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Dr. Pankaj Naram on Living Healthier
Dr. Pankaj Naram is a world-renowned doctor of ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine practiced in India. Naram is the leader of an unbroken medical lineage dating back 2,000 years to the physician of Lord Gautama Buddha. As a master of the ancient science and art of pulse diagnosis, Naram has treated more than 500,000 people around the world, among them the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, the Prime Minister of India and some of the poorest people living in the slums of India. Dr. Naram has received various international scientific honors and has established a charitable foundation to help improve the health of mentally retarded children, people infected with HIV and animals. In this interview, Naram explains how spirituality through ayurveda can improve one’s overall health.
What is ayurveda?
The main concept of ayurveda is sukhayu, which means “to live for 100 years.” Many people live for 100 years, but they’re in hospitals and are not able to walk, or they have diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis and other conditions. Ayurveda shows you the way to experience your purpose in your life, and not only makes you physically strong but also mentally and emotionally strong so that you experience deep, inner happiness.
Has ayurveda changed over the last 2,000 years?
No. Human beings are the same. Relationships are the same. Our problems are the same. Our blood is the same. We don’t believe we are smarter than the creator. We’re like a conveyor belt, a good instrument.
How do you define living healthfully?
According to my lineage, which is traced back more than 2,000 years to Lord Buddha’s physician, Jivak, health is—in one word—“flexibility.” A person can be 20 years old if he’s rigid physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. A person can be 100 years young if he’s physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually flexible. So, anything that gives you flexibility is young, and then only is that person enjoying really good health. Otherwise, that person is having problems.
How does one gain flexibility?
We have six instruments of ayurveda. The first is a diet, which is what to eat and what not to eat. The second is lifestyle. The third is an herbal preparation or food supplements—whatever is not available in food. The fourth is home remedies. The fifth is panchakarma and ashtakarma [mental and physical cleansing]. And the sixth is marma shakti. These are very subtle energy points that work on your body, mind, emotions and makes you not only flexible but removes the blocks from energy channels. Pulse reading is a key to find out where blocks are, and where the circulation is not happening. Pulse reading is from the right brain, going deep into the body, mind and emotions, discovering what’s happening at that given moment of time in your body, mind and emotions, and how they’re working.
What do you see as the main health problem in the United States?
Here, the problems are very complex. There needs to be a paradigm shift. First, the problems start on the mental level in childhood. The problems are more emotional ones, such as fear, anxiety, stress, depression, nervousness and feeling unsafe. Then it goes to the physical level and manifests in problems like arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and high blood pressure. My perception is that we are all programmed. In India, there are 2,000 messages coming from all over the world to people in all forms of media. If you’re in Europe, there are 4,000. But, if you’re in America, there are 8,000. So, there’s no space. Everybody is running. Why they are running, nobody knows. What they want, they don’t know. They think, “I want this!” But once they achieve it, they’re empty. They don’t need more information; they need more transformation. Love is lacking. Relationships are lacking. People don’t know how to be with somebody.
Why do some people get sick and some people don’t?
Sometimes people don’t know they’re sick. I told one lady I saw that she had a problem. She didn’t believe it. Fifteen days later, she was diagnosed with cancer. She was not aware. My guru says sickness or health is a result of habits. Ninety-nine percent of people’s health is attributable to their habits.
How important is exercise to living healthier?
Exercise is very, very important. I exercise regularly. I do many things, but a minimum 25 minutes a day, plus meditation. In India, I do one hour. I look 35, but I am more than 50 years old.
What role does prayer play in healing?
More important than prayer is mantra. Prayer according to ayurveda is talking with God. Meditation is listening to God. Mantra is like a hotline to God.
How quickly can someone change his or her lifestyle?
In one minute. You run into problems, you stop, and then you change. If you do the same thing over and over and expect another result, then you are the big fool. The key is what to change.
For more information on Dr. Pankaj Naram, visit www.ayushakti.com.