NAMASTE!

AT SOME POINT, EVERYONE MUST ENCOUNTER LIFE, WHAT WE IN INDIA CALL ‘AYUS’. MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH REAL LIFE CAME FROM MEETING WITH VARIOUS SPIRITUAL TEACHERS. AFTER MANY YEARS, I FOUND OUT THAT THE BEST PIECE OF WISDOM I HAD LEARNT WAS; “DO NOT HURT YOURSELF…”

My childhood environment was conducive to Yoga and Ayurveda studies, but as a young boy, I favoured other activities much more. I used to play football and my goal in life was to be a pilot.

My first experience with Ayurveda was very painful – so much that I will never forget what happened. One day, while playing football, I seriously injured my leg. I was well aware that my father was not too keen on my football passion, so for several days I kept my injury unrevealed, hoping it would disappear by itself. The opposite happened, the wound got infected badly, the swelling grew, my leg turned blue and the pain became excruciating. I could not conceal it any longer from my family. Immediately, my father took me to the local hospital. I had an X ray and three doctors examined my leg.

Life is like a clear crystal if we develop sharp awareness. It spreads wide and translucent right in front of our eyes. Our life is an ongoing sequence of encounters. Be it a situation or a new person, in each moment we get to meet with that, which is the essence of Ayurveda: an innocent smile of a child, the goodness of the human heart or the beauty of Nature. Every meeting is important if we know how to listen.

The doctor’s conclusion was unanimous and grim. They could not save my leg, they would have to amputate. The prospective of losing my leg below the knee scared me, and I was not willing to stay in the hospital room a minute longer. I made it loud and clear that I was going to run away. My mother took me out of the hospital after signing a paper with a statement accepting full responsibility. After returning home she called an Ayurvedic physician. Only later did I learn that this elderly man was considered one of the best Vaidyas (physicians) in our region and that he knew my mother. I can still recall his pleasant smile as he entered the door. The smile itself was enough for me to regain hope. The Vaidya did not speak much and my anxious questions were answered very briefly. He held my hand during the entire time he spent at my bed, as if assuring me. The first thing he did was to relieve me from my terrible pain and put me to sleep. When I awoke he was gone, but he had left many different kinds of medicine with my mother. He came to see me again the next day, and the day after, and in just two weeks I was able to walk without my crutches. The doctors in the hospital did not believe it was possible.

The third week, at his last visit, he asked me what I wished to be in my life. “I want to be a pilot,” I replied proudly. He shook his head smiling and said, “You should be grateful to that which made it possible for you to walk again. You got help and now it is your turn to help. Ayurveda holds much more than you are searching for at this moment. Something that brings a real satisfaction in life.” He left our house with the same smile he had entered with.

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His expression and the way he spoke awakened my interest. It was the first time in my life that I had met a real Vaidya who not only cured me but also made me think. I was still too young to fully appreciate the value of this encounter and only several years later, when I had my second injury, did I come to understand the depth of the meaning of the Vaidya’s words.

When I accidentally ended up in the hands of Ayurvedic doctors again, I was eighteen. This time I could not move my head due to a neck injury acquired during judo practice. The allopathic doctor who examined me recommended Ayurvedic treatment and relieved me, openly admitting that Western medicine does not have anything to offer except pain killers in a case like mine. I recovered to normal life by Ayurvedic massage. Upon the admittance to an Ayurvedic clinic, the chief physician listened to my story in which I omitted to recall my previous positive experience. When I finished, he remarked on my actual state; “this is just another reminder. You should stop ignoring the study of Ayurveda.” At that time I had a lucrative job with Hewlett Packard. When I finished my treatment, I quit my job overnight with no explanation to my bosses. No one could understand why.

Life is like a clear crystal if we develop sharp awareness. It spreads wide and translucent right in front of our eyes. Our life is an ongoing sequence of encounters. Be it a situation or a new person, in each moment we get to meet with that, which is the essence of Ayurveda: an innocent smile of a child, the goodness of the human heart or the beauty of Nature. Every meeting is important if we know how to listen.

The famous poet Rabindranath Tagore, in his ‘Gitanjali’ poem compares man to a bamboo flute. If you take a look at what is inside a flute, you find nothing but emptiness. But a musician, which is our life energy, prana, can create splendid music out of emptiness. You can play many melodies and ragas. While travelling around the world, I have always emphasized that the melody you play on your flute should always sound sweet to others. I have always tried to fill everyone who comes to see me with Ayurveda and I have always hoped they left with a sense of beauty in their soul. Ayurveda is as simple as common sense. One must understand that it is wise, and that you have the same wisdom inside you. One must also understand that it is your soul, which is important and shines as a diamond of indescribable value and know that it is from the abundance of your heart you can give endlessly to all.


Read next chapter: ESSAYS ON AYURVEDA

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DR.GEORGE EASSEY

Titled as “Roving Ambassador of Ayurveda”, belongs to the first generation of Ayurvedic practitioners and teachers who have pioneered the way for Ayurveda's recognition as a mainstream system of medicine.

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Born and raised in Paris, she has always been looking at the horizon. The city that nourished her, it was her trampoline for courageous free flight around this planet. It’s inspiring to keep up with her.

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