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Holistic Health with PRANA

 To know Prana, we have to look into the Vedic literature.


 The properties of Prana establish this power as the source of all
creation.
 We as creatures are always connected with and merged or engulfed in
Prana, which is virtually the ‘Universal Field of Energy’.
 We have to keep drawing our life force continuously from this source.
Prana has to be cleansed, equilibrated, balanced and vitalized for our
holistic health. This serves as the basis of our physical power, mental
mastery and spiritual solace. Then only can we have the true holistic
health.
 From Yogic view point, all diseases are of only one kind, viz.,
impropriety, whether of personal or of social life-style, including
attitude, behavior, consumption, diet, enjoyment etc. And therefore,
prevention is better than cure. For that, body, breath and brain are to
be synchronized through awareness of Prana and Pranic Practices.
 Prana serves as the best medium for all limbs and varieties of Yoga.
Practicing persons (=PRANEEs), who are aware of their Prana, gain
the power to practice Yama and Niyama more properly. They perform
Asanas better and get results sooner. Meditation is easier and deeper
for them, with no side effects or fears of distraction or disturbance.
 That is the reason why Pranayama or Yoga through Prana (i.e. Prana-
Yoga) has been taught by sages of India in all periods, since Vedic
times. Atharva-Veda, Upanishads, Puranas, Bhagavad-Gita, Patanjali,
Hatha-Yoga scriptures etc. all give great importance to Prana for
achieving physical and psychic health.
 Methods and modes may differ, but various traditions all over the
globe, e.g., Naturopathy, Pranic Healing, Reiki, Breath-work,
Acupressure, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Su-zok, Massage, etc. have
tried to utilize the Pranic Power in vivid forms for prevention and cure
of ailments ad diseases.
 An effort should be made to develop such Pranic Practices, which
adopt and unify the global traditions for holistic health through Prana,
so that these are more effective, all-comprehensive and universally,
acceptable, without leaving a space for dissent or discrimination in
traditional world wisdom. Of course, the Yoga Conference could be
the most appropriate platform for executing such a thought.

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Berkeley Holistic Health Centre, California defines Holistic Health
(H.H.) as “the state in which an individual is integrated in all
levels of being : body, mind, spirit and emotion”. Dr. Celine
Payyappilly aptly adds that H.H. beholds “the human being as
a fully coherent and integrated life support system with built in
mechanism of balance and control… We may use any system
of medicine if needed. But the main thrust is on using the
hidden power in us – the real cure is from within.”
{Holistic Health, Healing & Astro-sciences, vol. I, p. 321,326}
Is there any word in the above against yogic thought? It rather
shows full conformity and similarity of attitude between H.H.
and Yoga. Synchronizing body, mind and Spirit through the
individual’s hidden power, is what both aim at. That hidden
invisible intrinsic life-sustaining power is called Prana in Yoga
and Vedas.

What is Prana?
Vedic seers could visualize the hidden force functioning in
nature to support and sustain all life existing on our planet. They
termed it as Prana, and utilized this word to denote both “the
‘Individual Life Force’ (i.e. I.L.F.) in every living organism”, and
“the cosmic source of life or ‘Universal Life Power’ (i.e. U.L.P.)
generated by the Creator for sustaining His creation”.
Seer Atharva, however, preferred ODANA for U.L.P. and PRANA
for I.L.F.. Yet, other Vedic seers and later seers of Upanishads
too have not retained this distinction of Universal and Individual
energy of life. Nonetheless, clarity demands two names for two
levels of Pranic Power. Would it not be appropriate to accept
Vedic seer’s suggestion, and adopt them here, just as we have
two terms for the same consciousness: ‘Paramaatma or
Ishwara’ for Universal, and ‘Atman or Jeeva’ for the Individual
self? Moreover, this Vedic name is capable of expressing the
nature of U.L.P. better.

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The word ODANA consists of two prefixes ‘AA’ + ‘UT’, and the
root ‘/AN’, thus meaning “All-round and Upward Motion”.
PRANA’s break up would be ‘PRA + AA + /AN’, meaning
“Forward and All-round Motion”. This motion refers to the
energy or wave aspect of Consciousness. Now, it is for the
scientists to verify the difference in the pattern of flow of
electro-magnetic currents emitted by living organisms, and that
of the atmosphere.

