We live in paradoxical times. For a good part of our lives, we sacrifice our health and happiness in pursuit of money. Ultimately, we spend all that hard-earned money to save our deteriorating health. We work long, odd hours, catering to clients in different time zones. We endure high levels of work pressure and stress. As much as we pay attention to making a living, we overlook our very life. To some extent, we are all guilty of not paying attention to our overall wellbeing.
Om Swami, an MBA graduate who once ran a multimillion-dollar tech company in Australia, was no different. For most of his life, he suffered from asthma. Even though his body needed rest, he could not afford to take a break and recoup his health. Finally, he renounced his materialistic life and headed to the Himalayas to become a monk. Surprisingly, despite living amidst ice and snow, he did not even contract a common cold there. He was only eating one frugal meal a day, and yet, his health was significantly improving. This led him to study health and wellbeing across three unique disciplines: ayurveda, yoga and tantra. Om Swami eventually recorded his reflections in his book The Wellness Sense.
The book begins with the premise that mother nature is present right within our body as the five elements of nature (panchabhoota). It then explores the fundamental principles of ayurveda–the three dosha (life forces) and guna (states of mind). Interestingly, unlike in modern medicine, our physical and mental constitutions are interrelated in ayurveda. Alongside dosha, guna too affect the overall wellbeing. “Thoughts can have a positive or a negative impact on our physical and emotional health,” Om Swami writes in his book.
Finally, the book presents a whole new perspective on diseases. It talks about the four killers–toxins, indigestion, sugar and stress. It also explains our mental diseases–anger, fear, greed, jealousy and hatred. According to Om Swami, “Mental afflictions create diseases in the physical body and physical diseases, in turn, disturb the state of mind.” Ultimately, the book provides step-by-step methods for physical cleansing through ayurveda and mental detoxification through yogic wisdom.
The book is unique for two reasons. Firstly, unlike several beginners’ ayurveda handbooks, this is not about herbal remedies to treat superficial symptoms. The Wellness Sense is about empowerment–taking full control of our wellbeing holistically. Secondly, this book is not a compilation of a monk’s impractical musings. In fact, Om Swami’s views and reflections are all validated by qualified medical professionals. This book, thus, provides a strong foundation for anyone to understand the ancient wisdom found in ayurvedic and yogic texts.
Sprinkled with case studies, The Wellness Sense is a useful handbook to help us connect with our core nature. It opens our mind to an entire cosmos right within us, helping us realise how every cell in our body has a life of its own. Laden with information, the book is recommended for those looking to take their health and wellbeing into their own hands. As Om Swami writes, “The more we are in harmony with our true nature, the more peaceful and healthy, we will be.”