Invitation To Health: 37 ►Do You Want Mental Health?

Published: 02.05.2017

Do You Want Mental Health?

Every human being wants healthy life. No one wants to be sick or diseased. Disease has been regarded as great suffering and calamity. If disease occurs, no one wants to remain sick and therefore an individual goes to the shelter of cure, goes to the shelter of doctor. The amount of attention paid to physical health that much of attention has not been paid to mental health and the amount of attention paid to mental health that much of attention has not been paid to emotional health.

Root cause is emotion

Root cause of disease is emotion. When there are emotional diseases then mental diseases are generated. When there are mental diseases then physical diseases are generated. It is not that all diseases arise from emotions and feelings. Some diseases are physical also but many of serious diseases come from within, from emotions. From emotions, they come down to mind and from mind they come down to body. Our attention does not go there. The physicians attended to this view that the root cause of disease is body, germs, virus, or vāta, pitta and kapha. The preceptors of Ayurveda attended to vāta, pitta and kapha. The doctors of today attend to germs and virus. Attention does not simply go to emotional diseases. The preceptors of religion, of adhyātma, attended to this that so long as emotions are not pious, are not pure, till then these diseases will keep on generating. They said 'purify emotions'. Purification of emotions, purification of mind and purification of body these are three situations. Those who attend Prekṣādhyāna camp generally come for purification of emotions. Purification of mind and body takes place automatically as a corollary.

Question is that of will

Mind is the bridge between emotions and body, If mental health is good then emotions also get reinforcement to remain good and body also gets reinforcement to remain good. Let us catch the mind. 'Mental health' this word is very much current. We understand it more easily. If we use the word 'emotional health', then less people will understand it. Those who do have any direct link with religion will not understand it. If we use the word 'mental health or fitness' then people will find it easy to understand. Therefore, direct question was asked 'Do you want mental health?' 'We do not want'; perhaps one will give this answer. To wish is one thing and to act per wish is another thing. Many people do not act according to wish. And this cannot be done forcibly, In the world there can be force for all other acts but wish cannot be changed forcibly.

King and Mulla Nasiruddin

A thought came to a king that in the world lying is very much prevalent. This prevalence of falsehood is not good, he thought. ‘I should work out some such remedy that no one in my kingdom tells a lie'. The king got a declaration announced that one who tells a lie will be hanged. There was commotion among people, fear spread out. A sort of terror spread. People had believed that without falsehood no purpose is served. There was great trouble.

Mulla Nasiruddin went to the king. The king said “See, I have made such an arrangement that no one will tell a Iie” The Mulla said, "Oh king! Will the arrangement by you succeed? Can anyone be changed forcibly?" The king said, Why not?" Nasiruddin said, "Alright, I shall see." Next day the Mulla entered the gate of the city. While entering the gate the first question of the gatekeeper used to be, why have you come?" To Mulla also this question was asked. Mulla said, "To be hanged" The gatekeeper said, "You are telling a lie." Mulla said, "I am telling the truth. If you have doubt, then verify by hanging me". The gatekeeper said, "If you are hanged your statement will be true." The king also reached to the gate for walk. Pointing to the king the Mulla said, "That is why I had told to His Highness that no one can be made to speak the truth forcibly. I have not to die but if you get me hanged my statement becomes true. If you do not hang me my statement will be false. It means that I told a lie."

Question is that of mentality

It is very difficult to make someone as per ones like, to change some one’s mentality. Someone can be killed but cannot be changed forcibly. These days killing has become easy and common. By firing indiscriminately or by bomb explosion many people can easily be killed but to change the mind is within the hands of great saint. The emperor can kill someone but cannot change him.

The question of mentality is very complex. The problem of mental health is vexed one, and therefore a strong will is expected to change it. Along with will if means is added then the tangle of mental health can be solved. In the want of will suggesting means forcibly has no meaning. If we want mental health these seven formulas be pondered over, be analyzed.

  1. balance of Vital energy
  2. proper respiration
  3. restraint in diet
  4. pacification of anger
  5. release of tension
  6. introspection
  7. change in life-style

Balance of vital energy

Meaning of life is vital breath. Meaning of vital breath is life. We are called prāṇī (beings having vital breaths). One who has the power of vital breath is prāṇī. If a person dies we say, 'Breathing has come to an end, died. Heart has stopped beating, died. The movement of nerves has stopped, died. This is not true. This is an examination. It is called clinical examination. But this is not fully correct. We do not know how many people are burnt while having life. Many people are burnt even before death. They are regarded as dead on the basis of superficial symptoms. Throbbing of heart, movement of nerves, breathing these are all outer symptoms. So long as vital energy is left inside till then human being does not die. Recently one incident came to light. From that this truth, has been confirmed. A person became critically ill. Big doctors were engaged in treatment. After clinical tests and examination, he was declared dead. After four-five hours suddenly, his heart started functioning. All the doctors were surprised. They again started efforts. Medicines and injections were administered. He lived for many hours. After ten-fifteen hours that person died of heart attack but earlier he was-not dead.

Basis of life

In India in olden system on such occasions ozas (those who use magic and charms) were called. The oza will come. In loneliness, he will cover dead person with bed sheet. Putting his hand inside the bed sheet he will move his hand all over the body. He will find if vital breath is entangled somewhere. He knew the art of catching that point. If vital breath is entangled somewhere he would make him active once again, and that person will become alive. Sometimes such events do occur and dead person becomes alive again. Seeing him some people run away out of fear. They think he has become a ghost. In fact, he did not die, he was taken as dead. Sometimes it so happens that a person taken to be dead was put on funeral pyre but suddenly, he gets up and sits. Many such incidents have happened.

Our entire life is based on vital breaths but we cannot keep balance in vital breaths. We very much unnecessarily spent vital power. When we speak then it is spent, when we walk then it is spent, in the use of senses it is spent but we should not spend it more, we should not use it more than what it is necessary. To speak is necessary but is it necessary to speak continuously or more than what is needed? Thinking is necessary but should we keep on thinking day and night? There should be limit to thinking. It is not good to keep the eyes open continuously. By all these sensory activities vital energy is consumed.

Let us have balance of income and expenditure

One element for excessive consumption of vital energy is impulse. Anger, greed, fear, all these consume unlimited vital energy. Passion and sexual intercourse consume vital energy very much. These all are ways to spend vital energy. A person who wants mental health he will first of all have to attend to this that vital energy is not consumed more than what is needed. Disturbance in income and spending means loss or bankruptcy. We should not have bankruptcy in life by disturbing the balance between income and expenditure of vital energy. To take food, to breathe, these are the means to increase the vital energy but if income is less and spending is more than it will have effect on mind. We say there is depression, there is mental weakness, and there is slackness. Its reason is imbalance in vital energy. If we want to remain mentally healthy then we should have balance in vital energy. This balance is an important means for mental health.

 Proper respiration

The second formula of mental health is proper respiration. We should learn to breathe properly. If we take small breath, if we take broken breathing, then vital energy will be consumed very much. We should take full and deep breathe. The mark of full breathing is that while inhaling belly should swell and while exhaling it should contract. If while breathing only chest swells then it should be understood that the process of taking breathe is not correct, it is wrong. Some yogis or physical instructors tell that if you take breathing then your chest should immediately swell. This is not correct. In fact, chest, should swell while exhaling (recana). If belly contracts, chest will swell. While inhaling, belly should swell. This is the process of inhalation. In Occult science, it is called diaphragmatic breathing.

Restraint in diet

The third formula of mental health is restraint in diet. Restraint in diet is a complex problem. That a human being can have control on diet is a big thing but there is no control. When some desired thing comes in front human being forgets all rules and principles. To penance and to fast are difficult. It can also be made easy but to eat and to control food, this is perhaps more difficult. I have seen such people who undertake the practice of māsakhamana (regulated diet for a month) but when there comes the occasion of eating they do not keep restraint. The question of diet restraint is very intricate. Diet restraint means not to eat more. In eating vital energy is spent. In secretion, much more vital energy is spent. Those who want mental health it is mandatory for them that they attend to diet.

