In German usage, the Ayurvedic discipline “Rasayana” is often translated as rejuvenation or anti-aging of Ayurveda. But is this specialty really just about rejuvenation measures?
In Ayurveda, the term rejuvenation has a much deeper meaning than freedom from wrinkles and beauty. The aim was to prevent the suffering that comes with growing old in order to be able to devote more time to spiritual self-realization in the second half of life. The term “Rasa”, like many Sanskrit words, is diverse and holistic, so that it can hardly be translated one-to-one into German. In Ayurveda literature you can find terms such as body fluid, feeling, plasma (rasa tissue). Regardless of this, the 6 flavors are also referred to as “Rasa”.
The Rasayana specialty can be divided into two areas, namely Rasayana therapy for an optimal condition of the nutrient tissue and behavioral Rasayana for psychological and spiritual purity.
Although Rasayana therapy includes, in addition to the intake of medicinal plants (Vatapika), massages, detoxification procedures and relaxation techniques, in today's Ayurveda this is usually understood to mean the intake of Rasayana plants (Vatapika). According to Ayurvedic writings, this group of plants has a tissue-regenerating effect.
Three examples of typical Rasayana preparations
- Amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis): The amla fruit develops its effect best when boiled several times and then thickened. Particularly ideal for athletes due to the muscle-building, fat-reducing effect, while at the same time acidification is buffered. Amla is available in the form of pellets, capsules or powder.
- Triphala: A mixed preparation consisting of three fruits Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica). A complementary blend of one Vata, Pitta and Kapha balancing fruit. It supports metabolism and digestion and thereby strengthens all organs. Due to its liver detoxifying effect, it can also prevent age-related poor eyesight. In Ayurveda there is a connection between the liver and the eyes. As part of prevention, every day before going to bed.(Dosage from 2 g per day). The cooling effect of the mixture can also protect against excessive night sweats.
- Chyavanprash: Named after the holy sage Chyavan, this potent, rich mixture consisting of over 50 herbs (main ingredient Amalaki) is considered one of the most effective Rasayana for immune stimulation. Above all, it promotes healthy cell structure and, according to Ayurveda, has an anti-allergic effect. The Chyavanprash is available as a paste (Leham). Since it is a supplement, it is usually taken before eating. (Dosage from 1 teaspoon per day)
Contraindications to taking Triphala are excessively loose stools and Chyavanprash is not suitable for diabetes due to the sugar content. These Rasayanas can be used preventatively to maintain inner balance. My Indian grandparents used to take Triphala and Chyavanprash regularly and were able to stay fit well into old age.In addition to specific Ayurvedic Rasayana preparations, foods such as milk, ghee, garlic, etc. also apply. as Rasayana substances.
In today's Ayurveda, however, the Rasayana therapy of “Kutipravesha” is almost irrelevant. Here the patient performs spiritual exercises for an astrologically calculated period of time in a special house that is completely cut off from the outside world, fasts, takes Rasayana preparations and is only given light food.
Behavioral Rasayana (Achara Rasayana)
In order to bring body, mind and soul into harmony in the long term, positive behavior according to Ayurvedic principles is recommended. Behavioral rasayana primarily includes ethical aspects such as love of truth, good behavior towards fellow human beings, devotion to love and compassion, tolerance, altruism, friendly language, inner peace, self-control, cleanliness, etc.
Negative feelings such as jealousy, envy, hatred, fear, arrogance, doubt damage the immune system and should therefore not arise in the first place. These feelings reside in the ego (Ahamkara) and mind (Manas). By promoting positivity, we can more easily let go of negative feelings and live from a higher consciousness. Consequently, the principles of behavioral rasayana can manifest themselves more strongly in us.
To support the purity of the psyche, I recommend the following application techniques or Behaviors in everyday life.
- Spontaneously and consciously perceive positive things (the beauty of nature, the sunrise, the wonders of the earth, pleasant fellow human beings, etc.)
- Visualization techniques to increase positivity e.g.b “I breathe in light and love and release all anger into the gravity of the earth.“
- Contemplation techniques e.g.b Concentrate on a candle flame with your eyes very slightly open for approx. ten minutes and feel the strength.
- Situational use of an affirmation when triggering negative feelings: e.g.b at Neid: “I’m happy about my neighbor’s success. Etc." or. for hatred: “I forgive him/her…. and wish that I would be forgiven.“
- Preference for energy-rich, fresh, nutritious food (milk, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, unprocessed natural products.= Sattvic foods)
- Moderate consumption of sensory overload such as television, computers, cell phones, radio, especially negative media reports
- Cultivate an open culture of discussion in relationships and families
Letting go of stressful feelings from the past is one of the most central components to minimizing Ama (undigested material in the body and mind). One of the primary causes of Ama is unprocessed feelings. According to Ayurveda, Ama is a breeding ground for diseases.
The original goal in Ayurveda is the pursuit of true inner values in order to ultimately achieve spiritual self-realization. Behavioral Rasayana cannot be excluded from the Rasayana discipline and the Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Rasayana is a holistic construct within Ayurveda health science (Swastha vritta), which is related to all other disciplines of Ayurveda.
Many thanks for this article to our guest author David Batra (Magister FH)
Telephone: +43 680 12 16 478