Nature Cure

The Vital Force – The Vital Economy

What is the vital force?

There exists an amazing life-giving and life-sustaining force inside our body and it is called the vital force or vital energy or prana shakthi or the healing power – it is the body’s most indispensable component without which we just cannot function.

All of us are born with a certain amount of this vital energy(it varies from person to person) for a single birth and the more economically we use it, the more efficient and smarter we get..!!

Having said that, there is only one vital force inside our body which has to cater to every single voluntary/involuntary process executed by the body. I mean be it voluntary functions like reading, writing, walking, jogging, etc., or involuntary processes like breathing, digestion, elimination, healing of physical wounds, etc., there is only one vital force that has to do all of these functions. The lesser number of tasks it is assigned (simultaneously) , the more efficient it becomes. Alternatively, the more number of tasks it is assigned (simultaneously), the lesser efficient it becomes. This concept is called vital economy.

Vital Economy – A Closer Look

To understand the concept of vital economy in better detail, let me take you through 2 scenarios below:

  • Scenario 1: We have a proper electricity connection and it so happens we are put up in an area where there is rarely a power cut. Of course we make sure to switch off all electrical appliances when not in use.

Now imagine the second scenario:

  • Scenario 2: There is a major power shutdown due to a natural calamity, say a flood; we have na inverter/power source at home with a limited battery capacity to be used over a period of, say, 5 days. Compared to scenario 1, don’t we become extra careful to save on power because we are very sure we have only a limited capacity at our disposal? Instead of switching on the light in every room, don’t we make sure to switch on the lights only in the room where we are and switch off all other lights?

This is exactly the concept of vital economy and the (above) second scenario typically applies to our body’s vital energy, Our body has a limited amount of vital energy and our body certainly has to do the involuntary functions like respiration, elimination, blood circulation, etc., Our body is also supposed to do the assigned tasks like education, profession, etc (like going o a school,college or workplace. ) So where comes the possibility of economizing on the energy source? That can happen with the digestion..!!!

OOPS, of course am not here to say we have to stop eating…!!! But we can definitely alter our food habits and lifestyle so we can be at our best physical and mental capacity. That said, there are 2 main steps we can take with respect to food choices we make and here they are:

  • Eating more of (raw or fresh) fruits and vegetables because they comparatively take very less time to digest. Also read through mono fruit breakfast
  • Secondly, even when we happen to take cooked food, we can increase the proportion of cooked veggies and reduce the proportion of grains and pulses because cooked veggies digest faster than (cooked) grains and pulses. This way, we will be feeling full, have a lighter tummy and also healthy..!!

Food Gives Energy ???

Now having understood the concept of vital economy, can we still go with the popular belief that ‘Food Gives Energy’??? Of course not…!!! To understand it better, energy can broadly be divided into 2 kinds:

  • Vital energy
  • Food-Derived energy

As a matter of fact, our body actually has to spend the vital energy to digest the food that we eat and then get the food-derived energy from that and it is definitely not the other way round. We are used to hearing, ‘eat more food so you have more energy’, ‘you must eat when you are tired or sick to get back our health’ and we now know its a false theory.

So lighter the food (we also have to make sure it is nutritious and so we insist on taking more raw fruits and veggies), the lesser the vital energy that is spent to digest the food (please note we are economizing on the vital energy reserve..!!!) and hence we feel more active physically and mentally.

Alternatively, heavier the food, more of the vital energy is spent to digest the food and we have literally over drawn the available vital energy(meaning we have spent more vital energy to get food-derived energy).

The nutrition breakup we see against every food type, by far, pertains to food derived energy and has actually nothing to do with the vital energy reserve within each of us. So it now left to us to decide which food types are most suitable for us to run a happy, successful life – to do this, we just need to listen to our body after every meal.

  • After the meal, if we are tired and sleepy, it simply means the food is heavy and wants more of the vital energy for digestion and its not ready right now to do any other voluntary task.
  • Alternatively, after the meal, if we are feeling alert and energetic and we feel our body is able to move and our mind is able to think clearly, it just means the food is light, it needs very less vital energy for digestion and hence its ready to do any voluntary task assigned by us..!!

More Points On Vital Economy

  • When you tired or sick, we have to definitely take rest and not eat – because the vital energy has to heal now to make you fresh; eating or drinking a stimulant, say, a tea or coffee at this juncture overloads the vital energy and we might momentarily feel fresh because the body is now diverted from healing to digestion and the fatigue is sure to return..!! Also read through, what is disease?
  • When you are not eating (i mean when you are fasting), vital energy gets the time to clear clogs and dirts in the body and after the fast we will be feeling more energetic and functional. Also read through, benefits of fasting
  • Vital economy also explains exactly why we cannot climb a staircase without panting after a heavy meal.

