As a society, we have become increasingly disconnected from our True Self. We are rapidly moving away from our essence, which is “mother nature.” Our senses are heavily influenced by constant stimulation from computers, cell phones, videogames, television, radio and other electronic devices. Besides these stimuli, the pace at which we live is very demanding on the nervous system and leaves us with no time to relax or eat food properly. Poor nutrition, this hectic lifestyle and the departure from our natural rhythms have overwhelmed our coping mechanisms. When Science turned away from Spirit, its mission dramatically changed. Instead of trying to understand the “natural order” so that human beings can live in harmony with that order, modern science embarked on the goal of control and domination of nature. The technology that has resulted from pursuing this philosophy has brought human civilization to the brink of spontaneous combustion by disrupting the web of nature (Lipton, 156). The fundamental principle of Achar Rasayana “behavioral medicine” in Ayurveda is how to adopt right choices in order to live with ease and in harmony with nature.
The signs and symptoms of an over-achieving, competitive society are reflected in our collective health and well-being. Stress is a major factor in disease and has been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, inflammation, digestive disorders, hormonal disorders, insomnia, depression, obesity etc. A striking recent discovery about stress is that it depletes the immune system of the body (Chopra, Creating Health, 60). Connecting with “mother nature” we can relieve our stress and return to balance. The five elements which are present in all of nature are likewise present within the body: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Ether represents space in our blood vessels, organs, and bones. Air is the constant circulation of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our entire body by means of inhalation and exhalation. Fire is the metabolism of food into nutrients, tissue metabolism or cellular intelligence which helps keep healthy tissues and shed unwanted ones, as well as the digestion of thoughts and emotions. Two-thirds of our body mass is water in the form of plasma, blood, and waste products. Earth is stability, the muscles and bones in our body. When we connect to these elements in nature, it helps us to arrive at a deeper understanding of ourselves.
Despite scientific breakthroughs in medicine and technology, the modern world is still plagued by disease, pandemics, and people are increasingly dependent on medications to relieve the pain and suffering of daily life. To continue evolving and progressing in life, you must make the right choices for yourself, day after day, minute after minute. The choices are endless because the challenges of life are endless, so to avoid all the wrong choices seems impossible. But Ayurveda says that in fact it is easy – once you begin to listen to your own deepest nature (Chopra, Perfect Health, 192).
The definition of health is more than just the absence of disease. Prevention and wellness has increasingly been practiced in recent years in response to ever increasing incidence of chronic diseases. Ayurveda has been effectively using preventive or longevity measures, such as Achar Rasayana “behavioral medicine,” for a long time. Ayurveda goes a step further in defining health as a balanced state of physical, mental, emotional, sensorial and environmental health – an interdependence of mind, body, and the spirit is an understatement. Achar Rasayana gives us tools to find balance in our daily life. The behavioral medicine plays an important role in addressing the challenge we face today in dealing with chronic conditions stemming from stressful life resulting from unhealthy lifestyle. Actions can damage or nourish the body’s Prana, the life force. Harsh, tense, conflicted behavior (what we today call stressed behavior) disturbs the flow of Prana (Chopra, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, 263).
We are leading lives without a moral context. The modern world has shifted from spiritual aspirations to a war for material accumulation. While Darwinian theory specifies that the purpose of life’s struggles is survival, it does not specify a means that should be used in serving that end. Apparently, “anything goes” in the perceived struggle because the goal is simply survival – by any means. Rather than framing the character of our lives by the laws of morality, the neo-Darwinism of Mayr suggests that we live our lives by the law of the jungle (Lipton, 158).
The principles of Achar Rasayana are more relevant today than ever. It goes into the heart of the issue we are trying to overcome in order to be well and healthy. Enviornmental toxicity and the food chain we are accustomed to have threatened our lives. The integral connection between nature and man is an understatement.For hundreds of years, we have acted against nature by ignoring our essential connectedness and defining ourselves as separate from our world. We have reached the point that we can no longer live according to this false view of who we really are (Mctaggart 34).
The rejuvenation therapy in Ayurveda can be an essential tool for modern medicne in order to achieve the objective of treating the root cause of a disease. In today’s world where more people are losing their identity and constantly seeking for external means to find peace and joy, good behaviors cultivate goodness in a person which would elevate their soul. The body heal itself when we are intuned with our true essence which is naturally free from anxiety and stress. When the stress prevents the molecules from flowing freely where needed, the largely autonomic processes that are regulated by peptide flow, such as breathing, blood flow, immunity, digestion,and elimination, collapse down to a few simple feedback loops and upset the normal healing response (Pert, Candace, Molecules of Emotion, 243).
Let us nurture Mother Nature, which will in turn nurture us. Let the Earth live, so we live in PEACE! NAMASTE!
References: Chopra, Deepak, M.D. “Creating Health.” 1991. Chopra, Deepak, M.D. “Perfect Health.” 1990. Chopra, Deepak, M.D. “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.” 1998. Lipton, Bruce. “ The Biology of Belief.” Hay House, Inc. 2008. Mctaggart, Lynne. “No Such thing as a thing.” Ode July 2011: 35-41. Pert, Candace. “Molecules of Emotion.” Simon and Schuster. 2003.