Healing through the Magical Water

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Today, there is no guarantee that the food, medicine, or even water that you drink is healthy enough. But we see that children happily survive in slums, whereas some die with strange, inexplicable phenomena like sudden infant death syndrome. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_infant_death_syndrome 

Ayurveda and all ancient medical sciences believe that the mind plays a huge role in health. A balanced mind can maintain a perpetual state of perfect health. Similarly, the mind can change or improve the effectiveness of the food we eat or the water we drink. 

In ancient India, rishis or sages used to keep just a camandal or a unique jug to carry water. It is believed that they had the power to infuse magical qualities in water and survive only on that. 

Ancient Chinese monks practiced the art of bigu. Bigu is a state of complete abstinence from food and water. It is a state of perfect physical sustenance without any gross energy supplement from outside. Imagine a person who does not need to eat or drink anything! But they also achieved the final state of bigu through the use of some herbs and unique magical water. I believe that they prepared this magical water through the power of meditation. https://sites.google.com/site/delawareteasociety/yoked-to-earth-a-treatise-on-corpse-demons-and-bigu

I believe that magic water heals the higher layers of existence and therefore, its effect is immediate and magical. If done properly, it might cure the most impossible disorders immediately.

Daiv vyapashraya

Ayurveda has 3 branches of healing. The most effective and yet the least known is Daiv vyapashraya. The word Daiv means divinity and vyapashraya signifies “to take shelter in” or to apply. The magic water treatment is a past of Daiv vrapashraya chikitsa.

Ayurveda believes that the divine energy that runs our body can be directly contacted. And we can resolve our physical problems through ensuring an unhindered flow of this energy.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327701620_SATVAVJAY_DAIVAVYAPASHRAY_CHIKITSA_BOON_TO_MANAS_VIKARA’S_Corresponding_Author

According to Charak Samhita, following methods are prescribed for Daiv vyapashraya.

  • 1. Mantra (Hymns)
  • 2. Aushadha (Amulets, Talisman)
  • 3. Mani (Wearing of gems)
  • 4. Mangala (Auspicious ceremony)
  • 5. Bali (Offering to god)
  • 6. Upahara (Gift)
  • 7. Homa(Oblations)
  • 8. Niyamana (Observance of scriptural rules)
  • 9. Prayascita (Atonement)
  • 10. Upavasa (Fasting)
  • 11. Svastyayana (Chanting of auspicious, Hymns)
  • 12. Pranipata (Observance to the god)
  • 13. Gamana (Going to pilgrimage)

The modern field of energy medicine is a part of this vast science. And it is growing very rapidly

Ancient civilizations like Inka, Mayans, Polynasian tribes extensively and effectively practiced mantra healing. We can still find mantra healers in African tribes. Shamanism practiced in native American Tribes is a form of Daiv vyapashraya.

Science Behind The Magic Water

And all this appears real instantly when we look at two mind-boggling scientific experiments – 

Water Memory Experiment

This experiment slows that water exposed to different forms of music and environment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_memory. Besides, this experiment has been repeated many times by different people with consistent results! So water remembers what happens. Probably, the belief that rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, or Narmada are scared is not a myth after all. Testing of Ganga water done in 1856 by a British scientist led to surprising results – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3225782/

A list of other experiments on Ganga water can be found here – https://www.facebook.com/scientific.vedas/posts/323655977821455. The bottom line is that water can retain the effects of meditation, prayer, and environmental vibrations. 

Moong Sprouts Experiment

In Moong sprouts experiments conducted by heartfulness meditation center, the moong seeds were sprouted in two different conditions – the researchers placed some soaked seed in the meditation room and others in a room with TV and wifi radiations. After a few days, the moong sprouts exposed to Bluetooth, Tv, and wifi turned yellow and died. Whereas, the moong sprouts grown in the meditation room multiplied rapidly and were lush green.  

Find the details under heading stress and diseases in https://www.daaji.org/travels-and-conversations-with-daaji-14-january-2019/ 

You can also try this experiment at your own home and see the difference!

Double Slit Experiment

this experiment is utterly amazing in the sense that it reflects that the matter might also possess a mind of its own and that we can influence the particle behavior with our mind!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment

So, matter works as the mind directs, consciously, or unconsciously. The great law of attraction also points towards the same thing. Here are some interesting reads regarding the relation of Ayurveda with the law of attraction.

Healing through Magical Water

I learned the method of making healing water through Heartfulness meditation. The book “the heartfulness way” And the procedure is really simple. 

  • Fill a bowl with water. 
  • Close your eyes and meditate on it for 30 minutes with the feeling that this water should heal anyone who consumes it. 
  • Give it to the person concerned. 

This remedy helps in the case of physical and mental disorders equally. And it is completely worth trying. The priceless things in the world are free – whether it is air or water, even food. Nature doesn’t charge for anything. Similarly, if you have faith, medical treatment is also free!

