Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Modern- Maha Shat-Avadhan - An Unique Experience

When I was a child I heard of Ashta-Avadhan & Shat-Avadhan practiced by the Rishis of ancient history. Little did I know that various forms of this art are still being practiced... I was hence, pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation for a modern day Shat-Avadhan by Munishri Ajitchandra Sagarji on March 04, 2012, and was equally thrilled to attend the same.
It was of course different in styling and content, from what I read about an Avadhan as a child –[which was more to do with solving poetic, mathematic etc riddles along with irrelevant talk/riddles deliberately designed to confuse the Avadhani..Avadhanam] -- but essentially the context is the same. To remember a huge number of things (200 in this case), in a forward or backward sequence or at random. And these include a set of multi-tasking or samyukta avadhan
It was organized by a Jain Sangh and though most of the questions were in Gujarati, it was still decipherable. The Munishri, a young 22 year-old, in deeksha since 10 yrs, is an inspiration with his amazing concentration and memory powers, his stillness, his Tejas and an inspiring speech (from what little one could understand, since it was also in Gujarati).

Two things that he said (from what I thought I understood) were amazing. One, where he compared religion with science saying that the latter worries about how the apple fell while the former tries to understand how the apple went up in the first place! Second, that the character inside us is akin to a stone that requires sculpting for it to be forged into a beautiful Statue, the scuplting that requires long hours and the hard work that goes with it. 
Eminent persons including a neuro-surgeon, spoke in between the gap in questions (after every 50 questions, there is a time-break which Munishree uses to commit them to memory) on how such a powerful memory cannot be built up without involving sub-conscious. The invoking of the sub-consciousness is essentially a spiritual path ---Tapasy, Tyag, Sayyam & Dhyan being the stepping stones of such a path.
The neuro-surgeon also mentioned few things such as Mnemonics and the ways to improve memory.. repetition, symbolisation, association, visualisation etc.. Interestingly, he gave few more attributes to  cultivate strong memory viz., being happy, active, positive and interested ..
Finally to end with a shloka I learnt from this Seminar:
"Saile saile na manikyam; Mouktikam na gaje gaje
Sadhvo nahi sarvatram ; Chandanam na vane vane"

[Precious Gems, Pearls, Sandal Trees and Noble Souls are not to be found easily..] 

And for names of few other Avadhanis with incredible powers, check out here...Avadhanam

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