AYURVEDA: The Little–known Principles of Wellbeing. 2

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“A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires – that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still – can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires”.  Bhagavad Gita 2.70

In the previous article we have discussed the three main causes of disease in accordance with the ancient ayurvedic treatises and covered the first one, which was an improper diet.

We’ve mentioned many arguments in favor of vegetarianism. The only argument that science sometimes brings up against this idea is supposedly a lack of protein in a vegetarian diet.

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However, a deeper study of this topic reveals that the leguminous foods contain a huge amount of plant protein and an animal protein is easily derived from the dairy products.

max-rubnerMoreover, the German physiologist Max Rubner, who studied the protein intakes, has found out that in the process of digestion the protein in the blood quickly splits into two parts: a nitrogenous and non nitrogenous.

The nitrogen-containing portion of the protein is not at all suitable for supplying energy to the body. It splits into uriniparous substances and then is excreted. And the second part – non-nitrogenous – gives the body the entire amount of the productive energy of the protein, though this amount is only half of the useful effect – 52-56 %.

Rubner found that the nitrogen-free residue is nothing but the carbohydrate contained in the protein. This means that the body has to spend 3 to 5 hours in processing of protein to extract the carbohydrate that is found in vegetables, fruit and grains in the best form for assimilation.

The conclusion is simple: vegetarians get enough of the protein, and in light of Rubner’s discoveries it turns out that animal protein is not so necessary.

 

Now we’ll briefly discuss the second cause of diseases –uncleanliness.

It’s not hard to understand this point. Everyone knows that hygiene is vital, and we cannot imagine how one can keep busy without having washed one’s face after sleep.

But Ayurveda recommends a daily lukewarm or cool shower in the morning. It refreshes the body and makes the mind more stable and vigorous.

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Some say that often showers are harmful because it causes the skin irritation, especially for those who are predisposed to it.

Ayurveda solves this issue very simply – after a shower one may smear the body with either olive oil or ghee, which is quickly absorbed into the skin, restoring its elasticity. While the oil is being absorbed, one can do some exercise on flexibility and stretching to activate the internal energy of the body.

If the principle of cleanliness is neglected the subtle body weakens and ability to concentrate is reduced. The subtle body becomes more prone to stress and depressive states as well as bad influence of others and even possession by spirits that are easy to conquer the weakened psyche.

On the physical level uncleanliness increases the risk of infection and weakens the immune system. Besides the bodily cleanliness Ayurveda attaches great importance to the purity of the mind.

Therefore after a morning shower and exercises it is recommended to read a little from the scriptures to refresh a spiritual understanding of life.

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If time permits, Ayurveda recommends a mantra meditation to purify and stabilize one’s mind by repeating the particular spiritual sound vibrations that in other traditions could be replaced with a morning prayer to eliminate aggressiveness and disturbance of mind.

So, cleanliness gives freshness to the body and clarity to the mind. As the proverb says: “Cleanliness is next to divinity,” which is consistent with the spiritual goal of life.

Uncleanliness, on the other hand, is closely linked to the third cause of disease, which is a disturbance of the mind. Ayurveda is based on the close connection of body and mind. In modern scientific language it is called a psychosomatic concept of health. It means that psychological factors have a direct impact on the internal body organs and vice versa.

For example, stress can cause heart attack or stroke, and it shows how the anxiety of mind affects a physical body. Inverse effect of the body condition on the psyche can be seen in example of hepatitis B, when a damaged liver often causes depression.

Blasphemy and cynicism, mental dissatisfaction, inauspicious influence of the surroundings (ecologically unfavorable sites) and time (lots of night activity under artificial light) weaken dramatically the psyche and the body.

Given this close relationship of mind and body, Ayurveda strongly recommends to everyone a suitable spiritual practice that gives a person a sense of inner contentment, confidence and security, a spiritual vision of the events happening in life and a worthy goal of life.

Another important aspect of Ayurveda is an understanding that a body itself has enough potential to resist any diseases with the right lifestyle. The following mechanism reveals the process of body tissues transformation.

According to the Ayurveda, there are seven basic tissues of the body, and they are formed from one another. The initial link of the chain is a just digested food (hilus). It is transformed into blood, blood turns into muscles, flesh. Further, flesh generates fat, fat forms bones; bones form bone marrow, which transforms into semen (it also exists in female bodies but plays a different role).

With the transformation of each tissue into the subsequent one the following by-products take place: the pus in the eyes, the sulfur in the ears, the coating of the teeth and tongue, urine, faeces, sweat, hair, nails and tears.

Bearing in mind the principle of hygiene, these wastes must be regularly removed from the body, and hair and nails to be kept clean. At the end of the transformation process the semen is transformed into Ojas – a subtle form of energy.

Hence the first recommendation: avoid excessive sexual contacts, which lead to a loss of semen! And with a constant loss of semen there will be a little Ojas left, and that weakens the whole body.

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It is obvious that restrictions of sexual life are not welcomed in the modern society, but if a person is able to at least partially transform his lust into a pursuit of higher spiritual values, then it increases his Ojas and subsequently his life force and intelligence.

Ojas has a subtle structure and is concentrated in the heart. It makes the heart beat and keeps the body and soul together.

