Showing posts with label Hindu Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hindu Culture. Show all posts

Human Well-Being From A Hindu Perspective: Care, Healing, And Wellness





     

    It is reasonable to conclude that religion and spirituality in general contribute to human life fulfillment and pleasure in all civilizations. 


    Due to the increasing complexity of everyday life, providing care for persons' physical and mental needs has become a growing problem. 

    Indeed, life has become a source of worry, bringing significant challenges to religious thought and spirituality. 

    As a result, care and human well-being are prioritized in modern India, particularly among Hindu civilizations. 



    Hinduism, the world's third biggest religion, is very important to the people of India. It is considered "a way of life" (Chaudhuri 2012: 28). 


    As a result, it's critical to look at how Hindus see care, healing, and human well-being, as well as what their practice includes among their followers in India. 

    The current research begins with an overview of Hinduism as India's major religion. 

    It is descriptive and attempts to elucidate the notions of care, healing, and well-being within Hindu thinking's cultural and religious traditions. 

    The relationship between Hindu thought and how it is operationalized in its rites of passage (also known as "Hindu sacraments"), "goals for meaningful human life," and "five great sacrifices" will be a particular emphasis. 



    Finally, the article discusses care, healing, and well-being in the modern day, with a focus on renascent Hinduism and its ideas on gods and goddesses as its source. 


    Ayurveda as a Hindu science of medicine for holistic well-being, yoga as a path for mental well-being, and asrama-dharma as care and well-being for the elderly within the domain of gem-transcendence will all be discussed to further investigate modern Hinduism's viewpoints. 




    India's primary religion is Hinduism. 




    Hinduism is the most widely practiced religion in India, the world's seventh biggest nation (3.3 million square kilometres). 


    India, which is expected to have a population of 1.42 billion people by 2023, is noted for its religious variety and cultural diversity. 

    Aside from Hinduism, India is home to Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and a number of other ancient religious traditions. 

    In addition, India is home to a diverse range of faiths, including Semitic religions. 

    According to the 2011 census, Hinduism is followed by 79.8% of the Indian population, 14.2% Islam, 2.3 percent Christianity, 1.72 percent Sikhism, 0.7 percent Buddhism, 0.37 percent Jainism, and 0.66 percent Zoroastrianism. 



    Despite the diversity of religious connections among Indians, the Hindu religious heritage plays a critical part in the country's spiritual, cultural, and social makeup. 


    In terms of Hinduism's texts, deities, and belief systems, the concept of 'unity amid variety' (Sarma 1996: 13-27) may be distinctively recognized. 

    The word 'Hinduism' does not refer to a single, closed religion tradition, but rather to a wide range of faiths, beliefs, doctrines, rituals, and practices linked with a variety of gods, goddesses, and cults found on the Indian subcontinent. 

    Although the name Hinduism refers to a specific religious tradition with a history that spans many centuries, its spiritual foundations date back almost four millennia. 

    Hinduism is considered by its supporters to be a sanatana dharma, or "everlasting religion," since it is founded on the eternal truth enshrined in the Vedas (the primary Hindu scriptures). 




    Hinduism, being one of the world's oldest alive religions, does not honor a single sage or prophet as its creator, nor does it claim a single central authority for its existence. 

    It is, in reality, based on an open canon. 

    It remains an all-encompassing, all-encompassing, and inevitably ever-evolving spiritual tradition in this way. 

    According to Shashi Tharoor (2018: 39), "Hinduism is a characteristically Indian development, a type of 'banyan tree,' as a consequence of its openness and variety. 

    Its branches spread far and wide, sinking back into the ground to take new root in the inviting soil." 

    One of its defining characteristics is the domination of a type of 'religious awareness.' 

    This centripetal perception leads to the domination of a very distinct religious point of view and spiritual sensitivity to all matters of life among Hindu believers (Griswold 1996: 24-26). 

    As expressed in Hindu scriptures, traditional thought, and culture, this complete worldview incorporates a spiritual perspective of care, healing, and human well-being. 



    Hindu themes of care, healing, and well-being are discussed in this paradigmatic context. 




    The themes of caring, healing, and well-being are implicitly ingrained throughout Hindu thought. 



    In Sanskrit (the Hindu tradition's holy language), the term 'care' has many distinct definitions: 


    Raksa Means to guard, look after, save, preserve, or keep away from. 


    Pala(-na) Means to keep an eye on, guard, defend, or govern. 


    Chinta = to consider a thought via contemplation and introspection,  (Williams 1994; 1976). 



    Raksha Bandhan, a prominent Hindu event, is strongly linked to the pledge of care and the safety of the family. 


    • The sisters tie the rakhi, a kind of amulet, around their brothers' wrists as part of the festival's ceremonial to protect them from negative influences and to pray for their long life and happiness. 
    • The sisters are given a gift at this event. 
    • The ceremony's origins may be traced back to a Hindu folklore in which Draupadi tore a piece of her saree and wrapped it to Krishna's wrist, injuring him accidently. 
    • Its purpose was to halt or prevent bleeding. 
    • As a result, a link was formed between them. 
    • Krishna vowed to safeguard Draupadi in exchange. 



