What is Health?

Updated: Mar 31

A person is a union of his or her physical body, mind, senses and soul. Health or Swasthya is a state of balance in all the individual parts that makes up the person.

Balance in the physical body, is when there is a balance in the following:

  • doshas: viz the Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas, the 3 aspects in the body, responsible for different body functions ex: aspect of movement, aspect of digestion and aspect of growth and accumulation respectively.

  • tissue function: balance in the functions of the 7 tissues or dhatus that make up the body: viz: rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, asthi, majja and shukra.

  • digestive function: balance in the digestive capacity (Agni).

  • waste production: balance in the 3 waste generation systems: stools, urine and sweat.

Proper functioning of sense organs, which can mean controlling the input to the sense organs, ie. avoiding over using or under using our senses. For example, over using your eyes when watching the computer screen continuously for extended period of time can impair vision and can have a detrimental effect on the body. Similarly listening to loud sounds or smelling powerful scents, or unpleasant odors etc. can disturb the balance in the sense of smell.

Balance in the mind, means achieving a pleasant state of mind. Mind and senses are under our control. We all have our struggles navigating through our daily lives, chores and challenges. We may have less control on the outcome of different events in our lives but yet a healthy state can be achieved when we keep a rein on our mind and our thoughts, keeping them at a neutral even level through both ups or downs in our life situation. Keeping the mind pleasant and in the present while avoiding it to be dominated by anger, resentment or darkness.

Happy Outlook on Life: is having a pleasant soul that is content with the current situation. This point may have deeper spiritual meaning and can be interpreted in many ways. Being satisfied with Self or being at peace with your Inner Self is the cause of Prasanna Atma ie. having a "Happy Outlook on Life". Good health starts by CONSCIOUSLY maintaining a space for happiness/positiveness in the inner self in spite of the current situation around you. Meanwhile, turmoil in the inner self, self criticism, carrying guilt or blame, jealousy, anger, anxiety and hatred depletes the body and makes the mind powerless steadily causing disease in the body and mental suffering.

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