In his ‘Odana-Sookta’, the compiler seer of Atharva-Veda has


suggested ‘Praana-Rodha’ as a powerful practice for the
seekers, thus sowing the seed for the sage Patanjali’s
PRANAYAMA. He gives a vivid description of ‘Force and
Functions of That Cosmic Consciousness’, which causes and
consumes (enjoys) this creation. His words are very clear and
almost undisputable for interpretation.

“ETAD VAI BRADHNASYA VISHTAPAM YAD ODANAH.” “IYAM


PRTHVEE KUMBHEE-BHAVATI RAADHYAMAANASYA- ODANASYA,
DYAUR- APIDHAANAM.” {Atharva-Veda (A.V.) 10/3/50, 11.} This
means:
“ODANA, is verily the supporting residence of cosmic sphere,
the creation. The process of creation is like continuous cooking
(of rice for example), for which this Earth serves as the pot (
KUMBHA, a cooking vessel), and the sky as the covering lid.”

Cooking with Odana, the U.L.P.

Now let us see, for a Prana-Yoga-Practitioner, what is the


meaning and manner of cooking ODANA within himself?
All living beings use, consume and thereby enjoy vivid objects
of the world. We always feel and experience them through our
senses, which convey the message of pleasure or pain to the
brain, through our nervous system. The energy waves that flow
through this system are none other than our Pranic currents,

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which as a whole are called our Prana; and, this Individual life
Force or our Prana is a fraction of that Universal Life Power or
ODANA as termed by the Vedic seers. A Prana-Yogi has to
unify these two with right attitude and attention.
Ronna Hermann of USA, in her article ‘Using the Universal Laws
of Manifestation’, reflects Atharva’s views only when she writes:

“Any and all beings, who carry with their soul a divine spark of
the Creator, have the ability to access and create with that
electromagnetic or cosmic energy… If you do not tap into that
stream of consciousness with your mental body and mind that
allows you to draw to you the energies of manifestation, you
will never become a co-creator of abundance. ”
{Holistic Health Healing & Astrosciences, Vol. III, p. 97-99.}
Here Atharva uses an adjective ‘VISHTAARIN’ for ODANA, trying
to tell that ‘He’ is continuously expanding. Astronomers have
surely observed this phenomenon of ever-expanding space
between galaxies. It happens to be so, because the force
supporting the universe, Himself has an inherent tendency of
expansion (VI+/STR).
Now, what is to be done with such an ODANA by a PRANA-
YOGIN? According to Atharvaa, a practitioner is supposed to
join in and be a part of this natural process of the cooking of
ODANA. {A.V. 10/3/11.} Why & How?
“VISHTAARINAM ODANAM YE PACHANTI, NAINAAN-AVARTIH
SACHATE KADAACHANA. AASTE YAMA UPA YAATI DEVAANT,
SAM GANDHARVAIR-MADATE SOMYEBHIH.”
= “Those who cook the expanding ODANA, they never get
poverty. One who is in discipline, reaches near the gods, (i.e.
achieves divine powers,) and enjoys with the lovable, peaceful
GANDHARVAs, the singing gods.”
“VISHTAARINAM ODANAM YE PACHANTI, NAINAAN YAMAH
PARI MUSHNAATI RETAH. RATHEE HA BHOOTVAA RATHAYAANA

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EEYATE, PAKSHEE HA BHOOTVAA-ATI DIVAH SAMETI.” {A.V.
4/34/3, 4.}
= “Those who cook the expanding ODANA, their essence
(physically, the semen) is not snatched away by Yama, the
deity of death. He gets vehicles to ride upon and move about.
Becoming a flying bird, he reaches heavens.”
Another Vedic seer Prajaapati also joins in declaring the
powers of great life-bestowing ODANA. He says:
“YAH PRAANADAH PRAANADAVAAN BABHOOVA, YASMAI
LOKAAH GHRTVANTAH KSHARANTI. JYOTISHMATEEH PRADISHO
YASYA SARVAS, TENA-ODANENA-ATITARAANI MRTYUM.” {A.V.
4/35/5}
= “The life-giver who exists with life-sustaining forces; for whom
all worlds full of essence shower the juices; and whose all
(directions and) sub-directions are filled with flames of light; with
that ODANA, I should cross over the death.”

