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How Can Ayurvedic Achara Rasayana Promote Longevity and Good Health?

The old age science of life, Ayurveda, aims to maintain the health of an individual and prevent and cure the diseases of a person. To achieve this, the Sharira (body), Manas (mind), and Atman (soul) need to be in alignment. Apart from treating the diseases with the treatment modalities, rejuvenation can be done to attain healthy living.  Rasayana therapy (rejuvenation therapy) is given in three forms, Aushadhi Rasayana (medicine), Ajasrik Rasayana (daily diet and regimen), and Achara Rasayana (behavioral conduct). Achara Rasayana is the behavioral conduct to be adopted by a person for a peaceful and happy life.

Achara Rasayana

Achara Rasayana is the code of conduct concerning moral, ethical, and charitable behaviors. This form of Rasayana (rejuvenation therapy) is a unique concept of Ayurveda. This is the way of living a good life by eating Satvik foods, yogic way of life, following truthfulness, non-violence, staying devoted, etc. making an individual’s intuitive power much better so that the person can properly analyze and make good decisions for life and do not get misled. This practice of Achara Rasayana helps lead a healthy life and thus has a vital role in reversing the process of disease and further preventing the occurrence of any disease.

Five principles govern the Achara Rasayana and each one of them is discussed below:

  1. Good Personal Conduct
  2. Good Mental Conduct
  3. Good Social Conduct
  4. Good Moral Conduct
  5. Good Religious Conduct

Good Personal Conduct

  1. Anayasaka – Physical exercise to be done by an individual up to half of the capacity is beneficial. This principle is Balaardh.  Doing the exercise more than half of the capacity aggravates Vata dosha. Balaardh principle helps in the prevention and curative aspect of diseases, rejuvenation, and enhances the longevity of life. Exertion until half the capacity keeps the person energetic throughout the day and hence Anayasaka is important and aims to avoid over-exertion.
  2. Shoucha Para – Personal cleanliness both external and internal prevents infections like bacterial, fungal, viral, etc. that can cause various diseases. This can be attained by following routine activities like washing the face, brushing teeth, taking a bath, wearing clean and fresh clothes, cutting nails at regular intervals, cutting hair, etc. The personal hygiene is very important to maintain the health of an individual.
  3. DheeraBeing courageous gives good health and this is achieved by giving up bad habits and adopting positive habits. This always enlightens a positive mindset with proper physical health.
  4. Sama jagrana – swapna – Sleeping at the proper time in the night and waking up at the right time in the morning balances the three doshas. The functioning of the organs is different during daytime from that during night hours. Enough amount of sleep in the night and keeping awake throughout the day influences the physiology of dosha, dhatu, and mala.
  5. Nitya ksheera – ghritha ashinaha – Regular intake of milk and ghee. Milk and ghee have the properties to mitigate aggravated Vata-Pitta dosha. They act on tissues and cells, thus nourishing them. The seven dhatu from Rasa till Shukra get nourished at their optimum levels by consuming milk and ghee daily. Thus, complete growth and development of the body and mind with proper digestion, assimilation, excretion, sharp intellect, memory, and calmness are achieved.
  6. Adhyatma Parayana – Spiritual practice to attain the highest consciousness, and progress in life to attain salvation. Keeping Sattvic mind intact with sattvic food intake, positive mindset, good moral conduct, etc. helps in understanding and experiencing the enlightened spiritual path.
  7. Shastra para – Studying and knowing the different sciences helps achieve good personal conduct. Life sciences like Ayurveda and contemporary medical science, technological sciences, philosophical studies, and discoveries need to be oriented to be updated in society.
  8. Desha-kala Pramanagnya – As we are aware of the well-said quote, “Survival of the fittest”, adjusting to the different climatic zones and seasons is important to help a good living. An individual must be aware of the changes taking place in the seasons, and different geographical areas and modify the dietary and lifestyle regimen.

Good Mental Conduct

  1. Satyvadinam – ‘Honesty is the best policy’ – the most common and popular phrase has a high impact on the psychology of a person. Being honest to oneself and others keeps both body and mind in harmony.
  2. Akrodham – Controlling the anger leads to a stress-free life. It is directly related to Pitta dosha. The uncontrolled anger causes raised blood pressure levels and many other life-threatening diseases. Meditation, breathing techniques, and yoga are some of the measures to control anger.
  3. Prashantam – Keeping one’s mind always at peace with no stress, conflicts, worries, etc. People with positive thoughts, and brave minds, need to be surrounded by us which helps us stay calm.
  4. Yuktignyam – Planning for the accomplishment of goals in life is very important. Using the intellect, skills, and proper analysis of our actions, the goals can be achieved.

