Showing posts with label Ayurveda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ayurveda. Show all posts

Hinduism On Service, Stewardship, And Healing


    Modern Hinduism's Care, Healing, And Well-being.

    Due to socio-political and other religious influences, Hinduism and Hindu societies have seen different changes and advancements. 

    Not only have believers followed the goals of Hindu samskaras, purushartha, and panchamahayajnas throughout history, but many of the teachings and religious rituals have been reinterpreted and altered to meet the needs of changing times. 

    In 'renascent Hinduism,' there is a renewal of caring, healing, and well-being. 

    Despite all of the ideas of care and well-being, a significant portion of India's population lives in horrible circumstances. 

    The caste system establishes a hierarchical society that retains benefits for the higher varna castes while denying the rights of India's poor Dalits, indigenous peoples, and Adivasis

    Hinduism has been reduced to a ceremonial and otherworldly spiritual entity throughout its history, according to the Brahminic system. 

    The vitality of Hinduism was renewed, leading to the formation of a renascent Hinduism, thanks to the effect of English education, the advent of modern science, orientalist intellectuals, and Christian missionary operations (Sarma 2000: 60-63). 

    Hindu believers were encouraged to transfer their attention from the otherworldly to life on Earth as a result of these nineteenth- and twentieth-century events. 

    For example, for millennia, the dominant traditional Vedanta philosophy concentrated primarily on an individual's connection with God/Ultimate Reality, with a misplaced emphasis on devotion to God alone. 

    However, the Renaissance ushered in flourishing Neo-Vedanta and Guru movements that aid mankind in realizing the inherent divinity in each individual, emphasizing the concept of 'service to humanity as service to god.' 

    Renascent Hinduism (Sarma 1966) set the ground for a slew of neo-Hindu groups and Guru movements to spring up over the globe. 

    Traditional, ethnic Hinduism from the subcontinent gradually become a worldwide religion, attracting followers from all over the globe. 

    They participate in charitable activities to provide care, healing, and well-being to people, particularly the most vulnerable members of Indian society. 

    • The Sri Ramakrishna Mission, established by Swami Vivekananda, is one of these neo-Hindu groups (Sarma 2000: 143-145 ; 155-156). 

    Sri Sathya Sai Baba formed the Sri Sathya Sai International Organization (Sri Sa thy a 2021 ). 

    Brahma Kumaris, a spiritual group formed by Prajapita Brahma Baba and headed by women. 

    Mata Amritanandamayi's other educational and humanitarian institutes 

    These are only a few of the numerous neo-Hindu groups that are now serving mankind and cutting across all gender, racial, and national lines. 

    These renascent Hindu organizations' educational institutions, well-equipped hospitals, relief works during natural catastrophes, scholarship and feeding programs, and several other charitable activities are witnesses to the promotion and humanization of caring, healing, and well-being. 

    Gods and goddesses as healers and well-being sources. 

    Hinduism is recognized for its many gods and goddesses who accompany humans. 

    Classical Hinduism recognizes Brahman as the 'Supreme Reality,' as well as Trimurthi (the 'Hindu Triad' of Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the sustainer, and Maheshvara or Siva, the destroyer), and many sectarian deities Vishnu, Siva, and Sakti. 

    When individuals in popular Hinduism are in need, they appeal to their 'favorite deities' (ishta Devata), also known as the 'family god' (Kula Devata). 

    Mahalakshmi, also known as Lakshmi, is the goddess of riches and prosperity, Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, and Ganesh, the deity of fresh beginnings and the ability to remove barriers. 

    Despite contemporary education and well-established medical facilities throughout this age of societal development, the Hindu mentality is still inclined to seeking heavenly favors during sickness and other afflictions. 

    Lord Siva is known in Hinduism as Vaidyanath (all-healer) and Mrutyunjaya, among all Vedic and non-Vedic deities (conqueror of death). 

    In popular Hinduism, one of the mother goddesses, Mariamman, is worshipped by South Indians for general healing. 

    Shitalamata (literally,'mother who cools') is revered in northern India as a goddess with curative powers, particularly in the cases of fever, chickenpox, smallpox, measles, ulcers, and cholera. 

    She is said to be carrying a pitcher filled with medical water to treat illnesses. 

    Many such deities who heal ailments are commonly sought by peasants in various regions of India in case of any affliction, even before seeking medical care. 

    Because many Hindus still believe in magic, the idea of an evil eye, curses, or even destiny (karma), this is a widely accepted practice. 

    As a result, rather of seeking therapeutic care, they turn to pujas, mantras, and other forms of divine intervention (Sharma 2002: 3). 


