January 2014 by Chitra Jha Chitra Jha discovers the innate intelligence of ayurveda, and its central principle of living according to the dictates of our unique constitution. Ever since I was a child, I spoke about being a doctor. I often wonder how that thought had entrenched itself in my mind, as there were no doctors in my family; in fact, I didn’t even know any doctor, except for our family physician, who we visited rather infrequently. Perhaps, this thought had taken root as I considered myself an intelligent child, and inherently knew that intelligence is a paramount pre-requisite for being a doctor. Or perhaps, I was carrying the samskaras of a doctor in my soul from my previous births. Today, I resonate with the latter theory! I grew up with this dream in my heart, but when reality hit in the form of botany and zoology at age 15, I gave up. However, my samskaras could not be defeated so fast. At age 17, I joined the Army Medical Corps as a military nursing cadet, and entered the world of ‘doctors’. While I couldn’t enjoy the study of plants and animals, human anatomy and physiology fascinated me. It seemed like home turf, from day one. No wonder I excelled at it, and the results showed in the blossoming of my medical intelligence. But this love affair didn’t last for long. With the passage of time, and simultaneous introduction to homeopathy through my boy friend’s family, I found myself questioning many allopathic practices. After marriage, I chose to quit the hallowed portals of modern medicine, and began studying its ‘evolved’ sibling, homeopathy. By the time children came along, I was well entrenched in this gentle and advanced system of healing. At the turn of the millennium, I got drawn to yet finer systems of healing; beginning with Reiki, and spanning EFT, past-life regression, inner child work, rebirthing breathwork, and family constellation work. As the healer within me bloomed, the desire to be a doctor got satisfied to the core; so much so that although I am entitled to use the word “doctor” as a prefix to my name, I have never used it. I do not resonate with it. All through these years, ayurveda silently crossed my path many a time, but I paid scant attention to it. I had enough tools in my repertoire, and didn’t need any more, however ancient or intelligent! The fact was that I didn’t know how “intelligent” this system was, until I got drawn to it in 2013. Yes, as recent as that! Since the beginning of 2013, I began having an urge to detoxify my physical body. Many a time during body-energy-scanning, I intuitively felt that my small intestines were holding onto something that needed to be purged; but since I have always believed that my ‘good’ comes to me, I didn’t go looking for any detox programme. However, my intention created enough magnetic force, and I encountered people who were undergoing ayurvedic detox programmes from the comfort of their homes. Following my life philosophy of “whatever is saral (simple) and sahaj (easy) is right for me” an appointment got fixed for my ayurvedic consultation, in a saral and sahaj manner. I was all set for my detox, and greatly excited about it. My first visit to Sukhayu, an ayurvedic clinic at Jaipur, proved fruitful. I was impressed by Vaid Pradeep Sharma’s love for ayurveda. He ignited my curiosity, interest, and intelligence while explaining the basic precepts of ayurveda – something I was completely ignorant about, despite being in the field of healing for 37 years. As is my wont, when I get into something, I really get into it; I came back from the clinic, and extensively surfed the Internet to read as much as I could about ayurveda. The more I read, the more interested I became. Dr. Pradeep suggested that I read Robert Svoboda. When I discovered that Robert Svoboda was the same author whose Aghori Trilogy I had adored, I ordered four of his books on Flipkart. I was all set to immerse myself in ayurveda; both physically, through the detox programme, and mentally, through the reading. Every day, as I went through one or the other panchakarma procedures, drank ghee and medicine-laden cow milk or followed dietary advice, I also absorbed more and more of the ancient wisdom through Svoboda’s books. The final icing on the cake came in the form of Dr. Pratap Chauhan’s one-day workshop at the Life Positive 2013 Rishikesh Expo. By then, I was all set to integrate all that I had chewed upon in all these days. As an ayurveda expert, Dr. Pradeep made the subject extremely simple, wholesome, and easy to digest. I adored him and his wisdom. What appeals to me about ayurveda is the fact that it believes in the uniqueness of each individual. It also believes that an individual is indivisible from the cosmos and cosmic consciousness. The vibration of the cosmos produces the soundless sound of Om, from which five basic elements of space, air, fire, water and earth are produced. These five elements are combined into three biological manifestations known as vata (a combination of space and air), pitta (a combination of fire and water) and kapha (a combination of water and earth). These three natural constituents govern all physio-pathological changes in all living beings. Each one of us carries a unique permutation and combination of these three constituents, which gets determined at the time of conception; depending upon their influence on our parents’ sperm and ovum. This particular combination creates our individual constitution, known as ‘prakriti’ (nature). Each one of us has a unique prakriti. The study of ayurveda is primarily the study of our unique prakriti. Just imagine if everyone knew his/her constitution and lived life in accordance with one’s unique nature, how easy it would become to stay healthy, happy and balanced! This is the promise that ayurveda holds for each one of us. In today’s world of unabashed marketing and advertising, the truth of our uniqueness has become the first casualty. If each one of us is a unique being (and I have no doubt about that) how can the same diet and lifestyle be good for all of us? Thousands of years ago, our rishi-munis knew that one man’s food is another man’s poison. They also knew that the cause of all our problems is pragyaparadha, crime against wisdom, or insult of our inherent intelligence. We insult our intelligence when we believe in ‘one shoe-fits-all’ solutions. Ayurveda is designed for those individuals who believe in their uniqueness, and are ready to take responsibility for this uniqueness. Its ultimate purpose is to make every home a happy home – a true haven. As far as my detox program was concerned, I learnt that undigested food ferments and creates ama, which is the mamma of all diseases. Ama is produced in the small intestine and sticks to its walls. Panchakarma therapy helped in loosening and then expelling the ‘ama’ from my body. Ayurveda also offers simple detox tips for all of us. Fasting once a week is one such tool. When the body doesn’t receive fresh refreshment, it digests the accumulated ama in order to generate energy. A simple detox decoction can be made by combining one teaspoon each of fennel, cumin, coriander, and dry ginger powder; and boiling it in one litre of water. This tea can be stored in a flask and sipped throughout the day. Squeezing a lemon in a cup of warm water also makes a good detox drink. Some other simple ayurvedic lifestyle tips are:- Wake up just before sunrise. Sit down for few minutes in gratitude. Touch the earth and express gratitude to it. Drink one glass of water, preferably stored in a copper vessel at room temperature. Wash your face, eyes, and ears. Breathe into water to clean your nose. Clean your teeth and tongue. Apply oil on your entire body and massage gently. Also apply oil in the nose and ears. Do moderate exercises without exhausting yourself. Take a bath with lukewarm water. Wear comfortable clothes that make you happy. Allow your body to breathe. Wear a perfume according to your prakriti. Pray. A simple prayer can be, “God, grant me knowledge and energy to follow my dharma. I love you. Thank you for loving me.” Choose your diet in accordance with your unique prakriti. This is a very important step. Hydrate yourself through the day. Do not suppress an urge to eliminate stool, urinate, sneeze, yawn, sweat, burp, or fart. Treat every urge as an emergency call from the body to throw out some collected toxins which will do great harm if not allowed to escape. Stretch and move around many times a day. Spend peaceful, quality time with your family. Eat dinner at least two hours before going to bed. Walk leisurely for 10 minutes after each meal. Pray before falling asleep.
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