Svastha Defined

"You're trying to find what, exactly?"

I realize I use a foreign language to title my blog, so here's as explanation.

My disclaimer is that you could write an entire thesis about Svastha. This is my version of Svastha in a nutshell.

Svastha is the sanskrit word for health, and is the basis of healing in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Svastha means "established in the Self," and "Self" refers to both the lower-case "self" and upper-case "self."

The lower-case "self" is associated with the lower faculties of the mind (or the koshas closer to the physical body, for you Yoga majors) and, in the most basic sense, means having a healthy physical body, emotional body and self-esteem, or ego.

Upper-case "Self" relates to the higher faculties of human nature, which is essentially Spirit. Svastha in this sense means having a healthy sense of yourself as a spirit, understanding that you are a spirit having a human experience, and recognizing that your spirit is connected to something much larger (sometimes called Divine Spirit, Supreme Being, or, simply, God). It is this recognition, or perhaps more correctly, this remembrance of ourselves as Spirit that leads to all health and healing.

When we are not established in the "Self," meaning that we've forgotten that we are essentially spirits having a human experience, then we are operating with only the lower faculties of the mind -- our senses, the processing of our senses and the knowledge that we pick up from books or other humans. None of these "lower" faculties of the mind are bad in any way, and in fact are vital -- we need to them in order to be a human, and they can be pleasurable, allow us to connect to each other and to subjects of interest, and help us fulfill our duties as Spirits. But when our senses are allowed to rule our world without us remembering why we are here and who we really are, we often feel inadequate. We call ourselves names and look outside of ourselves for happiness and fulfillment.  We may start to base our worth on our accomplishments and not our intrinsic value. In other words, we get caught up in the dramas of human life and start to believe that these dramas are the stuff that life is made of, rather than the truth of Spirit. Thus, our ruling senses ingest things that create dis-ease -- low quality foods (aka sugar, fried foods, alcohol), violence (movies and TV), drama (gossip) -- and we believe that these things are what defines us and our life. This is the mistake that leads to disease. The truth is that these are experiences we are having as Spirits in human bodies and when we can remember this, we can start the healing process and, moving forward, be much more judicial about how we let senses rule us.

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