Ayurveda, ‘the Yoga of Life’, where the body and mind is understood and then used as a means or instrument to attain Self-Realization, sadly is not for everyone.
This is not a statement of arrogance or exclusivity but is based on individual evolution and Karma.
The one who is ready now is spiritually evolved, able to think differently, and ready to take responsibility.
The primary function of Ayurveda and all other Yogic sciences are for the sole purpose of becoming One with the Ocean (attaining Yoga or Self-Realization). However for a long time these practices have seen a decline in quality, in that many have gone for the substance and overlooked or forgotten the essence.
A number of reasons could be attributed to this unfortunate situation:
1. The people who profess to be practitioners or teachers of these Yogic sciences are themselves not correctly trained in the subtler or spiritual values or the primary purposes of these practices.
This then comes to the state of the ‘blind-leading-the-blind’.
This means that an error in interpretation or translation carried out some time earlier by some ‘authority’ is not corrected but used as ‘authoritative works’ and creates a mockery of the system.
There are countless such errors and interpolations that are not known or realised. The qualities and values are therefore lost and/or compromised. So where and how are we going to get teachers and practitioners of the right caliber!
A number of senior teachers in the East and the West, in the past and the present, have introduced variations of the practices and when popular, classified these as specially introduced methods and popularised and marketed these as such. This is where the Essence got lost and the Substance took precedence. The primary cause of this ignorance can be attributed to such teachers.
2. People being terrified or fearful of the mention of the terms Spirituality or God or Religion!
Little effort is made to understand any of these terms but instead they are immediately condemned as ‘dangerous’. This we understand has come about by the incorrect understanding of the concept of ‘God’ which has been misinterpreted purposefully by certain vested parties of the Church or Temples. Within this group, God and the Church have taken on a meaning and purpose that was never meant to be but have become used and manipulated for power and control.
Today students and teachers openly claim that Yoga and related sciences are not religious or spiritual. If the primary purpose or intention of these sciences is not understood or is denied how can anyone benefit fully or wholly from these? Dropping the Essence and hanging on the Substance has become the mainstream practice or style for Yoga and it’s sister sciences.
Even saying all this, no-one will deny or find it incorrect to enjoy the benefits of the Substance as these are, to our knowledge, just the side-effects but not the purpose of correct practices. However, the full benefits of the practice can only become manifest and meaningful if the correct meaning and purpose is recognised and respected and put to practice. For this we need genuine and correctly trained and experienced teachers or ‘Aasans’.
3. The ignorance of the purpose of life and of the various natural laws that govern us are the other important reasons why the ‘Essence has been lost to the Substance’.
In our ignorance we remain stuck as the Wave and suffer all the limitations, fears and arrogance that our belief of being ‘the doer’ deludes us into believing.
The primary issue with Ignorance is that is causes us Suffering of all sorts and degree. One who is in pain and in anguish surely would not be in a position to be calm and composed. Similarly one does not talk philosophy or spirituality to a person who is starving but feed him first and the rest will follow naturally.
Instead of focusing on Suffering, it would make a lot more sense if we made all efforts to overcome Ignorance through Knowledge. Knowledge frees, unburdens and enlightens. It shows us the cause of suffering and shows us the way to overcome suffering.
So for whom is the traditional form of Ayurveda, the science that shows us the way and means to remove suffering?
It is for those who are ready to take charge of their life.
It is for those who are responsible and ready to live a disciplined and regulated life based on the natural laws that govern our bodies and minds.
It is for those who are able to listen and abide by wise consul.
It is for those who are able to take responsibility for themselves and to show compassion towards others, and those who are able to put aside preconceived beliefs, limiting fears and notions.
It is for those who realize we all have much to learn and that whatever path we take, we are and have always been One with the Ocean.
Not all are ready for this understanding now.