Diseases – Part 2

Continued from Diseases – Part 1

Sage Patanjali in his yoga sutra (1:30)  says:
vyâdhi-styâna-sanåaya-pramâdâlasyâvirati-bhrânti-daråanâlabdha-bhûmikatvânavasthitatvâni cittavikæepâste ‘ntarâyâï
vyâdhi = sickness
styâna = apathy
sanåaya = doubt
pramâda = carelessness
âlasya = laziness
avirati = sexual indulgence
bhrânti = false
daråana = vision, perspective
alabdha = failing to attain
bhûmikatva = developmental stages
anavasthitatvâni = inconstancy, instability
citta = consciousness
vikæepâï = distraction, stirring up
te = these
antarâyâï = obstacles

Sickness, apathy, doubt, carelessness, laziness, hedonism, delusion, lack of progress, and inconstancy are all distractions which, by stirring up consciousness, act as barriers to stillness. These are not isolated individual problems tampering the steadfast quality of the citta. Instead, these are all connected and evolve from one to another.

Prevention of disease and thereby distractions, is always better than their respective cures. For a cure, is a process of reverse engineering from analyzing the effect to reach and identify the cause. It is an overhead, it is time consuming, because the effect, may not be a benign one and would steadily or rapidly aggravate whilst the analysis is in progress. Or even if the effect is a benign one, it might not be an irreversible one. Even if it is irreversible, restoring the human body or mind to its original state needs time, this is time required in addition to the time already invested in reaching from the cause to the effect.

Systems like Yoga, pranayam, meditation and others are programmed for nipping the bud of distractions in their early stages. Simple body language techniques reveal,when we think about some event in the past, we tend to look downwards. We access the temporal lobe of the brain. The temporal lobes are involved in the retention of visual memories, processing sensory input, comprehending language, storing new memories, emotion, and deriving meaning.

Similarly a person who is thinking about the future, or the next step of action focuses upwards towards the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe is associated with reward, attention, short-term memory tasks, planning, and motivation.

Most yoga, meditation and mind control mechanisms are well aware of this natural tendency of the human mind. They are scientific approaches to preventing the mind from wandering and improving concentration.

Research in Ayurveda, goes deeper into analyzing the chemical composition of these lobes and regions of brain at the time of duress, distraction and depression; as well as the chemical composition of the brain in states of ecstasy, happiness, calm and meditation.  Certain Ayurvedic herbs are powerful anti-stress agents and also help induce a sense of well-being and calm.

Having said all that, the benefits of eating full timely meals, avoiding over indulgence, exercising and adequate rest should not be underestimated. They are almost necessary prerequisites for any further developments, physical or mental.

6 thoughts on “Diseases – Part 2

  1. Hey, the post was interesting but the pajama part was great, I bet if there had been “snaps” in the days of Jesus, he would have worked that into one of his parables! Nice work.

  2. Sorry, left my comment on the wrong post. Oh well. Your post on disease was informative, and detailed. Sometimes I like to roll the clock back to an earlier time in mans history, such as in prehistoric times and ask the question “was there disease then, was there stress, and if so what were their causes?” That was a time in earths history when the water and air was it’s cleanest (volcanic activity aside). Were we healthy then? Is disease a more or less modern affliction we are dealing with?

    • Your comments are thought provoking. I am inclined to believe that disease is more or less a modern affliction. I wouldn’t be able to extrapolate that far back in the past, however, I had seen my grandfather, he was as fit as a fiddle even at the age of 80. My grandmother always told me that the quality of vegetables, fruits and the food in general was far better than it is today. There were more trees, lesser pollution, people had more simpler jobs to do. They had lesser addictions and distractions, than we have. Life was simpler. I am sure my granddad even went to sleep on time, unlike a lot of us today, who keep surfing the net at ungodly hours at night. I would like to re-iterate on the fact of lesser distractions. I can perhaps imagine that life in the prehistoric times was way to simple in terms of things to do. Hunt, eat, sleep, protect self from nature’s fury and bigger animals and have sex. They did not have “jobs”. It is simultaneously interesting and ironic that we have built such an abstraction around basic necessities of life. A base necessity such as hunger, now, needs us to keep doing a job or some other complex function, so that we can earn another abstraction called money and then buy the food that we need and then feed ourselves.

      • I have to agree with you my friend. We seem to have traded some aspects of life for others, but it’s hard to say if we came out ahead or not. sometimes I think yes, and other times I think no. It’s a tough call because we have experienced both gains and losses, in the area of physicality and spirituality. However, I am an optimist and I think Humanity has made huge strides despite the forces which try to hold us back. And yes,… I like to “get people going, “because once they are in motion, then they will find it easier to get back into the “flow.” Thank you for commenting, it’s nice to meet you.

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