To Be Young Is to Be Healthy Forever

HEALTH, 31 May 2021

Surya Nath Prasad – TRANSCEND Media Service

To Be Young in an Aging World

28 May 2021 – The question: “What Does It Mean to Be Young in an Aging World?” seems very simple, but it requires a volume to write to answer. However, the author of these lines tries to find the answer of the question: “What Does It Mean to Be Young in an Aging World?” in the answers of three questions of Prince Siddhartha Gautama (before he became Buddha): “Why does a man become old?” “Why does a man become sick?” And “why does a man die?” seeing an aged man, a diseased man and a dead man, and after a long time of his studies, he considered them (the old age, sickness and death including birth as he added) unavoidable physical sufferings. And he arrived at the conclusion and he was confident to say in answer that “man could overcome all these sufferings by meditation and becoming an ascetic”, and he did so, and preached others to follow.

But the author of these lines considers the sufferings of old age and sickness are certainly avoidable, and death also can be avoided for a longer period. And this author does not think merely meditation and to be ascetic are the solution of the sufferings of old age, sickness and death.

Now this author is more confident to answer “What Does It Mean to Be Young in an Aging World?” To be young and aging are contradictory concepts. To be young means, every man or woman is supposed to be very far from aging, sickness and death. It means that in an Aging world, to be young means that it is to be sick and old in very early span of time of life of any person, and it is to be victim of pre-mature death due to suffering from certain diseases, however, some people may survive longer due to medication, who can afford it. And due to this, at the present time the number of aging persons is more than younger people.

In an Aging World, there is an urgent need to be healthy for everybody everywhere to be young. Perhaps this would be the reason before Albert Einstein, who had to give advice to all mankind, “Do not   grow old, no matter how long you live.”And to solve this problem, we have to solve the problems of continuously increasing population that created extreme poverty which has led to pollution that helped in increase of more diseases. And the reason of all these is ignorance about the self of every  man means what he or she is or in other words what are the elements which constitute every man or woman.

Explosion in Population

Explosion in population denotes sudden increase in a large number of people in the nation-states inclusive in the world. The author of these lines recalls his memory when he wrote a paper on the theme: “Indian Population: A Survey” (1967) with reference to world population, and he found in the year 1967, the population of India was 51.89 Crores, and the population of the world was 346.31 Crores. This author visualized the high rate of speed in the increase of population, and after that he gave a Radio Talk on the theme: “Family Planning: A Demand of the Era” (1968) as its remedy. And now he finds the Indian population is 136 Crores, and the world’s population is 777.77 Crores in 2019. These figures indicate the increase in population is more than double in 52 years of time.

En-masse Poverty

Explosion in population everywhere has promoted en-masse poverty. The author of these lines found the gravity of high speed in the increase of population in his Speech on the theme: Education for   Eradication of Poverty for Peace (1996). And it was reported that according to the United Nations Statistics there were 1.1 billion poor people in the world, and number was increasing, and thus in India half of 900 million populations in grinding poverty, and nearly25 percent are still below the poverty line. According to the most recent estimates, in 2015, 10 percent of the world’s population or 734 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day. That’s down from nearly 36 percent or 1.9 billion people in 1990.  Source: Poverty Overview – World Bank Group

Here one may put a question: how the poor very low-earn people can manage proper nourishing food for them and their dependents to keep their physical body healthy and free from any diseases – bacterial or viral and from early death.

Pollution

The increase in poverty means increase in large number of poor people who have created severe pollution everywhere. The human force has created and destroyed life on earth. Human plays a vital role in the degradation of the environment. In pollution, there are contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change or effect. The major forms of pollution are in food, air, water, fire and space.  Survival of human beings depends on un-polluted food, air, water, fire and space. For more details in this regard, one may refer to the Presidential Speech of this author on the theme: Education for Environment and Peace (19978), published by Lund University. 

Diseases

Pollution has been spreading deadly infectious diseases including Coronavirus pandemic disease now having no vaccine immediately available to prevent.

But in reality, people being in large number fail to meet the needs of all the five bodies of each member in a family. Hence some people are sick physically, some vitally, some mentally, some intellectually, some spiritually and many are sick in all of these bodies due to ignorance about these bodies and also due to non-availability of means and opportunities to nourish or to grow them integrally to be young and healthy for longer period of their lives.

