Ayurveda identifies with five material elements; earth, water, fire,
air and ether. All these elements correlate with our gross body. What
seems as one body to us is actually formed by two parts. The gross part,
which is again composed of a combination of these five material elements,
is the one we can touch, feel, take apart, etc. The other part, which
we are least aware of, yet is the most encompassing and important one,
is our subtle body, which is composed of mind, intelligence and ego.
What we give up at the time of death is the gross body. The subtle
body, which is immortal, remains and continues into our next body or
birth. This is the part of our body that carries our karma, which is
your positive or negative actions, along with. The effects of your good
or bad karma manifest in our next life. So if you are good in this life,
you are likely to have a good next life.
We often encounter people who, despite being outwardly healthy or rich,
suffer a lot in their existence as human beings. Medical science fails
to recognize the causes of their disease or psychological disturbances
that are perceivable but not practically visible in their physiology.
Karmas stick to you as long as you roll from one janma or life to another.
You take millions of janmas before the nature puts an end to your cycle
of life and death, beyond which the subtle body seizes. Ayurveda guides
us to earn good karma while we are in the human janma; the part benefits
of which we get in this, and part in the next janma.
Interestingly, beyond our subtle body is a subtler spirit soul. Modern
life is so embedded in the materialistic pursuits that we forget to
nurture the spirit soul. No flashy cars, no palatial houses, no pinnacles
of riches and nothing in the materialistic array of things can help
us nurture the spirit soul. Spirit soul is a delicate thread that ties
the beads of your gross and the subtle body. If you forget it, it loosens.
If you push it hard, it breaks, and if you nurture it wrongly, you get
wrong results. These results often manifest themselves in your health;
both physical and mental. If you are intelligent, you perceive both.
If you are egoistic, you perceive neither. Your negative karma gets
These statements are beyond any laboratory investigations. We tend
to believe laboratory investigations since materialistic pursuits have
reduced us to being mobile human laboratories. We tend to disregard
and disbelieve philosophies. Laboratories, which are again an assemblage
of few modern instruments, cannot uncover the secrets of the soul. Soul
is immeasurable on account of its subtle nature. Laboratory instruments
are crude chopsticks and soul a fleeting, finer particle of light. Can
the former pick up the later?
To live happier and healthier, we have to understand who we are. We
can’t expect to control ourselves if we don’t know this.
Can you expect yourself to fix airplane snag if you don’t know
the mechanics of it? If that sounds too heavy, let you fix up your car
tyre that deflated somewhere on the lone, desolate American highway.
Ayurveda explains that we have five working senses, which are the feet,
hands, anus, genitals and mouth; and five knowledge-gathering senses,
which are ears, eyes, nose, tongue and skin. One level up is the mind.
Mind control all senses. Mind is controlled by intelligence. And intelligence
is controlled or dominated by ego. Your mind is a sanctum sanatorium
if it is devoid of any ego. Ego is a negative attribute, and it ego
that links us to materialistic pleasures. Being spirituality inclined
evaporates your ego. Even the very process of ego-evaporation is a peaceful
experience; in fact more pleasure-giving than we thought the objects
of desire are.
You realize your true self, the soul, and gradually you realize it
is above all other aspects of your body. You develop a power to control
and direct your intelligence towards positive karma, which, in turn,
harmonizes your mind and your senses. This enables you command yourself
better, and thus begins your journey of understanding the yoga of life.
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