Longevity, Health and Happiness!
Longevity, Health, and Happiness!
Dr. Sunil Deshpande, a regular reader of my website, has sent me an interesting question: “Uday, why do we get illness? Can you answer this question based on our Sanatan Dharma principles?”
I cannot. I am not an expert. But that question haunted me for more than a month. I sought answers from my memory. I tried to recall all my interactions with traditional vaidyas (doctors) in my village and past discussions with a lot of Ayurveda doctors. I tried to remember what I had read in ancient books related to traditional healthcare. I knew that unlike all medicinal systems, our ancestors had seen human beings as a single unit of body and mind (together) that resides inside the organism called the universe (Brahmam in Sanskrit).
After 41 days I contacted him: “Sunil, according to our ancestors, there are three major reasons for all diseases (sickness). And, yes, most of the diseases – physical and mental – can be treated if you address these three aspects…”
“What are those reasons?”
“Telling lies, thinking bad about others, and watching things that create Kama (desire, including sex). So if you address these three issues, you can maintain ayur-arogya-soukhya (longevity, health, and happiness)”
“That’s a sweeping unscientific statement…Not expected from you, a person who always uses science to answer. I need an explanation,” he said.
“Of course you do. As I have written in many other articles, the mind doesn’t have any superpower on its own. The brain (a.k.a. mind) is just a conditioned entity. We are born with a BIOS (basic input/output system) operating system. The BIOS includes minor commands like crying when hungry or action like sucking mother’s milk etc…This pre-loaded OS has bigger commands that include controlling the chemical processes in our body or spilling necessary hormones…Agreed?”
“Later, as you grow, you receive inputs through the five senses. The inputs you receive in the first few years create an application (app) that’s you. The various inputs (programs) in your Hard Disk (brain) get you conditioned. So the sum total of YOU is the inputs received in your brain…”
“Yes – conditioned mind – I have read your article on conditioning and got convinced.”
“When you see a cow for the first time, somebody at home tells you that it is a cow. And the brain creates a separate file (input) for the cow. This file will be accepted in your temporary memory (like the RAM in the computer) and then be stored in your memory (HD). So whenever you see a cow later, your senses access that file registry, access the memory, read the file and inform you that it is a cow – all these neuro-transmissions happen within a split of a second…That’s how your brain works…”
“Yes, I know…”
“Now, in technical terms, the words ‘thinker’ and ‘thinking’ have a different meaning, but in practical reality, the thinker and thinking are the same. There can’t be a thinker different from the thinking…”
“Yes – like there can’t be a creator without created – I have read that article too…Convinced…”
“When you are grown up, you are telling a lie: “Hey, this is not a cow, this is a dog”. You know it is not a dog. But you lied. You told the lie to someone and then forgot it. But the input file (of the lie) goes to the HD. The new file (lie) is in contradiction with the existing file (truth), hence it will be kept separately as a temporary file along with the original one. When you keep on lying the number of such temporary files will increase. There would be voluminous temp files in the brain. After some time, when you try to access it, all these files create confusion and contradiction. Eventually, brain gets corrupted. When thinking (mind) is corrupt, the thinker (body) will also become corrupt.”
“Yes, of course…”
“There are instances that you can’t remember something important during a conversation and you might tell, ‘oh, it is on tip of my tongue, but can’t tell’ – has it happened to you?”
“Yes – many times”
“When we talk about something, we won’t get an apt word or suitable term – this is a confusion created by Neurotransmission. It cannot find the correct file. This is just an instance…The OS in the HD thus becomes totally corrupt. As we know, the production of every hormone in the body is controlled by the brain. A confused and corrupt brain cannot instruct the ducts to produce the hormones in the exact way that it should be. The transmission of messages won’t properly take place…This is the reason for most of the psycho-somatic diseases….”
“Agreed. But in today’s world, it is difficult to live without telling lies…”
“Oh, now you are agreeing it is scientific,” I teased him, “Yes, it is difficult to live without telling lies. When a mother tells it, child, “eat this food, I will get you Chandamama (moon) – it is also a lie. An adorable lie for a good cause. Our ancestors have addressed that too: “Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat, Na bruyat satyam apriyam; Priyam cha nanritam bruyat, Eshah Dharmah sanatanah!”
(Meaning: Say what is true, say what is sweet, but do not say what is true but not sweet, nor say what is sweet but not true. Do not lie. This is the path of eternal morality, Sanatan dharma. This is what Niti Sara says. This is what Manusmṛiti said. In Ramayana, Lord Sri Rama tells the same to Lakshmana on how to speak the truth.)
“To speak the truth is an eternal value irrespective of time and place. But the expression should be presented lovingly and should be spoken for the betterment of others. How you speak is as important as what is said. One should be careful of speaking the truth but not hurting others. From here we can go to the second reason, which is…”
“Do not think badly about others…” Sunil interrupted.
