By Prof. Vd. Rangaprasad Bhat
A person in in 70s, holding a respectable position in his community as a religious and spiritual adviser had a long history of diabetes and hypertension. Being a perfectionist his day-to-day activities were systematic with morning prayers at home, followed by performing Pūja in a small temple consecrated and maintained by his trust away from home, followed by spiritual discourse to his followers over sacred texts, then back to home.
Things were going smoothly as always until one day, in early morning by 5:00 a.m, when he observed his mouth and face distorted, while washing his face. His speech got slurred and inarticulate. However, somehow he woke his wife up and told his symptoms.
Upon receiving a call from them, being their Ayurveda family physician, I visited his house and found that he was having symptoms of Bell’s palsy, due to uncontrolled blood sugar level. It seems he had neglected taking his insulin shots due to an erratic change in his food intake timings (exceeding 12 to 14 hours in between two meals), caused by unexpected delay in finishing his lectures each day, over the special occasion of the Rāma Navami.
I started addressing immediately by manipulating the marma points to control further aggression of the deranged vāta alongside toning up the facial muscles. I got him started with Ayurvedic medicines. Things were going smoothly until then. However, the moment I prescribed the liquid kashayam, he saw my face with a discerning look and through sign language and slurred speech, requested me, regarding the possibility of avoiding the liquid medicine, since it was prepared outside. He, being an orthodox person was, used to avoid taking any liquids from outside home.
I modestly refused his request and said, I could not find an alternative to the kashayam at the moment. Further, explained him, it is not possible to prepare a kashayam powder for that medicine since it had more than 40 ingredients and that there is no ready made kashayam powder of that preparation available in the market.
Having said that, a suggestion to add one or two drops of ghee or milk to the kashayam to make it pavitrā as per the practice followed by the orthodox people at times of unavoidable circumstances and then to partake the kashayam. With half heart, he accepted it and gave me an assurance that he will take the kashayam too along with the tablets.
After two days, when I went for second sitting of marma manipulation, I was astonished to find a remarkable improvement in his facial disfigurement, which had almost vanished by 75%. His speech was 50% articulated and one could understand his words of expression a bit clear without straining.
The second session of marma manipulation for that day was done. Finishing my treatment, while washing hands, I inquired whether he took all the medicines, and started with insulin therapy as advised by his diabetologist?
The gentleman, who was responding to my other queries during the session, now remained silent and avoided eye contact. His wife explained, he had not taken the kashayam alone but took the other two tablets prescribed by me. Further, in a complaining tone (since she was worried about her husband’s health) continued giving another input.
In spite of my advice to give rest for 2 to 3 days to his vocal cords and tongue, by avoiding the discourse, it seems he carried on performing the discourse for those two days, that too exceeding the usual time, by two hours more.
I was speechless. The determination of this orthodox man, with his sheer will power not only enabled him to complete his discourse but also to overcome aggravated vAta Dosha. Moreover, all these happened within a span of 2 to 3 days time space.
Bell’s palsy though is a self-limiting disease and is cured by itself; the duration of the cure usually ranges from a few weeks to a few months depending upon the intensity of the physical strength and the co-morbidities.
The satva of the gentleman was so strong that his Ātma was in full control over the mind, sensory organs and the object. The dhī (intellect) and dhrti (determination) emerging from his ātma was the sole reason for the successful achievement as desired by him. In addition, since his ātma was in full control of the mind and sense organs, he was able to take control of the shortcomings over his physical body and accomplish almost impossible actions.
In a Satvik person, physical pain does not cause suffering.
Over that moment, I understood the importance of Ātma in field of treatment.
Further got enlightened to have seen the wise words of Ācārya Charaka, be so true!
Ācārya Carak’s that statement, which I referred above was –
“तरतमयोगाच्छरीरयोनिविशेषेभ्यश्चान्योन्यानुविधानत्वाच्च| शरीरं ह्यपि सत्त्वमनुविधीयते, सत्त्वं च शरीरम्| तस्मात् कति चित्सत्त्व भेदाननूकाभिनिर्देशेन निदर्शनार्थमनुव्याख्यास्यामः ||च.शा.४/३६||”
“tara-tama-yogāt śarīrayoni viśeṣebhyaśca anyonya anuvidhānatvācca | śarīraṃ hyapi sattvam anuvidhīyate, sattvaṃ ca śarīram|| ca.shA.4/36||”
Meaning: – Based over, the mutual percentage of variables and constants; their mutual compliance with the physical characteristics – either the physique complies with the satva or the satva confirms with the physique mutually”.
How does a sAtvika person react, when he faces the contrasting situations of happy and unhappy circumstances?
Vāgbhaṭa explains it in the following statement in hrudaya, shArIrasthAna 6th chapter-verse 119.
अनुत्सेकमदैन्यं च सुखं दुःखं च सेवते| सत्ववां ………|| अ. हृ.शा ६/११९॥
By means of
Anutseka – absence of arrogance and
adainyam – absence of depression, misery, self pity, A satvic person faces both the sukha (good things) and duhkha (bad things with equal strides.
Sarvānga sundari comments in the following manner – अनुत्सेकं कृत्वा – अभिमानं हित्वा – disregarding the anxiousness or pride of the moment,
सत्त्ववान् पुरुषः सुखं सेवते–अनुभवति| – the sātvika puruṣha faces the happy circumstances.
तथा, – likewise,अदैन्यं हित्वा – कार्पण्यं हित्वा, – by not getting humiliated – and by avoiding self pity, दुःखं सेवते –अनुभवति| – honors or faces or bears the unpleasant situations.
2 decades ago was the time, when as a physician and a teaching faculty in Ayurveda, I happened to treat the above case and witnessed the importance of the atma and its impact over the satva. Ever since, the quest and search for the intricacies of Atma and its utility in treating the somatic or psychosomatic diseases with or without the combination of medicines had been implemented in quite a few number of chronic cases, which was usually, deluding in providing a suitable relief to the patient, otherwise.
Padmanilayam”, (Ayurveda & Non Conventional Marma Chikitsa Clinic) 49/46, Kanagaraya Malaiyappan St, Raja Annamalaipuram, Mandavelipakkam, Chennai- 600028.