Love of the Body
Updated: Dec 19, 2022
According to our scriptures, our body is made of five gross elements viz. Earth( Prithvi), Water(Jal), Fire(Agni), Air(Vayu) and Sky(Akash) and three subtle elements viz., Mind, Intelligence and Ego and beyond it Soul exist.
In Sanskrit the body is defined etymologically as follows:
"Seeryathe iti sareeraha:" It means: that which decays is body or Sarira
"Dahyathe iti deha": It is called body because it is burnt. It means the body is constantly consumed by the fire of desire while alive.
Lord Sri Krishna in Bhagavath Githa Chapter 18 Verse 61 says that:
hrd-dese arjuna tishthati
Lord Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, the body in which you reside is a machine made from my material energy. Based on your past karmas, I have given you the kind of body you deserved. I too am seated in it and am noting all your thoughts, words, and deeds.
Upanishads described the Body as: "Deho Devalaya Prokth-Jivo Proktho Sanathana." It means the body is a temple and the life enshrined in it is the eternal Lord. The body is said to be the temple; the individual Self (Jiva) is Shiva alone.
People construct temples outside and install idols of God in them. But our body is a moving temple created by God Himself and He enshrined himself in the sanctum sanctorum of the heart. This is the difference between the temples constructed by ourselves and the temples created by God. So which temple is to be adored? We have to think.
It is also said that we possessed our body based on the result of karma accumulated in various previous births. You cannot do anything in life without this body. You might have achieved many great things in your life. But think a while after crossing 70 years of age, your body will not co-operate with you. Your friends who call you "Ore," "Sir", or relatives of your same age group gradually start leaving this world one by one. Your life partner may also leave you by this time. Your friends unable to go outside and take a rest at their homes may call you on phone and might have told you about the problems being faced by them and ask for your suggestions. Then you will be overjoyed and bloated with happiness that at least some friend is asking about your valuable suggestion. The stage of lying on the bed like a child for days together may come. In your childhood, there was your mother to look after all your needs. Now your children and grandchildren may be busy with their work. They do not have even sufficient time daily to talk with you. Now and then your children may come and enquire about your health. If you are lucky and have done good deeds in your past lives, your daughters-in-law may serve you wholeheartedly when you are bedridden, and if not, no one will be there to serve you with love in the old age home. When age advances, diseases like Cold, Cough Fever, Arthritis, B.P, Sugar, Memory loss, Fracture of the legs due to a fall in the bathroom etc., may become part of your life. If yours is a middle-class family, your children in a separate room may be discussing whether the money or wealth earned by you can be spent for your hospital expenses or to wait for your death. Although these are peculiar to read or hear, they are bitter truths generally happening in the lives of aged people.
The Purpose of the human body in this material world is to do karma i.e., our dharma(duties) towards 5 entities viz., yourself, family, society, other living beings viz., animals, birds etc., and also towards Nature. If we want to keep our bodies happy and healthy we must do some exercises like walking, practise Praanayama, meditatie etc., eat suitable good food and do our respective duties. Then only we can achieve many goals in our lives i.e., to torget and fulfill our good dreams, because a healthy body breeds a healthy mind and vice versa. We must help our family members in every possible way and try to fulfill their dreams and expectations to lead them a happy and tension-free life. It is also important to look after the problems faced by our society and help to solve them. We must indulge in humanitarian duties towards society like donating blood, help the poor, keeping the surroundings clean, rising against social evils etc., which can help our country to progress in all aspects.. Animals, birds etc., are also living beings created by God and we must protect them as far as possible treating them as the progeny of God and not to kill them for inordinate liking for a taste. In the present days, much importance is not given to teachings as to how we must live according to the tune of Nature and associate with it, so that it will stretch helping hand well in return. Even now if we neglect it, we are going to see its fierce side.
Apart from the above duties, our very most real aim must be to achieve the realisation of Self through this body before we leave this world. In Bhagavath Githa Chapter 6 and verses 17 and 30 Lord Krishna says:
Yukthahara viharasya yukthachestasya karmasu
yukata svapnavabodhasya yogo bhavati duhkhaha
Yoga destroys the pain(Physical and mental) of a person who is moderate in eating, recreation, sleep and the state of wakefulness and makes him unattached to the fruits of work.
Yo mam pashyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayi pashyati
tasyaham na pranashyami sa cha me na pranashyati
Who sees HIM in everything, and also sees everything in HIM, the Lord will never appear as distant or invisible to that devotee.
The body is a creation of Nature(God), and though it is subjected to some impurities and bad vices viz., Kama(desire/passion), Krodha(Anger), Lobha(greed), Moha(bondage), Mada(ego), and Mastsarya(jealousy), it is also divine because it houses the divinities and the individual self. It helps the soul bound in it to continue its spiritual journey and become liberated by the very actions of the body.
So right living and doing spiritual meditation under the guidance of a Capable Master(Guru) makes the most practical and effective way to know the Self or God. Who attains this stage
in life, always lies in the thought of the divine at the heart and naturally begins to feel himself in touch with the Supreme Power in all his actions and works and every act he does will then seems to be a part of devotion or Divine Offering. This is the only way to love and utilize the body in the right perspective way.