It was 4 p.m. that dreadful afternoon, just a week after my 24th birthday. Through the window of the post-operative ward in the hospital where I lay, I could hear the siren of an ambulance entering the hospital compound with some other accident victim. The team of specialists who stood around me after examining me informed my father and sister of their decision to amputate my right arm the following morning.
A few days earlier, I had met with a motorcycle accident. I was riding my motorcycle over a flyover and I was not wearing a crash helmet. I was overtaking a car when a speeding bus from the opposite direction hit me almost head-on. I was thrown off my bike and landed about 15 metres away. The entire right side of my body was badly injured. I had broken my right side zygomatic bone, my mandible, and my maxilla. A 1.5 cm2 piece of my palate had broken away. There was a gaping hole just below my eye, and my right eye socket was soaked in blood. The patella on my right knee, my right shoulder bone, and the shoulder joint were fractured. As my palate was broken, I had no control over my swallowing and I could feel blood running down my gullet. I was breathing not only through my nose and my mouth but also through my torn cheek and the hole below my right eye. After the broken piece from my palate was reattached and the maxillomandibular fixation (wiring of my mandible and maxilla) was done to immobilise my jaw, I was wheeled to the OT (operation theatre) for a facial plastic surgery that lasted five hours. My shoulder and knee fractures were then attended to and I was shifted to the post-operative ward. As I could not speak due to my wired-up jaw, I signalled to my dad and sister that the pain in my shoulder was unbearable and that I feared something more serious than just a fracture. The following morning I knew that I was right. The swelling around my right shoulder had spread up to my back. This was a case of negligence on the part of the doctors. One more day went and sepsis had set in and the pain was so severe that it was almost impossible for me to stay conscious.
My dad and my sister explained to me the seriousness of the sepsis around my right shoulder which could affect my central nervous system and that the amputation of my right arm was the only way to save my life. I was also passing out frequently due to the excruciating pain, but I desperately tried to stay conscious.
That night, as I lay on my hospital bed, I saw various scenes from my whole life flashing before me. I was too dazed but I tried to mentally prepare myself for the amputation. I continuously felt as if I was falling into some kind of a deep slumber but something told me that maybe that was the feeling of dying, and so I tried hard to stay awake. The heavy loss of blood had made me so weak that I fell asleep.
Around 11p.m., I woke up as I felt a strong and a warm hand stroking my hair. I opened my left eye slightly but there was no one close to me. I saw my Dad sleeping on the couch in the room. I had a strange feeling that I can hardly describe, and I prayed to be shown a miracle that would save my arm. I dozed off again only to be woken up about 10 minutes later by the sound made by the opening of the door. I slowly opened my left eye again and saw that it was one of my friends, Ajit Hegde, who lived in Bangalore. He had completed his 5-year medical course and was to start his one-year internship at the hospital where I was, and exactly on that particular day when my arm was to be amputated! My friend was shocked to see me in such a terrible condition and he went through my medical file that lay on my bedside table.
He asked me if I knew about the planned amputation. I nodded weakly, as even the slightest move of my neck hurt me so badly. He asked me if I wanted to accept the surgeon’s decision, or if I cared to fight back thus risking my life in the process. The first things that came to my mind were the facts that I am the son of a soldier and that I am a born fighter. I saw a twinkle in his eye, and again I had the same feeling of someone stroking my hair gently and I think I tried to smile. I thought to myself, “Was it Krishna, whom I was so sincerely visualising?” I also felt as if someone moved past me leaving behind a warm feeling in my heart. I felt very light in my heart, which was filled with a strange sense of peace. I remembered the days when I was a little child when I used to cling to my beloved father and felt absolutely secure in his strong arms.
My father woke up and explained to my friend about my accident. My friend asked my dad if he would be willing to sign the AMA (Against Medical Advice) document and allow him to take me to another hospital where he would treat me. He told my father that he would go for an I&D (incision and drainage) to remove the almost 800 ml of pus collected around my right shoulder and fight the severe infection with heavy antibiotics. My sister entered the room and was informed by my friend about the new idea to save my arm. I nodded, and I was confident. My friend warned me that the I&D procedure would hurt me a lot and that I would have to bear the pain. I agreed as I did not believe that the pain caused by the incision could be worse than the pain that I was already undergoing.
