A report appearing on the NY Times
In Indian Rubble, Death Is Defied, if Not Denied
January 29, 2001 THE AGONY By CELIA W. DUGGER
BHUJ, India, Jan. 28 - The army surgeon had just finished
stitching a 5-year-old girl's scalp back on her head in a
makeshift open-air military hospital for earthquake victims
today when two doctors from New Delhi, who had volunteered to
help, rushed up to him. "We need an amputation set," Rajesh
Malhotra, an orthopedic surgeon, said urgently. "Please help
A grandmother had been trapped for 52 hours under a heavy beam
that had fallen on her thighs when her home collapsed in
Friday's earthquake. She was dying, the doctor said, and the
only way to extricate her was to cut off her legs.
Soon, soldiers brought Dr. Malhotra a small, shiny saw, still
edged with blood from the last amputation, and bunches of
bandages, syringes and other supplies. He and five other
physicians - all from the country's finest hospital, the All
India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi - jammed into a
jeep to hurry to the woman's aid.
The next two hours would give a vivid testament both to the
bravery of the doctors and soldiers who were trying to rescue
the quake victims, and to the frustrations of trying to do the
job without needed equipment and resources.
Army doctors at the hospital today ticked off things they need
more of: retractors, forceps, surgical instruments, splints and
oxygen cylinders. The volunteers from New Delhi would add more
items to that list once the afternoon was over.
The flood of patients slowed today, two days after the
earthquake that flattened parts of this city of 150,000, largely
because most of the people still buried in the rubble had died.
But Mahesh Solanki, a 29-year-old tailor, had managed to keep
his mother, Nirmala, alive.
She had been on the ground floor of their three-story home when
it caved in. A beam pinned her legs. She had been caught for
more than two days, lying next to her dead husband.
Mr. Solanki, limping himself and grieving for his father and two
brothers, who had died in the collapse, gave her water and put a
tin of biscuits within her reach. She hung on, begging him to
get her out of that dark hole, illuminated only by a faint
triangle of light from above.
He tried to figure out a way, but the house is in the middle of
a sea of rubble, where no crane or bulldozer could reach it to
remove the heavy slabs of concrete that hovered above his
mother. Nor was there any way to shift the beam off her legs
without bringing the house down.
Maj. Rajan Agarwal was searching for the living in the ruins
when he found Mr. Solanki, saw that the only hope for the man's
mother was amputation and took him to Dr. Malhotra, the
orthopedic surgeon, for help.
At 2 p.m. today, Dr. Malhotra and his team of doctors were
clambering over huge piles of rubble to get to the family's
home. It was only when they arrived that they realized the long
odds they faced.
"There's a gentleman lying by her side," Dr. Malhotra said in a
Major Agarwal replied: "That's her husband, sir. The man is
Not only would the doctor have to reach across her husband's
body to reach the trapped woman, but there was only about six
inches of space above her leg, leaving scant room for sawing.
And he would have to operate on her while lying on his stomach.
The doctor also looked nervously at the huge cracks in the
walls, and thought of the strong tremors that had occurred
periodically since the earthquake. "Are you sure this structure
is safe?" he asked.
"It hasn't moved since this morning," the major answered.
Dr. Malhotra did not seem reassured. He began to wonder out loud
about whether to go forward. He worried about the woman's
position, he worried about performing the surgery lying down, he
worried about the house falling down on them.
The major reminded him, "Without this, she will die, sir."
"I wouldn't like her to die in my own hands, but I'm agreeing to
it only because. . . ." the doctor replied, his voice trailing
So the job began. The doctors wanted a battery-operated electric
saw, but there wasn't one handy. They called for a torch, and
were handed a tiny flashlight.
The saw, it turned out, was dull, so the doctors called to the
soldiers to bring a knife. The men brought a long machete, with
a curved blade that looked not only dull but dirty. The doctors
poured a germicide on it, and passed it in to Dr. Malhotra.
That, too, wasn't sharp enough.
"Does anybody have a small hunting knife?" the doctor cried out.
Instead, the soldiers brought another machete with a shorter
blade. Dr. Malhotra tried that too.
Finally, more than an hour after the surgery began, her legs
were off. The doctors lifted her up and out of the house, and
laid her on a stretcher.