Interesting Links

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vadavaraiyai maththaakki vaasukiyai naaNaakki

Vadavarayai mathakki, vasukiyai naanakki‘, a song sung and popularized by M.S. Subbalakshmi.

This song is part of the epic Silappadikaram’s Aichiyar Kuravi composed by Ilango Adigal. My mom used to play this sing ever since childhood and everytime I hear this song, I have been fascinated by the music; but it was very recently that I learnt the meaning of these verses when I heard this being explained at a thirumurai session at the Marundeeswarar temple.

And it so happened that I once sung the first two lines to my son and he too was fascinated by the tune.

Having said that, we saw a demonstration of this scene at 3 places in a span of about 3 weeks, one at the Government Museum, at a dance performance and t the ZSI, Marine aqaurium. So I thought I could do a separate post on this.

88 Devas on one side (holding the tail of vasuki) and 91 asuras
(holding the head of vasuki) on the other side begin to churn the ocean of milk to extract amirtha, the divine nectar using Meru mountain as the churning stick (mathu) and vasuki as the churning rope (naan). In the process, poison from vasuki was about tp mix with the amirtha and hence Lord Shiva drinks it so as to prevent it from being consumed by anybody; seeing the poison might hurt LOrd Shiva, Goddess Parvati holds it in his throat, thereby preventing the poison from entering his body, hence his neck turns blue with the poison and he became to be calld Thiruneela kandan.

Here is a nice translation of the entire song. Listen, read enjoy it..!!

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The Power Of A Thought

Inspiring Videos By BK Shivani

Inspiring videos By Isha Sadhguru

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE4ln5pZNPU

Links

Interesting Books

  • The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind – Joseph Murphy
  • The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
  • The Miracle Of Positive Thinking
    Arnold Fox and Barry Fox
  • Looking at life differently – Swami Sukhabodananda
  • How To Stop Worryig And Start Living – Dale Carnegie
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B.M. Birla Planetarium

The steam engine coach stationed at the planetarium attracted my son most as he has been exploring facts about the steam engine recently. After the visit, we also checked out a small video documentary about a staem engine and understood it in some more detail.

There is a half an hour movie and a 3D show, but somehow he is not ready to enter a dark hall and we skipped the shows.

There is a big play area out there with lot of scientific experiements demonstrated.

There is a separate place where huge machineries used in lathe are put up for display.

On the way to the planetarium, there was a cow statue and haran wanted to milk the cow and to hold the milk, we made a small container out of stones.

Inside the hall, there are a number of galleries, namely, transport gallery, fun mirror gallery, space gallery.

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ZSI And Santhome Church

We visited this marine aquarium, Zoological Survey Of India, Santhome High Road and it was such a lovely place with a small aquarium on the ground floor and an aquatic museum on the first floor. We were fortunate enough to see the turtles and fish being fed by the support staff.

There was a nice demonstration of the churning of the ocean of milk and here goes a post dedicated to that – vadavaraiyai maththaakki vaasukiyai naaNaakki

As the visit was a quick one, we enquired if there was any other place to visit near by and we reached the Santhome church by a share auto. Oh my god, that was such an architectural marvel and haran really enjoyed it for its vast space. It also has an attached museum and the church is supposed to have been built over the tomb of Saint Thomas (San thome) and there is a separate basement path which leads to the tomb and the tomb is visible through a small glass opening on the floor of the church.

Quite a few years ago, had visited this place with my dad to attend a friend’s wedding and it was nice visiting the place again.

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Thoesophical Society, Adyar

This was the second time we were visiting the TS (the first one was very formal and it was for a workshop) and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We were told the Buddhist temple was one of the lovely spots of the land and so it was…!!! I hadn’t heard of Bodhidhamra before I saw the movie ‘7aam arivu’, but here was a beautiful inscription of him.

And there is my son watching how the little ants carry the lemon rice fed by him.

Thats’ supposed to the Bodhi tree, an offshoot of the actual Bodhi tree transported here from Bodhgaya.

There is more to watch, but we ran out of time and so we had to talk out with this. Will post more when we visit again.

