To be or not to be- My opinion piece in the Hindu Business Line

The original link 

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/to-be-or-not-to-be/article6318785.ece?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

 

To be or not to be

August 14th 2014

ANU ACHARYA

 
 
  • Intricate matter Destiny and freedom YANG NAN/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
    Intricate matter Destiny and freedom YANG NAN/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Intricate matter Destiny and freedom
    Intricate matter Destiny and freedom
 

Your genes tell you about your mental and physical limits. You can then be the arbiter of your destiny

We may be programmed to die, but while living we have ample free will to make our lives healthy and inspiring.

Most enlightened souls have always found the source of starting anything good begins with knowledge of the self and the understanding of the universe around them. With the understanding of self, a new spiritual behaviour may begin.

This could be a change in lifestyle by reducing toxins in your diet or surroundings, or it could mean forming a new habit like cycling or yoga.

Know yourself

As an example, you may be predisposed to a disease like diabetes like I am, yet being fully aware, you make changes in your lifestyle that ensure that you can prevent the disease from attacking your body.

In the Bhagvad Gita there are several references to understanding the self and being aware followed by action that can take one closer to attaining moksha. Similarly, in the Holy Quran, it is said that knowledge of self is the key to the knowledge of God. Similar words of wisdom exist in the Holy Bible.

Even though it seems to be universally accepted, I thought of picking an example from the Bhagavad Gita.

Chapter 13 verse 1 of the Bhagavad Gita is as follows

Shree Bhagavaan uvaacha:

idam shareeram kaunteya kshetramityaabhidheeyate |

etadyo vetti tam prahuhu kshetrajnya iti tadvidaha ||

Which means that the body is defined as the field and he who understands it sets the stage for self awareness. The way I read this is that there are some impermeable things about ourselves that we must be aware of.

Once we are aware of them, it becomes easier to navigate through those that are changeable. For instance genetics is what we are born with, but we can control the interaction of genes with the environment we subject our bodies to, thereby managing the outcome.

While some of you may have sidelined it as hogwash, it may be of interest to many to understand what genetic predisposition means and why this even relates to the spiritual world.

Reaction to disease

Our ancestors pass on genetic material to us. Just one swab of saliva can help us trace the path our ancestors took to traverse around the universe from time immemorial and also help us correlate our traits, our reaction to drugs and diseases.

Fascinating and almost magical, decoding the DNA has helped us understand many mysteries of life. It seems like we are beginning to understand the puzzle a little better.

Both good things and not so good things pass on from generation to generation. We have evolved to become smarter, sharper and more sophisticated.

Along with those traits we also have carried on DNA material that makes us lazier than before and as life becomes more complex, our habits have changed, some for the worse.

It is therefore normal for most of us to be somewhat predisposed with some complex diseases, have our own personality and react to drugs in our own special ways. The field of genetics has helped in this understanding to a great extent. So while this is an evolving science, understanding genetic predisposition is a great way of being able to understand more about the self.

You would, therefore, believe that there is a good God in genetics that comes in the form of your genomepatri.

The most important thing we have learnt,

As far as human beings are concerned,

Those genes are part of our packaged person,

Yet some habits may be churned,

The outcome is in our hands; don’t let it worsen,

Know thy self; don’t get burnt,

We were born with our genes, that is certain,

Yet, health outcome is a medal to be earned.

And yes, there will be an app to remind you!

The writer is founder and CEO of mapmygenome.com

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