4 PILLARS OF HOLISTIC LIVING
Ayurvedic Significance of VIHAR
Ayurveda considers Vihar as a primary pillar in holistic living. Vihar refers to a healthy lifestyle which is essential for achieving and maintaining good health or Arogya.
If Vihar has to be practiced, one needs to incorporate certain Ayurvedic guidelines into their daily routine. This includes proper Dinacharya (daily routine), Ratricharya (night routine), Ritucharya (seasonal routine), Sadavritta (code of behaviour), and Ahar Vidhi (diet rules).
The Ayurvedic lifestyle practiced through Vihar aims to improve the quality of life through physical, mental, and social well-being. It also helps in lifestyle related disease management.
Ayurvedic Significance of AHAR
Another important pillar of health is Ahar which refers to diet and nutrition. Charaka and many Ayurvedic sages regarded healthy nutrition as the primary factor in preventing diseases. There is a popular Ayurvedic saying about the necessity of a good diet - “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when the diet is correct, medicine is of no need”
Diet alone may not help in the prevention of disease in our modern lifestyles, and it is still the most critical factor. The proper intake of food is regarded as essential for the nourishment and sustenance of the Deha Dhatus (body tissues), growth, and development, as well as the enhancement of Ojas.
Ayurvedic Significance of ACHAR
Although strictly defined as routines, Achar is more about behaviour and behavioural changes to promote health and well-being. Achar guides us towards good conduct and behaviour that is conducive not just to one’s physical and mental health, but to society as a whole.
Achara Rasayana is an entire category of Ayurvedic medicine that is viewed as a precursor to modern behavioural therapy. As described by Acharya Charak, Achar includes control of one’s anger, truthfulness, avoidance of intoxicants and indulgent behaviour, non-violence, compassion, the practices of charity, and more.
Ayurvedic Significance of VICHAR
Vichar, literally translated to thought, emphasises the impact of one’s thought process on health. Ayurveda recognises the psychosomatic nature of many diseases as well as mental illness. Positive thinking and activities to strengthen the mind are, therefore, regarded as important for general health and well-being.
Modern clinical studies show that negativity can adversely affect the quality of life, thus supporting the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. Optimism and positive thinking improves cognitive function and promotes a healthier lifestyle.