Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Impact of Mind on our Health

It is a well known fact that the majority of diseases are due to the adverse impact of the mind on our health. The modern man is surrounded by end number of tensions in his mind like the work tensions, financial tensions, family tensions, social tensions, political tensions, geographical tensions and all other sorts of tensions. All these factors have an adverse impact on the human mind which in turn hampers his health and wealth as well. I recently happened to read an interview of Buddhist Monk Sri Dalai Lama where he replied to a question of the reporter asking him, what surprises him the most about a man in today’s life. “I am really surprised to see a modern man running after money all through his life sacrificing the health and again sacrificing the hard earned money in gaining the lost health. He is living in hope of the future as if he is never going to die; forgetting the fact that present is the only reality. Present was there yesterday, it is there today and will be there tomorrow. But the modern man is missing the real essence of life which is present.”

Today it has become a common scenario in every household that a man shouting at his wife, wife shouting at her husband, mother yelling on her kids. It has become a rare to find a household free from anger, irritation and quarrels. The scenario is no different in the streets where you find neighbors arguing, quarrelling and fighting for unnecessary things. You see the bosses shouting at their subordinates in the office, politicians and religious leaders are busy in arguing, quarrelling and fighting against each other. The entire society is in a mess these days. The anguish, frustration, irritation, anger etc have become the qualities of a modern man. People are using the weapon called anger to get their work done. People usually are scared with angry men and therefore if a boss shouts at the subordinates, they finish the task out of fear. Since the desired work is being fulfilled they are never bothered to control their anger. Anger might give you certain short term benefits but it results in adversities in the long run. Anger not only scares the other person, hurts the other person but it also leads to a tremendous amount of personal loss. Angry people never gain complete love and affection of others, cannot lead a happy and joyful life with others.

Now let us try to understand physiologically what kind of changes and reactions occur in a human mind and body when a man undergoes through emotional outburst like anger, frustration, irritation, fear and anguish in the words of Dr. Manthena Satyanarayana Raju. If any of these reactions appear in human mind, the cells in our brain undergo certain kind of pressure. The moment the mind experiences such pressure, the oxygen supplies to the brain cells is reduced. In reaction to this the body immediately releases the hormone called Adrenaline into the blood stream. As a result of this hormone the heart beat rises as it pumps more blood to meet the required oxygen levels. The lungs too function more in unison with the heart to provide more oxygen to the body. In this way the heart, lungs and nerves work together to fulfill the shortage of oxygen requirement in the brain. The horse rider whips the back of a horse with a hunter when he wants to make his journey quicker. Similarly the body whips the heart, lungs and nerves to function faster with a hunter called adrenaline hormone. This hormone is immediately released into the blood stream by the body anytime your mind undergoes an emotional outburst.

Let us now analyze what kind of chemical changes and harms that causes to our body when these hormones are released frequently.

1. The blood pressure levels rise immediately when the heart functions at a faster rate. Whenever you find a person shouting in anger, you say that his BP might have increased. That is why he is shouting louder. Is it not?

2. The lungs start functioning faster in order to provide the required oxygen. You feel short of breath and perspire with buzzing exhalations and quicker inhalations.

3. The face and eyes turn red immediately after getting angry. It happens due to excess blood flow in the arteries and veins passing through face to the brains.

4. The head, forehead and rest of the body become hot as if the blood is boiling inside. It is therefore, many people feel headache in times of stress, anger, frustration and sadness.

5. The nerves in the body gets contracted due to the release of Adrenaline hormone into the blood stream which results in the pain in neck region for many people.

6. Whenever the mental outburst occurs you don’t feel like eating anymore. The hunger dies for long hours. More hydrochloric acid is released in the stomach; the production of starchy substance is reduced which in turn leads to abdominal inflammation and ulcers. There are people who eat more during stress, anger and frustration. They are more at risk of these abdominal disorders and ulcers.

7. Adrenaline hormone induces the liver to release more glucose into the blood stream. It is therefore, the sugar levels rise the very moment diabetic people get angry or stressed.

8. A man loses his discriminative intelligence the moment he succumbs to mental outburst like stress, anger and frustration.

9. The body and mind goes through so many reactions and chemical changes during this period, the body expends lot of energy in order to bring balance and poise. It is this reason; one feels tired and fatigued after mental outburst.

10. The hormone system in our body is interlinked and inter connected. If any gland that secrets hormone undergoes stress it pass on to other hormone secreting glands successively. This makes the whole system a mess.

Apart from these many more chemical reactions occur in the body and mind. A few seconds are enough to undergo these many changes in the body. But the body needs great effort and time in resuming normalcy.

Solution to this Problem:

Now let us try to find out the ways to get rid of this critical modern day problem of mental outburst. The great master Osho says, “The solution lies in the problem itself. If you observe the problem carefully, you get the solution.”

