Everyone is in search of happiness. People, who are in the spiritual field, require happiness to find more substance and depth in their spiritual life. Yoga philosophy can bring new perspectives and tools related to happiness. As yoga is not related to any religion, people of all religions can follow these methods if they have a curious and open hearted mind.
A person with poor health will normally be unable to obtain lasting happiness. In this article, we will be discussing what yoga philosophy is teaching us about happiness and the tools yoga and Ayurveda are giving us for obtaining holistic health.
What is happiness?
According to yoga philosophy, the fort of happiness is supported by six important pillars known as health, career, relationship, leisure, spirituality, lifestyle etc. All these six factors are of equal importance and the order in which they are stated above does not bear any significance related to their relative importance. It is believed that if our expectations in the above areas are fulfilled to some extent, then one can feel a relatively steady level of happiness.
Before moving further it is better to make it clear what is meant by happiness. When you ask this question to a large number of people you will be getting different answers from each of them.
It can be spending time with your family, taking a walk in the nature, lying on the beach, listening to music, dancing etc. Actually these are only temporary things that can give us pleasure. In the beginning pleasure may be giving us happiness too. But it fades away quickly and easily.
For example if you get an opportunity to sit down and eat pizza when you are very hungry, the first bite gives you the maximum pleasure and it starts decreasing as you eat more and more. When the pleasure has ceased to exist, it is natural that we start looking for the next source.
Health in yogic philosophy
We often mistake health as the health of our body only. We know that if the seed is rotten the peel or the pulp of mango will rot. Similarly our physical body will suffer if our inner energy body and soul are unhealthy.
Important aspects about health can be understood if we learn the concept of three bodies. Every living thing in this universe is made of three bodies. As a driver is needed for a car to travel to some place, say office, a soul needs a body to travel in this material world. Unlike the common belief, there exist three bodies. Let us examine which they are.
Physical body: Physical body of a person is made up of five elements. They are earth, water, fire, air, and ether.
Energy body: Every living being also has an energy body. It comprises 19 elements which can be classified into four groups.
Group 1: Five Organs of actions also known as karma Indriyas. They are vak which is the action of speech, pani, the action of upper extremities, pada, the action of lower extremities upashtam the action of the genitals and payu the action of excretion.
Group 2: Five senses of knowledge also known as gyan indriyas. They are twak which means to feel, jivha which means to taste, grahana which means to hear, shotra which means to hear and chakshu which mean to see.
Group 3: Five pranas. They are udana, prana, samana, apana and vyana.
Group 4: 4 Elements of antahkarana which are inner instruments. They are mind, intellect, subconscious and ego.
Spiritual body: The spiritual body is actually the seed body. This body continues to be present in all the lives. The causal body has already stored the impressions of everything that happened to a person in the present life as well as the past lifes in the karma form.
The spiritual body is the determining factor in the development of the astral and physical bodies in the coming births. The astral and the physical bodies which remain together get separated at the time of death from the physical body. There are four elements for the physical body. They are soul, karma account, the free will an samskaras.