Hope that this information reaches everyone in need!

Why Home Remedies Don’t Work, and How to Safely Try Unknown Home Remedies!

Now-a-days there are so many Ayurvedic remedies available online, you see, for example – 5 tips for weight gain, 5 tips for weight loss or 7 tips for headache and so on and so forth.

However, these home remedies fail to produce identical results in all kinds of people. Some people may experience a huge relief; however there might be other who might feel no difference at all. And have you ever wondered- why is that so?

The people who follow Ayurvedic home remedies remind me of a friend who used to mug up all the answers in the text book exactly in the same sequence and she would reproduce these answers exactly in the same sequence in the question paper also. However, in the question paper the sequence will be changed and all her answers will always be wrong. And she would always be so confused “why is this happening?”

You see, home remedies work exactly in the same manner if you don’t know why you are doing them. If you don’t know what fits and what does not and this is what happens with the people who don’t know what their body needs.

You see, applicability is a huge factor here.  One home remedy which might work in a great way for some other person might not be applicable to you, because you might have a different body type or you stay in a different region or you have a different climate or currently there is a different season, or you have a different digestive capacity, there can be so many factors at work. Our body is such a complex dynamic metabolic system and it is so disrespectful of our uniqueness to expect exactly the same result from a same home remedy.

Some of the factors are –

  • PRAKRATI OR BODY TYPE
    • Vata Dominant
      • Hot and Oily Herbs
    • Pitta Dominant
      • Cool and Sweet Herbs
    • Kapha Dominant
      • Hot and Dry Herbs
  • REGIONS
    • Ayurveda describes 3 Major types of REGIONS
      • Anoop (Wet Lands)
      • Jangalya (Dry Lands)
      • Sadharan (Normal Land)
  • CLIMATE 
    • Climatic cycle defines local seasons and weather conditions
    • That’s why, summer in a desert is different from that in a mountain.
    • Herbs grown in the local climate are the best for the natives.
  • SEASON
    • Classical Ayurvedic Remedies change according to Seasonal Variations.
Ritu Haritaki (Seasonal Combination of Chebulic myrobalan)

DIGESTION

Digestion determines the real benefits of herbal Remedies.

Haritaki (Chebulic myrobalan) is a wonder herb! However a person with INDIGESTION must never consume it.

Even your faith in the home remedy can bring about a drastic change in the results. No one today can deny the impact of placebo in the field of medicine. And if you have a huge faith in a home remedy, you might get incredible results from it even if it does not suit you and that’s why the Bhabhuti given by a sage works!

READ THE QUESTION PROPERLY

In my school, before every exam the examiner will announce” please read the question paper carefully” and it will also be written on the question paper because if we don’t read the question carefully, we will not answer the question, but will just vomit out what it there in our own mind.

When we know our health condition, when we know our body and what it needs , we have read the question properly and this is the right time to answer.    

Now you cannot go exploring your body when you are reeling with pain. I quite understand that. And therefore, there is a method to try unknown home remedies, if you must.

UPSHAY

Upshay is an Ayurvedic dosage technique where the patient is given a very small dose, let’s says one fourth or one tenth of the actual required quantity and kept under observation for some time. If he feels relief, the medicine fits otherwise it does not.  Plain and simple, we cannot profess to understand everything about the body!

For a Vaidya (Ayurveda physician), this method is a great tool for differential diagnosis as well.  It helps to determine or verify the exact Dosha situation in the body. Besides, this method of using minimum dosage also protects you from sudden and harsh allergic reactions, as this method gives ample time to the body to adjust its response.

Therefore, as a lay man, if you must use a home remedy in an emergency, try to use it in very small dosage and observe the response for some time, it can be one hour or  a day, depending on your convenience and then decide to use it for a longer duration.    

I hope that this information helps you to choose your best home remedy.

Other interesting articles

How to Choose Herbal Remedies

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Concept of Nutrition In Ayurveda

According to modern science, nutrition of a food substance depends on its chemical composition. But according to Ayurveda, the way body responds to a particular food decides the nutrition that the food can provide to the body.

There are few factors that determine the nutrition of a food –

Bio-availability of the nutrition

In order to understand the concept of bio-availability in the light of Ayurveda, consider this example – If you have a rod of iron and a capsule of ferrous sulphate, the rod of iron will indisputably have more content of iron then the capsule. However, the body will not be able to absorb anything from the rod of iron or even the plain iron powder. The chemical presence of nutritious elements does not determine their bio-availability for the body. Therefore, even if there is lots of minerals and vitamins in a food substance, the body might never be able to absorb more than 50% of them. Let us take a baseline of a very popular health supplement – turmeric. Raw Turmeric is today available in in powder and capsulated form. Most of the people in Western countries are buying it as a health supplement. However, according to Ayurveda, raw turmeric should never be consumed as the body is not able to absorb its nutrition. Besides, it might produce toxins and derange dosha if not digested properly.  