We can get rid of this problem only when we can keep our body fragile and mind in poise. One can maintain a fragile and healthy body by following good diet and physical exercises but bringing poise of mind is little difficult. It needs lot of disciple, dedication and hard work. According to Guruji BKS Iyengar “diseases are not just a physical phenomenon. Anything that disturbs your spiritual life and practice is a disease and will manifest eventually in illness. Health begins with firmness in body, deepens to emotional stability and then leads to intellectual clarity, wisdom and finally the unveiling of the soul. You are not completely healthy as long as you have not attained physical health, physiological health, psychological health, intellectual health, health of the consciousness and conscience and the spiritual or divine health. One must not forget that the health begins with body. Body and mind are the two children of the soul. You must nourish and train your child. There is no better way than Yoga to nourish and train them. Physical health is not a commodity to bargain for. Nor it can be swallowed in the form of drugs and pills. It has to be earned through sweat. It is something that we must build up. You have to create within yourself the experience of beauty, liberation and infinity. This is health.” 

Guruji is a living example of a person with complete health. Even at this age of 95 he practices yoga for about 3 hours a day. It is a treat to watch him practice his asanas. He reaches the divine in his asanas. Only few fortunate one's have got the opportunity to see this amazing sight.

You need to conquer your body first with the regular practice of asanas. Only a healthy body possesses a sound and poised mind. Once the body is conquered and made healthy you then need to conquer your mind with Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses) and pranayama (breathing exercises) to conquer the mind.

Since we are discussing on the impact of mind on our health and now let us try to understand the impact of yoga on our mind and see how yoga helps in relieving us from this problem from the very roots.

Impact of Yoga on Mind:

There was a time in my life where I was going through lot of depression due to financial issues, relationship issues, work issues etc. Nothing was going right for me. Every decision I made used to fire back at me giving another head ache. Anger was on the tip of my nose ready to explode. My behavior with my wife and other family members during that period was still unbelievable to many of them. Anger and frustration made me cruel and violent. I hurt my loved ones a lot under the influence of mental outburst. I used to realize my mistake after some time and by the time I realize, enough damage was done. My health was deteriorating at a great pace. I was looking out for a savior and Guruji BKS Iyengar came to my salvage with his book “Illustrated light on Yoga”. I practiced yoga by reading his book for about one year and then joined my teacher Smt. Zarna Mohan for further studies in Yoga. It’s been 2 years I am nurturing my yoga skills under the experienced hands of my teacher Smt. Zarna Mohan. Things began to change gradually and I am going through lots of transformation ever since I began to practice yoga. Slowly I began to fall in love with Yoga and my love for yoga increases every time I meet Guruji or listen to him or watch him on TV, internet etc. He is such an inspiration for millions of people like me.

Yoga has changed my life completely. Now I realized that Yoga can only relieve you from all sorts of mental and physical problems. There are many misconceptions about yoga. Majority of people think Yoga is just another physical exercise; which is so wrong. Some other think yoga involves religious practices belonging Hindus; which is also wrong.

“Yoga is not a religion – remember that. Yoga is not Hindu, It is not Mohammedan. Yoga is a pure science just like mathematics, physics or chemistry. It is the science that leads to inner awakening. Inner awakening is possible only if you explore your body and mind and go beyond the mind. It has nothing to do with a particular religion or sect. Physics is not Christian, physics is not Buddhist. If Christians have discovered the laws of physics, even then physics is not Christian. It is just accidental that Christians have come to discover the laws of physics. But physics remains just a science. Yoga is a science – it is just an accident that Hindus discovered it. It is not Hindu. It is a pure mathematics of the inner being. So a Mohammedan can be a Yogi, a Christian can be a Yogi, a Jain; a Bauddha can be a Yogi. Sage Patanjali in his yogasutras mentioned that Yoga is above time, space and caste” – (Osho Alpha and Omega of Yoga Vol.1)

To make you understand more about the study of mind, I am quoting few words of wisdom on mind by “Osho in his book Alpha and Omega of Yoga Vol.1”:

Mind can be either the source of bondage or source of freedom. Mind becomes the gate for this world, the entry; it can also become the exit. Mind leads you to the hell; mind can lead you also to the heaven. So it depends how the mind is used. Right use of mind becomes meditation; wrong use of the mind becomes madness.

Mind is there with everyone. The possibility of darkness and light both are implied in it. Mind itself is neither the enemy nor the friend. You can make it a friend you can make it an enemy. It depends on you – on you who is hidden behind the mind. If you can make the mind your instrument, your slave, the mind becomes the passage through which you can reach the ultimate. If you become the slave and the mind is allowed to be the master, then this mind which has become master will lead you to the ultimate anguish and darkness. All the techniques, all the methods, all the paths of yoga, are really concerned deeply only with one problem: how to use the mind. Rightly used, mind comes to a point where it becomes no-mind. Wrongly used, mind comes to a point where it is just a chaos, many voices antagonistic to each other – contradictory, confusing, insane.

