Pain in the body could be for several reasons : due to physical hurt, disoder in physical organs due to ailments and diseases of various kinds. Three kinds of pain are described in scriptures :
1.Adhyatmic ( Problems relating to one self ) : These may be physical or mental issues that a person has to deal with like diseases, injury, anger, frustration, emotional turbulence etc.
2. Adhibhautik ( Problems caused by others ) : These may be due to circumstances involving people, may be famiy members, relatives or friends and events that come as a part of one’s prarbdha karmas like accidents, crimes etc.
3. Adhidaivik ( Problems arising due to natural calamities ) caused due to factors like tsunami, earthquake, cloudburst, lightning etc.
Pain in the body is relayed through the connecting nerves to the brain. Brain is like a store house of impressions and sensations. It works like a hardware. The neurons convey the sensaton of pain to the mind. The mind synthesises and interprets the message and identifies the source and location of pain. This process of feeling of sensation of pain can, however, be halted temporarily by taking pain killers in case of mild pain or by administering anesthesia by a practised anesthetist in case of serious injury or malady for performing surgery on the affected body part ( overdose of anesthesia can, however, kill the patient ) . There are , however, some reported cases of yogis going through pain nonchalantly through extreme will power like Raman Maharshi who is said to have cancer of throat but refused any medication or some sadhus in high Himalayas who brave the fury of elements through power of endurance.
Nature has mercifully provided an inhouse doctor in the body of all sentient beings. The body recuperates and cures itself in normal circumstances. The intense search for
fighting Covid 19 is to develop a vaccine which can create anti-bodies in the body to kill the virus. The medicines are prescribed by a doctor to supplement the deficiency of minerals required in the body.
Body and mind have an intrinsc, symbiotic relationship. One impacts the other in many
inscrutable ways. For instance, if I have hurt my little finger, the mind gets upset, its focus is always on the little finger much like a mother who ever remains anxious about the indisposed child. The mind , however, impacts the body in a greater measure. If I am upset or depressed for any reason, the body becomes listless, loses vim, vigour and vitality, the joie de vivre.
Swami ji in his brilliant article , ” Is Suffering Really Necessary ? ” has stated that , ” … If we truly wish to get past a sense of suffering, we’ll have to focus on other dimensions of it. One such aspect is strength. The strength suffering gives us, happiness simply can’t. The former stretches you while the latter relaxes you. Suffering is the scorching sun that makes us appreciate the cold. It’s the chilly night that makes us want the sun. It keeps us real. If you believe in God, then suffering adds to your prayers, it infuses sincerity and devotion in your personal relationship with Him. But, most importantly, suffering keeps us on the ground, it makes us humble. And humility, I may add, is the most important ingredient of a meaningful and contented life. When you go through suffering , something changes in you forever. You emerge stronger, wiser, more grateful and empathic.
Agreed that you don’t necessarily have to invite suffering or lead a life of deprivation to appreciate life. Besides, suffering is not the sort of guest that needs invitation any way. But, when it does appear in your lives, which it will invariably, you just have to be patient and deal with it gracefully. You can’t fight with it or tell it off. You simply have to work on the opposite. In the dark night of the soul, you gently have to light the lamp of hope and faith.Surrender is the wick and devotion the oil of such a lamp. Presence of suffering no longer pervades the whole room then, only some corners, some moments.
At any rate, let’s be grateful, for gratitude is the anti-dote to suffering. It keeps you grounded, makes you strong even in the good times. Suffering leaves in the face of gratitude; they can’t exist together. . The pain may still be there , but the balm of gratitude gradually heals the wounds of misery. For as the wiseone once said, ” PAIN IS INEVITABLE BUT SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL ”.
My hypothesis is that negative emotions like lust, anger, hate, jealousy, greed etc operate on the perihery of the sub-conscious mind and under emotional stress , drunken state or while asleep surface when provoked or when we let our guards down. Positive thoughts like love, kindness, compassion etc remain submerged – like an iceberg-in the consciious mind and find expression when coaxed unless they become our second nature. The aftermath of negative emotions is restless and disturbed mind leading to loss of sleep, stomach upset or indigestion.
Swami ji said in his book ” On The Wellness Sense ” that ,” A disease is what disrupts your equilibrium, that is, your physical, emotional and spiritual balance. Self deprecation is a disease, as is pride, anger is a disease, as is jealousy. Anything that throws you off balance, physically or mentally is a disease. It is when the body and mind are in balance that one is healthy, that one is disease free”.
Buddha said , ” We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves “. To stretch this saying further, it may not be amiss to say that we tend to become what we eat. The Bhagavad Gita in Chapter XVII, Verse 7 onwards describes 3 types of foods. It says, ” The food also, which is dear to all, ( according to their respective nature ) is of three kinds, even so sacrifice, penance and charity are of three kinds : Foods which promote longevity, intelligence, strength, health, happiness and delight, which are sweet, bland, nourishing and agreeable are dear to the Sattvik type of men. ( we may also put it around to say that those who eat sattvik kind of food tend to become Sattvik. The characteristic of a Sattvik person is described as being cheerful of mind, serene, meditative, self controlled and pure at heart ). Foods which are bitter, acidic , salted, very hot , pungent, dry , burning and giving rise to pain , grief and illness are dear to the Rajasik type of type of men. ( We may also put it around to say that those who eat Rajasik type of food tend to become Rajasik. The characteristic of a Rajasik person is described as one who performs penance not enjoined by scriptures and is full of hypocrisy and egoism and possessed of attachment, desire and pride of power ).Food which is half cooked, insipid, putrid, stale and polluted and also impure is dear to Tamasik type of men. “( We may also put it around to say that those who eat Tamasik type of food tend to become Tamasik. The characteristic of a Tamasik person is described as performing penance under a deluded understanding with torture to the mind, senses and body or with the object of causing injury to another ).
To conclude, in the words of our Swami ji , in his Introduction to , ” The Welllness Sense” , Our body is the finest , in fact the only, medium of experiencing all pleasures and sorrows. In Ayurveda, as in yoga and tantra, the health of an individual is not just the state of his physical body but an aggregate of his body, senses, mind and soul. Your immune system is directly impacted by your state of mind. The more positive and happy you are, the stronger your immunity.
According to Ayurveda, health and disease have the same source. When various entities are in harmony, it translates into health. And when they are in disequilibrium, they cause disorders. Your body is merely the seat of your consciousness. If your consciousness is afflicted, it will surely- without exception-result in physical disorders too. Mental afflictions create diseases in the physical body and physical diseases, in turn, disturb the state of mind “.