    Ayurveda (science of life) is a Hindu discipline of medicine that promotes a holistic approach to healing and human well-being. 


    "Let me witness a hundred autumns; let me live a hundred autumns," says the Atharva Veda's aphorism on life and health (Griffith ed. 1899: 292). 

    The Indian healing tradition dates back to the Atharva Veda and flourished throughout the Buddhist period. 

    It reached its pinnacle during the Caraka era, with a focus on Ayurveda

    In Hinduism, there are five components to the healing tradition: the patient, the physician, holy chant, ritual or process, and medication therapy. 

    During the Buddhist period, however, holy chant's importance waned and eventually faded away over decades of medical treatment (Valiathan 2015: 109). 

    Atharvaveda is primarily concerned with healing substances and spells, as well as enhancing one's own well-being while inflicting bad on one's adversaries (Dasgupta 1975: 280-281 ). 

    Atharvaveda gave rise to Ayurveda, which means "knowledge of life" in Sanskrit. 

    The connection between Atharvaveda and Ayurveda is primarily due to the fact that they both deal with illness healing. 

    With its religious importance, Atharvaveda is renowned for healing ailments caused by sins and trespasses by penance (prayaschitta), while Ayurveda treats diseases caused by the eating of unwholesome food via medication. 

    Medicine (bhesaja) is considered penance by charaka1 (which utilizes the term Ayurveda in the context of 'science of life') (Dasgupta 1975: 273-277). 

    In today's culture, however, Ayurveda is acknowledged as a distinct area of life science that deals with the body, mind, and overall well-being. 

    Ayurveda is formed from two Sanskrit words: ayus (meaning life) and veda (meaning knowledge) (meaning knowledge or science). 

    Ayus, which refers to the whole of existence in all of its forms, is made up of happiness (sukha), sorrow (duhkha), good (hita), and evil (hita) (ahita). 

    A life of happiness (Sukhmayuh) is defined as being devoid of bodily and mental ailments and endowed with vigor, power, energy, and vitality, as well as pleasure and success (Roy 1986: 152-153). 

    Ayurveda recommends daily and seasonal routines (dinacharya and ritucharya), a nutritious diet, exercise, and excellent behavior to sustain well-being and health (Tiwari and Pandey 2013: 288-292). 

    It focuses on efforts to reestablish the body's connection to the rest of the universe. 

    It accounts for discord in the balance of the body's essential humors, such as air or wind (vata), bile (pitta), and phlegm (kapha). 

    Discord may cause sickness, while restoring it can lead to better health and physical well-being. 

    Ayurveda includes therapeutic procedures such as surgery, the use of medicinal herbs, and meditation (Ketchell et al. 2013 ). 

    "The elimination of the cause of death, bestowing of long life, purifying thoughts and acts, removal of the cause of illnesses, and insuring the well-being of body and spirit" is considered to be the goal of giving medicine (Gautamananda 2019: 2). 

    Yoga is the path to mental health. 

    Yoga simply means 'yoking' or 'joining' in Sanskrit. 

    It refers to the methods or strategies used to change one's awareness and achieve moksha (freedom) from samsara (rebirth). 

    Although the mind is said to be constantly shifting, yoga may help you concentrate and experience a higher level of awareness (Bowker ed. 1997: 1058). 

    Self-control (yama), observance (niyama), posture (asana), regulation of breath (pranayama), restraint (pratyahara), steadying of mind (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and profound meditation (dhyana) are the eight phases of yoga (ashtangayoga) suggested by Patanjali's Yoga Sutra (Samadhi). 

    All of these phases are linked to physical or mental health, either directly or indirectly. 

    Yoga is often understood to signify 'discipline.' The word yoga refers to two things: a school of philosophy that originated in ancient India and a mental and physical exercise method created by this school. 

    Many individuals use yoga as a type of exercise to enhance their health and find inner peace (World Book Encyclopedia 1981: 470-471). 

    Yoga is, after all, a spiritual, mental, and physical practice. 

    Yogas of many varieties are also done in order to live a harmonious existence and gain mental and spiritual bliss (Ketch ell et al. 2013). 

    Yoga is an important aspect of healing, spirituality, and meditation, therefore it is seen as a component of human well-being. 

    Yoga may help you discipline and manage your thoughts, which is a crucial source of focus. 

    Yoga is said to heal the mind, even if it does not cure the physical condition. 

    Hatha yoga, which focuses on breathing and meditation to alleviate stress; raja yoga, which focuses on meditation and self-realization to lead to the growth of consciousness; and tantra yoga, which liberates awareness from all restrictions. 

    All of these types of yoga are connected to mental healing and human well-being in general. 


