In ancient India, children were taught to do yoga every day right from their childhood. They took natural food and used natural Ayurvedic medicines. So, they used to live a healthy life for a full hundred years. They knew the fact very well that money and riches are useless without health. So, they used to take many precautions in their diet and regimen.
But, today, food is polluted and junk food consumption has increased. Not only tea, coffee and soft drinks, but alcohol and drug usage has also become rampant. Modern lifestyle does not encourage physical activity. The stress and strain of modern life combined with increased usage of synthetic drugs is creating havoc in our lives. The television, mobile phones and computers are destroying our nerves. As a result, our diet and regimen have become unnatural.
Consequently, we are seeing a rise in health problems in every household. Newborns are being diagnosed with holes in their hearts. Four year olds are seen wearing thick glasses and six year olds are showing signs of diabetes. That means the basic body constituents of the parents are in such a weak state that they are producing weak children. Many couples are not even able to conceive. Shall we try to understand the reasons that have led to this situation?
By the time boys reach high school age, they are already addicted to bad habits, thereby wasting their valuable nerve energy and are spotted with lifeless faces. The so-called scientific doctors are encouraging self abuse through sex columns in various magazines, and are becoming responsible for the loss of potent energy among the youth. Another dangerous trend observed among college going boys is alcohol addiction. It has become fashionable to consume alcohol in many families. These days, there are many parents who turn a blind eye to their children, when they come home drunk. How can a father who himself drinks at parties (or for whatever reason), teach a lesson to his son?
The situation of girls is even worse. Many of them have irregular menstrual cycles. Stomach pain, leucorrhea and ovarian cysts have become very common among adolescent girls. We need not mention eyesight. Obesity is now part of most households. It feels really sad to imagine the plight of these girls after marriage, and what kind of mouse-like babies they will give birth to. I recently came to know that in cities like Hyderabad, it is true that college-going girls are found drinking beer, skipping their classes. I don’t want to write further on their other activities.
While on one hand, poor dietary habits have resulted in low energy levels in our body, on the other hand, we are inviting more diseases with our irregular lifestyle and unnatural habits. Watching television excessively and increase in computer usage are causing vision problems. Sedentary lifestyles, the compulsion of having to live in a polluted city environment and mental stress are only adding to our problems.
To overcome this pitiable situation of ours, all we need to do is start taking food in a timely manner, steer away from bad habits, stop the usage of allopathic medicine as much as possible, take either Ayurvedic or Homoeopathic medicines and practice yoga for at least an hour everyday. Then, we can notice improvement in our health within a few months.
The reason behind China’s successful medal-winning at the Olympics (China was once referred to as “Sick man of Asia”), while competing with developed countries such as USA, is the importance it gives to ‘Physical exercise’. The Chinese have progressed so well only because of making Qigong, Wushu and other such practices mandatory starting right from lower grades in schools. Some may view this as depriving the children of their rights. I feel that only the races without any high ideals would think in this way. With lofty goals, come difficulties too. If we provide them with only comforts from childhood, the kids would have to face problems later.
We must idealize the way the Chinese uphold their martial art, i.e., Kung Fu. We may not be able to teach difficult martial arts in our schools, however, we must at least make yoga a mandatory class. This is especially important for girls, to make our little angels become healthy and make the next generation a healthier one. It is a truth that the mother is the first guru for anyone. If the mother is a role-model, then the children become role-models too, otherwise, it is impossible.
The elders of the family, must explain the extraordinary benefits of yoga and celibacy to the boys and also the dangerous effects of self abuse. We must aim at reviving the tradition of our sages. Girls and boys must observe celibacy till their marriage, partake good food and practice yoga. Then, the next generation would naturally have qualities such as amazing intelligence, excellent health, good behaviour and strength of character. There won’t be any need to explicitly teach them morals and rules. Such children would be capable of offering advice to their parents, unlike the current cheap minded youth. Parents need to remember that children learn by example. If we behave properly, our children will also become well-behaved.
It is commendable that nowadays our ancient sciences such as Ayurveda and Yoga are stepping towards their earlier days of glory. Yoga gurus namely, T. Krishnamacharya, B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Swami Kuvalayananda and Baba Ramdev etc,. have made great efforts in this direction. If we can bring back the practice of Yoga in every household at a revolutionary level, we can surely see a healthy, ideal India in the upcoming ten years, otherwise, if the society continues in the current trend we may have to face a dark future.
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Ranganath D, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on March 8, 2010. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.