The other dangerous concept creeps in along with the one above. Since the bio-availability of the nutrients is low , therefore more and more concentrated doses of nutrients should be consumed to ensure that we receive the optimal amount of all nutrition. However, consumption of such concentrated doses have a harsh and deteriorating effect on the body. Let us bring in turmeric in this context. Turmeric with higher curcumin(main bio-active ingredient in Turmeric) is available in the market. But it is not the natural form of turmeric. Ayurveda suggests that the food with unnatural qualities is dangerous for the body. Now, if the turmeric you are consuming is Genetically modified, then you must have a look at this video, otherwise you are on your road to cancer and a hoard of autoimmune disorders, because of a health supplement!  –

https://amzn.to/2SxaVl1

For more information on effects of genetically modified food, please refer to

Preparation of the Food

Another important factor in terms of bio-availability of nutrition is the processing of the food. For example, cooked tomato provides more nutrition than a raw tomato. In fact, raw tomato is more acidic in nature as compared to a cooked one. According to Ayurveda, cooking makes most of the foods’ nutrients more bio-available. Ayurveda considers that soups, teas and broths are far better than juices as juices are harder to digest as compared to the cooked preparations. Ayurveda advices a sick person to eat khichadi( rice lentil soup) rather than fresh fruits or anything raw. Therefore, we need to relook at our tradition of breaking a fast with a glass of orange juice!

Now in case of turmeric, raw turmeric is not good, roasted turmeric is better. But the best preparation that is good for all body types and can be consumed in larger quantities is Turmeric roasted in Ghee(Indian Butter). According to Ayurveda, turmeric is dry in nature. Therefore, when fried in ghee, it becomes unctuous, gets absorbed without any erosive effects on the intestines and spreads throughout the body. Ghee is supposed to be a “Yogavahi” or the carrier of the medicinal properties. It absorbs and preserves the medicinal properties of the herbs and helps to spread them across the body.  

Requirement of the body

One man’s food is another man’s poison. According to Ayurveda, each human body is different. There can be no general rule for all people regarding nutrition. Nutrition is a personal dharma of each body! Ayurveda classifies human body in to 3 primary types – vata, pitta and kapha. Each type has different requirements and reacts differently to external stimuli. (Ayurvedic Body Types) Now let us consider the example of alcohol. A glass of wine will not alter its composition according to its consumer. Yet different people have different physiological responses on alcohol consumption. According to Ayurveda, alcohol is very good for Kapha prakriti person as it warms up the body and stimulates the sluggish metabolism of the kapha body. But the amount of alcohol that can be good for a kapha person might cause a pitta prakriti person to pass out or cause inflammation or acidity. (Now we are not considering habitual drinkers in any of the examples!). Similarly, same amount of alcohol might cause bloating in a vata prakriti person. 

Extending the example of turmeric in this case, few mg of turmeric are good for consumption everyday. Indian dishes, esp. the curries are replete with the use of small quantities of turmeric. Turmeric adds taste, color and aroma to the dishes and also ensure consumption of optimal quantity of turmeric. A normal Indian meal with few tsps of turmeric provides the required amount for a normal healthy body. 

Turmeric is hot in temperament. Therefore a larger amount can be consumed in the winter season. This helps to prevent the seasonal cold and cough, esp in the children. Haridrakhand (Haridra- Turmeric) is the classical Ayurvedic health supplement, highly recommended in winter. It contains various other herbs along with turmeric. 1-2 tsp with warm milk before bed is a good dose for a great immunity. 

So again, nutrition is directly proportional to the requirements of an individual body. 

How much you need to eat!

Nutritious Amount

According to Ayurveda, “Ati sarvatra varjayeta”, meaning excess is prohibited everywhere. Here quality and quantity, both are important in terms of nutrition. Now turmeric is very nutritious for the body. But there is an optimal amount in which it bestows its natural benefits to the body.

However, if one were to consume huge amount of raw turmeric, it is sure to cause indigestion and bloating in the body. Generally small amount of roasted turmeric should be consumed as a health supplement.  

One of the modern myths regarding nutrition is regarding the protein intake.

Past few decades were full of promotion for protein intake.The markets are full of products that promise huge volumes of protein. But such huge amount of protein is not required at all by the human body. Looking at the nature, we find that the animals that consume a solely protein based diet normally have a shorter life-span as compared to the vegetarian animals.

Recent studies suggest that excess intake of protein can promote carcinogenic metabolism in the body.  The China Study is one. of the most extensive study of human nutrition that concludes vegetarian diet to be far superior to heavy protein based diet, in terms of cancer prevention.

