First of all, what is a disease? In Ayurveda, a disease is called “Prajaa Aparaadha” which comes from Sanskrit terms “Prajaa”, meaning mankind, birth and life, and “Aparaadha”, meaning committing sin, offence, infringement, crime and fault. Therefore, having a disease means infringing the basic principles of life. What a useful thing it is to know Sanskrit, by the way!
According to Ayurveda, a sick person is an offender with twofold blame – first, for being sick himself, as his disease is an offence of the laws of nature and, second, for burdening the surrounding people and society by causing them to give him time, attention and resources. A strange thing happens – a person gets sick, so he starts getting attention and care, he is freed from work and receives a sick-list. In other words, the offender receives material stimulus. Hence, being sick is honorable. Healthy people are due to none of the above. Things are upside-down, as is often the case.
In Sanatana Dharma or the Vedic tradition, the most gruesome sin is Avidya. Avidya is ignorance or the incapability of distinguishing between cause and effect. This is a global problem that affects all aspects of human life. I shall provide a simple example from medicine. Let us imagine that a person gets the flu. This person’s temperature has risen which means that the “Jatara Agni” or the digestive fire has started working. This fire has two basic functions in our body: digesting the food and burning everything that is of danger to our organism, thus, securing our immunity. Furthermore, it cannot perform both of these functions at once, therefore, when a person becomes ill, his appetite is lost which means that the “Jatara Agni” has switched to “burning” the infection. What solutions does medicine offer in this case? It offers using antipyretics or, in other words, killing the “Jatara Agni” with a fire extinguisher. How does this affect the illness? It starts going deeper into the organism and taking longer to cure. Sometimes, the illness becomes chronic. The temperature is not a cause. It is an effect and a sign of the body fighting the infection. Reducing the temperature means hampering the body’s fight against the disease.
Ayurveda says that all the existing diseases have only two causes: undigested food or “amma” and undigested emotions. When these two are joined, people start having diseases that they are inclined to have according to their Karma. The Karma is reflected in their “janma kundali” (their horoscope). For these reasons, ancient Vaidyas or Vedic healers whore, first of all, astrologers, as the horoscope is a great diagnostic tool. This is written in ancient treatises and is also confirmed by my almost 35 years long practice. A person’s horoscope provides a look at the future diseases long before they appear.
What is undigested food? First of all, it is food that a person cannot digest on principle, such as corpses of animals or highly technologically modified food, such as margarine that is only one molecule away from being plastic, as well as other chemical products, medicine and vitamins. Secondly, it is food that does not match the person’s “prakrti” or Ayruvedic constitution depending on the dominant “dosha” – “vatta”, “pitta” or “kapha”.
What about undigested emotions? We have more than enough of those. Therefore, there are all the preconditions necessary for getting sick and the appearance of diseases is only a matter of time, determined by Karma and reflected in the person’s “janma kundali”. I can tell anyone who is interested about what diseases they can have and when. This has been verified on tens of thousands of people in my practice.
You could object – “we didn’t know what “amma” or “Prakrti” is”. My response is that ignorance of the law does not exempt from liability. This is what I just mentioned when writing about ignorance. Just like there are physical, chemical and other laws of nature, there are laws of Karma that guide the lives of people and the offence of which creates problems and diseases.
Karma Yoga teaches that our life is a reflection of our consciousness or, to be more precise, of that part of the consciousness that is structured by “sanskaras” or written in the consciousness by Karma. This is very important – not by thoughts, hopes and dreams of a person, but by “sanskaras”, real consequences of his actions. Everyone wants to be healthy and young (show me someone who does not want that), yet, somehow not even close to everyone achieves it. Karma stands in the way.
This means that diseases are the consequences of people’s abuse of themselves and the laws of nature, and they are also the consequences of the improper lifestyle led by these people. A sick person goes to a doctor and asks for pills for his disease so he can continue the lifestyle that made him sick. The doctor gives him the pills. What happens next? The sick person gets back to the usual lifestyle, the pills do not work, and moreover, they create new ailments resulting from the negative side effects. After some time, the person will be offered to remove the sick part of the body. It is removed. And everything continues the same old way until death. There is an old joke about this:
A person comes to a doctor and complains: “Doctor, I constantly have red eyes and ringing in my ears.”
“It’s the spleen”, says the doctor. “We have to remove it.”
