What is Dinacaryā ?
It’s 8am and the alarm rings. I wake up feeling really groggy and heavy from last night’s party. My stomach still feels funny like there is something going on inside. Oh God I am late! I jump out of bed and grab a cup of coffee to get me going. The newspaper headlines tell me that there is an epidemic of some kind of incurable fever happening on the other side of the world, many people killed.… who has the time to care?… meanwhile the red carpet at Cannes film festival is blazing with beauty and fashion… a new drug discovered for cancer and gives hope to eradicate it soon from the face of the earth….Wow! not bad. I usually use the toilet twice or thrice a week and that’s good coz its saves me a lot of time……gobble up some vitamin pills and my regular medication to keep the depression away… and the thyroid tablets of course! A quick herbal face wash, put some gel in my hair and off I go. Breakfast is a burger or hotdog on the move with a coke. I am a prototype of the present day man or woman. Unfortunately that’s the usual start of the day in the modern age for many of us. Life goes on….
This kind of lifestyle leads to many killer diseases. Until recently, infectious diseases were the most important causes of death. But the major killers of the present day are not infectious diseases but lifestyle diseases like metabolic syndromes, immune system malfunctions, cancers, heart diseases, organ failure, prematurely occurring degenerative diseases and so on. Modern medicine, though advanced enough to perform organ transplants, symptom control with replacement therapies, inhibition of physiological metabolic pathways and nutritional supplementation, does not seem to have a clue why they occur and what to do to prevent them ?
What is synchronization?
The doctrines of āyurveda attribute the rise in non-infectious diseases to a lack of synchronization to the bioenergetic rhythm of nature. This manifests in the form of unnatural diet and lifestyle pattern that has emerged out of the fast and reckless lifestyle.
What is the rhythm of nature?
Imagine if the earth which rotates at a speed of 1037 miles/hr at the equator increases it to 2074 miles/hr. Or just imagine if the earth started revolving around the sun at double the speed! Would the faster speed make it more efficient? It would be a complete pandemonium and chaos ! What happens when the rains come at the wrong time of the year or if the winter lasts for 2 months longer than normal? The rhythm is devastated.
What ? Am I a universe?
The human body is non-different from the universe. That is a BIG discovery of the ancient sages. We are all micro universes existing inside a macro universe.The universe is constructed from macro to micro with identical units, arranged one inside the other. It is the same process that happens in the human body, as in that of the universe, when we do things for example at the wrong time, too slow or fast and so on.There is an optimal rhythm in which the human body is supposed to function. This rhythm is one that is aligned with the functioning of the bio-energetic rhythm of nature.
Is it possible to be disease free?
Ayurveda, an ancient science of life, talks about a civilization which was free of all diseases and it makes us wonder if that is really possible. Do you want to know how it can be done? Do you want to live a life with a guarantee to be free from all disease ?
Yes, of course! It is possible and that too in a very simple way. To achieve this, āyurveda uses the technology of “dinacarya”. The great thinkers and sages who lived in India many thousands of years ago discovered this secret by close observation of natural phenomena. The secret is to know that everything in the universe is constantly moving.
Why should you synchronize with nature?
‘Dina’ means ‘daily’ and ‘carya’ means ‘regimen’ in Sanskrit. The word carya originates from the root carati which implies regular and repetitive action in a cyclical fashion. What is the logic behind this? In nature, everything is dynamic, moving and changing by the influence of time. The earth is rotating on its own axis, it is moving around the sun, the solar system is moving, the galaxy is moving and so on.
How is it possible to maintain stability in a system that is constantly changing with respect to time and space? This is the technique of dinacarya. It is possible to keep a moving system stable by understanding the cyclical nature of its movement and the energies associated with various stages of movement. And then you need to adopt rhythmic practices, aligning with those energies at their specific times.
You have to ask the following questions:
1. When does it happen?
2. How often does it happen?
3. What is it that happens?
4. Why is it happening at this time?
It is important for the human being (the small universe) to be aligned to the rhythm of the larger universe. Just as every wheel or lever in a clock should move in alignment with the movement of the whole clock. If one wheel moves either slow or in a different direction, there will be chaos. It is the tendency of your body to try to adapt and to adopt anything that is done repeatedly and align with the rhythm.
For example if you adopt a practice to wake up at the same time daily or sleep at the same time every night, after a few days you will find that your system has stabilized with that practice and you will automatically start feeling sleepy at that time every night. Or if you start taking your meal at a fixed time, after a certain period you will notice that you start feeling hungry around the same time. The only possibility of stabilizing a constantly changing system is to make the changes rhythmic and this has to be done in alignment with the rhythm of the larger system. That is how the universe maintains stability.
Slow down my friend…
Ayurveda advises us about the “who, when, why, how, where and what” of being in alignment with the natural universal cycle. These are the practices of dinacarya. For example, we are supposed to rest when the sun sets and rise when the sun rises. This is a simple example. We need to eat, digest, absorb and evacuate in a cyclical manner.
In addition, dinacarya is a very personalized practice, the details of which each of you needs to chart out in consultation with your vaidya (Ayurvedic Practitioner). In most cases these days, the need is to be slower, conscious and responsible for your thoughts, words and actions. That is the essence of “dinacarya” which are the principles and practices of what you need to do from the time you rise in the morning to the time you rest at night to keep yourself aligned, balanced and healthy.