Three Pillars of life.

Ayurveda is the science of life. Ancient Ayurvedic philosophers have considered all aspects of life and that is why, it is indeed a science of life. Charaka, The very first Ayurvedic physician has described about TRAYOPSTHAMBHA. Trayopsthambha means three pillars. Charaka has compared a body to a building. As to have proper and strong construction of a building we need to have strong pillars, same way to have a strong and healthy body we have three pillars. Charaka samhita states that Optimal health can be achieved by the proper balance of the three pillars of the life.These three pillars are very important, to describe about it’s importance , Charaka has described that one who manages these three pillars can live full lifespan without having any diseases. These three pillars are Ahara( Balanced Diet) , Nidra (Balanced sleep) and Brahmacharya(proper management of sexual energy). let’s understand these three pillars. Ahara (Balnced diet or proper management of food). what is Ahara? Simple definition of Ahara, what ever we eat that is Ahara. But Ahara is much more then what we eat, Ahara is everything what we take in and digest, which is not limited to just food. which comprises of food, water, breath,thoughts, emotions , energy etc. That is why whatever we take in weather it is food or breath or energy must be taken with proper management. when it comes to food we just think about actual food only and we try to take in pure and hygienic food but we do not focus much at the other substances which we are taking in and that is the principle cause of many illnesses. If we focus more on breath, thoughts, energy and try to consume with proper management as we do with food , we can reduce the numbers of mental and spiritual issues. sometime we listen people saying that they are fasting to detoxify , why we always need to fast for food only, why we do not try to fast for mind? I will not be angry today, I will not be jealous today, I will not hate any one today . If we perform this type of fast then we can be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. So the ahara which we take in must be proper according to one’s body constitution. All of us know the importance of food for the well being for our health, but we do not know how to create and maintain the diet according to individual’s body type to get maximum benefits of that food. Ayurvedic sages have described some principles which is known as Aharvidhivisheshayatana. There are eight factors which we need to be considered before taking food. those are as under. 1- Prakruty – Nature or quality of the food . Each substance has their own quality, we should try to consider the quality of the food which we are taking in for example heavy or light. 2- Karana or preparation or process- Transformation of qualities by various process like steaming, roasting, cooking or frying. Due to these kind of preparation methods qualities gets changed. if you steam or roast any food that can become light but when you fry same food which will become heavy. 3- Samyoga (Combination) – Combination of different food may enhance the qualities of the original food or sometime it may get totally new quality. Honey and Ghee if taken separately have very good qualities, but if taken combined in equal amount may be harmful. 4- Rashi- Amount- These are two types- Total quantity of consumed food or quantity of individual food. we should follow the rules of 3/4 and 1/4. 3/4 portion of stomach should be filled with food and water and 1/4 should be kept empty for air. 5-Desha- habitat – Desha refers to the place where the food was grown and our body . food have different qualities according to where the food is grown , for example green chilies from the countries of warm weather may have more hotness then the chilies from the countries of the cold weather.. when it refers to body, we should also think if the person taking the food is vegetarian or non vegetarian. 6- Kala- Time when the food taken, time of the year(Season) and or the state of the person (Healthy or diseased ). 7- Upyogta- Taking food according to our own constitution. 8- Upyogasamstha( Dietary rules) We should follow certain rules while eating. 1-Food should be eaten with calm mind and seated position. 2- it should be freshly cooked and warm. Warm food tastes nice and it also stimulates Agni, which helps to digest easily. 3-we should consider if the previously taken food is digested or not which can be decided by the signs of lightness, feeling hungry, proper bowl movement. 4- The food should not be taken very late in the night or very early in the morning. 5- If we divide our stomach into 4 parts, we should fill 2 parts with solid food, 1 part with liquid food and leave 1 part empty. 6- we should use all the six rasas (tastes) every day for the wellness of our health. Further based on the seasons, we should use the tastes according the particular season as well.The six tastes are sweet, sour, salt, bitter, pungent, and astringent. All these tastes should be used in good measure by a healthy person. Nidra (Proper sleep)- Ayurveda is not only the system of medicine but it is a way of life, which focuses on physical, mental and spiritual well being. Ayurveda has mentioned Sleep as one of the most important pillars of the health associated with happiness and good health. Charaka has stated that when our mind with the indriyas (sensory and motor organs ) are exhausted and they separate them selves with the object , than we sleep. There are six types of sleep described . Tamobhava Due to tamas guna, Shleshma Smasamudbhava Due to increased kapha Manah-sharirshramasaambhava Due to fatigue & tiredness of mind and body AgantukI- Acquired or indicative of prognosis of diseases. vyadhianuvartini- Due to disease Ratri svabhava prabhava Due to nature of the night. According to Ayurveda- It creates Happiness in life. – It maintains the relevance of the body. – It increases the strength. – It increases the power of brain & mind. – it preserves the life. It is described in Ayurveda that we should have enough sleep at proper time and in proper way. Too much or too little sleep brings on consequences. Too little sleep disturbs Vata dosha, while too much disturbs Kapha dosha. Disturbance of Vata dosha results in weaker tissues that are more susceptible to injury. Disturbance of Kapha dosha results in tissues that become excessive, stagnant, lethargic and immobile. In general, it is best to align our sleeping patterns with the cycles of day and night, and retire by 10 pm and wake up before the the sun rises. which is known as Brahmamuhrata. Brahmacharya ( Proper Management of sexual energy) do not mistaken brahmacharya means celibacy, it means moving towards higher awareness. To be engaged in practices which will take us to super consciousness. That is why in Ayurveda it is describes as the third pillars of health. There is a wide description regarding practicing Brahmacharya in relation to sexual activities. we generally do not think about the affect of our romantic lives on our overall good health but Ayurveda does and it says to achieve a healthy and long lifespan we must have a balanced ,loving and healthy relationship. connecting with a partner on a deep level, makes life pleasurable, maintains psychological balance and develops spirituality. Ayurveda emphasis to bring satva (The purity) from all the activities we do. Shukra which is known as the sexual energy. In male it is known as sperm and in female it is known as Atarva . which is the extract (Sara) of all the dhatus(Tissues) . Shukra is essential to build ojas, Ojas which provides energy to the mind, body and soul and that is why it is very essential to improve immunity. If we keep ourselves engaged in lustful sexual energy we will drain ojas and that will have impact on our immune system and that is why Ayurvedic sages have suggested for the balanced, proper management of sexual energy. Ayurveda has given equal importance to all these three. Emphasizing more on proper nourishment of ourselves, quality of our sleep and our relationship which can improve our mind, body and soul wellness.

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