By Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Yoga realizes that if your energy body is in proper balance and full flow, your physical body and mental body will be in perfect health
Fundamentally, the word ‘health’ comes from the root word ‘whole’. When we say we ‘feel healthy’, it means we have a sense of wholeness within us. Merely being medically free of disease does not make us healthy.
Feeling like a complete human being in body, mind and spirit, is true health.
To experience this sense of wholeness, it’s important that one’s body, mind, and above all, one’s energy, functions on a certain level of intensity. For every physical or psychological situation you undergo, there is an energy basis, which in turn has a chemical basis.
In a way, modern allopathic medicines have become just chemistry. For every health problem, you just ingest a chemical to arrive at some kind of balance. If you use one chemical to bring down one aspect, or enhance another, there is a side-effect. For this side-effect, there is an antidote; for the antidote there is another antidote; it’s an endless chain. Whatever happens on the chemical level in your body is only controlled by the way your energies function. Because a man has excessive acids within him, you infuse some alkaline medicine into him. But why does he have excessive acids? Because of the way his mind, his body, and above all, his energy, functions.
Yoga realizes that if your energy body is in proper balance and full flow, your physical body and mental body will be in perfect health. Keeping the energy body in full flow is not about doing any kind of healing. This is about going to the basis of your energy system and building a foundational yogic practice that establishes your energy in such a way that your body and mind are naturally fine.
No human being gets to live in perfect conditions. The pressures of life, the food, water and air to which we are exposed can affect us in many ways. The more our activities in the world, the more we are exposed to stimuli that can throw our chemistry off balance. But if the energy in our system is properly cultivated, these will not have an effect.
Let us say you know nothing about electricity. This hall is dark. If I tell you that if you just press this button, the whole hall will be flooded with light, you are unlikely to believe me. Now I just do it, and light appears. You will call it a miracle, isn’t it? Simply because you don’t understand how electricity works. Similarly, life happens in many different ways. You have limited yourself to just the physical in experience, the logical in thinking.
At present medical sciences are limited to just knowing the physical body. If anything happens beyond that, you think it’s a miracle. I just call it another kind of science. This life energy in you created your whole body – these bones, this flesh, this heart, this kidney, everything. Do you think it cannot create health? It is capable of much more than just health.
Body: The First Gift
People have come to the conclusion that body means pain. And yet, just the right food, practices and a little change in attitude, and this body becomes a miracle.
Definitely the body is the most sophisticated mechanism on this planet right now. All your super computers cannot match this one. They say a single molecule of DNA can perform hundred times more functions than all the computers in the world put together. So this is definitely the best machine. This is also the first gift bestowed upon you and it is important to keep it in a comfortable and joyous state.
It is natural for the body to be healthy. Every cell in the body is working for its well-being, isn’t it? Ill health is unnatural. Everybody is supposed to be healthy. People don’t have to live spiritually to be healthy. Just living naturally will produce health. The whole world tries to project yoga as health. Yoga will definitely bring health, but it is not about health alone.
That’s why I often tell people, why don’t you just go play tennis, eat sensibly, take a swim? You don’t have to do yoga to be healthy. People do yoga because there are more people on this planet who are medically healthy and miserable than unhealthy and miserable. So they are looking for other possibilities along with physical health.
Everybody thinks their work is stressful. No job in the world is stressful. It’s your inability to handle your systems – your body, mind and emotions – that stresses you.
So how do you keep your system free of stress so you’re always on the same level of enthusiasm, relaxation and happiness? If you take my pulse now it will be somewhere around 47- 48. If you take my pulse on an empty stomach, I’d be in the range of 35 to 40. That means, physiologically I’m in deep sleep, but I’m awake enough to do any type of activity in the world. When you’re constantly sleeping there’s no question of stress.
There is a whole system, a technology, for making this happen. If you start certain simple practices of yoga, in three to four months you will notice that your pulse rate would have dropped at least 8 to 20 counts very easily.
Intoxicated and Aware
Recent research says that joyful people have a greater number of areas active in their brain than the intelligent or the intellectual. Once you are in such an exuberant state of energy, health is naturally taken care of. That’s why I always say good health is only a side-effect of yoga. Yoga means that your experience of life has become such that you experience everything as one. Union has happened. You have thrown out your sensory body in such a way that it includes the whole universe.
Interestingly, there are millions of cannabis receptors in the human brain, and no one has been able to explain why. Recently, an Israeli scientist pointed out that the body itself is producing narcotics and the brain is always equipped to receive it. Only those people who are producing reasonable amounts of narcotic in their systems are really peaceful and joyful.
in yoga we have always been saying that we can get you into high states without any outside chemical. So I can have people stoned without any outside influence! One can get people into certain internal states, the significance of which is not just pleasure. It leads to a deep sense of well-being which sets a foundation for a human being to seek other things.
Scientists have Always Dismissed spiritual bliss as a hallucination. Now there is scientific proof that one can go into extreme states of bliss that are not hallucinatory; they are chemically supported in the system. When I talk about creating the right kind of chemistry, it’s about getting deeply intoxicated with absolute awareness. When you are fully aware and intoxicated, you have a stability which is unmatched. Your peace and your well-being is 100 per cent in your hands.
Healing and Playing God
Physical existence is always happening between cause and effect. Suppose there is an infection, the cause is external: say, bacteria. Now there is an effect: infection. So you are trying to take away the cause by taking antibiotics. You kill the cause with medication because it is external to you.