Four questions

What to eat? How to eat? How many times to eat? When to eat? These four questions should be deeply thought over. The problem with common person is that after being lice from his work in the night he eats at ten-eleven o'clock. It is not the time to eat in night. It is just contrary time for digestive system. So long as sun rays are available till then there is time to eat. So long as sun does not rise it is not the time to eat. When the sun sets, it is not the time to eat. All our organs for digestion are active in the light of sun. In not getting the light of sun they become inactive. There is no proper emission of digestive saliva and other secretions. We may or may not regard it as a principle of religion; it is a principle of health. Eating at night is not conducive to health. Lying down immediately after eating and going to sleep, are detrimental to health. When we take sleep stomach and abdomen stop functioning. Many digestive organs also stop functioning. They will not digest food and it will remain where it is, get spoiled. This is the belief of modern science. About digestive secretions Ayurveda and modern science state that in sleep digestive system stops or becomes weak, and therefore about food some precautions are necessary.

New experiment

By non-restraint in food poison gets accumulated in body. Of course, after taking food also some poison does get accumulated but if more food is taken more poison gets accumulated. Sometime back a doctor from Jodhpur came. His name is Naresh Bhandari. He said, "These days we are doing a new experiment. We tell the patients, 'eat, and eat as many times as you want, eat as many things as you want. Whatever you eat throughout the day, tea, biscuit, roṭi (bread) put a small amount of it in a glass pipe or bottle. If there nothing is putrefied, then in your stomach also nothing is putrefied. If decomposition or foul smell develops then definitely it will come up, and spoil the brain. How much food is related to health! but on this very little attention is paid. If mind is to be kept healthy then this will not be by mere thinking, and for this there has to be greater awareness about food-restraint.

Pacification of anger

The fourth formula of mental health is pacification of anger. It is very clear that if anger comes then mind is spoiled, get vexed. One who wants mental health it is necessary for him to calm anger. Anger is generated because human being does not think. if human being thinks deeply then occasion for anger will be less.

One emperor of India sent his minister to an emperor of China for consultation on some matter. He reached there. He did consultation. The emperor of China asked a strange question, "Oh minister! Tell me between your emperor and myself who is bigger?" It was a delicate question. How to say that his. own emperor is smaller or one of whom he is guest is smaller? The minister was very intelligent. He said, "His majesty! What is there in this to tell? You can know yourself.

My emperor is like moon of duja (the second day of each half of a lunar month, when moon looks beautiful) and you are like moon of punama (full moon). The emperor was very happy by this answer that he showed his emperor as moon of duja and to me as moon of punama. The minister returned to India. Some backbiting people accompanying the minister getting a suitable occasion whispered to the king that the minister on whom keeping faith you placed so much of responsibility, how he tells so much of bad things about you? Hearing all these things the emperor boiled with anger. If to an ordinary person also it is said that someone was talking ill of him he will not stop short of anger. The minister presented himself he fore the emperor. Seeing the angry looks of the emperor he understood that the matter has reached him.

The emperor was boiling with anger and said, "Minister! said I send you there so that you denigrate me?"

The minister said, "Oh Lord! What you heard is correct. I said so but please at least listen my complete account."

The emperor said, "Tell".

The minister said, "There I described you to be the moon of duja and him the moon of punama. You have not thought over its meaning."

The emperor said, "What is there to be thought over? Do I not understand the meaning of moon of duja and punama?” The minister said, "This is the matter to be thought over. In the world, the moon of duja is worshipped. No one worships the moon of punama. It continuously decreases whereas the brilliance of the moon of duja continuously increases." The emperor was satisfied, was happy.

The teaching of Gurzief

It is a matter to be thought over. Human being does not think. Whatever is confronted becomes terribly angry on that, downpours on that. By this unrest develops in mind. If we think and ponder over every event, then this will not happen.

