Four Aspects of life.
In our daily life whenever we discuss about health, It refers to the body only, However, health is not only about a body. When we talk about health then it is much more than a body. As I have mentioned many times in my speeches that you and I are the combinations of spirit and matter, and this knowledge I have perceived from my continuous study of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a complete philosophy of life.which gives equal importance to the intangible and material parts of life. As per Ayurveda, mind, thoughts, emotions, and consciousness which are the non-material components of life animate and govern the mater part of our life. According to this principle, Ayurveda has defined Ayu or life as the four compositions, 1- Atma -The soul, 2-Manas-Mind,3- Indriya-Senses,4- Sharira- body. Because of these four aspects and their wholeness we experience life. And that is the motto of Ayurveda to maintain and balance among these four aspects of life. For the detailed knowledge of intangible aspects of life, which can not be achieved by the senses, Ayurveda relies upon observations and comparison, and logically from the universe. Let’s see the four aspects of life.
Atma (The soul)
As I mentioned earlier, you and I are the unique combinations of spirit mater and material mater. What is this spirit mater? which cannot be seen then how can we trust about its existence? Our ancestors were smart. they proved Atma’s existence by describing ownership to the things. when we talk that my body is tired, My mind is blocked or my vision is not clear. it means there is something which resides in ourselves and holds and describes itself different than body, mind, and eyes. This statement which all of us use in our daily life reflects to Atma. The word, I, which is an experiencer or enjoyer which gains experience or joy of the world through the vehicles like mind, body, and senses. If we know that it is the knower who has real knowledge and if we regain that real knowledge which we are born with but have forgotten then we can live a healthy life. for example, if we have known that, how to act in coordination with other aspects of life for the better of the whole life. Our ancestor observed the nature and compared to human life and concluded that the same governing principle existed in nature and us. and is responsible to guide all mental, sensory and physical process. And this observer within us also has two aspects. 1-Jivatma (Individual Soul) Jivatma means soul or individual consciousness within us. which creates the sense of I- ness or creates its individual identity. which steers us throughout the life according to our destiny.
Ayurvedic scientists had confusion that how this jivatma came in this world, there should be someone who can give rise to Jivatama. And they named it param Atma or universal soul and accepted it to be very conscious of nature. It is the essence of our soul, and it is the one who is responsible for assembling all diversity. They also compared the relationship between individual soul and spiritual soul by the example of the ocean and it waves. Param Atma is compared to the ocean and jivatma is compared to waves. same way the ocean is not ocean when it rises up into the wave. Consciousness does not lose it’s universal status when it is characterized as a unique expression of human brilliance. every jivatma is different than other jivatma in their external appearance or nature but in their essential nature, they are one and same as the infinite power of Paramatma. They also realized that the ultimate goal of each spirit life is to consciously connect with the universal soul which is their source.
Atma always wants us to follow the routine(Dietary or daily) which is good for our physical and mental health, still most of the time we make choices which are not good for our whole health. we can see some people know that what is good for them and they strictly follow it .while some people in spite of knowing it that it is not good for them to follow particular routine they do not follow it and there are also some people who even do not have any idea of what is good for them and what is not good. Ayurveda states that all the desires or cravings first comes to mind. Although the observer or director or experiencer always instincts us to follow the path which always leads to growing ourselves, but the mind is the controller of the body and senses and that is the real culprit who obstructs us to grow. That is why Ayurveda has given more importance to mind. It is the goal of human life to live life with continuous and conscious attachment to nature. Then what prevents us from doing so? Ayurveda has answered those are the Gunas of mind which are responsible for this diversity. Three Gunas are
2-Raja- Agitation, Passion, Maintenace.
3-Tama-Laziness, Ignorance or inertia, destruction.
So these three Gunas are responsible for the creation, formation, and destruction of the world and it applies to the individual as well. whenever you are productive and you find something useful to society, your satva guna is predominant. For maintenance is okay because you do not require that much effort to maintain the state. but if you get in tamas then destruction. Now if we look at the world and if you try to find out an exact same person like us in the world, you will not find even a single person same as you. because every person is unique, because of this combination of three Gunas. We all are born with the combination with all these three Gunas but we do not want to die with the same proportion with which we are borb.. we as a human have the immense capacity to change it. It is the goal of a human is to experience and enjoy life with full potentiality. That only can be obtained by living with our universal nature. Because with the connection between param Atma and Jivatma, the basic nature of the soul is creative. but when the two Gunas(Raja and Tama) are major then that basic nature diverts to external things. Then what can we do to maintain our basic nature? we have to train our mind to be Satva predominant. Satva leads towards calm, clear and creative thinking. When your mind is calm at that time your thinking will be clear and you can come up with the solutions which are helpful to you and others. While Raja predominant person is always agitated and frustrated, and that is why anytime they come with any solution which will not be effective. Because of agitation and frustration, they do not have clear thinking which always results in not effective solutions. While Tama is inertia and laziness, Tama predominant person will not care for anything because of the inertia and laziness and which ends in destruction. Now we know that to become calm, creative and to come up with clear thinking we must have sattva predominant. so it will be all of us desire to increase Satva in our life, but how can we increase Satva?
Gunas are always influenced by thoughts, the subjects of the senses and body which influence manas by the food which we take. Anything, whether it is mental.sensory or physical, can influence the mind, predominantly Satva, Raja and Tama. The things which are the Rajasik stimulus includes anything which keeps your mind in its active stage and will not let the mind be calm, and quiet which is the basic nature of the soul. which can be produced by eating hot and spicy food, too many sweets, caffeine, hard work.
Following too much Tamasik nature will produce inertia, laziness or dullness in mind, which will obstruct the Atma and its clarity. which can be influenced by eating food like leftovers, cheese, red meat, alcohol.
Satva mind will always choose to follow the routine which will help them to grow because they are connected with pure and creative source. when Raja becomes dominant, the mind becomes agitated and frustrated, still, it knows that what is good and what is bad for him. But when the Tama is dominant the person totally forgets what is good and what is bad and becomes lost in thoughts and actions which have negative effects. Ayurveda has adopted the concept of “Who we are is what we eat”. By the example of an elephant, the tiger, and jackal. An elephant eats a fresh and vegetarian diet that is why it is Satvik, tiger kills other animals and eats their meat and that is why he has an aggressive nature, and restless. The Jackal eats leftover of other animal’s food and that is why it is a fearful and lazy animal. Thus our daily routine and diet impacts on our mind and nature.
3- The Indriya (The five senses)
The Indriyas are arises from the five elements. They connect the mind, or soul with the external world. They gather information from the external world and pass it to mind. If that information is good in quality and quantity they will help the mind to grow. But improper and not useful information will imbalance the mind. Ayurveda has described one of the root cause of the diseases is the improper use of the senses to their objects. So Ayurveda tells us to use our senses in Proper quality and quantity. If we learn to control the senses we will not have any mental or physical illnesses. it also states that smell, taste, hear, touch, vision which is good for you and for your growth. This is very important because if start to control the subjects of the senses which are not good for our health and then we can rise up.
Ayurveda considers Atma, The mind and Indriya are more important than the body. It also states The body as a vehicle of the soul. Vehicle requires regular maintenance and service to keep it running, same In the journey of life to get the real knowledge of the soul, this body must be healthy and fit and to keep it running we need to keep it maintained. And therefore Ayurveda has suggested many techniques to keep our body healthy. which we will discuss in upcoming blogs.