As we are aware about the coronavirus; it is a worldwide epidemic. People are in a panic; schools are closed, roads are closed, cities are closed and everybody has to sit in their home in their house with the family. So this is a very critical time.
I was just reading Charaka Samhita and in it, there is a chapter called “Janapada Dvamsa Vyadhi”, which means [refers to] world-wide epidemics. There Charaka says this is a great opportunity to be here at home.
[Here Vasant Lad quotes a sutra: rogāhāsaravepimandegnam sutarambhuterānitu]
[this sutra states:] As long as we keep our agni (digestive fire) strong, then illness will not happen to us. So, Ayurveda has a great way of prevention. [This is] How we can prevent being affected by coronavirus. Keep your agni strong and, to do that, follow your dinacharya. It is the first important thing that Ayurveda recommends.
For dinacharya, you wake up in the morning, scrape your tongue and brush your teeth. Drink a glass of warm water then do pranayama. There is a package of eight [beneficial] pranayama exercises: Bhastrika, Kapala Bhati, Anuloma Viloma, Brahmari, Utjayi, Utgeet, and finally Sheetali and Sheetkari. Just by doing this package of eight pranayama, we can strengthen our immune system including our pranavaha srotas, our respiratory system. Rasa vaha srotas, our lymphatic system will be cleansed, and that way we can boost our energy. This will maintain the balance of ojas (immunity, strength), tejas (digestion both subtle and gross), and prāna (vital life force).
And there are simple herbal remedies that Charaka has mentioned. Even though there is no common cold, Charaka says that you should take sitopaladi, talisadi, abhrak bhasma, and mahasudarshan churna. Take this preparation, ½ teaspoon three times a day or twice a day, every morning and evening. If you are tired, you may not want to do that. You can make a chai and just put a pinch of sitopaldi or pinch of talisadi into the chai. It will give wonderful flavor to the tea.
That way [with pranayama] we can clean our prana vaha srotas, our respiratory system and it will give us a boosting of energy so that we can keep away the virus. Another interesting health supporting practice is to do some yogasana — camel pose, cobra pose, cow pose, boat, bow, and bridge pose, locust, lotus, and lion pose. If you think that is too complicated, just do Surya Namaskar.
At this time enjoy basmati rice and mung dal kitchari with sabji vegetables (a style of cooking vegetables with spices). Hot food is good. It is better not to take cold drinks. No iced water; no iced cold beverage. No yogurt, cheese or ice cream. The cold foods will suppress your agni (digestive fire, digestive capacity) and exposure to cold will diminish your natural resistance. For that reason, try to avoid the cold, but you can have hot water. Sip it throughout the day or while eating food; put a little ginger in the water and make a hot ginger tea that is excellent.
This is the wonderful message from Charaka Samhita from the “Janapada Dvamsa Vyadhi” chapter. This means that during epidemics, they performed doom doomasvanadyay … so as they did during the old days; they would play the drum during epidemics. Doom, Doom, Doom. Even now in India, the prime minister told the people, “You ring a bell or clap just to honor those people who are working to fight this coronavirus.”
So even in your home, you can do puja (ritual), you can do arti (offering of light during puja), burn a little camphor and do arti or ghee lamp. The others in your household can clap during the puja. This clapping sound is a kind of marma. It is a marma of the heart, marma of the lungs, marma of the kidneys, and this clapping will strengthen your energy. It will send a message to your internal organs. So this is also doom doomasvaniaydahya. So doom doom is a mantra. You can chant OM. You can chant Hari Om. Or, you can say Jai Ganesh. All these are very creative, positive vibrations of higher Consciousness and they will support our family, will support our friends, will support our neighbors so that we will stand together, walk together, share together the same truth.
Let us walk together, share together, stand together — but not too — close with a little distance, resistance because too much close. Never shake hands, but do Namaste. Namaste is a very beautiful gesture. If you see your friend, do Namaste and this is a wonderful greeting, and there is no direct hand-to-hand contact. So this sangatchadvam (Let us go together) — Let us speak the same truth together. Let us share this wisdom with our friends and be happy and this period will soon go away within couple of weeks. We will see positive vibration and don’t be nervous. Don’t be unhappy. Don’t be sad. Come out. Stand together and you will see the energy will flower into bliss, into peace. Namaste.