“Yes, it is simple – when you think bad about others out of hatred, anger, and jealousy, the brain cannot produce happy hormones. Instead, sorts of killer hormones (or excess or less) would be produced inside the body…”
“Yes – I understood, the excess or fewer hormones can harm our body…All psycho-somatic diseases can be addressed this way. I don’t need any more explanation. But what about the third one – watching things related to sex and desires?”
“In the past, it was important that you should keep celibacy and chastity before marriage. Why was it so? Our ancestors aimed to procreate the next generation without any physical and mental illness. (According to ancient scriptures humans were living up to 120 years. Of course, till 500AD, when we began adopting alien lifestyles) Today, most of our visual treats (movies, advertisements, and the Internet) can be at the best termed as ‘soft-porn’. You are seeing a visual that would produce kamana (desire, especially sexual) in you. Every time you watch such visuals, mating hormones will be produced inside your body. You may suppress that feeling, but, our ancestors had warned that this process would eventually result in the loss of ‘Ojus’…”
“It is a Sanskrit word for “vigor”. Ayurveda says Ojus is the essential energy of the body that can be equated with the “fluid of life”. It’s the sap of one’s life energy which, when sufficient, is equated with immunity and, when deficient, results in weakness, fatigue and ultimately disease.”
“We cannot explain this concept in modern science…”
“I know. But I am sure that modern science will move towards it….”
“Did they say such diseases can be cured?”
“It’s preventable. The cure depends upon the gravity of the disease and prolonged situation. You may have to work hard for prolonged and chronic diseases. But there is a silver line.”
“When you have a problem with your car (or vehicle), you would go to a mechanic and repair it. But if the manufacturer is ready to help you, why should you go to local mechanics? The zygote that created you has everything pre-recorded in it. Allow it to work. If you follow sattvik lifestyle for at least 41 days – without telling lies, without thinking bad about others and stop watching things that would create ‘kamana’ in you – the system has the inherent power to rectify (or heal) itself by deleting all temporary unwanted files and stop corrupt transmissions. It will re-generate you…Our ancestors put it in a different form without giving any scientific explanation – like performing penance, vrata (rituals) poojas, bhajans, dhyana, reciting specific mantras, etc for a cycle of 7 to 41 days depending upon the gravity of the situation…”
“Uday, I am a bit skeptical about it. It may have a placebo effect. But will it really work on body-mind?” Sunil asked.
“It is worth a try. You have nothing to lose and you are not spending a single penny. All you have to do is try to live according to your ‘Parambarya maryada’ (traditional discipline). Live according to the characteristics (which had been acquired through generations) of genes. What will happen if a person suddenly turns into a vegetarian, defying his ancestry?”
“The person may face deficiency in Vitamin B12 or some other essential nutrients…Though modern health studies recommend a vegetarian diet, the change to vegetarianism should be in systematic order…” he said.
“Similarly, when a traditional vegetarian turns into non-veg, he/she would face very disastrous consequences sooner or later. Take, for instance, the last 5000 years Indian Brahmins, who were facing poverty, miseries, and hardships as all invaders tried to destroy them. Still, they had an edge over other communities when it comes to IQ. But what happened during the last 50 years?”
“You are right – I see a lot of cases of infertility, problems related to childbirth, OCD, and other diseases among the children – the new generation Brahmins are prone to more medical problems than their ancestors. It’s alarming. As a Brahmin, I have noticed and wondered about it…”
“Why did it happen so? They created conflict with the programs in their ancestral genes. A Brahmin’s ‘parambarya maryada’ was living a sattvik, non-violence green life. But they went against all traditional disciplines. For instance, during the last few decades, they started eating parts of dead bodies of murdered creatures which is against the programs in their genes…”
“I can’t agree with you. In modern times, it is difficult to live the way people lived in the past…”
“Wrong. Which part of the world stops you from being vegetarian? Who is restricting you from being sattvik and non-violent? Isn’t green life cool today? You have a choice here, nobody can stop…”
“We are deviating from the subject. What about the diseases inherited through the genes?”
“I know you would ask this, Sunil. But I have already explained it – you thought it was deviation…” I smiled at him: “Something that is engraved in your DNA code can be carried to generations- up to 3000 years! The memories of the confused brain of parents will be transferred to the children. Children will become carriers of those corrupt files. Tomorrow we will cry saying that my child is sick. Most of the Brahmin families see this issue today. Sufferings at the family front…”
“Hmmm…You have a point there…”
“Our ancestors also believed that certain diseases are the result of the bad karma in the previous births. The corrupt files in the DNA codes are records of our bad karma. That can survive as memories in the total organism called the universe. This bad karma can transcend to the next birth too. Science has not yet proven about life after death. But we cannot rule out such a possibility. Do you want to be a reason to cause pain (or miseries) in people whom you don’t even know? If rebirth happens, the new somebody will carry the bad karma that you have stored in the system memory. Is that desirable? Even if you don’t believe in rebirth, why should you develop any bad karma in this life?”
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