The word ‘disease’ is often associated with ailment. However, it points to a state of dis-ease, both in body and mind. Moreover, the mind is so powerful that it can create any sickness in the body. This is hard to believe but true. Even scientific research today is proving what our sages said millennia ago, that the body manifests what goes on in the mind. Therefore a diseased body could be an indication that the mind is not ‘at ease’ and this factor needs to be first addressed.
Just as a slave has to simply obey his master’s commands without any choice of his own, the body too is subservient to the all-powerful mind. Mind dictates its demands, the body simply follows. An agitated, confused, unhealthy mind lays the foundation of disease. Thus, several diseases, once thought to be merely physical dysfunctions, have been found to be psychosomatic in origin. In a highly competitive and stress-ridden world, tension and worry are major killers. While hypertension causes dangerous fluctuations in blood pressure, there is risk of brain stroke, heart attacks and hemorrhage leading to paralysis. Cancer and ulcers too could be offshoots of a highly stressed-out mind, according to some experts. These days, we often hear of young adults being afflicted by these ailments. It could well be the result of a tense, stressed-out mind, which could cause abnormal cell multiplication, manifest unhealthy growths, cause abscesses and fabricate clots, literally out of nothing! And when the mind has decided that it will not heal the body, even the best medicine in the world may not work.
It is not an exaggeration to say that a mind writhing in turmoil and turbulence, self-inflicted pain and sorrow, holding on to past anger, resentment and grief is truly in a hell of its own making. It is no wonder then that all bodily systems go haywire. Digestion gets impaired, muscles become tight, taut and simply refuse to relax, breathing becomes shallow and constricted and all this affects the entire body. Thus we end up constipated, both in body and mind, refusing to let go of the junk of the past -- grudges, heart-aches, negativity and frustration.
Conversely, when the mind is able to remain calm, quiet and balanced in any situation, then even if the body is unwell, it might be able to heal itself. Most interestingly, it has often been observed that in some cases – depending on a lot of factors -- even terminally ill patients undergo spontaneous remission once they work at cultivating a healthy, stress-free mind. Their relationships too become more harmonious and fulfilling, as they rid themselves of physical, mental and emotional clutter. What’s more, their immunity could get boosted so their response to chemotherapy and drugs improves dramatically! They sleep better and are able to gradually bring their bodies back into a state of balance.
When this wonderful tool of mind is trained to go inwards under the guidance of a master through dedicated practice of yogasanas, pranayama and mantra chanting, it becomes our best friend, our staunchest ally. Then the blessings of a loving, forgiving disposition, tolerance and reverence for all creation, a meditative mindset and gratitude for life’s abundance adorn our life. In this way, connecting to the godliness in us heals, nurtures and transforms us. And our own mind, radiating peace and joy, itself becomes a heaven, a paradise regained.