We all are material creation of Lord Krishna and he designed in such a way which ensures all basic necessities to prevent illness, balance energy and rejuvenate our body to its immunity
Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between Prince Arjun and Bhagawan Sri Krishna on the battle field of Kurukshetra. Arjun the great warrior at the crucial moment of war was overwhelmed by compassion for his cousins, relatives on the opposite side. He thought that the war was futile for winning kingdom from his own kith and kin. He was carried away by the guilt of blood shed in war and its long term effects on society and future generations. He dropped weapons out frustration, grief, despondency and sat down in his chariot.
Here comes Bhagawan Sri Krishna his friend, guide, a philosopher in the picture, shows him the way by giving him the knowledge and wisdom of self as well as seen and unseen world. We call this treatise as Bhagavad Gita.
Bhagavad Gita is a summary of Upanishads, the contemplative science practised by the great seers of Hindu religion.
Throughout Bhagavad Gita, some great concepts about health are uncovered which as a doctor touched my heart. We often think that body is different from mind and brain, though has some control by them.
We have medical and surgical specialist doctors different from psychiatrists. If you ask family doctors, orthopaedic surgeons, they will accept this fact that 60 percent of physical and body related complaints have their roots in mind and psychology.
We call them psychosomatic disorders.
When you study Gita you realise that human being is made of 5 levels:-
- Body (deha or sharir with indriya – sense organs . motor organs )
- Mind (manas with Chitta – attention, Antahkarana- emotional mind, )
- Buddhi ( vyavasayatmika buddhi – decision making, prefrontal and frontal cortex in modern neurology, Vivek – rational thinking is a function of this brain, can not be proved by anatomy. Vasanatmak buddhi – desire related, hypothalamic brain by modern neurology )
- Ahankar – identity or separateness, quality of an individual to survive and sustain in this world, to fulfil his desires
- Atma – imperishable “self” of an individual which can be perceived but not proved scientifically. Its reflection can be seen as Vivek in the brain .
They all have coexistence, inter dependence and cannot be separated.
Here is an example to explain it better. The body is like a car, the mind is a driver taking the car wherever it wants to till you install GPS system in the car (the brain) which takes over the driver and shows him the right path, the mind has no choice now but to follow. Atma is like a passenger sitting in car, indifferent, without interference, witnessing passively, but is the whole purpose of the exercise done by all three. He leaves the car at certain time ( death ) and enters another car ( body)
The relationship of body and mind discussed here explains the horrendous epidemic of lifestyle diseases, stress induced, psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders we see today. Modern science says that this relationship also explains some allergies, immune complex disorders and some cancers. the vulnerability to bacteria and viruses depends on your reduced immunity due to stress.
The message to take here is that you cannot think of health as an isolated physical, body related issue. The physical aspect is just the seen part of health. physical health depends on mental/psychological health because mind takes the decisions about the body, mental health depends on how strong or weak is the rational thinking brain in controlling the mind. This brain can be empowered by knowledge about its functions and potentials (internal world) and knowledge about the external world including the people around you.
Now how does Atma ( your imperishable self) empower brain?
Spiritual wisdom, knowledge about Atma gives you a non-judgemental, third party, indifferent, witnessing, mindful attitude to look at your other lower levels and also the external world. this concept is difficult to perceive but closest to this is conscience or Vivek ( rationality ) which is the reflection of your Atma and higher function of the brain making it superior to the brain. Neurology calls it as function and part of the brain but lets us give it a separate bigger existence due to its potential control over brain. This global yet compassionate view by Vivek to look at the brain (its functions, decisions, thoughts, emotions) restructures your thinking pattern, avoids faulty thinking, reinforces rational approach in decisions. Eventually, by practice, this becomes a habit. In modern psychology, in cognitive behaviour therapy, this is done by the counselling psychologist who is trained to change your thinking pattern to bring about the change in your life and hence find solutions to your problems.
Gita says that once spiritual health is restored by wisdom (not just by blind worship) it reflects in positive mental and physical health, again if any thing happens to physical health the correction must start from above to have a cure, healing. What we do today is just chemical intervention to normalise the blood levels desired by modern medicine. blood sugar is normal but diabetes remains, Blood Pressure is normal but hypertension and its causes remain, water is lost from body but fat and obesity remains, cholesterol is not produced by liver by switching off reaction but the patches in blood vessels remain, brain is knocked off by sedatives but insomnia and its cause remains. The neurochemical changes brought about by antidepressants are not permanent but only till you take medicines so for minor mental disorders they should be avoided as far as possible and all psychiatrists agree to this.
Spiritual wisdom can bring about intellectual health which results in moderation in lifestyle, body habits, emotional control, lack of insecurity, fear, control over desires, peace of mind, raised self-esteem, improved communication and relationships with society. It finally restores social health, mental health as well as physical health.
Allopathy, Ayurveda and other therapies are closed ended solutions to medical needs of people. They lack integration because their practitioners don’t know benefits of both, they fight over negatives of both and fail to come closer. Over the years we have seen that pharmacological solutions have failed to resolve core issue, it only flourishes the pharma industry.
This top to down approach of Gita is a radical approach to holistic healing. The time has come for the entire medical world and health care industry to seriously consider this integrated spiritual to physical health approach of the great Bhagavad Gita in healing.