for the conquest of Peru -South America in 1524, with 80 men and 40 horses. Pizarro was not a literate man but he was a rustles soldier driven by insatiable desire to find gold. Spanish conquerors led by Francisco Pizarro wiped-out a civilization. The Spanish invaders killed the natives, looted their gold. The invaders even used biological mode of attacks introducing smallpox and measles to the indigenous people killing masses. By 1650 AD many native people had died, empty houses stood in empty villages. The flourished self-sufficient civilization of South America came to nonexistent. It was a terrifying atrocity committed by the Spanish invaders in South America.

The cruel and Iron Fist of the Portuguese Invaders

As a colonial super power, Portuguese had a fear inducing reputation. The Portuguese unleashed many cruelties against the people of Asia, Africa and South America. They committed a number of atrocities in Ceylon. They vandalized the religious buildings and looted the wealth. They tortured the natives and forced them to renounce their traditional religion. The General Azavedu is still remembered as a symbol of a bloodthirsty villain who ordered the Portuguese Army to launched heavy cruelty against the people. They killed infants, raped women and burnt books. The people were subjected to torture, massacre, and starvation.

Atrocities committed by the British Army

The British Army committed a number of atrocities in Africa, India, and Sri Lanka. The Sepoy rebellion in 1857 which was an outcry against the repression was crushed in a ruthless manner. On the 13 April 1919 General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer of the British Army ordered his men to open fire at an unarmed group of people which mostly consisted of women and children at Amritsar which later came to known as Jallianvala Baga massacre. Over 300 killed and thousands wounded. Although children were among the victims no action was taken against the General Dyer by the British Army.

A few years after the Kandyan Convention in 1818 natives stood against the British colonial rulers. Martial Law was declared and the revolt was suppressed in a vigorous manner. Major MacDonald of the British Army set fire to the houses, burnt the grain and killed the cattle as an act of retaliation. Many collaborators were shot and some were exiled. Even the family members were taken prisoners. Keppetipola Disawe- the prominent leader of the Uva rebellion of 1918 was executed and his family was deported. Keppetipola Disawe ’s little son died under the captivity.

The British Army used a cruel force to defeat the 1848 revolt led by Gongalegoda Bada and Puran Appu . Inhuman and sadistic punishments were inflicted on the villagers and the Army destroyed the fertile social fabric. Many people became the victims of hostile actions and starvation.

The Dark Face of America

The new white settlers in America considered the native tribal people as savages and they were subjected to various atrocities. Their lands were seized and the culture was destroyed. Although the Red Indians were portrayed as brutal uncivilized community even in the Hollywood movies , they had a developed and distinctive livelihood, which connected with nature. They were nature-loving people and helped to preserve the environment for thousand years.

The Native American chief Seattle expressed his surprise when the US President Franklin Pierce asked him to sell the land. In return. Seattle wrote “how can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.

Slavery in the United States had its origins with the first English Colonization of North America in 1607. Slavery lasted in the US until 1865. The slaves treated like material property rather than humans. They had to work in plantations under rough conditions. In the slave market men were separated from their wives, and frequently children were taken from their mothers. The slaves were often punished for slightest mistakes and these punishments consisted of wiping, clubbing, and sometimes chopping off body parts.

The Americans have also been criticized for the atrocities committed in Vietnam and Iraq. In Vietnam the US forces were accused of using napalm and crop destruction as well as killing of killing of unarmed civilians, mostly women and children, at the village of My Lai in 1968.

In 2003 Human Rights Watch report said that civilian deaths in Iraq "reveal a pattern by U.S. forces of over-aggressive tactics, indiscriminate shooting in residential areas and a quick reliance on lethal forces. Some informed estimates place Iraqi civilian causalities at over 600,000.

Italian Crimes in Africa

In October 1911, during the Italo – Turkish War, Italian forces invaded North African territories (modern day Libya) slaughtering a large number of tribal men women and children. Mussolini's soldiers committed massive atrocities in Libya and Ethiopia before and during the Second World War. They used tanks and airplanes and often poisonous mustard gas against the natives. Italian Fascists built concentration cams before the Nazi Holocaust in Colonial Libya during 1929 – 1933. In these concentration camps men were tortured and killed, women were raped, children were staved to death. The Libyan tribal leader Omar Mukhtar stood against the invaders and launched a 20 year long guerrilla war using primitive weaponry against the well equipped Italian Army. His freedom struggle came to an end in 1931. He was wounded in a battle, captured and then executed by the Italian Army. 

