Living the Ayurveda Life-- by Block 1 Batch 16 Students

Submitted as assignments by Block 1 Batch 16 Students

Submission 1 - Ayurveda is a symphony orchestra that has a well developed and directed musical score. Purusha is the concert hall, it houses the orchestra pit, chairs, musicians, audience and empty space which fills with sound as the music begins. Prakruti is the conductor who has vast knowledge, creativity and potential. As the orchestra warms and tunes, the first chair or principle violinist acts as Mahad. The first notes we hear the ones that guide the orchestra into creation. The Ahamkara begins as the conductor, the “I Am” of the orchestra. We hear the strings, horns and percussion all melodious, the beautiful harmony manifesting from segments (gunas; Sattva, Raja, Tamas). Each musician, (the five senses and faculties) following their own heart, leading with their passion (their own instrument), guided by the conductor in the great hall of Purusha. The health of the performance depends on this balance.

When one performer acts inharmoniously, the health of the whole is compromised. A self absorbed act of an individual creates negative, individual karma and if this continues to happen or happens by more than one individual, the health of the orchestra suffers. Illness, out of tune, will happen and the harmony of the whole begins to deteriorate. Sour notes (Kleshas), throwing other parts of the orchestra off key or out of rhythm (Adibhautika) distresses the natural harmony present in performers and audience (Adhidaivika). The karma created here will inhibit the life prana of the orchestra and future performances are compromised. Ayurveda, as a holistic balanced entity, creates it’s music, from the health of the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental selfless actions of the individual. Selfish actions of the ego will cause imbalance, create unnecessary negative karmic accumulation and disease from this place is deeper and more difficult to overcome.

Submission 2 - Ayurveda is translated as life knowledge. To me, the most important concept to promote health and well being is all about being aware of your body and what is going on internally and externally. The different Ayus relate to living in harmony with nature and with yourself and are classified according to how in tune you are with your body, soul, mind, and feelings. If you are able to live in peace, feeling good, you will naturally cultivate a better sense of being and feel better all around. If you live the purest life you can, with honesty, with good deeds, with happiness, you will naturally live well. When you begin to feel heavy, weighted down, negative and sad, the body physically picks up on these emotions and becomes out of balance with it’s true nature. By being able to cultivate peace within and peace with the self you are able to naturally stay content and with peace in the body and the mind. Disease begins to form once the body becomes too out of balance and those other emotions get too stuck or strong. The vedas refer to types of disease that can manifest and lead to more illness. It’s important to stay connected to how you feel since we are all spiritual beings. When we are able to uplift ourselves in the way we act, eat, and treat our body, we are able to find more harmony within and feel good. The more connection and awareness you are able to harness the more in tune with your health you are able to become. Disease happens when we loose touch with one of the levels of our being. We need to cultivate more of a lifestyle with good spiritual deeds and karma, and continue to check in with how our body and our mind together are processing life.

Submission 3 - When we live outside of harmony with nature and our constitutional makeup, Ayurveda teaches us that we are susceptible to disease. If we abuse our senses in any way, the body may weaken, opening the door to illness and and dysfunction. Because we are multidimensional, each aspect of our being affects the other. We can create the state of our health by the ways we choose to live our lives.

For example, eating a diet of inert, junk food will dull the mind, affect the senses and shift one into a tamasic state. This can affect the mood, possibly causing lethargy and depression and further physical health repercussions.
By being too intellectual or self-absorbed, one can get cut off from their physical and emotion aspects and not fully develop the soul, which can affect the mind-body connection.
A high-pressure job or intense relationship can cause an overload of chronic stress that is very dangerous for every aspect of being and is an invitation for poor health and vitality.

Finally, our deeds directly contribute to health. The ways we treat others and how we treat the earth can either create good or bad karmic repercussions. Following the Law of Cause and Effect is crucial for total health.

If disharmony is what causes disease according to Ayurveda, then reestablishing harmony within our elemental makeup and cultivating ojas is our medicine. Generally speaking, we are not victims of poor health, but instead are creators of the state of our health. When we realize that we can actively participate in both prevention and cure, then we are empowered to make the wisest choices for our overall being.

Submission 4 -Based on the description above, Ayurveda has a perspective on disease that encompasses all aspects of a person’s life. This does not only include the physical, but also the soul, mind, energy, and intellect.

Ayurveda believes that leading a harmonious, virtuous life is necessary for freedom from disease. Living selfishly or ignorantly leads to negative accumulation in one’s life and body, and eventually leads to disease. However, a balanced life, which lives harmoniously with the nature and others, will keep the individual free from disease accumulation. Therefore, disease treatment and prevention calls for not only physical intervention, but continual evolution of one’s mind, soul, energy, and intellect.

Disease can also be inflicted on someone due to the imbalance of the world itself, from seasons or natural events, other animals or humans, for instance. Disease will be affected by the cycles of nature, and so treatment will change during different seasons. This is another example of how disease results from an interplay of nature and the individual. One must recognize and respect her connection to nature in order to maintain health.

Submission 5 The passage in assignment two outlines the four types of Ayus as written in the Ayurvedic texts. Each Ayu describes a type of relationship that an individual may have with their surrounding environment. For example, someone who is hit-ayu lives their life “in harmony with nature”, whereas someone who is dukh-ayu lives their life “harming the balance of nature, environment and other entities”.

In Ayurveda, it is believed that a “good” balance between an individual and their environment is necessary for good health. This passage describes the remote contribution of karma towards a person’s health on five distinct levels – physical body, the soul, energetic level, the mind, and the intellect.

A person who practices good karmic deeds will be rewarded with good health. Thus someone who is hit-ayu will accumulate good karma and be physically, energetically, intellectually, and mentally healthy with a good soul. On the opposite side of the equation, a dukh-ayu person who lives their life accumulating negative karma will experience disease and suffering.

For example, the physical body can deteriorate, the energetic level may deplete, the mind may become misguided, the soul is lost and the intellect is unfocused.
Thus, Ayurveda believes that the cause of disease and suffering in people is a result of living in opposition or out of balance to your environment.