Learning Ayurveda has been a journey of coming back home.
Coming back to principles that feel so full of wisdom and divinity.
Coming home to my truth.
Coming home to foundations of a simple and elemental base.
It feels like it is knowledge that runs through my veins, such that when my teacher in Perth was teaching me, I would get tingles all over my body; as if I was connecting back with something far greater than me and like I was finally returning back home.
Amongst so many aspects of Ayurveda, there was one governing principle that resonated with me the most. Pragya Aparadha.
This is the Sanskrit word for the ‘mistake of our intellect, in causing the loss of ‘knowing’ or ‘remembering’ the divine wisdom and the connection to the divine within.’
It causes choices to be made in our lifestyle and practices, that in turn can create more loss of knowingness and this is considered to be one of the root causes of dis-ease.
It is multifaceted because I feel like it forms the foundation of our feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem; but also in explaining why we sometimes make choices that may not be for our highest good.
For me, a simple demonstrative example of it pertaining to our lifestyle choices, would be drinking alcohol. My system innately thrives when I do not drink. Yet I do, because I enjoy the taste and sharing that it brings with my hubby, family and friends. Yet, the next day I retain so much fluid, feel sluggish and it impacts on my ability to exercise or imbibe my optimum vitality and energy.
This Pragya Aparadha fits here, in that it is the mistake of my intellect in knowing what is for my highest good but choosing to drink anyway. This alcohol then affects the gunas or qualities of the mind to become more Rajasic or Tamasic in nature, which in turn then causes me to forget the divinity within even more…and so begins a perpetuating cycle!
The aim in Ayurveda is to encourage our mind to increase in Sattwic quality (pure, balanced, harmonious, peaceful and virtuous quality of the mind) through practices and lifestyle habits. By increasing this quality, in turn we make more conscious life choices which in turn serves our entire being to remember this divinity within, as well as live in our most optimum state of health and vitality.
I absolutely love this.
It also resonates with me in terms of self-esteem and self-love, in that if we knew or remembered the true essence that is within us, then how could we speak to ourselves with anything other than love and compassion?
If we remembered our source of divine wisdom and presence; that we are in fact a drop in the same ocean…or the entire ocean within this one drop; then how can we ever think or feel that our body or ourselves are anything other than perfect?
How can we think any thoughts to self-deprecate ourselves, and not just be in absolute awe of our amazing bodies and selves? If we could appreciate being so divinely feminine and connected to our creative bodies; that are a vessel and a gatekeeper for beautiful souls entering into this Earth, how liberating would that feeling be?!
It has been the re-learning of this state that has allowed my heart to expand and widen. It also allows my mind to broaden and grow and for me to feel more connected to my soul than ever before.
It is this re-learning that our intellect can be mistaken which is why we forget the divine wisdom that lies within. It has encouraged me to speak to myself with more kindness…compassion…forgiveness.
It has been this governing principle that filled the void of self-worth; that I had been searching for all along. This soul contract that I had forgotten along the way…suddenly reappeared and clicked back into my system, in knowing that it was/is just a ‘mistake’ of the intellect…and mistakes can be corrected.
It also allows me to pause in the moments of making decisions, as to questioning whether this will serve me…or hinder me.
It has allowed for me to live a more mindful and ‘responsible’ life, in making conscious choices as to what my temple deserves and what my body, mind and spirit deserve me to think, feel or choose in that moment.
It now looks like making the choice between;
+ Berating myself for having a few drinks with my friends…to either enjoying it without the emotional ama (or toxins) surrounding it and being more compassionate with myself…or it would look like not having alcohol and replacing it with a mocktail…because I know that my body, mind and spirit is deserving of feeling its best self tomorrow.
+ Punishing myself for not getting ‘everything’ done and pushing myself…to being more kind and gentle with myself; awareness that I am doing my best and honouring my body, mind and spirit is remembering this ‘knowing’ of my divinity within. Knowing that I am perfect in this present moment, with or without fulfilling all of my worldly tasks to ‘be done’. To ‘be’ and not just ‘do’…is another way that I have re-learned this state.
+ Speaking to myself with kindness and compassion about what my body looks and feels like…Knowing that I have always been worthy, will always be worthy and will continue to be worthy irrespective of what changes happen within my body…It is this self-compassion and being gentle vs punishing or depriving myself of all things wonderful, to ‘look’ or ‘be’ a certain way…but being OK with being rough around the edges, because knowing that the internal always has and always will be whole is something that can never be destroyed or broken.
This state or principle has been revolutionary for me as a person and I love it more than I could ever articulate well enough.
Suffice to say that it is my favourite aspect of Ayurveda (and life!) so far!