Ignorance about the Self (Man)

Ignorance about the Man (the Self) is the reason of rampant increase in population and its sequential reasons are poverty, pollution and diseases. However, their checks, prevention and remedy are knowledge, awareness and practice about man-making education, which helps us to understand the concept of man.

One may refer also to: Man, The Unknown by Alexis Carrel (1974), The Concept of Man edited by S. Radhakrishnan and P.T. Raju (1960), Man and Superman by Bernard Shaw (1946), The Spiritual Crisis of Man by Paul Brunton (1952), The Religion of Man by Ravindranath Tagore (1931), Has Man A Future? By Bertrand Russell (1962) and Man and Society in Indian Philosophy by K. Damodaran (1970)

Also Vedanta in 700 BC, Buddha in 500 BC, Socrates in 4oo BC and some centuries later Jesus Christ, and Prophet Muhammad also advised to all to “Know thyself”.

Other studies also enlighten us to know about the concept of the self or the man. UNESCO’s publication: Learning to Be (1972), which observes that man is obliged to learn unceasingly in order to survive and evolve. As a contemporary psychologist Georges Lapassade (1963) puts it, the human being is born prematurely…the individual is completed to evolve. Essentially, therefore he can be educated. Eric Fromm (1972) reveals that in fact he never ceases to “enter life”, to be born in human form. And psychologist Hadfield (1925) says that every organism is impelled to move towards its own completeness. Fullness of life is the goal of life, the urge to completeness is the most compelling motive of life. There is no motive of life as persistent as his hunger for fulfillment whether for the needs of our body or for our soul, which impels us to be ever moving onward till we find. Hunger material or spiritual is the feeling of incompleteness. In this incompleteness and this awareness lie the very roots of education as an exclusively human manifestation, i.e. peace. The unfinished character of men and the transformational character of reality necessitate that education can be ongoing activity. UNESCO’s – Learning: The Treasure Within (1996), which identifies four pillars of education, viz. Learning to know, Learning to do, Learning to live together and Learning to be.

This author identified and selected four universal definitions of education which have the relevance with the concept of man, viz. Swami Vivekananda (1943), who considers education as manifestation of perfection already in man; Pestalozzi (1951) understands education as natural, harmonious and progressive development of man’s innate powers; Dewey (1951) defines education as the development of all those capacities in the individual which enables him to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities.; and according to Mahatma Gandhi (1955), education is drawing out of the best in child and man-body, mind and spirit.

One may draw the inference from the definitions cited above that the very definition of education is the definition of man, means what a man (human being) stands for or what a man is made of to be harmoniously evolved or unfolded or grown.

The parents give biological birth to the mankind, and the education gives the second birth to them to be man (human). But all educational systems everywhere in the past and the present have been mostly inhuman, nonhuman, and antihuman. “Yes, yes, we are taught to fly in the air like birds, and to swim in the water like the fishes; but how to live on the earth we don’t know.” The Russian peasant spokesman said criticizing the speech of Maxim Gorky who spoke on the subject of science and the marvels of technical inventions addressing the audience of peasants, (Stoddard, 1925). And in future, this trend will continue being education was and is neither for all people nor for in all of their five elements (bodies) which constitute every man and woman, because it is not man-making education.

Swami Vivekanand (1971)     also observed, and said, “…it is not a man-making education….” “…fifty years of such education has not produced one original man….”

Man-making Education to be Young and Healthy Forever and for Anti-Aging World

Every man and woman everywhere without any discrimination is made of five elements, viz. earth, air, water, fire and space. These five elements are in scattered form in universe, but all these five elements are in consolidated form in every man and woman, this is why a man or a woman is called miniature universe. These five elements have corresponding meaning like earth as body, air as vitality, water as mind, fire as intellect and space as spirit. And the universal man-making education helps every man and woman for perpetual integral manifestation of these five elements throughout his and her life being perpetually young and healthy forever, and for anti-aging. In other words, universal man-making education is for preservation of health, prevention from diseases, and cure of diseases of every man and woman. Thus every man and woman has five bodies, viz. physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual. And each body needs particular nourishing fresh food with proper quantity to grow healthy and to prevent from diseases, and also the diseased body of man or woman requires the compensatory food to be cured in addition to particular medicines.

Man-making education is a cosmopolitan discipline because it is the study of common five elements viz. body, vitality, mind, intellect and spirit universally inherent in every man and woman without any discrimination, and also the similar human beings everywhere.

