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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्



By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
I am a senior citizen. So is my wife, Sudha. We do not live in fear of that dreaded disease Alzheimer's. May be because for a long time we were ignorant of its symptoms and had not met any man or woman who had got it. More than that both of us, as a happily married couple of four decades and a half, we had devised our own lifestyle that insulated us from diseases with horrible names like dementia, alzheimer's and cancer.

Both of us wish to share our experiences of life without fear of dreaded diseases. By the way, I am seeing 77th spring of my life and Sudha is about to enter that biblical figure; three scores and ten. I have no magic wand that can make a disease disappear but I do have a recipe that may make you a Centenarian living a life of health and happiness.


Prarthana is a Hindi word, derived from Sanskrit, and it means Prayer. Purusharth is again of the same derivative and means a deliberate Action in consonance with the Prayer.
I have found that living a life of cheer and hope is easier when I pray to the Almighty God. In the Vedic concept Ishwar or God is unborn and,therefore, does not die. He is formless and may be realised by the inner self by meditation. A belief in God, where there is no idol worship, helps a man gain and strengthen self confidence. It just happens and the Believer is the Beneficiary.
JEEVEM SHARADAH SHATAM - chant that and give auto suggestion that May I live to be a Centenarian. Not only that, the final part of the Mantra is ADINAH SYAM SHARADAH SHATAM - may I have a life of 100 years without being a Dependant. In other words, it envisages a life where one does not depend on any individual or political system for anything to sustain one's life. The chanting of this part of the Mantra gives one mental support to realise the dream of being a centenarian.
After this segment of Prarthan, let us pass on to the Purusharth or Action segment.
Idle man's brain is devil's workshop. The devil is quite friendly with Alzheimer's. So, we must keep both of them at bay. Never be idle. Keep doing something or the other that is meaningful, even if it is not gainful economically. As a senior citizen, ine is expected to have some silver in the kitty. Everyone saves something for a rainy day. Please do not worry if you have not saved money. You may have grown up children who may part with a little cash to sustain you. But do not be a burden on your sons and daughters. You may like to share a billet with good intentions. But the way to hell is paved with good intentions. If the children show reluctance, do not press them, fall back upon your insurance. If that is not there, some charitable organisation or the other will come forward to help you. Humanism is not yet dead.
My experience shows that joining an organisation like the Arya Samaj where a senior citizen delivers sermons and helps the new generation in some field or the other is quite helpful. Go back to the Vedas, choose a Mantra, recite and meditate and remember it by heart for your sermon will keep your mind busy. Just try it.
Pranayam or control of your breathing is very helpful too. The supply of oxygen in blood to the brain keeps the brain healthy and does not let Alzheimer's even take a peep, what to say of attacking and debilitating it. A healthy and well exercised brain just does not shrink and functions in a normal manner.


I never get tired of advising my friends that they must be careful about what goes into their stomach. The litmus test is : is it useful for the body; is it just less than what satisfies your hunger; has it been bought with your hard earned money? No blood diamonds please. No slaughtering of animals or birds to fill your stomach. If you make your stomach a grave, it will hasten your trip to the graveyard.
HIT BHOOK; MIT BHOOK AND RIT BHOOK - these three simple phrases mean - eat only that item which is beneficial to the body both in the short run and the long run. Junk food is just out. Green leafy vegetables and simple cereals augmented with milk or milk products go well with the human body. It is indeed shameful that there is adulteration in just about every edible item in some developing country and adulterated food is nothing short of swallowing a poison-pill.
One should eat a little less than what the body needs. Thus there will be no pressure on the digestive system and the aging process will slow down.


Walk, walk and walk. Wear a smile always and everytime. Keep thinking of pleasant moments and banish the nightmarish ones. When you see someone without a smile, give one of yours.
ABHAYAM - fear not. Fear no one; neither the living nor the dead. Remember, there are no ghosts to torment you.
Live with like -minded people to be a happy Centenarian.

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very motivating and full of

very motivating and full of life.
hello and thanks

AUM Namaste Lalit Ji. Thanks

Namaste Lalit Ji. Thanks indeed for appreciating my article on Alzheimer's and some suggestions to senior citizens how to keep it at bay.
Chitranjan Sawant

subodhkumar An excellent


An excellent and practical note.
Like shri Sawant ji, i am also a senior citizen running 77 now. There is a very famous saying 'Use it or loose it' I had read Urdu in school up to 7th class. I was pretty good in my Urdu reading and writing skills. For the nearly sixty years, I had absolutely no opportunity to write in Urdu. Result is that to day I can just read Urdu a little, but I can hardly bring myself to write in Urdu. My mother is a widow. She is running 97 years now. She had led a very active life of running a big household. But for the last nearly ten years her life has become very sedentary. She can no longer sign her own name , she hardly remembers the names of her children. She does not have any physical disease. Company of young children in our old joint family system used to provide a chance for social interaction for the very elderly people. This part of life is a disadvantage for the very elderly to ward off age related dementia. Ginkgo Biloba a herbal extract - very famous in Germany and France, is a very old Chinese medicine that is known to improve blood circulation particularly in brain. My mother has benefited tremendously with Ginkgo Biloba.
Swadhyay, Prarthana, Jap, Pranayam all are good aids. Bhajan Kitan and singing are very good aids. Creative writing, and public speaking should also be practiced by Van prasthis. Diet supplements to increase EFAs Essential fatty Acids- available in grass fed cow's Milk and Flax seeds help. Plenty of fresh fruits, and vegetables of all colors. Exposure to Morning Sun to imbibe Vitamin D is considered of great importance by modern neurologists as aids to keep brain systems in good repair.
Let us pray for His grace to show us the path of what is good for us .

AUM Namaste Subodh Kumar Ji.