In a mournful tone, a young resident informed Dr. Malhotra,
"She's not breathing, sir." Dr. Malhotra, sweaty and
blood-splattered, seemed to sink in on himself.
"I told her son she might die, but I was not prepared for it,"
he said in the jeep on the way back. As the ride neared its end,
he said, "A wiser man would have said no, and let her die
But her son felt differently. He shook the doctor's hand, and
told him he was grateful to him for trying to save his mother.
Back at the military hospital, he wept over her body. When he
said goodbye to Major Agarwal, who had done his best to save his
mother, Mr. Solanki touched his forehead to the soldier's hands
highlight editor's note: contribute to the earthquake cause. see
Music Link: http://www.mahadev.org/mp3/Shiv_Mahima/
Free Indian (Shaivite) music in MP3
The musical selection has (finally) been updated on The Core,
for February 2001. This music requires the RealAudio player, and
at least 28.8k modem for streaming (the song can alternately be
downloaded if you have a slow modem or connection).
This month's selection is a very blissful piece of Shaivite
To access, please go to:
Then scroll down the left side menu until you see "Monthly
Musical Selection" and click on the link.
If you have any problem with the above address, you can use the
one below as an alternate (however, bookmarking the site below
is not recommended because it is subject to change at anytime):
Up until now I (naturally) felt this whole earthquake disaster
was very sad. But until I read the following from the American
Red Cross website (the last sentence), there were no tears in my
--------------- Help already has been offered from around the
globe, including assistance from the United States, which is
sending a seven-member disaster response team and pledged some
$5 million in aid. Teams from Switzerland, Britain, Russia and
Israel already have arrived. Even India's archrival Pakistan has
offered support. ---------------
Dearest friends... why does it take a disaster killing
thousands, to bring people together? When I read that Pakistan
had offered support, only now tears came into my eyes.
Is this the state of things? That "even archrivals" can offer
support... probably mostly out of fear that they would need the
same support, should an earthquake hit THEM...
Think about that. The earthquake itself... just an event. The
deaths... it has happened before, and was not preventable. But
the hatred and rivalry, that is worth shedding large tears.
*THAT* is preventable, and that is not being prevented.
With great sadness,
(sorry, i forget who sent this story:) This is by 'Ravi
Enlightenment is like a joke! It's like a fish searching for the
ocean. Once upon a time, there was a congregation of fish who
got together to discuss who had seen the ocean. None of them
could actually say they had seen the ocean. Then, one fish said,
"I think my great-grandfather had seen the ocean!" A second fish
said, "Yes, yes. I also heard about this." A third fish said,
"Yes, certainly, his great-grandfather had seen the ocean." So
they built a huge temple and made a statue of the
great-grandfather of that particular fish. They said, "He had
seen the ocean. He had been connected with the ocean."
---------------------------i like this story because it shows
that when you don't know you are already connected to the ocean
a bit of worship can point you in the right direction.
Yes that's the Path - just being 'Aware' There's a great (short)
book by Anthony De Mello titled "Awareness" that says it all.
Loving thoughts, Peg
MATTHEW, DAN, GLORIA, JAN
(snip) Consciousness and unconsciousness end up being exactly
the same thing. This is the perfect paradox; the observer who
reallt isn't an observer because there is no duality, and
nonetheless is an observer. Perfect self-remembering has no
rememberer and nothing to remember. But in terms of
communication, we call it self- remembering. Not Self with a big
"S" or self with a little "s", or any of that nonsense that
actually distracts and confuses what should be tacitly obvious.
The unconscious only seems unconscious
because the illusion of a separate conscious
entity seemed to occur.
The supposed "unconscious" not only grows hair
and positions human bodies in space as they
move, it also grows planets, the "laws of gravity",
etc. It even "grew" the supposed "conscious
entity" as a temporary formulation of
emotion, memory, and self-referential thinking.
The "unconscious" knows how to form space, time,
matter, and energy from itself and of itself.
This is similar to the centipede who could coordinate
a hundred legs without thinking about it, only
This 'illusion' might also be said to be simply the distinction
between two different intelligences. Evolutionary intelligence
is passing on the instructions of an organism adapted to its
environment. (How geese navigate and migrate, salmon spawning..)
