August 30, 2014

Simple Living, High Thinking : Health Tips from Bhagavad-gita. ~ Jorge Carlos Camara

Jorge Camara 1

Since time immemorial, human societies have championed Mother Nature’s therapeutic splendor as a reliable and sacred source of healthcare.

In the past century, Earth has become a swimming pool of toxic substances: recreational and pharmaceutical drugs, pollutants, household chemicals, food preservatives, and so on.

So whether one is a spiritual dilettante, a vigorous meditator or staunch atheist, it is important to be aware of the various health issues sprouting up during this iron age of Kali, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy.

By learning how to make conscious decisions about our material wellbeing, we can avoid unnecessary disturbances and peacefully perform our spiritual practice.

According to the classic yoga text of ancient India, Bhagavad-gita, the organic healing technology injected into prakrti, or material nature, is a divine gift from the Supreme source of existence. For example, Krishna, the all-attractive One, says, “I am the healing herb” (9.16), “the taste of water” (7.8), and “the heat in fire” (7.9).

Mother Nature’s remedial gifts and our material body are thus hardwired to function harmoniously by Krishna’s will. In this connection, the leading exponent of the science of Krishna yoga, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, comments that “Natural foodstuff which is meant for human beings, they are full of vitamins already there by nature’s law, by God’s wish.”

Purity is the Power

Krishna is known as Vishvambhara, the maintainer of all living entities, and out of His sweet grace He provides the most effective, restorative and purifying solution for maintaining one’s health. By His divine arrangement, Mother Nature unconditionally produces a galore of therapeutic herbs, plants and essential oils.

It is for this reason that pure, holistic approaches to health naturally help create a symbiotic relationship between physical necessities and spiritual goals. 1. 

Therefore, Bhagavad-gita emphasizes the importance of purity in relation to the development and potency of one’s spiritual practice. Similarly, good health and bodily vigor also depend upon the purity of the remedial measure taken.

Taking care of our health in a spirit of higher consciousness entails doing everything we can to keep ourselves healthy, not only physically but spiritually as well. In this way, a life of simple living and highest thinking is easier to carry out.

Our health is something we don’t regularly spend time thinking about, until we get sick. Bhagavad-gita presents a paradigm in which the perfection of a healthy human life is to act in accordance with the Supreme. Activities that are not in tune with Krishna’s natural order are thus irregular, artificial and entangling.

Similarly, remedial processes incongruent with natural, holistic goals can also entangle us further into bodily grievances.

For example, the Western medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. A shocking 783,936 total number of deaths per year are caused by conventional medicine, according to a study done by the NCHS. 2.

Despite the US’s enormous annual expenditure of $2.8 trillion, or $8,915 per person, on healthcare in 2012, it ranks 46th on the list of the world’s best healthcare systems. 3, 4. 

Krishna designed His material creation in such a way as to provide all living entities with the basic necessities to balance their energy, prevent illness and rejuvenate their body to its immunity.

Integrating our self-healing habits with natural solutions can therefore deepen our relationship with Mother Nature, who is nothing more than a beautiful expression of the Supreme.

Original Healing

The spiritual science of bhakti-yoga helps one become disentangled from the ghastly material warfare that we are vehemently thrown into. By adamantly shifting our engagements from material to spiritual we can begin to experience our original transcendental nature.

Similarly, by reforming our self-healing habits from artificial to natural we can create a bodily atmosphere that is conducive for spiritual development. Otherwise, we may find ourselves arduously struggling to cure unwanted ailments rather than focusing on the supreme goal of life.

For thousands of years, Mother Nature’s medicine has been the original healthcare, but due to the progression of Kali-yuga, the age of degradation, it has become underrepresented as an “alternative” choice.

An organic, holistic approach towards health that utilizes Krishna’s refined medical gifts is diametrically opposed to the man-made methods that employ synthetic medicine.

Natural healthcare has an emancipatory intent to free us of unnecessary illnesses so that we may absorb our existence in transcendental consciousness, whereas synthetic drugs tend to deceptively ensnare one with increasing side effects and hefty bills.

Krishna is the Healing Herb

This vicious duality between artificial and natural medicine has sparked a growing curiosity for alternative healthcare options that are cheaper, safer and more effective.

In previous ages, herbal remedies and other natural solutions were sufficient in themselves for curing and improving one’s health. Nowadays, due to the influence of Kali-yuga, it is required to extract the healing properties from thousands of herbs, plants and barks if one wishes to experience the same remedial force they were originally instilled with.

Despite all of this, a perennial gift within this material existence has yet to lose its healing efficacy: essential oils. The use of essential oils for medical practice, beauty treatment, food preparation and religious ceremony has been highly revered among many cultures throughout history, including the ancient Vedic civilization.

The highly potent efficacy and therapeutic aromas of essential oils, which are 50 to 70 times more powerful than dried herbs, is a clear reflection of Krishna’s lovely arrangement to provide natural healthcare unto all living entities. After all, He is the Healing Herb and “the original fragrance of the earth” (7.9).

A lifestyle deeply embedded with natural solutions is thus in accordance with the principles of Bhagavad-gita, which teaches one how to live a simple lifestyle in the material world while cultivating a lovingly sublime, devotional relationship with God.

By educating oneself about natural healing methods, one can easily begin to engage in practical self-healing habits that are congruous with the universe’s divine principles.

But that’s not all. In addition to the intake of pure, organic medicine one must also regulate their bodily routine, diet and exercise to nourish their health and prevent unnecessary illness.

For example, Krishna explains how there is no possibility of advancing as a transcendentalist “if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough” (6.16). “He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system” (6.17).

Above all, the most important factor contributing to our overall well-being according to the Bhagavad-gita is the consistency, determination and intensity of our spiritual practice.



(1) Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution by Dr. Robert Svoboda
(2) http://www.webdc.com/pdfs/deathbymedicine.pdf
(3) http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/downloads/highlights.pdf
(4) http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/best-and-worst/most-efficient-health-care-countries
(5) Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Editor: Emily Bartran

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