The Italian Fascists conducted a systematic ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories in North Africa. The Italian fascist invasion in 1935 and subsequent occupation of Ethiopia were accompanied by numerous atrocities. The Italian forces used mustard gas against the civil targets, bombed hospitals and villages killing tens of thousands of people.

French in Algeria and Indochina

The French occupied Algeria for 132 years and worst atrocities were committed between 1830 and 1962. In 1840 Thomas Bugeaud, the Governor General of Algeria launched an attack on Algerian civilians killing and deporting masses. According to some reports hundreds of people were burned alive or asphyxiated in caves where they sought refuge from the advancing French troops. The French troops set fire to Algerian villages killing civilians and raping women. They destroyed property, food, and animal stocks which led to starvation among the indigenous population. During France's occupation of Algeria a large numbers of Algerians were forced into "tent cities" and concentration camps. . It has been estimated that from 1830 to 1900, between 15 and 25% of the Algerian population died in such camps.

In 1957 the International Red Cross disclosed the widespread use of torture by the French army and police against thousands of Algerians The torture techniques used by the French included electricity applied to the most sensitive parts of the body, near drowning in water, sodomy with glass and wood objects, hanging by the feet and hands, and burning with cigarettes. (Maran, Rita (1989). Torture: The Role of Ideology in the French-Algerian War. New York: Praeger). The most outrages act was the Massacres of May 1945 in which 45,000 Algerians were killed within a few days by the French occupied forces.

French Indo-China comprised the French protectorates of Cambodia, Laos, Annam, Tongkin, and the French colony of Cochin-China. In May 1945 1400 former French POWs released by the British from Japanese internment camps in South Vietnam entered Saigon and went on a deadly rampage attacking civilians even killing innocent children. French forces violated the laws or customs of war in the Indochina conflict which lasted from 1946 – 1954. The French Foreign Legions last stand in Indo China in 1950 and they were defeated in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu .

The Horrific Face of the Japanese Imperialism

During the period of Japanese Imperialism a large number of atrocities committed in the occupied Asian countries. The Japanese Imperial Army conducted crimes against enemy civilians and enemy combatants. In the ill famous Nanking Massacre in 1937 hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians were murdered and 20,000–80,000 women were raped by the Japanese soldiers. The Imperial Army abducted young women from China and Korea to serve as comfort women or sex slaves. An estimated one hundred thousand to four hundred thousand female sex slaves were forced to deliver sexual services to Japanese soldiers during the World War 2.

Between 1937 and 1945, the Japanese military murdered from nearly 3,000,000 to over 10,000,000 people, most likely 6,000,000 Chinese, Indonesians, Koreans, Filipinos, and Indochinese among others, including Western prisoners of war. (Professor R.J Mummel the Faculty of Political Science – University of Hawaii).

The Gloomy History of Australia

The Europeans, who established the new settlements in Australia, did not encounter any major resistance from the native population. The aboriginals sometimes helped the white settlers providing food when they faced scarcities. The Aboriginals were no match for the highly armed European settlers. Gradually the natives were attacked and driven to the desert land. In the ill famous Myall Creek massacre in 1830 even the aboriginal children were murdered.

From 1869 to the late 1960s (in some parts until 1970) the Australian governments removed part-Aboriginal children from their mothers, parents, families and communities, often by force. . Children were placed with institutions and from the 1950s began also being placed with white families. Aboriginal children were expected to become labourers or servants, Aboriginal girls in particular were sent to homes established by the Board to be trained in domestic service. These victims later came to know as the Stolen Generation. According to Dr Jane McKendrick Psychiatrist at the Melbourne University stated that ‘a large number of people from the Stolen Generations were either psychologically, physically or sexually abused while in care.

Atrocities committed by the German Army during the WW2

Under the Hitler’s regime, NAZI Germany exterminated over 6 million Jews in concentration camps. The German SS committed serious crimes in the occupied territory. Torture, deportation, execution often used against Jews, Polish, Russian and Gipsy people. Between 1939 and 1945, the SS assisted by collaborationist governments and recruits from occupied countries, systematically killed somewhere between 11 and 14 million people. Many innocent people were starved to death. The Holocaust remains as a dark patch in the human history.

Israelites against Palestine

Israel was condemned by the UN for launching systematic attacks against Palestine civilians. The resent attacks in Gaza killing of civilians and destruction of thousands of homes could be described as one of the dreadful atrocities committed by the Israel Army. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 1,434 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli offensive, 960 of them civilians, among them 288 children. Israeli actions in Gaza created a humanitarian as well as human dignity crisis. Following massive destruction of livelihoods and the deterioration of infrastructure 80 % of Gaza population now live in humanitarian assistance.

