The Ancient ‘Stress Buster’ Formula
I have been getting lots of messages and emails related to mental disorders – worry, anxiety, stress, nervous tension, depression and other conflicts and issues, asking if I can help them as my realm of study is mind.
Everybody wants shortcuts – miracle medicines, mantras or rituals – to overcome the state of mind they are in.
“What, according to ancient Indian scriptures, the reason for mental problems?” “Is it a curse?” “Was it because of sin?” “Is it caused by evil influence?” “Is it attack of negative energy?” “Is it demonic possession?” “Has somebody done black magic to ruin me?” “Is it owing to evil planets?” “Are stars angry with me?” “It appears somebody has put ‘eye’ on my family”… The questions are countless….
Fortunately, our ancient sages were not as superstitious or stupid as the modern man. The ancients have well-researched about human mind rationally and developed a perfect life-style to maintain healthy mind even for future generations. And it is very simple too…
According to ancient studies, the basic reasons for the friction in mind can be classified into two groups.
(1) Naisargika (Natural or Inborn)
(2) Arjita (Earned, Acquired or Obtained)
First: “Naisargika” (Natural) is further sub-divided into four – Mathrujam (born or descended or caused by mother), Pithrujam (born or descended or caused by Father), Vargajam (born or descended or caused by race) and Atmajam (born or descended or caused by the immaterial and immortal part of a human being or animal).
Science has not yet approved the existence of ‘Atma’ (a popular, but wrong English translation for ‘atma’ is soul). According to ancients, the root cause of mental diseases could be derived from previous (past) life which will be carried by individual self or Atma. It is related to unidentified memories. I cannot explain this rationally or scientifically in a small article, hence avoiding this part.
Pithrujam, Mathrujam and Vargajam can be combined into one – genetic or DNA related. Until last few years, our Western mental health studies were not acknowledging this major aspect. The latest research studies have shown that the origin and development of mind related issues can be traced to antecedents. Or, so to say it could be caused by, or controlled by genes (a genetic disease genetic disease).
However, in most of the cases, the seeds of those mental aberrations would lie dormant in sub-conscious level in a very subtle form, unnoticed. It would pop up when favourable conditions arise.
Modern world has ABSOLUTELY no remedy or solution for ‘Naisargika’ mental disorders. But our ancients had it. They said that the purpose of marriage is procreation of healthy progeny – hence they followed the Varna dharma and gotra-system in marriages to avoid mental diseases for future generations. (I have discussed this in other articles. Please check).
Ancients said the female had a sacred and secret ability (an internal arbitrary decision) to choose the best sperm among the billions coming from the Fallopian tube. The egg cell of a dharmic (righteous) wife has that intelligence. The result? Mentally healthy child.
“Ridiculous, illogical, irrational….,” you might shout. Wait a minute. Latest research by scientists in University of East Anglia in collaboration between Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, and the Institute of Zoology revealed how females select the ‘right’ sperm to fertilize their eggs when faced with the risk of being fertilized by wrong sperm from a different species.
Ask your grand-parents. The elders in the family will know the date of the consummation of the marriage at night – the nuptials. (In Tamil Nadu, it is called Shanthi Muhurtham). Boudhãyana Grihya Sutra says that “one should approach his wife from the fourth to the sixteenth night, specially the later ones”. Apastamba Grihya Sutra clearly says that the baby conceived on 12-16 days after period must be healthy.
The first three months are most important in developing or formation of the mind, so the elder women in the family would control of the bride with a set of dos and don’ts – what to eat, whom to talk, what to listen etc.
Science says babies can recognize their mother’s voice, which shows that they developed that memory before they were born, so the brain was ‘working’ at that stage. This is one of the reasons why diet and the lifestyle choices that you make can have such an impact upon the unborn child.
Our ancestors said that listening to proper Vedic mantras have neuro-linguistic effect on the child and its brain development. There are some other rituals (Samskãrs) like Pumsavana and Sîmantonnayana during this period. (Partly superstitious and partly scientific but some of the rituals impact the mind of the pregnant mother and child). If you take care of the pregnant mother properly, the child will have healthy mind.
Arjita:- “Arjita” (acquired) reasons for the mental disorders are divided into five – Ahara (food), vidyabhyasa (study), maithuna (mating), nidra (sleep) and vyavasaya (job, business – occupational)
(1) Ahara (Food): Majority (from 70-90 percent) of the reasons for mental disorders is food. Ayurveda also says the same.