The madman in the madhouse and Buddha under his bodhi tree – both have used the mind; both have passed through the mind. Buddha has come to a point where mind disappears. Rightly used it goes on disappearing; a moment comes when it is not. The madman has also used the mind. Wrongly used, mind becomes divided; wrongly used, mind becomes many; wrongly used it becomes a multitude. And, finally, the mad mind is there, you are absolutely absent.

Buddha’s mind has disappeared, and Buddha is present in his totality. A madman’s mind has become total, and he himself disappeared completely. These are the two poles. You and your mind, if they exist together, then you will be in misery. Either you will have to disappear or the mind will have to disappear. If the mind disappears, then you achieve truth; if you disappear, you achieve insanity. And this is the struggle: who is going to disappear! You are going to disappear or the mind? This is the conflict, the root of all struggles.

These sutras of Patanjali will lead you step by step towards this understanding of the mind – what it is, what types of modes it takes, what types of modifications come into it, how you can use it and go beyond it. And, remember, you have nothing else right now – only the mind. You have to use it.

Wrongly used, you will go on falling into more and more misery. You are in misery. That is because for many lives you have used your mind wrongly. And the mind has become the master; you are just a slave, a shadow following the mind. You cannot say to the mind,”Stop” You cannot order your own mind; your mind goes on ordering you and you have to follow it. Your being has become the shadow and the slave, an instrument. Mind is nothing but an instrument, just like your hands or your feet. You order your feet – your legs, they move. When you say”Stop” they stop. You are the master. If I want to move my hand, I move it. If I don’t want to move, I don’t move it. The hand cannot say to me,”Now I want to be moved.” The hand cannot say to me,”Now I will move whatsoever you do. I am not going to listen to you.” And if my hand starts moving in spite of me, then it will be a chaos in the body. The same has happened in the mind.

You don’t want to think, and the mind goes on thinking. You want to sleep. You are Lying down on your bed, changing your sides; you want to go to sleep, and the mind continues, the mind says,”No, I am going to think about something.” You go on saying”Stop” and it never listens to you. And you cannot do anything. Mind is also an instrument, but you have given it too much power. It has become dictatorial, and it will struggle hard if you try to put it in its right place.

Buddha also uses the mind, but his mind is just like your legs. People go on coming to me and they ask,”What happens to the mind of an enlightened one? Does it simply disappear? He cannot use it?” It disappears as a master, it remains as a slave. It remains as a passive instrument. A Buddha wants to use it, he can use it. When Buddha speaks to you he will have to use it, because there is no possibility of speech without the mind. The mind has to be used. If you go to Buddha and he recognizes you, that you have been before also, he has to use the mind. Without mind there can be no recognition; without mind there is no memory. But he uses the mind; remember this is the distinction – and you are being used by the mind. Whenever he wants to use it, he uses it. Whenever he doesn’t want to use it, he doesn’t use it. It is a passive instrument; it has no hold upon him. So Buddha remains like a mirror. If you come before the mirror, the mirror reflects you. When you have moved, the reflection has gone; the mirror is vacant. You are not like a mirror. You see somebody, the man has gone, but the thinking continues, the reflection continues. You go on thinking about him. And even if you want to stop, the mind won’t listen. Mastery of the mind is yoga. And when Patanjali says,”cessation of the mind”, this is meant: cessation as a master. Mind ceases as a master. Then it is not active. Then it is a passive instrument. You order, it works; you don’t order, it remains still. It is just waiting. It cannot assert by itself. The assertion is lost; the violence is lost. It will not try to control you. Now just the reverse is the case. How to become masters? And how to put mind to its place, where you can use it; where, if you don’t want to use it, you can put it aside and remain silent? So the whole mechanism of the mind will have to be understood. Now we should enter the sutra.”

I quoted this discourse of osho here because if you don’t understand the real essence of yoga practice, the entire practice becomes mechanical just like any other exercise. It takes a great discipline to learn the ancient art and science of yoga.

The West is now awakening. Yoga has become a rage in the west. Thanks to the efforts of Guruji in promoting yoga in the west. A recent survey showed that 1 out of every 10 Americans are practicing yoga and 7 out of 10 yoga practitioners are women. What a heartening fact. Though yoga is gaining popularity again in India but there is not much progress in case of women.

With a hope, this article inspires you to take up yoga practice to gain complete health as described by Yogacharya BKS Iyengar I am concluding this article here. Keep watching the space for more updates.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Real Cleansing

You might have seen many government promotions asking to keep the city clean. Every individual likes to keep his house and the surroundings clean. But do we really know what to keep clean? There is an ancient proverb in India saying, ‘before conquering the world one has to conquer his own house first’. Similarly, before cleaning the house, surroundings and the society one has to primarily clean the body. 

