Sadhu Vaswani believed in the ancient saying: Shariram Brahma Mandiram. The human body is a temple of the Lord. It is the temple of the Spirit within; and therefore it should be a temple of harmony; for is not the Spirit, harmony? Very few people attain such harmony, which is achieved when the outer body is in harmony with the inner Spirit. In western systems of medicine, the laws of the outer body have been studied with great care. But the West has had to turn to us, in India, to learn more on the science of the Spirit.
“The physical is not merely material,” Sadhu Vaswani said. “In a profound sense, pure matter is pure nothing!” Here are a few simple suggestions he gave us:
Absorb good health vibrations from nature!
For drugs, without the correct mental attitude, can do very little. Trees send out good health vibrations. It is wonderful to live in a house surrounded by palm trees. So too, the health giving potential of gardens and parks cannot be over-estimated. They are the lungs of a city.
Purify your prana!
Sun-rays are beneficial too. In India, we are lucky to enjoy glorious sunshine for most of the year. We do not need Solariums or artificial sun lamps. We must allow the precious rays of the morning sun to kiss our bodies and we will feel ourselves becoming healthy and vital. Good health vibrations also come from the air and water, earth and sea, for nature is a kind mother and a caring nurse. We must learn to trust her healing powers. Our doctors too, must learn to co-operate with her in treating their patients.
Modern medicine is beginning to recognise the importance of prana in healing. Hindu psychology speaks of pranamaya kosh. This must be purified. Hence the value of pranayama. It strengthens the nervous system.
Watch what you eat!
Flesh foods, foods of violence may build up your fat—but they will not give you a radiant body, vibrant and vital. Animal food is unacceptable on three counts—humanitarian, aesthetic and hygienic. The trouble with modern day food and eating is that it is excessive! Not all of us are prepared to live lives of austerity. But surely, everyone must live a life of simplicity, if he wishes to be healthy, happy, strong and wise. Salads, fruits and fresh vegetables are rich in vitamins. They build up health and vitality. Fasting once a fortnight flushes out the impurities in the system, renews and refreshes us physically and mentally. It speeds up the flow of currents of life-force within us. When fasting is accompanied by silence or maun, the mind becomes clearer and stronger. Inner and outer are in perfect tune.
Practise purity and prayer!
In ancient India these two ideals were brought together in the one great ideal of brahmacharya. Do not think that brahmacharya is limited to just celibacy, it can also be practised in married life. It is not asceticism; nor is it stoicism. Brahamcharya is literally, moving with God! To move and live in Brahman—that is the meaning of being a true brahmachari. He must be a man of purity and prayer. These two make the body and spirit vital. They rejuvenate the outer body, breaking the barriers of weakness. They link man with God: and he finds a great shakti [energy] flowing through him. He becomes a channel for the pouring out upon others the spirit of Light!
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya – “Lead us from darkness to light,” prayed the rishis of the Upanishad. The darkness is that of ignorance, ill-health and improper desires. The light is the light of the All Radiant One! Our saints and seers tell us that the body is a boat that can help us cross the sansar sagar, the ocean of life. It was this boat that enabled great souls like Adi Shankara and Gautama Buddha to cross the mighty ocean of humanity and enter the blessed realms of God-realisation. Truly, “God cannot be attained by the weak and the unhealthy.”
This was first published in the January 2013 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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