The Upanishad philosophers believed that the mind depends upon the food for its formation. “Mind is manufactured out of the food that we take” or “Mind is made up of food” quotes Chandogya Upanishad (6.5.4) saying as the conclusion of the sages’ research.
Quality of mind depends upon quality of food. Sattvic diet calms the mind. Rajasic diet excites the mind. Tamasic diet destroys the mind. Different foods produce different effects in different compartments of the brain. (In a broader sense, Satvik = Fresh produce “Rajas” = Tasty and Stimulating food and “Tamas” = Stale or Preserved food)
“When the food is pure, the whole nature becomes pure; when the nature becomes pure, the memory becomes firm; and when a man is in possession of a firm memory, all the ties are severed (Chhandogya Upanishad, 7.26.2)
This is 100% true too. Some foods make you constipated. Just observe your performance in the office or outside when you are constipated . Search for “Viruddha Ahara” (Incompatible Foods) Take care of your food, you will be saved from most of the mental disorders.
(2) When money became the base scale of living, the sole purpose of education is to make money. You can’t blame anybody for this. In ancient days, the purpose of education was to develop wisdom and commonsense – which are lacking now. You are studying something that has total conflict with your geographical area, language, climate, time zone etc that would create conflict in ancestral genetic nature.
As also, we are conditioned from the childhood with beliefs and concepts based upon the religions or cult that we follow. This won’t allow us to see things objectively or as is. This is in conflict with the reality of the universe. A conditioned mind – especially with religious moral concepts – will create stress in life.
(3) Maithuna (mating) is a physical necessity for human being, the ancients said. If this need is not met properly it can create lot of mental disorders. That’s why our ancestors insisted that only married people – husband and wife – have the right for any sacraments and profession. Even great sages were married. Unmarried priests were not allowed in temples. There was no coronation for unmarried King.
Ancients calculated a female’s healthy life-expectancy roughly as first menstruation into six. If a female gets first period at the age of 16, she would live healthy (depending on other factors too) 96.
Today, what happens? Thanks to artificial harmonized foods, girls are getting first period as early as at the age of 7 and develop many systemic diseases when they reach early 40s. (Similarly among boys, the sperm production starts at very early stage)
A girl gets her first period at the age of 8 means, according to biological clock she is ready to conceive. But according to solar calendar, she is not. And most of them marry around 25. Hence from the age of 8 to 25, she is biologically with the emotions, thoughts and enzymes etc ready for conceiving with an urge for maithuna. Just imagine how much conflicts it will create directly and indirectly in the mind?
(4) Nidra (Sleep).You know it. A sound sleep will give you a sound mind. According to our ancestors, late sleepers and those who sleep after sunrise would develop tamasic qualities that guarantee mental disorders for that person or the next gen. Ancient health sciences advise us to go bed early and get up early.
(5) The fourth one – occupational stress. I don’t even have to tell about it. Everybody knows about such stress (I have discussed about it in other articles). Here also money is the sole aim, hence we are not dedicated and devoted to our karma. Everybody knows it creates disorders.
Take up a diary, note down each thing happening in relation with your mind in daily life – be honest to yourself. What food you ate in the morning and how your mind was. What was your concept and belief so far, and how did it conflict with reality? How did you suppress/express your sexual feelings and what’s the reaction of the mind. When did you sleep yesterday, what time you got up? The status of your mind that day. What happened in the office or business place? How did it affect you?
There is only one person that can understand you perfectly – that is you. When the real self – the manufacturer – is with you why are you going to road-side mechanic or to a repair-shop? You can handle your stress and frustration. And if it is serious, go to a psychiatrist or psychologist and not to magicians in the name of godmen or priests wearing funny dresses and make ups.
“Okay, whatever happened is happened. We cannot rectify the reasons, whether natural or acquired so far. In that case, what will I do now?” asked a friend after our discussion about these aspects.
“Get up early morning – before 5AM. Light a lamp in front of your favourite god or Holy book or even your own pic (if you don’t believe in god). Go for a walk sometime and be one with the nature around us. Enjoy sunlight. When a thought of “I”, “me” and “mine” comes, replace it with “we” and “us”. Listen to some Vedic chants or songs like Vishnu Sahasranamam. Eat only Sattvik food – 70 percent of your mental disorders will be self-rectified on its own in 41 days’ time,” I said: “If it still persists, go and consult a decent psychologist instead of Godmen or priests.” Please also see other articles on Mind.
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