Dr. Avnish Jolly, 3rd January, 2009 :According to study from University of Miami religion facilitates the exercise of self-control and attainment of long-term goals. The study found that religious people have more self-control than their less religious counterparts. What’s more, individuals who believe in God are better off at pursuing and achieving long-term goals. Religious people also have lower rates of substance abuse, better school achievement, less delinquency, better health behaviours, less depression, and longer lifespan.
Professor Michael McCullough of Psychology Department, University of Miami evaluated eight decades worth of research on religion and found that religious beliefs and religious behaviours are capable of encouraging people to exercise self-control and regulate their emotions and behaviours, so that they can pursue valued goals.
McCullough said that the importance of self-control and self-regulation for understanding human behaviour are well known to social scientists, but the possibility that the links of religiosity to self-control might explain the links of religiosity to health and behaviour has not received much explicit attention.
The researchers found that when people view their goals as "sacred," they put more energy and effort into pursuing those goals, and therefore, are probably more effective at attaining them. Moreover, religious rituals such as prayer and meditation affect the parts of the human brain that are most important for self-regulation and self-control. Religious lifestyles help people to monitor their own behaviour more closely, with the sense that God is watching their behaviour.
McCullough said that the study provides better understanding of "how the same social force that motivates acts of charity and generosity can also motivate people to strap bomb belts around their waists and then blow themselves up in crowded city buses and by thinking of religion as a social force that provides people with resources for controlling their impulses including the impulse for self-preservation, in some cases in the service of higher goals, religion can motivate people to do just about anything.
The study will appear Psychological Bulletin but according to Vedas Brahmarhanra of Sahaja Yog great Brahma Shakti is at the lotus feet. Perhaps Sahaja Yogis do not realize what they have achieved. The only difference between a Adi Guru and a Guru, Satguru It is thie basic of ancient belief — that the Adi Guru knows that He is the controlling Power. He knows He is with absolute oneness with the Brahmatatwa , with the Cosmic. The authority with which He talks, the complete confidence with which he says things there is no doubt in any one of His teachings. He is saying, "Verily I say to you . . ." That confidence that "I am the Brahmatattwa", that "I am the Brahma", and that "I am controlling all that Tattwa", makes them a prophet because whatever He says or prophesies is the Truth. Whatever He says about the past is the Truth and He knows that He has no doubts. The authority with which Moses talked, authority with which Socrates talked, authority with which Lao-tze talked. All these great Adi Gurus from Adi Nath to Sai Nath, they didn’t say, "If you do this would be good or that would be good." "No! this is what it is — you better do it. This is what it is."
The implications are stupendous. This is the young India awakening to its freedom. The rich and poor, the urban and the rural, men and women, the literate and not so literate, the less able, the able, everyone is dreaming as never before, as opportunities they never could imagine unfold. They are making effort to realize the potential they never knew existed in them. This is how we have started sending rockets into space. This is how our minds are working.
Our ancient scriptures show Arjuna giving up in surrender as he did not participate in war. When he looks at the other side, he sees all people who are his own people. SriKrishna does Gita Upadesa to Arjuna. He explains the significance of rules and duties, as also the meaning of life. Most importantly, he advises Arjuna to learn taking happiness and pain with equanimity. He shows him the path to becoming a Karma yogi who has supreme control of himself. With this Arjuna gets courage to fight again.
Our behaviour theorists by changing their focus are showing the increasing importance being given to the mind in human behaviour. Freud and after him Gestalt tried to explain human behaviour taking needs into account. After that Rogers gave increasing importance to the individual, who he said always worked towards positive development. He felt all that is needed is to provide a soothing environment.
The current theorists are trying to explain behaviour based on the choices the mind makes. In the Rational Emotive Theory, it is not the triggering event that is important. The resulting behaviour is also not important. Everything depends on the belief system of a person which interprets the experience. Hence positive beliefs are very important. Once the belief system is positive all actions are meant well.
There are no boundaries for positivism and no limits to be set to our mind. All that is needed is to think from our heart , "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can "Then we can even ask for the moon. We will get it. It’s all in the mind.