Confucius advised, “If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for ten years plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children.”

But man-making education is the life-long process, and there is no time-limit for awakening about these five elements and means for integral manifestation of these elements continuously in all men and women everywhere through the mutual help and cooperation of different agencies of this universal man-making education, viz. family (parents), school (teachers), religious institutions (preachers), nation-state (rulers or servants of people as their elected representatives for good governance and political leaders), and the united nations (representatives of the nation-states). However, firstly these elders need knowledge, awareness and practice in man-making education to guide the Youngers better.

One may draw the conclusion about the suffering and misery of mankind is utter ignorance about him or her being composed of ecological five elements within and their relation with similar ecological elements outside in the universe, and non-availability of education based on their five elements.

TABLE 1

Showing Elements or Sheaths in Man and the outcomes of their Non-Unfoldment, Partial Unfoldment and Full-Unfoldment

Sheaths in Man If fully Not-Unfolded If Partially Unfolded If Fully Unfolded
Physical (Body) Bodily too weak to survive Much prone to Physical Ailments Physically healthy and strong
Vital (Vitality) Vitally unsound Chances to be victim of vital disorders Vitally sound
Mental-Mind Mentally unstable Mentally conceited Mentally stable
Intellectual (Intellect) Intellectually dull Intellectually arrogant Intellectually sharp
Spiritual (Spirit) Spiritually non-awakened and becomes victim of blind faith Chances to become rigid, conservative, orthodox and dogmatic Spiritually awakened and to become catholic and global
Integrated all five Sheaths Oppressed and exploited/ peace less  /  violence committed on the  man Oppressors and exploiters / violent / agitated and aggressive Neither Oppressors and exploiters nor to be oppressed and exploited / non-violent/ peaceful, tolerant and non-aggressive towards all.

If a person fails to manifest his bodily self, he is bound to be physically weak and sick, and there would be no chance for him to survive, and if the number of such persons is more, the human progeny may be doubted for the people being lack of bodily manifestation would be physically weak. Due to lack of vital unfoldment, man would suffer with the problems of gas, acidity and cough which affect his other selves also. Mental non-unfoldment makes man unstable. Man becomes dull due to lack of intellectual unfoldment. Failure of spiritual manifestation leads to man spiritually non-awakened who becomes victim of blind faith. If a man fails to manifest all his five sheaths integrally, he becomes victim of violence of illness, corruption, oppression and exploitation which lead to him or her to the state of peacelessness.

Partially unfolded sheaths/elements in man and woman lead him/her to physical ailments, vital disorders, mental conceitedness, intellectual arrogance, spiritual rigidity, conservatism, dogmatism and orthodoxy. And finally, partially unfolded sheaths/elements make men and women agitated, aggressive, corrupt, oppressors and exploiters and above all violent, and they are very tyrannical for themselves and others. But in the condition of fully unfolded sheaths/elements, man/woman becomes physically healthy and strong, vitally sound, mentally stable, intellectually sharp and spiritually awakened to be altruist, catholic or global.

And if all the five sheaths are manifested integrally, man or woman will neither be oppressor and exploiter nor oppressed and exploited. He or she will be fully healthy, non-corrupt, non-aggressive, non-violent, tolerant, altruist, peaceful and fully healthy. And perpetual integral manifestation of these five elements helped a few exceptional persons due to their own efforts and sacrifices to be lord like Buddha and Shri Krishna, Prophets like Jesus and Muhammad, and saints like Sri Ramkrishna and Vivekananda and like other highly enlightened spiritual persons in different parts of the world.

Universal Man-making Education based on five elements of man and woman will be for all leaving none, but in two-fold: first, integral man-making education, and second, compensatory man-making education.

Man-making Education for Coming Generation

Integral man-making education will be for coming generations who are supposed their five elements which constitute them are non-corrupt, un-crippled, and raw, pure and very prone to be manifested integrally, if they have opportunity and facility to be unfolded. They are able to unfold the treasure of integrated cultures inherent within themselves leading them to be physically, vitally, mentally, intellectually and spiritually young and healthy forever.

Every man and woman has 9 doors in their physical body that require being in order to keep rest four bodies healthy. They need nourishing and nutritive balanced food every day to grow their physical body healthy. Food includes all types of grains, foods that contain animal and vegetable proteins, green vegetables, green salads, juicy fruits, dry fruits, curd and milk.