Capacity to absorb the nutrition

This is actually the single governing rule for nutrition in a body. Nutrition is basically the useful substances that your body can actually extract from the food and not exactly the amount present inside the food. Let us consider the following example – what is the single most important factor in education of a child? We can say that good books, stationary, learning toys, good teachers, good learning environment etc. are important. But the single most important factor for learning in anyone is the willingness to learn. If a child is not willing to learn, then no one and nothing can teach him. Same goes for the nutrition in our bodies. 

Ayurvedic Lifestyle for Excellent Digestion

Food Combinations 

Good and bad food combinations are very important factor in Ayurvedic nutrition. You must have read about the drug to drug interactions. Drug to drug interaction means the way one drug reacts with another drug. This is an important factor as some drugs might get converted to toxins, decrease the absorption of the other drugs or interfere with their mode of action when present together. Ayurveda goes beyond drugs and talks about food to food interaction.

Viruddhaara or the contradictory/incompatible food combinations are elaborately mentioned in Ayurveda. For example – milk and curd, fish and milk etc. are some bad food combinations. Also, food to time interaction, for example – eating curd at night and food and incompatible health status combination like consumption of red meat by a weak person with weak digestion; are prohibited. Above are just a small example of the long list of incompatible and unhealthy combinations including various dimensions like food, growing method, cooking method, time of meal, eating process and so on.  

Here are some useful links for elaborate information –

Good Food and Bad Food According to Ayurveda – Food that should be consumed rarely I

Good Food and Bad Food According to Ayurveda – Food that should be consumed rarely II

Types of Foods Preparations

According to Ayurveda, the real essence of a food item is not based only on the chemical composition, nutritional content or the calorie count.

The first parameter is the easy digestion of the food. If the stomach or intestine is not able to digest the food properly then all the nutritional value will go to waste. The factors responsible for easy digestion are 1) Temperature 2) particle size 3) amount of digestive juices required to burn the food. Therefore food which is freshly cooked or warm with smallest particle size (liquid or powder) and in right quality and quantity is the best food. No doubt milk is one of the best foods.

Second most important factor is easy absorption of food. There are various methods of absorption in the intestines. Diffusion is the easiest method; other types of absorption might require active effort by the body. Therefore the food that can easily diffuse the nutrition in the intestine is the best food. Otherwise we might spend 2.5 calories to gain 3 calories which is overall not the most profitable deal.

According to Ayurveda, raw form takes the longest to digest. Different types of food preparations and their absorption efficacy is as discussed in the following link  :

Food Praparations According to Ease of Digestion and Nutritional Value

Satmya

Satmya means something that is naturally favourable or comfortable for the body.  It is said that even if something is not compatible to the human body in general, after exposure for a long time, starting with small quantities; the body makes physiological changes to adapt itself to that particular substance. It can be anything, from excessive salt in food to poison. It is believed that in ancient times, little girls were given small portions of poison to develop them into assassins (Vish kanya or poison girls).

Satmya is of two types according to 2 Kshetra of human existence – Manasic (Mental) Satmya and shariric (physical) Satmya.

Mental Satmya is clearly more important than the physical Satmya.

Let us consider an example to understand the mental Satmya. Some communities eat living fish, because according to them it is the freshest, which is true beyond doubt. They have a mental acceptance for this recipe. But people unaccustomed to this, will find it very gross and unpalatable.

Let us take another instance; for stanch Hindus, eating beef will be absolutely disagreeable, even if they are starving. Same goes for pork in case of Muslims. Eating beef and pork is not seriously detrimental to human body in general. Only risk is the one posed by tapeworm infection. But a Hindu might feel sick of guilt after eating beef; this is more dangerous than actually falling sick.

Mental Satmya is very important. One should not eat anything that she/he does not like. In fact, according to the ayurvedic rule for ideal meal, one should eat things that she/he loves (Priya). A meal that does not result in happiness and contentment does not nourish the body. The concept of Satmya starts with the mind and evolves in the body. If mind accepts a food, body will be nourished from it. According to some researches, people hypnotized and given non-existent/ fake food survived and even gained weight!

Examples of shariric (physical) Satmya are multiple. Eating fish along with milk is not considered a healthy combination in ayurveda. But people in West Bengal are accustomed to it. Too much of vinegar is not a healthy choice, but people in China, Thailand etc. consume lots of vinegar every day and still stay healthy and live long.

The essence of Satmya is that either we should get accustomed to something or don’t eat it at all. Any variation from the ideal meal also comes at a price. Body has to accommodate the change somewhere else in the body or the mind. Charak says that generations of people habituated to excessive intake of acids have slanted eyes and wrinkled face, as in case of population of noodle eating countries.

Do not eat something that is not compatible to you mentally or physically in large quantities. If you must get adapted to the incompatible or astamya, start with little quantity in a disease free state of body and gradually increase the dosage according to your comfort. The initial quantity and the incremental dosage differ from individual to individual. Consulting an experienced physician will be a better choice.

