Half a century ago the modern medicine people find out that the mind has power over the function and disease of the body which is considered as dramatic and laughable. Today it is gradually being accepted through scientific study but clinically it is neglected by the modern practitioners. But Ayurveda told regarding this from its beginning itself that the physical symptoms can be directly or indirectly linked with the alteration brought to the state of mind, and correcting the mind itself is sufficient to relieve the symptoms. This age old science of Ayurveda is so true that the very much relation between the mind and body are so visible in our clinical practices.
WHO define health is a state of complete physical, mental, social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Health according to Ayurveda is defined as the maintenance and clarity of mind, the sense organs, the normal functioning of the body both physiologically and structurally.
Ayurveda consider life as a dimensional structure consisting of a Sarira – physical body, Idnriya – the senses, Manas – the mind, atma – the soul. It emphasis that human beings are made of gross physical and structure and a subtle mind.
Here manas means the soul endowed with the mind and senses. It includes the emotional part, the thinking part and the dynamic part.
Ayurvedic approach to health
Ayurveda treats the body through the mind. This is the basic difference between modern and Ayurvedic approach. Manas or mind actually acts a bridge between the materialistic world and the spiritual world.
Description of manas
Manas or mind is considered as a dravya (substance according to Ayurveda). It is defined as the faculty for the perception of feelings of sukha (happiness) and dukha (sorrow).
It is related with Sarira (body) and the atma (soul). It is connected to both sensory activities (Jnanendriya) and motor activities (karmendriya). So called Ubhayatmaka (combined reasons for both)
Location of manas
Mind exists where the soul exists. Although they exist in each and every cell of an organism, we have to consider the location of a ‘collective mind’ and a ‘collective soul’ in an individual. The two chief organs where manas is located is Hridaya (chest) and Masthishka (brain).
Manoguna (Attributes of manas)
These are the functional indicators of manas. Here Satwa is the equilibrium between the two.
Functions of mind (Mano karma)
These are four in number.
It is the ability to concentrate on something and stick to the given task or chosen course of action without being interrupted by distraction from the outside.
It also indicate the ability to control the temptations and going after things which are not good and unnecessary.
Refers the ability of an individual to guess when he comes across a familiar situation.
Ability to think and discriminate between right and wrong etc.
Mano vishaya (Object of mind)
These are 5 in number which are necessary for the higher mental functions.
Fluctuations or moods of mind may be due to more guessing.
Both these included in one word as Trishna (desire). Mind is there for an active substance binding an individual to his desires.
Comes under three headings.
These are the 3 main faculties which are closely related to manas.
A physician can never be satisfied by mere examination of the physical body. Mental power of human being also has to be studied in order to estimate the capacity of endurance and strength of the individual. Study of the manas not only helps to cure the mental diseases, but also plays a crucial role in curing almost all physical disease, which is why Ayurveda consider a healthy mind and a healthy body which ultimately gives complete health.