Lifestyle plays a role of paramount importance in one’s life. You can learn about someone’s well-being, physical and emotional stabilities, and overall health, just by taking a glance at the individual’s lifestyle.
Of course, in this modern time, it is not an easy task to maintain a healthy lifestyle, thanks to all the distractions; be it the bad food, laziness, or other bad influences. But, in order to maintain good health, one needs a good way of living, a way that motivates to live in harmony with nature, a way that allows exploration of the deeper dimensions of life, a way that naturally shapes good emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well being. Well, one such way of life is the (as it was) Vedic way of living or the Vedic lifestyle.
The term ‘Vedic’ is derived from the word ‘Vedas’. ‘The Vedas’ are ancient sacred texts of Hinduism. The Vedic code of living is inspired from the teachings and knowledge that has been put down into these texts by the great ancient Sadhus, Yogis, and Gurus. Hinduism, itself is not exactly a religion, it is a way to connect to the world around you and living with it harmoniously, a way to better our understanding of both what is seen and what is unseen by us. If we were to take a basic conclusion of this way of life, its basic teaching would be taking a minimal amount from Mother Nature.
In the present scenario, the most famous and widely famous teachings from the Vedic way of life are Yoga and Ayurveda. However, if we go further to understand and interpret these texts, we are likely to find a vast amount of knowledge on almost every aspect of life.
There are four Vedas namely, the Rig-Veda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, and the Atharvaveda. The Vedas bring wisdom and integral knowledge covering all areas of life. God created the world along with guidance as to how to live in it. The teachings of Vedas do not force anyone to comply with them, nor they classify anything as good or bad, but they do give knowledge about the ways in which the universe and nature work and the laws that govern their working.
So, the Vedas basically emphasize good living, connected with the world outside as well as with our own consciousness. The ultimate goal of life, as per the Vedas, is to unite with the cosmic soul.
The cosmic soul is the base of the universe; it resides in each and everything, animate or inanimate. Hence, to unite with it would mean a cease from the cycle of birth and death. The word ‘Yoga’ means union, and yes, it implies the union of the individual soul with the almighty or cosmic soul. Yoga was devised as a way by which the soul could be liberated from the loop of births and deaths and could be united with the supreme soul. Although the world has started to accept yoga and other Vedic practices not very long, they have been omnipresent in the places where they originated, the areas of south-east Asia and the Indian-subcontinent.
Talking about yoga, while many think that it is just about performing different poses or “the asanas”, it is actually a greater thing. Yoga comprises of eight limbs which are;
- Yama: Describes how our behavior should be in Society.
- Niyama: Describes the behavior one should have with himself/herself.
- Asana: The physical exercises to strengthen our body and mind.
- Pranayama: Breathing techniques for the same.
- Pratyahara: A bridge between the world outside and inside us.
- Dharana: Concentrating on an object, thinking of nothing else.
- Dhyana: Concentrating on nothing. Complete seize from thoughts.
- Samadhi: When a person even forgets about his/her own existence and indulges completely with the cosmic soul.
The Vedic practices are so much more than what they appear to be, and we can always turn to them to gain knowledge for the bettering of lives and society as a whole – something they were written for in the first place.