It is necessary to understand the meaning of the word health, before entering upon a description of the human body. In health, means body ease. He is a healthy man whose body is free from all disease; he carries on his normal activities without fatigue. Such a man should be able with ease to walk ten to twelve miles a day, and perform ordinary physical labour without getting tired He can digest ordinary simple food. His mind and his senses are in a state of harmony and poise. This definition does not include prize fighters and such like. A man with extraordinary physical strength is not necessarily healthy. He has merely developed his musculature, possibly at the expense of something else.
It is necessary to have enough knowledge of the human body which is expected to attain
the above standard of health.
God alone knows what kind of education was prevalent in ancient times. Research workers
on the subject may be able to tell us something, but only something,
about it. But all of us have some experience of modern education in this
country. It has no relation with our everyday life. Thus, it leaves us
almost utterly ignorant about our own body. Our knowledge of our own
village and our fields shares a similar fate. We are taught on the other
hand, much about thing that have no bearing on our daily life. I do not
mean to say that such knowledge is of no use. But every thing has its
own place. We must first know enough of our own body, our own house, our
village and its surroundings, the crop that grow there and its history
before going on to anything else. General knowledge broad-based on this
primary knowledge, alone can enrich our life.
The human body is
composed of what the ancient philosophers have described as the five
elements. These are earth, water, vacancy, light and air.
activity is carried on by means of the mind aided by the ten senses.
These are the five senses of action, i.e. hands, feet, mouth, anus and
the genitals, and the five senses of perception, i.e. the nose, of taste
through the tongue, of seeing through the eyes and of hearing through
the ears. Thinking is the function of the mind and some people have
called the eleventh sense. In health all the senses and the mind act in
The inner working of the human machine
is wonderful. The human body is the universe in miniature. That which
cannot be found in the body is not found in the universe. Hence the
philosopher's formula, that the universe within reflects the universe
without. It follows therefore that our knowledge of our body could be
perfect we would know the universe. But even the very best of doctors
and hakims and maids have not been able to acquire it. It will not
presumptuous for a layman to aspire to it. No one has yet discovered an
instrument which can give us any information about the human mind.
Scientists have given attractive description of the activities going on
within and without the body, but no one can say what sets the wheel
going. Who can explain the why and wherefore of death or foretell its
time? In short, after infinite reading and writing, after infinite
experience, man has come to know how little he knows.
A happy working of the human machine depends upon the harmonious activity of the various
component parts. If all these work in an orderly manner, the machine
runs smoothly. If even one of the essential part is out of order, it
comes to a stop. For instance, if the digestion is out of order, the
whole body becomes slack. Therefore, he who takes indigestion and
constipation lightly does not know the a-b-c of the rules of health.
These two are the root cause of the innumerable aliments.
The question that
demands our attention next is : what is the use of human body?
Everything in the world can be used and abused. This applies to the body
also. We abuse it when we use it for selfish purposes, for
self-indulgence or in order to harm another. It is put to its right use
if we exercise self-restraint and dedicate our self to the service of
the whole world. The human soul is the part of the universal spirit of
God. When all our activities is directed towards the realization of this
link, the body becomes a temple worthy for the spirit to live in.
The body has been
described as a mine of dirt. Looked at in its proper perspective, there
is no exaggeration in this statement. If the body was nothing else but
this, there could be no point in talking such pains to look after it.
But if this so-called mine of dirt can be put to its proper use, it
became our first duty to cleanse it and keep it in a fit condition. The
mines of precious stones and gold also have the look of ordinary earth
on the surface. The knowledge that there are gold and precious stones
underneath, induces men to spread millions and engage scientific brains
in order to get at what lies in those mines. Similarly, we cannot take
too much pains over keeping in a fit condition the temple of the
spirit-the human body.
Man came into the
world in order to pay off the debt owed by him to it, that is to say, in
order to serve God and His creation. Keeping this point of view in front
of him, man acts as a guardian of his body. It becomes his duty to take
such care of his body as to enable it to practice the idea of serving to
the best of its ability.