    Furthermore, the Raksha Bandhan celebration serves as an annual ritual. 



    It historically authorized the brothers to take duty for the care of their sisters in order to keep them from being harmed, and it signifies protection and caring among siblings. 


    Sama = balanced; when anything in its original healthy nature is injured, it should be balanced, according to Sanskrit. 


    Svastha is the Sanskrit word for "health" or "being in one's natural condition." • Santhi is a Sanskrit word that means "rest," "quiet," "peace," "tranquility," "bliss," and "comfort" (Williams 1994). 

      • The word svastha in Ayurveda refers to a person's overall health. 
      • It typically refers to a "state of being in which one's body, mind, spirit, and senses are all in happy harmony" (Yogapedia Dictionary 2020). 
      • As a result, health is defined as the physical well-being of a person, as well as mental, emotional, spiritual, and energetic inclinations. 
      • As a result, healing is defined as the comprehensive restoration of health. 
      • Despite this holistic approach, doctors' cures for illnesses are different from the spiritual part of healing. 



    Svasti is a Sanskrit term that means 'well-being.' It might also mean 'benefit.' Well-being refers to a sense of fulfillment and happiness in life, as well as an inner sense of harmony with our surroundings. 



    Meditation, according to Hindu belief, leads to an inner feeling of serenity and tranquility. 


    • It promotes a sense of well-being that is rooted deep inside oneself (Lovato 2019). 
    • Hindus are taught to consider well-being, a feeling of pleasure with life, as vital to a sense of purposefulness, rather than the pursuit of artificial kinds of enjoyment (Menon 2012: 2; 4). 
    • Holi, a full-moon Hindu celebration in which married women celebrate their happiness and the well-being of all family members, is an example of this. 



    Yoga is another aspect of the Hindu tradition's concept of well-being. 


    • It is said to provide people with a feeling of well-being, encouraging a sense of being 'whole.'

     


    Sources and practices of conceptualization in Hindu thought. 


    The Hindu scriptures and Indian cultural traditions both include notions of care, healing, and well-being. 


    Hinduism is blessed with various texts as one of the world's oldest existing faiths. 

    The benefit is that they all have a canon that is open-ended. 

    There are four Vedas, as well as Sutras, Epics, Codes of Law, and Sacred History, among other sources. 



    Philosophical Manuals and Sectarian Scriptures are also included with the Vedas. 



    In addition to many other literature that Hindu devotees religiously study, all of them are deemed to have either main or secondary scriptural value. 


    Vedangas, or Sutra literature, is taken straight from the Vedas and contains many of Hinduism's theological principles. 

    In Hindu religious thought, the concepts and practices of caring, healing, and well-being are implied in the Grhya and Dharma Sutras

    The former is concerned with household rituals, whereas the latter is concerned with socioreligious rules. 

    Many other Hindu beliefs and practices, such as samskaras, purushartha, paru;amahayajna, and varnaasramadharma, are intertwined with its different elements. 

     



    Hindu rites of passage: the practice of samskaras. 



    Meaningful life and dying via Hindu rites of passage: the practice of samskaras. 



    The Hindu sacraments, or rites of passage, are known as samskaras (Pandey 2001; Antoine 1996c) and span one's whole life span as well as the world beyond (transcendent dimension), starting with prenatal rituals and ending with post-mortem existence. 

    • According to ancient scholars, three key prenatal rituals lay the way for care to be offered to pregnant women and the unborn child in order to assure health and protection against evil. 
    • Early childhood or infancy samskaras are for the child's intellectual well-being, longevity, safety, and even adornment. 
    • With basic and secondary education, educational samskaras secure an individual's profession outside of the family, preparing them for active citizenship obligations. 
    • The marriage (vivaha) ceremony is the most important sacrament, through which a person fulfills socio-religious and family duties. 
    • The penultimate sacrament, the funeral ritual (antyeshthi), takes into account the needs of both the dead and the living. 
      • This ceremony expresses 'sublime feelings' that make death pleasant for the one who dies, as well as for the society to accept death and dying as an unavoidable occurrence. 



    A person's life is made up of a succession of events. 


    • In this way, the sacraments offer people in society with the care and protection they need. 
    • These sacraments are intended to mold one's personality and connect our humanity to religious significance. 
    • As a result, the concept of life passages was born. 
    • Their purpose is to aid in the expression of pleasure and grief. 
    • The sacraments support an individual's well-being in this manner. 



    Simultaneously, they contribute to an individual's growth as a "full-fledged social person" (Dandekar 1996: 142). 




    As a result, the Samskaras provide a complete vision of what constitutes a healthy life and personal well-being in Hindu traditional culture. 

    All of these rites of passage are described and formulated in the Grhya Sutras, which defines and formulates household or domestic rituals, which were historically performed at home and in which priests had a little part. 



    The relevance of these family ceremonies is eroding as a result of modernization of schooling and changing societal attitudes. 


