Vyadhi (Diseases) and Sanatan Nidaan (Treatments of Sanatan Culture)
It is well established that stress weakens our immune system. Scientific research in recent times has shown that the physiological, psychological, and biochemical effects of Yoga are of an anti-stress nature. Mechanisms postulated included the restoration of autonomic balance as well as an improvement in restorative, regenerative, and rehabilitative capacities of the individual. A healthy inner sense of well being produced by a life of Yoga percolates down through the different levels of our existence from the higher to the lower producing health and wellbeing of a holistic nature. Indian yoga therapy treats people with an integrated approach to understand the various types of diseases we suffer from Upanishad explains the concept of koshas the five layers of existence. To understand the concept of Vyadhi from a yogic point of view it is necessary to understand that insanity or loss of mental equipoise is the result of a dysfunctional relationship between the mind and body. Yogis have realized for thousands of years that consciousness operating freely without the irrational attachment to the objects of the senses will produce a mind that is healthy and filled with ‘Anandam’, or cosmic. In the same way, the body by itself when left to follow its own path without the corrupting influence of the mind will follow the life-sustaining rules of its own intelligence and maintain vibrant good health. In Anandamaya Kosha, a man is healthiest with perfect harmony and balance of all his faculties. At Vijnanamaya Kosha, there are movements but are channelized in the right direction. As such, it is in the Manomaya kosha, the imbalances start, says the yoga texts. These imbalances amplify themselves resulting in mental illnesses called ” Adhis “. At this stage, there are no symptoms at the physical level. Prompted by the perpetual growth of desires, these mental diseases concealed in us, begin to manifest themselves externally, and gradually they percolate into the physical frame through the Pranamaya kosha imbalance. A preponderance of Ajnana (ignorance about one´s real state of bliss) leads one perform wrong actions such as eating of unwholesome food, living in unhealthy dwellings, doing things at untimely hours, association with the wicked, evil thoughts, etc., these breed physical diseases called Adhija Vyadhis or secondary diseases. The Adhis (primary diseases) are two-fold Samanya (ordinary)and Sara (essential). The former includes the diseases incidental to the body while the latter is responsible for rebirth to which all men are subject. The Samanya are normally produced during the interactions with the world. These may be termed as psychosomatic ailments. When dealt with by suitable techniques and congenial atmosphere, Adhis of the ordinary type will vanish. Along with it are destroyed the physical ailments i.e., the vyadhis caused by these Adhis – Adhijah Vyadhayah.The subtler adhis of the essential type (Sara) which causes the birth of the physical body can be destroyed only by the realization of the causal states of mind and a corresponding ability to live in Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas. In that state, man transcends the cycles of birth and death sometimes they arise together, sometimes they cause each other, and sometimes they follow each other. The physical malady is known as Vyadhi, and psychic disturbance caused by psychological conditioning (neuroses) is known as AdhiBoth these are rooted in ignorance and wickedness. They end when self-knowledge or knowledge of truth is attained. Ignorance gives rise to the absence of self-control, and one is constantly assailed by likes and dislikes, and by thoughts like ´I have gained this, I have yet to gain that´.All this intensifies delusion; all these give rise to psychic disturbances. Physical ailments are caused by ignorance, and its concomitant, total absence of mental restraint, which leads to improper eating and living habits. Other causes are untimely and irregular activities, unhealthy habits, evil company, wicked thoughts. They are also caused by the weakening of the nadis, or by their being cluttered or clogged up, thus preventing the free flow of life-force. Lastly, they are caused by an unhealthy environment. Yoga helps train our whole process of thinking thus creating the right attitudes for evolutionary growth, every moment of our life. The Yogic concept of health and disease enables us to understand that the cause of physical disorders stems from the seed in the mind and beyond. By paying careful attention to personal history, one can nearly always trace the origins of psychosomatic disease back to patterns of mental and emotional pressures.