Ending Atrocities

Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Murder; extermination; torture; rape and political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. Isolated inhumane acts of this nature may constitute grave infringements of human rights, or depending on the circumstances war crimes but may fall short of falling into the category of crimes under discussion.

Gareth Evans, President, International Crisis Group, to Crimes Against Humanity Initiative expresses the views as follows

When it comes to international relations, and in particular the great issues of war and peace, violence, and catastrophic human rights violations with which we are concerned here, there is a well-established view that anyone who approaches things in this kind of generally optimistic frame of mind must be incorrigibly naïve, if not outright demented. Certainly in the case of genocide and atrocity crimes—either directly committed by a government against its own people, or allowed to happen by a government unable or unwilling to stop it—it is hard for even the incorrigibly naïve to remain optimistic. In this world we inhabit—full of cynicism, double standards, crude assertions of national interest, high-level real-politic, and low-level maneuvering for political advantage.

There are no Cruel Nations

Every nation has committed some sort of atrocity against one another. In the broad sense all were perpetrators as well as the victims. There are no cruel or atrocious nations as such. Only individuals with their prejudices can lead the people to commit atrocities. The people ought to be conscious and vigilant about such dark forces.

The words of the Indian Philosopher J. Krishnamurti ( in Freedom from the Known, pp.51-52 ) gives broader understanding how the seeds of violence and prejudices germinate in the human mind.

When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.

Michael Arthur Newdow on Atrocities and Genocide

Michael Arthur Newdow expresses his views on Atrocities and Genocide as follows…..

People don't simply wake up one day and commit genocide. They start by setting themselves apart from others, diminishing the stature of those adhering to dissenting beliefs in small, insidious steps. They begin by saying, 'We're the righteous, and we'll tolerate those others.' And as the toleration diminishes over time, the inevitable harms are overlooked. It is for that reason that James Madison wisely wrote that 'it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties'."

මේ චායාරූපයේ බොඩි ලැංවේජ් දෙස බලන්න

මේ චායාරූපයේ බොඩි ලැංවේජ් දෙස බලන්න. දෑස් වල හීනමානය වැනි තත්වයක් දක්නට ඇත්තේ කාගේද ? 

Monday, December 4, 2017

දේසේ හැටියට බාසේ

මගේ මව කොලඹ ආනන්ද මහා විද්‍යාලයේ වසර 10 ආසන්න කාලයක් ගුරුවරියක ලෙස සේවය කොට ඉන් පසු විද්‍යාල කීපයක විදුහල්පතිනිය ලෙස කටයුතු කලාය​. වරක් ඇය බොරැල්ල ප්‍රදේශයේ වනාතමුල්ල ආසන්නයේ ප්‍රාථමික පාසලක විදුහල්පතිනිය වූ අතර මෙම විදුහල දියුණු කරනු වස් දක්‍ෂ ගුරුවරියන් තෝරාගෙන ඔවුන් ගේ සේවය පාසලට ලබා ගැනීමට උත්සුක වූවාය​. පාසලේ කටයුතු ආරම්භ කල මුල් මාසයේදීම අළුත් ගුරුවරියන් මුහුණු ඇද කරගෙන මෙම පාසලේ ළමයින් මුත්‍රා බර වූ විට "ටීචර් හුජ්ජ කරන්ඩ යන්ඩ පුළුවන් ද ? කියා අසන බව කීවාය​. මේ නිසා මගේ මව රැස්වීමක් කැඳවා ළමයින්ට අවවාද දුන්නාය​. " දැන් මේ පුංචි පුතාලාට චූ කරන්න ඕන උනොත්  ටොයිලට් යන්න පුලුවන් ද කියලා ටීචගෙන් අහන්න ඕනේ " කියා ඇය කීවාය​. ළමයින් හිස සලා එයට එකඟ වූහ​. පසු දින සිදු වූයේ අපූරු වෙනසකි. මවගේ අවවාදය වැඩ කල නමුදු ළමයින් මුත්‍රා කිරීමට අවශ්‍ය වූ විට අත ඔසවා "ටීචර් ටොයිලට්  හුජ්ජ  කරන්ඩ යන්ඩ පුළුවන් ද ? කියා ඇසූහ​.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Psychology of Meditation

Dr. Ruwan M Jayatunge 

Meditation is a mental exercise and it enhances the state of awareness. Awareness is the ability to directly know and perceive, to feel, or to be cognizant of events (Wikipedia). The meditative awareness is often called blissful awareness which is a higher state of consciousness. Higher consciousness involves the ability to be conscious of being conscious.