    Geriatric care: Hindu family care and a gero-transcendent outlook on life 

    In general, Hindu family members care for the elderly and dependents at home. 

    Within a family, caregiving for the elderly is traditionally passed down. 

    Nonetheless, owing to fast demographic and epidemiologic transformations in modern India, some people feel obligated and burdened to provide care for the elderly (Capistrant et al. 2015). 

    A gerontological study on Pitamaha Sadans of Chimmaya Mission indicates to "religiosity and spirituality as protective and health boosting factors for older individuals," in addition to family care (Pandya 2016: 15). 

    In this light, Asramadharma might be considered one of the most important aspects of elderly care. 

    Individuals from the higher caste pass through four phases of life, according to the ashrama scheme: student stage of training (Brahmacharya), householder stage (Gruhastha), hermit or forest dweller stage of retreat (Vanaprastha), and ascetic stage of renunciation (Sannyasa). 

    These four phases of life are all geared toward achieving one's ultimate objective, which is moksha or emancipation. 

    "The Ashram system is intended as an instrument of life, as the best means towards the fulfillment of what was believed to be the fullest and most effective administration of individual, social, and economic orders as a whole," write S.C. Tiwari and Nisha M. Pandey (2013). 

    Vanaprastha and sannyasa are intimately tied to the old age period in this ashrama plan. 

    Both are phases of renunciation with a non-attachment mindset. 

    Vanaprasthasrama is said to have originated in opposition to Buddha and Mahavira's teachings, which advocated full renunciation and celibacy

    This extreme kind of non-attachment jeopardized the foundations of family life. 

    As a result, the as ram a scheme was created to help stabilize the family's very existence, which had been jeopardized by the influence of Buddhism and Jainism, which placed a strong emphasis on 'freedom in the forest' (Premsagar 1994: 16). 

    It is important to note that the institution of sannyasa is thought to go against the core ideals of the Hindu way of life. 

    Sannyasa was never authorized by early Hindu sages, and they preferred only the first two ashrama schemes. 

    However, subsequent Hindu sages embraced the posture of "homelessness" or "ascetic detachment" as the last stage of existence due to the influence of Jainism and Buddhism (Datta 2001 : 5 83). 

    The Ashrama Scheme is a gero-transcendence perspective on life. 

    The core of gem-transcendence is said to be implied in the vanaprastha sannyasa ashrama system (Krishnan 2020b). 

    "Lars Tomstam's idea of gero-transcendence combines basic components with the final two stages of the Hindu model of the life duration," writes Samta P. Pandya (2016: 2). 

    In the latter two phases of life, as specified by the asrama plan, all three aspects of self, social, and cosmic are visible in some form. 

    While the concept of gruhastha denotes a materialistic outlook on life, the concept of vanaprastha or sannyasa denotes a more cosmic and transcendent outlook on existence, as expressed by the concept of gem-transcendence. 

    The vanaprastha-sannyasa phases, as defined by the ashrama plan, provide the person in gem-transcendence with the isolation he or she craves. 

    The solitude of the forest in vanaprasthasrama assists a person in escaping the flutter of daily existence, allowing sufficient possibilities to begin contemplating on life's greater ideals. 

    This stage is more significant in theory since it is closer to the last stage (death and dying) and moksha (liberation). 

    The vanaprastha stage emphasizes that one's status cannot be reduced to the society's secular needs, which place a premium on production and money (Radhakrishnan 2009: 63). 

    The goal of sannyasa is to achieve spiritual independence, which is in direct contrast to the requirements of a wealthy society. 

    "This stage suggests that human existence has a deeper value, that it is not finished in just being born, growing up, marrying, making a living, forming a family, sustaining it, and dying away," writes Arulsamy (2000: 1). 

    Finding one's own self is more important than gaining significance. 

    In this respect, Radhakrishnan argues that, although the ultimate goal of a sannyasin is to achieve spiritual liberation, being oneself entails not only a release from worldly attachments but also a new connection to everyday life. 

    On the one hand, a person is free of the desire for wealth or glory, but on the other hand, he or she is neither thrilled nor disappointed by success or failure (Radhakrishnan 2009: 64). 

    With its focus on the transcendent sphere of existence, Hinduism, according to Samta P. Pandya, offers a rich spiritual tradition. 

    It has the benefit of promoting the concept of gero-transcendence (Pandya 2016: 2). 

    Despite physical decline, a human being becomes more spiritual as a result of the asrama approach (Tiwari and Pandey 20 13). 

    Old age, according to Shrinivas Tilak, is not a period of total disengagement, but rather a period of differentiation, in which one must practice whatever enables one to reach a higher level of spiritual growth. 

