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Indigestion at multiple levels

Through our var­i­ous youth-based pro­grams: Mahab­hara­ta Sad­hana, Joy of Learn­ing and Dynam­ic Yoga ses­sions, we have had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to inter­act with thou­sands of stu­dents. Many issues that the stu­dents say they face can be broad­ly cat­e­go­rized into phys­i­cal, men­tal and emo­tion­al issues. On one lev­el these prob­lems can be seen as a cer­tain “indi­ges­tion”. There was a vil­lager who went to the doc­tor for indi­ges­tion. The doc­tor hand­ed over a bot­tle of med­i­cine. He past­ed 4 strips as marks on the bot­tle and asked the vil­lager to have one mark after lunch. The vil­lager pulled one strip every­day, had it and went to the doc­tor for more strips.No mat­ter how many strips we take, we won’t be cured of indi­ges­tion until we take the right med­i­cine.

The cur­rent gen­er­a­tion seems to have lim­it­ed diges­tive capac­i­ties com­pared to the pre­vi­ous one. We often hear our elders say “At this age, you should be able to digest a stone. When we were of your age…”.

On the phys­i­cal lev­el, we see that we are unable to digest most kinds of food and large quan­ti­ties. We go to a treat with much enthu­si­asm but come home with a cer­tain heav­i­ness. This heav­i­ness leads to dull­ness at work or col­lege next day. On the men­tal lev­el, we can’t digest heavy emo­tions and as a way of reject­ing them, we throw them back at oth­ers. An emo­tion­al movie, or a pho­to, a phone con­ver­sa­tion or a what­sapp mes­sage some­times leaves us dev­as­tat­ed. Same hap­pens at the men­tal lev­el. Many stu­dents are nei­ther able to pay atten­tion for a long time nor able to digest com­plex infor­ma­tion. They are stressed out because of the vol­ume of infor­ma­tion. So there is a cer­tain indi­ges­tion at all lev­els.

One of the key fac­tors to achiev­ing excel­lent diges­tive capac­i­ty is “upavasa” or fast­ing. Upavasa cre­ates a cer­tain empti­ness and is a won­der­ful means of reju­ve­na­tion. It make the sys­tem more recep­tive for big­ger things. If it would be pos­si­ble to observe Upavasa at the phys­i­cal lev­el by cut­ting down on food for a day or a light diet for a week, at the emo­tion­al lev­el by stay­ing away from heavy emo­tions, at the men­tal lev­el by keep­ing away from infor­ma­tion over­load, the body, mind and emo­tion would feel awe­some. It’s time to try that! Some of our mem­bers have tried mobile “upavasa” at a cho­sen time every­day and it has cre­at­ed won­ders for them. Let us know how you feel after a Upavasa.


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