Good Social Conduct

  1. Ahimsa – Practice of non-violence. Being non-violent, physically, mentally, and in our words. Avoid any sort of conflict within the families or even in society. Being polite in our words, staying calm by the practice of listening to the spiritual talks, practicing meditation and yoga.
  2. Samadara – Being respectful towards elders. Elders and our teachers have had the experiences of life, hence, taking their guidance helps lead our paths in life.
  3. Anahankari – Humbleness attracts all the positivity in life. Avoiding egoism, helps us understand ourselves and others much better. The mind when is shadowed by ego, the realization of the impact of our actions is not possible. Kindness keeps a person always calm and happier. The ego shuts down the ways for happiness.
  4. Nitya karuna vedinah – Showing empathy for ourselves, our family members and our surroundings helps us evolve as true human beings. Helping others as much as it is possible keeps our social communications intact.
  5. Priyavadinam­ – Habit of speaking politely and use of pleasant words. Words are heavier than swords. Controlling words that indicate anger, jealousy, superiority, or that which hurt others’ minds causes strained relations with others.
  6. Anrashamsya – Treat everyone around us, be it our human beings, animals, or birds. Living in harmony with each living creature and nature makes our lives worthy.
  7. Asamkiran – Generosity starts when ego ends. Being generous is just not an act but a way of life. Sharing is caring. When we share whatever, we do have with us, it helps everyone grow together.

Good Moral Conduct

  1. Madya nivrutti – Quitting alcohol brings a lot of peace and happiness to an individual’s mind and creates a harmonious relationship with family, neighbours, and society. Being alcoholic, destroys a person, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. The loss incurred affects the dear and near ones.
  2. Maithuna nivrutti – Observing celibacy. This refers to indulging in sexual activities with only one partner. Avoiding sexual activities with multiple partners. Having sex with consideration of time, mood of the partner, health, mental health, season, etc. Sexual activity at regular intervals keeps the body, mind, and soul in harmony.
  3. Upasitarah vruddhanam – serving our elders who have raised us, guided us, and been compassionate towards us is the way of following good social conduct.
  4. Upasitarah jitatmanam – honor the people who have gained mastery over their sensory desires. Controlling our desires leads a healthy living. Serving such people makes our lives meaningful.
  5. Upasitarah astikanamiServing the priests, and sages who are involved in devotional activities can give us goodness, health, and wealth.
  6. Dana – The charitable acts enable us to live a selfless life. Donating the wealth in the form of money, clothes, and various other materials, donating food, help the needy people around.
  7. Shasta-Achara – Behavioural activities like being kind, polite in words, honest, non-violent, following the moralities set by the ancestors, saints, social reformers, etc.

Good Religious Conduct

  1. Tapaswin – Following austerity makes a person realize his self-identity. People when take up austerities get connected in deep with themselves and delve into self-realization. This brings harmony, peace, happiness, and freedom from materialistic desires which is the ultimate truth.
  2. Japa para – Devotional path helps stay connected with the energy of God. Bhajans, religious book reading, listening, and attending philosophical lectures always pave the way for grace of the God. 
  3. Dharma para – Accepting and following righteous paths can overcome any confusion, difficulties, or challenges of life. Respecting one’s religion and showing respect for others ‘religions is important. The belief is that every religion holds good for the one who follows it and hence none should be involved in subduing other religious sects, and this is Dharma.

Conclusion

For a healthy body and mind, Achara Rasayana is essential to be followed. Achara Rasayana is focused on the behavioral, moral, and ethical conduct of life. Good personal, moral, mental, social, and religious conduct are the five canons of Achara Rasayana. Satyavadinam, Akrodham, Shoucha para, Madya-Maithuna nivrutti, and various others are the principles of Achara Rasayana. This form of rasayana helps in understanding the disease and reversing the process of disease.

In the present world, the life of every individual is very stressful and miserable, and hence Achara Rasayana plays a vital role in creating harmony, peace, and happiness in every individual’s life. Contemporary science along with this Achara Rasayana concept of Ayurveda can be implemented to treat the diseases of people physically and psychologically as well.

References
  1. ACHARA RASAYANA – A BEHAVIORAL THERAPY IN AYURVEDA TO PROMOTE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS, International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research, January 2018, Vol 6, Issue 1, p.44 – 49.
  2. ACHARA RASAYANA – A BEHAVIORAL THERAPY IN AYURVEDA TO PROMOTE HEALTH AND WELLNESS, World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research, 2024, Vol 10, Issue 1, p.89 – 94.
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/371138804_CONCEPTUAL_STUDY_OF_ACHARA_RASAYANA_IN_AYURVEDA_SCIENCE
  4. https://www.journalijar.com/article/31529/achara-rasayan-for-health-and-longevity/

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