Everytime we or our relatives get sick, we ask ourselves: “Why?” Got the virus at work or in public transport; caught a draft; all diseases are from nerves and etc. Today, we would like to give you the understanding of the reasons of disease pathogenesis according to Ayurvedic medical tradition.
Ayurveda distinguishes three main reasons of diseases. The first one is pragya-aparadh.. It is the root of any disease. Pragya-aparadh is the main of three reasons. This term consists of two words: Aparadha that means ‘’offence”, and Pragya – “awareness, wisdom, intelligence”. We make a mistake or a crime against wisdom. We can talk that we were not aware of the consequences, but ignorance of the law is no excuse. Pragya-aparadh basically manifests itself in anarthas, such as the lack of success, and also in negative behavior stereotypes. This may be due to our innate predispositions. Someone is more predisposed to anger, others – to envy or fear. All these negative stereotypes will manifest themselves and cause diseases.
The essence of this reason is perfectly uncovered by the following proverb: There was once a king. He was very pious and responsible, and he had a tradition to give donations to the priests, wise men and beggars in the mornings. He gave them money and food. (You should try and perceive the proverb not as simple story, but look through the prism of the disease etiopathogenesis.) One morning he gave away donations and then went to his horses at the stable. Something happened there and he was upset with this (we also have moments in life when we are upset, in a bad mood). At that time, a wise man came to him to ask for a donation, but found out that the king had already finished giving donations today. Someone told him the king was in the stable. The wise man decided all the same to go to him to get his share of donations and food. The king was already upset at that time so he had no thought for the wise man (Some things happen to take place in our lives at the wrong time, so we are not always glad of this). The king was displeased, too: he flew into rage. The wise man was humble, so he was about to go away, but the king was still angry. In a fit of anger, he grasped horse manure and threw it at the wise man with a shout, “Do you need food? Here’s to you food!” He made a rash act (We also do something rash and then bitterly regret it). Being grateful the wise man said him, “Thank you”, took this horse manure and went away. Next morning the king went into meditation. Righteous kings spend usually morning hours in meditation to create the right mood for the day. In this meditation he saw the wise man and a huge pile of horse manure next to him. The king wondered, “What is this pile?” The wise man answered, “When we give something disinterestedly, it comes back to us a thousand times more”. (You should remember these words of the wise man, especially if we give something to the holy men) Then the king asked, “Whose manure is this?” “Now it is yours”, answered the wise man. “What should I do with it?”. “Why did you give me this? To eat. So, eat.” The king knew the law of karma and understood at once. He began to look for a way out of this situation because he could not eat so much. While the wise man was compassionate, he said, “Well, I’ll give you a hint. Make other people criticize you.” You should keep this in mind. If you are criticized, you should thank this person because thereby he takes away your bad karma. If you criticize in response, it is an exchange of karma. It would be better if you take criticism humbly and are thankful, because it is the only person, who tells you sincerely about your cons. The wise man advised, “When people criticize you, they will share your karma with each other”. The king agreed, and satisfied, went out of the meditation. He went to the central square, took “a woman of easy virtue” by the arm, and in the other arm he held a bottle of wine. Can you imagine the reaction of other people? Local media gathered immediately, people began to gossip and criticize him, etc. He behaved this way the whole day, and people criticized him. Next morning the king went into meditation, saw the wise man and a small pile of horse manure again. He was happy that the huge pile disappeared. He asked the wise man, “Why is the small pile still here?” The wise man answered that not all people criticized him. One person did not criticize the king. Thanks to the wise man, the king got the address of the man and went to there. The other wise man lived there. The king changed his clothes beforehand, so that nobody could recognize him. He came to the man and described in paints the events of yesterday. The wise man did not criticize him and said, “Time will tell”. The king continued to tell him that there is a need to do something, impeach the king or draw attention of local media etc. The wise man remained calm, he did not see any problem. The king sees that he cannot get rid of the manure in that way, and he continues to press, “If people like you do not worry about the good of our society, state and king…” In this moment the wise man became suddenly very serious, stood up and slapped in the king’s face with a phrase, “Eat your manure yourself!” He was a wise man so he saw everything.
The wise man remained calm, he did not see any problem. The king sees that he cannot get rid of the manure in that way, and he continues to press, “If people like you do not worry about the good of our society, state and king…” In this moment the wise man became suddenly very serious, stood up and slapped in the king’s face with a phrase, “Eat your manure yourself!” He was a wise man so he saw everything. As a result, the king had to take a little bit of manure from this pile and add to the food all his life in order to dissolve bad karma in this one. Otherwise, if one does not dissolve bad karma in this life, it goes to the next one. Because the taste of horse manure was not pleasant, he added many spices to the food to suppress. It saved him. This proverb describes the disease etiopathogenesis. When we criticize, get angry, make rash acts, we create problems to ourselves, get sick. That is why it is necessary to understand seriously, what Pragya-aparadh is. If we do something wrong, break the laws of life, it may cause a disease. Charaka describes Pragya-aparadh in his treatise Charaka Samhita as inharmonious, harmful or undesirable behavior of a person, who lost control of himself, his feelings, mind and memory. Thus, we should treat our actions seriously. We should understand what we do. You should remember this proverb sometimes. When someone criticizes you, you should not treat him in a bad way. You should be thankful because he takes away your diseases that are not always the simplest. Firstly, we take away the most serious diseases from people. Actually, you should love and respect this person.
2. Asatmya indriyartha samyoga is the second reason of diseases. Satmya means “stability”. Accordingly, asatmya means “instability”. There is a group of diseases called asatmya – “diseases caused by instability”. For instance, you were leading an unhealthy lifestyle and suddenly realized that you lived incorrectly. One day everything has changed. You were waking up and going to bed late, ate unhealthy food, but the next day everything changed drastically. You may even get sick due to this. This is called the disease of instability. That is why asatmya means “instability or inharmoniousness”. Indriya means “feelings”. Artha – “senses”. Samyoga means “interaction between our sensory organs and objects in the outer world”. As a result, asatmya indriyartha samyoga – “misuse of the sense organs”. It also causes mental anxiety. Moreover, it means an inharmonious correlation of the senses with their objects both in quantitative and qualitative terms.
3. The third reason of diseases is called kala parinama that means literally “disrespect for time”. We do something at the wrong time. For instance, we eat at the wrong time. According to Ayurveda, we should not eat in the evening, at night and before bed. It is important to have dinner in time. We do not go to bed and wake up in time. We know: “Early bird gets the worm”. Everybody knows but most people do not get up early. They know and do not do it. We should work and rest in time. According to Ayurveda, we should rest for 25% of working time if we do not want this work to destroy our health. That is why when a person rests for one month a year, it is not enough. Because he has just adopted to rest, but he should go back to work again. It is a big stress for the body. This is kala parinama. It is a third group of reasons that causes diseases.
Summing up, three reasons of diseases are: - Pragya-aparadh – a conscious crime against wisdom - Asatmya indriyartha samyoga – misuse of the sense organs - Kala parinama – disrespect for time
These reasons are an initiating factor that causes all diseases. Pragya-aparadh is the main of three reasons that means our negative behavior stereotypes. In these two letters, we touched on the reasons of diseases a little. If you want to learn more how ancient science sees a human, his health and life, join our Basic course «Fundamentals of Ayurvedic Medicine» from the world-renowned expert, P. Ram Manohar (Research Director, Amrita Centre for Advanced Research in Ayurveda, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Kollam, Kerala, India).
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