• By Swami Sivananda
  • March 2002

Mother Nature: Our Saviour      

Naturopathy & Spiritual Life
For many Naturopathy may only mean getting chronic diseases cured by fasting and dieting and then reverting to the old method of living. A few may follow throughout their life the basic principles of Nature Cure, viz., living in tune with Nature. But a little thinking reveals that Naturopathy is only a part of the whole Truth, viz., living in tune with Nature as an aid or as a step in seeking the Reality behind Nature, i.e., God.

There are many similarities between Naturopathy and Vedanta. Vedanta teaches that the real bliss which man seeks in the sense-objects is really in his own heart. When all desires cease, this bliss manifests itself. Similarly Naturopathy teaches that man can live a healthy and happy life by living in tune with Nature, i.e., by deep breathing sunbath.

For, health is the inherent nature of man Disease is foreign to him. Health is not created but revealed through the avoiding of the obstructing factors. Both Naturopathy and Vedanta give hope to man that what is essential for him is made available in plenty by the Lord. This is indeed a cause for great joy and optimism for us.

Naturopathy says that you should avoid over-eating, which is the cause for most of the diseases. In avoiding over-eating, the giving up of the use of condiments like chilies, pepper, etc., stimulants like tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, etc., will be very helpful, that is, one should control his tongue. Holy scriptures also says the same thing. The Bhagavata says that by controlling the tongue all other sense organs are easily controlled. Then the mind comes under control easily and God-realization becomes easy.

Vedanta says that the cause for the misery in the world is ignorance or Avidya, from which have sprung up ego, Raga-dvesha desires, selfishness, etc. When Avidya is destroyed by Japa and Dhyana, prayer, satsanga, Kirtan, service, etc., the Self or Atman is realized. Similarly, Naturopathy says that the cause for all diseases is the foreign matter or impurity in the body. When Nature throws out this poison through the nose, you call it cold; when through the skin, you call it skin-disease, etc. Different names are given according to the part of the body through which the elimination takes place. But this makes no difference. Thus here, too, there is a similarity.

Vedanta says that desire for sense-enjoyment is never satiated by actual enjoyment. But it increases as fire fed with ghee. But the real solution is denial of the desires by Vichara, etc. Naturopathy says that drugging as a cure for diseases only suppresses the diseases. After some time one gets as a consequence a more virulent disease. Drugging gives only temporary relief. A permanent remedy is got by reverting to the Laws of Nature and living a good life.

Body is a temple for the Lord. It is an instrument in the hands of the Sadhaka for God-realization. Naturopathy helps one to keep this body in a clean, pure and fit condition.

Naturopathy asks one to live in tune with the Laws of Nature. The Sadhaka aims at living in tune with the Lord’s Will.

There is a reason for this similarity. The Supreme Lord, Isvara, manifests Himself in many planes of Consciousness, the chief of which are spiritual, mental and material or physical. Every plane has its Laws. A person who has evolved upto a particular plane receives the knowledge of that plane of Consciousness. The Laws of Naturopathy are the Divine Laws of the physical plane, or Virat. To live in harmony with Nature is to case to be an egoistic individual and thus open the gateways to true happiness. Wherever there is an attempt to transcend the narrowness of the ego, there is joy. So living in accordance with the Laws of Nature is a step in the evolution of man. Thus the theory and practice of Naturopathy are aids to Sadhakas in their spiritual evolution.

First understand the Laws of Nature. Then gradually try to change your ways. The change must be slow and gradual. Practice, patience, perseverance and faith are necessary Aspiration, prayer and surrender to God will make the progress quick.

May the Lord bless you all with health and long life, peace and bliss!

Nature Cure Methods
1. Fasting

Fasting cleanses the system and eliminates all waste matter and impurities accumulated through years of wrong feeding and wrong living. This is the most potent method of natural cure. It is a strong weapon of Naturopaths to slay all diseases. It conserves energy. The energy that was directed towards digestion is now utilized for elimination, repairing and healing.

2. Right Dieting

Through right dieting the further accumulation of waste matter and filth in the system is prevented. The blood is kept in a pure state. All the internal organs function properly.

3. Baths and Wet packs

Cold baths tone and cleanse the system. They invigorate the nerves and the brain. They remove the poisonous and effete materials from the body. Wet packs reduce the temperature in fevers and remove inflammation and pain.

4. Sun-bathing

Sun is the source of life and energy. It has tremendous healing power. It kills germs and parasites. It is the best disinfectant in the world. It tones the skin, nerves and the whole system. It fills system with energy and power. It supplies vitamin D.

5. Enema

It cleanses the bowels and removes all accumulated filth. It does not produce any harm like the drastic purgatives and cathartics. It is taken daily during fasting.

6. Exercise

Exercise builds and helps the healing process. It lightens the body and helps the healthy functioning of all internal organs. It helps digestion and improves the blood, qualitatively and quantitatively. If you do not practice exercise all the muscles and organs will degenerate. Do Asanas and Suryanamaskaras, and physical exercise (Danda, Baitak) regularly. Regularity is of paramount importance. Do not over-exert. There should not be any fatigue after the practice of exercises. On the contrary, there should be exhilaration of spirit.

7. Breathing Exercises

Pranayama or deep-breathing exercises tone the whole system. They remove all sorts of diseases. Pranayama is the best of all exercises. It steadies the mind and removes all oscillations. It fills the body with new, abundant energy. It conserves energy. It purifies the system. Practice Sitali, Ujjai, Bhastrika, Sukha Purvak, etc.

8. Rest and Relaxation

Rest is very necessary to conserve energy. All the organs become fit to discharge their functions properly after rest. All muscles need rest after work. Rest is Nature’s recuperative agent. Have sufficient rest. Relax thoroughly.

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