A long time friend and astrologer, who works as an Engineer in California has cautioned that the next 10-15 years is going to be very tumultuous for the world. Many regional fights, wars, cyber, economic and military are going to take place in different parts of the world. Ever-since his predictions came out to be true to each word he spoke on Trump, i am more aware and taking his predictions seriously. He said that the world is going to see an unprecedented, rapid change in the next decade and half.
And today in 2021, as the world cautiously tries to stand up again from the pandemic, it might need more than just the ideas for wellness. It needs ideals and it needs ancient wisdom to lead us through this complex maze that our whole world becomes such that it never succumbs to any inner or outer infections.
There is no doubt that we have to bring our wandering mind back to breath, and take responsibility for our body, like we do with our tastes. Our answerability is not only for our moral, spiritual and material welfare of one and all but I feel that once we start feeling more aligned with our own body, we will have more energy to share with others.
This three essay series on wellness culminated two years ago in Cambodia with Singsong. I had arrived at a bar in Siem Reap after cycling 70-80 kilometers, all day long through the country Side recording country songs that were banned during the dreadful Khmer Rouge regime. Tired, i sat with my eyes closed in a dark lounge area on a love seat in the lotus padmasana/position. It was this moment when a Royal British navy officer approached me asking if I can tell him how to be in peace?
This year as i started writing particularly for the blog, i felt an urge to write before any story or experience, our common source, Our understanding of history and what as humans we have attained, good and bad for our being, and how from here we can shape our future and for the coming generations.
As many of my dear ‘Road to Nara’ friends know that I run a school for children with my mother; where our primary priority has been to tell them first thing about Earth, our planet as a whole in as simple way as we can and then bringing them to their bodies and meditations on breath.
In all these years of teaching barring last, i have noticed, even though majority of children at that age don’t really grasp of what we are telling them but within a few years their minds form in such a way that they start not just learning well but start opening up towards activities and life interests outside their syllabus, which has amazed their parents for years.
Thus taking that cue, it felt important to me, starting with this much-awaited year to share here:
A brief history of Life and the Origin of Yoga
so that us who are here, and the ones who will come finding to read and learn our history that we love to leave, know how much hard work and persistence it has taken for this planet and life energies to become, to form as it is now.
But as people like Elon Musk and other corporations, who are hell bent to make Mars their new home, to sell richest of the rich, a bizarre dream of new, safer home rather than investing energy to make Earth a better place. I thought that at least at this time I must research and warn in a subtle way about
The cost of Life
of which we are paying for each passing day.
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THE SECRETS OF WELLNESS
Wellness comes differently to different ages of people. As long as humankind has existed, so too has the dream of eternal youth and beauty, and if not entirely a wish to conquer death, but to escape it, further it, has been an area of research for ever.
But wellness is a daily journey, a combination of decisions taken day after day, a complex process to an extent it’s a fight with oneself, and more than a battle, Wellness is intent. It is a thought, a state of growing mind. And do remember, it can never be bought.
Thousands of years ago when World did seem like a family without boundaries or Visas and before any religion was founded by men, they had discovered fire and found ways to engage themselves with the highest self.
It is said that a hungry person will not seek god, he will first find food for himself. Today when most of life’s comfort can be bought, being Well instead has become a demand. We should be brimming with joy and happiness in today’s world of connection and comfort, rather last one year of Covid saw unprecedented rise in depression and mental health related issues all across the globe. People are finding themselves left out, unwanted and lonely. More and more people are failing in this race of life, finding it hard to enjoy one’s own company.
When I started thinking about the secrets of Wellness, it felt hard because most of what came as answers were restrictions rather than solutions.
Yet, being a traveller to start with, if i am asked to advice the most demotivated person on wellness, i will tell him to just go out of his home and walk. And not walk looking down on earth, but up, to see, for long minutes imbibe, smells, colors, and may be once in a while, from time to time scream, shout out loud, take out every guilt, anger to no one in particular but to the ether, akasha, forces up in the sky, the most mysterious element of the five.
But it is not possible or easy, right at the start. Like me. I want to do so many things, and above all those things what i really yearn for and tell myself each day is to wake up the earliest. To discipline my sleep, my each hour spent because I know and I have lived with my teachers whom i look up to, my ideals who no matter when they sleep, wake up each day at one time.
Because Wellness, like a meditative state is a consequence, and not the means. There are so many things to achieve before you attain Dhayana, contentment. And keeping that state as our goal, i will try sharing in Five ways, to earn an all round wellness.
1. Learning about the Five Elements to cleanse our Bodies.
It is known that if we were born 2 to 3 centuries before, we would be doing 20 times more activity than now, physically. And for the ultra lazy ones it could even go up to 200 times. We would have been walking more, doing more things with our hands, probably talking less and interacting more. Now for many, the times have changed and the mind is far more active than the body.
