When your world comes crashing down…



By Tarun & Celia Cherian, published in Sunday Herald, Deccan Herald, is now in the archive section, published with a different visual...

Last week a series of patients came to us, whose worlds have literally come apart. One found his marriage over, lost his job, his finances are in tatters, and if that was not enough he discovered his son had a serious drug addiction. Another a cancer patient, discovered the cancer had spread, the anti-cancer drugs had caused vital organs to collapse, her job’s shaky, her husband’s having an affair with her best friend, and all the tension is exacerbating her father’s heart condition. Another found herself on the bench. Her debt skyrocketed, her boyfriend deserted her, her parents health has worsened with property dispute going against them. A fourth just survived a murder attack, which was financed by a close relative.

“It never rains it pours” says the old adage. And as the world watches aghast from Friday 11th Japan has been rocked by one terrible tragedy after another. First an earthquake that was a terrifying 9 on the Richter scale. If that were not terrifying enough then as the world watched aghast a Tsunami made a mockery of man’s towering achievements sweeping cities aside with dark black swirling water. Sub-zero temperatures, no water, and the death toll will reach terrible proportions, but if that were not enough explosions at the Fukushima nuclear reactor pile tragedy on to tragedy.

A brave human can take one hammer blow. But can anyone take two, three, eight, ten? The simple truth is that it is in times of terrible hardship, that man shines the greatest… The Kargill soldier who took 17 bullets yet crawled miles to give a vital message. A survivor of the Andaman’s Tsunami clung to a palm tree for 11 days without food or water. The movie 127 hours relates the extraordinary story of a man who cut off his arm when stuck during mountain climbing. Helen Keller turned terrible disability into triumph. And the cancer patient who came to us, far from giving up has begun a new project.

In The Healing For Japan: Meenakshi relates how the Water Moves with the energy of healing alone:


Digital painting by Tarun, those interested in a print of the painting or poster please contact us...


So where do those hit by catastrophe piled on catastrophe get the strength to hold on? Some simply believe in themselves, possess an animal surety in their existence. Many can’t let others down, children, the team, a cause, or the world. “When I am ill I tell myself I can’t be ill, my child needs me and the illness often vanishes.” To some the example of those who have conquered the unconquerable is often a candle in a dark night. To many, the strength is simply God or their Guru; the deep undying realisation that a greater supportive force exists.

Sometimes implacable tragedy is met by impossible miracle. “I was crossing the tracks of the local in Mumbai, when I slipped, fell and cracked my knee. As I writhed in pain, to my terrible shock I saw a local come towards me just 30 feet away. I could see the motorman’s eyes as he saw me sprawled on the tracks. There was no way I could survive. Then I felt a great force lift me and fling me 10 feet away. I was a good 65 kgs then. No human could have lifted me a dead weight let alone flung me. As I fell, I looked around. The only people around were 20 feet away.” Says Nishigandha N, research manager.

“Times of great tragedy are times of great power. My Power.” says the Fullness that man call God. “It’s meant to destroy walls that imprison you. It shakes up worlds grown lethargic and old. It wakes up rudely — the life spirit – the fighting spirit… Allow yourself to embrace the power released and redirect it, resist the temptation of going into shock.”

“Sometimes you just have to laugh.” Says B Thakur, entrepreneur, housewife and spiritual teacher. “If I were to tell you my problems just hearing it you’d want to close your ears. Some days now in the middle of all my problems as I deal with it, a smile rises in me. You just have to laugh. It is serious. But you can’t take it seriously. It’s like the universe has given me a peek into the fact that all this is just a play. I need to find a way to rescript it. When I can do that I stop being a character in life and graduate to being author. Mukti is conquering life. Not escape.” 

‘Ask and faltering can turn to triumph’ says God from the texts of virtually all religions. The trouble with crisis however, is that often it takes away our greatest strength – faith. Mrs Koshy in eastern Africa found her home invaded by 40 mercenaries with machetes and machine guns watched helplessly as her husband was pistol whipped. She called out to God. But nothing happened, no cavalry drove in, no angels arrived. Where her God once sat enthroned was a deep emptiness.


Digital painting by Tarun, those interested in a print please contact us...


The hollow as one’s self esteem falls and God crashes is sometimes filled by gurus, teachers, mentors. Says Mohit J, “My job, marriage, financial loss, mother’s illness, I have begun to doubt myself. I sometimes spend hours wondering have I put the right bedsheet. But coming to my teacher put things into perspective. It all seems manageable.”

