Ayurme pahi pranam me pahyapanam me pahi vyanam me pahi caksurme pahi srotram me pahi vacam me pinva mano me jinvatmanam me pahi jyotirme yacca.
- Yajurveda 14/17
O God! May you protect my life-span. May you protect my prana, apana and vyana life currents. May you protect my eyes and ears. May you enrich my voice and make my mind contented. May you protect my soul and bestow light on me.
Good health is the pivot of jivana sadhana. Any kind of progress - temporal or spiritual – is conditional on vibrant health. Money, fame, power, knowledge and even tapa
– all depend on it. But inspite of this being a common knowledge, most of the people are casual about it, albeit with varying excuses and justifications. Some are too busy to care for health, while some lay the blame on circumstances. What is surprising is that even the spiritual seekers are often found negligent about their health in the name of tapa.
In reality, the root cause of neglecting health is the lack of a holistic vision of life. Most of the people are in such a tearing hurry to ‘arrive’ or get more and more that they do not have time to pause and think about their bodily well-being. By the time they come to their senses, it is too late and they are trapped in the vicious cycle of diseases. Their vitality has ebbed and they are reduced to the pitiable plight of the lamp which is on the verge of extinction for want of oil. Now nothing helps, not even the things which they had been acquiring so far at the cost of health. The very continuance of life becomes a pain.
The modern age is witnessing an increasing lack of self-control. People’s craving for sense-indulgence, their madness for pleasures of all sorts is increasing by the day and this, in turn, is devastating their health. The wise are aware of the truth
that lack of self-control is akin to playing holi with one’s own blood. At first, the sport appears enticing, the bright red spurs one on and on to ever more rounds of carnal pleasures until soon the situation becomes grave and vicious. Incontinence of different kinds gives birth to diseases of all sorts. These diseases impose many restrictions and prohibitions on the future life-pattern; but to the habits long formed, no restriction is either palatable or implementable. As a result, life becomes a nightmare, being slowly ground between the two wheels of mental agony and physical pain.
Sometimes, in the name of tapa
and sadhana, the body and health are subjected to such severities that the very edifice begins to crumble. The irony is that even the spiritual powers which had been sought prove a chimera. The only gain is a show of pretense where the practitioner gets slowly ruined and the audience, bored. Castigating these cruelties to the body in the name of tapa
Yogeshwar Krishna says in the Bhagvadgita:-