By editor - 4.1 2017
Bhakta Jorge Camara: In 1967, Srila Prabhupada wrote to his disciple: “Be careful about your health first. This information is not only for you but all my noble sons. I am an old man. I may live or die it does not matter. But you must live for long time to push on this Krishna Consciousness movement.”
“The miracles of nature are the miracles of God” – Radhanath Swami
Since time immemorial, human societies have championed Mother Nature’s therapeutic splendor as a reliable and sacred source of healthcare.
Whether one is a spiritual dilettante or a vigorous meditator, it is important to be aware of the various health issues sprouting up during this iron age of Kali. By learning how to make conscious decisions about our material wellbeing we can avoid unnecessary disturbances and peacefully perform our spiritual practice.
According to the classic yoga text of ancient India, Bhagavad-gita, the organic healing technology injected into prakrti, or material nature, is a divine gift from the Supreme Father, Lord Sri Krishna. For example, Krishna says, “I am the healing herb” (9.16), “the taste of water” (7.8), and “the heat in fire” (7.9).
Mother Nature’s remedial gifts and our material body are thus hardwired to function harmoniously by Krishna’s will. In this connection Srila Prabhupada comments that “Natural foodstuff which is meant for human being, they are full of vitamins already there by nature’s law, by God’s wish.”
Purity is the Power
Krishna is the maintainer of all living entities and out of His sweet grace he provides the most effective, restorative and purifying solution for maintaining one’s health. It is by His divine arrangement that Mother Nature unconditionally produces a galore of therapeutic herbs, plants and oils.
Srila Prabhupada often emphasized the importance of purity in relation to the development and potency of one’s devotional activities. Similarly, good health and bodily vigor also depend upon the purity of the remedial measure taken.
In contrast to modern medicine, natural holistic approaches to health actually aim at creating a symbiotic relationship between physical necessities and spiritual goals. (1)
Living in reciprocating harmony with Krishna’s healthcare helps limit the introduction of ailments into the internal environment of the body (1). As a result, one is able to focus more on the development of their devotional services to Krishna than on bodily ailments.
In this way a life of simple living and highest thinking is easier to carry out—a principle that Srila Prabhupada heavily emphasized in relation to the reestablishment of varnasrama dharma, the perfect social science.
“In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food but because of irregular habits. By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, over-dependence on another’s mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy. Therefore the duration of life is shortened.” (Srila Prabhupada, purport to Srimad Bhagavatam – 1.1.10)
Our health is something we don’t regularly spend time thinking about, until we get sick. Although completely entranced in pure, spiritual consciousness, Srila Prabhupada was always concerned about his disciples’ health and would always note his letters by saying: Hope this meets you in good health.
Rather than taking care of our health in a spirit of higher consciousness to prevent future illness, we find ourselves reaching for quick and temporary curatives at the local drug store. Purchasing fast relief over-the-counter medicine—without thinking twice about the adverse effects—has undoubtedly become the quickest self-healing habit.
The Bhagavad-gita presents a paradigm in which the perfection of life is to act in accordance to God’s teachings. Activities that are not in tune with Krishna’s natural order are thus irregular, artificial and entangling. Similarly, synthetic remedial processes incongruent with original, natural goals entangle us further into bodily grievances.
Despite the plethora of available information revealing the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs, mass media moguls continue to perpetuate convincing advertisements about the glories of synthetic medications. Paradoxically, studies are indicating that these wondrous chemical remedies are adding more problems than reducing.
For example, the Western medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US; a shocking 783,936 total number of deaths per year are caused by conventional medicine according to a study done by the NCHS (2).
Despite the US’s enormous annual expenditure of $2.8 trillion, or $8,915 per person, on healthcare in 2012, it ranks 46th on the list of the world’s best healthcare systems (3) (4). Nevertheless, more people than ever are currently being diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and autoimmune disorders regardless of the mass funding for research and healthcare. (5)
Drugs that are commonly accepted as safe are actually the primary reasons for hospitalizations. Shockingly, 80% of hospitalizations due to an adverse drug reaction were directly related to the drug itself according to a study done in 2004. (6)
Rather than balancing energy, preventing illness and rejuvenating the body to empower its immunity, modern medicine is blatantly producing new side effects and symptoms, both known and unknown (7).
Diagnostic abilities have thus shifted from refined powers of intuition to vague answers and careless prescriptions, leaving patients entangled with pharmaceutical companies and expensive medical bills.
How is it possible to take care of our own health and prevent future ailments if the very medicine being ingested is incompatible with our body?
Original or “Alternative?”
The spiritual science of bhakti-yoga helps one become disentangled from the ghastly material warfare that we are vehemently thrown into. By adamantly shifting our engagements from material to spiritual we can begin to experience our original transcendental nature.