The spleen is removed. After some time, the same person comes again and says: “Doctor, I have red eyes and ringing in my ears, just like before.”
“It’s appendicitis. We have to take it out”, the doctor replies.
It is taken out. After a while, the sick person comes back again. “Doctor, I still have red eyes and ringing in my ears.”
“My dear, unfortunately, you have last-stage cancer and you only have a month to live.”
The person comes back home and decides “I’m dying anyway, so I’ll at least have a good time during this last month. From now on I’ll go to restaurants, have drinks, party around, have fun and do everything I want. ” But first, he decides to make himself an expensive suit and goes to see a tailor. He comes to the tailor and says: “I want to order a size 50 suit and a size 40 shirt.”
After taking a look and making measurements, the tailor says: “Your size is 42.”
“That can’t be right. I’ve always worn size 40 shirts.”
“Sir,” says the tailor, “I’m an old man and I’ve been making suits and shirts for different people for fifty years. I can tell my client’s size.”
“But I’m used to wearing size 40 shirts and I don’t want to change anything at the end of my life.”
“Fine then, let it be your way. But I’m warning you – you will have red eyes and ringing in your ears.”
When a sick person goes to a doctor and asks the doctor for a pill, he actually assumes that the pill can change his Karma and free him from the disease that punishes him for breaking the laws of nature and life. This is naivete to its fullest extent. This is how ignorance works. A pill cannot change a person’s Karma. Moreover, the pill creates side-effects and makes the condition worse, thus, adding to Karma and to the punishment. If that was not true, there would no longer be any sick people. Just think about the following for a second. In the world, tens of kilos of drugs are manufactured per person, trillions of dollars are spent on health care, an army of doctors is trained, thousands and thousands of hospitals and sanatoriums are open. What is the result? Here it is. In the year 1900, 1% of the population of the Earth could get cancer, cardiovascular diseases and other terminal illnesses. In the year 2000, this indicator was 60%. In 1900, one person out of 8000 was at the risk of getting cancer, whereas, in 2000, it was 4000 people out of 8000 – in one hundred years, the number has increased 4000 times!
It is just like the Bible says – “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Using a modern expression, “we tried our best – you know the rest”.
According to Yoga, a disease is a benefit. First of all, it shows a person that the old ways of living are no longer suitable and they have to be changed. It is a hint. Secondly, a disease is a way of cleansing and survival for the body. Therefore, diseases are our friends and teachers. Although, only for those who are willing to learn. For example, did you know that 90% of all cancerous diseases appear and disappear on their own? 40 times more cancer is found after autopsies than in living people. By the way, the flu and other illnesses causing the rising of body temperature are a natural way for the organism to get rid of cancer, as cancer cells die when the body temperature rises. This does not mean that one should necessarily get ill, not at all. If you are free of “amma” you will neither get cancer, nor the flu. Simply put, our organism is our friend, and it is always on our side, but diseases are a way for it to survive. We need not fight the disease, as doing so would mean fighting the body – we need to help the organism get rid of the reasons causing the disease.
We must always keep in mind that humans are created by God and that our organism has millions of years of experience in surviving. The body is an absolute, self-regulating, perfect system. And the best thing to do is not poke our noses into it, yet again searching for spare parts, and to leave it to its own devices. It will do the rest on its own. Also, we must always listen to it – it will give us all the hints by itself.
Medicine can save a life in extreme situations, in cases of traumas etc. It cannot cure a disease, but it can save a life. How come? It is simple – because health and lifespan are completely different and unrelated aspects. A person can be sick all life long and live to be very old, whereas he can also be healthy and die in a car accident at the age of 20. The fact of the matter is that the lifespan depends on the Karma of a person, not the person’s health. In particular, the lifespan depends on what the person has left to do in this incarnation. The Karma of a person can make medicine save his life. Therefore, extreme medical help is necessary for saving lives, but it is helpless in curing diseases.
Yoga does not cure diseases. Yoga eliminates the causes of diseases. This is possible only when a person changes his consciousness, since our lives are a reflection of it.
Diseases are caused by the same old eternal reason – incapability of telling apart causes and effects. The disease is an effect, whereas the cause is the way of thinking and the resulting way of life. As long as this cause is not altered, getting rid of the disease is impossible.
Sanatana Dharma is a science of life and a science of changing life, including eliminating disease from our lives.
Shiva Vakya Siddha Baba
More about cause of illness you can learn from Shiva’s lectures about science of Karma: