Ahar,Nidra and brahmacharya is known as Tri-upasthambha in Ayurveda.These are the basic three pillars or tripodes of healthy life.Lacking of any one out of these results in the disease formation.
We all know that Tridosha (Vata,pitta,kapha) and Trigunas (satva,raja,tama) essential for regulation of the body and mind like that these tri-upasthambha is essential for promoting the healthy life.
It is the first of tri-upasthambha.Human’s daily meal is known as ahaar.we take the food in the form of carbohydrates,protein,fats ,minerals etc for the maintainance of body growth,development of health and body strength.According to Ayurveda,Health does not means the physical fitness but also to maintain sensorial,mental and spiritual well being.
Aahar is divided in to three catageries according to nature or gunas.The gunas of food effects on body,mood and sense organs.
Satwik aahar creats a sense of cheerfulness and santosh,the rajasik ahar is responsible for anger,ego and aggression while tamasik aahar causes laziness,dullness and depression.
Other classifications of Ahara-
According to Charaka aahar divided in to two catageries depending upon the source
A) Animal origin
B) Plant origin
Again he divided the aahar based on way of intake .they are-drinkable,chewable,eatable and lehya.
Aacharya Sushruta classifdied foods in to twenty one types
Kashyapa divided ahar according to Panchmahabhautik costituation.Akashiya,vayavya,agneya,apyaand prithvi
Sharangadhar and Bhavprakash classified aahar in six groups.They are Bhojya,Bhakshya,Cavya,lehya,chusya and peya.
We all know that health should be maintained by proper intake of foods but importance of creating and maintaining a diet which is suited to particular individual based on persons body and mind needs.Diet of person varies with his/her doshika consistuation of prariti.
The slection of diet of person is depends upon-
Time of the year
Time of the day
Age of person
Person’s digestive capacity
Person’s bala (strength capacity)
And the type of food which one is used to
A self controlled person should take food only after considering the seven factors related to food which are –
svabhAva (natural qualities)
kAla (time) and
upayoga vyavasthA (mode of using) – this is the cause of health or ill health.
Consideration of all these factors gives better health and better diagestive capacity.
Ayurveda also explains the rules and regulations of food intake.They are-
Diet should contain all the six tastes
Take warm,unctuous food
Quantity of food is proper
eaten neither very quickly nor very slowly
Food after taking bath
after having good hunger
sitting in solitude
after washing the feet, hands and face
after offering prayers
without scolding or abusing the food
without too much of talk or laugh
Take food when previous meal is digested
Take food in relaxed condition
should have more of liquid food
that which is liked § in the company of liked persons, and
served by those who are clean and faithful. (A.H.Su.8/35-38)
Quantity of Food-
If one divides one’s stomach into 4 parts, then 2 parts filled with solid food, 1 part with liquid food and leave 1 part empty for Vatadi doshas.
Nidra or Sleep
According to Ayurveda,the state when body and mind body o to rest is called as nidra.Our body continuely goes on working ,the sensory stimuli which have to be accepted, analyzed, acted upon, stored in memory for future use etc done each and every time. This working process of body results in fatigue which again results in inability in perception of stimuli. The bonds between the sensory organs and the mind by prANa vAyu, udAna vAyu, vyAna vAyu, sAdhaka pitta, and tarpaka kapha and rasa dhAtu get depleted. This leads to a state in which the mind retracts itself, known as sleep.
When the mind is afflicted by Tamoguna in night ,there is increase in kapha dosha and natural sleep is inflicted.Kapha dosha is responsible for growth and development of body tissue and increases the immunity.
Anger,aggression,depression etc causes increase of vata dosha which is opposite of tamoguna.Hence person suffering from depression,anger can not sleep clamly in night..
Lack of sleep results in dull feeling all day,laziness,headache,bodyache ,burning sensation in eyes etc.Day sleeping,late sleeping in night,sleeping long also distrubes the whole day routin and gives bad effect on health. Bad sleeping also effects on digestive system,excretory system,circulatory system and other all systems of body.
Strength and misery, nourishment and emaciation, strength and debility, virility and impotence, knowledge and ignorance, life and death – are all dependent upon sleep.
. Good or normal sleep leads to Bad or more/less/disturbed sleep leads to sukha or joy dukha or sorrow poSaNa or growth & development karSaNa or debilitation bala or good strength & immunity abala or decrease in strength & immunity vRSata or good sexual prowess klIbata or decrease in sexual prowess jnAna or knowledge ajnAna or ignorance jIvana or good quality of life and life span ajIvana or short life span.