Similarly, by reforming our self-healing habits from artificial to natural we can create a bodily atmosphere that is conducive for spiritual development. Otherwise, we will be arduously struggling to cure ourselves from unwanted ailments rather than focusing on the supreme goal of life.
For thousands of years, Mother Nature’s medicine has been the original healthcare, but due to the progression of Kali-yuga it has become underrepresented as an “alternative” choice.
An organic, holistic approach towards health that utilizes Krishna’s refined medical gifts is diametrically opposed to the man-made methods that employ synthetic medicine.
Natural healthcare has an emancipatory intent to free us of unnecessary illnesses so that we may absorb our existence in Krishna Consciousness. Whereas synthetic drugs deceptively ensnare one with increasing side effects and hefty bills.
Krishna is the Healing Herb
This vicious duality between artificial and natural medicine has sparked a growing curiosity for alternative healthcare options that are cheaper, safer and more effective.
In previous ages, herbal remedies and other natural solutions were sufficient in themselves for curing and improving one’s health. Nowadays, due to the influence of Kali-yuga, it is required to extract the healing properties from thousands of herbs, plants and barks if one wishes to experience the same remedial force they were originally instilled with.
Despite the advancement of Kali-yuga, there still remains a perennial gift from Lord Krishna within this material existence that has yet to lose its healing qualities: essential oils. The use of essential oils for medical practice, beauty treatment, food preparation and religious ceremony has been highly revered among many cultures throughout history, including the Vedic civilization.
Essential oils are the natural aromatic compounds located in seeds, barks flowers, roots, stems and other parts of plants. Furthermore, they also provide plants with protection against harmful predators and disease and play a vital part in plant pollination.
Proper prescription geared towards a scientifically holistic lifestyle is meant to restore the body’s health and prevent future illness. Essential oils can therefore be applied internally, topically and aromatically for an all-natural solution in transforming and preserving one’s health (8)
The highly potent efficacy and therapeutic aromas of essential oils is a clear reflection of Krishna’s lovely arrangement to provide natural healthcare unto all living entities. After all, He is the Healing Herb and “the original fragrance of the earth” (7.9).
A lifestyle deeply embedded with natural solutions is in accordance with the principles of Bhagavad-gita, which teaches one how to live in the material world while cultivating a loving, devotional relationship with God.
The advantage of natural healing methods that are congruous with Krishna’s principles, such as the ancient Ayurvedic science, is that each body is treated as a unique individual whole with a certain set of distinct qualities.
In other words, patients are treated in a personal and wholesome manner, as opposed to the approach of today’s physicians who ignore individuality and treat patients as livers or kidneys (8).
By educating oneself about the paramount healthcare given to us by Lord Sri Krishna, one can engage in practical self-healing habits that are in alignment with Mother Nature.
But that’s not all. In addition to the intake of pure, natural medicine one must also regulate their bodily routine, diet and exercise to nourish their health and prevent unnecessary illness that may deter us from our devotional services.
For example, Krishna explains how there is no possibility of advancing as a transcendentalist “if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough” (6.16). “He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system” (6.17).
The most important factor contributing to our overall well-being however, is the consistency, determination and intensity of our spiritual practice.
By investing in Mother Nature’s medicine, congregational members and devotees can overcome the various obstacles put forth by health issues and financial limitations. In addition to the spiritual care provided worldwide, ISKCON and its members now have an excellent opportunity to educate the general public about Krishna’s natural gifts.
Through the medium of therapeutic-grade essential oil seminars, a team of devotees from the Govinda’s Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA is making their preaching activities more dynamic by attracting new individuals to Lord Sri Krishna’s temples.
In this way they are humbly supporting their lives of spiritual development by engaging in a self-sustaining trade that is in harmony with the mode of goodness.
They currently offer free samples, educational support and informational seminars on this noble medical care. Their goal is to help temples and individuals find an alternative, reliable method for dealing with finances and above all, the health of their community.
Therapeutic-grade essential oils can also be used for the satisfaction of Lord Sri Krishna. Their aromatic fragrance can be added unto the foodstuff offered to the Lord. Pure essential oils such as lavender may also be applied during the procedure of Deity worship. Maha-Prasadam can therefore be distributed in the form of small essential oil samples to promote the use of natural medicine created by the Supreme doctor, Lord Sri Krishna.
For those who are searching for a safe, pure and powerful option for natural healthcare are kindly requested to contact Surapala dasa or Krishna-mayi devi dasi either through their website:www.doTERRApy.com; phone: (702) 434-8332; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution by Dr. Robert Svoboda
Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada