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November/December 2008

Satsangs at Rikhiapeeth
This issue of Yoga is dedicated to satsangs given by Sri Swamiji at Rikhiapeeth during the year 2000.

High on Waves

Spiritual Life

Guru and Disciple

Householder Life

Children

Old Age

Health Management

Mind Management

Sadhana

Talent

Modernization

Villages

Yogic Concepts

Yoga

God

Kirtan

Beyond ‘I’

Sannyasa



Health Management

How can we know the source of a disease that we are suffering from?

All the diseases that exist in the world do not have the same cure. A disease can only really be cured at its source. If you suffer from asthma, you must find out why you have it. Is it of emotional origin, does it exist in family history, or is there something wrong in your lifestyle? You must find this out first.

Diseases often have their origin in one’s lapses. So when you are trying to find the source of a disease you must identify your lapses. The biggest weakness of every human being is the inability to admit his own lapses. Everybody is defensive about themselves. Therefore, Kabirdas says that you should have such a person in your house who lets you know twenty-four hours long what mistakes you are making. It may be your son, daughter-in-law or servant. Don’t say that you don’t make any mistakes, that you are crystal clear. Everyone who assumes a body commits mistakes. You make mistakes and so do I. If you agree with this hypothesis, then what is wrong in finding out what your lapses are?

It may be difficult to face criticism, but don’t discard it. Perhaps your critic is right. It is true that one who criticizes exaggerates your mistakes, but basically he is right. So keeping a person who criticizes you purifies your soul. However, nobody wants this, no one likes to hear criticism; you always defend yourself. When you defend yourself, you defend all your mistakes. How then will you evolve? It does hurt to hear criticism just as it hurts to have a boil treated with a scalpel, but both are good for you.

Diseases are related to the body, but their cause is the mind. If I smoke a cigarette, the toxic smell will be perceptible in the whole house. And if I light incense, its perfume will also spread. The smell is the cause of the act I perform. Similarly, the cause of disease is the mind. The mind is the instrument with which you think, experience joy and sorrow, dreams, anger, passion, like and dislike. It is that through which you know you are a woman and he is a man, he is your husband and that is your son. The instrument that allows you to know is called the mind. It is what lets you know about yourself, others, space, time, object, past, present and future. The mind is a dish antenna, it catches everything. And it is the special attribute of human beings. Other life forms do not have a mind like we do. They live on instinct; they do not know what they are doing. If a dog is barking it does not know that it is barking. Only the human being is free of the laws of nature, because God has given him the sixth sense, which is called the mind. It has been said in the Bhagavad Gita (15:7):

Manah shashthaani indriyaani

The mind is the sixth sense.

It is the cause of bondage as well as freedom for man. Diseases such as asthma, piles, blood pressure, etc. originate in the mind. Doctors may give you medicine, but what will they do about the mind? No one has the cure for the mind, only you have it.

We are subjected to disease from the day we are born. The first thing we are told is, you are a girl or you are a boy. Then we are told you are a Hindu or Muslim, rich or poor. We are told this is your father and that is your brother. We are taught all this, but it is not natural to us. We are brainwashed and programmed. The mind is taught ABCD, but it has also come with its own script, which is called upajnana.

If you consider somebody as your husband or wife, no matter how often you are told that you are a spirit and she is a spirit and both are free of each other, you will not believe it. It is very hard to not attach oneself with someone. Only a few can do this. Therefore, the diseases of the mind will not go away. However, they can be managed with the help of asana, pranayama, walks in the open and a few medicines. In reality, disease is an excuse to purify the body. When impurities enter the body, whether in the blood, lungs, stomach, liver or kidney, then a person falls sick. Disease tells you that an instrument of the body is faulty, that is all.

Even Ramakrishna Paramahamsa suffered from cancer. Shankaracharya suffered from fistula. Sita performed such hard tapasya in Lanka, but she had to face slander. To have assumed this body is a punishment, no one is free from it. The only difference is that the wise go through it with wisdom and the foolish suffer it painfully.

I suffer from an inferiority complex due to stammering. Please help.

You have used the term ‘stammering’, I call it impure speech. I will tell you of two specific practices to correct this though you should also continue to practise regular asanas and pranayamas. First is the chanting of Vishnu Sahasranam. Chant it every day. Sanskrit chanting purifies the speech. The second is bhramari pranayama. You can practise bhramari with Om chanting as well. Practise it in vyaghra mudra. Do this regularly.

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