    Even the practice of samskaras has become fragmented and has lost its uniting effect. 

    However, some of the customs are still followed, such as the singing of Vedic hymns and the offering of ceremonial fire during official ceremonies, as well as at private occasions when no religious person is present (Gengnagel and Husken eds. 2005). 




    In reality, only the most devout Hindu households still follow these samskaras to the letter. 


    Fortunately, despite secularization, most Hindus in modern society are still eager to participate in a number of these samskaras, such as the naming ceremony, the first feeding of the infant, initiation into education, marriage, and burial customs. 

    These rituals are often carried out with the assistance of a priest, albeit not always at the temple. 


    Well-being in the context of the individual-society interaction: Promoting 'Human Life Goals' (Purushartha). 

     



     The four ideals of purushartha (literally: 'goal' or 'end' of man/human [Antoine 1996a: 155156]), dharma, artha, kama, and moksha form a four-fold network about what life is about and its relationship to the universal human desire for meaning and purpose. 


    Dharma as a life aim encourages people to be virtuous, righteous, and morally and ethically responsible in all aspects of life. 

    • The quest of money and success is the theme of ArthaIt is the source of human life and existence. 

    Kama is a Sanskrit word that means "pleasure" or "enjoyment of life." It denotes the method of procreation and, as a result, humanity's survival. Both artha and kama, or money and pleasure, must be consistent with dharma. 

    Moksha is the Hindu term for emancipation, which is the ultimate purpose of existence. 


    A person who acquires money (artha) and enjoys and fulfills life's wants (kama) via virtuous and righteous ways (dharma) would, in theory, achieve nirvana (moksha). 


    These four life objectives are traditionally taught at the student/learning stage of life (brahmachari) and implemented in the householder stage ( Grhastha )  Purushartha is made up of all of these life objectives. 


    In this way, they establish a set of life objectives that must be met in order to live a meaningful life. 

    Life would be blank and pointless without these objectives. 

    As a result, the purushartha dharma defines an individual's well-being in society and fosters wholeness in the public arena of life, resulting in a healthy society. 



     

    Affectionate treatment of family members, other people, and other living things: The Great Five Sacrifices Or Yajnas (Panchamahayajnas). 


    Every day, a homeowner is obligated to do the five-fold mandatory sacrifices, or duties: 


    (a) Brahma Yajna, homage to Brahman, is performed by reading scripture; 

    (b) Pitr Yajna, homage to the ancestors, is performed by offering water; 

    (c) Deva Yajna, homage to the gods, is performed by offering homa sacrifices

    (d) Bhuta Yajna, homage to elements or other beings, is performed by feeding animals and birds; and 

    (e) Manusya Yajna (Antoine 1996b: 203). 


    Both Bhuta Yajna and Manu-D-'a Yajna are closely tied to an individual's obligation as a caretaker to fellow human beings, animals, and other species; failing to do so implies failing to do one's major daily required task, which may destroy the prospect of liberation, or moksha (the ultimate goal of life). 

    Pitra Yajna, according to Wilson Paluri (2020), is the 'reverential connection' with parents and elders, which is particularly important for the 'well-being' of family life. 


    In the Hindu family structure, caring for parents and the elderly is both a virtue and an obligation. 


    In Hindu tradition, "may mother be god to you, may father be god to you..., may visitors be god to you"10 is the ultimate state of being. 

    Bhuta Yajna, or the offering of food to all creatures, decreases egomaniacal tendencies in humans and cultivates the practice of giving one's assets for the benefit of all sentient beings in need (Dandekar 1996: 139). 

    Hindu traditional societies reflect these mahayajnas. 

    They place a premium on caring for parents and seniors, respecting visitors, offering hospitality to everyone, and defining the pursuit of human well-being. 


    Troublesome Issues to Consider 




    Without mentioning its limits, a discussion of care, healing, and well-being in Hindu thinking and traditional practices would be insufficient. 

    The majority of traditional customs are geared at men and the upper caste. 

    Many people from the disenfranchised, so-called lower caste populations, have been denied access to Vedic traditions because they had to settle for a 'lower religion.' Early Vedic religion is supposed to be simple yet deep, promoting society and gender equality. 

    It has generated hierarchical structures and inequalities throughout its history in order to serve the entrenched interests of rich groups. 

    The most exploited victims of such a discriminatory practice are women and members of indigenous groups (Tribals, adivasis, Dalits) (Devi 2000: 15). 

    Although the dynamic position of people from disadvantaged groups and women in general can be traced throughout Hindu history, the society adopted hierarchical and patriarchal structures (Krishnan 2020a). 

    Current Hindu cultures, on the other hand, are not static, but are subject to social development, which has an impact on the dynamic position of women and indigenous people in religion and society.



    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. https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/wyv/index.htrn (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. http://spiritualdiversity.ku.edu/sites/spiritualitydiversity.drupal.ku.edulfiles/docs/Health/World%20Religious%20Views%20of"/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 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279409932 (accessed 25 Sep 2020), quoted from this online source. 

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    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.



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      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. 

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      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. 

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