    Tilak (1989) defines liberation as "leading a meaningful life and understanding the art of gently departing the earth at the end" (Tilak 1989). 

    (Rajan 2001: 9) 23 This is why vanaprastha-sannyasa ahsrama advises a stage dedicated to honoring the elderly (the Sruti-Smrti tradition in India). 


    Considering the Ashrama scheme's relevance in today's world.


    The spirit of accommodation or flexibility is one of the primary qualities of Hindu religious thought. 

    Modernism and its adherents in India's contemporary cosmopolitan middle class are said to participate in new social forms related to aging. 

    Living at an old-age home, for example, is seen as a kind of vanaprasthasrama for the elderly. 

    According to Sarah Lamb, many in India see old age home living as analogous to the 'forest-dwelling' recommended by the vanaprastha life phase (the severance of familial and worldly connections in order to achieve spiritual awareness) (Lamb 2007:57). 

    Sarah Lamb states that the majority of houses still follow the notion of'spiritual forest living' and seva or service in their policy, based on an ethnographic study project done in 29 homes of elderly individuals in Kolkata. 

    "To give' a life away from the noise of family, spent in solidarity and religious activities,' a location to pursue vanaprastha ashrama (the 'forest living' phase)," said the purpose of one of the institutions for the aged (Lamb 2007: 57). 

    As the world changes, many such houses provide a new sense of self and individuality, particularly for women, that is distinct from the intergenerational family, which maintains reliance and gendered relationships. 

    These houses often foster autonomous and egalitarian ways of life for the elderly, overcoming the restrictions of conventional joint family care (ibid.). 

    Another sociological research, conducted by Samta P. Pandya, indicates that "aging was a condition of mind, something that could be adjusted with... and death was a process that lead to God near" for the majority of inmates of Pitamaha Sadans, the Chinmaya Mission's old age home (Pandya 2016: 1). 

    In this manner, the Hindu mind accepts and adapts the Ashrama system of life to the developing and changing existence in modern society. 

    Many Hindu groups are now working to assist the elderly in overcoming the challenges of aging, including both medical and psycho-moral issues. 

    Although the intergenerational joint family remains the most common location for old people to live and be cared for in India, public and private institutions, as well as numerous individuals, are increasingly taking on the task of caring for the elderly (Lamb 2005: 80). 

    Caring for the elderly is seen as "an essential component of a reciprocal intergenerational cycle and a type of moral religious obligation or dharma" (Lamb 2019: 1). 

    However, in modern India, there has been a sharp increase in the number of 'non-traditional, joint family oriented ageing' facilities that provide care for the elderly. 

    "Many old-age homes market themselves as contemporary places for delivering seva (respectful care) and a forest-dwelling lifestyle to today's senior people," Sarah Lamb notes (Lamb 2019: 2). 

    If a spirituality of ageing, as represented by the ashrama plan and the concept of gem-transcendence, is considered while dealing with difficulties concerning the elderly, it is clear that religion continues to have an influence on the quality of care provided to the elderly. (Kimble et al. eds. 1995: 5)  

    Because India is recognized for its religious and spiritual diversity, it is difficult to establish and encourage a beautiful aging process. 

    In this sense, the modern interpretation of the vanaprastha-sannyasa plan of existence via the lens of gem-transcendence is crucial. 

    "A change from a materialistic and pragmatic worldview to a more cosmic and transcendent one" is how it's characterized (Braam et al. 2006: 121). 

    Final Thoughts 

    Hinduism, by its very nature as a way of life with its teachings and practices, has a long history of concern for the care, healing, and well-being of all living beings. 

    Individual care, beginning before birth and going beyond death, is ingrained in Hindu Samskaras practice. 

    Purushartha, with its focus on dharma and the challenge of fulfilling artha and kama, is inherent in societal well-being. 

    Similarly, paii9amahiiyajnas show concern and well-being for all creatures on the planet, not just humans. 

    Ayurveda reflects Hinduism's emphasis on healing, particularly in its idea of holistic health as embodied in the practice of yoga. 

    Despite the fact that the family is the traditional support structure for providing care and well-being for the elderly, India is undergoing changes. 

    Nonetheless, the traditional reliance on beloved and particular deities for care during sickness and crises demonstrates how Hinduism continues to have a strong hold on its adherents. 

    Hinduism has developed to accommodate the changing world, with all its problems, thanks to a spirit of accommodation and adaptation. 

    The goal of renaissance Hinduism, as well as other neo-Hindu groups and organizations, is to "serve mankind as service to god." Even in times of modernization, this concentration demonstrates its effectiveness. 

