The majority of spiritual seekers belong to the second group. These
people have true aspiration but it is either not intense enough or is
not supported by a strong will to undergo prolonged inner struggles
or to bear the resultant physical or mental reactions. Many of them
do not have any hope of realising the Self in this life, & so they are
unwilling to sacrifice health or peace of mind for such an elusive
and distant goal. The outer instruments for mortal man are not
fit to endure the severe rigours of this spiritual journey or face its
subtle & and formidable dangers. Self Actualisation can only come
from immense Grace Divine.
Ordinary mundane people find it difficult to make spiritual progress
their sole concern in life although they may have committed themselves
to it in a general way. For them, an integral scheme of life in which the
considerations of health & secular values receive as much attention
as spiritual orientation is what is needed. This present article is meant
for such seekers.
The Self as the basis of all Love
Why do we collect wealth ? For whose sake is wealth loved ? It is for
the sake of the Self. Why do we love our wife & children ? For whose
sake is the wife & children loved? It is for the sake of the Self.
Everything in the universe - husband,wife,children, everything - is loved
for the sake of oneself. The Self, when known, everything is known.
What do we mean by oneself here ? Vedanta speaks of two selves
in man - a lower self and a higher Self. The lower self, regarded as
the false self, is the sum total of one's instincts, drives & impulses.
The higher Self refers to the pure Atman which is regarded as the true
nature of man. Vedanta states that the lower self, if left uncontrolled,
will act as one's own enemy, and, if purified & controlled, will act as
one's own friend. When the lower self is purified by yogic techniques
& attuned to the higher Self, self-hate disappears & love for the higher
He sees indeed who sees in all alike,
The living lordly Self, Self supreme
Imperishable amidst the perishing ( The Song Celestial )
When this divine love blossoms in one's bosom,one's attitude towards
his body changes. He now begins to love his body as an instrument for the
manifestation of the Divine Self. Vedic Scriptures speak of the body
as " the temple of the His great transparent mirror, Self". As a matter of
fact, Vedic temples are modelled after the pattern of the human organism.
Symbolism behind Vedic temples
Man has three bodies - physical, astral & causal. The outer wall of the
Vedic temple represents the physical body of man. The inner wall
represents the astral body and the innermost wall represents the
Causal body. Deep within these three bodies is the Self, the Atman
who is represented by the Deity ! The word temple is derived from
the Latin word tempulum, a place where Law and Justice can be
administered. The principle behind the temple, is Know Thyself !
Am I a god, then? Yes
In these pure features I behold
Creative Nature to soul unfold ( Goethe )
The body is given prime importance in Vedic ritualistic worship
known as Puja. Apart from ritualistic worship, service is divine &
regarded as a form of worship known as Yajna. Vedic Scriptures
enjoin five types of service known as Pancha-Mahayajna; service
to the gods, service to sages, service to manes, service to human
beings, service to animals. The ancient Law-giver Manu has given
the injunction to divinize the body through these five practices.
(" Through the repeated practice of these five great yajnas, the
human body gets divinized".)
"The human body is the greatest instrument for Self-Actualisation ",
said the famous Sanskrit poet Kalidasa. Maintaining the divine status
of the body is not easy.It should be kept as clean, healthy & we should
not allow any kind of physical or mental indulgence to defile its sanctity
& harmony. ("Chastity is the flowering in man " said Thoreau and
continence has been prescribed for spiritual progress). That is to say,
change in attitude towards the body brings with it a new responsibility
for one's own health. Surprising indeed is the fact that many people
think that restoring health and curing diseases are solely the
responsibility of the medical profession. In the holistic health system,
responsibility for falling ill & getting well both rest primarily with
the patient. The doctor only assists in curing himself. As Albert
Schweitzer said " All healing is Self-healing ".
Holistic medicine postulates that the responsibility for healthcare rests
in the patient's hands because that is where the knowledge and control
of the variables lie ( diet,stress,exercise,genetics,emotion & medication).
1. Knowledge of the Psychosomatic Machine
If the patient is aware of the disease and its aetiology, about his body's
immune power and if he can bear physical pain temporarily, with a stoic
calmness, he can avoid a lot of unnecessary medication.
In the Holistic Model, the cause of any disease is understood in terms of
the whole person and not in terms of a particular organ or tissue. As Sir
William Osler put it, it is more import to know the patient who has the
disease than the disease of the patient. Plato remarked that " the treatment
of the parts should not be attempted without treatment of the entirety"
The one person who knows about the patient more than anybody else
is the patient himself.
Compliments should go to Western Science which has discovered
a lot of knowledge by research & which is the result of the painstaking
labour of thousands of dedicated scientists for more than 200 years.
This accumulated treasure is humanity's precious heritage and only
charlatans will ignore or undervalue it. It is imperative that
every educated person should have a basic knowledge of human
anatomy & physiology, and also of Western psychology. However this
research is analytical and incomplete.
A Holistic Model was developed by the Sages of India 5500 years ago.
The Five Levels of Being - The Yogic Model
Spark in man !
1. Physical Sheath ( Annamaya Kosha )
2. Vital Sheath ( Pranamaya Kosha )
3. Mental Sheath ( Manomaya Kosha )
4. Intellectual Sheath ( Vijnanamaya Kosha )
5. Bliss Sheath ( Anandamaya Kosha )
Disease is the imbalance in any of the three lower sheaths of existence -
physical, vital & mental.
The microcosm & the macrocosm are are in unbroken communion
with each other & are structured on the same pattern. At the
level of the physical sheath, food, water & oxygen enter the microcosm
and Co2, waste products etc return to the macrocosm. This is true of
other sheaths also. The individual cannot exist independent of the
cosmos. The interdependence of the Microcosm & the Macrocosm
is known in Classical Philosophy as the Bio-Cosmic tieup. If the
exchange between the physical sheath and the physical world
around it is defective, the body will become ill, and death
will result if it is stopped altogether.
The Tantric Model
A different but parallel model of human personality was developed by the
Tantras. Whereas the Upanishads speak of Five Sheaths or Koshas,
the Tantras speak of six chakras. These Chakras are ( in ascending order)
1. Root Chakra ( Muladhara )
2. Anal Chakra ( Manipura )
3. Solar Plexus Chakra ( Swadhistana )
4. Heart Chakra ( Anahata )
5. Throat Chakra ( Vishuddhi )
6. Eyebrow Chakra ( Ajna )
Life is regarded as the unfolding of the Self at six different levels of
consciousness known as Chakras in the magnificent Tantric Model.
In mundane people the unfolding takes place only at the first three
chakras which represent procreation, metabolism & speech; the
higher three chakras remain latent. The awakening of the higher
chakras results in the unfolding and fulfillment of Life Divine. When
the Kundalini, the Serpentine Power inherent in humans, rises from
the Root Chakra ( Muladhara ) to the Crown Chakra ( Sahasrara ),
man achieves Cosmic Consciousness.
The Spirit shall take up the human play
The earthly life become the Life Divine!