In Russia, there was a famous spiritual practitioner by the name Gurzief. When he was to die, his son asked, "It is your last hour. Please give us some advice." Gurzief said, "I have to say only one thing that when there is an occasion of anger do not get angry at least twenty-four hours earlier." If twenty-four hours are available for thinking, then why will one have anger? Many of our judges practice like this. When there is a criminal case, time of two-four hours is given to the person who files the case. The judge tells him, "Sit in some lonely room. After four-five hours your case will be heard." The result of this practice has been very encouraging. Out of the filed cases seventy percent would be withdrawn and people would go away. When five hours are available to think the degree of anger comes down naturally. Anger comes under the state of impulse which gets subsided with the passage of time. Pacification of anger is very much essential for mental health.

Release of tension

The fifth formula of mental health is release of tension. Human being suffers mental agony due to tension. When there is too much of tension it assumes the form of a complex.

That complex keeps on defiling mind. There can be tension in our life. In the world, we live in there are many causes of tension. The possibility of tension always remains but if we learn to release tension then we can be saved from the resultant harm. If we keep on accumulating tension, and do not know its catharsis, then a big problem will come up. Possibly there is no one who does not have a little tension. Tension might be more or less but it is in every individual. We should purge it out like exhalation, and we should not suffocate within.

There used to be daily quarrel between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. One day due to quarrel the daughter-in-law was full of tension. She announced her decision, "Now I shall not take food in your place". She went out from the kitchen and sat in another room. The entire day passed. Till evening she did not take food. In the night, she was terribly hungry, but what to do. Out of tension she had announced her decision. In the morning, all people of the house were sitting for breakfast. How can she go on the front side? She went to the back side of the door and stood. The mother-in-law saw her. Mother-in-law understood the matter that the daughter-in-law is hesitating to come before them. She told her son, "Buttermilk, bread and curd-preparation is there. Go and tell the daughter-in-law." Without even being told she spoke, "I am standing at the back of the door. Let someone call me." All tension disappeared. The daughter-in-law came and sat with them.

That because of whom tension is generated, sit with him and get the tension released. If the opposite person is obstinate, and does not cooperate in removing tension then adopt another method of catharsis. Join fingers of both the hands together and do it for ten-twenty times, dissolution of tension will start. Long respiration also discharges tension. The practice of kāyotsarga also is an important means. If we can learn these small practices, then we shall be away from mental tension.


The sixth formula of mental health is introspection. A person who does not introspect, his mental health will not be good. A person may sometimes do good deed but sometimes may also do wrong deed, but whatever he does if he daily reviews his work, then wrong deeds will be less and good deeds will continue increasing. One who does not keep an account of his conduct, of his behaviour, like a businessman, his mind cannot be healthy. Introspection is very much necessary. We may do introspection and we shall come to know of our mistakes. As much confession of our mistakes we have in introspection that much we can never have when told by others. This is a very big atonement and a very big means of mental health also.

Change in life-style

The seventh formula of mental health is change in lifestyle.

The life-style of today is that of hectic movement, contest, and competition. Today human being is involved in economic competition and social competition. In this contest or competition one person wants to surpass the other. This fast speed has become a part of his life-style. It has great effect on thyroid gland and the metabolic process. All our metabolic activities are affected by it. This contest, competition, excessive ambition, and life-style of quick engagement makes mind dejected, sick and shaky.

One who wants mental health should not merely wish, but if it is true wish then the way should also be found out and for finding out the way these seven formulas are there before us. If we really want mental health, then we shall have to take help of these seven formulas.

Title: Invitation To Health
Author: Acharya Mahaprajna
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
HN4U Digital Edition: Ratna & Amit Kumar Jain

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Adhyātma
  2. Anger
  3. Ayurveda
  4. Body
  5. Brain
  6. Fear
  7. Greed
  8. Jodhpur
  9. Kāyotsarga
  10. Science
  11. Thyroid Gland
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