    The care provided to the elderly in nursing homes is highly regarded. 

    These locations are seen as useful areas for gracefully aging. 

    In this regard, the concept of gero-transcendence, which is implied in today's ashrama plan, plays a positive and essential role in Indian society. 

    As a result, despite new pressures arising from the present time of modernity and globalization, one can infer and emphatically say that care, healing, and well-being are not a thing of the past but still exist in the Hindu tradition.

    Kiran Atma

    References And Further Reading.

    Antoine, R. 1996a. "Hindu Ethics: 1. General Ethics." In Religious Hinduism, edited by R. DeSrnet and J. Neuner, pp. 149-158. Murnbai: St. Pauls. 

    Antoine, R. 1996b. "Rituals and Worship". In Religious Hinduism, edited by R. DeSrnet and J. Neuner, pp. 200-209. Murnbai: St. Pauls. 

    Antoine, R. 1996c. "The Hindu Saril.skaras." In Religious Hinduism, edited by R. DeSrnet and J. Neuner, pp. 210-219. Murnbai: St. Pauls. 

    Arulsamy, S. 2000. Religion for a New Society. Delhi: ISPCK. 

    Bowker, John. (ed.) 1997. The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

    Braam, Arjan W., et al. 2006. "Cosmic Transcendence and Framework of Meaning in Life: Patterns Among Older Adults in The Netherlands." The Journals of Gerontology- Series B 61 (3),pp. 121-128. DOl: 10.1093/geronb/61.3.Sl21. 

    Capistrant, B.D., et al. 2015. "Culture and Caregiving for Older Adults in India: A Qualitative Study," The Gerontologist 5(2), p.ll2. DOl: 10.1093/geront/gnv504.06. 

    Chaudhuri, Nirad C. 2012. Hinduism: A Religion to Live By [1st edition 1979]. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 

    Dandekar, R.N. 1996. ''The Role of Man in Hinduism." In The Religion of the Hindus, edited by Kenneth M organ [first published 19 53], pp. 11 7-153. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. 

    Dasgupta, Surendranath. 1975. A History of Indian Philosophy, Vol. II [Cambridge Edition 1922], Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. 

    Datta, Sukurnar. 2001. "Monasticisrn in India." In The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol. II, pp.582-593. Calcutta: The Rarnakrishna Mission Institute of Culture. 

    Devi, K.Urna. 2000. Women's Equality in India: A Myth or Reality? New Delhi: Discovering Publishing House. 

    Gautamananda, Swami. 2019. "Holistic Health." In Healthy Mind, Healthy Body: New Thoughts on Health [first published 1997] Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Math, pp. 1-8. 

    Gengnagel, Jorg and Ute Hiisken (eds.) 2005. Words and Deeds: Hindu and Buddhist Rituals in 

    SouthAsia. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. 

    Griffith R. T. ( ed.) 1899. The Texts of the White Y ajurveda. (accessed 13 Sept 2020). 

    Griswold, Harvey De Witt. 1996. Insights into Modern Hinduism. New Delhi: Aryan Books International. 

    Hall, C. Margaret. 1985. "Religion and Aging." Journal of Religion and Health 24(1 ), pp. 70-78. 

    Hinduscriptures. corn. 2021. "Hindu Samskaras." https://www.hinduscriptures.corn/vedic-culture/rituals/sixteen-sanskara/hindu-samskaras/11992/ (accessed 29 Sep 2021). 

    Ketchell, A., L. Pyles, and E. Canda. 2013. World Religious Views of Health and Healing."/o20Health%20and%20Healing.pdf (accessed 10 Nov 2020). 

    Kimble, Melvin A., et al. (eds.) 1995. Aging, Spirituality and Religion: A Handbook. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 

    Krishnan, Giri. 2020a. "Discovering the Dynamic Status ofWomen in Hindu Tradition: Re-reading of the Narratives of Hindu Women towards Gender Justice." UBS Journal (Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India) 14(1), pp. 53-70. 

    Krishnan, Giri. 2020b. "Viinaprastha-Sannyiisa Schemes of Life as Gerotranscendence: An Appraisal of a Hindu Perspective of Ageing." In Ageing: Perspectival Explorations Towards Theo-Gerontology, edited by Songram Basurnatary, pp. 125-139. Chennai: Gurukul Publication. 

    Lamb, Sarah. 2005. "Cultural and Moral Values Surrounding Care and (In)Dependence in Late Life: Reflections from India in an Era of Global Modernity." Care Management Journals 6(2), pp. 80-89. 