Public Visiting Hours: 8:30 to 10 AM and 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Natural Learning

Fine Arts

3-Feb-2019, Kalakshetra Foundation

Karnatic Kattaikkuttu, a musical conversation that challenges established boundaries. This was the first show where my kid was literally enthralled by the performance and insisted that we stay back till the show got over even though it was late and he was hungry. The professionalism of the carnatic musicians was perfectly balanced by the eloquence and simplicity of the kattaikuttu artistes.

It was a real show indeed..!!

10-Feb-2016, Hamsadhwani, Adyar

Renowned dancer Sreekala Bharath’s Annamaya Bhakthi Manjari -a performance by the Guru and her disciples which literally transported the viewers to the place of Lord Venkatesa. The dancers performed wit utmost elegance and the musical orchestra performed at par with the dancers and it was a real visual/audio treat depicting the concept of ‘The 9 stages of Bhakti’ through Dasavatharam,
Vamana avathara as a special episode, Kalinga Narthanam and more..!!

12-Feb-2019, Narada Gana Sabha

Sabari Moksham, a subset of the Ramayan was enacted beautifully and soulfully by the artistes. This was the first time I witnessed this and me and my kid were literally spell-bound by the ease and elegance with which the artistes brought alive the flow of the episode of Sabari Moksham on stage. The captivating beauty and swiftness of the golden deer in a forest, the really expressive Ravana also disguised as a sage, the beautiful Sita performing so real, the synchrony in the movement of Ravana and Sita when Ravana carries off Sita, the realistic enaction of Jatayu, the subtlety expressed by Rama and Lakshmana left me purely stunned…!!

Hats off to the entire team for giving us this blissful experience..!!

Nature Cure

The tummy-mind Connection

When I first happened to know about nature cure, I understood it was purely to cleanse/detox the body and hence to rid us of physical ailments. But when I attended the nature cure camp at Pollachi,

  • Balakrishna Ayya, the NC guru explained how when the stomach is clean enough and gets the capacity to eliminate properly, your thoughts become positive and your brain gets to think clearly. He also pointed out if NC lifestyle spreads across the world, positive vibrations will magnify and there will be peace across the world.
  • An organizer/ volunteer at the camp(and friend) Nisha was telling us how nature cure is really special for its spiritual impact on a person more than its physical impact.

I had no clue what they were trying to say, but the idea was just hanging around in my mind.

A couple of months later, after I had a deep toss of my health(Of course I attained better health post that – read about My Healing Experience), I slowly began to understand what the NC seniors were trying to convey.

Before we move on, lets understand a little about the vital force.

The Tummy-Mind Connection with a Breakfast Story

Now, lets get to understand this tummy-mind connection through an everyday example which all of us can relate to –

Supposing we are very hungry in the morning and we happen to have a breakfast – we can just vary what we have for breakfast and find out how our body responds after that:

Scenario 1: Breakfast meal is any traditional dish, say, idli with sambar and chutney.

  • Day 1: Incidentally it happens to be your favourte dish; at one point we feel we are almost full, but we go on to have a couple of more idlis because the sambar is particularly very tasty today..!!!
  • Day 2: But today the sambar is not as tasty as it was yesterday; we definitely cannot eat beyond our hunger level and we eat just enough to fill our tummy

Scenario 2: Breakfast of the day is perhaps, say, upma and that’s definitely not your favourite dish, say; we will reluctantly eat to probably fill just half a tummy.

Scenario 3: Breakfast of the day is say, a bowl of soup or fruits or vegetable salad (meaning to say its a grain free meal, am sure you would have tried this kind of a meal for breakfast, if not, please try it..!!); we have eaten enough to fill our tummy, say.

Under all these scenarios, once the breakfast is done, we start to office/college/school and manage to reach our destination amidst the heavy traffic (say). By this time the food begins to get processed and this is the time we have to start concentrating on our work as well. As discussed in the vital force post, there is only one vital force in our body but now it has do 2 processes simultaneously, digestion and concentration (apart from a couple of mandatory functions like breathing, elimination, etc).

In which of these above scenarios can we assure we are at our best mental( or physical) capacity?? Just think about it.

Now we have to experientially answer this question and see how our body and mind feels in each of these scenarios and once we understand this response, we can utilise the vital force to its full efficiency.

Logically speaking, we can get the most out of our (physical and) mental capacity at work if only the vital force is almost free and waiting to do new task assigned by us (please note it cannot divert its attention from mandatory involuntary functions like breathing, elimination, but we can certainly make sure that we reduce the load on the vital force used for the digestion process).

It now becomes highly necessary to know which kind of a food is very easy to digest so that the body’s vital energy is quickly done with the digestion process and is ready to engage in any other physical/mental task allocated to it.