Meditative awareness is an awareness of perception; an intuitive awareness. It is a form of calm mental state that upgrades compassion, equanimity and wisdom.  It provides a sense of tranquility and peace. Meditative awareness connected with the attention in the present moment self-regulating the mind. This awareness gives profound insight about the body/mind experience with heightened alertness. Furthermore it gives clarity of mind.

The meditative awareness helps to analyze the inner being and external environment in non judgmental manner. This process creates a profound mental harmony without any negative emotions. Then the life-stream becomes more focused achieving the wholeness. Then the meditator is living his originality.

In meditative awareness feelings and emotions are neutrally analyzed without any fixation. Thus the mediator finally achieves pure consciousness which is called Samadhi. Deshmukh (2006) describes Samadhi as a self-absorptive, adaptive state with realization of one's being in harmony with reality.  It is unitive, undifferentiated, reality-consciousness, an essential being, which can only be experienced by spontaneous intuition and self-understanding.  

Meditation and Consciousness
Consciousness has been one of the most important and tantalizing issues ever since the origin of philosophy and medicine (Facco et al., 2017). In general terms consciousness is defined as the state of awareness of self and the environment.  In biological terms, human consciousness appears as a feature associated with the functioning of the human brain (Gierer, 2008). The English philosopher John Locke stated that consciousness is the awareness of all that occurs in the mind of a person.

As described by van Gulick (2004) consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. In modern science it is defined as a continuous state of full awareness of the Self and one's relationship to the external and internal environment, describing the degree of wakefulness in which an organism recognizes stimuli (Jellinger, 2009).

According to the biological theories consciousness is some form of biological state of the brain depends on brain chemistry and electrical impulses. Current research suggests that human consciousness is associated with complex, synchronous interactions between multiple cortical networks (Panda et al, 2016). According to Szirmai and Kamondi  (2006) higher functions" of human mental ability have been ascribed to the prefrontal and parietal association cortices. The paleocerebrum, limbic system and their connections have been considered to be the center of emotions, feelings, attention, motivation and autonomic functions.  

Consciousness is a state or function of the brain. It is individual awareness. There are four states of consciousness such as Waking: Sleeping: Dreaming: Meditation.  
Consciousness is strongly connected with awareness. However there is no conscious perception without attention (Mack & Rock, 1998).

The American Psychologist William James postulated that our conscious mental life flows continuously like a stream in which “the transition between the thought of one object and the thought of another is no more a break in the thought than a joint in a bamboo is a break in the wood. William James described consciousness as a stream – a continuous succession of experiences. For William James consciousness is something flowing uninterruptedly.

Meditation practice is geared to reach higher consciousness. A.K Nair of the Department of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences Bengaluru, India indicates that Meditation induces a modified state of consciousness that remains under voluntary control.

Meditative consciousness is characterized by receptive attention to and awareness of present events and experiences.  It constitutes the ability to become aware of mental activities such as sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts, and to disengage from judgment, conditioned emotions, and their cognitive processing or automatic inhibition (Gartenschläger et al., 2017). In meditative consciousness there are no cognitive elaborations or emotional reactivity. This state is characterized by improved task performance and decreased stress-related symptomolog and without maladaptive mental processes. Some experts state that in meditative consciousness brain activation in the left prefrontal cortex can be detected via Functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Meditation and Metacognition

Metacognition is "cognition about cognition" or “thinking about thinking". It is the  ability to recognize one's own successful cognitive processing. It is the individual's ability to assess their own cognitive ability. Meta-cognition is one of the distinctive characteristics of human mind that enables us to reflect on our own mental states ( Hussain, 2015). Metacognition is important in mental health. Metacognitive impairments are observed in chronic psychosis such as schizophrenia. In addition metacognition impairment are found among drug addicts. 

The involvement of metacognition in mindfulness is already acknowledged in recent mindfulness models (Norman, 2017). Meta-cognition and mindfulness share many commonalities and are conceptually related in many ways ( Hussain, 2015).

Mindfulness involves a metacognitive level of mind that is aware of the cognitions or contents of the mind (Kabat-Zinn ,2003; Hussain, 2015).Some experts believe that mindfulness is related to the highest level of metacognition. Shapiro and colleagues (2006) linked mindfulness to metacognition, arguing that the process of mindfully attending with openness and nonjudgementalness leads to what is referred to as reperceiving. (Norman, 2017). Reperceiving is a principal effect of mindfulness meditation.  

