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Healthy living in Dharmic way with Bhakti, Yoga and Ayurveda

Vedacharya Dr. David Frawley   (Pandit  Vamadeva Shastri)

Vedacharya Dr. David Frawley
(Pandit Vamadeva Shastri)

True health is not just a matter of mere freedom from disease or absence of pain. It means total wellness or the full harmonious functioning of all of our faculties, manifesting our highest potential in life. This is not just a matter of taking the right medications or receiving the best medical therapies. It requires following a life-style that allows our higher energy and vitality to develop, and one rooted in a deeper awareness that brings the healing power of consciousness into all that we do.

Right living is not just about the quantity of one’s wealth or possessions. It is about the quality of one’s life. This quality of life is best measured by how we feel inside ourselves, particularly the degree of peace, inspiration, and higher awareness that we have. If we possess that inner wealth, then outer health and abundance will not likely be far away.

Right living implies Dharma or understanding the natural and spiritual laws that govern both our souls and the universe as a whole. We cannot be happy with a life out of harmony with nature, or a life in which our own deeper Self is not expressed.

Vedic knowledge provides us with a number of knowledge systems that aid us in right or dharmic living, true health, and optimal well-being. In fact the purpose of the Vedas, as is the whole of Hinduism, is to teach Dharma for the benefit of all beings and for the removal of all suffering. Hinduism has many Dharma Shastras that teach the importance of Dharma, as well as books on Karma Yoga that teach us the right actions to follow in life. Dharmic action leads us by degree to the supreme goal of Moksha, liberation, Self-realization, and the release from all sorrow.

Bhakti or devotion implies that we respect the sacred nature of all life and recognize the Divine presence in all creatures and in the entire universe.  We must learn to see our chosen form of divinity, or whatever we most revere in life, as dwelling in all creatures. True well-being arises from our contact with the sacred powers of life. Bhakti is our means of partaking of that. Bhakti employs mantra, chanting, ritual, and meditation to add more meaning and beauty to our life activities.

Yoga, which means unity, implies that we take an integral approach to life, bringing unity and harmony into all aspects of our own nature and our outer relationships as well. Yoga is not just a matter of performing asanas but of breathing with the universal life, speaking with the Divine Word, and meditating with the Divine Mind. Yoga in this sense is the highest action that we as human beings can do.

Ayurveda means health that is rooted in the wisdom of life itself, which is the wisdom of eternity. It requires that we open ourselves to the universal Prana or the greater life-force of nature that is the source of all true and lasting healing. We can discover that higher prana in natural foods and special healing herbs and preparations that Ayurveda has in great abundance. Ayurveda provides us with important clinical detoxification measures of Pancha Karma to help us remove any disease-causing factors within us. Then it brings us special methods of rejuvenation or Rasayana to help us bring in higher positive energies and a deeper vitality.

Ayurveda is the medicine of Yoga that brings us back into harmony with the whole of life. Yoga naturally leads us to devotion, not as a mere outer emotion, but as a living connection with the love and bliss that pervades the greater universe of consciousness. The Vedic systems of knowledge fit together and help us play our role in the cosmic order, bringing a greater consciousness into the world. It is important that we study and propagate these systems for the benefit of the entire world.

By Pandit Vamadeva Shastri


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