The Yoga Shastras describe Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sannyasa as four stages of life. The first stage of life is brahmacharya during studentship. In this stage as students we learn, understand and develop the knowledge & skill in order to fulfil our aspirations in future life with security and stability. During 1972 when I became M.B.B.S. doctor my brahmacharya life ended and I entered in to grihastha life. We enter into grihastha or family life in broader sense social life after studentship. We make every possible effort to maintain and nurture the family for which we shoulder the responsibility to lead an acceptable social life utilizing the knowledge & skill we have acquired in student life. When after long 36 years I retired from the post of Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa on February 29, 2008 on attaining the age of superannuation i.e. 60 years, I switched over from grihastha to vanaprastha life on March 1, 2008.
We (I & my wife) relocated to Gurgaon, Haryana (N.C.R. Delhi) on March 30, 2008 to stay with our son working there for better physical, mental and emotional support in our old age after my retirement. On the other hand I had to leave my comfort zone of leading life with friends, relatives and old colleagues in my native place, district and state where I was having a worthy social recognition as a professional doctor amongst the public. Consequent upon my extra-ordinary decision, I had to lead my post retirement life in a completely changed social setup having only company of own family members. The post retirement life became vanaprastha for me from social perspective in my life. I was attracted towards spiritual philosophy of Sadguru Sai Baba in my mental, emotional and intellectual planes; and I became a Shirdi Sai devotee on October 14, 2008 during my stay at Gurgaon. With change to higher job & place by my son after residing in Gurgaon Haryana (N.C.R. Delhi) for about one year, we relocated to Bangalore Karnataka where we are residing at present. During my stay in Bangalore, I resorted to Yoga practices to maintain my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health; and I became a Yoga practitioner since July 28, 2009. Yoga and Spirituality became ways and means of my post retired life. In the changed circumstances, intuitive thoughts came to my mind that the present global world is connected through Internet via World Wide Web and it will be wise on my part to give something back in innovative and creative way to the society of my native place, district and state; and my country India and World as a whole by complementing and supplementing my post retirement activities of Yoga and Spirituality with my scientific knowledge of medical profession. To work out my ambition, I had to acquire the knowledge and skill of information technology after my retirement at the age of 60 years. I created my own blog Yoga and Spirituality in the website of WordPress.com on May 2, 2010 and I have been publishing articles every month on Yoga and Spirituality since May 2010. I registered my name as a user in social networking website Facebook on June 15, 2011 and I have been posting daily average 2-3 posts on health magazine, inspirational quotes, yoga and spirituality, photos related to functions, festivals, tours and travels in Facebook wall page and groups. Most of my old friends and colleagues with whom I had worked during my service, tech-savvy cousins and relatives have become readers of my blog Yoga and Spirituality and friends in Facebook. Moreover I have been able to create a new circle of friends world-wide through social networking in Facebook. Readers of more than 100 countries throughout World are reading my articles posted in my blog Yoga and Spirituality as documents available for public view through Google and other search engines in Internet. To cover the big gap of distance & time I had been visiting in annual trip to Odisha to meet & interact physically with friends, relatives and old colleagues in my native place, district and state.
My post retired life was going very well and I was very proud of all my achievements until something very unfortunate happened to me. I became ill and my illness was diagnosed to be cancer of right upper gum since April 2015 which was operated on May 13, 2015 followed by radiotherapy completed on August 14, 2015. Cancer survivor of such case need to take care of himself and make sure that he can keep himself as comfortable as possible in day to day life especially when advised not to stress and strain mouth parts by talking much over phone with friends and relatives till structure and function of mouth back to almost normal. Moreover due to the weakness of whole body during convalescence and recovery phase one has to restrict his physical movements, even long distance and time consuming city tour. Under such circumstances, I could not take up my annual trip to my native state Odisha to meet and interact physically with my relatives and friends during 2015-16. Thus after 7 years of eventful retired life from 2008-09 to 2014-15, I had to enter the stage of karma sannyasa during 2015-16.
Having sufficiently expanded and developed our own understanding of spirituality, we enter into the fourth stage of life, sannyasa which is meant for dedicating the qualities and virtues we have acquired towards the growth of humankind and inspiring others to attain inner freedom. Sannyasa is not escaping from life; rather it is running into life with greater wisdom, understanding and perception. This I am doing through Internet in World Wide Web through my own blog Yoga and Spirituality and social networking through Facebook.
Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda