Custom Search

August 14, 2008

Four components of health

We live in what Lindsay Wagner describes as a "make it easy, make it quick and make it something someone else can do for me" society. When we are sick we want a doctor to cure us with minimal disruption to our lifestyle.

But an illness can be used as a warning sign that something in our lives isn't right. My husband doesn't drink coffee and someone once asked him "What do you do when your tired?" He laughed and says he goes to sleep. Strange isn't it, that sleeping when your tired is such an unusual thing!!

We would be wise to take responsibility for our own bodies. According to Charaka, to successfully cure any illness, the patient is one of four essential components. These four pillars of restoring health are:
  • doctor
  • remedy
  • carer
  • patient
The doctor tops the list because an incompetent doctor will stifle all of the best efforts of the remaining three, and even progress the illness further. A doctor must be skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, as well as pure in intention.

The remedy will be appropriate to the illness, the patient and the environment. It will utilise multiple avenues (diet, medicine, panch karma etc), be readily available and excellent quality.

The carer will be pure, kind and compassionate, as well as having a strong understanding of Ayurveda and the skill to put it into practice effectively.

And last, but certainly not least, the patient, who must be courageous and faithful. An ideal patient is able to describe their symptoms accurately, and will follow the doctors instructions precisely.


Mythreyee said...

This wonderful post reminds me of the Thirukkural (literary masterpiece in Tamil by Thiruvalluvar). The Thirukkural has 133 Chapters and each chapter has 10 couplets. There is a separate section for Medicine. Thiruvalluvar in the 948th couplet says,

"nOynaadi nOymudhal naadi adhuthaNikkum
vaay-naadi vaayppach cheyal"

meaning, Diagnose the illness, trace its cause, Seek the proper remedy and apply it with skill.

If you have time, google for Thirukkural and read the verses. You will enjoy reading. There are many websites with english translation.

Julia said...

Thanks Mythreyee. I'm always on the look out for more resources, particularly traditional ones.I will certainly look it up.