How to Enjoy with Odana?


Atharva asks a pertinent question about ‘Consumerism in living
beings’. “TVAM ODANAM PRAASHEES, TVAAM ODANAA IT?”
{A.V. 11/3/36.} = “Are you consuming ODANA, or, the ODANAs
are consuming you?” That is, the seer wants to clarify as to, who
is the enjoyer, and, what is being enjoyed?
He himself answers: “NAIVA-AHAM ODANAM, NA MAAM
ODANAH. ODANA EVA ODANAM PRASHEET.” {A.V.11/3/26, 31} =
“Neither am I consuming ODANA, nor does ODANA consume
me. Instead, ODANA Himself (the Creator or His form) is
enjoying odanam ‘the Creative Activity of its Force’
(ODANASYA KARMA API ODANAM EVA).” With a realization
that ‘all enjoyment belongs not to us but to some Invisible
Universal Force or forces’, our attachment with worldly objects
and the instruments (our senses) should naturally get reduced.
About sensual pleasure, an essential component of all
consumerism, another Vedic seer Shantaati is convinced that

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we can be at peace with ourselves with the help of our own
mind and senses :-
“IMAANI YAANI PANCHENDRIYAANI MANAH-SHASHTHAANI ME
HRDI BRAHMANAA SAMSHITAANI; YAIR-EVA SASRJE GHORAM
TAIR-EVA SHAANTIR-ASTU NAH.” {A.V.19/9/5.}
= “These five senses, with mind being the sixth, have been
housed in my heart space by Brahma. Through them, I produce
terrific deeds. May we have peace through them only!”
Keeping this in mind perhaps, Atharvaa gives a list of 18 deities
or powers, which ought to be remembered as accompanying
us in our enjoyments through our 18 limbs or senses.
{A.V.11/3/32 to 49.} Of these lengthy hymns, one specifically
relates to Prana {A.V. 11/3/32}, and should be understood in a
little detail. It says:-
“And then, if you enjoy this ODANA with Pranas and
Apanas other than those with which earlier seers had
enjoyed, your Pranas and Apanas shall leave you. So he
was told.
I have enjoyed Him from neither below nor front nor back,
but only with the Prana-Apanas of the seven seers.
Through them I have enjoyed Him, and have reached
Him.
This ODANA is verily full of all limbs, joints (also knots), and
bodies. One who knows and experiences (/VID to feel)
this way, also becomes complete in all limbs, joints and
bodies.”
Who are these seven seers? What is their relation with Prana,
Apana, and Odana? What is the difference in enjoying Odana
with or without knowing Him?
In 15th KAANDA, the same seer Atharva has given a good
number of (18) sooktas on VRAATYA, wherein he counts seven
Pranas, seven Apanas, and seven Vyanas. {A.V.15/15/1-2}
Could this have any connection with those seven seers of
Odana? Somehow, this also seems to have some relevance

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with the first verse of Atharvaa {A.V.1/1/1}, talking about the
thrice seven powers of Vaachaspati.
VAACHASPATI/PRAJAAPATI, ODANA and VRAATYA have some
close inter-linkage. Odana is instrumental to Prajaapati in
creating the 33 worlds. {A.V. 10/3/52, quoted earlier.} The same
seer Atharvaa says, “VRAATYA AASEED, EEYAMAANA EVA SA
PRAJAAPATIM SAM-AIRAYAT.” {A.V. 15/1/1}
= “Vraatya existed, moving only He inspired Prajaapati;” ‘Who
could then procreate.’ {A.V. 15/1/2} Thus, it follows that as per
Atharvaa, the powers of Vraatya combined with the
Intention/Desire {Sankalpa/ Kaama} of Prajaapati go for
creation, utilizing the energies of Odana.
B. N. Kutar, a freelance writer of Delhi, in his article ‘A Dead
Body can be Resurrected’, aptly explains: “Prana is a vibration.
It is a sum total of all the forces working in the universe. Forces
of gravitation, magnetism, electricity, heat, light, sound, motion
in planets and human body are the manifestation of Prana, a
singular energy.” {H.H.H. & Astrosciences Vol. III, p.112}
However, this Singular Universal Energy is what Atharva calls
‘Odana’, (the instrument of ‘VRAATYA’/’PRAJAPATI’) and tries
to visualize in his ‘triple seven’ powers or forms spread in the
Universe. {A.V. 1/1/1}

