Body and Mind

From the teachings of Swami Sivananda Saraswati

The body is not only associated with the mind, but is a counterpart of the mind. It is a gross, visible form of the subtle, invisible mind. If there is pain in the tooth, stomach or ear, the mind is at once affected. It ceases to think properly, is agitated and disturbed. If there is depression in the mind, the body cannot function properly. The pains which afflict the body are called the secondary diseases, vyadhi, while the desires that afflict the mind are termed mental or primary diseases, adhi.

Mental health is more important than physical health. If the mind is healthy, the body will be healthy. If the mind and thoughts are pure, one will be free from all diseases, primary and secondary.

According to the science of yoga all physical diseases have their origin in the diseases of the mind, in an unhealthy state of mind.

Cheap drugs

The best medicine or panacea for keeping good health is the cultivation of divine thoughts. The waves released by divine thoughts, kirtan, japa and regular meditation, electrify, rejuvenate and energize the cells, tissues and nerves.

Another cheap and potent drug is to keep oneself always joyful and cheerful. To keep oneself fully occupied is a remedy to ward off thoughts of worldliness. Once the mind is allowed to run in the spiritual direction and divine grooves, it will be peaceful and generate harmonious vibrations. One will enjoy excellent mental health and have no physical disease.

Body and mind

The body is only objectified thought. When the thoughts change, the body changes. The mind creates the body from the material of its thoughts. Thought is a force that can change, transform, or at least modify, almost anything in the human system. The disorder and disharmony of the physical body is called a physical disease and the conflict of the mind is called a mental disease. Both of them have their ultimate root in ignorance and can be cured only by the knowledge of reality.

When there is worry about mundane experiences, a depressing mental disturbance originates in the mind. The effect of mental disturbance agitate the smooth and regular flow of vital currents or prana. When the vital currents flow improperly, the nadis become disorganized. Some receive more vital energy and others less. The whole system is out of order.

Every depressing and disturbing thought that enters the brain has a depressing effect on every cell of the body, and tends to produce disease. Negative thoughts are forerunners of disease and messengers of death. If one wants to live long and lead a sensible and healthy life one should cherish good thoughts. Subtle and powerful are the influences of thoughts in building and rebuilding the body.


Mental disharmony is the cause of physical disease, which can be cured only by removing the cause. Practically all diseases have their origin in perverted mental and emotional states and conditions. Restoration of mental harmony is absolutely necessary. One can purify the thoughts by performing noble actions and association with wise ones. When the thoughts are purified the vital currents begin to flow properly and clean the whole system. Every good thought stimulates the heart, improves the digestive system and promotes the normal action of the glands.

Contentment is another name for harmony of the mind. When the thoughts do not wander to various objects and when one feels self-satisfied, one is in a unique state of joy. If one is happy within, everything appears good and pleasing.

Thoughts are the main source of one’s cheerfulness. By purifying one’s thoughts, all troubles are cured. If one cherishes peaceful thoughts the whole world appears cool, but if negative thoughts have spread then the world seems to be a hot furnace.

No one is compelled by any circumstance to cherish negative thoughts. And no one should ruin himself by the imagination of fate which has no reality of its own.