With other diseases that are not externally caused, the cause is so much deeper compared to an infection. For this type of disease to manifest, there is an imbalance or a malfunction in the energy-body, which manifests itself in the physical or mental body.
Now with something like pranic healing – or any kind of healing for that matter – you’re only appeasing the effect. With a little control or mastery over your own energies, you’re able to put a screen between the cause and the effect. So the effect dies out, but the cause stays buried.
As far as nature and life energy is concerned, the effect was only its way of telling you that there is a cause, a disturbance of energy, inside of you. Let us say you have asthma and I just remove it today. Without asthma, when you still have the same kind of energy in you, you may become prey to some other calamity in a moment. The disease may not be there, but you could get into an accident.
Your asthma was only an indication of a deeper disturbance. This is because your energies are still in the same situation, but the effect was removed. So it will take effect in a deeper or more acute form to inform you again. This whole activity of trying to heal somebody is, in some way, trying to play God – trying to manipulate energies in an improper way.Unless you are able to take the very source of the disease from the other person into yourself, real healing is not possible. That will have a big impact on the system, and it is not to be done unless it is for certain specific purposes.
I have done it a few times when preparing people for the Dhyanalinga consecration. There are many whose diseases have been wiped out. It’s just that what would have taken 10 years in their body to work out, I would work out in 10 days, but with much more intensity. That’s only done for certain special purposes. There’s no question of it being done professionally.
Healers of all kinds are ruling the roost worldwide right now. Big healing melas are being held on Marina Beach and other public places. But if you want to heal people, why don’t you go to where the sick people are? If you’ve got cosmic energy in your hands, why don’t you walk through all the hospitals in the world and ruin their business?
It all depends on what you’re seeking. Are you seeking solace or a solution? If it’s solace, it needs revving up every day. But if it’s a solution, it’s a one-time thing that you have to work for.
Positive Thinking: An Escapist Strategy?
Positive thinking is about trying to escape reality. It’s about wanting to look at one side of life, and missing out on another. You may ignore the other, but the other will not ignore you. Right now, you can choose to ignore a black cloud in the sky, but it’s not going to ignore you.
Because you do not know how to keep your systems in balance, because you can’t handle reality, you succumb to positive thinking. You want to skip the negative and just think positive.
What you pursue will not be the strongest point in you. What you try to avoid becomes the basis of your consciousness. Positive thinking can have some psychological relevance, but no existential relevance whatsoever.
Health Through Sadhana
Instead, if you bring awareness to your disease, you get connected to the cause of it. When we talk about bringing awareness and accepting what’s there, it does not mean becoming defeatist. If you truly become aware of the disease, you become aware of the cause also. The moment you bring awareness to any part of your body, in terms of energy, it will immediately become active and many things start happening there.
Now why did the energy body get disturbed? An improper lifestyle, improper thought patterns, improper emotions or a combination of all these. There’s a certain karmic structure you have built which causes some kind of energy turmoil, which manifests itself in the physical body as disease.
But even if you settle the energy situation to some extent with healing, or mental focus or awareness, the karmic substance which causes this is not gone. The karmic substance is recorded in your energy as the fundamental software. It can work only within the ambit of the programmed software.
The life energies within you created your whole body. When it can do so much, can’t it fix a tiny cartilage or hole in the heart?
Because you do not know how to keep your systems in balance, because you can’t handle reality, you succumb to positive thinking.
Far more effective is to teach people yoga kriyas with which healing happens naturally. The objective is not healing, but it definitely happens. This involves sadhana, which is dissolution of karma by itself. When the cause is dissolved, the effect is no more.
Prayer Versus Prayerfulness
Prayer is a long distance phone call with no one at the other end.
But if you bring the quality of prayerfulness into your life, your life will become very beautiful. If prayer is just an act you perform twice a day, it’s vulgar. But being prayerful towards everything is something this culture has always tried to cultivate.
If you become pleasant within you, health will happen. As anger, jealously, hatred, fear or anxiety is unpleasantness on the level of the mind, ill health is unpleasantness on the level of the body. And we know that the mind and body are very much related.
That’s the reason why yoga looks at mind and energy only as bodies. If you keep your energy body in proper balance and full vibrancy, your mental body and physical body will invariably be healthy. The energy body is the foundation for the mental and physical bodies.
An interesting example here is the Shambhavi Maha Mudra kriya which, unlike the Shakti Chalana Kriya, is not oriented towards health. But there are thousands of people in the villages (to whom we have taught only half the Shambhavi) who claim their health has improved dramatically with this simple yogic practice. This is simply because if there is vibrancy in the energy body, the body will fix itself.
The Biggest Miracle
The world has invested hugely in illness. If people become healthy, too many will be unemployed. It won’t be good for the economy!
There’s no doubt that medical science has done amazing things. But we’re definitely more illness-focused than health-focused. I would say 70 per cent of all chronic illnesses are self-created. If people just change their lifestyles and their eating habits, 50 per cent of their illnesses would vanish. If we just lived more sensibly, most people wouldn’t be unhealthy.
With some simple yogic exercises for three or four weeks, people can give up ailments that they thought were for life. This is no miracle; just a little sense, that’s all.
Sense is actually the biggest miracle. Unfortunately, people miss out on that and look for senseless ones.
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