Indigestion is base of all physical disease; it is the condition where all other conditions sprout from. Indigestion is the inability to digest any physical, mental or emotional input is main culprit of living beings. It usually begins as “crime against the wisdom” and then projects from mind into the physical body. Diseases like ulcerative colitis are mainly due to mental influences; while common cold is physical in nature. Individual who suffer from both physical and mental diseases such as schizophrenia and asthma; usually find that physical symptoms get worse when ever mental disorder goes into remission, and vice versa. Ultimately it is said that all diseases are mental; all are caused by willfulness that perversion of intellect and common sense which makes us do what we are not supposed to do. The willful perversity is ‘PRAJNAPARADHA’ crime against wisdom.
Let’s take an example; suppose you are a Vata/Kapha person living in Alaska. It is middle of night in the middle of winter and a blizzard is blowing outside. You are suddenly struck with a craving for eating ice cream. You know intelligently that ice cream is cold, wet, heavy, and kapha producing , and both season of winter and time of night are kapha times wisdom in you says to you eating ice cream will bound to increase kapha in you , but you do it anyways, and the next morning your system is thoroughly clogged with kapha . This is punishment for a “crime of wisdom”.
An overseas Air-flight is a stress anyone regardless of constitution. You can travel coast to coast in about six hours crossing three time zones in the process. Your consciousness arrives at your destination however your body does not really arrive until three days later, since it takes about a day for it to recover from each time zone you cross. If you take the time to rest and recuperate from your journey you can adapt easily to your new location. Your mind however does not let you remain still,
and it does not like to permit the body to remain still. It is convinced that balance is contingent on getting pending work out of the way as quickly possible ; intercontinental travel is a stress ; so it trying to go to work as soon as you land. Your mind’s impatience with your body over its jetlag strain further impedes the adaptation process. If your mind gets in its way and you try to go about business as usual, there is good chance your body will sulk, and will express its displeasure by becoming ill. Nature thus extracts from you the penalty for this “crime against wisdom”.
The minds physiology parallel that of the body. Like the physical Give Great Elements the mind has its own Five Elements:
Emptiness of the mind is that which permits the other states of mind to manifest. Discrimination is mind’s digestion, which determines whether or not a course of action is appropriate for well-being of the organism. As long as your power of discrimination functions normally you will turn away from committing “crimes against wisdom”. Because this discrimination is often conditioned by the condition of your mind, mental instability weakens your ability to discriminate just as disturbance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha affect the physical body’s digestive capacity. Weak discrimination encourages
the formation of mental toxins (abnormal perceptions); just as weak digestion allows physical toxic wastes to be formed.
Vata, Pitta & Kapha forces are responsible for uniting the Five Great physical Elements together in the body. Sattva, Rajas & Tamas perform the same function for the mind. Healthy, simple, well-digested food healthy, simple habits promote Sattva. Intense, stimulating foods and intense activities like sex promote Rajas. Stale old putrid foods and dulling activities like sleep promotes Tamas. Rajas and Tamas are the doshas of the mind. They are needed in small quantities but cause disease when they accumulate in excess.
Good physical digestion is associated with these signs:
If any of the above is lacking, physical in-digestion is present.
Good mental digestion is associated with these signs:
If any of the above is lacking, mental in-digestion is present.
Physical indigestion can cause mental indigestion and vice versa, but most often the two exist together. Because body is much easier to control than the mind, Ayurveda believes that it is best to first purify and balance the body as much as possible and then turn to working with the mind, so that the harmonized body can exert a harmonizing effect on the mind.
Ayurvedic Treatment follows this protocol;
Article contributor: Renu Chaurdhary, Ayurveda Practitioner
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