From Body To Super Body
From body to super-body, from everyday state of mind to transcendental states of mind, and from connecting deep within our true selves to establishing our identity in our universal, divine self- is that not the goal of spirituality and the stuff medical fantasy, biological mythology, and new age healing promises are spun from?
However, the sages who crafted Ayurveda, the ancient healing art and science of a happy life, health and longevity from ancient India proclaim: Yes, our fantasy can become a possibility.
Transformation Of Body
Transformation at every level, body, mind and soul is the promise of Ayurveda. The sages who crafted Ayurveda were consumed with the idea of exploring our inbuilt natural intelligence or immunity principle to withstand the wear and tear of living. They called this immunity principle as Oja in Sanskrit.
When Oja is consciously cultivated and enhanced, our average bodies with average life expectancy can transform into super bodies with an enhanced lifespan and actually manifest a quantum state of health that is vibrant with ease, energy and flow.
Ayurveda recognizes profound interconnections between the three dimensions of our existence, matter, mind and consciousness and declared Oja to be a by-product of a happy balance between the three.
The art and science of Ayurveda recommend that we make deliberate attempts to recognize and work with Oja and learn ways and means to nurture, enhance and protect it. Ayurvedic medicine takes it upon itself to restore, makes better, optimize, and to flower the human body to its optimum zenith.
Oja is our inherent capacity to withstand physical, psychic and existential suffering and recover expediently from disease and even prevent falling sick. However, Ayurveda cautions that in ignorance, we can fritter away the goods and lose our god given natural immunity, live out a miserable life and die an untimely early death that could have been prevented.
Perhaps Oja is a prize that only the wise can claim, through a life lived in harmony with material and spiritual laws of nature.
Body Is A Self-Healing Entity
Ayurvedic medicine recognizes the amazing regenerative power of the body, its tissues and of each and every cell. Given half a chance, the right nutrition, and positive living conditions, the body always likes to heal itself.
The body systems and processes are actively trying to restore equilibrium and return to homeostasis according to Ayurveda. According to the sages, this is powerful evidence that our body, a miracle of nature and a package of energy, consciousness and intelligence wants us to work with it naturally, using natural laws and principles that it lives by; and it will happily cooperate with us.
Every event, big or small is a metamorphosis of consciousness; and in Ayurveda, the human body becomes a powerful ground or field of transformation of consciousness, and Oja or our immunity is the reward we reap.
Ayurveda does not view our body as a battleground but as a field of healing potential, in which lies buried the rare and potent, but mostly latent gem of disease prevention, self-healing, and self-regeneration.
The Shakti or power to self-transform or achieve a total make-over called Kaya Kalpa in Sanskrit, is none other than Ayurveda’s rather generous and expanded version of modern day concept of immunity and the field of preventative medicine.
Oja bathes each and every cell of our body, imparting them with innate strength and immunity. It is prevalent throughout the body, but its main seat is the human heart. Since the heart is the seat of human mind and emotions, the quantity and quality of Oja directly influences the mind-body connections and the nature and quality of physical, mental and emotional life we will experience.
Our Personal Choices And Oja
Our Oja is hard earned. While we are all born with a fixed amount to get us going (starter pack so to say); we soon begin manufacturing, storing and circulating our own via food and via the happy comforts of a life lived in balance, and a mind seeking and radiating harmony. Oja, which is our ability to cope with a variety of stressors, and ultimately transcend, both physically, and mentally; is the end result of a long process of digestion that begins at the mouth.
Upon reflection, the mouth is hardly the beginning of this process. This process of immunity is like a tree; it has its roots in our life itself, and its branches spread throughout our body. Oja comes from our life’s choices, it is shaped by the life we choose to lead, and then it turns around and protects this very life.
This tree of our life draws its health by giving ingredients from our lifestyle, our food habits and from our day to day experiences. These inputs in the form of life experiences, thoughts and foods can be either flung into our body “unconsciously” as in fast life, fast food, chaotic and jam-packed schedules; or, these inputs are offered into the body as flowers would be offered to an altar – with mindfulness, loving care, fine attention, discrimination and with responsibility.
Thus, all that we eat, think, do ultimately transform into our Oja and plays a role in shaping the quantity and quality of our immunity. Stressful events eat away the Oja, and, a life lived in surrender to what is and choosing to be at peace with what is – nourishes Oja.
This is why many diseases manifest when a person is under prolonged stress. Even sudden unmanageable amounts of stress can quickly deplete Oja and even cause death.
Since Oja is really a product of food, naturally what we eat will affect the quality of our Oja. And what thoughts we choose to think and what actions we do as a consequence will affect the quality of what we eat. Our life then dictates the foods we eat, where we obtain them, how we cook them, are our foods generally natural and organic, or are they more often than not canned, frozen, and preserved, simple or complex, old and stale leftovers or freshly cooked, inspired or expired, alive or dead.
Our life, as we choose to uniquely lead it (after all we all have free will), gets sucked into the roots of this tree – idiosyncrasies, eating and lifestyle habits, moment to moment choices, conditioning, frozen and canned foods, frozen and canned belief systems and all – the whole deal; and ultimately it manifests into the fruit of Oja, that sparkling magical fruit that once eaten to full, every piece savored, delighted and rejoiced…makes us immortal, undefeatable, and impregnable forts of immunity, strength, and power.
Oja – Hard Earned Indeed
Thus, our immunity, this Oja is a precious ingredient indeed, not to be found on supermarkets shelves, or inside beautifully designed jars and tubes, and certainly not waiting for us inside pharmacologically manufactured state of the art drugs and least of all present in chemically synthesized vitamins and supplements.
Our Oja is right inside us, ready to sprout forth with our calm and nurturing choices tempered with wisdom; like a tender first flower, fragile to the abuse of wrong foods, chemically manufactured drugs, and havoc releasing lifestyles.
Oja cannot and will not thrive in flooded bodies, stuffed digestions, and stressed minds. Oja will come forward spontaneously in a life lived consciously, peacefully and in harmony with all that one sees, thinks, does and is.
Behavior That Boosts Immunity
At every moment, when faced with a myriad of conflicting choices, we can decide if we want to go over board and follow some short lived logic, fad, connection, haunch or even so called clinical proof that fails us in time; or do we follow the good old middle path of sanity, moderation and memory?
Why memory? In the process of reclaiming and enhancing our immunity, it is for us to remember the truth that deep within each one us is the spiritual womb of the Self, and from there emanates within each one of us, a profound wisdom and power to self-heal and self-transform.
This is why the sages of Ayurveda created a whole different class of Rasayana called Achara Rasayana or behavioral code of ethics that points to the immune enhancing effect of life lived in dedication to a quiet spirituality, humane truth, peace in relationships, self-control of senses, courage and calmness in adversity.
The sages encourage developing healthy habits and living by disciplines, cultivating pleasant speech, practicing compassion towards all beings and creatures and if possible, doing active philanthropy. Ayurveda also recommends regular self-introspection and diligent mindfulness over anger, greed, jealousy and other negative emotions that deplete Oja. Healthy behaviors and attitudes, consciously chosen and practiced in day to day life, positively impact the quality of our life and thereby boost immunity or Oja exponentially.
Thus, the sages of Ayurveda revealed in one master stroke their understanding of the role of stress and negative thoughts on immunity; and proceeded to teach the rest of us how to reclaim lost strength, vitality and our ability to resist disease and untimely decay – Oja– by consciously enhancing the quality of our consciousness, modifying the content of our thoughts and improving the quality of our food.
The second part of this series will talk about the importance of digestion in building Oja and Super body.