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April 27, 2015
Namaskar Dear Rashmiji,
Perhaps it is my age and feelings showing in my writing. You are correct about my views to some degree. But let me explain. I have seen the damage strokes do to those who lived a healthy life. It has made me realize than anyone can be hit by a stroke at any time. Whe I was a young man I quietly but arrogantly believed that strokes happened to those who didn't take care of themselves.
It seemed clear to me that meat eaters, non-exercisers, and alcoholics would be prime candidates for a stroke. A yogi who eats a sattvic diet should never have a stroke. Or so it seemed to me in my young mind. But I would live long enough to see that my arrogant thinking was flawed.
Additionally and unfortunately, I have seen too many good yogis pass on to the next life at moderate age. This is not always the case, but it seemed very unfair. I'm tired of seeing bad luck! I have a good friend who is at this moment fighting for his life against lukemia.
He practices many forms of yoga including bhakti, jnana, karma, and raja - daily. His diet is very clean. He never ate meat or fish. He has no vices. By now you may realize that I feel cheated and so ds his family and his students. But he forgives everything and I feel he his indeed a much better example of a yogi than I.
Sorry to admit this, but it is a combination of bad feelings (self-pity, cynicism, and a bit of crabiness) that prompted my writing. Unfortunately, I have seen death come to those who have done everything imaginable to live a pure yogic lifestyle. I'm sure these are exceptions, but I've seen it first hand too many times. I am trying to be fair, but life and death are not.
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