There are various contributing factors that affect our health. These factors are causes of disease physiologically and/or psychologically.
One of the oldest medical texts of Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita mentions 3 major causes of disease.
PradnyaApradha: Offence against wisdom.
Indriya Arth Samyoga: Unwholesome contact of senses with their objects
Parinama: Seasonal Effects
In this writing I will share some information on PradnyaApradha, the first main causes of disease:
Pradnya means intellect or wisdom. Apradha can be translated as an offense.
Together, this can be translated as an offense against wisdom.
We sometimes indulge in unwholesome thoughts, actions, or words without discrimination, or better judgment. These create an undesirable impact on our body or mind, either verbally, mentally, or physically— by disturbing Tri-doshas in body/mind.
Our discriminating power is diminished either because we are under illusion, or in some cases, we don’t have enough knowledge to discern what is favorable and what is harmful either mentally or physically.
Below are three categories of unwholesome acts:
Excessive (atiyoga form):
Over-exercising to the point of exhaustion
Excessive and unnecessary talking or overthinking
Overeating a particular food like nuts because they are good for us, or constantly drinking water to hydrate oneself.
Deficiency (heenayoga form):
Not completing a task or doing very little of it, leaving unfinished work.
Avoid food or eat only a little food when hungry.
Being passive, not speaking or acting when required to— and instead of being mentally withdrawn
Incorrect (mithyayoga form):
Smoking cigarettes excessively
Suppressing natural urges of the body
Lying or thinking ill of someone, or having anger, hatred, jealousy towards someone
Sleeping at odd hours, or driving recklessly.
PradnyaApradha leads to an aggravation of the three Doshas which leads to many illnesses if left untreated.
1. ‘Dhi’ – Misled Intellect/ Ignorance
In many cases, we are ignorant of the harmful effects of what we are doing.
2. ‘Dhruti’- Deliberate Will
Choices we make knowingly, and are deliberate, even if we know they do not serve us. Over time these actions cause disorders.
3. ‘Smruti’ – Not Being Able to Recall
Committing an unwholesome act because you did not recall its harmful effects.
Making these poor diet and lifestyle choices leads to mental or physical disease, and although we may know what is compatible or incompatible with our health, we are oftentimes led by circumstances of the environment to do what is not right for us.