“Prevention is better than cure” – This age old proverbial axiom has assumed extreme and clear relevence these days. As such, with the Corona-pandemic in the backdrop, “prevention,” is the best strategy. Therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss simple but very effective science endorsed Yogic approach for prevention of this affliction. It may however, be kept in mind that the measures discussed herein, are equally efficacious even in cure for the ones who have already been infected. The most important aspect of this approach is that it is effective in protecting ourselves not only from Corona Virus, but from any other type of infections and ailments as well.
COVID-19: NOT JUST AN INFECTION BUT A PANDEMIC
COVID-19 infection has assumed the proportions of a pandemic. The rate of spread of COVID-19, as also the resultant death toll is growing at a dreadfully fast pace. Despite worldwide efforts, no cure seems to be in sight, at least in the near future, since development of an antidote, its testing, acceptance and large scale production is a time consuming process and is likely to take considerable time. Looking back, we can see that it took 20 months for a Vaccine of SARS virus to reach public, which spread in 2003. Moreover, while the vaccines do protect us from viral infection, they can do very little in removing viruses forever because owing to its typical structure, a Virus never actually dies. It can only be suppressed and can resurface any time again in conditions conducive to it. For instance, the Flu virus attacks are common in winters every year. In fact, despite the availability of many vaccines and medicines, it claims 20000 to 80000 lives every year. Moreover, the effect of vaccines also has a time period, say six months or so, and the risk of recurrence still keeps lurking. Not only that, in the present context, the instances of re-infection of the ‘cured’ corona patients are not uncommon. Therefore, we have no option but to concentrate on “prevention” rather than waiting for the Vaccine or Cure.
Be assured, it is not that difficult. Human body is a masterpiece of this creation, sufficiently capable and fully potent. This human body is much more than what meets our eyes, and boasts many powers, the strongest being the human Mind – the ‘Mana’. In fact, it is the ‘Mana’ (mind) that controls the ‘Tana’ (the body). The only thing we have to do is to recognize and activate the capability and prowess of our mighty ‘Mana’ and powerful ‘Tana’ (Mind and Body) – This is what Science of Yoga is all about. It gives us true and complete health, which is much more than mere absence of disease. Therefore, this yoga-science is what we are going to discuss here.
Before we begin, we wish to clarify that the suggested ways are in addition to the requisite Medical care or treatment and also various advisories and instructions that the Government and related bodies are issuing from time to time regarding preventive measures including social distancing, washing of hands, wearing masks and restricting movement to the minimum possible extent.
We now begin the discussion by having a look at the contributing principles and methods of Modern scientific world, in the present scenario.
WHAT AND HOW COULD THE MODERN SCIENCE CONTRIBUTE?
It is a common knowledge, with even little knowledge of Science that any Virus attacks the Immune System of our body. If our Immune System is alert and powerful, no virus can penetrate it and cause damage or disease. Even the various anti-virus and anti-bacterial Vaccines rely on body’s Immune System directly or indirectly. The primary content of these vaccines are the ‘Antigens’ that are nothing but dead, attenuated (weakened) or inactivated Bacteria or Viruses, which are injected into the body. They stimulate our Immune System to produce ‘Antibodies’ specific to that particular Bacterium or Virus (the real ones). Once such ‘Antibodies’ are produced, the body through a built-in mechanism remembers exactly how to respond immediately in case of repetition of a Viral or Bacterial attack of that particular kind. Hence, instead of delving into other aspects of such diseases and their possible remedies, we shall restrict our discussion primarily to the ways and means of strengthening our Immune System.
It is known that Vitamin ‘D” has a pronounced and strong effect upon development of T & B cells (lymphocytes) and White blood cells (WBCs) which are chiefly responsible for fighting the infectious invasions into the body. Various researches have proved that Vitamin-D deficiency is directly related to onset of many ailments. The vitamin-D levels in the body, have a direct co-relation especially with disorders related to our Immune System (like Autoimmune Diseases- IBD, MS, Type 1 Diabetes etc.)
It is a well-known fact that Sun-rays are the principle means of producing Vitamin-D in the body. Though many Vitamin-D supplements are also available in the market but they are also known to cause side effects. According to the latest researches, it may not be just Vitamin-D producing ability alone but also the effect of Ultraviolet and other rays present in the sunlight that boost our immunity and overall health.