We created this body from inside, so the manufacturer of this body is inside. If we have mastery over the elements, we will have mastery over our body, our mind, and even on the very creation. Life will happen in magical ways.
This body, this very earth, universe, and the cosmos; all is just the play of the Five elements.
This body’s composition is such that 72 percent of this body is water, approx. 12% is earth, 6% is air, 4% is fire and the rest is space or Akasha.
And thus, how these five elements behave within you will determine just about everything.
There are ways in which we can get all the elements to work for us. May be i can write a separate essay on it, but due to the limited space here, i will say that the most important way to get these elements to work for you is first by being aware of their presence around you and then by respecting, showing gratitude. For example it is very important to know the nature of water. It is round. a drop, a drop of sweat, tap drops, Rain drops, a well, are all round. It matters immensely how you keep the water, where, how well you keep it and most of all how consciously, graciously you allow it to enter into your system.
And so it goes for all other elements, remember to show your gratitude.
2. Travel Within:
Being intimately a seeker, travelling for so many years have made me explore many a landscapes, I understand the human need to be outside, to see, and travel anywhere without any limitation, to feel free. Majority of last year passed in sitting, reading, scrolling, seeing screen of phones or computers.
Unlike where businesses, industries world over were shutting down, it were the Internet Tech giants who made a fortune of a mess the world was in. And they learnt something that we can only think of. That it is good for them when people remain at home.
Like this, Thousands of years ago, ancient Indian wisdom discovered stillness in a time when whole world was actually a family, you were free to roam, wander. But against aimlessly wandering and trying to see with their eyes open, ancient seers decided to sit at one place at will and seek the universe with their eyes closed, they freed themselves from the clutches of memory and time. And sat seeking their own self, starting with there breath.
If there is a Secret to Wellness It is in Breath. Breath being the first nectar that can be felt, ancient Indians explored the source of this breath, their bodies, organs, veins, moving blood, water and all other elements for years; as slowly their travelling thoughts started manifesting into subtler reality at the cellular level, they were said to have travelled beyond physical construct of the bodily mechanism.
History is known to repeat itself and thus coming a full circle from those days of no particular region or religion, Travelling within is the only way that can carry you to a place of infinite energy. And it is nothing but Yog.
Yog, if not hundreds of things, gives you two. It builds strength, the power of will and it provides awareness with a universe of magical possibilities.
3. Love Energy
We are approx. 8 billion humans on earth, and we are all alike internally. Everything on this planet, human bodies and whatever we see around us today including creating and controlling nuclear power is an out come of transferring energies. Plants, trees, sun, moon, planets and the animal world, we all share that one source.
We in our lives become what we pay attention to. If we attach our emotions to a thought for too long, it becomes lively inside us. And hence at one level it is very important to learn picking the right thoughts. If any thought exhausts me physically, there is no doubt that i get affected in all other dimensions of my being. Choose what to think. And practicing this awareness of the thought level observation will lead to an enhanced vibration.
We all carry a smell, an aura, and energy invisible to us, but its there. And this is a great indicator of our future wellness. If only we learn to give away what we desire most, the path to deserving wellness will be paved.
During my talks some people have questioned about money, that if one doesn’t have money how are you going to give it in first place? If we see the entire human history, the uses of paper money per say is recent. In fact, time, gratitude, purity of attention given to anyone, to serve, to care and above all Love is infinite times bigger than money. This produce of intent then is bound to provide us with that energy back, probably with compound interest. So do not think money in a narrow way instead your whole being is one precious bank.
4. We become what we eat
The most important of all Food – What, when and how you eat can have a significant impact on your health and overall well-being. The very process of eating in ancient Indian culture demanded a certain level of attention that used to lead to a heightened level of awareness. But as the world got preoccupied with work rather than wisdom, people lost that kind of involvement and just started popping in anything to keep the hunger in check.
Never enter those yellow red gates of McDonald’s, or any big food corporation for food and fun, only if you can tell your children that. It are these people who want to burn our age old rain forests in Amazon, in Australia to farm, to raise cattle, to produce more exotic meat to bring to your plate. Who knows in the time to come when they have made their villas in Mars, they will sell them food bringing from earth.
Because of modern work culture, people have naturally shifted to eating commercially prepared meals in a big way. The needed reverence for what we consume which was a very important part of the Yogic culture, is today moving towards extinction. Today, its more of a social thing. Its not even about what you eat; its about where and with whom you eat.
Our food, whatever it may, gives away its own life to make up our lives.
Anything that we borrow from the planet for ourselves to consume causes a certain level of inertia in the system. The important thing then is to get consciously aware of this and to keep the inertia levels at the minimum.