I can never forget the 72 hours that followed. My body temperature would shoot upwards of 107 degrees Fahrenheit and cause to undergo severe convulsions. The drive to fight back would appear in my mind and using intense breath control, I would visualise a point behind my closed eyes and by concentrating on that one imaginary point, I would derive immense energy and power. In a few minutes, I would sweat so profusely that the mattress I lay on had to be changed because it was drenched with sweat. This had to be done many times. My friend would open the dressing on my shoulder, slowly pull out the gauze that he had inserted the previous day and clean up the wound. He would then squeeze out the pus that had collected after the previous drainage which had almost reached my lower back. This he would follow by inserting new gauze into the 5 cm long wound and leaving it there to absorb the pus that would form again during the following six hours. As the pain was unbearable, I had to think of a way to handle it. I visualised the nervous system in my mind and thought of the fact that I could feel the pain because the nerves ‘communicated’ the pain to my brain. So I decided to mentally ‘disconnect’ these nerves from the area around the incision. I knew it was hurting but the pain did not bother me anymore.
After 72 hours following the incision on my right shoulder, regular drainage of the pus, heavy antibiotics and after my high temperatures due to the infection was properly controlled and regulated, I was out of danger. The sepsis was under control. I had to be injected with heavy doses of amoxicillin because I could not swallow anything. I could not open my mouth due to the wiring of the maxillomandibular fixation done to immobilise my jaw.
It has been many years now, and I continue to possess a right arm which is also quite muscular like my left arm.
It was that decision that I had to make almost instantaneously – to agree to the amputation or fight it against medical advice. On the one hand, there was the highly experienced surgeon who was certain that the amputation was inevitable to save my life, and on the other, it was this young inexperienced doctor who arrived from nowhere exactly on that particular day, at that particular hour, and suggested such a drastic step to save my arm. Even to this day, I believe that my request to be shown the right was considered and my friend was a godsend to me. The Almighty, for sure, has His own ways and most humans do not have an inkling of it.
Destiny seems so real. When we are born, the exact number of years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds that we will be spending alive on this planet were already calculated and fixed. The only thing is that we are not informed of the exact period of time allotted to us to stay alive.
A few days ago, a young man wrote to me requesting advice. He explained to me in detail about his hopeless financial situation and that he was contemplating suicide. He also tried to convince me that suicide was not an act of cowardice. To be honest, I would not say that suicides are cowards. It is not true to say that cowards can commit suicide! Committing suicide calls for extreme courage and great mental strength! Of course, there is one thing for sure — the person who commits suicide, is most certainly selfish and silly. In highly stressful situations, the thought of ending one’s life creeps in. But is that a solution is a question. Karma continues and the soul never dies. The soul is born again as ‘someone’ else, and the new negative Karma accumulated due to the act of suicide has to be again balanced.
Suicides are basically of two kinds–the planned one and the impulsive one. Even the impulsive ones are generally the result of the constant harbouring of the thought of dying. There must have been in the person’s mind, a strong ‘death drive’ or ‘Todestrieb,’ as Freud called it.
The planned suicide could be because the person in question was almost drowning in debt or maybe he or she feared being caught for some crime committed, and the dishonour that followed it. Those suffering from debt problems usually think that by dying their family would get enough money from the life insurance policy taken. There are others who know that life insurance companies do not pay when the insured commits suicide and hence they plan to either organise and execute an ‘accident’ or set up an attack on themselves and be killed by someone else. The suicide invariably does not think of the possibility of the planned accident being unsuccessful and the goal of dying not being achieved. Now that can be a terrible situation for anyone to be in. It is hard to imagine living in a persistent vegetative state, causing more and more trouble to near and dear ones than earlier, feeling terribly ashamed, and above all, not even being able to reattempt suicide due to the immobility caused by missing limbs.
