Health and Ayurveda

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nature of health and happiness in yoga and Ayurveda

It is doubtful whether the wonders of science and modern civilization have made us happier than our less knowledgeable and slow moving ancestors. Science while bringing about vast changes in our immediate external world has been able to do practically nothing to improve our inner world of desires, emotions and conflicts. Our inner world has remained chaotic. The balance between our inner and outer being is lost. And it is this balance, which is the most crucial factor in deciding whether or not one can have happiness in life. All our thoughts and activities are, in the ultimate analysis, directed to this goal of happiness. Human happiness is not merely a product of what things are handles in daily life. Our relationship with the things we use, is of course, important, but more important is our interaction with people and with ideas, And it is in this field that science has had no influence so far. The instruments, which are useful in our dealing with things, have been wholly revolutionized by science but the instrument used in our relationship with the mind, remains unchanged. It needs training and improvement which science, unfortunately cannot provide. This is one of the greatest contradictions of the present scientific age.
The situation has been aggravated in recent years by technological advances which bestowed upon man a tremendous power not only of creation but also a destruction, together with an ever-increasing speed and an therefore unresourceful and powerful, one also needs greater wisdom, in addition to knowledge to be able to exercise control over himself and not be swayed by objects of enjoyment. Science has given us lately a multitude of objects of enjoyment. But it has failed to give us, at the same time, the much needed self-control. These two qualities namely, wisdom and self-control, which are the most essential factors in deciding whether or not there will be happiness, do not fall within the preview of science. The type of happiness, which lasts permanently, is known as transcendental and when we go on seeking after worldly things and the means, which give sensual pleasure is known as temporal one. Today man seeks happiness in money, property, riches, possession, wealth, bank account, a growing business and so on. Another seeks power, prestige, position of importance and leadership. Yet another takes to the path of knowledge, learning, study of religion, philosophy and the like. All this is temporal happiness. We may know the whole world, but unless we know ourselves first, our knowledge has no significance. Wisdom consists in knowing oneself i.e. one’s mind and the living spirit and also in understanding why we seek it. And it is wisdom that is essential for happiness.
Ravi Kant Khare
Sagar (MP)


Post a Comment

<< Home