Prana-Yoga Practice

Understanding the nature and powers of individual Prana and


universal Odana, briefly shown above, is essential for practical
aspects of Vedic Prana-Yoga. The Yoga-Practitioner, through
devotion and sacrifice (YAJNA), has to bear in mind how this
reality of the Universe has been created with the help of
Odana. “SA YA EVAM VIDUSHA UPADRASHTAA BHAVATI,
PRANAM RUNADDHI” = “He is capable of holding his breath,
who is aware and observant of that ‘Odana’ full of wisdom and
knowledge” {A.V.11/3/52-54}
This ‘Holding of Breath’ is important for holistic health, and
enhancing life span, because, “if he does not hold his breath,

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he leads a life completely decayed/shattered (JYAANIM). If he
is, however, not fully in a degenerated stage, then his Prana
leaves him earlier than his getting matured.” = “NA CHA
PRANAM RUNADDHI, SARVA-JYAANIM JEEYATE. NA CHA
SARVA-JYAANIM JEEYATE, PURAINAM JARASAH PRAANO
JAHAATI.” {A.V.11/3/55-56.}.Could there be any words stronger
than these, advocating for PRAANA-AAYAAMA to achieve a
sound health?
MHARSHI PATANJALI defined PRANAYAMA based on this Vedic
Pranic Practice only. He tells about holding breath in and out
more clearly, “SHVAASA-PRASHVAASAYOR GATI-VICCHEDAH
PRNAYAMAH.’ {YOGA-SOOTRA (Y.S.) 2/49} = “Pranayama is the
cessation of the motion of breath.” How is this state achieved?
Is it to be done by force and if so, for how long?
Patanjali {in Y.S. 2/50, 51} shows four stages/types of this
holding, wherein the held breath may have:
1. BAAHYA-VRITTI, i.e., Outward tendency;
2. AABHYANTARA-VRITTI, i.e., Inward tendency;
3. STAMBHA-VRITTI, i.e., a tendency to stop; and
4. BAAHYA-AABHYANTARA-VISHAYA-AAKSHEPEE, i.e., void of
every subject/object, having neither Inward nor Outward
tendency.
The first and the second states are the practices of KUMBHAKA
and SHOONYAKA; 1st stage of In-holding, where breath has a
tendency to go out; and 2nd stage of Out-holding, where the
breath tends to enter in. The difference between the third and
fourth states is that breath’s tendency to stop (3rd stage) is felt
before a perfect automatic halt of breath (4th stage), resulting
after a prolonged practice of Pranic Awareness. How?
The Pranic Awareness has been very clearly desired for a
practitioner by both Atharva {in A.V. 11/3/54, as quoted above}
and by Patanjali also. He mentions this awareness as
PARIDARSHANAM, and pin-points the method, medium and
impact of observation: “DESHA-KAALA-SAMKHYAABHIH
PARIDRSHTAH DEERGHA-SOOKSHMAH,” {Y.S. 2/50}

