Webinar - Rasayana, an ancient solution to modern problem

From a tiny particle to the mighty universe, all operate through balance, especially the five elements which constitute every being.

Mankind all across the globe is facing the toughest challenge to fight increasing health issues and the most intimidating of them is the novel Coronavirus.

We hear every now and then, Prevention, which is possible only with a strong immune system. Can healthy foods alone boost our immune system? Perhaps, we all are “stressed” today and that is what needs to be countered. Stress in numerous forms affects our immune system the most and results in fluctuations related to mental and physical balance causing an imbalance. 

 As per Ayurveda, the cause of any disease or Vikriti is the imbalance of Doshas preventing our cellular system and our organs to function the way nature has designed them to work. To understand the profound connection between balance and immunity, Chat on the Mat with Sri Anand Shrivastava, Managing Director of Maharishi Ayurveda will guide you all through. So, let’s take a step forward for health.

hellomyyoga: How stress affects our immunity?

Anand ji: Let's understand what is immunity; it is the ability of our physiology to overcome any imbalance caused by an action or even a thought.

Immunity should not be taken as something special located in any specific part of the physiology or any special function of the physiology. It is ingrained in every particle of the physiology and every action we do affects it favorably or adversely. For example, if someone's diet is not according to his Prakriti, it will require more than a normal effort to digest it properly, and this extra effort will be a drain on his immunity.

Another example is if someone exposes himself to extremely cold conditions, his body will be drawing extra resources to maintain balance which will weaken his immunity. Similarly, if someone’s digestion is under strain, any good digestive Rasayana or medicine by improving his digestion will automatically strengthen his/her immunity.

Stress is caused by any action against the normal evolutionary flow of life. Stress could be physical, mental, environmental, or due to any other reason, it causes some imbalance. Our physiology cannot function properly because of that imbalance, therefore it tries to re-establish balance. At this point, the immune system comes into action, but the establishment of this balance does consume some resources of the physiology, causing load on our immunity.

hellomyyoga: What is the relation between the body’s inner balance and immunity?

Anand ji: In ayurvedic texts, health has been defined as a state of perfect balance and bliss, at every level. The body cannot function properly with any imbalance, therefore mother nature has provided the ability to maintain inner balance and that ability is called immunity. With proper diet, right routine, and right behavior, balance is established amongst three Doshas; Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

The 13 Agnis function in a balanced manner to metabolize food for the balanced production of seven dhatus, waste is eliminated properly, along with maintenance of bliss at the level of senses, mind, and Atma, resulting in perfect health. As per Ayurvedic texts, a very fine substance called ‘Ojas’ is produced at this state, which helps to strengthen the balance, further resulting in stronger immunity. Therefore we can say that inner balance and immunity support each other for the maintenance of ideal health.

hellomyyoga: What is the role of the body’s cellular intelligence in safeguarding health?

Anand ji: An average human body is made of about a hundred trillion cells and each cell has the knowledge of totality and knowledge of its own functions, during its total lifespan. Several billion cells join together to form an organ, several organs join together to form a system and several different systems form physiology.

Any stress may be physical, mental, environmental, or due to any other reason, could cause an imbalance in the functioning of any organ, initiating a disease process, sparking some symptoms in the form of some discomfort or indications like increased blood sugar level in the case of diabetes. Generally, some sugar neutralizing chemicals are given as a medicine to diabetics which bring down the blood sugar level temporarily. But with this kind of treatment, health is not gained, and one always remains dependent on external medicine. With the help of Ayurvedic medicines along with the practice of yoga asanas, pranayama, and transcendental meditation, the collective cellular intelligence of the organ is re-established and health is regained. 

hellomyyoga: Do health supplements help in strengthening the immune system?

Anand ji:  Unfortunately, the word immunity has been extremely misinterpreted, misunderstood, and exploited.

According to Ayurveda, immunity is not a substance or any specific function of physiology and there is no supplement that can directly strengthen or increase immunity. Our rich Ayurvedic texts have a very important chapter call Rasayana. Rasayana is a substance, which helps in creating balance within the physiology and increases the body's ability to take care of any imbalances. These Rasayanas could be single herbs or a combination of several ingredients. They are designed to establish balance in a particular system or many Rasayanas have been designed to establish balance throughout the body. Since they establish balance, they also help in strengthening the immune system.

For example, Maharishi Amrit Kalash has been found to be highly effective in combating high toxicity and adversities in several scientific studies conducted in renowned Institutions around the world.

hellomyyoga: How can one achieve a state of balanced physical and mental health?

Anand ji: Balance and bliss are the basis of health.

For establishing a balance, balanced diet, daily and seasonal routines and behavior are very important. But at the same time, one must understand one’s own Prakriti and Vikriti and set his or her diet and routine accordingly. We should not do anything, which would require any extra effort by our system to take care of it properly.

For instance, our diet should be such, which can get digested properly and provide the required nutrients for the maintenance of peak performance continuously for a long time. Our daily routine should be such that it is always supported by laws of nature that mean; following the policy of early to bed and early to rise, timely performance of routine activities, maintenance of proper hygiene, regular exercise, and avoidance of unnecessary straining the physiology. Similarly, there is no medicine that is good for everyone and no medicine which is bad for everyone. One should take supplements or Rasayanas according to one’s Prakriti and Vikriti.

One should thoroughly understand the physiology and also the areas of deficiency or imbalance and take Rasayanas to balance that aspect. If a supplement is taken without proper consideration it may also create imbalance.

On the mental health front also we have to make sure that we do not accumulate any toxin in the form of stress.

Maintenance and strengthening of ‘bliss’ must be our highest priority and we must try to incorporate the principles of Yoga in our life and include three practical aspects of Yoga in our daily routine on regular basis. They are Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, and Transcendental Meditation.

There have been more than 700 scientific studies on the effects of Transcendental Meditation, all indicating increasing positivity in every aspect of life. The general feeling amongst all practitioners of TM has been that their ability to take spontaneous right action has increased.- I am sure that the above will help in achieving the state of balanced physical and mental health.