Mother Nature – Our Saviour

From the teachings of Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Nature is not a blind force. She is not inert. She is an intelligent principle and full of purity. She is the power of God, so she is omnipotent and omniscient. Shakta (the processor of power) and shakti (power) are inseparable.

The chief aim of Nature cure is to prevent disease and to maintain radiant health. Nature vehemently attacks the administration of drugs for the relief of symptoms without removing the cause. Nature cure is really a philosophy and a way of looking at life, health and disease. Nature cure teaches us how to protect our body from the attacks of diseases and how to get rid of them. It also teaches the principles on which the body is built – the principles of scientific dieting and right living, the principles of power, and the means by which we can maintain a high standard of health, vigour, vitality and efficiency to a ripe old age.

Fundamental principles of Nature cure

Nature rebuilds and repairs the body. It also cleanses the system. All forms of disease are due to the same cause, namely, accumulation in the system of toxins or poisonous waste matter on account of wrong living such as improper food, overeating, lack of exercise and fresh air, lack of rest and sleep, lack of proper care of the skin, etc. If this accumulated poisonous matter which clogs the system is eliminated through proper methods such as fasting, enema, baths and cleansing foods, diseases can be cured and good, radiant health can be ensured. This is the first and most important principle of Nature cure.

During the process of metabolism, constructive and destructive changes, oxidation, etc. are going on in the system. Waste products are always being formed. In a healthy person these are at once eliminated through the kidneys, lungs, skin and bowels. If they continue to accumulate, owing to inefficient action of the eliminative or excretory organs, slow poisoning takes place and diseases result.

Nature tries to get rid of all the impurities and germs from the system which are dangerous to life and health. She repairs all injuries. She herself heals all diseases. God has endowed her with marvellous healing power. Every acute disease is the result of a purifying effort by Nature. There is unity of disease and treatment. The symptoms of disease are actually symptoms of healing. Diarrhoea is Nature’s effort at self-cleansing. When there is congestion and inflammation in the throat, ear, nose and eyes, Nature at once starts the self-cleansing process and begins to throw out sputum and mucus. It does the healing work in a very thorough manner.

According to the teachings of Nature cure, acute diseased conditions are forcible body-cleansing processes which are beneficial and necessary. They are Nature’s healing efforts. All acute reactions signify increased activity of the vital force, resulting in fever, inflammation, itching, pain, redness, swelling and skin eruptions. Crises, acute reactions or acute diseases are Nature’s endeavour to establish health. This is another expression of the fundamental law of action and reaction. Nature cure easily transforms the inflammatory processes and helps them within safe limits through simple, natural methods of treatment. It never checks or suppresses by means of poisonous drugs.

By administering drugs injudiciously, the self-cleansing and healing effort of Nature is suppressed and hindered and the real trouble or cause of the disease is not removed. Some relief may be obtained by pain-relieving drugs and sedatives, but the thief still remains within and always reappears after some time with redoubled force. Nature cure is not superficial. It is perfectly thorough. Nature’s healing begins in the minute living cells. When the body is wounded, Nature starts the healing process at once. New cells are formed to replace the ones destroyed.

All methods of Nature cure are directed towards the purification and regeneration of the system or bodily mechanism. When this is done, the healing power asserts itself and restores normal functions. The individual attains perfect health, happiness, strength and vitality. When the obstruction in a gutter is removed, the water flows freely. Similarly, when the poisons and toxins in the body are eliminated, health and vitality flow freely.

Nature cure methods

Fasting cleanses the system and removes all the waste matter and impurities which have accumulated through many years of wrong eating and wrong living. It is the most potent method of Nature cure. It is a strong and effective weapon to slay all diseases. It conserves energy. The energy that was previously directed towards digestion is now utilised for elimination, repairing and healing. This is the law of vital economy. Through correct dieting, the further accumulation of waste matter and toxins in the system is prevented. The blood is kept pure and all the internal organs function properly.

Cold baths tone and cleanse the system, invigorate the nerves and brain and remove poisonous materials from the body. Wet-packs reduce the temperature in fevers and remove inflammation and pain.

The sun is the source of life and energy and has tremendous healing power. It is the best disinfectant in the world to kill germs and parasites. It tones the skin and nerves and fills the whole system with energy and power. It supplies vitamin D.

Physical exercise builds the body and helps the process of healing and the healthy functioning of all the internal organs. It helps digestion and improves the blood qualitatively and quantitatively. If you do not exercise, all the muscles and organs will degenerate. Do asanas and surya namaskara and other exercises regularly. Do not overexert. There should be exhilaration of spirit, not fatigue, after the exercise. Pranayama is the best of all deep breathing exercises. It tones and purifies the whole system and removes all sorts of diseases. It steadies the mind and removes oscillation. It fills the body with new abundant energy. Practise bhastrika, sheetali, ujjayi and sukh purvak.

Rest is very necessary to conserve energy. All the organs are rendered fit to discharge their functions properly after rest. The muscles need rest after work. Rest is Nature’s recuperative agent. So have sufficient rest.

Naturopathy and spiritual life

To many individuals naturopathy may only mean having chronic diseases cured by fasting and dieting and then reverting to the old method of living. A few may follow the basic principles of Nature cure throughout their life, namely, living in tune with Nature. But a little thinking will reveal that naturopathy is only a part of the whole truth. Living in tune with Nature is an aid in seeking the reality behind Nature – God.

There are many similarities between Vedanta and naturopathy. Vedanta teaches that the real bliss which man seeks in sense objects is really in his own heart. When all desires cease, this bliss manifests. Similarly, naturopathy teaches how to live a healthy and happy life by living in tune with Nature, because good health is man’s inherent nature. Both Vedanta and naturopathy give hope. Whatever is essential is made available in plenty by the Lord. This is indeed a cause for great joy and optimism.

Naturopathy asks one to live in tune with the laws of Nature, while the spiritual aspirant aims at living in tune with the Lord’s will. There is a reason for this similarity. The supreme Lord manifests on many planes of consciousness, chief of which are the spiritual, mental and material. Every plane has its laws. A person who has evolved to a particular plane receives the knowledge of that plane of consciousness. The laws of naturopathy are the divine laws governing the physical plane. To live in harmony with Nature is to cease being an egoistic individual and thus open the gateway to true happiness and peace. Wherever there is an attempt to transcend the narrowness of the ego, there you will find joy. So, living in accordance with the laws of Nature is a step towards evolution. Thus, the theory and practice of naturopathy are aids to aspirants in their spiritual evolution.

First understand the laws of Mother Nature. Then gradually try to change your way of life. Practice, patience, perseverance and faith are necessary. Prayer, aspiration and surrender to God’s will make the progress quick. May the Lord bless you all with health, long life, peace and bliss!