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= “the breath, and Prana the energy thereof, is enhanced and
made subtle when it is observed and experienced all over,
(PARITO DRSHTAH), focusing on three aspects, the location, the
time duration, and the volume (SAMKHYAA=MAATRAA). This
Breath-observation and Pranic-Awareness is surely similar to the
‘AANA-APANA-SATI’ and ‘VIPASANA’, being taught as
Buddha’s meditative practices by Sri S.N. Goinkaji.
The fourth stage of Patanjali’s Pranayama has been adopted
by Hatha-Yogis as ‘Kevala-Kumbhaka’, and considered as the
highest state of Pranic Practice; “KEVALE KUMBHAKE SIDDHE
RECHA-POORAKA-VARJITE; NA TASYA DURLABHAM KIMCHIT
TRISHU LOKESHU VIDYATE.” {Yoga-Tattvopanishad 50-51; and
Hatha-Yoga-Pradeepikaa 2/73-74} = “If a practitioner reaches
the state of Direct Breath-Halt, without exhale and inhale, there
is nothing in all the three worlds that he cannot achieve.”
Thus, we see that ‘PRANA-RODHA’ of Atharvaa, ‘VISHAYA-
AAKSHEPEE CHATURTHA PRANAYAMA’ of Patanjali, and the
‘KEVALA-KUMBHAKA’ of Upanishads & Hatha-yogis mean the
same thing. This state of Yoga is achieved through Pranic
Awareness, which connects the practitioner with the Universal
Power. For this, the individual must realize the truth that he is not
the experiencing enjoyer. Instead, all actions and enjoyments
belong to the universe. And hence, though it has not been
termed as such, this attitude and practice can very well be
called ‘Vedic Prana-Yoga’, because it empowers I.L.F.(or
JEEVAATMAA) to meet and merge with the U.L.P.(or
PARAMAATMAA), the ultimate aim of Yoga.

Breathing Practices

The higher form of Vedic Prana-Yoga has been shown above.


However, do some of the Breathing Practices, which occupy a
very important role in the Hatha-Yoga texts, and which are
more useful for the health of inner organs and their functions,
have any roots there? Yes, it may be safely said that Vedas also

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have some rare references to the mobility of Prana. One hymn
of Bhaargava Vaidarbhi {A.V.11/4/7} could and should be
quoted in this regard.
“NAMASTE ASTU AAYATE, NAMO ASTU PARAAYATE. NAMASTE
PRAANA TISHTHATA, AASEENAAYA UTA TE NAMAH.”
= “May I greet, bow to and unify with the four states of ‘In-
coming’, ‘Out-going’, ‘Staying’, and ‘sitting’ breaths full of
energy, i.e., Prana.”
These four states of breathing process are normally interpreted
to indicate four states of Pranayama told in Hatha-Yoga, which
are: 1st Rechaka, 2nd Pooraka, 3rd Kumbhaka, and 4th
Shoonyaka.
At the same time, they may also be the seeds for Patanjali’s 3rd
and 4th Pranayama. His 3rd one is ‘STAMBHA-VRITTI’, wherein
practitioner’s respiration starts having a tendency to halt.
Bhaargava Vaidarbhi is indicating this by ‘TISHTHATA’. The 4th
one is VISHAYA-AAKSHEPEE ‘without any tendency, just
stopping as soon as meditation begins’. Vedic seer’s
‘AASEENA’ is hinting at that, it seems.
It would be useful to understand here the practice of Patanjali’s
‘PRACCHARDANA and VIDHAARANA’. {Y.S. 1/34}. Are they
same as the first two of Hatha-Yoga?
Patanjali prescribes these breathing practices for purifying and
pleasing the mind. (‘CHITTA-PRASAADANAM’ Y.S. 1/32) The
aspect of physical cleansing by them is not told there.
Dispelling of darkness is, however, shown as a result of
Pranayama in general. {Y.S. 2/52}.
Therefore, ‘PRACCHARDANA and VIDHAARANA’ are more than
Rechaka and Pooraka. The root ‘/chard’ means ‘to vomit’.
Therefore, ‘PRACCHARDANA’ should be a practice wherein
breath is forced out like vomiting. Most probably, this should be
the breath-work at the time of Patanjali, practiced for mental