Sandhikal

Ritucharya for all seasons is divided in 3 parts – commencement, maintenance and withdrawal from the seasonal practices. Sandhikal is the time joining the beginning of the ensuing season and simultaneous withdrawal from the previous season. So in Sandhikal the health practices of the previous season should be gradually replaced by the new seasonal health practices, without giving a blow to the stability of the body in the form of diseases, due to the change in seasons.

Sandhi means connection or link. Sandhikal is the time of joining of 2 seasons and therefore beginning of changes in climatic conditions.

Sandhikal is the vital period of Ritucharya, because it is the time of seasonal transition. The body is weakest and more vulnerable to the disease causing factors, as most of its energy is focused on making adjustments to ensuing season.

For example, the body system is tuned for hot weather in summers, the blood vessels are dilated and large amount of heat leaves the body via skin through evaporation. But if the body is suddenly put in the cold weather, in the same physical state, it will lose heat profusely until it makes hasty physical corrections, like shivering etc. Changing seasons repeatedly expose body to such physiological shudders. This is a simple example, but there are so many complex processes that help the body tune itself to the outside environment. Even small changes in the weather or food might have immense effect on an unprepared body. By the grace of nature, the natural changes of the seasons set in gradually, giving a healthy body adequate time and resources to tune itself to the new season. If the weather changes suddenly then it causes more diseases, as the body is unable to adjust to the sudden changes.

The far reaching impact of Sandhikal is not the minor ailments. The actual impact reflects on the aging process of the body. For example if you are used to applying brakes of your vehicle suddenly , the age of the brakes will not be much as compared to the ones which belong to the people who habitually slow down before applying the brakes.

The food and lifestyle should start to change with the beginning of Sandhikal, for effective prevention of diseases and aging. There are 6 seasons according to Ayurveda and each season is roughly of 2 months. So we can understand that the 1-2 weeks of the ongoing season and the 1-2 weeks of the coming season constitute the Sandhi kal.

Sandhikal duration of total 1 month, including the seasonal start sandhikal and end sandhikal, gives the body adequate time to prepare. For example Sharad starts from 21/22nd Sep to the end of Nov approximately; in the Hindu calendar months of Ashwin and Kartik. The previous month is Bhadrapada, which contains the last 1-2 weeks of Sandhikal for Sharad and Varsha (rains).

The aim of Sandhikal Ritucharya is to make appropriate and quality resources available to the body in terms of food and lifestyle, which will help it to adjust to the ensuing season, without falling sick or getting weak.

Also, we should consider differential sandhikal for different people, the standard sandhikal being of first 2 weeks and the last 2 weeks of each season. That means approximately 1 month in a season of 2 months duration will be sandhikal. This way sandhikal becomes more inclusive for the weak, old and diseased people, whose body metabolism adjusts more slowly to the changes than a normal healthy young body.

There are 6 sandhi kal for 6 seasons and they form a cycle together with the seasons.

Hindu calendar is Luni-solar calendar. Solar calendar and lunar calendars differs in their months. The solar calendar is the duration of the earth’s rotation around the sun. Solar calendar has 365 days in a year. Lunar calendar is the duration of the moon’s rotation around the earth and it has 354 days. Therefore there is a gap of few days between the solar and lunar months. In the picture above, the days of vasant  from Mesha Sankranti to Vrihabha Sankranti, form a solar month of Mesha, where vasant actually starts according to solar calendar. Solar calendar is considered more appropriate to calculate the seasons. Therefore we can consider the first few days of Chaitra as the later part of Sharad sandhikal. Each Hindu month has 2 phases, one waxing moon (brightening) and other of waning of the moon. For easy understanding, let us take 1st day of the month as the beginning of new season, for example 1st day of Chaitra month is the start of Vasant (spring) and last day of Vaishakh is the last day of Vasant.

Also sandhikal for a season has two parts: ascending and descending. For example Sandhikal between Vasant and Grishma is from 14th May to 14th Jun. In the first half of this duration, the focus is on decreasing the Vasant Ritucharya to a normal level, the second half focuses on increasing the Grishma ritucharya. For example Kapha purification processes and use of wine should end after around 30th Jun and the use of Sattu can be started by the first week of June.