According to the ancient science of Yoga, everything is in the body. It is called the kshetra (the location). If this kshetra is used for good deeds, it is called dharma kshetra and if it is used for bad deeds, it is called Kuru Kshetra. There is one knower of this kshetra the ‘Soul’ which is called as kshetrajnani. People usually look out for the Paramaatma or the God in temples, churches, mosques or skywards but the God resides within every individual. We have forgotten the real path that leads us to the Paramaatma. Instead of looking in, we have scattered all our senses and consciousness towards the illusionary and unreal world outside. Yoga is one such practice which teaches you to move inside your body, which ultimately takes you to the Paramaatma. Doing mere asanas is not Yoga. Yoga sadhana involves processing, refinement and purification of all the 23 elements of the body. The 23 elements include the Pancha Mahabhootas (5 Elements of Nature - Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether) the Pancha Jnanendriyas (5 Sense Organs - Eyes, Ears, Nose, Tongue and Skin), the Pancha Karmendriyas (5 Organs of Action – Hands, Legs, Mouth, Generative and Excretory Organs), the Pancha Tanmatras (5 subtle characteristics of sense organs - Taste, Smell, Sound, Shape and Touch) and the 3 facets of Chitta or Consciousness – the Mind, Intellect and Ego. 

According to ancient yogic texts there are 5 types of Koshas or sheaths or layers known as 1. Annamaya Kosha – The anatomical, skeletal or Structural sheath 2. Pranamaya Kosha – the physiological or organic sheath 3. Manomaya Kosha – the mental or emotional sheath 4. Vijnanamaya Kosha – the intellectual or discriminative sheath and 5. Anandamaya Kosha – the pure and blissful sheath. The yogi has to go through all these sheaths or layers to reach the Self or the Soul. Apart from Annamaya Kosha none of the sheaths are visible with the naked eye. Therefore, the yogi has to conquer and gain mastery over his physical body before being able to experience the other sheaths. You must be wondering why Am’ I telling all this here. It is because the Annamaya Kosha or the physical body is the main source for all the drama in the whole world. It is the kshetra or location for all the 23 elements mentioned above. 

I always termed Dr. Mantena Satyanarayana Raju as a Karma Yogi not because he does yogasanas. I call him a yogi because from the first moment of the morning till the last moment of his day, his consciousness is totally on his body. This is nothing but meditation. No discovery or invention is possible without meditation. Instead of concentrating on external objects he is concentrating on his internal organs of the body. Meditation is possible only when you move inwards.

The Legendary Yogacharya Sri B.K.S. Iyengar says, ‘My body is my temple, the Asanas I perform are the Prayers offered to the Lord. If you don’t keep your temple clean the God doesn’t reside in it. Instead, the demons reside.’

Numerous pollutants and toxins are secreted by our body every day during its continuous metabolic activities. The body tries to excrete these secreted toxins and pollutants on day to day basis. If these toxins and pollutants are excreted promptly, the body doesn’t face any trouble. Ever since the growth of civilization, the man got busy in eating and has no leisure to excrete these toxins. Due to the increased volume of toxins and pollutants inside; the body releases bad odors. To counter this odor, he is using the pastes, soaps, powders, deodorants and phenyls etc as a substitute but he is never thinking about the cause for using such things. We are keeping the Toilets neat and clean by washing the pollutants and toxins released from the body everyday with toilet cleaners and phenyls available in the market but we are not cleaning the inner body- the real source for the waste that is hidden inside our body. If the women don’t have enough time to clean their toilets, they even hire people to clean them but they don’t let it go. Such is the love and affection for their house. But have you ever tried to keep this body-the abode of Paramatma or the God with such love and affection? Are you keeping this temple that clean? Had you ever got this idea before? Have you ever realized what kind of mistake you are making? We have neglected this temple so far. At least now let us pledge to keep this temple clean. Let us see how the health doesn’t come? Since we have decided to keep this temple clean, let us now try to learn how the toxins and pollutants form in our body and what kind of harm they cause to our body.

Formation of toxins and pollutants in the body:
Dr. M.S. Raju has been continuously teaching these things for the last 20 years wherever he goes and through the medium of TV, CDs/DVDs and several books in a very simple and understandable way. You don’t need to be a medical student or a Doctor to understand his teachings. He makes things look so simple and understandable because he speaks the language of people. Today I am about to bring you some of the excerpts of Dr. Raju’s dasapustakalu (a handset of 10 books) ‘how to clean the body from inside?’

Our body is a combination of few trillion cells. When millions of cells combine together forms an organ. When several organs combine together forms the body. If this kind of body has to live, there must be some kind of metabolic activities in the cells inside our body. There are three very essential necessities to run these metabolic activities of the cells. They are the air, water and food. We get these three essential requisites in the form of gas, liquid and solid from nature. The cells in our body produces energy from the air, water and food we provide. We are alive as long as they produce the energy. Whenever the fuel is used to produce energy, there forms the pollution also. For example, if the wood is burnt, you get the energy called fire. Along with fire you also get the pollutants like smoke, coal and ash. Similarly when our body cells produce energy by consuming the fuel called air, water and food, they leave pollutants like carbon dioxide, sweat, urine and stool. Apart from these, millions of cells die every day due to the completion of lifespan or in a battle with the intruded bacteria and viruses. They kill everyday millions of bacteria intruded in the body. These dead cells are nothing but toxins and pollutants to the body and therefore the body tries to excrete these pollutants on day to day basis. Is our body really excreting these toxin and pollutants effectively? Are we helping the body enough in fulfilling its task? Or we are making the task more difficult? Let us analyze.