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poise, which later developed as BHASTRIKA and KAPAALA-
BHAATI etc. in Hatha-Yoga.
Looking into this brief background, it may be concluded that
Breathing practices were in vogue for both physical and
psychic health, since Vedic times. Those were not simple
exercises of breath, but were honored as worship or
‘UPAASANAA of Prana’, and willingly utilized for inward and
outward peace and power. With the passage of time, and
according to the physical and mental needs of people, fresher
varieties of Pranic Practices were gradually developed.
Yogis of later period were conscious of their heritage and did
remember earlier Yogis with reverence. Yogi Swaatmaaraama,
in his HATHA-YOGA-PRADEEPIKAA declares in the very
beginning that he sees these practices as a ladder
(ADHIROHINNEE IVA, 1/1) for the higher Yoga. He admits:
“KEVALAM RAAJA-YOGAAYA HATHA-VIDYAA-UPADISHYATE.”
{1/2}
= “This Science of Hatha-Yoga is being taught only for the help
of ‘Raaja-Yoga’, the highest (shining science of) Spiritual Yoga.”
Obviously, it shall not be an exaggeration to infer that
Pranayamas of later period are also a desired development in
continuation of the earliest Vedic Prana-Yoga only.
Thus, the Vedic seer seems to say, “we, as creatures are always
connected with, and merged or engulfed in Prana, which is
virtually the ‘Universal Field of Energy’. Further, we have to keep
drawing our life force continuously from this source.”
Hatha Yoga would like to tell, “Prana is to be cleansed,
equilibrated, balanced and vitalized for our holistic health. This
serves as the basis of our physical power, mental mastery and
spiritual solace. Then only can we have the true holistic health.”
From Yogic viewpoint, all diseases are of only one kind, viz.,
impropriety, whether of personal or of social life-style, including
attitude, behavior, consumption, diet, enjoyment etc. Like
Yoga, Holistic Health is also ‘person-oriented’ rather than

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‘disease-oriented’. Both believe in prevention to be better than
cure. For that, body, breath and brain are to be synchronized
through awareness and positive utilization of the intrinsic power
Prana and Pranic Practices.
According to yogi Swaatmaaraama, Mind has a direct
correlation with Prana, ‘CHALE VAATE CHALAM CHITTAM,
NISHCHALE NISHCHALAM BHAVET’ {Hatha-Yoga Pradeepikaa
2/2} = “Mind flickers when Prana (the inner air) wavers, and is
stable when it is immobile.” Medical scientists are also
recognizing the force of brain in healing process, ordering the
endocrine system to execute appropriate body chemistry, by
producing desired secretions.
Prana serves as the best medium for all limbs and varieties of
Yoga. Practicing persons, living on Prana and so known as
PRANEEs, when aware of their Prana; gain the power to
practice Yama and Niyama more properly. They perform
Asanas better and get results sooner. Meditation is easier and
deeper for them, with no side effects or fears of distraction or
disturbance.
That is the reason why Pranayama or Yoga through Prana,
(better if called ‘Prana-Yoga’) has been taught by sages of
India in all periods, since Vedic times. Atharva-Veda,
Upanishads, Puranas, Bhagavad-Gita, Patanjali, Hatha-Yoga
scriptures etc. all give great importance to Prana for achieving
physical and psychic health.
Prana serves as the best medium for all limbs and varieties of
Yoga. Practicing persons (=PRANEEs), who are aware of their
Prana; gain the power to practice Yama and Niyama more
properly. They perform Asanas better and get results sooner.
Meditation is easier and deeper for them, with no side effects
or fears of distraction or disturbance.

Methods and modes may differ, but various traditions all over
the globe, e.g., Naturopathy, Pranic Healing, Reiki, Breath-work,
Acupressure, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Su-zok, Massage, etc.

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have tried to utilize the Pranic Power in vivid forms for
prevention and cure of ailments and diseases.

Dr. NAGENDRA H.R., M.E., Ph.D. Vice-Chancellor, Swami


Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bangalore,
India, has to say the following:-

“The present research trend is to understand the mechanisms


of how Yoga works rather than just to prove that yoga works by
clinical trials. These researches are on the ascent and are trying
to emulate pharmacological research world with single blind if
not double blind studies. Medical researchers working in their
own super-specialty areas to understand as to how yoga works
at molecular level, genetic, endocrine including immune
system levels, respiratory and cardio-vascular levels, nervous
system including brain levels, neuro-psychological and
psychological levels as also at Para-psychological and spiritual
(non-local) levels.

As it often happens, the researchers in each of these fields of


specialties and super-specialties think that the root cause for
the disease is enshrined in their super-specialty area.

 A genetic expert thinks that everything is coded in the


genes and is hastening to find the respective genes as
Onco-gene, or Telomerase or chromosomal changes,
 The immune system expert would want to see the
causative factor in the immune deficiency factors as NF-
kappa B,
 A brain expert will look at the functional and anatomical
changes in the brain as the main reason for all the
diseases,
 Many psychologists believe that psyche is the main cause
for all the diseases, and so on.
 This resembles the search of a few blind men trying to get
to know of the elephant!