Sandhikal Calender

These Sandhikal are converted to the form of cultural festivals to encourage the crowd to follow the procedures with enthusiasm, as it is said…happiness is the basic sutra to health. Every corresponding festival has traditional dish or a ritual to mark the beginning of change, for example Makar Sankranti has tradition of making Laddus of Lentil seeds. This tradition of making and eating Til (sesame seeds) laddo is also an Ayurvedic preventive practice. Til mixed with jaggery is a hot temperament combinations which effectively helps in exodus of access Kapha accumulated in the body. This festive falls in the Sandhikal of Hemant (Fall) and Shishir (winter)

Body Cleansing is an important factor of Sandhikal and fasting is the most convenient, natural and economical way to do it, but there are exceptions to the rule. Fasting in Sharad is unique as it should never be a complete denial of food, since the digestive fire is very strong and it burns the body substance (Dhatu) if it is not satisfied with adequate food. Under eating in this season is more dangerous than overeating. This increased digestive power is referred as the fire in the fireplace, flared by the wind, if not satisfied with enough wood, will burn the house down.

Please find a table of Indicative Health Habits during the Sandhikal of seasons –

Sandhikalcharya – Recommended Health Practices During Sandhikal

 

Effect of Ritu (seasons) on Dosha

Let us assume that in a healthy body, there is proportionate amount of kinetic energy, heat and inertia or mass. It is true that energy cannot be destroyed so due to external stimuli the energy is forced to convert from one form to the other, making an excess of one and deficiency of the other form at the same time, as compared to the balanced state. This can be conveniently compared to the oscillation of a pendulum, where the negative kinetic energy gets stored as the pendulum moves up, because of momentum, and swings back in the opposite direction in order to restore the balance

The concept of accumulation (Sanchay), vitiation (Prakop) and balance or restoration (Shaman) is similar to the example of pendulum. We can compare it to the pendulum taken to one extreme end (Sanchay or accumulation of energy), then swinging to the other extreme end as a reaction (Prakop) and gradually coming to standstill (Shaman)

Each season has a unique temperament. Seasons either support a tendency or diminish it. They work as the hand which takes the pendulum to the extreme end. Rest of the process continues as a natural sequence.

Therefore we can also understand Dosha like 3 pendulums which strikes and misbalance each other in a regular frequency, by exchange of energy, prompted by the external conditions like seasons or diseases.

In summer, there is more heat in the external environment, so the body changes the internal heat to kinetic energy in order to maintain a balance. Therefore there are less chemical reactions; less digestive juices are made, less hunger, less food intake and therefore less digestion, which helps to prevent extra heat generation through digestion. Instead there is more water intake and the glands like sweat glands are working faster across the surface of the skin. Skin is the largest organ and it adjusts the excess kinetic energy to continuously sweat and maintain the temperature all over the body. The inertia of this cooling mechanism is the accumulation of Vata.

As the earth gradually starts to moves away from sun, the heat reduces, the climate is not warm enough to hold the built-up vapour (clouds) and it starts pouring as rains. The extra Vata (Kinetic energy) used for maintaining the cooling system of the body in summer, is no longer required due to sudden fall in temperature and causes excess in the body in the rainy season. Vitiation of Vata is compared to the steam that rises when a hot pan (Body in summer) is sprinkled with water.

But this mechanism is not suddenly switched off with the sudden drop in temperatures after the rains. In fact, when there is first rain after lots of summer heat, the rain evaporates and causes a humid environment and the sweat does not get evaporated easily. Also the digestion power, which was appropriate for summer, is comparatively weak in the rainy season to support the heat generation (through digestion) required to combat the sudden drop in temperatures after rains. This gives a minor shock to the temperature regulation system of the body and is the time for start of Vata vitiation.

Gradually, brain starts to make necessary modifications in body physiology. In summer, the body is in the mode of heat loss to preserve the temperature balance. In rainy season, temperatures come down so the body switches off the heat loss mode of the summer automatically, initiated by the heat sensors of the skin. Also the rains reduces the intensity of sunlight due to clouds and a big source of heat is lost. This triggers the process of constriction of the blood vessels and other modes of heat conservation.

Digestion is the most unstable factor in the rainy season, which needs active external help to quickly find balance. Finally, with the approach of winter (Sharad), Vata finds its balance (appropriate amount) in the body in the same way as vapour cools down in a lower temperature.

The longer the body takes to adjust to these changes, the longer is the duration of susceptibility to seasonal diseases or Vata vitiation.

It is said in Charak Samhita that the body that is accustomed of being wet (or stay in humid climate) in rainy season, is exposed to bright sun rays in Sharad. It is interesting that the temperature preservation methods of the body are different in rains than in winter. The blood vessels and sweat glands are not constricted fully, like in the winter because temperatures are higher than the winter and rainy season is humid and ideal climate for micro-organisms to flourish, which is not the case in winter. Secretions from skin glands keep the skin supple and protect from infections or damages. But the heat loss due to cool climate has to be compensated by extra heat, by conversion from extra kinetic energy or Vata.

Temperature balance is crucial for survival and cannot be jeopardized. During transition from rains to winter, the temperatures fall further and the humidity reduces. The microbe growth in environment diminishes and so the skin protection is not as aggressive as in the rains. The blood vessels constrict and more heat is preserved, in addition to the increased internal production of heat by digestion. Also now sun’s heat is available. Therefore during the transition from rains to winter, there is a temporary system producing excess amount of heat. Inertia of this system is the accumulation of Pitta.

