Vaidyabhushanam K. Raghavan  Thirumulpad
Rajavihar, Palace Road, Chalakudi 680 307, Trissur Dist. Kerala
Phone:  0488 70 1214 website-

Philosophy can be said as the general basic concept, justifying all particulars, appreciating and differentiating between good and bad; well and ill. Science can be said as the study of particulars more pertaining to the practices, and applications, ensuring benefits on some particular subject. It is concerned more with methodology, than with purposes. Well being can be explained as happiness accrued in various aspects of life. According to Indian thought philosophy is darsana, science is sastra. Darsana is generalized knowledge and science particularized knowledge. Darsana is more of theory sastra is more of practice. Well being is naturally feeling happy. The opposite aspect is feeling ill, discomfort. For example, the condition of the body causing discomfort is disease, illness. The other condition causing comfort and ease is health. Diseases are many which have to be differentiated to be treated particularly. There is no such differentiating with regard to health. It is just like truth and lies. There can be only one truth. There can be many many lies.

The subject of this article is the philosophy of well being. As an ayurvedic physician, I am concerned more with the study of diseases and the patients with various diseases approach me for treatment. Darkness can be avoided and removed with light, in the same way; any disease is avoided and curved with health.

         Arogyamaahurbhishajah sarvaabaadhanivartanam.

 The loss of balance of the various biological functions of the system causes disease, so treatment in ayurveda is actually, restoring the systematic balance which is the basis of health. So the subject of this article is being explained taking health as an example.

What is health? Who is healthy? Health is the condition when the individual feels naturally pleasant physically and mentally, when all his organ of understanding and appreciation, work in co-operation and coherence, naturally and properly.  (prasannaatmendriyamanah)

 Svastha is the word with which such a person is denoted. The term actually means one who is in his natural aspects. It also means that all his energies are well balanced and well channeled, all his mental and physical, internal and external machines work orderly and properly, particularly his systems of digestion and metabolism with proper assimilation and elimination. All these are ensured and maintained by correct and regulated life style, habits and circumstances of life, modified according to seasonal and other changes. Whatever we can not change, we adjust so that the biological machinery is not affected in any way in its naturally functioning. Life is actually how we live every moment of our life, from sunrise to sunset and from sunset to sunrise, how we utililize the sensory mechanism, how we act and react in deed, word and thought and how we feel and how we deal. All these are so natural that we cannot escape from any these things. What we can and what we ought to do is to follow the correct path by a correct understanding and discrimination. By systematic adherence, all there can be made habits, going on as if by instinct. Actually instinct is nothing but habits evolved through generations. This is in a nut shell the philosophical aspect of health from the Ayurvedic point of view. Various symptoms indicate the pertaining conditions of the body, well or ill. The symptoms indicating health are result of the smooth and efficient working of the systematic mechanism. The symptoms indicating disease are irritating caused by the various kinds of mechanical failure and malfunction. In Ayurveda sukha (pleasure) is a synonym of health, dukha (pain) is a synonymous to disease.

What is the benefit of having such a philosophy, concerning health and disease.  It enjoins the individual to be careful in his life, to enjoy health. As it is explained as natural, the idea is that, only a little discrimination, to avoid evil ways of life is necessary to have health. Riches perhaps can be inherited and transferred but not health for that, one has to deserve it by correct habits of daily life. Treatment in essence, is not just eradicating some symptoms, or killing some bacteria, but correcting the biological mechanism by a corrected regulated life style. Medicines only assist the system in this process. Now the medical system, so to say, is disease oriented but only a correct philosophy, makes it health oriented. More medicines, more doctors, more medical colleges, more hospitals, only ensure more diseases, as the condition of our country. Less mortality, more morbidity indicates- less more mortality because of efficient emergency management, more morbidity, because of a bad philosophy of disease management which does not insist on a correct life style. Science has to be always guided by a proper philosophy otherwise it will become destructive, in the long run. In Ayurveda ten sins, violence (himsa) etc. are said to be basic cause of disease. Lying is one of the sins. Now it is established that nervous and metabolic disturbances caused by lying can measured, just like blood pressure, by a machine. Drikviparyaya is said to be the tenth and last sin, Dirk is darsana, philosophy; Drigviparyaya is bad philosophy, contrary philosophy. A good philosophy enjoins the good conduct and character. A bad philosophy justifies, bad conduct and bad character, a persuading a bad lifestyle. Bad life style means bad health, diseases. Anything causing misery is sin (papa). It is prajnaapraadha (indiscretion) in habits and action of the individual. This indicates the importance of having a good philosophy as the background of life. Devotion, discrimination and dedication are the fundamentals of a good philosophy.

The health is taken our example, as to how a good philosophy is necessary for the management of good health. Though most important, health alone does not constitute life. Knowledge, wealth, peace of mind, politics, fame etc. are also necessary for the wellbeing of the individual in the society. Each of theses can be considered as a particular subject of thought, as was done here with regard to health, and we can find that the philosophy behind each is more or less the same. But there is a particular difference between health and every other subject. Money can be earned by one, but it can be transferred to any other person. Knowledge can be recorded and kept for future ready reference. Fame, sometimes favorers, somebody who is,  not very deserving. Politics is mostly manipulated. But in the case of health, one has to deserve it, every moment of his life by correct careful style and conditions of life. It can not be inherited or manipulated. In the case of money etc also, true satisfaction is derived only when it is deserved by personal endeavor. It can be said; behind all of these things, there have to be a little luck also, in providing suitable circumstances, and finally the Lord's blessing. God blesses the one who are good in the thought, word and deed; kind and considerable to the fellow creatures, not to man alone.

Finally, why to be healthy? It is to live a good life, beneficial to the society. Man is just one member of society, one organ of the being, which the society is.  Just as one organ of the individual getting affection, makes the whole body diseased, for the entire body to be   healthy, every organ has to be positively efficient and naturally healthy. So each individual has to take care of himself with good character and conduct, with particulars of head and heart, body and mind, so to be positively healthy is an obligation of the individual to the society as society can work only through the individuals who constitute the society.