National Ayurveda Day was on October 28, and there was enough excitement around some clinics of this pioneer medical science of India, although the build-up for Diwali diminished a latent superior celebration. Like yoga, ayurveda has evolved in India and abroad, primarily in hotels and resorts for their spa-related activities. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what ayurveda offers to a human life; its understanding of health and well-being.
Stepping into Rasa Gurukul’s ayurveda clinic and taking up a 14-day rejuvenation package got me closer to understanding this prodigious tradition. Continuing a remarkable family history of almost four centuries, Mr Rajarathnam and his son Dr Sanand joined us in this new journey of integrating food, health and nature. In their effortless and affirmative conviction, they make people understand so much about our body conditions and ideal food preparations to suit our health.
Ayurveda recommends a balanced diet and natural flavours in food. Having savoured all of it for more than two weeks, I realised the value of piquancy other than just sweet, spicy and salty flavours.
At a time when illness follows modern society in the most unexpected ways, every healing practice points fingers at our eating habits and body care. Ayurveda has a confident understanding of the root causes and has antidotes in most cases. The only difference is the demand for lifestyle control and eating healthy food, a radical change in attitude to help prevention of diseases rather than just cure. Unlike in the past, young people are prone to many serious problems such as cancer, diabetes and obesity. Dr Sanand says, “Most of these issues have solutions in ayurveda, provided you are willing to follow guidelines and stay in good faith.”
The challenge ayurveda faces today lies in cultivating faith in India’s young population for the survival of this age-old medical system, which follows a divine faith and uses the essence of nature to enhance biological harmony. Just like the echo of fast food and modern trends, today’s generation seeks faster recovery and lacks belief in traditions. Some think food prescribed by ayurveda doctors is boring and tasteless, but it’s an incredible journey to understand how close it is to subtle, tasty home cooking, moreover delightful evenness of ingredients.
Having a sensible and healthy diet makes us closer to good health and nature; it’s a tribute and true reflection of our devotion to body and faith in life as a whole. None of us are short of health information today. Most people find it hard to eat balanced meals on a daily basis. Our body needs regular fuel to sustain a fluent metabolism, which involves eating good food everyday. Unfortunately, very few people are capable of managing it today. Eventually, we surrender to decline of health and an unknown journey through hospitals.
Ideally we should preserve this deep-rooted faith and help our youth to enjoy the goodness of ayurveda rather than giving it away in the hands of tourism industry as a mere tool to attract foreigners for making money.
The author is a London-based restaurateur, who owns the Rasa chain of restaurants