KVE301/KVE401 Universal Human Values and Professional Ethics
Chapter 7: Harmony with the Body – Understanding Sanyam and Swasthya
What is the Solution?
Our present lifestyle and conditionings are not very conducive to keep the body fit and therefore it is important to understand Sanyam and Swasthya correctly and maintain proper harmony with the body. As a proposal, we need to work on the following few things:
- To understand and live with Sanyam.
- To understand the self-organization of the body and ensure the health of the body.
Sanyam implies that the self takes the responsibility for proper nurturing and the right utilization of the body. For this, it is essential to understand the functioning of the body instrument. It is also essential to understand that this instrument has a limited life span and undergoes a pattern of growth and decay. The interaction of the self with the body has to be in consonance with the above objectives which are achieved through Sanyam.
A. Nurturing of the Body: Proper Food, Air, Water, Etc.
In the process of selecting food for the body, I need to make out the elements that make a complete food so that it gives the required nutrients and energy to the body.
On the basis of understanding the harmony of the self with the body, it can be said that the food needs to be eaten only when we feel hungry. The choice of the food has to be such that it is easily digestible and the food needs to be taken with the proper posture of the body and in the right quantity. Thus the following also become a part of our program:
- Ingestion: The first thing we do after taking the food in the mouth is that we chew it. There are certain elements in food that get digested only after it is chewed well. This also helps to simplify the work of the organs further down in the digestive system.
- Digestion: Once swallowed, the digestion of the food starts. For this, proper rest and the exercise of the body is also essential. On the basis of understanding the harmony of the Self with the Body, we can see that the food needs to be eaten only when we feel hungry. The choice of food has to be such that it is easily digestible and the food needs to be taken with proper posture of the body and in the right quantity.
- Excretion: Once the food is taken and the nutrients are absorbed, the unnecessary or undigested part needs to be thrown out. This is also very important. If not done properly, it starts to adversely affect the body and causes multiple problems in the Body.
B. Protection of the Body
The second issue is the protection of the body. The clothes we choose for protection need to be such that they ensure proper interaction of the body with the environment. The right amount of exposure of the body to the air, water, and sun is required to ensure its proper functioning.
To ensure the health of the Body, we need to take care of the following –
(i) Aahar – Vihar,
(ii) Shram – Vyayam,
(iii) Aasan-Pranayam, and
We have already discussed Aahar (Food), let us now discuss others.
- Proper upkeep (Vihar) of the Body: When we work, the Body gets tired. When we take rest, the Body becomes fit to work. But again, there is a limit to the amount of work and rest we need. We also need to ensure proper time, posture and ways to work and to rest. We need to provide hygienic conditions for proper functioning of the Body. These issues are included in the upkeep of the Body.
- Physical Labour (Shram) and Exercise (Vyayam): Requisite amount of physical labour and exercise are essential to keep the body healthy. Labour means employing the body Physically for production and maintenance of physical facilities.
- Aasan-Pranayam: Yogasan and Pranayam are well-designed exercises to keep the body healthy and to ensure the synergy between Self and the Body. These are exercises involving specific postures and regulation of breathing.
- Treatment of the body (Ausadhi-Chikitsa): When the Body gets hurt, or is in disorder by either misuse or because of the adversities of the environment etc., there is a natural tendency of the Body to heal and come back to its desired state of health. We are required to facilitate this process, and not suppress it. Thus, when unpleasant sensations come from the Body indicating disorder, they are to be properly interpreted and attended to.
C. Right Utilization of the Body (Sadupayog)
Right utilization of the body as an instrument necessitates understanding the purpose for which this instrument is to be used. Normally, we tend to believe that the body is an instrument for sensory enjoyment, which is not correct. We also happen to use our body to exploit other human beings or rest of the nature which is not the right utilization. It is important to realize that the human body is an instrument to facilitate the right understanding and its actualization in life.