If you face a terrifying crisis, we offer two ways that can help, at the moment when all seems lost. One is to simply chant Devadhara, again and again and again as you do so imagine a deep golden fountain emerging from deep below the earth through you, touching the skies and returning back to the earth. The second spirit strengthening meditation ideal for those from Middle-eastern religions, came from a personal crisis. There was a time when I myself was undergoing intense spiritual awakenings that literally were tearing me apart. I’d find myself suddenly caught in an astral body in a tree without a way of getting back with leering demonic forms around. At work I was inches away from getting sacked. My love life resembled earthquakes rather than a Hindi movie dance around trees. One night a figure in brown of the Good Shepherd straight out of an old Testament text, appeared next to me. It reassured me, pulled me out of the worst astral hells I found myself in. In this technique, you keep chanting: “God is my staff and my strength.” As you do so imagine a shepherd wearing a brown cloak standing protectively beside you.

Another enormous source of strength is of course friends and family.

“You cannot think, when it hits, you simply cannot think. You are gasping. Drowning. You find a light. And you hold on to it. A friend’s shoulder. A teacher’s words.  The force of healing. And sometimes downright practical help. You find the light grow become stronger and deeper. And it fills you. Something deep inside pushes you… as a human, you have to get up and you have to walk. And as you do that you find there are people who support you, who make you stronger. Friends. Family.” To quote, Mala the CEO of a company who recovered from a deep financial crisis.

The help one can receive can be so unexpected as to be miraculous: “I was talking on the phone telling a friend I was tight on funds when a business associate overheard this, he went out to his car and wrote out a cheque for 3 lakhs, no questions asked.” Manusha B, retail entrepreneur. “When money is tight you see the worst meanness, but also incredible goodness, the God in man.”

Sometimes help can come from toddlers. Mrs Chandy was diagnosed with secondaries of Cancer. One day her child a 3 year old walked in as she was weeping. When he asked her why she was crying he was told that she was ill, ‘why don’t you ask God, he said.You have told me that Jesus listens. He told her. Shaken by her child’s faith she reached in deep for spiritual answers. A week later when she checked, the cancer had disappeared.  

For strength in dark times you may wish to read... Life Taxes You... The Spirit Frees...


Image of Georgina with her doggy per kindness georgina, all rights reserved by Georgina


For many, strength can come from the splosh of a dog’s tongue. Says Leon, struggling with a deep addictive urge. “My dog, my mutt keeps me alive. When I can’t take it any more. He just comes and sits next to me. The dark becomes less dark.”

Celia, Healer & Spiritual Catalyst echoes the same thought. “Talk to your dog. Cuddle up. It’s important you have a shoulder to cry on. So make friends when things are good. With a dog or God. It’s difficult to do so, but believe that God has given you the strength, even as he has given you the challenge.”

Now some may face dark and hard times. And often one may be tempted to ask why me?  Wrestling with the answer we decided to ask our spirit guides for answers: Speaking for the creator he had this to say: “I have shaped Life so it tests you all. Do you think you can walk away from life without answering hard questions? Death hits you all. The worlds beyond death can pose far crueller tests.”

Shweta K, a marketer and fortune consultant, is deeply connected to Kali Ma, one of the fiercest of Indian deities. She once asked the goddess, but why are you dressed in red? Why are you so bloody? The answer she received is intensely thought-provoking. “Change” she said “can be bloody.”

While most of us live our lives attempting to cushion ourselves from life’s rough knocks, those who have triumphed over fate’s arrows have a very different take. “I was a critical person, before I was hit by tragedy. More cynical. What a crisis does it increases your faith in mankind. You receive such a lot of support. You become sensitive to other’s needs, and hurt. I now listen more. Sometimes people have the answer’s they’ve just lost the faith. By talking and listening you really can help.” Says Mala.

In a conversation I had with brand consultant RJ Thomas he revealed that great catastrophe often leads to economic growth, and innovation. The black death in Europe is directly linked to European ascendance. The World War 2 among other things produced great innovation.

On the atoll where France tested its nuclear weapon all life was blasted. Then years passed, decades passed, and green sprouts again. Hope roots deep in life. Giovanni Guareschi the great Italian humorist once shouted at the Nazis, “even if you kill me I will not die.” And these words are perhaps man’s epitaph. Even if we are killed we shall not die.

In front of our home in Kamanahalli, is a tree. For the first year, it seemed a skeleton, dead, with browned leaves. Then one day, a year after playing dead, suddenly with little warning it burst into fresh-green leaves. 


Drawing of a bird by Saanvi...