The more suddenly these seasonal changes set in, more is the effect of Pitta prakop.

Now in fall (Hemant), the earth moves further away from sun and the environment gets colder. Body gets adjusted to the climate and the Pitta achieves its balance. Now the excess heat is adjusted in the process of digestion. Therefore, person has better appetite in winter as compared to any other season. This is the time when the digestion power and stamina or immunity (Bal) of all the creatures are at its best. Also, no other dosha gets imbalanced because of good digestion and increased metabolism. The time of rains, Sharad and Hemant together is called Adan kal, since it imparts Ras(life juice) to the creatures.

Then the cycle gets back to Visarg kal (First half of the year, when the Bal (strength) is extracted from the creatures. The earth starts moving towards the sun and Shishir(Late Autumn) sets in. This season is more vivid in areas where the ice starts melting. The body is still in the heat preservation mode whereas the environment is gradually getting hotter.

In Vasant (spring), the climate is pleasant; neither too hot nor too cold. The body is gradually changing from heat preservation mode to normal mode. This is the time of Kapha vitiation. This change is described in Charak Samhita as the process of butter melting when placed from a cold place to a hotter one. Various systems undergo changes to maintain the homeostasis of the body. The ways of fluid retention and excretion change. For example, the sweating, which was minimized during winter, starts increasing according to the temperature. One hypothesis can be that an extra mucous lining is formed all over the body in the sebaceous glands or similar organs, which is helpful in insulation during the winter and is contained by the cold temperature, but as the body, in the heat preservation mode is subjected to growing external heat, there is excess heat in the body which dissolves this lining and there is excess of Kapha in the body.

As summer sets in, the body gets accustomed to hotter climate and the Kapha gets balanced. Now Vata starts accumulation and the cycle continues.

This cycle continues throughout the life. Gradually as the ability to quickly adjust to these changes decreases, wear and tear starts accumulating and the damages become more permanent. Here the aging starts. The negative spiral continues to the point when finally the changes become completely unmanageable and the body gives up.

Importance of Ritucharya is in keeping the body almost untouched by these changes for years, by helping it to generate the ability of making rapid adjustments and to quickly repair the wear and tear.

 

Introduction to Ritucharya

Every season has two aspects in terms of Dosha, which can be understood as the vacillation of a ball from its rope. The ball goes from one end to the other. Two things happen at the same time. The ball goes to one end and, in the process, generates the momentum to go to the opposite end. Similarly here we can consider 3 Dosha to be at play. One Dosha is active during one season with its effects and another Dosha is getting filled up, at the same to time, to be released in the next season, the third Dosha being balanced. This also can be considered as an effect of inertia of the body while adjusting to the changes in the outer environment.

Also, not all Dosha get imbalanced at the same time. This is so because the qualities of one Dosha conflicts with the other and therefore they balance each other. For example Vata is exaggerated by cold, whereas Pitta is diminished by the same factor.

Health in any season is dependent on 2 factors – Food and Lifestyle. Food affects the body internally and lifestyle affects from outside. If appropriate food and lifestyle is followed, the person will never suffer from any disease and will constantly go adding healthy years to his lifeline.

Internal homeostasis of people living in cold climates fluctuates very little from the ideal healthy state (provided they have enough heat and food) and therefore they have more chances of living healthy and longer.

Ayurvedic Ritucharya (seasonal cycle) according to Charak Samhita starts with the ideal state, the healthiest season Hemant (fall).

Winter is the healthiest season. According to Charak, because of the cold temperatures, the blood vessels nearer to the skin, contract. The heat of the body thus preserved, fires up the hunger and helps in digestion. Two ways benefit is that the body can intake more food and nutrients and on the other hand, as digestion power is strong, no toxins (Aam ras) due to improper digestion are formed.

But there is a flip side too. If you do not take proper nutrition during winters then this fire of hunger (Pachakagni) will start burning the body fat (Kaphaj parts) and vitiate the Vata (space and motion element).Therefore it is very important to take healthy and ample amount of food. If the body fat decreases, insulation benefits of the fatty layer go as well and it becomes difficult to preserve the heat. In turns, one will feel more hungry, in order to generate some heat through food. This negative spiral might result in even death. This is the reason why the healthiest season also has a lot of poor dying because of low availability of food, proper clothing and shelter.

People living in cold climate are mostly non-vegetarian, which suits them well for multiple reasons. Vegetables or plant food might not be easily available in very cold areas and meat provides adequate nutrition and heat (during digestion) to the body in the cold. Body is also able to digest and absorb the food properly, because of good digestive power. Meat can be conveniently preserved in cold climate and is safer to use for longer duration, as compared to the hotter climates.

