Health and disease are governed by the laws of nature. The responsibility for one’s health lies within oneself. People are now anxious to find ways and means to preserve health and restore it when it is lost. They are keen to know how to care for their body. They are beginning to realise that unlimited faith in potions and pills cause side effects. Live in harmony with the laws of nature and blessed. Every violation of these laws will bring regret. There are certain mental states like greed, jealously, discontentment, fear, hate, being inadequate or unattractive which cause damage to health. Such people suffer from inner tension.
When you have good, sound health, you are vibrant, you feel light in your step. You feel like doing things. There is a feeling of achievement. You look happy. There is light in your eyes. You feel clear in your mind. The intensity of feeling makes you happy. You have zest for living.
There are only few who want to keep their health vibrant till their end. Others are careless, they spend their life without a thought for the future. Such people become old and feeble before time. Day by day, year by year, as we grow to maturity we must think of piling up our health capital in the bank of health.
These funds we can use freely under expert guidance. With a planned outlook on health, we can spend our energy profitably. We will grow strong and more complete as human beings. How we spend our money is important. How we spend our ‘health” lives is more important than money. We can “spend” our health energy and still regain what we lost or even add to the vital riches. This can be done only through intelligent direction.
The knowledge essential to keep the body, bouncing, surging and vigorous must be understood and closely followed. Wasteful habits are condemned. A spendthrift hardly gets worthwhile enjoyment out of life. Being a spendthrift in the principles of good health may lead you to complete breakdown. Personality changes start occurring in such a person: he becomes irritable, his complexion starts deteriorating, weakness, sickness, disease and the signs of death mark his face.
Spend your life carefully. You cannot keep it in a bank as you deposit your money. Good health is something you can carry around with you. It will give a bloom to your complexion and put a song in your heart. It will bring you opportunities, get you friends and love. You should aim at looking and feeling young when you are old. A buoyant, dynamic health is a big treasure. On this you can build your wealth and sound financial, social, moral, mental and spiritual style of life.
Do not worry when you feel sick or unwell. Do not think that this treasure of good health is beyond your reach. Be prepared for hard work. Be patient and persistent. You will soon see that you can come out of your sickness; your vigour will go on increasing, your zest for life gradually will fill you up, you will again begin to feel optimistic. Do not be in a hurry. One gets sick after years of wasteful and negligent life. Improvement also comes in at a slow and steady pace. Most important is that you should be hopeful. If you lose all hope, you will keep on worrying and feel that all failures and suffering have been heaped by Karma on you. You will feel that the world has turned your enemy.
The biggest enemy cannot harm you so much as you can harm yourself through such pessimism. It is the weakest who lose in a struggle. You must try to struggle and win. It will give you bigger strength. It will be a source of pride and stimulation and help you towards bigger achievement. Nature has given man ambition, an urge to conquer.
She has equipped him for struggle, with hopes and dreams. Through the understanding of the past, he profits for tomorrow’s work through the use of a dynamic and vital mind. The power to fulfil is in him. He needs to triumph and he must triumph. Life will not accept anything less of him and let him live in peace and happiness.
Every man can be successful in his won field of life. No power or circumstances can entirely frustrate him. No fate can doom him to despair. The energy is his. The hope, the vision, the dream, he can fulfil them all. Yet success cannot be achieved by mind alone, for mind cannot exist or function without the body. It is foolish to think that the mind can be cultivated at the expense of the body. It is like destroying the candle to save the candle light. A movement of physical culture idea has become vitally necessary in modern life.
It is foolish to ask which is more important – the body or mind. The two are closely inter-related and interwoven. Any effort to develop one at the cost of other will be self-defeating. Greeks are known as founders of western civilization. They based their civilization on gymnastics and music. For them gymnastics meant the building of fine bodies by regular exercise done naked.
Music which included poetry and drama, meant the training of the mind and release of emotion. if one was physically and emotionally developed, according to their theory, he was educated. India went beyond this and invented yoga and meditation, and delved into the vastness of mind power. Yoga asana exercises made the body fit and healthy, then went deeper into the unknown recesses of the mind by meditation to know its vast power to control the body. Now it has been proved beyond doubt that in many diseases the mind is the culprit or that it plays a major role. If the mind can be controlled the disease can also be helped.
Frighten a man and his heart will beat more rapidly. Make him happy and you will notice a sparkle in his eyes and a glow on his cheeks. Teach him better ways to think and his power to act effectively increases. Improve the vitality of his body and his mind is energised and quickened. An improved co-ordination of mind leads to greater mental accuracy. An effective body means effective thinking. Ability to act surely and well gives the ability to act surely and swiftly.
The footballer, the racer, a successful boxer, they all know they may not have the strongest muscles, but they have trained muscles. They have co-ordinated muscles which means they are perfectly under the control of their mind. People who have the finest brains have been good athletes also. George Washington could in a long jump cover 22 feet something that only about one in ten thousand are able to perform.
Lord Byron was known to have club feet. He was as good as his poetry. He swam Hellsport to prove that the feat was human and not super human. Napoleon was a man of small stature. Obesity and over eating shortened his life, yet he was of tremendous energy, he habitually worked 18 hours a day. Tennyson was described as fine looking. Wordsworth was handsome and had heroic proportions. Walter Scott had the frame of herculean proportions.
Tolstoy was an excellent swimmer even at sixty-five. He learnt to ride a bicycle at the age of sixty-six. When he was fifty he walked 130 miles in 3 days. Some of these man had pet illnesses and yet they were not weaklings. Herbert Spencer was nervous, an insomniac with a bad digestion. Yet he lived to be eighty. His real trouble was that because he could not stop thinking he found it hard to sleep. Gandhiji was quite lean and thin, he could work long hours and was a regular walker.
The size and shape of the head has little to do with brain power. The largest brain weighs 3 lbs. Many men of genius had brains unusually large, but there were also those whose brain were actually under the average size. Persons who devote their entire life to physical development are likely to have a better physique than say those who lead sedentary lives, like scientists, lawyers or doctors.
Similarly those who devote their entire time to study books and neglect exercise, who know more about books than those who specialise in physical development. A harmonious development of both body and mind most frequently wins the game of life. Some people do not seem to realise that physical life in itself is worth all our effort. Many hold the view that the accumulation of wealth is of a dominating importance. In its quest they may tend to ignore the need for physical fitness. They may come to regret as time passes by.
The man who commits suicide claims that life is not worth living. Those who do not care for their health also commit suicide, slowly and painfully. There are people who reduce their physical activity to a minimum hoping to gain time for the pursuit of wealth. This philosophy defeats itself. Temporarily, the man who neglects his body may gain time for other affairs. If no immediate bad effects follow, he feels that he has an edge over the man who devotes time and thought to cultivate his body.
Temporarily, the man who neglects his body does gain time for other activities. This encourages to become slack. The habit of laziness is created first by non-physical demand of life. Then the habit of neglect becomes a force in itself to discourage the return to a physically active life. Thus a vicious circle of body neglect is established. The condition drifts from bad to worse, usually, until some pronounced break in health sets in and causes interference to his mental or financial achievements. Only then pain and fear force a realization of the mistake he has made of neglecting the well-being of the body. There is belated and blind stampede then in the quest of good health.
Nature has not intended man to become ill. This unfortunately happens when there is suppression of natural activity and perversion of instincts. Once the health is impaired, no matter how, nature does attempt to repair the damage just as it heals the cut on the body surface. Nature cures. In this, nature can be helped to help the body.