Holistic Health & Wellness Management
Addressing the UN General Assembly in Yew York on 27 September 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and Nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the World and the Nature.”
Body is Nature’s creation and its running and maintenance is as per Nature’s laws. Body is equipped with all systems that run on auto mode with software in the Brain. The motive force is provided by the Heart. Therefore, Brain and Heart are the two most critical organs of the body that have to be maintained and guarded delicately. We hardly pause to think why the chest cavity should be elastic and the diaphragm also moves up and down along with the out and in movement of the breath 24×7 hours. Both work as mechanical pumps to help in deeper breathing. Breath not only oxygenates the blood but also infuses life energy or Praana in the body.
We have to not only admire the Creator’s creativity but also find clues in it for our own learning process and seek answers to each and every question from those in the know of it. From UAE, I learnt a lot watching the calves of Camels, the way they keep shaking their hind legs. It is a very good workout for our own legs. That is why several Yogic postures carry animal names. Even the repeated body postures assumed during offering ‘Namaaz’ with full mental focus and feelings of surrender are so critical for holistic health of the devotee.
The fundamental truth about Yogic practices is that more than providing sound body health, it empowers mental and intellectual capabilities. Medical practitioners also now recognize and prescribe therapeutic benefits of Yogic postures, Praanaayaam and meditation (Dhyaan). The latter two provide miraculous recovery and rehabilitation of patients suffering from chronic diseases or coming out of trauma of surgeries and/or painful chemotherapy/radiation treatments. I am sure that if these basic sciences that have existed since the beginning of life on planet Earth (not since 5000 years of history of the Indus Valley Civilization as is often noted), are properly understood in a scientific spirit, taught in schools, practiced and understood in public at large and governments worldwide join hands to propagate this critical knowledge on preventing diseases and sufferings, the national health budgets would start showing a downward trend.
Eating, Drinking, Breathing and Sleeping are important sciences for maintaining good physical health. The Ayurved science specifically deals with it. Key point to note is Ayurved treats the individual and not the disease; because the same disease would cause imbalance in the tridoshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) differently in different individuals and there is no ‘one pill for one symptom fits all’ approach of Western Medicine.
The second level of living is called the Sookshma Shareer or Subtle body, which you cannot see but you are aware of it’s activities. Mind, Intellect and Memory are knowledge faculties that process the information gathered by the five senses of perception, namely ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose and acted upon by the five action organs, namely speech, hands, legs, anus, and sex organ. I do not think you have any clue about the subtle way of working of these faculties and the way they impact on the physiology and biochemistry of the body.
The third level of existence is the Ego level, called the Kaaran Shareer or Causal body. Ego is the reflected image of the Self or the Soul on the brain’s memory plane called the Chitta. The Self is a pure entity, a detached onlooker and non-doer, representing the link in your body with God. However, when it enters a given body, the individual’s Trigunaatmak Chittavrittis or three-fold personality traits from past births also come enveloping it. So, it’s pure identity as an embodiment of God gets transformed to that of the individual and is called the ‘Ego’ or the Jeeva or simply the ‘I’. Thoughts evolve with time in tune with your learnings and knowledge enrichment and correspondingly the Chittavrittis also evolve and determine the changing nature of Ego, called the Consciousness.
The entire practice of meditation is about becoming aware of this process, of your wanderings at thought level that are seen oscillating on the mind and we say mind is unstable. However, the Mind is as it is, only what appears on it from the memory is changing.
What is spirituality?
Spirituality is all about this process of refining your thoughts closer and closer to the Self through continuous study of the self (ego), then meditating over every new knowledge you acquire for refinement of the self’s wanderings, so that slowly but surely it becomes pure wisdom that can tranquilize the Chittavrittis responsible for mental distractions and destabilizations. When Chitta reaches such a pure state, it reflects the Self in it’s pure form because there is no more the envelop of ignorance. This is the state of union or Yog of the self or ‘I’ with the pure Self.
This is the state of Self-realization. This process takes you through such unique experiences that you start getting rewards by way of finding answers to all your health problems, stress factors, emotional disturbances, etc. one by one. Stress is a state of ignorance about issues confronting you, which can be resolved during meditation if you have a knowledgeable Guru to guide you through this process. There is no blind belief or faith here, pure science that everyone can experience and benefit from.