    Lamb, Sarah. 2007. "Lives Outside the Family: Gender and the Rise of Elderly Residences in India." International Journal of Sociology of the Family 33(1), pp. 43-61. 

    Lamb, Sarah. 2019. "Hinduism Teachings and Aging." In Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging, edited by D. Gu and M. Dupre. DO I: 1 0.1007/978-3-319-69892-2~144-1. 

    Lovato, Chris. 2019. "Well-Being and Spirituality." In Healthy Mind, Healthy Body: New Thoughts on Health [first published 1997], pp. 147-151. Chennai: Sri Rarnakrishna Math. 

    Menon, Usha. 2012. "Hinduism, Happiness and Wellbeing: A Case Study of Adulthood in an Oriya Hindu Temple Town." In Happiness Across Cultures: Views of Happiness and Quality of Life in Non-Western Cultures, edited by H. Selin and G. Davey, pp. 417-434. Dordrecht: Springer. Manuscript with differing pagination online at (accessed 25 Sep 2020), quoted from this online source. 

    Paluri, Wilson. 2020. "Familial and Community Care in Vrddhavastha: Socio-Religious Jarasastra from Classical Hinduism." In Ageing: P erspectival Explorations towards Theo-Gerontology, edited by S. Basurnatary, pp. 141-153. Chennai: Gurukul Publication. 

    Pandey, R.B. 2001. "The Hindu Sacraments (Sarhskaras)." In The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol. II, edited by S. Radhakrishnan [2nd edition 1962], pp. 390-413. Calcutta: Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture. 

    Pandya, Samta P. 2016. "Aging Spiritually: Pitamaha Sadans in India." Cogent Social Sciences 2(1 ). DO I: 10.1080/23311886.2016.1219212. 

    Pathshala. 2020. Overview of Hindu Healing Traditions. (accessed 10 Nov 2020). 

    Premsagar, P. Victor. 1994. "Vanaprasthasrama Dharrna: A Programme of Renewal and Religion as Realisation for Retired People." Bangalore Theological Forum 26(3&4), pp. 15-24. 

    Radhakrishnan, S. 2009. The Hindu View of Life [1st edition 1927]. Noida: Harper Collins Publishers. 

    Rajan, K. V. Soundara. 2001. Concise Classified Dictionary of Hinduism, Vol. I. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. 

    Roy, Mira. 1986. "Ayurveda." In The Cultural Heritage of India, Vol. VI: Science and Technology, edited by P. Ray and S.N. Sen, pp. 152-176. Calcutta: Rarnakrishna Mission Institute of Culture. 

    Sarrna, D. S. 1966. Renascent Hinduism. Murnbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. 

    Sarrna, D.S. 1996. "The Nature and History of Hinduism." In The Religion of the Hindus, edited by Kenneth Morgan [first published 1953], pp. 3-47. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. 

    Sarrna, D.S. 2000. Hinduism Through the Ages [1st edition 1956]. Murnbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. 

    Sharma, Arvind. 2002. The Hindu Tradition: Religious Beliefs and Healthcare Decisions. Illinois: The Park Ridge Center. 

    Sri Sathya 2021. "Sri Sathya Sai International Organization." 

    Tharoor, Shashi. 2018. Why I am a Hindu. New Delhi: Aleph Book Company. 

    Tilak, Shrinivas. 1989. Religion and Aging in the Indian Tradition. Albany: State University of New York Press. 

    Tiwari, S.C., and N.M. Pandey. 2013. "The Indian Concepts of Lifestyle and Mental Health in Old Age." Indian Journal of Psychiatry (January), pp. 288-292. 

    Valiathan, M.S. 2015. "Healing in the Ramakrishna Tradition." In Total Human Development in the Light ofRamakrishna-Vivekananda Tradition, pp. 109-116. Kolkata: Ramakrishna Institute of Culture. 

    Williams, Monier. 1976. A Dictionary English and Sanskrit [4th Indian edition 1899]. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. 

    Williams, Monier. 1994. Sanskrit-English Dictionary [new edition 1899]. Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. 

    WorldBookEncyclopedia. 1981. Vol. 21. Chicago: World Book, Inc. 

    Yogapedia Dictionary. 2020. "Svastha." (accessed 10 Nov 2020). 

    Hinduism - What Is Vata?


     Vata("air") is a Sanskrit word that means "to breathe." 

    One of the three humors (tridosha) in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system, together with pitta ("bile") and kapha ("phlegm").

    Every individual has all three humors, but one is generally dominant, and this distinguishes a person in certain ways, notably in terms of health, digestion, and metabolism.

    The element of air is associated with Vata, which is fast, light, and dry.

