From the Charaka Samhita, by Sutrasthana, I.42-34
Life (Ayu) is the combination of body, senses, mind and reincarnating soul. Ayurveda is the most sacred science of life, beneficial to humans both in this world and the world beyond.
From The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, circa 5,000 BC to 300 AD (exact time unknown)
Yogas Citta Vritti Nirodhah,
What is Yoga? Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.
(As interpreted by Sri TKV Desikachar, son of Sri Krishnamacharya, in “The Heart of Yoga”.
Harmony in Non Harmonious Times
We yearn to understand our purpose, place and reason for being. How do we live without suffering? How can we be happy? Humanity has more choices, distractions and division than ever. Rampant opinions, research, conclusions and information pervade our existence; we are on sensory information overload.
Our stressed existence, poor food, and a lack of spiritual nutrition create suffering or wrong attention in our life. Yoga and Ayurveda can return harmony to our lives with a nourishing and nutritious lifestyle choices based on
~balance in the body with right food, movement and breath
~balance in the mind with right thoughts, meditation, understanding and cultivated awareness
~balance in Heart and Spirit with right attitude and attention towards our spirituality
What is right and Harmonious for me?
Right here refers to that which cultivates and sustains a vibrant, clear, positive, radiant and harmonious existence in body, mind and spirit.
Dr. Vansant Lad, preeminent Ayurvedic doctor quotes a Vedic Sutra saying, â€œif you have right intention, you will create right attention. Right attention will bring right awareness.â€ The inner flow of awareness becomes the pathway of deep and lasting healing and harmony.
The Gunas:: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
The Gunas are three universal qualities that pervade all of creation, from a rock to a sandwich, our mood or emotion, our clothing, body products or choice of entertainment. From our weather to place of living and working, to music or exercise,choice of friends, and even the time of day, the Gunas are present. These three Gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas influence our mind and body continuously, thus understanding them gives you a powerful tool to guide your choices!
Sattva guna is right action, right perception, spiritual purpose, pure essence of light. It is clear, fresh, vast space, potential energy, the Light of Consciousness, the energy of cognition, creative and intelligence.
Rajas guna is change, excitability, principle of movement, atmosphere, movement of perception and process of attention, kinetic energy, it maintains and is the momentum of creation.
Tamas guna is inertia, darkness, confusion, solid substance, it is the precipitation of perception or the experience, the known. It is destructive, inactive energy, material matter, heavy and dull.
When you qualify your choices of food, work, play, sights, sounds, smells, touch and surroundings relating to Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, you are able to easily and naturally bring more peace, harmony and health into your daily life. Your eyes, ears, skin, mouth, and nose receive input and your Mind analyzes, organizes, retains and eliminates the experiences.
Neither good nor bad, the Gunas simply give us a tool for more productive and vibrant health and well being. It is essential that we find and live with the right balance of the Gunas for our Prakriti.
How do I choose wisely?
We have one body in this lifetime that functions to the degree with which we tend to it. It is our temple, and to honor that temple, grants us freedom to express our heartfelt intentions without suffering. When the mind has wrong understanding, the body is incapacitated, and the Spirit is disconnected, life is not a joyful expression.
We have our Mind that is joined on a spiritual level with our Soul or Spirit. The ancient sages understood that the Mind, housed in the layer of us referred to as the Manomayakosha, retained samskaras (tendencies) and karmas which are continually working out in this lifetime. When the mind is unpure, cloudy, filled with confusion, doubt, fear, anger, jealousy, hopelessness, desire or aversions, we continue to live out our unconscious tendencies and repeat the same mistakes over and over. Life is a struggle.
As the Mind creates the body, these very thoughts based in darkness ignorance, prevent out Body from being in a state of pure health, just as thoughts based in truth and light create vibrancy and peace in us.
Our Soul, Spirit or Atman is that eternal existence housed in our Body, residing as the witness to the Mind.
In Ayurveda a fascinating understanding exists, that the Mind and Soul can only experience emotions, feelings and sensory input through a Body, so the obtainment or manifestation of a Body is essential. That manifestation results in the creation of the 5 Main senses and their Sense organs, which are the only channels for data input. The Sixth sense, the mind, is the most subtle, and exists in every cell of the body. Mind is in every cell. Mind exists in every organ, gland, blood vessel, and is continually evolving, changing, growing and forming.
Your 5 Sense Organs are the only way you receive any information and with the diminishment or failure of one of them, the others will increase their strength to input data to you. Understanding that the health and well being of these organs AND the quality or Guna of what comes in through them, directly affects the health and well being of your mind and body and is the foundation for your life. This of critical importance in Ayurveda.
From delusion lead me to Truth.
From darkness lead me to Light.
From death lead me to immortality.
Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad Â I. 3. 28
The Source of all forms is the eye, for it is by the eye that all forms are seen. The eye is behind all forms, even as the Brahman is behind the eye. The Source of all actions is the body, for it is the by the body that all actions are done. The body is behind all actions, even as Brahman is behind the body. Those three are one, ATMAN, the Spirit of life; and ATMAN , although one, is those three. The Immortal is veiled by the real. The Spirit of life is the immortal. Name and form are the real, and by them the Spirit is veiled. I.6