How to live for 100 years?
The following post is based on a story I had heard from Swami Adiswarananda, the Spiritual Leader of the Ramakrishna Vivekananda Center in New York from 1973 to 2007.
In New York City, many exciting things happen. New York City provides opportunities to all kinds of people with all kinds of ideas. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, one has to read all of the newspapers and magazines published in New York City.
One day the following advertisement appeared in a New York City newspaper:
Do you want to live for 100 years?
Attend this one-on-one meeting with a world-renowned doctor
For a very nominal fees
In a few minutes, you will learn simple ways to live longer.
No medicine. No gimmicks. No nonsenses.
A very successful and a sure way!
**Very limited offer! Many time slots have already been taken.
Only a few slots left!
To reserve your time slot, call (111) 333 – 5555.
Frank Miller lived in New Jersey and every day he commuted to New York for work. While reading a newspaper on the bus, his eyes caught the above advertisement. He started debating whether he should try to make an appointment with this doctor.
Frank had tried all kinds of ways to lose weight, but to no avail. He had tried various kinds of diets, pills, exercises (which he did not like much), Yoga, and other things, and nothing had worked for him. After many attempts, he lost a little weight. However, just as in the ocean a wave is followed by a wave, his weight came back with vengeance and he gained more weight than before. He grew frustrated. His wife had told him that if he does not take care of his weight then he will die early. A couple of his friends at work had collapsed and died at young ages from heart attacks. Outwardly, he would joke about his weight, but he was really worried internally. He decided to set up an appointment with the doctor and thought it would not hurt him to make one more attempt.
Frank called the doctor’s office and found out that he could get a one-hour appointment on Monday next week during his lunch break. He had to pay a non-refundable fee of $100 in advance. Well, with some hesitation, he paid the fee and planned to go to see the doctor on Monday next week.
Monday came and Frank went to the doctor’s office on time. The secretary welcomed him with a big business smile and gave him a pad of paper and a pen to write with. After a few minutes, he was called in. The doctor welcomed him with a warm handshake.
After taking their seats, the doctor started telling Frank about the successful stories of people living longer after following his advice. Then, the doctor told Frank to write down the following on his pad:
From today on,
– No Pizza
– No coke or any soft drink
– Absolutely no alcohol
– No smoking
– No meat
– No dairy products
– No cheese in any form
– No sugar in coffee or tea
– No cookies or crackers
– No chocolate
– No salt in the food
– No late night movies or entertainment
– No greasy food
Abruptly Frank got up in the middle of this dictation and started to leave.
The doctor said, “Frank! Why are you leaving? Don’t you want to live for 100 years?”
Frank said, “What for?” 🙂 🙂
A few thoughts on longevity:
There is a birthday wish in Sanskrit which says
It means that “you live for 100 springs” or 100 years. We all want to live longer, but it is not in our hands. There is a popular saying that “Birth, marriage, and death happen in their own time. We have no control over them.”
In this context, a thought definitely comes to our minds – “What is important, a quantity of life or a quality of life?” Shri Shankaracharya died at the age of 32, Sri Ramakrishna at 49, and Swami Vivekananda at 39. They did not live for 100 years, but they left a positive and deeper impact on humanity. Millions of people were inspired by their lives and teachings and they will continue to inspire for eternity.
One’s life is blessed if one realizes the inner divinity lying within and serves humanity unselfishly. Then, it does not matter whether life was short or long.
Many great personalities had worn out their bodies by working for the good of humanity. Swami Vivekananda said that it is better to wear out than to rust out.
There is a big industry which produces products and ways to help people live longer and healthier. Originally, Yoga was meant for the spiritual upliftment, but now it has become a way of exercise.
For a Yogi who wants spiritual upliftment, the Bhagavad Gita emphasizes the way of moderation. In chapter six of the Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna says, “Yoga is not for the person who eats too much or eats too little. It is not for the person who sleeps too much or too little. Yoga puts an end to the sorrows of a person who is moderate in his/her eating, entertainment, work, and sleep.” (Gita 6. 16 and 6. 17).
(Thanks to Pallavi Tatapudy for editing this post and Sneha Shah for the illustration.)