The need for spiritual health


At a State level Health Conclave a very senior doctor of the Country (Prof Dr Akshya Bisoi of AIIMS, New Delhi who is also the President of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar) lamented that the spiritual tradition of India has been ignored in the quest for health. He said spirituality is the core of health. Why did he say that? How does spirituality matter for health?

Are we just a body? We are a body. We also have a mind and emotions. But above all we are the spirit. How do we know?

There is a simple way to find out. Right now that you are alive, you can be lifted comparatively easy. But a dead body seems heavier. All have experienced this. It is the spirit that was carrying the body. Once it is gone the body is dead weight. Essentially we are the spirit that is carrying the load of the world.

How does the spirit ensure health?

The spirit is potential energy. In it is contained the seed of the world. Indian scriptures describe creation as the separation of the kinetic energy from the potential energy. At first there was nothing; Then emerged the Golden Womb or the Hiranyagarbha. That Golden Womb (potential energy) gave birth to the world (kinetic energy).

The world is created, maintained, and destroyed. But in seed form it is ever present in the Golden Womb from where it emerges, by which it is maintained, and into which it recedes again.

The potential energy is called Brahman. It is present everywhere just like salt is present in the ocean. It maintains the world.

Spiritual practices, religious rituals, and mental attitudes seek to tap this potential energy which contains the potential to heal. This energy has a personality which the Vaishnav's call Krishna. They say if we can keep Krishna (Vishnu Avatar - the nurturing force) happy the world will be happy and well nurtured. They do this through prayers, chanting, kirtan, and devotional service in their heart.

Brahman (ordinarily called God) can be both with form and without form. When he takes a form we call him an Avatar. It is mentioned in the scriptures that when the Avatar appears in the Vishnu form the world is replenished. The Sages can sense that such an Avatar has appeared when they observe nature in full bloom and unexpected energy and happiness in all living being. It is like the energy of the earth receives a boost.

How do we use spirituality to ensure health? We nurture the energy within us. We tap the energy that is beyond body and mind.

We ensure energy by ensuring purity of body and mind. When this is achieved we are aligned with the ever present energy which then freely flows within us. We tap the energy by meditating. In meditation we go beyond the mind and thoughts to rest in the spirit. It renews us. Do we not feel refreshed after sleep? It is almost the same thing but we do it consciously and by staying aware. The benefits are greater.

The energy of the body is derived from the Sun. The solar energy is captured by plants and we eat those plants. The mitochondria of the body process and release the solar energy so the body can function.

There is an intricate energy channel in the body. The dynamo of that energy is in the spine. We also have an aura which extends much beyond the body. The Avatars have auras that extend thousands of kilometers. Those who come within that aura experience changes in the body.

We have forgotten this wisdom and become trapped in the body. Even as we are alive the body has become a dead weight. This is the cause of our misery. The elements that constitute us need their full energy potential to uplift us. When that energy is depleted or distorted it pulls us down and we experience the negativity that makes our lives miserable.

What do we do now? We need to turn towards the ubiquitous energy and request it to set things right. It is said that when the earth becomes overpopulated and the misguided population turn destructive the earth assumes the form of a cow to approach Vishnu and plead for help. When that happens Vishnu emerges into the world as a Shiva Avatar. The Shiva Avatar appears as a destructive force to destroy the dead weight and sets right the currents that maintain the world.

That action of the Shiva Avatar results in destruction. The destruction becomes the avenue for another cycle of civilization.

Is destruction inevitable? The human being is Brahman. If at that level there is awareness and right action, the creation proceeds smoothly. The destruction is staved off.

That awareness and right action requires the shedding of the ego and the dead weight of worldly knowledge. It requires humility and surrender to the higher power. However these are the qualities that we lack in today's world.

Spiritual healing is not easy. It depends upon grace. However that grace, it is said, is always there. When we pray or otherwise call on that grace, it always responds. A spiritual personality who was present in this world for a short time had told us, “The spiritual world has a similar set up as is prevalent in the world. There is a President and a governance structure under him. When you call for help from the President, the solution is transferred to a locality near you. Then it reaches the spiritual entity that is assigned the task of looking after you. It is duty of that entity to transfer it to you.”

No prayer goes unanswered, it is said. The answer may not directly manifest, but it may set right the conditions or work towards removing the challenges. It can create an environment and send help that will ultimately solve the problem. All of this requires faith. Faith gives us patience and positivity.