At this point, please read through

Before we move on, lets a understand a bit more about the definition of a human being.

A HUMAN BEING = Human Body + Human Mind

A human being is composed of two main parts – the human mind and the human body, they are definitely dependent components and both of them need to be maintained well to create a good human being . And they say, you are what you have made yourself to be, both mentally and physically – you are what you think you are, you are what you eat (‘Jaise anna, Vaise mann’).

The body and the mind are actually two inseparable components that work in unison..!! Meaning to say, a healthy body is essential to nurture a healthy mind and a healthy mind helps build a healthy body..!!!!

It is generally said that the mind is the chief controller of a human being and so I have heard people ask why should we attach so much of importance to food – if you maintain your mind well, everything is going to be fine. Yes that’s absolutely true, but the body is the foundation which houses the human mind and so its composition is really really important to construct a strong human being, who is strong physically as well as emotionally. And to have a healthy body, it becomes very important to eat proper food (and follow a NC lifestyle that is in perfect alignment with nature) because food is the basic building material for your body and a strong body means its the ideal place for a strong mind.

Having said that, am not here to say it’s impossible to control the mind when you don’t watch your food, am just saying it becomes comparatively natural and effortless to control the mind when you are conscious that only the right kind of food goes into your body.

‘Car Journey Vs Our Journey’ Story

I would like to bring in here a small analogy to stress the importance of a healthy body and a healthy mind to make a healthy human being –Consider a car journey to reach a destination – the most important prerequisites are – a car in a good working condition, good quality fuel and a skilled driver.

Now am rephrasing the above sentence to match our life –
Consider our life’s journey to reach a destination – the most important prerequisites are – a healthy body (car) in a good working condition, good quality food for the proper functioning of the body(fuel) and a skilled human mind to drive the healthy body on the right track (driver).

Moral of the Journey Story –Proper diet complemented with proper mind conditioning like meditation helps us lead a happy, contented life.

INTERNAL HYGIENE – An important prerequisite for a happy person

From my understanding, when the internal organs of the human body are getting cleansed, the blood circulation throughout the body becomes better, all the organs begin to function properly and there is a good rush of blood to your brain as well and you begin to think clearer than before; it feels as though some physical or intangible block was removed from your mind and things begin to fall in place.

As a matter of fact, a clean body(with a negligible amount of toxins) can pretty much nurture a clean mind with positive thoughts. And you feel as though you are seeing a new intelligent/calm person inside you and you wonder about so many things in life as to ‘Why didn’t this simple thing occur to me for so long??!!!’, why was I holding onto this simple thing for so long???!!. (Talking about the benefits of a nature cure detox, there are of course obvious physical health benefits like improved vision, improved hearing capacity, age reversal and improved strength of your body, and lot more to go..!!!).

Alternatively, a body whose internal hygiene is not properly maintained is very prone to attracting negative vibrations and hence the person might end up suffering physically or emotionally and/or cause suffering to others knowingly or unknowingly.

Talking about illness, I would like to add 2 points here:

  • When we physically very ill, obviously our minds will be totally occupied with thoughts about our body, health and pain and it becomes really difficult to concentrate on anything beyond that like family, friends, education or profession. Hence the need to maintain to healthy body so that we can lead a productive and happy life.
  • Illness is generally divided into 2 categories, physical and mental. But in accordance with the body-mind connection, physical and mental illness both have a single root cause, and getting onto a saatvic diet will invariably produce a positive impact on physical as well as mental health.

As a society we are so used to accepting so many negative qualities like short-temper, irritability, fear, anger, etc., as the nature of a person and that it can’t be changed. But from my opinion, I feel a proper physical body detox coupled with a NC lifestyle change could actually change the character of a person and we might see an all together new person post that.

I happened to read through a small section of the book ‘The Bliss Of Cancer: How I Cured Cancer, Lost Weight, and Turned My Life Around ‘ by Evita Ramparte; here she talks about how every emotion is paired to a corresponding internal organ in the body and how cleaning every organ produces a positive impact on that particular emotion of that person. Doesn’t that sound really cool??!!

Before I conclude, since we have been discussing extensively that the body and mind are connected, this post would be incomplete if we don’t talk about the power of the mind since there needs to be a perfect balance between food-body and mind to achieve perfect health. And hence will do my next post on ‘The Power Of A Thought’.

To summarize,

A healthy body nurtures a healthy mind and generates only positive thoughts and positive thoughts attract only positivity towards us and our life is full of contentment and joy.