Everyone carries a death warrant and death is certain. The desire to die due to failures in life is due to extreme EGOISM as one feels that he or she can escape all the humiliation and loss of respect simply by dying. Learning to accept criticism and humiliation would be much easier when the EGO vanishes. The ‘I’ in us is not physical but it is abstract in nature. The body we possess stays with us only until the body’s death. When a person is dead, the body that is ready to be cremated or buried is not the person who died, but the body of the person who died.
Thanks to my research of over two decades, I have noticed clear patterns in people’s lives. Siblings, who had the same kind of upbringing, went to the same school and had the same teachers are totally different from each other. That is because their souls carry different Karma. We need to remember that our birth is not something caused by us, but it happened. We brought nothing into this world. Nothing belongs to us. The soul descends into a tiny zygote. This zygote grows into a foetus, is born as a baby, lives as a child and an adult, and when the time comes, it dies. Our physical body is the only thing that will stay with us until it dies, and everything else that we ‘possess’ does not belong to us.
The accident that I spoke about was only one of the five serious accidents that I met with, but I still continue to live a healthy life. This is because of two main reasons, firstly because my time to depart hasn’t come yet, and secondly because of the way I value, respect and care for my body, which is the one and only belonging that I actually possess until my soul is ejected out of it.
I wrote back to the young man and convinced him that suicide, of course, is not cowardice, but it is a selfish act that apart from causing extreme sadness and suffering to one’s near and dear ones, can have an extremely negative effect on one’s process of Karmic evolution.
In English and in certain Romance languages such as Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, etc., the other name for the word gift is present, présent or presente. Therefore, the present is a present. Let us be thankful for it and enjoy it.
Life is a gift – live it.
Jai Shri Krishna.
13 thoughts on “Life is a gift – live it”
Hello Tavamithram Sir,
I read your life experience and its giving me the opportunity to look the life differently now. You are a very great teacher and selfless soul by changing the life of other people. Every day I am starting my day with your posts or reading Bhagavad gita and I am feeling more happy now a day with your positive thoughts. Thanks Sir.
I will follow your path and going to live the life with full optimistic way. Thanks again for motivating thoughts and selfless services to the world.
great lesson , thanks for sharing such post and guiding& motivating people like us ,
Dear Brother Tavamithram Ji,
Thank you for sharing this incredible experience. What you went through and overcame is not only inspirational but it makes all of us look at life’s hardships with different perspective. I have had the good fortune to talk to you and share what I have been going through. I realized that most or all of the misery is created by our own mind because we still refuse to accept that what we are going through is to make us strong and lead a more meaningful life. I have been going through lots of challenges in recent years, it seems my problems were insurmountable but somehow I have managed it so far. Visiting your website, face-book page and occasional conversation with you brings my focus back on what Sade Sati really means, an opportunity to correct the course and prepare for good karma.
Thank you and best regards
Jai Sri Krishna
The article which says all about your experience is really heart touching and the way you have come out of all these are fabulous and that shows how much you loved your life. When some one loves their life from the deep heart nothing can touch them and they get out of troubles like a phoenix with double power.
You have amazing self confidence love to life and that is the difference between a normal human being like me and a wisdom soul like you. Love that way dear Master. You are the light and hope for many souls who are struggling to find how to live and why to live.
Life is a gift to be lived and preserved with love and goodness. We have only the right to live the life and not to end the life. When we try to end our life by our own decisions for any reason then we are insulting God by rejecting his blessed life. He exist always with us and our pain will always be his pain and when we experience and focus on solution then we will win other wise we will never progress.
