Theistic Health Science according to Srimad-Bhagavatam, or Ayurveda As It Is
Nagari Devi dasi was asked to present a new book "Theistic health science according to Srimad-Bhagavatam, or Ayurveda as it is" by several people. Now we publish an interview with her presentation.
Ambarīṣa dāsa: We heard that you put a great deal of effort into your upcoming book and that your thesis has some astonishing revelations. Can you tell us briefly how it will help the devotees?
Nāgari Devi dāsi: Firstly, I want to thank you for these important and auspicious question.
For the last five years, by the mercy of the Vaisnavas, I have been engaged in this very interesting service, to find the scientific substantial basis for the importance of following the four regulative principles, or four pillars of dharma. However now the scope has broadened into fundamental knowledge of the entire ancient theistic science.
As we know, Vaisnavas follow four regulative principles: (1) non-violence (vegetarianism), (2) no intoxication, (3) no gambling and (4) no-illicit relations, to achieve pure mind as the basis of four pillars of dharma, as (1) truthfulness, (2) mercy, (3) simplicity (austerity) and (4) charity (Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.19).
My task was to present to the society the scientific basis of the essential necessity of following these principles in life. I looked through modern science, modern Ayurveda, and found out how they all originate from the ancient theistic science given in the Vedas, and especially in the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Thus, now we have so much information for preaching about how all countries followed the theistic science of the Vedas before the Middle ages, even in the most ancient university of the world, Takshila.
(The new concept of health and life, where everything is existing as a part of the Universal body of the Lord, maintained and destroyed by Him. This knowledge is very practical for a general vision of life, as well as for our personal bhajana.)
We need proper education in the original theistic science. Our minds and vision are still contaminated by the concepts from the school and university education we received, which were forced to become atheistic. We are devotees now; we have accepted initiation and chant harinama. But until we have knowledge that all atoms, including our minds and bodies are solely, fully dependent on Bhagavan, we will naturally [tend to] follow the atheistic values of our previous education, where we have tried only to survive in this material world and get some type of hormonal happiness.
Modern education taught us that the reality consists of separate units and entities, beginning from atoms, molecules, bodies, nations and so on, without the existence of God. 10-15 years of this education also compelled us into thinking, how we need to survive and defeat others, as all the material resources are limited. Naturally, our vision and values are shaped by this education we received. However, when we became devotees, we heard that everything emanates from and is maintained by Sri Krishna. However, the exposure to this knowledge being considerably lesser compared to the atheistic knowledge we learned for so many years, our belief system still largely oscillates between the material knowledge we acquired earlier and the transcendental knowledge we have been blessed with. This double-mindedness and possessing of many doubts poses as a big obstacle in our personal bhajana.
In brief, this book is not only helpful for our preaching, but also for our personal bhajana. This knowledge removes obstacles at the level of anartha-nivriti, which is essential for all sadhakas to follow.
Ambarīṣa dāsa: What you just mentioned is very fascinating. Does the book propose that unless we create a proper platform of a healthy body-mind structure, we won’t be able to proceed in bhakti?
Nāgari Devi dāsi: This knowledge gives us a vision of life. We see everything not only through the eyes, but through our minds. It is like a prism to see reality. When we get knowledge of how to manage people, we see everything through that prism, and when we get knowledge of how to acquire money, our vision will be again different. In the same way, we will see how to properly manage our lives after studying this Srimad Bhagavatam.
Modern science, modern education, gives a person the vision to see everything apart and different from the Lord. They give the illusionary concepts, how atoms, molecules and our bodies exist by themselves. They call it “self-organization”. It was given to us in biology, physics, chemistry, etc. It is nonsense. But one can only see it through this ancient science. This illusion can be destroyed by the Lord Himself. He gives true knowledge of the reality. It is absolutely obvious, logical, perfect and systematic.
On the path of bhakti, we go to Guru to get knowledge, the discriminative power to see everything in Bhagavan, as well as Bhagavan in everything. Srila Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja, has told us that he accepts as his true disciples, only those who know, at least, the first sloka of Dasha-mula-tattva. He spent all of his energy to educate his disciples, giving the definitions and conclusions of the Vedic science.
Now we have the big task of regulating our bodily urges according to Sri Upadesamrita: the urge to speak, to control anger, to control the tongue, stomach and genitals. The more we understand what it is, how it works, what can be done and what can we expect, then we can actually perform this huge task. We need to understand how Sri Krishna and His devotees explain to us how to manage these urges. What can we do in bhajana without following the first sloka of Sri Upadesamrita?
Ambarīṣa dāsa: Yes that is the starting point. Do you perceive that your book will be a threat to modern Ayurveda practitioners?
Nāgari Devi dāsi: By the mercy of the Lord, the original definitions of Ayurveda are available. This book shows, that without them, no one can be treated properly to remove diseases. No diseases can be removed without removing kama, krodha and lobha, and this is not possible without surrender to the Lord and following His instructions. Certainly, many people will see how the modern Ayurveda has turned away from the original theistic knowledge; therefore it has actually reduced in its potency in India. People expect full recovery from their diseases, but pacha-karma gives only a temporary result, temporary relief, but not full recovery. Sometimes, not even this.
Ayurvedic doctors know how difficult it is to attract modern people to Ayurveda. Officially, Ayurveda is non-science, or pseudo-science. It is written everywhere in the official sources and encyclopedias. They certainly want to again retrieve their authority and become effective in society. But until they receive true education and follow the original theistic Ayurveda, conducting proper diagnosis and giving proper treatment, according to the prescriptions of the Lord, it will never be possible.
