In my line of work, I periodically come into contact with people whose physical and mental condition by the time we meet, unfortunately, leaves much to be desired. What is typical is that these are middle-aged people, who not so long ago were so strong, ambitious, cheerful and carefree. No one would have thought that they could have such serious problems. Today, motivated by their painful inner feelings, they look around for quick solutions. Quick resolutions are what the vast majority are looking for when they find themselves in this situation.
According to yoga, the main cause of all human suffering is Avidya, that is, non-knowledge. It is the absence of correct knowledge that causes problems in any kind of activity, be it cooking, doing any kind of work or running a government. If we do something in our lives wrong, that is, not in the way it was originally intended, sooner or later we will definitely have problems. This is the law of nature.
Even though most of us probably don’t even think about it, our bodies and minds also have a certain instruction manual. If that manual is not followed, there will be problems. The Kundalini master, Yogi Bhajan, gave a very clear example of this with a car. “Imagine the body as a high performance car. You would give it only premium gasoline to make it run smoothly. You would bring it to the service station frequently for oil changes and preventive maintenance. You would love it and take good care of it. We must treat our body at least as well as we would treat that car. It is the only vehicle we will get and it is, in fact, designed for high performance“. Unfortunately, without the necessary information on how to use the resource given to us from above, not only do we not use it effectively, but on the contrary, our actions reduce its potential: “We eat erratically and often poorly. We stay up late and sleep late. We pretend our bodies are a low cost car! We clog our valves and forget about our high-performance ranges. Our occasional self-mistreatment develops into chronic bad habits. We become ill, out of balance, unpredictable and untrustworthy even to ourselves“.
However, by changing our daily behavior, starting to interact with our body and mind, adhering to certain rules, we can at least restore our lost potential to a certain extent, and at most, raise it to the highest point of development. True, this will require a lot of effort, because the addictions of the mind will desperately resist, the body will take revenge for the past years of improper use, and the surrounding society will not understand what is happening to you at all. Moreover, all these changes in the way of life must have not a temporary character, but a permanent one. That is, everything that previously led our body and mind to degradation (even if we really liked it) will now have to be eliminated from life forever, replaced with something that will have a positive effect (which most likely, at first, we will not like at all).
So, let us now take a general outline of the human avatar’s manual, the observance of which guarantees us a healthy and happy life.
According to the yogic concept, in order for a person to live and grow harmoniously, maintaining awareness and fullness of being at any age, it is necessary to maintain health on three levels: physical, mental and spiritual. This requires adherence to: proper nutrition, exercise, rest and cleansing. On each of these levels individually. By providing your physical body, mind and soul with good nutrition, exercise, rest and cleansing, you guarantee yourself good health, well-being, peace and happiness from living each moment.
Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. Start with your physical body, provide it with quality fuel and building material, and you will feel much better. Then, so that the body can put the food it has received into action, add a system of effective exercises, and you will feel strong and confident. Naturally, after a good job, you need just as good a rest. Plan your day so that rest was not the last place in it – give the body the opportunity to recover. And finally, no matter how well you eat and rest, each system must be cleaned regularly. It is necessary to clean all systems of our body: the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system, the liver, and the kidneys. Try to put these recommendations into practice and your body will visibly thank you.
However, our personality is not just a bag of bones. The mental factor should by no means be forgotten, especially today, in the age of information, when our consciousness is under serious pressure in any sphere of activity. Every day we deal with a ton of information, which we need to process, draw conclusions, make decisions and take responsibility for them, whether it is work, family relations or parenting. If the psyche gets out of balance, it throws the entire body off balance. All your efforts to keep your physical body in good shape will be in vain. Loose nerves will cause your glands to produce stress hormones, your heartbeat will accelerate, your blood pressure will rise, your digestion will be disrupted, and all this in the long run will lead to the development of severe chronic diseases. Therefore it is important to find the right tools, so that, as in the case of the physical body, to give our mental component good “food for thought”, provide it with a productive workout, after which it is mandatory to have a high-quality rest, well, and without periodic “cleaning in the head” here too cannot do without. The basic scheme for each level is the same.
Well, if a lot of people know about the body and the psyche, and everything here is more or less clear, what about spirituality? Do we also need spiritual food, spiritual exercise, spiritual rest, and spiritual cleansing? Yes, that’s right. As the masters of the past said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” The essence of everyone’s life is the desire for merging with the Absolute, no matter how we imagine Him or what names we give Him. If there is no spiritual component in our life, then no matter how much wealth we accumulate, no matter how strong our physical and mental health is, we will always be lacking something. Unfortunately, there is no way to fill this void with elements of the material world – this bottomless hole will consume your “offerings” more and more, ultimately, without receiving any satisfaction. That’s because no worldly sensations or pleasures can compare to the richness of existence that we receive with “spiritual food”. I’m sure that deep down inside each of us knows this well enough as it is.
So, look how simple the formula for a happy life is: four factors on three levels and that’s it! Why do we suffer? Avidya is non-knowledge. What is quality food for body, mind, and spirit? What is quality exercise, quality rest and quality cleansing for the same three components of our personality? There are many variants, but life is very short and there is no time to try everything. So what to do?
Personally, I trust yoga’s thousands of years of experience, which is based on science rather than just dogma. Yogis, spiritual seekers, have been experimenting with their bodies and minds for thousands of years and have reached incredible heights in their development. They have developed guidelines for each of these points on three levels, so that by applying them in daily life, one can exist at maximum parameters. I have been practicing this for a number of years myself and have seen firsthand the effectiveness of this methodology.
In the following article, titled “Instructions for Mastering,” we will try to take a closer look at the available tools for maintaining the health of each level separately.
- Дада Садананда. Курс видео-лекции на канале «урокимедитации.рф»
- Йоги Бхаджан. «Учитель Эпохи Водолея: Международная программа по подготовке учителей Кундалини йоги школы Йоги Бхаджана Уровня I». РОО «Федерация Учителей Кундалини Йоги». 2011 г. 332 с.
- Вишнудэвананда Свами. «Йога: полное иллюстративное руководство». Перев. с англ. – «Софья», 2018. – 304 с.
- Photos: Internet.