New Delhi (16/11/2022): One of the most important lessons that people around the world should have learnt from Corona Pandemic, Covid-19, is that no amount of wealth can guarantee our life and as such we need to care for ourselves. We are in times today, when we need to pay our greatest attention to our health and wellbeing. While career goals and love of material gains shall continue to attract us towards aligning our life goals towards a Hi-Technology integrated work and lifestyle, often creating unbearable stresses, the importance of being physically and mentally fit and emotionally stable cannot be over emphasized. The health care we need under these changed circumstances requires a complete reorientation both in its concept as well as in its contents and its delivery. In fact, there is a dire need to redefine heath care as a noble service for well-being and for maintaining a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy and blissful soul, full of fragrance of inspiration to live a life of divinity and bliss and do good for self and for the larger collective good of the humanity up to the last breath of our life.
Our age-old traditions of living a life full of divine bliss and happiness were intrinsically related to paying our greatest attention to regular practice of yoga and meditation, consume sattvic plant and cereal based diet value added with cow milk and milk products, further supported by natural medicines integrated in our food as herbs and spices. These together with righteous conduct and a self-regulated lifestyle created an inspired humanity devoted to cultivating human excellence and utilize human life as an opportunity to serve, innovate and excel.
In the famous Ayurveda, the Vedic text on Indian System of Medicine, we find a great emphasis on happiness of the soul as a tacit condition for maintaining a healthy body and a healthy mind. In fact, happiness of soul works wonders for curing even chronic ailments as brought out by Pothoulaki, Maria, Raymond MacDonald, and Paul Flowers in Music, Health, and Wellbeing, Oxford Academic, 2012. Today, it is important for us to make our soul happy and obey its commands for leading a happy and blissful life. The soul within us guides us to do good and to remain on the side of a heart full of compassion for others and a mind devoted to innovating and exceling in service of man and Mother Nature. You may ask, in what language the soul communicates with us? The soul is our best friend, and it communicates to us through feelings and expression of our emotions. When we listen to our soul and follow its commands of righteous acts and good deeds, happiness glows from our face and when we act against our conscience and disobey our soul, we feel guilty and our face reflects that guilt. In the famous Bhagwat Gita, we are ordained to regulate ourselves through self-discipline, “Aatmasanyam”. A happy soul also inspires us to devote our time for classical music, classical performances, prayers to divine and connect with empathy, Aatmiyata with the diversity of the beautiful world around us. A mere walk through the green, in a park enables us to make our soul happy and mind refreshed from all the worries and tensions.
The yoga and the meditation were not merely gymnastics of body and mind but in true sense a time-tested scientific system of creating a healthy mind and a healthy body, as also to cultivate Aatmasanyam, the self-discipline, which holds the key for a happy and blissful life. The famous Yog Sutras of Patanjali clearly indicate that Yoga is not just physical exercises, but in true sense a complete and comprehensive system of creating a healthy mind, healthy body and a happy soul. Patanjali Yogasutras begin with ‘Yogah Citta-Vritti-Nirodhah’(I.2), proclaiming that the Yoga is about creating a stress free, tranquil and focussed mind but goes on to emphasise the importance of self-regulation for one and all, including the parents, specially the mothers for nurturing the new born right from the time they are conceived with Sattvic food (Herbs) and righteous acts including Prayers, Chants and Deep Meditation as prescribed in ‘Janmaausadhi Mantra Tapah Samâdhijâh Siddhayah’ (IV.1). The Yogasutras, further, ordain us to conduct our life activity with vigour, with capabilities embedded with values, with firmness of integrity and with a conviction to perform our work activity in service of God Almighty as in Puruæârtha-åûnyânâä guñânâm pratiprasavaï kâivalyaä svarûpa-pratiæøhâ vâ citi-åakteriti (IV.34). The Asthanga yoga further inspires us to observe and practice Non-violence, Ahimsa, Truthfulness, Satya, Sustainable consumption, Aparigriha, Containment, Santosha, maintain purity of mind, a mind free from ego, yet fully committed to serve the society and Mother Nature.
It is in this backdrop we need to redefine the meaning and purpose of health care as ‘creating a healthy and happy humanity’, not falling prey to diseases and ailments that otherwise hit us if our immunity is not right. Unfortunately, the healthcare in the age of modern medicines has been more focussed on treating the diseases and not so much about creating an inbuilt immunity in humans to negate diseases. This led us to build hospitals in great numbers and create superspecialists to treat the chronic as well as deadly diseases including Diabetes, Heart Attacks, Cancers and Respiratory and urinary disorders. Contrary to this, the ancient system of medical sciences in India, the Ayurveda was devoted to creating an inbuilt immunity by integrating herbs and medicinal plants into our daily diet and living a lifestyle that ensured a healthy body, healthy mind and a happy soul, safeguarding us from diseases and viruses that otherwise hit a unhealthy body and unhealthy mind. Creating immunity was in fact the sole objective of healthcare assuring a happy and healthy life full of vitality and commitment to remain on the side of the righteousness and Sattvic, up to the last breath of life. We need to go back to the basics and once again redefine and redesign healthcare on the tripod of the holy trinity of wellness, wellbeing and welfare based on Satya, Ahimsa and Aparigriha; Truthfulness, Non-violence, and Sustainable consumption. This is also the mantra for succeeding in greatly reducing the crowd that we currently witness in our hospitals, the pollution that we create to destroy us and the lust, greed, and unhappiness that we create through the lifestyle that we are currently leading, otherwise being the sons and daughters of Mother Earth, Prithvi Putras and Prithvi Putries.
Let us not forget that the purpose of life cannot be anything different than leading a happy, healthy and a blissful life in service of the humanity and Mother Nature.