You may try all B-U-T YOGA IS THE ONLY WAY!
I will begin by sharing with you a real incident that happened a few days back. This will help you to understand this topic in a better manner and then we will analyze the topic in greater depth.
We were sitting at our home and watching TV during the lockdown. Suddenly we heard some noise which seemed to come from our neighbors’ house. We could clearly hear some noise of crying and this began to scare us as the noise kept on increasing in volume. But I felt that it might be some cry of a kid or maybe a typical and a famous quarrel between a woman and her mother in law.
But as the noise became more prominent, I went to the neighbors’ house to inquire if everything was fine. My friend said that his wife is complaining of severe pain in her stomach and she is crying in pain for the last half an hour and he does not have a clue as to what he can do.
I told him whether he has consulted a doctor. He dejectedly told me that there was no doctor available at that time so he has given her some pain killers and also some pills for stomach infection. This continued for another hour and everybody in the home began to worry. Thankfully, one of our neighbors who arrived after some time was able to contact his relative who was a doctor.
The doctor did the video call and told to give the mobile to the lady who was in pain. The lady began to cry and refused to talk due to extreme pain. But the doctor persisted and told her to share some details which would help him understand the exact problem.
She reluctantly agreed. He asked her questions and she barely replied. Based on the symptoms, the doctor concluded that there was no need to worry. He said that there was a stone in her stomach. He prescribed some tablets which had to be given to her for the time being and the doctor said that all her pain would subside within half an hour. He said that we would do her lab tests the next day and decide upon the proper course of medication.
We wore our masks and rushed to the medical store and brought the medicine. We gave the lady a dose of medicine and Wow! in 20-25 minutes all her pain had vanished.
This was the case of a physical illness. Please keep this example in mind till I give you another example.
There was a person who was a very patriotic person. Whenever he would see our national flag, he used to stop wherever he was and would sing the national anthem with tears rolling out of his eyes. Whenever he saw somebody who was bald and had a stick in his hand, he would fall at his feet because he imagined him to be Mahatma Gandhi. In the middle of the night in deep sleep, he would cry, “No matter what may happen, but we will achieve independence at any cost! Vande Mataram!” I think you would have guessed it. This man had gone mad because of a sudden rush of emotions.
This is the case of mental illness.
We have taken examples of both physical as well as mental illness. We are neither physically nor mentally ill. But you will not disagree with me that you have some sort of physical problem no matter how small it may be. You will also accept that sometimes you are not in control of your emotions and behave unpredictably which is an issue related to the mind.
So one way or another, we have issues, physical or mental. There is only one solution for this and it can be summarized as “YOGA IS THE ONLY WAY!”
But what is Yoga? People have a false notion that Yoga only means YOGASANA. They often ask each other during their casual conversation, “Have you done Yoga? I did 45 minutes of Yoga today. “
But the true definition of Yoga as mentioned in our scriptures is UNION WITH GOD. It surely sounds far-sighted for us now. But we can, for the benefit of ourselves, restrict the definition of Yoga to MEDITATION, YOGASANA AND PRANAYAMA.
A person who does meditation for a certain amount of time, say even for 10-15 minutes a day, will get tremendous peace of mind and will never ever develop any kind of mental illness. However, it is not possible to go in-depth with meditation(You can read my following blog on Meditation). But if we can sit for a few minutes with our eyes closed and gradually increase the time as days go on then we will be well on our way to reap benefits. My teacher taught me one method and it really worked well for me in the beginning stages. He told me that as a beginner, I should read some paragraphs of some spiritual books like Bhagwad Geeta for 5 minutes, this will divert my mind from regular activities and will also bring some degree of spiritual thoughts in me. After that, he told me, I should play some soft music for another 10 minutes and I should focus my mind on that music. He laid emphasis on the fact that I should maintain a steady posture during this practice. And this proved to be a beautiful starting point for meditation as gradually I could sit without playing the music.
Now let us jump to issues related to physical illnesses and how Yoga can cure them. YOGASANA and PRANAYAMA are absolutely scientific methods which will give you instant results. Most of you, I am sure, already know this but are still lazy and hesitant to practice it. Instead of breaking your bones in the gym, learn YOGIC postures and PRANAYAMA from experts. Take some time, arrange for a yoga mat and go to YouTube and practice the YOGASANA and PRANAYAMA which Swami Ramdev teaches. It is so simple, isn’t it? The only things required for this are our willingness and discipline.
One more important point I would like to add is that you cannot gain control over your mind unless you have a fit body.
Swami Vivekananda has said, “First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterward. Be strong, my young friends, that is my advice to you. you will be nearer to heaven through football than through the study of GITA. These are the bold words, but I have to say them, for I love you…. you will understand the GITA better with your biceps, your muscles with a little stronger mind.”
So the only way situations like the lady who became suddenly ill and the man who lost his mental balance could be avoided is by following the path of YOGA(The restricted definition of Yoga which we discussed).
Yoga is scientific, it is authentic and it’s results are instantaneous.
I can conclude that for all problems in our life, whether they are mental or physical, YOGA IS THE ONLY WAY!