Every single task in this world has a purpose or a determined goal behind its sustenance. When this applies to simple things, then think of Ayurveda the noble science. Yes! The Ayurvedic goal has 4 prominent facets for life and each of them constitutes a vital part and parcel of our daily lives. These goals act as a point of connection between nature and mankind as it basically focuses on assuaging human torments.
The constitution of the human body is known as Prakriti and it is solely based upon the unique combination of Doshas also known as Ayurvedic body types namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This helps us in hitting perfect balance between our physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental lives while pacifying the mind, body and soul. According to Ayurveda, a person can be called healthy only when he/she undergoes the positive conditions of finest robustness, sense of balance, tranquility and natural bliss.
The Ayurvedic Acumen: The ancient wisdom gifted by our ancestors has brilliantly talked about the 4 goals of human life, each of which is practical without any kind of embellishment. None of these goals reflect egocentricity or narcissism but apparently guides us to live happily by accepting ourselves and others also. With these goals, Ayurveda always aims at bringing back the right balance in the constitution of the human body. This common sense science wants human beings to understand their physical and mental set up along with the environmental factors that affect their health. This is where Ayurveda lays the foundation for treating illness first and preventing it in the future as well. Such sensible goals of realism are:
1. Dharma, the genuine purpose of life: The first goal of life according to Ayurveda is called as Dharma, which is a determined path of righteousness and the law of living right. It suggests you to be yourself and live originally without any imitation to be a better person to the world.
You can never a imagine a ‘tiger’ to be soft and feeble as a ‘deer’ and being ferocious is the Dharma of a tiger for which it cannot be cursed or blamed as it is created in such a way. Imitating like a deer will deteriorate the trust, respect and actual personality attributed to a tiger. ‘It is better to be yourself imperfectly than be like someone else perfectly’ says Bhagavad Gita, the most respected sacred book of the Indians. It also clearly explains about the eternal duties of a person, the benefits of performing them and the adverse effects of failing to carry out your duties in the third chapter, Karma Yoga.
Each and every individual is unique and has an exclusive trait or a specific set of attributes. It is that inborn and natural quality of you that decides who you are? And what are the roles you need to play in the society just be being ‘YOU’. Practicing a predetermined code of conduct will help an individual to lead a disciplined life and be a successful personality of his/her family and society through which he/she can do justice for his creation.
2. Artha, the scale of security: To live a closely controlled life of values, you basically need money or wealth but for which you might fail in rendering your duties to your family and your society. Understanding this important inference has made Ayurveda to indicate Artha as the second goal of life.
This doesn’t mean to accumulate wealth illegally and live a posh life but to lead a contented and meaningful life that helps in the progress of your culture as a whole. Failing to attain this goal of life means failing to earn enough for accomplishing your basic needs like food and shelter, which will increase your dependency, make you depressed and deprived of your needs, ending up in abandoning Dharma, the noble rationale behind your life.
3. Kama, the delight or decisive pleasure: Life cannot be mechanical and human beings are not just machines but social animals, who need some kind of pleasure or eternal joy to attain perpetual happiness. Such an enduring joy can be conquered only when there is a perfect balance of amusement and delight in the midst of a complicated life that he/she runs to reach Artha while abiding by Dharma simultaneously.
To be clear, Kama is not just the pleasure attained from mere sex as many of them mistakenly understand the term. Ayurveda insists that recreation, enjoyment, amusement and other things that contribute to cheerfulness including sex should be enjoyed and experienced at a healthy level. Too much of which would affect your physical and emotional well-being and when a comparatively lower level of pleasure will make you crave for things and feel depressed about not getting it.
4. Moksha, the lasting liberation: After passing through all the three goals of life, every individual prefers to attain Moksha or the ultimate freedom. Every religion in this world for that matter has a strong trust that their soul would reach their Creator in the world after. Moksha or the final goal of life is the spiritual liberation where your mind, body or spirit is no more bound by any of the social or environmental factors.
At this stage an individual would have completed all his duties and would start realizing the divinity, sacred love and the reason behind his creation in an unambiguous manner. He/she would arrive at the everlasting bliss of their life and get ready to reach the next world where he would be rewarded for his life on earth. This can also be called as stage of surrender, where an individual completely admits himself to God, thanking Him and showing his gratitude for all the gifts He has given through all the stages of one’s life. Yoga and Meditation act as the influential part of attaining Moksha.
Remembering these goals and following them without any digression can certainly help you live a balanced life, free of diseases, filled with wisdom and fruitful for the entire society granting complete peace of mind.
Thought for the day:
Every goal, every action, every thought, every feeling one experiences, whether it be consciously or unconsciously known, is an attempt to increase one’s level of peace of mind. By Sydney Madwed
- Ayurveda: Life, Health, and Longevity by Robert E. Svoboda B.A.M.S
- Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One: Fundamental Principles
By Vasant Lad
- Tao and Dharma: Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda
By Robert Svoboda, Arnie Lade
- Dharma by Wikipedia
- Karma Yoga by Bhagavad Gita
- The Wisdom of Ayurveda: The 4 Goals of Life by Jonathan Glass, LAc, MAc