Dr Pratap Midha
The Hindi word for healthy is ‘swasth’. ‘Swa’ means the self, and one who is established in the self, or stable in his or her true identity, is healthy. Our true identity is that we are souls, and if we remember that while going about our tasks, and we relate to others with that elevated consciousness, we remain free from negative thinking. This keeps us spiritually healthy.
We tend to blame other people and situations for our problems. If we are unhappy, we begin to think that our workplace is not good, the co-workers are irritating, the boss is uncooperative, and so on. But spiritual knowledge tells us that I, the soul, am the creator of my thoughts, feelings and desires. No one can make me angry or sad as long as I am in control of myself.
For that I need to nourish the soul. Nowadays, people are very particular about what they eat – some have just raw food while others use only organic produce. But we are not as careful about the intake of the soul – what we watch, read, listen to, or think. That is why we have ‘indigestion’; our mind is confused, indecisive and turbulent.
Sometimes, we think too much but do very little, and that makes us impatient. We agonise over work not getting done and how things should be. We need to be patient with the self if we want to sustain ourselves through the challenges of life.
To nourish the soul we also need to share happiness and be kind to others. The satisfaction we get from coming to the aid of others, which scientists call the helper’s high, uplifts us.
Having good wishes and pure feelings for others makes a lot of difference. If we see only the good in others, we will be surrounded by goodness, and that is what will influence us. Just as our physical environment, whether it is hot or cold, affects us, the subtle environment we create by our thoughts affects our mind and body. This is why those who stay positive and happy have fewer physical illnesses.
Lifelong spiritual effort can be challenging, and one can be disheartened if one does not experience progress. When we keep our goal in mind and have the faith that a true heart and sincere efforts will bring success at the right time, we will not lose hope.
One also needs to be independent – not dependent on others – in order to be healthy. One’s spiritual or mental connection should be with the Divine, the Supreme Source, and not any human being. For this we need to take care that we are not impressed by anyone. Others may have many good qualities, but those are gifts from the Divine.
Then, we should be aware of the quality of our thoughts, so that we can keep ourselves free of wasteful and negative thinking. This awareness helps us realise what we need to change in ourselves. The subsequent transformation effects a shift in our consciousness, our way of thinking, and our life.