Sometimes Ojas is seen as an aura. Partially, Ojas is identical to immunity. The more the Ojas, the lesser the toxins in the body. Ayurveda gives a number of recommendations to help increase Ojas.

Here are some of the most important ones:

• Wake up an hour or two before sunrise
• Go to bed after sunset
• Do not sleep during the day
• Do not stay awake at night

If we are awake at night, we lose a lot of energy, which is then difficult to recover.

• Sleep with head to the east

• Sleep on the back. It balances the flow of prana – the internal energy in the body. Sleeping on the belly is the worst position because it unbalances these flows. Sleeping on the right side warms the body up, on the left – cools it down.

• Avoid foods that contain toxins (meat, fish and eggs).

coffe-vkusnee-3Perhaps it will be an eye-opener to many, but black tea, coffee and chocolate are also harmful to some degree. They contain caffeine and tannin, which excrete iron and vitamin C, which cause other vitamins to be poorly digested.

Cocoa and chocolate contain stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, oxalic acid that lowers the level of calcium in the body and other toxic substances – phenethylamine and tyramine that cause headaches.

Therefore, as a beverage it is better to use herbal teas, fruit drinks and juices.

Among the products that increase Ojas the best are honey and clarified butter (ghee). Ayurveda recommends cooking food with the ghee.

Besides the three main causes of disease listed in the Ayurveda there is a secondary one, which is the accumulation of toxins – Ama. The Sanskrit word for disease is Amaya (literally – poisoning).

Toxins accumulate due to improper diet and lifestyle. These toxins or Ama are of two types:

• Mental (due to negative emotions and sins)

• Physical (directly leading to disease)

In the strict sense, physical Ama is a consequence of an excessive mental Ama. It is possible to get rid of it only by removing the original mental cause.

According to the Vedas, venom (for instance – of snakes) are formed from their own consciousness. Therefore, envy and hatred are a metaphysical reason for the formation of toxins.

So Ama or toxins accumulated in the body, clog up the vital energy channels, disrupting its normal flow, which on a physical level appear in the form of displacement of the vertebrae and / or tension of paravertebral muscles.

We learn from the Vedas that besides the visible physical organs in our body, there is also a subtle energy structure consisting of seven chakras (energy centers) that have their projections at the level of the nerve plexus and endocrine glands. All these chakras are situated on the line of the spine from the perineum to the crown.

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In this way different parts of the spine are associated with different chakras and chakras are associated with different organs and glands. The circulation of vital energy gets disrupted at the level of effected chakra where the toxins are present in a high proportion.

As a consequence, the organs that are associated with this chakra get “de-energized”.

Firstly, the channels of the subtle body get affected: some are excessively energized and the others dry out. Then, after 3-7 days the illness becomes apparent in a physical body. At this point the modern doctors may determine the diagnosis.

The signs of mental Ama are: coated tongue, fatigue, bad body odor and breath, lethargy, confusion, anxiety, depression, irritability and irregular pulse.

Before the mental toxins have become the physical, they must be eliminated by repentance ( if we have offended someone – apologize ), prayer or spiritual reflection. To do this one needs to increase Ojas, the fire of digestion and the fire of the spiritual intelligence.

Strengthening of the fire of spiritual intelligence occurs before the sunrise and sunset. This is the time when a person plans a new day and summarizes the by-gone day. Traditionally at these times the morning and evening prayers occur.

It is important to understand that mental toxins are generated by anger, envy, resentment, greed, and other negative emotions as well as sinful thoughts. Generally, people experience these emotions if they live busy lives of the hustle and bustle of a big city and are lacking real spiritual values.

As a rule people’s minds are too shallow for proactive responses and they immediately react to any little inconveniences. If a human mind is deep as the ocean (see epigraph), it is much more tolerant of others and is able to overcome the difficulties of life without accumulating the negative emotions that are the subtle causes of disease.

Therefore, Ayurveda says that the secret of health lies in the state of consciousness

Conclusions:

First of all, heal the soul of forgetfulness of God to no longer get covered by the physical body (for which the disease is inevitable), and return to the world of spiritual reality in a developed spiritual body.

Secondly, heal the mind of the poisonous negative emotions, enriching your consciousness with the higher spiritual taste and understanding.

And thirdly, use properly the machine of the physical body: feed it with the right fuel, keep it clean, do preventive maintenance, etc.

But, if, despite all the precautions, you get ill then look at it philosophically. Such is the nature of an ephemeral flesh. By spiritual practice, one can understand the difference between the spirit and matter and become less dependent on the body.

 

For mor information you may watch:

1. http://mcknowledge.info/ayurveda-the-science-of-life/

2. http://mcknowledge.info/the-secret-world-of-wellness-ayurveda-ancient-india-1/

3. http://mcknowledge.info/the-secret-world-of-wellness-ayurveda-ancient-india-2/

4. http://mcknowledge.info/the-secret-world-of-wellness-ayurveda-ancient-india-3/

5. http://mcknowledge.info/the-secret-world-of-wellness-ayurveda-ancient-india-4/

6. http://mcknowledge.info/ayurveda-the-history/

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