The causes for toxins and pollutants remaining in the body:

Every individual maintains a perfect time table for food. He set a time table for tea, breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner etc. There is ample time set for eating and drinking. But he had forgotten to set the time table for passing on the toilet and the stool. This has become the major cause for forming pollutants inside the body. Every individual is using 2-3 hours time a day for eating. If every individual allots at least 1/4th of that time in eliminating the pollutants, that is more than enough. Since the man is intelligent and he can use his intelligence for wrong purposes, he has those problems. Whereas the animal does not know the wrong usage of its intelligence and therefore it follows the nature’s instincts. The animals cannot hold the waste inside their bodies as they do not know the ways to hold it. Whereas humans, women in particular do not drink enough water required for the day with the fear of going to the urinals for repeated number of times. With that they are blocking the waste toxins and pollutants from excreting through urine. Moreover we are eating 3 to 5 times a day; but we are not properly ablating the stool formed out of that. 25% of the dead cells are excreted through stool on day to day basis. With the growth of civilization and the so called modernization we began to eat more junk food and made ourselves busy in chasing the material objects so much that we forgot to allot some time for cleansing our intestines. With that the waste toxins and pollutants are remaining in the body. With the fear of losing the makeup or powder or straining the clothes or due to irritation we are not allowing the body to excrete the waste through sweat also by putting on the fans or air conditioners. There is no other way of sweating. With that the waste that is to be excreted through sweat remains in the body. If our work involves lot of physical exert moving the limbs then the capacity of lungs increases and carries out more carbon dioxide through every exhalation. Today, the work involves only the movement of fingers; therefore the waste remains inside. In this way the waste toxins and pollutants that should be excreted from the four excretory organs are left inside our body. We are excreting only 1/4th of the waste leaving 3/4th of the waste in our body. We are totally ignorant of the harm in leaving such toxins and pollutants in the body. Let us try to learn the harm they do to our body.

The harm caused by the waste toxins and pollutants to our body:
Our body possesses a wonderful cleansing mechanism. If small dust particles enter the eyes or any plaque or food particle is formed in your teeth, the body does not rest until it removes those particles causing trouble. The body of such nature tries to excrete the waste formed inside through the four excretory organs to its fullest capacity in the form of sweat, urine, stool and breath. Those waste toxins and pollutants are being brought to the gates but they are again turned back as we are not providing enough opportunity to get them out completely as mentioned in the above head ‘the causes for toxins and pollutants remaining in the body.’ In this way the body tries to excrete them but failing which it is storing at those places where there is no resistance or less resistance. The waste is therefore stored in the body wherever no activity or less activity is there. It is this reason why different people in a family get different types of problems even when they eat same kind of food. Let us see how these toxins and pollutants turn into diseases.

If the water fetched in a pot is left unchanged for 10 days numerous bacteria and viruses are formed in it. Sometimes if you store the cooked food for one night, by next morning you find it stinking and by afternoon you can see the bacteria moving over it. In the same way the waste we reserved in our body gives birth to bacteria and viruses causing diseases. Whichever the organ or part of the body the bacteria reach, that organ gets diseased which we call infection in Medical terms. The diseases are named after the organs where the bacteria reach and cause the disease. If the bacteria are intruded in the joints, it is called Arthritis, if it is in Esophagus it is called Bronchitis, if it is in the pits by the side of nose then it is called Sinusitis and so on. The major reason or source for all the diseases is the waste that is stored inside the body. People usually say that I got so and so disease. I got diabetes, I got lungs cancer, I got bronchitis, I got cholesterol etc. as if they borrowed from outside or they got it from somewhere else. Neither the doctors, medical sciences, environmental pollution, pesticides nor fertilizers used in the crops or the parents and age is responsible for the pollution inside. It is our negligence and ignorance that is responsible for all the damage. The diseases do not come from anywhere out. They are formed inside our body. Whatever the kind of environment you provide inside the body remains in that way. It is rightly said by some of the ancient yogis, you can either make your inner body a garden or a graveyard. If you send dead bodies in it (animal food), it becomes a graveyard. If you send grass and plants it becomes a garden. But today, even that is not enough. You need to regularly water your plants, clean the garden on regular basis and provide right kind of manures to keep it clean and green. 

