(Part 4, continued from previous issue)
In the previous issue we stated that prana is the universal force that gives life to all living things. In homeopathy disease exists on the dynamic or energy level and is defined as a disturbance of the vital force, which is equivalent to prana. This is one of the major differences between homeopathy and the system of Western medicine or allopathy, in which there is no recognition of other levels beyond the physical body and mind. From the perspective of yoga philosophy, mind and matter are generated from the atman, universal consciousness, and the human being consists of three bodies—causal, subtle and gross. Each of these bodies is associated with corresponding field(s) of energy called the five koshas or sheaths. These are: anandamaya, vijnanamaya, manomaya, pranamaya and annamaya koshas. Anandamaya kosha, the field of bliss, emanates from the center of pure consciousness to form the causal body. The causal body is made of very fine, subtle vibrations. It is also called the seed body because it is a blueprint from which the other two bodies are generated.
Vijnanamaya kosha, the field of the buddhi (intellect), is the link between the causal and subtle bodies. The other three faculties of the mind, ahamkara, chitta and manas, make up the subtle body, along with the buddhi. These four faculties of the mind function together as one unit and the associated field is manomaya kosha.
The gross body has two corresponding fields: the subtle pranamaya kosha or energy body, and the dense material physical body, or annamaya kosha.
Pranamaya kosha is the link between the subtle and gross bodies and also provides the means for the transfer of dynamic disease processes between the body and mind.
It is the infinite variety of interactions between the gunas, rajas and tamas that determines the quality and characteristics of all manifested phenomena, including the five koshas and the three bodies of the human being. The harmonious interplay between the different proportions of the rajasic and tamasic energies is the foundation of health. When imbalanced, they create the underlying energy patterns that culminate as the expressions of what we call disease. Since rajas embodies the principle of activity, when in excess this energy becomes catabolic or destructive, and can result in necrotic, ulcerative processes; tamas is the instigating factor behind anabolic processes such as growth and construction. Being static and passive in nature, tamas holds all things together. When tamas is excessive and out of proportion to rajas, it results in hypertrophy and abnormal growth processes. A subtle imbalance in the gunas will reflect initially as functional disturbances, but if left untreated will eventually express as structural, irreversible changes.
In the next issue we will compare Hahnemann’s theory of chronic disease and the chronic miasms to the concept of the gunas.
Dr. Barbara Bova, HOD, Dept. of Homeopathy