One must keep in mind about what to eat, how much to eat, how many times to eat, and how to eat for better hygiene. And each bite of food must be chewed at least 40 times for healthy physical body which helps in keeping healthy the rest other four bodies. Every male and female adult should inhale 5,000 liter air daily to grow their vital body healthy. To keep their mental body healthy, they should drink 5 liter water daily. Heat and warm is needed to keep intellectual body healthy. For this, exposure of physical body before the rising sun is a must for 15 to 30 minutes daily. To keep spiritual body healthy, every man and woman should practice fellow-feeling, feeling of oneness and meditation of non-thinking for 30 minutes daily. This life-long process of man-making education enables every man and woman to preserve their sustainable health to be young forever, to prevent them from any diseases, and help them to be cured if they become victim of any diseases by any chance or mistakes.

Man-making Education for Today’s Sick Generation

Compensatory man-making education will be for today’s crippled and sick generation. We are all crippled and sick in this world. Some are crippled and sick physically, some vitally, some mentally, some intellectually, some spiritually, and many are crippled and sick in all parts of their body. In this sense, haves and have-nots both everywhere, though having enough resources and lack of resources respectively, but due to ignorance about themselves, are suffering from physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual ailments. Though being handicapped and sick, we all are exploiting each other’s weaknesses by committing violence on others or on our own selves through ending our lives by doing suicide or being mentally sick or mad. Hence we all need compensatory man-making education for recovery of our integral physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual health.

If all the five elements, viz. earth, air, water, fire, and space within every man and woman are sick of bacterial or viral diseases including corona viral disease, all these outside pure and un-polluted elements in the universe work as medicines to cure them.

References:

Brunton, P. (1952). The Spiritual Crisis of Man. New Delhi: B. I. Publications.

Carrel A. (1974). Man, The Unknown. Bombay: Wilco Publishing House.

Damodaran, K.  (1970). Man and Society in Indian Philosophy. New Delhi:  People’s Publishing House.

Education for Environment and Peace (1998). Malmo, Sweden: Lund University.

Dewey, J. (1959). Quoted in Saryu Prasad Chaubey, Pashchatya Shiksha Ka Itihas (History of Western Education). Agra: Lakshminarayan Agrawal.

 Education for   Eradication of Poverty for Peace (1996). International Educator, Vol. 11, No. 3.

Family Planning: A Demand of the Era” (1968). All India Radio, Allahabad, Lucknow, Varanasi and Rampur at 8 p.m. July 8.

Fromm, E. (1972). ‘Le Drame Fundamental de l’ Homme: Nature a Humain’ in.

Hadfield, J. A. (1925). Psychology and Morals. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd.

Gandhi, Mahatma (1955). Sarvodaya. Ahmadabad: Navjivan Prakashan Mandir.

Indian Population: A Survey” (1967). SANSAR (The World,     Varanasi, India), July 06.

Lapassade, G. (1963). Essays on Man’s Unfinished State. Paris: Editions De Minuit.

Learning to Be (1972). Paris: UNESCO.

Learning: The Treasure Within (1996). Paris: UNESCO

Pestalozzi, J. H. (1951). Quoted in Sitaram Jayswal, Pashchimi Shiksha Ka Itihas (History of Western Education). Banaras: Nandkishore and Brothers.

Radhakrishnan, S. & Raju P. T. (1960). The Concept of Man. London: George Allen &Unwin Ltd.

Shaw, B. (1946). Man and Superman. New York: Penguin Books.

Tagore, R. (1931). The Religion of Man. New York: Macmillan Company.

Russell, Bertrand (1962). Has Man A Future? Toronto, Longmans Canada: Penguin Books.

Stoddard, Lothrop (1925). Social Classes in Post-War Europe.   London: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Quote Page 26.

Vivekanand, S. (1943). Education. Coimbatore: Shri

Ramkrishna Mission Vidyalaya.

———-(1971). In Swami Vivekanand on India and Her Problems compiled by Swami Nirvedanand. Calcutta: Advait Ashram.

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Dr. Surya Nath Prasad, former president & currently executive vice president of International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), associate professor of education emeritus, former visiting professor, the graduate institute of peace studies, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea, founder & editor-in-chief, Peace Education: An International Journal. dr_suryanathprasad@yahoo.co.in


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 31 May 2021.

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