Ambarīṣa dāsa: Do you mean to say that all the life coaching and training that takes place in the modern world has no lasting impact unless one addresses the body-mind balance through the help of ancient Ayurveda?
Nāgari Devi dāsi: The Vedic science gives us a broad understanding of the adhikara of a person. We are fully controlled and stimulated by our gross and subtle bodies. Our material consciousness is a perfect machine to direct us as well as stop us. It is not under our control, but under the control of the Lord. We can upgrade this machine by the mercy of the Lord also. He gives us instructions how we can do this. No one can spontaneously become a talented musician adept with perfect feeling and rhythm, only by being trained under any high-class music teacher it is possible. In the same way, all skills and our very natures cannot be changed, upgraded, by ordinary people. Therefore, a good musical teacher first will see if a person has the nature of becoming a musician. Otherwise, it is not possible.
Nowadays, so many people who claim themselves to be highly educated teachers, arrange very expensive coaching only to collect money from ignorant people. This book Theistic health science shows how it is really possible to become a natural, great leader, to achieve high intelligence, high human values and to become completely successful simply by following this ancient knowledge. One can understand and upgrade his tejasa [the power of intellect given by Sri Visnu], ojasa [the expertise of the senses given by Brahma] and prana bala [the power of life energy given by Siva] by satisfying the Lord and following His instructions. No one can ever bypass it. By reading this book, devotees will see scientifically, how bhakti is the most powerful method to upgrade our social status and individual nature.
Ambarīṣa dāsa: When do we expect this book to be released?
Nāgari Devi dāsi: Now, two very qualified devotees have agreed to help with editing of the first book “Theistic health science according to Srimad-Bhagavatam, or Ayurveda as it is”. They just started and the speed of the publication depends on them. In addition, BV Nemi Maharaja suggested he will work through this in collaboration with a group of qualified devotees, to make it a collective project for educational purposes
The second and the third book is 50 and 80% ready. I plan to publish them next year.
Ambarīṣa dāsa: We also heard that you are envisaging your thesis to pan out in different parts?
Nāgari Devi dāsi: Three books are now in the process. The first one “Theistic health according to Srimad-Bhagavatam, or Ayurveda As It Is.” is ready. I have already explained it in a nutshell above.
The second, “Mind health according to Srimad-Bhagavatam” which is the essence of the 11th canto, where Sri Krishna gives His final conclusions and instructions to Sri Uddhava. At the beginning of the book, one can see the interesting science of how our senses, mind and citta operate by the Lord, through the medium of demigods. It is very useful and practical knowledge taken from the works of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī and Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura.
And the third one, is “The science according to Srimad-Bhagavatam”, which is a real brain wash for modern people, to help them wash out all the garbage from their minds offered by modern education. Srimad-Bhagavatam gives a completely different scientific process and set of principles. Any person, who is not envious of the Lord after acquiring this knowledge, will naturally follow Srimad-Bhagavatam. There is no doubt.
Ambarīṣa dāsa: Yes, it has always been a challenge to convince those especially coming from the scientific background. Could you please elaborate a bit more about your second and third book?
Nāgari Devi dāsi: The first book is about the physical health, which will be obvious to the readers. I have intentionally included the subtle aspects of our bodies in the next book. Besides that, it has the details about how Vishnu, Siva and Brahma control our bodies through particular demigods.
The second book will also have diagrams that explain the evolution and transformation of mahat-tattva, false ego, citta, intelligence, mind, and five gross material elements [panca-mahabhuta] to help us understand how their interplay actually works and impacts us. And the book will eventually culminate with the essence of Sri Krishna's instructions on what to do with the mind and the senses and how to manage them.
The third book gives fundamental principles of the theistic science. All the definitions of science, scientist, object of science, comparison between modern official science and ancient theistic science, and the evident conclusion that there is only one science and not two. [Because ultimately modern science has its own limitations due to all its inferences, suppositions and speculations.]
And the second part of this book contains commentaries by our predecessor acaryas namely Śrīla Śrīdhara Gosvāmī, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura, who explain the genuine scientific method of how we can see the creator behind all the creation, that nothing exists without the hand of God – the supreme creator. It is one of the most intriguing portions from the 11th canto, which will equip us further in life with good discrimination power to understand the absolute reality.
Because without the help of ancient theistic science we will not even know how faulty the principles of modern atheistic science are. We will continue to be misguided in our understanding of how we function and how the nature functions, until we adopt the most complete knowledge derived from the authentic and fault-free source which the rsis and munis gave us. This is the most bona-fide process of discrimination for everyone
Ambarīṣa dāsa: This knowledge must be propagated in every way possible. Have you ever thought of developing any course based on these books to help the devotees get a solid orientation of their core message?
Nāgari Devi dāsi: Sure, I am ready and plan to do it. This knowledge is very helpful and it has required a different presentation to reach a different category of people. It has turned into fundamental knowledge, including history and different branches of science.
Everything depends on the will of the Lord. If the Supreme Lord has a desire to do it, it will certainly happen. We are only His parts and parcels and engaged by His will. I am not interested in Ayurveda, I am interested to do my service to Him.
Ambarīṣa dāsa: Didi, your thesis comes across as very spirited, bold and enterprising. And more importantly, a very timely contribution to the society and especially to the devotee community.
To take complete shelter of the most perfect source of knowledge is the only means to progressive life. I do hope that it sparks a much-needed revolution in the modern world. Thank you for your time and all the very best on behalf of Team Centennial.