Yoga and Spiritualism not only relaxes our body but also increases the mental efficiency for better results
Sudhir K Bhargava
Vedic scriptures, that form ‘Spiritual and Cultural Heritage’ of India, talk in detail about human ‘Spiritual Body’ and its importance in the functioning of body in ‘flesh and bones’. Not only does the Rigveda talks about cosmic energies in detail, dozens of Upanishads explains about atman, the one that regulates the spiritual energies in our body. Spiritual body represents the manifestations of Lord Shiva and Cosmic energies. It is Yoga, that is making people aware of body energy chakras and how these can rejuvenate various human body parts for gains.
What is the ‘Spiritual Body’ then? These are simply the mild electric currents or the cosmic energies in our body, that run and manage the body. Information coming to our brain from the five sources (Indriyaan, that definitionally means senses), namely, Seeing, Listening, Smelling, Feeling and Tasting get converted in to electrical currents that store information in various chambers of the brain, to become part of ‘Spiritual Body’. The Elephant faced prime God, Lord Ganesh described as Karta in the scriptures, and located at the base of the human skull controls these incoming and outgoing energies along with the entire body in general.
In ancient Vedic times one of the earliest Vedic seers, Uddalaka Rishi, in the third generation of Bhrigu Rishi the flood time seer, who happened to be 10,000 years ago, used to teach about atman and spiritual body and is mentioned in the oldest Upanishads i.e. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and the Chandogya Upanishad. Teaching his son Nachiketa about spiritual body, noted Vedic seer, Uddalaka rishi asked his son to dissolve some salt in water, which then turned invisible. Uddalaka narrates that like salt which once gets dissolved in water turns invisible, in like manner our spiritual body remains dissolved in body of ‘Flesh and Bones’ and remains invisible. And yet the importance of spiritual body is no less as it maintains the main body all the time. It is easy to see how spiritual energies move and work in present times through various types of scannings and aura photographing while in ancient times Vedic seers devised means to explain the concept of spiritual energies.
The importance of spiritual body in humans is vital and one that in modern format is explained using allegorical terms in common use. Accordingly, if body in ‘Flesh and Bones’ is considered a Vehicle, the ‘Spiritual Body’ is the Driver. Similarly if the body that what we see in ‘Flesh and Bone’ is the ‘Hardware’, our ‘spiritual body’ is the ‘Software’. While many people remain unaware of this concept in modern times, this some thousands of years old concept described in Upanishads still prevails and more so is acceptable on various parameters. Understanding this concept adopting the metaphor of a Vehicle and its Driver stands to increase the working of spiritual body. The same goes for adoption of the metaphor, namely, that of body in ‘flesh and bones’. What is being suggested is that let the emblematic of that driver of our main body “Spiritual Body” is understood comprehensively and measures be taken for deriving better results.
Yoga has many definitions and forms of which most common and practical ones are those of ‘Linking of body with atman’ and ‘linking of atman with Param Atma or cosmic energies’. The process of linking these involves the spiritual body in both types of Yoga. Uddalaka Rishi also talked of atman extensively in Upanishads. His views on energising body through atman are well known and elaborated in Vedic scriptures.
Not only the conduct of traditional spiritual practices as mentioned in various Vedic scriptures enhance efficient functioning of the mind and body current research on ‘Yog Asanas’ and their effects on improvement of health, their effects enabling relaxation of the mind, and in the treatment of various diseases are making these asanas useful to humans. Prescribed types of ‘Pranayamas’ and ‘Meditations’ directly regulate energies and make the human body and mind reach a level of relaxation that ultimately improves efficiency. Here the link with atman can be drawn out. Atman, described in Rigveda as located at the base of skull in human body controls and directs all the actions in the body through spiritual energies. The practice of Yogic Kriyas and Asana involving atman along with the chanting of AUM regulates spiritual energies in the body and the brain improving thereby a better control on body and its health and in ‘decision making’ by the brain.
The concept of Yoga and Spiritualism are now applied widely in medical sciences the world over for treatment. The ancient Vedic concepts need to be understood for further impetus to the growing acceptability of spiritual practice in the treatment of patients. Their applications are not limited to these areas alone. In the environment of stress, these have become useful tools for adoption in relaxing employees at work situations and as well as to aid students in their attempts at bettering performance. Yoga and Spiritualism not only relaxes our body but also increases the mental efficiency for better results .
Celebration of ‘World Yoga Day’ every year in June at the behest of Indian Prime Minister is a positive step for spread of Yoga. Let us hope that Indian ‘Spiritual Practices’ of ancient times are also given a new thrust for welfare of humanity. Doing so will increase not only a wider acceptability of Vedic scriptures but it would also motivate younger generation of students to carry out further researches on these ancient sciences using current technologies and modern tools. It is seen that Western world is adopting Yoga and meditation in a big way and religions there are adopting and integrating spiritualism with their religion.
If there were attempts once to lower in value the contents that early invaders and occupants had come out with, Independent India should reinvent its great ‘Spiritual Heritage’, which once was its ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ as Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam. And it should do this for welfare of all.