People in the hotter areas have a huge assortment of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices to live on. Vegetarian diet is easier to digest, produces lesser heat and creates lesser toxins while getting digested. It has lots of roughage to prevent constipation, since the body in hot temperatures also lose water through perspiration and might not be adequate to drain the food conveniently through intestines.

Nature has devised its own mechanism to keep the inhabitants of all places completely healthy and to have a long life, if they stick to the circle of health!

Let us take the example of brief description of Swasthvritta in the seasons

Aahar in winter – This is the time when you should eat heavy food. (It is very important to note that everything is relative. If you are living on salad, you can start by little oily food. But you should not jump to deep fried food at once.) Also the food should be taken according to one’s Prakruti.

Aahar in summer – This is the time to have light and easily digestible food, also have natural heat busters like water melon etc…

Note – In summer basically all things, living and non-living lose water because of heat and become dry. The effect of heat and dryness on the body depends on the kind of place you live in. If you live on a mountain, the summer will be more like the spring of the plains. Therefore you have to decide the duration for which you want to follow the summer treatment.

Changes in Ritu

State of mind –  Seasons affect brains of lower level  animals through hormonal changes, as they do not have higher level of intelligence and mental control. Humans by and large, can control their minds. Still there is a little effect of seasons on the mind which will be discussed in detail with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorders)

State of body – Dosha and Bal (body strength) changes according to seasons

 

Ritu

Ritu (Sanskrit: ऋतु) is the Sanskrit word for season. There are six ritu (seasons). This word comes from the Sanskrit word – Ṛtú, a fixed or appointed time, for example – appropriate time for yajna or ritual. It is derived from the word root (ऋत) meaning “order or course of things”.

The body is dependent on the inputs from the outside environment for its survival. Soul, Mind and body derive their nutriment as well as aliment from outside. Human body as well as mind have a biological rhythm which is actively synchronized to the outside environment. The effort of body is to maintain the homeostasis (State of same conditions inside the body irrespective of outside environment), in order to preserve favourable conditions for bio chemical reactions.

The most important external factor for aging identified in Ayurveda is the seasonal change. The seasons tend to disturb the homeostasis (constant state of the body). That is why we have seasonal cough and colds. Although these small disorders help the body to overcome and adjust to the seasonal changes, they come at a cost.

Exposure to seasons guides the physiology of the body. Seasonal changes result in physiological jolts in the process of maintaining homeostasis in the body. These jolts cause minor diseases which are overcome rapidly by the body, but in the due course of time, these constant changes accelerate the aging process.

It is like getting your vehicle damaged at every sharp turn on the road and keep repairing it. There can be better ways! Foresight and right action (timely application of brakes) can help prevent the collision. The concept of preventive healthcare is just like having mirrors in the right place, proper steering and slowing down at the right time, in order to minimize wear and tear.

If we prepare the body correctly for the changes that are going to come with each ensuing season, there will be no crash landing from one season to the other.

It is interesting to note that according to Ayurveda, hunger, sleep and aging are considered as natural diseases. So the ideal state of the body will be where there is no hunger, no sleep and no aging!

Sun create seasons due to oval shape of earth’s revolution orbit. If the earth’s orbit were to be a circle, there would be no seasons and very little aging. But also there would be no variety of fruits and vegetables which comes with each season and balances the effects of their respective seasons. For example watermelon is the ideal fruit for summer, sweet and watery. So the aging process accelerated by the seasons can be stalled by proper food and lifestyle.

Seasons vary according to the terrain. On hill stations, winter will be of a longer duration and the 3 cold seasons – autumn, fall and late winter will be distinctly visible, whereas winter will be more like spring in the deserts. In the places close to sea, summers will be humid and not dry like in the plains. So the effect on the body and mind also varies.

Aging is normally slow in cold areas since the metabolism is faster than that in normal temperature. In cold temperature, body has to work more in order to produce more heat to maintain homeostatic condition; and aging happens mainly because of slowing down of body metabolism. So the cold climate is the healthiest, provided you have enough resources to survive. Of all seasons, Hemant (Late Winter/Fall) is the healthiest season also because there is no natural accumulation of any Dosha

The two factors for seasonal health – Aahar (Food) and Vihar (Lifestyle) are consequential to the external environment and the changes. Our successful survival on how appropriately and swiftly we can adjust to our environment. We are here because we were better than the dinosaurs!

Our civilization has emerged with complex social systems and options of lifestyle. Therefore making correct choices is crucial for comprehensive mental and physical health.

Month wise Ritu

The months in Hindu calendar start depending on the condition of moon. Each month starts from 1 full moon (Pratipada) and ends in the other full moon.

Every season is of 2 lunar months. These seasons come with a gradual change in temperature and environment.

The names of seasons and corresponding English months –

Ritu Calender