A good number of researches conducted in the past few decades around the beneficial effects of Sun rays on our health, have yielded encouraging results. Even in case of many incurable diseases, beneficial results of Sun Rays have been witnessed. A large number of books, citing numerous research papers, have been published by various Scientists in this context, some of the prominent ones being, “Light: Medicine of the Future” by Dr. Jacob Liberman; “The Light Revolution” by Richard Hobday; “The UV Advantage” by Dr. Michael F. Holick, and “Embrace The Sun” by Dr. Marc B. Sorenson. According to these researches, Sun rays are not only beneficial but also necessary to maintain good physical and mental health, including mental problems like depression etc.
Recently some newspapers have published reports, citing William Brian, Advisor (Science & Technology)-USA, that as per claims of several scientists, the Sun rays are capable of destroying Corona Virus.
Therefore, its amply clear that the Western Sciences hold the view that Sunlight is extremely important and beneficial for our health especially in the context of the present Corona crisis. However, modern science doesn’t suggest any safe way or mechanism to directly absorb the sun rays yet.
YOGA AND AYURVEDA – THEIR PRINCIPLES AND PROPOSITIONS
Let us discuss the approach of Yoga and Ayurveda now, the ancient Indian wisdom, endorsed by the eternal scriptures. As per Yogic and Ayurvedic approach too, Sun rays help in fighting diseases and providing good health.
As per Yogic as well as Ayurvedic perspective, diseases in the body are caused primarily due to the deficiency or impairment of the Fire element – the “Tejas Tatva” (or the Vital Force). Though the source- the wellspring of this force is present within the body, yet we are not able to maintain our ‘connect’ with it, due to outward orientation of our ‘Mana’ (the Mind), while we are in the “Jagrit” (awake) state. However, during the “Nidra” (sleep) state, we establish a connect with the wellspring within, which is why we feel fresh and relaxed after a nap. Sleep provides solace even when we are suffering from physical or mental distress due to some disease or any other factor. Even in the extreme conditions like heart attack etc., the medicines that are immediately administered, also serve to relax the body and induce sleep. The problem faced these days is that due to very taxing and hectic lifestyles, we are not able to enjoy wholesome deep sleep, our mind rather constantly continues to wander around.
Ayurveda has an established approach called “Kayakalpa” – which literally means “Transformation of the body” that rejuvenates the body by enhancing the fire element and make the body free of maladies of all kinds.
This can be effected broadly in two ways:
- Confining oneself completely to a modest room for at least six months, subsisting on a very subtle and light diet, exercising utmost restraint and control over Sensory pleasures, and taking special medications, herbs etc. In the present day context, this is nearly impossible to perform, as confining oneself completely for a long time without TV and internet and that too with meagre diet is too arduous, and the special herbs administered can cause extreme distress in the body – like experiencing unbearable heat and commotion in the body. There are some very advanced and challenging but uncommon Yogic practices that are essential to withstand this.
- The Second way of Kayakalpa is ‘Aatpatapa’ – a process that entails absorbing the Sun-Rays. This is also a well-defined process requiring utmost discipline of mind as also stringent diet control. Moreover, this is also a very harrowing and time consuming process requiring at least six months.
Thus we can see that even according to Ayurveda, the Sun rays are considered relevant and potent enough to strengthen and invigorate our body and to ward off diseases, though the process there is a somewhat arduous and time consuming.
‘आरोग्यं भास्करादिच्छेत्’ – ‘God Sun is the bestower of “aarogya” – the disease-free state, seek it from him’ – thus proclaims the Yogic principles.
In the ancient times, “Trikaal Sandhya” was the paramount Sadhana practiced by the Sages and Saints, in which they would meditate in some specific ways, facing the Sun. This was the secret of their disease-free long and mighty lives. Rigveda and Atharvaveda carry various descriptions about curing diseases and strengthening the Vital Force, by absorbing Sun rays. In fact, in all dimensions of Yoga – be it Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Dhyana Yoga or Gyana Yoga – the essence and aim of all Sadhanas is to remove the grossness of the body and to spread the element of Consciousness all across, opening up the subtle path of ‘Sushumna’ by enhancing the intensity of “Tejas Tatva”- ‘The Fire’ within. This esoteric elaboration is also commonly known as “Awakening of the Kundalini Shakti”. Such Yoga sadhanas can ensure a powerful, divinized body free from ageing and diseases.
