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Temple of my soul

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

Depending on our experiences and our learning both formal and informal, religious, social or otherwise we come to generally believe in the East that 'I am a soul with a body' or in the West, 'I am a body with a soul'. Atheists believe different things or disbelieve almost everything.

Who am I? Almost all of us will never know the answer though many will seek to know so we can only believe.

I believe, 'I am nothing more than energy concentrated in the form of an eternal soul, housed within a constantly ageing body and driven and controlled by my mind.'

When the three interrelated aspects of our existence, body, mind and soul, are in harmony with one another we can claim to be at ease and healthy. When the natural rhythm, pulse, and synchronisation is disturbed we suffer from a case of 'dis-ease' and hence the origin of the term 'disease'.

All traditional practices of health such a 'Ayurveda' (the knowledge of life) have focussed in restoring the balance and harmony in 'dis eased' beings both within themselves and with the rest of existence.

All these thoughts and beliefs remain theory until we experience major dis-ease or imbalance, as I happened to experience by physical injury very recently. Medicines and treatments alleviated my pain but were not making me healthy. I suddenly realised that while I was nourishing my soul and mind I had all but neglected my body, the temple of my soul.

Now I understood why traditional Indian temples were not only places of worship but each a 'Gurukul'. A Gurukul being an integrated centre for transmission of theory and practice of a wide range of subjects, physical education and practice of yoga and meditation, music and arts, literature and culture, etc. with a learned, wise and experienced Guru at the very centre. This formed the backbone and basic core of Indian civilisation until it was significantly damaged by neglect, corruption, invasions and imported ideologies.

A neglected or unhealthy body adversely affects our ability to function both physically and mentally and impedes the realisation of our spiritually.

We are at our prime of our physical health between age 16 and 20 years. After that our bodies begin to decay. Our joints begin to stiffen and we lose about 8% of our muscle mass each decade, hence our strength, stamina and flexibility degrade. Our brain cells begin to die more rapidly than they are regenerated, and eventually we can suffer from conditions like dementia.

Both ancient and modern scientific thinking agree that a healthy body and mind can be achieved by following some universal truths.

  • Exercise, either by imbedding physical activity such as walking and climbing in our daily routine or develop a workout regime. I have discovered the latter with the help of a good trainer to be fun and very effective.

  • Proper diet and nutrition in moderation provides the right fuel and energy eliminating 90% of dis-ease.

  • Avoid intoxicants and artificial stimulants, wherever and whenever possible.

  • Get sufficient and fitful sleep (Physical exercise helps a lot in this regard).

  • Constantly challenge and recharge the mind by continuous learning and contemplation.

  • Nourish the soul by meditation.

  • Harmonise the mind, body and soul by practice of pranayama and yoga.

Scientists have discovered by studies and many of us by experience that exercise, yoga and meditation increases the feel good factor (caused by hormones like endorphins) and sharpens the mind.

It is useful to remember, the body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness. Hence physical exercise, sport or various sports, coupled with hobbies or interests that challenges the mind, nourishes and strengthens it.

With my trainer Tanmay Shewate after a workout

Sadly like most people, after leaving school at age 16, I had stopped exercising and working out, as a result over next 47 years my body has decayed and weakened much more rapidly than it should have. The good news is that because of our son Pavit's nagging and his part ownership in Hotfut sports and ILESEUM clubs I had easy access to numerous gyms and good trainers.

As a result our entire family have begun to work out regularly. I have discovered that while ageing cannot be reversed, a lot of health can be recovered and restored.

I wish you all good health.


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