Day Sleeping is advisiable in summer season.because in this season vAta will have undergone mild increase, dryness is more, and nights are short because it is AdAna kAla.
Day Sleeping is advisiable for those who are tired from excess indulgence in speech, riding on animals (traveling), walking long distances, alcoholic drinks, sexual intercourse and lifting heavy weights angry, sad or fearful suffering from dyspnoea, hiccup and diarrhea aged, young, debilitated, emaciated, wounded or thirsty suffering from pain, indigestion; injury by weapons, insanity, (and other mental disorders. It produces in them equilibrium of the dhAtus and nourishes the organs
Day sleeping is contra-indicated in the person with great accumulation of kapha and medas in their body, and those who take fatty food daily, should not sleep during the day; while those suffering from poisoning and diseases of the throat should not sleep even during nights.
Awakening in night results in increase in vata dosha which makes the body dry.
Causes for loss of sleep are – purgation of the body and of the head vomiting blood letting inhalation of smoke hunger & thirst pain, happiness or grief sexual intercourse fear, anger, worry and such other emotions uncomfortable bed increase of satva guNa or victory over Tamo guNa dry food intense engagement (indulgence in anything or work) lapse of usual sleeping time and habit effect of diseases increase of vAta and pitta in the body .
Types of sleep-
tamobhava Due to tamas
shleSmasamudbhava Due to increased kapha
Manahsharirshramaja-Due to fatigue & tiredness
Vyadhinuvartini- Due to disease
The word Brahmacharya means abstinence.The term brahmacharya referes to keep person away from excessive sex. The word brahmacaryA is commonly used in relation to sexual activity. However we must remember that the literal meaning of this word would be “AcAra or practices for the attainment of BrAhman or the merging into the universal consciousness.” This is what brahmacaryA indicates – the engagement in practices which would lead us closer to eternal bliss. And that is why it is described as the third pillar of life and living.
The Ayurveda advised refrain of sexual activities during the academic years called as Brahmacharya ashram while advise the sexual intercourse after the marriage and this is called as Gruhastashrama.Excessive indulgence leads to loss of physical strength,lack of memory and vitality,increase in irritability and also the physiological distrubence in functions of body which leads to vitiation of doshas.
Ayurveda text explain how brahmacaryA is to be practiced in relation to sexual activity. It also gives idea of sex according season and amosheperic condition like that one can indulge in copulation once in two days during spring; once in a fortnight during summer and rainy season; and as many times as one desires (based on one’s natural strength) during the cold seasons of the year.
Ayurveda text also gives the idea about the age. One should not have sexual intercourse with a partner below the age of sixteen or above the age of seventy as this is bad for both partners. For, those below the age of sixteen will not have attained full development of all the tissues of the body and hence if they indulge in copulation, their body dries up quickly while for those above seventy, if they indulge in copulation, they collapse .
Copulation should always perform with a pleasant mind with a partner of one’s liking adopting the suitable posture anointed with good smelling cosme
Physical Brahmacharya and Mental Brahmacharya It is very necessary that should be pure in mind if wish to be a Brahmachari. Mental Brahmacharya is more important. It may succeed in Physical Brahmacharya, but must succeed in mental Brahmacharya also. That state of mind where in no single sexual thought enters the mind is termed mental Brahmacharya. If thoughts are impure, the sex impulse will be very strong. Brahmacharya depends upon regulating the whole course of life. “Smaranam Keertanam Kaileh Preshanam Guhayabhashanam. The eight bricks in Brahmacharya Samkalpoadhyavasayasch Kriyanirveritireva Cha.
Ethanmaithunamshathngam pravadanti maneeshinam.” (Yagyavalkya Smriti) It should carefully avoid the eight kinds of enjoyment, namely, Darshana or looking at women with passionate resolve, Sparshana or touching them, Keli or play, Kirtana or praising the qualities of the other sex, Guhya-Bhashan or talking in private, Sankalpa or determination, Adhyavasaya or nearing the other sex with the desire for gratification and Kriyanivritti or the actual sexual act. These eight kinds of enjoyment are eight kinds of breaks, so to say, in the current of Akhanda Brahmacharya practice. It must avoid these eight interruptions with great care, sincere exertion and vigilant circumspection