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Thanks to the advent of quantum mechanics and the
associated bewildering phenomena as non-locality,
holographic perspectives of the universe as postulated by Prof
David Balm, etc the approach of looking at the whole is
emerging fast. And there is an increasing evidence of these
super-specialty researchers conceding to the wholesomeness
of the human system and the multi-dimensional facets of the
present day challenges in contrast to one-dimensional
(physical) diseases like infectious and contagious diseases of
the last century.

This approach of wholesomeness is reflected in the most


modern hospitals in which all the super-specialties are set in a
single building or a chain of buildings with a corresponding
team work with tremendous organizational networking using
the best of the computer and advanced technology. The
patient care is supreme in these hospitals. All the specialists
monitor the progress, or otherwise, of the patient by the
measures of each of the systems; have a meeting in the
morning to look at the patient from all angles; have discussions
as to how they can deal with the case with all complications,
etc. It is this wholesome approach that can unravel the
mysteries of the present challenge of the modern era of
psycho-somatic diseases and psychiatric problems.

A time has come for the researchers also to bring this dimension
of wholesomeness using all the super-specialty high tech
gadgets to track down the cause of the disease. Verily, our
ancient Seers in India must have faced similar challenges and
had found solutions for them by the Holistic Approach of
treatment. Along with that, they also had gained the total
understanding of our creation enshrined in Upanisads and they
had developed yoga to bring this total wisdom base to day-to-
day living of each and everyone in the society for prevention of
ailments and for achieving positive and perfect health. They
went one step further in unveiling the deeper secrets beyond
the gross physical body to unravel the four more layers of this
creation. Different yoga techniques as Samyama were found

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and standardized to move out of the body (astral projection)
and travel in these higher dimensions of consciousness were
also found and time-tested to put them into books, nay, text
books for the students to grasp and to be taught in universities.
We are in this transition to move from the physical to that which
is beyond.

While double blind Randomized Control Trials which is now the


gold standard in research will bring the most objective
approach to eliminate possible placebo effects, researcher
bias, etc. However as we evolve towards higher and subtle
dimensions of fathoming the deeper layers of our creation, we
need to take into consideration the non-material aspects as
mind. Mind Body medicine has started hitting head lines. We
need to find ways and means to incorporate the effect of the
mind also without neglecting the same as a placebo effect.
Also, in the context of having established the usefulness of
yoga, it becomes unethical to deny these benefits of yoga to
the control group participants particularly in long term follow
up studies extending to a decade or more. Hence, in this
proposed approach, we introduce health 'H' as a function of
physical, psychological, social and spiritual well being (in tune
with the definition of health by WHO) of the human systems: H =
f (P, Ps, Soc, Sprt).

I. P - Physical Wellbeing: The physical dimensions of health


would involve clinical symptom scores, physiological
parameters, psycho-neuro-immunological, genetic and
molecular components.

II. Ps - Psychological Wellbeing: The neuro-psychological and


psychological measures of stress, anxiety, depression; IQ,
Memory, Attention span, creativity including planning ability
and the like.

III. Soc - Social Wellbeing; social behavior, responses to


environmental changes, etc.

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IV. Sprt - Spiritual Wellbeing: Para-psychological dimensions
including telepathic, psycho-kinetic powers of individuals and
the group effects involved in group prayers, Yajnas, etc.

This health function will first be established for normal persons as


a multi-dimensional cluster by accumulating large amount of
data in sizeable population. For a given group of persons with
different ailments we will measure all the physical
psychological, social and spiritual components and established
a cluster which could be different from normal cluster. We may
establish such clusters for patients of asthma, diabetes,
hypertension, cancer, HIV, etc. With different type of
interventions including modern medical treatments, yoga and
other complimentary systems of treatment, we will track the
direction of these clusters over weeks, months and years to
examine with an open mind as to whether we can reach
normalcy cluster. Using this Health function as a measure, we
can define positive and perfect health by tracking such
individuals and groups with positive as also blossomed health
equivalent to perfect health. To identify positive and perfect
health clusters and to move the normal cluster towards them,
we invite all the Yoga organizations to participate in this
project.”

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