From the above discussion, it is amply clear that the Modern Science, Ayurveda, as well as Yoga concur that Sun light is not only important but also essential for our health and well-being. This is also evidently clear that the Sun rays are beneficial particularly for our Immune System, and are useful not only in preventing diseases but for curing them as well.
However, the only obstacle that comes in the way is that the Ayurvedic way is arduous and time consuming while on the other hand with the perspective of Western science, there is no safe way or mechanism to directly absorb then sun rays. In the West, Sun-Bath is the only known way of absorbing Sun-rays, but the Sun-Bath, as practiced and popularized in the West, offers very limited advantages. Excessive Sun-bathing can even have some harmful effects. (Some people even apprehend that exposure to Sun light can have some harmful effects including the risk of Cancer in the body, though research on such aspects is yet to be concluded. On the other hand, several researches have already proven that Sun rays can be beneficial to us in case of many fatal diseases including 16 types of Cancer.
While the General Yogasanas and Pranayamas are very effective in maintaining good health, but cannot culminate into quick results when it comes to microbial infections or curing the already afflicted diseases. Secondly, these days Yoga is practiced mostly as a physical exercise only, due to which the mind continues to be outwardly oriented. These days, even the Science accepts that the cause of disease lies in the mind as much as it does in the body. In Ayurveda it is an established principle, that disease manifests in the mind before it manifests in the body.
Recognizing this fact, WHO has underlined the following five factors for healthy a living: – (i) Physically Activity (ii) Nutritious and Balanced diet (iii) No smoking (iv) Meditation (v) Reading good books.
Of these, the first two -Activity and Diet- contribute primarily towards enhancing physical strength, the next two -Meditation and reading- serve to soothe one’s mind and orient it inwards. The last -Quitting smoking- does not need any comment since smoking obviously is injurious to health. All these factors are important, to the extent of ensuring general well-being, but not for fighting out the infection or disease which has already set in.
Meditation also helps in turning the mind inwards, however, the demanding and competitive lifestyle of present times doesn’t allow that. Therefore, these days even in the name of meditation, only some relaxation techniques are popularized. Ironically, though the source of ultimate energy lies within ourselves, but our inherent connect with this wellspring has been utterly weakened due to our outwardly oriented life styles – enfeebling our Vital Force. Therefore, we need a potent way leading not only to re-establish our connect with the inner wellspring, but also to enhance our vital force.
A Science-endorsed simple and powerful Yogic approach – Principle & Process
Considering all these aspects, after thorough research and experimentation Swami Budhpuri Ji Maharaj devised -in 2003- a simple, effective and practicable method- relevant to present times- for assimilating the sun-rays, which he named as “Siddhamrit Surya Kriya Yoga”. Since then, thousands of aspirants at different places within and outside the country, through numerous camps, have been benefitted and are enjoying good health, free from many physical and mental afflictions. This Sadhana is beneficial for all kind of diseases since it directly enhances the Vital force, alertness of the body as well as inward orientation of the mind. Many beneficial results have been noticed, in very short time in respect of various diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart ailments, Asthma, Insomnia, Depression, Digestive system disorders, Obesity, Arthritis, Psoriasis, Cancer etc. Quick results have also been witnessed in various infectious and communicable diseases like AIDS, Chikungunya etc. As such we are very optimistic of successfully countering the Corona Virus, through the Siddhamrit Surya Kriya Yoga.
The core concept of this Sadhna is founded on the ultimate principle of spiritual world – our body is a miniature universe or in other words, body shares the same secrets and principles as the universe. We can also say that whatever is there in the universe, also exists in the body though in seed form. As our earth, in this universe, is a part of a solar system having sun as its navel (hub). Sun is the main cause of all the activities and movements of the planets in this system, including earth. Similarly, navel center causes all the activity in our body by generating heat and energy through digestion of food, and hence termed as Sun. All the diseases, grossness and inertia in our body have their root in undeveloped sun. If we could enhance the power of sun within taking help from the Sun outside, all our diseases and miseries will vanish. Moreover, the inner channel of Sushumna will open up to guide our consciousness towards the seat of soul in tenth door where ultimate union takes place with the Almighty God. Awakening of inner sun and unification with God is what Surya Kriya Yoga aim at.
