Take care of Health Protectors of DHARMA

  • Know about leaders who lived short and impactful lives (what if they had lived longer) And What we can do to live healthier lives.

A good friend who, is spiritually evolved and, writes on Indian Darsanas (philosophy) was recently very unwell. Since he is in his early 40s was worried for him. 


As I prayed for his recovery it struck me that earlier prominent Swamis and warriors had given up their bodies at a young age. Sankaracharya, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1627-1680), Bajirao Peshwa 40 (1700-1740), Madhavrao Peshwa the Great (1745-1772), Swami Vivekananda 39 (1863-1902) to name a few. What if they had lived longer! 


In their short lives, their karmas impacted Bharat in a great and positive way. If they had lived for say 20 years more, would their presence have changed the course of India’s history is a hypothetical question!


One can argue that every soul has a pre-determined birth and expiry date. Having said that, it is important for the warriors and protectors of Dharma to look after their bodies so that the expiry date is not premature, they are able to fulfil their potential and the deeper reason for which their soul has taken to a given body.


I write this because today I see many individuals, being so committed to contributing to the Indic Renaissance, falling sick at a relatively young age. We can attribute this to lifestyle, pollution and pressures of modern day life but that that would be skirting the issue because it could be due to over-exertion to contribute to Dharma in a short time.


Actually, this over-exertion approach applies to all Karma yogis and not only protectors of Dharma. We wish to accomplish a lot within a short time.  


Before I humbly suggest way forward here is a brief about contributions of some great souls who lived short lives.


1. Sankara 32 years


His influence on the religious-cultural and spiritual life of India is huge. He also established the four maths in north, south, east and west India. “Within his short lifespan of thirty-two years, his doctrine of brahma-vidya, knowledge of Brahaman, which confers moksha, spread all over the country.”


Read Acharya Sankara – The Delineator of India N Debate between Sankara and Mandana Mishra


2. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj 53 years (1627-1680)

Shivaji was a Naval Visionary.  

He valiantly led the fightback against Aurangzeb. His escape from the Mughal prison in Agra stirred the nation and motivated many including Guru Govind Singhji. Importantly, after his passing away in 1680 the Marathas continued to trouble the Mughals which eventually led to their downfall. Marathas dominated India during the 18th century.  


Read The Saga of Raja Shivaji, from Agra to Salher n The Maratha Century Or to buy book The Maratha Century N How Marathas contributed to the decline of the  Mughal Empire


3. Swami Vivekananda 39 years (1863-1902)


Swami Vivekananda's 1893 address at the Parliament of Religions stirred the world then and does so even today. He continues to motivate millions. The work of the Ramakrishna Mission is a tribute to Swamiji’s vision and thoughts. To see albums of Swami Vivekananda Inspired Schools


Read Key Ideas in Swami Vivekananda’s addresses at the 1893 Parliament of Religions, Chicago


Sankaracharya, Shivaji Maharaj and Swami Vivekananda significantly impact our lives to this day.


4. Bajirao Peshwa 40 years (1700-1740)

Samadhi Bajirao Peshwa.  

Bajirao was India’s finest general who never lost a battle in his twenty year military career. Noted historian Uday S Kulkarni wrote, “The 1737 attack on Delhi, the first since Akbar took the capital from Hemu, was a shock not just to the Mughals but it reverberated in foreign lands – as far as Persia where Nadir Shah took note of it and sent a letter reprimanding Muhammad Shah for his laxity.”


Read Bajirao Peshwa the Empire Builder N Impact of Bajirao Peshwa on India of the 18th century N Why Bajirao is India’s Greatest Cavalry General


5. Madhavrao Peshwa 27 years (1745-1772)


Noted historian Uday S Kulkarni wrote, “In the short tenure and the even shorter life of Madhav Rao, his administrative and military skills were the reason the Maratha state could rebuild its strength after the debacle of Panipat. Never before had a Peshwa met challenges on a nation-wide scale and overcome the odds in such a short time. Madhav Rao’s discipline was legendary and his high expectations kept his chiefs on a leash. It has been rightly remarked that the debacle at Panipat was not as hurtful to Maratha fortunes as the early death of this excellent prince.”


Read Madhavrao Peshwa the Great


So what should Protectors and Warriors of Dharma do to keep good health? Neither am I a doctor nor a Swami but here some suggestions.


1. Walk Daily. Atleast 30 minutes.

2. Yog Asanas daily. Atleast 30 minutes. 

3. Pranayam daily. About 5 minutes.

4. Maintain Balance. Do not over-exert or under perform, be over happy with success or depressed with failure. Since you have a larger goal, continuously work towards it with the belief that ups and downs are part of life.

5. Control your Diet (excess of sugar and salt contribute to modern day health problems. Avoid aerated drinks and junk food. Have leafy vegetables).

6. Try to lead a fulfilling life. Becoming a recluse might not be the best way. 

7. Let curiosity, compassion and desire to learn become intrinsic to you.

8. Kriyacharya Jyoti says, “The best way to avoid stress is Nishkama Karma.” Simply put, it means doing actions without expecting anything in return.

9. Eyes are our gateway to the world. Wash eyes with water eyes regularly. Read Yoga for eyes & fingers

10. Pran and Gyan Mudra. Read Introduction to Mudra Therapy   

11. Drink lots of water during the day esp. whilst travelling.

12. Take Amla, Dalchini powder and Moringa daily.


Please consult a doctor/yoga teacher before acting on the above suggestions.


Perhaps, there is a lot to learn from Ahilyabai Holkar’s life (1725-1795). She ruled Malwa from 1767 to 1795. India has just begun to rediscover her. 


Read Why Ahilyabai Holkar was a great woman

Pray for your good health and long life.  


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