Namaste Subodh Kumar Ji. Thanks indeed for additional and meaningful information. I pray to Param Pita Parmatma that your Pujyaniya MA may be a centenarian and continue enjoying the company of Subodh Ji. family. I wonder if you tried that Chinese medicine to improve her condition after she forgot names of her children. Of course, you have mentioned that she benefited tremendously with Ginkgo Biloba. Is it available with chemists who dispense medicine prescribed by our Army doctors?
If convenient, please swtitch on ZEE NEWS on 15 Aug 2010 at 0650 hrs and you may see me there as a commentator for the Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort Delhi. Thanks.
Chitranjan Sawant

subodhkumar Dear Sawant


Dear Sawant ji,
Many thanks for your kind words. Ginkgo Biloba is a tree, considered the oldest known botanical tree. It is grown on road sides in USA. Chinese have been using its herbal extract for centuries. Modern researches have confirmed that it promotes blood circulation- particularly in brain and eyes etc. Liquid herbal extract is available in India from chemists dealing in homeopathic medicines. Tablets of Ginkgo Biloba are available with chemists selling allopathic medicines. Capsules are available with difficulty. But these are very easily available in USA.
Another very important diet supplement is Omega3 . Human body converts dietary Omega3 in to DHA. DHA is the stuff that keeps our brain, eyes etc in good shape.For vegetarians only traditional source for Omega 3 is Grass fed Cow's Milk.
You may like to read more on Omega 3 and DHA in the note given below.
MIDAS ( DHA Omega 3)
The Memory Improvement with Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Study (MIDAS) published online this week showed that algal DHA improved memory function in healthy aging adults, providing a benefit roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger.
MIDAS is the first large, randomized and placebo-controlled study demonstrating the benefits of algal DHA in maintaining and improving brain health in older adults. The goal of MIDAS was to evaluate the effects of algal DHA on cognitive outcomes in healthy elderly people with a mild memory complaint. The study was funded by Martek Biosciences.

MIDAS found that healthy people with memory complaints who took 900 mg algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance versus those who took a placebo, a benefit roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger. The DHA was well-tolerated and subjects taking the DHA also experienced a lower heart rate, providing a significant cardiovascular benefit.

The study population included 485 people 55 and older at 19 U.S. sites who were considered to have age-related cognitive decline. Age-related cognitive decline is defined as decline in cognitive functioning consequent to the aging process that is within normal limits given a person's age. For example, individuals may report problems remembering names or appointments or may experience difficulty solving complex problems.

MIDAS study participants consumed an oral dose of 900 mg per day of algal DHA or a placebo (corn/soy) over the course of six months. The primary endpoint was a cognitive test of memory and learning called the CANTAB Paired Associate Learning (PAL). CANTAB PAL is an assessment of visual memory and new learning, and is a useful tool for assessing patients with age-related memory loss.

"The fear of memory loss and losing brain capacity looms large in the minds of boomers," said renowned neurologist and memory expert, Majid Fotuhi, M.D., Ph.D., author of "The Memory Cure." "But as MIDAS demonstrates in a clinical setting, there are some simple things you can do to maintain and even improve your brain health as you age - like taking 900 mg of algal DHA every day."

DHA is a structural omega-3 fatty acid in the brain that has been shown in epidemiological, preclinical, and now in clinical research to support brain health. Yet, despite DHA's importance, most people eating a Western diet consume low amounts of DHA.

The source of DHA used in MIDAS was a vegetarian and sustainable algal DHA produced by Martek Biosciences, and marketed to consumers under the brand name of life'sDHA(TM). Algal DHA supplements that will enable consumers to easily achieve daily algal DHA intake comparable to the amount used in this study can be found at major drugstores and retailers under the Algal-900(TM) product name and carrying the life'sDHA logo.

"Up to one third of the more than 75 million baby boomers in the U.S. will experience a gradual decline in cognitive function as they age," said Dr. Edward B. Nelson, medical director for Martek and co-author of the study. "MIDAS is significant because it shows for the first time that taking 900 mg of algal DHA daily may have a very meaningful and important impact on cognitive function in the aging population."

"We have known for a long time based on the strong body of epidemiological research that DHA may play an important role in cognitive function, particularly in the aging population," said. Dr. Karin Yurko-Mauro, associate director of clinical research for Martek and project lead of MIDAS. "With MIDAS, we now have clinical evidence to indicate that 900 mg of algal DHA improves memory and learning in aging adults."

About DHA
DHA omega-3 is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and the eyes and supports brain, eye and cardiovascular health throughout life. There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that people of all ages benefit from an adequate supply of DHA omega-3 in their diets. Scientific reviews have highlighted the importance of DHA omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, as well as its importance in cardiovascular health. Leading experts around the world have noted that DHA is an important nutrient for health throughout the life cycle. Yet despite its importance, Americans have among the lowest dietary intakes of DHA omega-3 in the world.

Fish are often incorrectly thought to be the only source of DHA omega-3. However, life'sDHA offers a trusted, vegetarian form of algal DHA that contains no oceanic pollutants or toxins. Fish are sources of DHA because of the DHA-rich microalgae in their food chain; life'sDHA is derived directly from microalgae, a renewable, sustainable source of DHA that does not deplete ocean resources, and is produced entirely in the U.S. in an FDA-inspected facility. Today, life'sDHA is found in numerous foods, beverages and supplements for people of all ages. It is also the only source of DHA used in U.S. infant formula and is included in more than 99 percent of all formulas on the U.S. market, as well as in more than 350 brands of infant formula, nutritional supplements and functional foods sold in over 75 countries worldwide. A dietary supplement designed to deliver 900 mg of DHA daily is available at major drugstore chains and retailers under the Algal 900 DHA name and carrying the life'sDHA logo.