In life, if your goal is to become sharp and learning to focus better, you must gage on how much you sleep and how alert you are. If in day-to-day life, body is generating too much inertia, i.e if its not actively participating in major works happening around us then it only means that the system is not allowing a certain amount of energy to enter in the subtle cellular level.
So, what do we do to enhance our perception and energy at the micro level?
In ancient India, there was no concept of milk tea, rather in those days to increase one’s mental and physical abilities, Neem and Turmeric as a combination was taken on an empty stomach with warm honey water.
So, if one wants to enhance ones system, this is one thing that can help a person to eliminate 80 percent of physical ailments. This is important and an important physical support because neem and turmeric dilates the cellular structure of the system in such a way that it is able to absorb most things, bringing flexibility to the muscles and provides powerful, higher possibilities.
You can also go through two essays that were written about the ancient Yogic food Culture here
I. The essence of food in the times
II. Food and the world on a new Yogi’s mind
5. Fast – Upavas:
If you watch the natural cycles of the body, once in one mandala, that is 42 to 48 days, in these days, 3 days happen where your body does not need food. If that awareness is not there to which day that is; for that in India, in ancient texts they fixed a day called ekadashi.
Ekadashi simply meant the 11th day that is 4 days before the full moon. People used to not eat on that day. “My maternal grandfather who was a prominent astrologer, and a Train Driver in his time in Uttar Pradesh, lived particularly with ancient understanding of Sun, moon and stars. He never even had water on Ekadashi. Later in his life when he became weak, even though he did not leave fasting but added one meal just after the sun sat. He used to tell my mother, that in his life this was one thing that helped his body fight infections and internal ailments, as it allows the system to realign itself. If one gives this break, it will prove great for one’s health and over all well being, because the system needs that time to adjust itself. Everyday, heaps and heaps of food weakens the system’s power, it is a lot of pressure and hard work for the system. We must give our magical machines some break.
One more thing, which I must include, is the time between the meals. As many of us cannot fast whole day long but they must understand that the the ideal time between one meal to the second is 8 hours always to get a certain sense of hunger back but if even this is not possible for anyone than minimum 5 and half hours should be given, because if you will keep putting the food into the system even when you are not hungry, your body will start dropping and eventually will become lethargic. It will then never know vibrance.
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ANTIQUITY OF THE CIVILIZATION
People look at the ancient past, they look at the present times and say that we have got computers, cars, airplanes and hence we are very civilised. They feel that the ancient people had nothing of these and thus they were primitive, but the reality is that we are destroying the world with the amount of technology and consumption lifestyle that we have today. We have ignored that part of our existence and it is our existence that is destroying the future of the generations coming.
The ancients had a different idea of happiness, of contentment. Living at peace with nature, understanding nature, understanding the science for what it is, mathematics for what it is and who is to say today that who is civilized and who is not?
I do not know how the western civilization thinks about this, may be for them it is the best of times for humankind but here in the East, according to the Vedic knowledge, we are at the worst of times, based on how badly we are incurring all sorts of karmas today, and how we are living our lives today.
I finally put this before I close my last long essay of this three part series today because we know this is the most important thing facing our world today and our existence. There was this paper that came out in November 2017, known as The World’s Scientists warning to Humanity. 15,000 scientists from 154 countries signed this statement.
The graph shown here shows various of things including the Ozone layer depletion, fresh water resources, dead zones where there is no life in the Oceans, the forest cover, the number of species living in earth, carbon dioxide emission, temperature change and population. Everywhere you can see that slowly the dead zones are increasing. Wherever you see there is an alarming indication that the life is getting worse and worse.
So, I must only summarize this to promote a diet that is plant based foods and reducing the fertility rates. We need to be aware of our own karmic or Carbon footprints and if we are contributing towards degradation of life or not.
We need to internalize this message of how our ancient’s lived because they have told us how to live; our children need to internalize this message. Reducing consumption, the media and industries are only interested in controlling our mind for all kinds of consumption. And we need our vivek, power of conscience, discrimination, reason and knowledge to walk from here onwards.
There is absolutely no need to renounce any kind of worldly pleasures instead we need to Reduce our Karmic or Carbon footprint and Reuse, Recycle whatever we can.
Happiness cannot be found in impermanent objects or such things, it is only to be found in the relationships that we make and other such understandings of spirituality. I think that is the message that we must give to the children.
There are many lifestyle changes that we can make like not to using plastic as a rule, carrying a bamboo straw or spoon, not using dyed clothes to wear but what i think is that it is everybody’s individual journey and we should not be disheartened if the community or anyone is not following what we are doing. We have to set an example, and if others come along and join us on this journey, well and good and hopefully life can get better for all of us.
Because remember, it takes only one person to stand firm.
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