Student Anxiety: Students benefit from Hindu Wisdom
Anjali Hazari, not only teaches IB and IGCSE biology at the French International School in Hong Kong, but she is also deeply interested in alleviating of stress and anxiety in students. While stress and anxiety can be a driving force to excel in academics, but excess can result in deterioration in performance and can even “incapacitate” the students observes Anjali.
In her article in educationpost Anjali highlights two verses from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita, , which is often seen as an allegory of the moral struggles of the human condition:
Chapter II, verse 41: ” … there is but a single-pointed determination; many-branched are the thoughts of the irresolute.” Labouring under endless desires for results fragment their focus, and with a shattered, thousand-pronged mind, they are unable to consistently apply themselves to any line of action; so they fail.
Verse 47 is one of the best-known verses of the Gita: “Thy right is to work only, but never to its fruits; let not the fruit-of-action be thy motive, not let thy attachment be to inaction.”
Chinmayananda explains that if it is success one seeks, then striving for it with a mind dissipated with anxieties and fear of the fruits will not lead to it. In fact, the action ends, or fulfils itself, only in its reaction. Therefore, to become preoccupied with anxieties for the sake of the rewards is to escape from the dynamic present and to live in the future.
Not that Gita needs any support, but for the uninitiated Anjali cites research from the University of California, Los Angeles Laboratory of Neuro Imaging which confirms that people who meditate show more grey matter in certain regions of the brain, show stronger connections between brain regions and show less age-related brain atrophy. Lead researcher Professor Eileen Luders says: “It appears to be a powerful mental exercise with the potential to change the physical structure of the brain.”
However, like many Western scholars digesting Dharmic traditions as their own research Luders fails to acknowledge that the meditation practices have been borrowed from Hindu Yoga and Buddhist Dharma traditions, a sinister process which the famous researcher Rajiv Malhotra has written extensively about.