    Vata humored people are believed to have fast thoughts, light bodies, and a constant need to be doing something.

    At the same time, they lack substance and, if not handled carefully, may quickly degrade.

    ~Kiran Atma

    You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

    Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

    Hinduism - Who Was Sushruta?


    Sushruta (4th c.) is traditionally considered as the author of the Sushruta Samhita, he was a physician and writer.

    The Sushruta Samhita is one of two key sources for Ayurveda, an Indian medicinal tradition, along with the somewhat older Charaka Samhita.

    You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

    Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

    Hinduism - What Is The Sushruta Samhita?



    Sushruta Samhita is a Hindu scripture.

    One of the two key sources for the Indian medicinal tradition known as ayurveda, together with the somewhat older Charaka Samhita.

    The principle of the three body humors—vata (wind), pitta (bile), and kapha (blood)—underpins ayurveda (phlegm).

    Although everyone has all three humors, their variable quantities are used to explain differences in body types, metabolic dispositions, and personality traits.

    An imbalance of these humors is the cause of sickness, whether produced by environmental factors or personal behaviors, and the condition of this equilibrium is the state of health.

    The Sushruta Samhita has been edited and translated into other languages, and it has been used as a source for secondary research, such as Debiprasad Chatto padhyaya's Science and Society in Ancient India, published in 1977.

    You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

    Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

    Hinduism - What Is The Ida Nadi? Where Is The Ida Nadi located According To Yoga And Ayurveda?


    In ancient concepts of the subtle body, the Ida Nadi is one of the vertical channels (nadi).

    The subtle body is a physiological system that is said to exist on a distinct level of existence than the physical body, yet has certain similarities to it.

    It's shown as a series of six psychic centers (chakras) that run nearly parallel to the spine and are joined by three parallel vertical channels.

    Shiva (consciousness) and Shakti (power), the latter as the latent spiritual force known as kundalini, are located above and below these centers.

    The ida nadi is the left side of the body's vertical channel.

    The ida nadi, like the rest of the subtle body, has symbolic correspondences; in particular, it is associated with the moon and hence seems to be bright in hue. 

    You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

    Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

    What Does Sattva Mean In Yoga?

    Table Of Contents


    Sattva is one of the three gunas (natural characteristics) in yogic philosophy. 

    • It is the attribute of purity and tranquility
    • The other two gunas are tamas, which represents darkness and lethargy, and rajas, which represents energy and passion, and the aim is to balance these three characteristics as much as possible in your everyday life.

    There are many therapy regimens in Ayurveda. Rather of stressing about rajas and tamas, one strategy is to concentrate on increasing sattva. 

    • Another way to deal with the maha gunas is to balance excess tamas with a little amount of rajas, or to decrease excess rajas with a small amount of tamas.
    • You may begin to push prana (life energy) not just throughout your physical body but also into your mental body to produce a heightened level of awareness after you have balanced your outer koshas via diet, lifestyle changes, and a yoga practice.


    Unlike Mechanistic healing, the Holistic approach everything is interdependent and interrelated.

    The comprehensive system may seem complex, yet the method is quite reasonable. 

    • When we compare the human body to a machine, its processes seem to be extremely basic if we ignore awareness. 
    • Machines are simple to humans since they were created by humans and can be understood by them. 
    • Humans, on the other hand, are much more complex than any machine. 
    • Machines operate on orders and are not aware of their surroundings. 
    • Humans have a sense of judgment or intelligence (buddhi), and as a result, they have the ability to make their own decisions. 
    • In comparison to a computer network, this makes human-to-human contact very difficult. 

    It's impossible to utilize holistic medicine without also living a holistic way of life, and it's also impossible to live a holistic life in secret since it affects every area of your life. 

    • You can't disregard your job situation, personal connections, social conduct, or sexuality; if one of these is out of balance, it gradually impacts the others, setting off a chain of bad occurrences. 
    • The holistic approach rejects chance theory and stresses that everything occurs for a purpose. 
    • Chance, according to the mechanistic view of existence, has a significant influence in cosmic events and human life. 

    Many individuals who are influenced by this viewpoint have extremely fragmented lives. 

    • They are expected to do their duties in a machine-like manner, because after all, there is a widespread assumption that there is just a material world. 
    • As a result, the existence of the soul as the source of awareness is denied. 
    • This mechanical perspective of existence rejects the idea of a latent spiritual force that exists within all of us, that may be awakened via sattva (see also the previous chapter), and that can be utilized for good. 
    • Many diseases and illnesses are caused by a lack of inner quiet and serenity, as well as other associated sattvic characteristics. 

    Our lives are highly unbalanced and dominated by rajas and tamas, with little sattva. 