After going through all this you might have understood now, what to keep clean? It is not the toilets you need to clean, it is not the surroundings you need to clean, it is not the city you need to keep clean, it is the annamaya kosha – the physical / anatomical body you need to clean first. You cannot expect the government to take the initiative and say ‘keep your body clean’ as it is sleeping since independence of India. By the time it awakes, you may no longer be there to see the awakening. Therefore being intelligent individuals with brains awake on your own and bring the change in your life by immediately following the path of Dr. Raju’s Natural Way of Living.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Keep watching the space for more updates.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Health is in Your Hands

In the previous blog “Health is Happiness” we tried to understand the true meaning of health and its relationship with wealth and doctors. Before going further into the topic “Health is in your Hands”, let me share a small experience of mine in this regards. Legendary Yogacharya Sri BKS Iyengar once said in his interview that he was blessed with numerous diseases like Influenza, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Typhoid etc during his childhood. It is this reason why he has chosen the path of Yoga. Doctors declared that Guruji would die in 5 or 6 years and would not even cross his teenage. But destiny has something in store for him. He not only overcame his afflictions but gone on to live past 94 years and still going strong. When I met him in last July during Guru Poornima, I was astonished to see the kind of energy he has even at this age. He is full of energy, very vibrant and electrifying than a teenager. I have seen people of his age but not with so much vigor and vibrancy. Recently I happened to watch a documentary film on Guruji named “Leap of Faith”. After watching the film, I realized that Guruji’s life was nothing but a battle in every path of his life. He used to practice asanas for 10 hours at times. He experimented on his body in many ways. Iyengar method of Yoga is the result of these experiments and the experiences derived out of it.

After overcoming all the issues, Guruji helped lakhs of people who visited him over the years with different ailments through his unique method of Yoga using specific movements, alignments of the body and different types of props for practicing asanas. Apart from that lakhs of others across the world are getting benefited by the Iyengar Yoga Teachers created by Guruji. Guruji not only lighted up his house but passed on the energy to his students who are lightening lakhs of houses across the Globe. The energy is flowing and there is no halt for this energy. Had Guruji not suffered those diseases, we wouldn’t have found a power house called Sri. BKS Iyengar who is lightening the houses of millions with is Knowledge and Wisdom on Yoga. Great people always burn in the fire like an earthen pot to serve the others.

Dr. Manthena Satyanarayana Raju is no different from Guruji BKS Iyengar. He is another karma yogi who is moving up in his path lightening millions of people in Andhra Pradesh and across the world. Fortunately I am one of the rarest people who got an opportunity to get associated with two of these greats. Like Guruji Dr. M.S. Raju also suffered several health issues during his childhood. He made several experiments on his body and experienced several health benefits. He studied the Science of Naturopathy and after an intense research on the subject he designed the path of “Natural Way of Living” and decided to take this wonderful gift of nature to the people of Andhra Pradesh. Over the last 15 years Dr. M.S. Raju has been preaching the benefits of Natural Way of Living travelling all over the state of Andhra Pradesh. He realized many people suffering from various diseases in spite of spending lakhs of rupees on treatment moving from one doctor to another and one hospital to another without any result. For people like them, he designed “Natural Way of Living” where one can improve his health condition without spending a single rupee, sitting at home without going to any doctor or hospital. Dr. Raju’s followers are increasing day by day throughout the World. He is reaching every house hold through his books, TV programs and CDs and DVDs. Unfortunately most of them are in Telugu language. This is why I started writing my blog. My intention was to take his teachings to Non-Telugu speaking people in India. Fortunately, my blog posts are widely appreciated by international viewers as well. When I began my journey into natural way of living, I never imagined I would be like what I am today. I cannot explain in words how do I feel now. Thanks to Dr. Raju and Guruji BKS Iyengar because of whom I am transforming into a healthy person now.

Many like others I was not very serious about my health though I was suffering from several health issues. Only after watching Dr. Raju’s program on weight loss I started his path of Natural way of living. After seriously taking up Guruji BKS Iyengar’s Yoga I realized what complete health is. These two greats are inspiring forces and twin pillars of my life. I not only gained physical health but also mental peace. After joining yoga I realized that I was running after false things and my goal has changed now. My way of looking at things has changed and this I guess is the reason for relieving my mental strain and stress.

Being humans we do get diseases. That’s the nature our body. Being sick is sometimes for good reasons. It makes you realize the importance of health. I was born with ASD (Arterial Septal Disorder). In simple terms it is a case of hole in the artery of my heart. This made my childhood difficult in many ways. I used to get sick every now and then. But when I look back I realize that it was good in one way. It taught me the spirit of fighting hard to survive. I think it helped my natural instincts to rise. When I was undergoing an open heart surgery at the age of 18, I saw people crying with fear while going to the surgery room. I was fearless as I knew that is going to give me a new life. But I was not aware that my life would become sedentary after surgery which is going to hamper my health condition. My life had become a hell after surgery. Though the heart problem was overcome, my immunity system dropped down, became weak and feeble and restricted to sedentary work. I sacrificed all my sports which I used to play before surgery. Increasing weight was another matter of concern for me for very long time. After following Dr. Raju’s TV program on weight loss I began this journey of ‘Natural Way of Living’. Fortunately I came across a book called “light on Yoga” written by Guruji BKS Iyengar and began my yoga journey. (To know how I began my yoga journey follow this link “GuruPoornima with Legedary BKS Iyengar.”) After that my life took a U Turn. Then I joined Iyengar Yoga Institute Hyderabad, studying yoga under the expert guidance of my Guruji Smt. Zarna Mohan.

