Individual soul is considered as an element of that Supreme Power that exits everywhere. If that Atman is happy and healthy, whole universe can be blissful
The propounder of integral humanism Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya many a times used the term ‘Yog-Kshema’ (material and spiritual welfare) in his lectures and writings. Let us understand what he meant by that. In his conception of Yog-Kshema, every individual should get food, shelter and clothing, education, healthcare and dignity. He studied various aspects of human life and Bharatiya society and propagated the principle of Undivided Humanity. Pandit Upadhyay believed that to make human body safe, workable and healthy, it is essential that every organ of the body works consistently without any impediment and interference; in the same manner following this law of nature if every segment of the society is inspired to do its work consistently, everybody will become happy.
About health also his proposition was in tune with the Bharatiya thinking. Body, mind, intellect and soul are different dimensions of health. In Bharatiya belief Man’s physical body is home to his soul. Though perishable, it must be kept healthy and in good condition, in order to achieve its purpose in life. It was an appreciation of this fact that gave birth to the sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda. Yoga links each organ of the body to the organismic whole — uniting body and soul. Ayurveda is the science of longevity, of which curative medicine is only a small part.
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One is in perfect health when the Three doshas (vata, pitta and Kapha) Digestive fire (digestion, assimilation and metabolism) all the body tissues & components (Dhatus) (the entire physical body) all the excretory functions (the physiological functions of urination and defecation) are in perfect order with a pleasantly disposed and contented mind, senses and spirit.
To live, man has to sustain his body. In this respect, he shares certain traits with other species of the animal world. The most common of these are the need for food and drink; the need to sleep; the compulsion to procreate for perpetuation of the species; and the instinct for survival.
In animals, these basic physical functions are instinctual, and wholly governed by nature. Animals cannot transgress the limits set by Nature, and as long as they remain within their natural habitat, they are unlikely to lose their vigor and become unhealthy. Man, on the other hand, along with the body, is blessed with a mind, intellect and a soul. Perception and imagination are faculties of the mind; reason and inventiveness stem from the intellect; and within the soul lies his emotional and ethical substance. Man has also been endowed with the power of creativity and a conscience, that gives him the power to discriminate between right and wrong. All these attributes make man unique.
Man, however, is also susceptible to the temptation of greed and lust. Disregarding the essential balance of life, and the power of discrimination, man has become a slave to unrestrained sensual pleasures. This unfortunate human disposition to live an unnatural lifestyle, causes imbalances in the psycho-physical-intellectual-spiritual make-up of the individual. Over-indulgence in sensual pleasures causes ill-health, sometimes endangering life itself. This has necessitated a major spurt in Man’s requirement for drugs, remedies, clinics and hospitals. The advances made in medicine and surgery have achieved remarkable success. Yet, despite qualitative and quantitative advance in healthcare, many diseases remain resistant to drugs, and new drug-resistant viral strains continue to appear. The failure to control certain killer diseases has caused despondency in allopathic medical circles.
Therefore, Panditji’s proposition is that we should reconnect with our culture for comprehensive healthcare. He says, “Our goal is not merely to protect the culture but to revitalize it so as to make it dynamic and in tune with the times. We must ensure that our nation stands firm on this foundation and our society is enabled to live a healthy, progressive and purposeful life. We shall have to end a number of traditions and set in reforms which are helpful in the development of values and of national unity in our society. We shall remove those traditions which obstruct this process. Whereas one need not mourn the limitations of the human body, one must undergo the required social operation if any part of the body has cancerous growth. There is no need to ampute healthy limbs. If today, the society is gripped with evils like untouchability which lead men to treat other human beings as lower than themselves and thereby threaten the national unity, we shall have to end such evils.” Thus, his whole thinking is integral and connected to each other. The health of individual is not independent of social, national or health of entire humanity. So he revives the conception of four Ashramas and four purusharthas.
Duties of Doctors
Charak Samhita written ages ago discusses about different diseases, health, disorders, therapies, and medicines. It also discusses various methods of surgeries. But most important is the oath to be taken by the doctors. Our thinking clearly tells that a doctor is not a God but his duty is to diagnose the decease and control it.
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Doctors sometimes get friends, sometimes Dharma, at times monetary gains or otherwise success. If he does not get any of this, his efforts do not go waste as it adds to his knowledge.
Let us imbibe this integral thinking from our culture to make everyone happy and healthy.
Dr Shiv Gautam (The author is an eminent Medical practitioner and former Chairman of Indian Psychiatric Society)