The Magic of Maharishi Ayurveda

In this series of four articles, Anand Shrivastava, Chairman and Managing Director of Maharishi Ayurveda Products Ltd. in India, shares his memories of the beginning days of Maharishi Ayurveda. This is the third story in the series.

Creating a Disease-Free Society

by Anand Shrivastava

During the early days, before 1984, we were thinking about diversifying Maharishi's organization to reach more people. Many great minds — vaidyas, medical doctors and scientists — were sitting with Maharishi-ji and discussing what to do.

One person raised the question, "Maharishi-ji, with just one little drop of Vedic wisdom, the Transcendental Meditation® program, the whole world has gotten a new direction in the area of consciousness, the deeper aspects of life. Can we not offer deeper knowledge in different areas of life?"

Someone suggested that we explore ayurveda, the traditional health care system of India, which was once a vast field of knowledge but in modern times had somehow been lost or forgotten or neglected.

Maharishi said, "Let us go deeper into it, let us see what more can be done in this area." He invited some of the great personalities in ayurveda to join the group. We were having discussions and Maharishi suddenly asked the question, "If we want to start activities in the area of ayurveda, fine. But what should be our theme, our motto?"

Somebody brought up various medicines for this problem or that problem; somebody else mentioned chronic disease, that there are no solutions to these problems, so let us focus on this area or that area of chronic disease.

Maharishi said that no, we don't want to limit ourselves to the level of a pharmaceutical company, or whatever we might be creating. He said that was not our theme.

Then after a while one of our great minds simply asked Maharishi, "Better you tell us the target, because nobody can think as deeply as you."

And Maharishi answered, "Anything less than creating a disease-free society is not acceptable to me. Let us fix the target: creating a disease-free society. Elimination of disease should be our motto."

I was present in the meeting. And I saw that everybody's mouth remained open. No one was able to say anything. Because it was beyond anybody's capacity to think at that level — that creating a disease-free society should be the target of our activities in the area of ayurveda.

And some people tried to say, "Oh, Maharishi, this medical world doesn't even have the solution to small problems like the common cough and cold, so how are we going to claim that we can create a disease-free society?"

Maharishi said, "Just think about it, work for it, and you will be able to achieve that."

And now, after working in this area for the past 25 years, I'm convinced that Maharishi-ji's vision was absolutely correct. It is possible to create a disease-free society — a society free from disease or an individual free of disease. It is only by knowing more and more about Maharishi Ayurveda that one can feel that yes, it is possible. It is possible because the knowledge of Maharishi Ayurveda depends on some very simple fundamentals.

For example, one fundamental is to create balance. If we create balance, disease will not be there. The very definition of health, as given in ayurveda, is very comprehensive.

There is a shloka in the ayurvedic texts in Sanskrit: Samadoshah samagnish ca samadhatu malakriyah prasannatmendriyamanah svastha ity abhidhiyate.[Sushruta Sutrasthanam 15.41].

Sama dosha means balanced in dosha (one of three mind-body operators that govern the functions of every part of the body).

Sama agni means balanced metabolism of the food you eat.

Sama dhatu means balanced conversion of food into the body's seven different tissues: rasa (nutrient fluids), rakta (blood plasma), mamsa (muscle), medha (fat), asthi (bone), majja (bone marrow), shukra (reproductive tissue).

Mala kriya means that when food is metabolized, the waste is eliminated properly.

But the definition of health doesn't stop here. It goes on to speak of blissful self, senses and mind. Bliss is the basic level of the senses, mind and self. When all these things are present, this is swasthya, this is health, according to ayurveda.

For this level of health you don't have to do much. You simply have to take care of some fundamentals: that is, the doshas. Ayurveda has defined in a very simple manner how to identify which doshas are out of balance, how to bring balance back into the system by some simple adjustments in diet, in the food you eat.

If there is a deeper imbalance or stress in the dhatus, organs or elimination system, these imbalances can be easily identified, and different rasayanas, herbs, or medicines can be prescribed to bring the system back into balance.

And with regard to bliss, of course, Maharishi has given us the most scientifically proven technique for developing bliss consciousness, the Transcendental Meditation technique.

This is what Maharishi envisioned 25 years ago, and this is what he gave us in the motto, "Creating a Disease-free Society." And the more you go deeply into it, the more you can see that yes, Maharishi was right. It is possible, it is very much within our scope. We can do it. It's not as big a thing as we thought in those beginning days when we tried to convince Maharishi to bring the level of his motto down. Fortunately, Maharishi has always stuck to his point and has made us try to reach that point, that high level of achievement.

All of us who work for Maharishi Ayurveda must keep this motto in our minds. I always tell our employees, "Whenever you go out of your home, the first step is to remind yourself that you are going not to sell medicine or herbal products; you are taking a step forward in the direction of creating a disease-free society. And that is what your personal motto should be. With the very first step you take out of your home, you have to remind yourself, 'This is my motto and this is the cause I am working for.' With that everything will be blissful."

Next issue: The Contribution of the Maharishi Ayurveda Council of Physicians

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.