The main focus when there is problem is not problem itself..it is the solution (we always drown into problem instead of having a feel of it, knowing the depth to resolve, we are self pity, we always want others to easily get us on our feet and carry us, we never want to struggle and put our effort given by God that itself is a problem). One has to develop a mind set of solving any problems be it in personal or professional life, be it small or big, be it yours or others……one set of solution should be present when you hear a problem though you need not have to express all the time. Attack the problem find solution and get out of that by solving and we will never feel the pressure of solving it but we feel the challenge and we feel proud at the end of the solution. Many problems comes with us like our present and here we need to understand that we have to take that problem along with and still lead a happy life making that problem as part of our life. There is a schedule for everything and there is a slot for everything in life, but we have to have the heart of accepting them. Truth is a truth we can never reject, (For eg: If someone has lost some part of body then either it should be repaired or attached artificial to feel it’s existence or live without it but never stopping for that sake, by taking that problem along with us)… So acceptance of what we are plays a major role in life. Life is not a problem, but a journey which has to be walked with happiness without getting panic and the best example is our Master.
Thank you and touching your feet with love
You truly are a TRUE friend! Where else can we find selfless souls who devote so much time, passion and energy in communicating with unknown people.
THANKS A LOT for great posts, Mantras and, above all, extremely positive message of KARMA and DHARMA.
A few days back I read Geeta for the first time and it has completely changed my thinking and outlook on everything in life. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING living, non-living and not even existing.
Your messages, in posts and comments, are great source of inspiration and solace.
May GOD bless you, your family and generations to come.
I thank you from bottom of my soul!
This is probably the 10th time I am reading this post. Among all of the Almighty’s mysterious ways, I am glad that there is also one transparent – a proof for some of us who have lost or are on the verge of losing faith in ourselves. Thanks for being the proof – that life is a gift. Sometimes, the words are important – sometimes, the way in which they are expressed – thanks for the gift of both. God bless you always!
it is indeed a pleasure to have you with us. I can see from your messages that you have almost arrived – what I mean is that, you have almost understood the basic rules and guiding principles of destiny in the game called life.
Please find me on Skype by looking my email ID up firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have a brief talk. I will not have the time to study your chart and write to you. Please take a look at my post on Karmic Diagnosis on the ‘Thoughts’ page and then contact me on Skype audio. We can have a talk whenever convenient to both you and me.
May God Bless you and your family
Jai Shree Krishna
A deeply moving account. I am so glad I found your page Tavamithram Jee. 🙂
Heart touching a real story with a lovely moral.
Namaste Sister, this is a true incident from my life.
It happened many years ago and I am thankful for being saved and guided.
Dear Mamamithram sarvada,
Namaste. I admire your grit, determination and faith in God. I know not one person in my life who’s been in more than one accident. And five? Is unheard of!! Just goes to show you are alive for a reason… to make many people’s lives easier. To help them deal with situations that may seem like the end of the world at the moment, but may be a lesson one is destined to learn in this lifetime.
I’m lucky I found you. I’m not worried at all. Like I said earlier, I know I’m going through this phase for a reason and it’s just a matter of time. Thanks for the strength you have provided me. And the hope, you so generously and unconditionally spread around.
Your friend forever,,
Dear Sir, this is like a message to me straight from God. I live in Brisbane with my family and I have been totally depressed since the last 7 months. I could not face others anymore. I owe a lot of money. I have to pay the bank, credit card companies, my apartment rent, everything. I have been sick and tired of life and I have not slept the whole night searching the net to find ways to end my miserable life. I did not feel like going out or seeing anybody. By chance I found your blog and read your story. Now I don’t care whatever happens because I have understood that my Karma has something in store for me. Otherwise I would not have found your page on the net. I have read all your pages and I feel very fresh in my mind now. Please tell me why do astrologers normally speak such scary things about sade sati and scare people to death? You have woken up the lion in me and I will bravely face others. I have sent you my birth details and I humbly request you to kindly go through my chart and advise me. I am Vrischiga rasi and lagna.
Please accept my deep gratitude for explaining the value of life in such a wonderful way. I am not scared of sade sati any more! Please advise me if I have to perform some particular poojas or so. I eagerly await your reply to your mail.
Kind regards and namaskarams.
You are most welcome brother. All will be fine! Just hang on!
I have not received any mail from you. Please send your mail to email@example.com
Jai Shree Krishna
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