Meditation and Connecting with Inner Self
Abraham Maslow once stated: What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.  Meditation helps to reveal the inner self. Knowing inner self comes from self-awareness.  While practicing meditation the meditator understands the nature of existence achieving a lot of aha moments while reconnecting with inner-self.  This process leads to self realization. Once the inner self has been experienced, the mediator gains more wisdom.  As described by Swami Krishnananda the concept of Self-Realization can stir up highly balanced outlook of life, a sober approach to every event and factor in life, a policy of impersonality in regard to any kind of encounter in the world.  

Meditation and Mind-Body Connection
René Descartes described the concept of mind-body dualism in the 16th century (Ventriglio & Bhugra , 2015). For centuries he mind and body has been viewed as distinct entities. This dualism has created boundaries between mind and body and Descartes dogma has caused tremendous amount of damage to Western psychiatry (Ventriglio & Bhugra , 2015). The mind and the body are clearly intertwined (Sullivan & Hudson, 2017).   

Mind-body interventions are based on the holistic principle that mind, body and behaviour are all interconnected and it incorporates strategies that are thought to improve psychological and physical well-being (Theadom et al., 2015). According to Bonilla (2010) meditation is one of the mind-body healing procedures. Meditation is a method for synchronizing body and mind in the present moment. Research on mind-body exercises such as meditation has indicated significant mental and physical value (La Forge ,1997). Meditation augments the mind-body connection. Meditation develop a stronger mind-body connection through heightened somatic awareness and a focus on the present moment (Myers  et al.,2015).

Meditation; Self Awareness and Self Growth
Developing self awareness is a part of mental training. In general terms self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. Self-Awareness occurs through reflection. Developing self awareness is a healing process. It is  is a dynamic process of recovery.

The power of self awareness is connected with know thyself. Know thyself is a huge part in meditation.  Many centuries ago Aristotle wrote: knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Lao Tzu states that he who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.  According to Erich Fromm   know thyself is one of the fundamental commands that aim at human strength and happiness.

Meditation can be viewed as an introspection tool. Introspection is the examination or observation of one's own mental and emotional processes. Self-analysis is one of the key factors in introspection. The meditation Guru Paramahansa Yogananda concluded; Introspection, or 'sitting in the silence,' is an unscientific way of trying to force apart the mind and senses, tied together by the life force. The contemplative mind, attempting its return to divinity, is constantly dragged back toward the senses by the life currents. 

Meditation is a transformative experience. It can bring true personal transformation. Meditation is a means to (positive) transformations in consciousness (Sedlmeier et al., 2012).  Meditation is appreciation of life. Meditation builds internal energy. It is an internal effort that could be used to self regulate. Some call it intention cultivation. This is a process which is called healing from within. Meditation augments growth promotion. Personal and spiritual growth can be achieved via meditation. It is a conglomerate of mental,   social, emotional, and spiritual growth.

Meditation and Optimal Healing Environment 
As described by Craven (1989) meditation has five basic components: relaxation, concentration, altered state of consciousness, logic relaxation and self-observation attitude. Subjectively, meditative experience is said to be fundamentally different from "normal" mental state (Neumann & Frasch, 2006). It is a self-transcending experience. It is an active state that causes positive changes in self-esteem. Meditation is a dominant form of mental training. It is a practice of concentrated focus or to engage in contemplation or reflection.  It is also called mind cultivation, a form of act of extended thought (a focused exercise).   

Mediation maintains a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Meditation stabilizes the mind through focus. Meditation improves attention, self awareness and emotional self-regulation by calming the body and mind. It improves ability to process information quickly and accurately. Mediation helps to achieve inner balance and stability by transforming the mind recognizing natural wisdom.  This practice helps to heighten sense of well-being.

Meditation sharpens the mind. It is about improving one’s attention, attitude and cognitive skills positively managing emotions. Meditation could boost cognitive flexibility and responsible decision-making. It is a method to maintain stillness and inner calm above all enhance mental development. According to Ott (2004) meditation allows individuals to become compassionate witnesses to their own experiences, to avoid making premature decisions, and to be open to new possibilities, transformation, and healing. Meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways (Davidson et al., 2003).

The meditative mind is an awaken mind. It is calm and serene; it leads to spiritual awaking. Dr Deepak Chopra states that the purpose of meditation is to stop thinking for a time, wait for the fog of thought to thin, and glimpse the spirit within. Therefore meditation opens an optimal healing environment (OHE).

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