The capacity for individual learning (which by the way also
exists in the caterpillar) is the ability to change one's
behavior based on experience. Hence, there is a presumed
relationship between the increasing complexity of this capacity
for individual learning with the identification of this commonly
thought of as being a self with self-consciousness. Presumably
this capacity for individual learning would or could persist
even after the confusion of this individual learning capacity
with identity of an entity was no longer the case.
What you say here below is very poetic, so excuse my getting
somewhat technical. I am just wondering about the source of this
illusion, and I sorta prefer the word appearance to illusion.
Most animals also have emotion and memory plus this individual
learning capacity as part of their sentience equipment. So is
this self-referential thinking simply due to more
"intelligence"? What are your thoughts?
Before a hair can grow
A myriad of processes come into play
Each of them having been added by trial and error
What doesn't work is finished
In a sentient world
Trial and error isn't the same as randomness
Look how a child finds out how to work with something "new"
like a video game or a computer
And look how adults can be more helpless than the proverbial child
when faced with something "new".
The "trial and error" of the child
not different from the "big" trial and error
not different from the unconscious
Not different from the potential to learn and adapt
and a joy forever
I have lived on the lip
of insanity, wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door. It opens.
I've been knocking from the inside!
ED ARRONS AND GENE POOLE
Hi Gene, you said in response to:
"Essentially what I am suggesting in my post, what I am
experiencing now, is encountering the tonal presence of others
when responding to their messages. I experience this as a
Stream...of consciousnes that flows from the Still Point through
the Central Channel...to integrate with my essence, emerging as
a bodymind emanation, an awareness-energy field called "us". Are
you tuning in to this?"
G. Yes, of course. It is my constant experience, similar to what
E. It's gratifying to hear this Gene. The nature of this
"process" is rarely discussed so it is difficult to know whether
others are "tuned in" or understand it. I should think a space
where one can resonate in abidance with others, especially when
one is having some difficulty "being there", would be of
significant value. I would also think an open door for
discussing any residual issues would be beneficial too.
I seem to be heading in that direction and appreciate
observations from different perspectives.
A master asked two of his students a question:
"What exists where you cannot be?"
The first student answered, "My true Self."
The master removed his sandal and delivered a mighty slap to the
The master then required an answer from the second student.
He replied, "My true Self."
The master then removed both of his sandals and placing them on his
head began to dance and sing!
The koan: 'Who gained enlightenment?'
HAHAHAH and HOHOHO!
Peace - Michael
(editor's note: please see nds list for all the responses.)
Wisdom appears in such wonderfully
All right children... you've been in da' house
long enough! Go play! And remember, da' only way
ta get ta heaven is ta take it wit cha!
Singing joyfully in da' choir of Life,
...see, feel, know, perceive... white wolfe knows that this
awesome poetry of yours is mine...what you write would not exist
without us...which one are you of the two who is not two but
one...it takes two to dance...non-duality is the present
myth...i ask myself the same question and cannot find an
answer....two koans for you clever fox (ah,see how i try futile
as it is to win yo over)...
...what is the answer that does not beg another question...
...but, if you do not like that one enough....
...what is the question answers itself and to which no reply
~ Dave, I have dealt with depression and its debilitating effect
often in the past, and have learned some things that I share with
-Depression is often a conglomerate of emotions. It helps to
look into it more closely and feel them specificaly... then there
is more ease in the sitting with and seeing through.
-For all lingering emotional states I find it helpful to use this
Breathe and be present with the feeling.
Ask "What's under this?"
Breathe and be present with whatever shows up.
Keep on layering down until .............
This is a variation on the other question Ramana suggested
for self-inquiry: From whence does this arise?
I would second this. I find laying down and noting at first that
there is the physical depression (for me my legs ache as
sadness, and my jaw as anger) with a concomitant refusal to be
with the feeling, which takes the form of some verbal or spatial
abstraction of the pain; the abstraction is a form of denial of
Accept this refusal, say "thank you for symbolizing this pain,
that is a help to point at it, but also let me be with it." And
then be mindful of the pain. The usual is to alternate between
the solid feeling and the abstaction. Welcome each and return to
the solid feeling.
The only way out is thro.
Accupressure is helpful too. Points in the back, neck, stomach,
butt. Haven't looked, but I'm sure there are many good websites.
One is engaged in living.
Counting percentage bullshit.
'The human race' bullshit.
'Becoming realized' double bullshit.
'New age' quadruple bullshit.
Enlightenment gains enlightenment.