    • This is due to the imposition of the mechanistic perspective. 
    • We examined the six-dimensional equilibrium that humans should strive towards. 
    • Each of the six dimensions is linked, and an imbalance in one of them leads to an imbalance in the rest of one's life. 

    People are always "in a rush." Time is meticulously scheduled, often a year, two years, or even many years ahead of time. 

    I met a lady from Switzerland while on vacation on the island of Bali. 


    She expressed herself by saying,


    "People in Bali believe that we Europeans are extremely lucky and happy because we are wealthy. They have no idea that we work nonstop and will never be able to enjoy the easy life that they have on this island." 

    This is absolutely correct! 

    When I go from Bangalore to a Himalayan facility, I get the same feeling. 

    The people who dwell in the Himalayan mountains' interior live modest yet peaceful lives. 

    When I return to Bangalore, on the other hand, I observe the prevalent craziness caused by people's very "busy" and hectic lifestyles. 


    There is a significant degree of tamas in rajas-dominated lifestyles. 

    In today's world, there is a lot of competition. When it comes to employment, people aren't always honest. This has an impact on everyone of us. 

    • To persuade someone to purchase a thing, a salesman, for example, must use misleading reasoning. 
    • To promote its anti-health, anti-environment goods, big business tells a lot of falsehoods. 
    • A farmer pollutes the environment with pesticides, while industrial pollutants contaminate our drinking water. 

    There are many rajas and tamas in life. There isn't enough sattva. 

    In the true sense, there is no quiet or serenity. People are too busy, even during their vacations, which are once again controlled by the rajas. 

    • Rajas spend the most of their free time on a daily basis. 
    • In general, watching television is rajas and tamas, and if done for an extended period of time, it may disrupt vata and kapha. 

    People continue to follow a daily pattern dominated by rajas and tamas, with rajas-dominated leisure time. 

    • Rajas rule throughout the day while tamas rule at night. 
    • They enter a tamas state of mind throughout the night since sleep is tamas.
    • Their sleep, however, is mixed with rajas owing to the frenetic activities of the day. 
    • The following day starts, and they are once again in a condition of rajas and tamas. 
    • Life continues in this manner until some of them are unable to bear it any longer. 
    • Some people slip into a predominating tamas condition after a lengthy time of hyperrajas. 
    • As a result, people get sad or succumb to another severe illness. 


    It is critical that we better arrange our lives and intermix our activities during the day and sleep at night with sattva in order to achieve equilibrium. 

    We will be able to work with a peaceful mind, feel relaxed, and be able to endure pressure at work if we can bring a balance with sattva in the rajas and tamas elements of our life. 

    • Stress or strain produced at work will not damage our health if we are able to take energy from the infinite source (the soul) via sattvic techniques. 
    • Similarly, if we can obtain sattvic sleep with our efforts, we would be revitalized, waking up invigorated after a good night's sleep. 
    • Sattva is beneficial for lifespan, health, and increased productivity. 

    You can do more in less time if you train your mind to achieve inner calm. 

    • In addition, sattva is necessary for maintaining balance in the three mental processes, since without it, we eventually develop a humor imbalance. 
    • Let's wait and see what occurs. Excessive rajas leads to vata imbalance over time. 
    • It also causes sleep disruptions, which is a vata-related activity. 

    Excessive rajas, or too much activity during the day, should be balanced by serenity and tranquility at the mental level; if this is not done, unrest will be carried to sleep time. 

    • This implies that the day's disruptions, stress, and confusion must be brought to a halt with deliberate effort. 
    • Otherwise, you fall asleep because your body is weary, but your mind is not at ease. 
    • You may also be unable to sleep if the nature of your job does not physically exhaust you. 
    • If you have a vata constitution, not getting enough sleep may lead to constipation the following day. 
    • Constipation can deplete vata even more, and you may feel weary and stiff the next day when you wake up. 
    • You may also have a dry throat and be restless at night. 

    As a result, an imbalance in one of the six main components responsible for body/mind activity and mental characteristics sets in motion a chain of events. 

    • Vata is the most readily decreased humor of our day, owing to the preponderance of rajas in our contemporary manner of life. 
    • We live in a vata society, as I frequently remark. 
    • We may keep our humor from being vitiated and avoid health issues by incorporating sattva into our everyday life. 

    Thus, we must strive to better incorporate the sattvic style of life.

    You may also want to read more about Ayurveda here.

    You may also want to read more about Kundalini Yoga here.

    You may also want to read more about Yoga here.

    You may also want to read more about Yoga Asanas and Exercises here.

    You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

    Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.