— Kul Bushan
Just look at the number of gyms, spas, yoga centres, nature cure clinics and it seems that the middle class people in towns and cities have become health freaks. Look at the ads for weight loss, skin lightening products and beauty parlours and it seems that we have become paranoid about good looks. Now take a look at the people walking on the streets and roads and what do you see? Are all of them fit, slim, trim, fair and full of energy?
So there is a gap between what these health promoting establishments, ads and products offer or promise and the stark reality of many overweight, listless, gloomy, depressed and grim people you see and meet. They have contracted diseases with their unnatural lifestyles and many of them are killer diseases too. In short, they are unhealthy mostly because they eat too much or the wrong food, do not exercise and sleep badly.
Again, if you observe the poor in the urban and the rural areas, you will find them weak, skinny, half starved, under-nourished, shriveled and hollow eyed. Why? Because they get too little to eat, overwork to survive and sleep erratically. They are absolutely poor and so they are unhealthy as well. India has the highest number of poor people in the world measured by their income of less than one dollar a day. As a continent, Africa has the highest number of poor people and the world has about one billion people living on less than a dollar a day.
While ill health due to poverty is being tackled by many non-government, government and multi-national agencies, ill health for the middle and upper income groups has to be tackled by these people themselves as they are literate, if not educated!, and have adequate income. If we just follow the basic rules to remain healthy, we do not need these expensive cures. Start with keeping the body healthy with the right amount of food, exercise and sleep, and we lay the foundation for a healthy mind. Then, with meditation, we can proceed to discover who we are as long as we understand that this is the ultimate goal of our existence in this world.
We have three words: rogi, bhogi, yogi. The rogi: one who is ill; the bhogi: one who is indulging in the body; and the yogi: one who has gone beyond the body. Osho says, “The rogi is the sick person; the bhogi is one who is indulging in the body too much and falling towards the rogi, will sooner or later become ill and die; and the yogi: is one who has transcended the body, lives beyond — then he is cheerful. The rogi is never cheerful, the bhogi rarely, the yogi always. Cheerfulness is his nature. For no visible cause he remains happy.”
So what is health? Says the enlightened master, Osho, “In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of medicine, the definition of health is one of the most significant that exists; no other medical science anywhere in the world has given such a definition. In fact Western medicine has no definition of health. At the most they can say: When there are no diseases, then you are healthy. But this is not a definition of health. What type of definition, when you bring diseases in to define health? You say, “When there are no diseases you are healthy.” It is a negative definition, not a positive one. Ayurveda says that when you are bodiless you are healthy. This is really tremendously beautiful. When you don’t feel the body — you are almost no body.