According to some of the ancient yoga texts diseases are caused due to three reasons:

1. Aadhyaatmika – Sickness caused due to bad karma or actions of the parents and ancestors. The sickness is hereditarily transferred to the heirs through their DNA. If the parents and grand parents ignore their health and succumb to diseases, they not only affect them but also to their future generations. We see many of these cases today. Diabetes, Cancer, Tuberculosis, Asthma, Bronchitis etc and many other diseases are caused hereditarily to plenty of people.

2. Aadibhautika – Sickness caused by the bad karma or actions of the self. We can call this a life style disorder. They are caused due to bad and unhealthy lifestyles. We see most of these cases in the metro and other growing cities where the lifestyles are against the nature of our body. Sedentary work, lack of physical exert, bad eating and sleeping habits and odd working hours are responsible for this kind of diseases or disorders. This is the most happening issue among the people of current generation. Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Liver Problems, Kidney Problems, Intestinal Problems, Gall bladder Problems, Lung Problems, Heart Problems, Paralysis, Obesity and you name it and every modern disease is a lifestyle disorder. They are the diseases purchased by our own self.

3. Aadidaivika – Sickness caused by the karma or actions of the past lives. These types of diseases are very rare. These are the diseases caused to one from birth neither hereditary nor lifestyle disorder. For example, kids with hole in arteries or veins of the heart, one with crooked Spine, Type I diabetes and the cases of physical and mental deficiencies by birth.

We can overcome all these health issues if we learn how to keep ourselves healthy and teach the younger generations the importance of good health. Unfortunately, many believe themselves healthy until they fall sick or get prone to a serious disease. Then they cry that the disease has hampered their health. They believe their health was perfect before the disease and it hampered only after the disease. The fact is, as long as the Light called health is there with you, the disease cannot enter your body. It enters only when the light called health is declined. The disease en-roots into the body and slowly sprouts within without any symptoms. The sprout then starts branching inside the body and only then we realize the symptoms. If these symptoms are not taken care of in the early stages then the disease takes a giant form and destroys your life.
Now let us try to understand the causes for declining health condition of our body. People say that untidiness, food, water and environmental pollution are responsible for the declining health standards of the people. But the fact is, it is only 10% of the cause where as the 90% of the cause is our week immunity system. A sound immunity system protects your body from all sorts of trouble. If at all the disease enters your body and grows, it is the failure of your defense mechanism called the immunity system. Who is responsible for the declining immunity system? The parents who gave birth to you? They realized the importance of health and still live healthy. The doctors and hospitals? They are here because you are diseased. Food pollution? Water Pollution? Environmental Pollution? Mental Stain and Tensions? They are only responsible for a fraction. Then who is the culprit of your health? It is you. You are responsible for your ill health. Your health is in your hands. It is not in the hands of your parents, doctors, hospitals or in the hands of your society. It is totally in your hands. You can build it as well as you can ruin it.

Our ancestors realized this secret of health and lived healthy and happy. We are unable to understand this simple fact and ruining our own health. Today, especially the people living in the metro cities, the educated and the rich are unable to understand this very simple secret ‘the health is in our own hands’. Dawn to dusk we are spending our time in studies, earning money, enjoying foods, traveling and leading a luxurious and effortless life. Actually there isn’t any time to live. Then how can we live healthy? We plan everything except health. We plan what we are supposed to study in future. How we are supposed to earn money. When to visit a favorite restaurant for dinner? Where are we supposed to spend our holidays etc? Had we ever planned a single day allotting a time to chew our food well and eat? Cleanse the intestines and bladder? Doing exercises and meditation? Eating well before sunset and sleeping early hours in the night? Had we ever thought what this beautiful vehicle of our life journey called body needs? Are we providing what it needs? If we look after this vehicle then where is the need of taking it to the shed for repairs? 

We are responsible for our own ill health. It is therefore, we have to correct our mistakes. If your skin is itching, you cannot scratch others to get rid of the itch. Similarly, if your health is declined, you have to pull your socks up and try to regain total health. Everyone must try to keep the doctors away as much as possible. Because a doctor is needed only when your not healthy. It doesn’t mean that you should not take the help of doctors and hospitals. You need to use them only when required and should not depend on them for anything and everything. Doctors and hospitals are only meant to treat the disease. Their relationship is only with your disease and not you. Their responsibility is over once they treat the disease. 

Measures to Improve Health:

Who is a better person to follow when you are looking to improve your health condition than Dr. Mantena Satyanaraya Raju? For the past 15 years Dr. Raju has been doing a wonderful job in promoting health among the people of Andhra Pradesh. You can improve your health condition by following some of these minimum duties of the body.

To run a car in a good condition, you need to fulfill some of its daily needs. You need to provide some water, fuel, engine oil and some air. If you regularly provide these basic needs the car functions properly. Similarly, if you learn and understand the basic needs of the vehicle of our life called the body, then it functions properly just like a car without any difficulty. To ask these minimum needs is the right of our body and to provide them is our duty. The following are some of the basic needs of our body.