Surya Kriya Yoga is an effective but simple method, involving Meditating on the Sun in a specific manner with the help of specified Mantra and Mudras (Hand Gestures), facing the Sun, in the morning as well as evening. The process is very simple and can be easily learnt by any of its adherent or directly from Shabad Surat Sangam Ashram, Mallke -Distt. Moga- Punjab (India).
Meanwhile, a simple method which you can adopt at your home, to begin with, is given here:
This Sadhana is to be performed in the morning – around 30 to 45 minutes after Sun rise; and in the evening – around 45 to 60 minutes before Sunset. The Sadhana of about half an hour (30 Minutes) is to be done facing the Sun (preferably sitting, but can be done while standing also). To begin with, Close your eyes, and position your neck in such a way that the Sun Rays fall at your closed eyes at an angle of 90 degrees. Now visualize with closed eyes, the golden Sun light entering through eyes and permeating the entire body. Simultaneously, to orient your mind inwards connecting it with the supreme Soul, the one that shines through even the Sun, chant Gayatri mantra, Guru Mantra or any verse from the Scriptures or holy books of the faith you identify yourself with repeatedly. After meditating this way for 20-25 minutes, you must lie down in Shavasana for 5-10 minutes, facing downwards because firstly, our lungs are positioned towards our back and so lying on the stomach will ensure natural spontaneity in breathing, and secondly, the distinguished Sushumna path is also aligned with our spine. While lying down, the radiance absorbed from the Sun will easily and spontaneously keep permeating the Sushumna and from there to all organs and systems of the body.
There are certain precausetions to take care of, first and foremost is not to open your eyes throughout the Sadhana. Besides, do not eat or drink anything, for around half an hour before and after Surya Kriya Yoga. Some water can however be taken, if necessary.
Within a day or two of commencing this Kriya Yoga, you will start feeling its benefits in form of more energy, cheerfulness, better digestion, deeper sleep. The mind also will become calmer, inwardly oriented and your self-confidence plus inner joy will be boosted. Gradually, its effects will also show towards amelioration of disease, if any, of the body or mind. Not only diseases but the vitiations of the mind like lust, anger etc. will gradually diminish and the awakening of inner power will generate the virtues like love and kindness.
EMINENCE OF SIDDHAMRIT SURYA KRIYA YOGA- AS COMPARED TO SUN BATH, SUN GAZING, AND SYRYA NAMASKAR
Talking about absorbing sun-rays, the first thought that comes about is that of Sun-Bath. More prominently practiced in the West, the Sun-Bath offers very limited advantages, but can cause more harm than good. According to various reports on it effects, around 20-25 thousand people develop ailments because of Sun-bath in USA alone and probably that is why, despite thousands of researches indicating beneficial influence of Sun rays on our health, Sun Rays have not been popularized so extensively as a measure for securing good health by the science fraternity.
In fact, The Western Sun-Bath can be harmful because of two reasons the first being, eyes -the principle passages of entry of Sunlight into the body- are kept away from sun, even covered with dark glasses. On top of it, whatever possibility of Sunlight absorption remains through the medium of skin, is also obliterated to a great extent by applying Sun-screens over it. Second major reason is the outward orientation of ‘Mana’ – the mind, as an inwardly oriented ‘Mana’ is the principal medium for assimilating the radiance of Sun rays.
Even Sun Gazing offers very limited benefits, its aim being mainly to enhance eye sight and somewhat the mental strength. In Sun Gazing, contact with the Sun is established through open eyes, but since the eyes lack the necessary strength and ability to absorb the radiance of such magnitude, the eyes and the related muscles get strained during the process resulting into miniscule flow of radiance into the body. In many cases Retina of the Sun Gazers has been found to be damaged.
Surya Namaskar is a sequence of 10-12 Asanas, not related to Sun as it is. Therefore, it cannot be compared with Siddhamrit Surya Kriya Yoga anyways.
Gist of the above discussion is that the Sun rays are extremely beneficial in protecting us from the Corona Crisis and for maintaining good health in general, and Siddhamrit Surya Kriya Yoga is the safest and the most effective way of absorbing and assimilating sun rays, for which the experiences of lakhs of people stand as testimony. Therefore, be benefitted from this Kriya Yoga and serve to benefit others too.