“A bud that is healthy will blossom,” says Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the global spiritual teacher and humanitarian who founded The International Association For Human Values. In this riveting post, Gurudev shares sutras or secrets to the essential meaning of health-holistic and vibrant health-that have been kept away from us for various reasons, especially in modern medicine.
Gurudev answers in the following blogpost-"Healthy is being physically strong, mentally calm and steady, and emotionally soft inside. You are not healthy when you feel rough inside. You feel you are unhealthy or are sick, when you feel rough and uncomfortable in the body. In the same way when the mind is stiff or the mind is in judgment, it is not in good health. When the emotions are rough, you are not emotionally healthy. Being healthy is that flow from the innermost to the outer, and visa-versa, from the outer to the inner.
Life has four characteristics: it exists, evolves, expresses and extinguishes. And for life to exist, evolve, express and extinguish, it depends on the five elements: earth, water, air, ether and fire. According to Ayurveda, life does not consist of rigid compartments. It is a harmonious flow. Even these five elements of which the whole universe is made up of are not tight compartments of defined objects. They flow into one another.
How do you attain good health? First, by attending to the ether element, that is the mind element. If your mind is bogged with too many impressions and thoughts and it is draining you of your resistance power, then where it is preparing your body for some illness. If the mind is clear, calm, meditative and pleasant, the body’s resistance will increase and it will not allow an illness to come into it. The first remedy is calming down the mind - coming from the subtlest aspect of creation, the ether.
Next is the air element. Attending to the breath for a few minutes every day, or going for aromatherapy, light or color therapy-all these therapies can also help. Before an illness manifests in the body, we can choose to energize our body system with more Prana or life force by practicing various deep breathing techniques.
That is what yoga does. What does yoga mean? In the Yogasutras, in one of the most beautiful sutras or aphorisms, sage Patanjali has said that the purpose of yoga is to stop the sorrow/misery (dukhha) before it arises, to burn the seed of sorrow before it sprouts.
Our breath has a lot of secrets to offer us, because for every emotion in the mind, there is corresponding rhythm in the breath. And each rhythm affects certain parts of the body, physically. You only need to observe it and you can feel it. The great correlation between sensations, the level of body and moods of the mind is meditation. Attending to this and learning this, is meditation.
Next is the water element. Fasting and purifying the system by drinking a lot of water, can bring a lot of balance in the system. And the final recourse, of course, are different herbs, medicinal herbs, medicines and surgery. All this comes in the final stage when everything else fails or when you neglect the other steps and the illness becomes inevitable.
And then there is eating proper food. Proper food in the sense you eat only as much as is essential and that should be well-digested so that you don’t feel too heavy, even when you go to bed or when you wake up in the morning or sit for meditation. The right amount of food - sweet, fresh and gently spiced.
What I would finally suggest, is to take one week off every year for yourself. During that time, align yourself with nature. Wake up with the sunrise, eat proper food - just as much is necessary – do some exercises: yoga and breathing exercises, a few minutes of singing, keeping silence and enjoying the company of the creation. By aligning yourself with nature, your whole system gets recharged and you will feel vibrant and enthusiastic for a long time to come."
About The Author
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an international humanitarian leader and a spiritual master who is the global rallying voice of this generation’s collective call for peace.
Named one of the “Seven Most Powerful People in India,” by Forbes, his world-renowned meditation techniques helped end the 60-year conflict in Colombia. He has been credited with bringing opposing parties together to facilitate meditation and peace talks in Iraq, Cote d’Ivoire and India.
Founder of the Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values, Sri Sri is leading the way toward peace and tolerance through meditation and humanitarian efforts. Over 35 years, his programs and initiatives have touched the lives of over 370 million people in over 150 countries.
“Sudarshan Kriya,” the meditation technique introduced by Sri Sri is backed by research and implemented in schools, corporations, prisons, refugee camps and retreat centers around the world. As a spiritual teacher, Sri Sri has rekindled traditions of yoga and meditation that have helped millions of people achieve personal and social transformation by relieving stress and discovering inner peace in daily life.
If you want to live and experience what peace is, even if for a few minutes in your day, here is a short guided meditation led by Gurudev, for just the right start of your day or may be the mid-day boost of Prana (life force) that you need for your day.