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


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..!!


The Power Of A Thought

Inspiring Videos By BK Shivani

Inspiring videos By Isha Sadhguru


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

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.


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.


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..!!