Saturday, August 27, 2016

Who is healthy ...?

समदोषः समाग्निश्च समधातु मलःक्रियाः।
प्रसन्नात्मेन्द्रियमनः स्वस्थइतिअभिधीयते॥ 

(सुश्रुत संहिता सूत्रस्थान १५/१०)

"The person who has Doshas, Agni, Dhatus, and Malakriya in equilibrium and who has sound soul, sense and Mind, is described to be healthy."
- Aacharya Sushruta

So many authors, agencies and institutions have tried to give the definition of health. Earlier, health was defined as "absence of disease or discomfort." It was related only to Physiological state of the body. W.H.O. then came out with a broader definition incorporating both "Soma" & "Psyche" (Body & Mind) into it. But, then compare the above definition with it.

Not only psycho-somatic state, but even soul & sense have been included. The problem of the modern day physicians, the accumulation of waste materials or toxins in the body, has also been taken care of.

Apply the above yard-stick to test the health of the people, and to your surprise not even one will satisfy all the criteria of good health, enumerated in the above definition.

Then, think about the ancient Rishis, their wisdom, knowledge, deep insight into the human physiology and psychology, who could give us such a broad-based definition of health!!

This is more than a mere definition. It is a key to healthy living. To remain really healthy, we are asked to keep our three "doshas" (Vata, Pitta & Kaptha) into equilibrium by taking care of our diet and mode of living (life-style).

Preservation of "Agni" i.e. fire which is responsible for metabolic processes in the body. (Digestion, transformation, assimilation and even "excretion" the last part of metabolism). Mala-Kriya is the most important physiological aspect to be taken careof. During transformation, digestion, toxins or waste materials are produced in the body as a by-product. They are injurious to the body and hence must be expelled out at regular intervals (stool, urine, sweat, phlegm etc). Their retention in the body prepares the ground for external infections to have an upper hand over the host defense mechanism. Hence, excretory system should work at optimum efficiency to remain healthy.

The most important inclusions in the definition are those of soul, sense and mind. For psychic ailments, or diseases resulting as a corollary to anger, tension, mental stresses and strains, depression, Ayurveda prescribes an "Achar Samhita" - a drug-less approach-suggesting only change in mental attitude, Transcendental medication, forgive and forget, giving of alms, respecting elders etc are the factors which go a long way in improving our state of mind.

The patients suffering from hypertension, cardiac aliments, Diabetes and peptic ulcer, should be advised to follow this "Achar Samhita " along with the medical treatment and diet restriction, to have lasting benefits.

In an another opinion, Acharya Charaka says....

सममांसप्रमाणस्तु समसंहननो नरः |

दृढेन्द्रियो विकाराणां न बलेनाभिभूयते ||

क्षुत्पिपासातपसहः शीतव्यायामसंसहः|
समपक्ता समजरः सममांसचयो मतः ||

चरक संहिता सूत्रस्थान 21/18-19)
"According to Acharya Charaka,  A person is is healthy if he has a good proportional muscular compact body. Whose senses are strong and powerful, be it motor or sensory and can withstand any ailments, has ability to bear hunger, thirst, physical exercises and scorching sun and freezing cold. Has power to digest and assimilate food properly."

- Acharya Charaka

It is surprising how different acharyas have stated the definition of health by putting in detailed perspective thousands of years back. Now it is up to us to analyse if we are healthy, understand the situation and act accordingly in the interest of our health & happiness and improve our quality of life.

Now to stay healthy and happy, we need to change the way we eat, live, think and behave. In the next post we will share about the illness, post named "Who is Ill...?". Subscribe and stay tuned for updates...


  1. Very to d point and informative blog.incorporating achar samhita with the balancing of three doshas feels to be very positive approach towards good health.Totally new concept for this generations youth who exploit their health with junk food and overexploser to virtual digital word.

  2. Very very important and useful and true statement. Yes I agree and experienced the Transcendental meditation strengthen the mind and gives peace and bliss to me.

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