On the 19th July, IYA team including Prof Kambhampati Subrahmanyam, Sri DR Kaarthikeyan and Ravi Tumuluri visited Rajarajeshwari Temple and paid their respects to Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Puri Mahaswamiji, the present pontiff of Sri Kailash Ashrama Mahasamshtana. Sri Sri Sri Tiruchi Swamigal was the…
Yogacharya Dr Ananda
Balayogi Bhavanani, Editor
समदोष: समाग्निश्व समधातुमलक्रिया:
प्रसन्नात्मेन्द्रियमना: स्वस्थ इत्यभिधियते।।
The best ever definition of health may be attributed to the father of surgery, Acharya Sushrut (~600 BC) who defined health as “a dynamic balance of the elements and humors, normal metabolic activity and efficient elimination coupled with a tranquil mind, senses and contented soul” (samadoshah samaagnishch samadhaatu–malakriyah, prasanna atmendriya manah swasth ityabhidheeyate. Sushrut Samhita, Sutrasthanam, 15:41).
Yoga to me is undoubtedly and truly the best means to achieve such a dynamic state of wholistic health.
As Yoga Chikitsa starts to be introduced into mainstream health care, we must not fall into the dangerous trap of claiming that Yoga is a miracle that can cure everything under the sun for that “puts off” the modern medical community more than anything. They then develop a stiff resistance to Yoga instead of becoming more open to this life giving and health restoring science.
As the use of Yoga Chikitsa in medical centers is still in its infancy we must be cautious about the after-effects we may produce by our conscious and unconscious thoughts, words and actions. Better to err on the side of caution than be true to the adage, “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”.
We must remember that, it is only when we begin to consciously understand our limitations that we can then grow and evolve multiplying our inherent strengths multifold.
I am not downplaying the potentiality of Yoga for it DOES have a role in virtually each and every condition affecting humankind. As stress is the main causative, precipitating and aggravating factor in every known disorder and disease, Yoga as the potent antidote to stress can for sure improve things for the better.
However, though Yoga can improve the condition of nearly every patient, it doesn’t necessarily translate into words such as cure.
Modern medicine doesn’t have a cure for most conditions and hence when Yoga therapists use such words, it creates a negative image and consequent reaction that does more harm than good.
We must remember that the wise “know” that they “know nothing”, the arrogant and ignorant fools “think” they “know everything”.
I would like to reiterate at this point the need of the modern age which is to have an integrated approach towards all forms of therapy. Integrative medicine is the future and we must try to integrate concepts of Yoga in coordination and collaboration with other systems of medicine such as Allopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy and Naturopathy. Physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic practices may be also used with the Yoga Chikitsa as required.
Lifestyle modification is the keyword and we must not forget that advice on diet and adoption of a healthy natural lifestyle is very important irrespective of the mode of therapy employed for the patient.
I feel that it is apt to end with a Subhashita, one of many witty and epigrammatic verses in Sanskrit literature that that taunts those doctors and therapists who do not treat their patients in a proper way and who are more interested in making money, name and fame than in curing them.
वैद्यराज नमस्तुभ्यं यमराज सहोदरः
यमस्तु हरति प्राणान् वैद्यः प्राणान् धनानि च
vaidyaraaja namastubhyam yamaraaja sahodarah
yamastu harati praanaan vaidyah praanaan dhanaani cha
This may be translated as follows. “Salutations to you O doctor, for you are the brother of Yamaraja, the Lord of death. Whereas Lord Yama takes away only our life, you take both our life as well as our money too”!
May we not become such inhospitable humans and may we do our best for all those who come into contact with us.
A judicious blend is required with a personalized and mindful approach to each individual, rather than the disease. Attempting to heal the individual with the disease, and not merely focusing on the disease; is a good motto to keep in mind at all times.
May we improve their life by the best of our efforts and may we always strive to have a balance between heart and head, between empathy and intelligence thus living Yoga as skill in action (karmasu koushalam) at all times.
May we all be true therapists, ones who care for our human brethren who are in the throes of suffering (duhkha).
May we enable them to attain as best as possible a state of health and wellbeing (sukha) through the living giving and life transforming art and science of Yoga.