The Yoga of Life
By Agantuk

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Ayurveda identifies with five material elements; earth, water, fire, air and ether. All these elements correlate with our gross body. What seems as one body to us is actually formed by two parts. The gross part, which is again composed of a combination of these five material elements, is the one we can touch, feel, take apart, etc. The other part, which we are least aware of, yet is the most encompassing and important one, is our subtle body, which is composed of mind, intelligence and ego.

What we give up at the time of death is the gross body. The subtle body, which is immortal, remains and continues into our next body or birth. This is the part of our body that carries our karma, which is your positive or negative actions, along with. The effects of your good or bad karma manifest in our next life. So if you are good in this life, you are likely to have a good next life.

We often encounter people who, despite being outwardly healthy or rich, suffer a lot in their existence as human beings. Medical science fails to recognize the causes of their disease or psychological disturbances that are perceivable but not practically visible in their physiology. Karmas stick to you as long as you roll from one janma or life to another. You take millions of janmas before the nature puts an end to your cycle of life and death, beyond which the subtle body seizes. Ayurveda guides us to earn good karma while we are in the human janma; the part benefits of which we get in this, and part in the next janma.

Interestingly, beyond our subtle body is a subtler spirit soul. Modern life is so embedded in the materialistic pursuits that we forget to nurture the spirit soul. No flashy cars, no palatial houses, no pinnacles of riches and nothing in the materialistic array of things can help us nurture the spirit soul. Spirit soul is a delicate thread that ties the beads of your gross and the subtle body. If you forget it, it loosens. If you push it hard, it breaks, and if you nurture it wrongly, you get wrong results. These results often manifest themselves in your health; both physical and mental. If you are intelligent, you perceive both. If you are egoistic, you perceive neither. Your negative karma gets accumulated.

These statements are beyond any laboratory investigations. We tend to believe laboratory investigations since materialistic pursuits have reduced us to being mobile human laboratories. We tend to disregard and disbelieve philosophies. Laboratories, which are again an assemblage of few modern instruments, cannot uncover the secrets of the soul. Soul is immeasurable on account of its subtle nature. Laboratory instruments are crude chopsticks and soul a fleeting, finer particle of light. Can the former pick up the later?

To live happier and healthier, we have to understand who we are. We can’t expect to control ourselves if we don’t know this. Can you expect yourself to fix airplane snag if you don’t know the mechanics of it? If that sounds too heavy, let you fix up your car tyre that deflated somewhere on the lone, desolate American highway.

Ayurveda explains that we have five working senses, which are the feet, hands, anus, genitals and mouth; and five knowledge-gathering senses, which are ears, eyes, nose, tongue and skin. One level up is the mind. Mind control all senses. Mind is controlled by intelligence. And intelligence is controlled or dominated by ego. Your mind is a sanctum sanatorium if it is devoid of any ego. Ego is a negative attribute, and it ego that links us to materialistic pleasures. Being spirituality inclined evaporates your ego. Even the very process of ego-evaporation is a peaceful experience; in fact more pleasure-giving than we thought the objects of desire are.

You realize your true self, the soul, and gradually you realize it is above all other aspects of your body. You develop a power to control and direct your intelligence towards positive karma, which, in turn, harmonizes your mind and your senses. This enables you command yourself better, and thus begins your journey of understanding the yoga of life.

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