1. Air – The most important need of our body is air. One cannot survive more than few seconds if there is no air. Fortunately, the air moves in and out of our body involuntarily without our intervention. Therefore we could lead this much of life. Lungs are the main organs that carry oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of our body. But, keeping in mind of our daily activity we are not utilizing our full capacity of the lungs. Due to non usage, the lungs are losing its functional capacity and collapsing in times of need. If you have an active physical activity in your daily life then the lungs perform well. There is no better way of improving your lungs capacity than Pranayama in Yoga. However, any other physical exert also improves the lung capacity. You need better, wider and expandable lungs for a good healthy life.


2. Water – After Air, water plays a second vital role in our health. You need to realize that 71% of our body weight is due to water. Everyday 2 liters of water is utilized by the body in excreting the toxins from the body in the form of urine and sweat. You need to maintain the water levels intact in order to keep your inner environment healthy. Many people don’t realize this and do not maintain enough water levels in the body. Even if they do, they drink in the form of cool drinks, beer, buttermilk etc and think they are maintaining enough water in them. But they forget these are food items and not water. You need water to cleanse your body; not the soft drinks, sodas and juices. The body has to digest and cleanse these drinks and extract water from it. It may be helpful to some extent but it may not do the same as water does. Water is directly absorbed into the blood immediately and serves the need. If you serve 6 liters of water in Dr.Mantena’s way, then you lead a very healthy life. If you follow this, half your diseases or problems disappear.


3. Food – Food is the third most important element of our health. Everyone does eat food but the food that gives pleasure to the tongue but not the food that is useful to the body. We are utilizing the stomach filling it for a minimum of 3 times a day and hardly doing any physical activity. We are eating, wandering and working restlessly throughout the day and night. We are not leaving the body alone even when it is sick and not in a position to eat and digest the food. Ignoring all the symptoms of the body stuffing the stomach has become a routine. We have forgotten the ancient ways of Lankanam - fasting till recovery during fever and other sickness and regular fasts every now and then during a month to provide rest to the body. We have forgotten the ancient mantra – eat less and live more. Yogis in the past rightly said, Eka-bhukte sada yogi, Dwi-bhukte sada bhogi and Tri-bhukte sada Rogi; which means, the one who eats once a day leads a long life like a yogi, who eats twice lives like a bhogi - an enjoyer, who eats thrice lives like a rogi – the diseased. My Yoga teacher Smt. Zarna Mohan says, one has to enjoy food but with regulation to live healthy. Follow this simple mantra and that is enough.


4. Exercise – Physical exercise is very important part of life. As Guruji BKS Iyengar says, if you want to be healthy, you need to purchase health by spending your sweat. How truly said by the great Maestro? Apart from fingers working on computers, books and files we are not moving our body. Guruji in his book tree of life on yoga said, today a modern man wakes up from a cushion bed to find a bed coffee or tea and lands on sofa for reading news paper, He falls on dining table for breakfast, dining table to car seat for office, car seat to office chair for work and the reverse in return. He begins and ends his day on the seat. How is he supposed to get health? When anyone is asked to do some exercise, he says that he has no time for that. What a pity. How ignorant he is? Why does anyone forget that by the time he is full of time to exercise, the body is no more capable of doing it? The water once spilt into the soil cannot come back. Therefore, you need to extract your time now before it’s too late. 


5. Rest – Rest is very useful part of our life. You need to rest the body externally and internally. External rest is given by providing a nice, deep and ample sleep in the nights. Since humans are day predators, the dharma of our body is to work in the day and sleep at night. But the lifestyles of metro cities are opposite to this. Due to night schedules of their work many people in the cities are suffering from sleeping disorders like insomnia and sleeplessness. You need to avoid these lifestyles as much as possible to stay healthy. Internal rest can be provided by eating less, regular fasting and doing lankanams – fasting unto recovery during sickness. 70% of daily energy is utilized by the body in eating food, digesting the eaten food, converting them to glucose and supplying the converted glucose to the body cells. If you do regular fast, the body saves this energy and utilizes in cleansing and repairing the body. We discussed all these in the previous posts. So I don’t feel necessary to elaborate on this.


6. Excretion of the Waste - The body excretes the wastes and toxins of the body in the form of urine, sweat and stool. Most part of the waste is excreted through stool. We always think of filling the stomach but never pay attention in cleansing our intestines until we get intestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome, burning sensation and blood spilling through anus, piles, hemorrhoids, fishers etc. Follow Dr. Raju’s Natural way of living, keep your bowels moving freely and overcome all these problems with ease and lead a healthy life.

If you take care of these 6 basic needs of the body you always remain healthy, your immunity system boosts up and protects you from all sorts of diseases and disorders. We might have committed mistakes in the past but let us pledge not to commit the same again and change our lifestyle and follow the Natural Way of Living from here on.

I hope you enjoyed this update. Keep watching the space for more updates.
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