Do, Honour The Temple
Health is of great importance, whether you wish to follow the science of dharma or duty, artha or earning a livelihood, kama or sense-enjoyment, or moksha or liberation, says the Charaka Samhita (Health guidance by sage Charaka).
The human being is a tribune of body, mind and soul. The body is the outer cover of the inner person and is called kshetra or field, while the inner being, the soul, dweller of the body, is known as kshetrajna. Body and soul are woven together with the thread of buddhi or intelligence and the needle of consciousness.
The body is an essential vehicle for the individual to carry out his duty and follow a religious life. To unite mind with soul is the universal religion of humankind. In order to unite mind with soul, the body, which is the foundation, has to be kept healthy.
Sages of yore divided the body, for the sake of convenience, into three tiers with five sheaths, to convey the depth of the abode of the human. Of the three tiers, the first is the core of the body or self, the second is the mental body, and the third is the gross or physical body. These three bodies are interwoven from the skin to the self and from the self to the skin through the thread of intelligence, so they can interpenetrate as one single unit through citta or the needle of consciousness.
By nature the body is inert, dull and sluggish, the mind is vibrant, active and dynamic, and the self is luminous and illuminative. The practice of yoga destroys sluggishness of the body and builds it up to become equal to the active and sensitive mind. Then, both the body and mind are made to transcend to the level of the illuminative self, with perfect health in body, stability in mind, and clarity in intelligence. The hands signifying karma, head signifying Jana, and heart signifying bhakti, are made to unite in a holistic way of life.
If the mirror is clean, objects are clearly reflected in it. Yoga removes impurities of the body and causes the mind to reflect like the mirror, lighting the flame of wisdom which shines in body, mind and self, so they move and work in unison.
Health is generally understood as freedom from illness, but it is actually a state of physical equilibrium along with a perfectly balanced disposition of mind. Life is a combination of conscience, consciousness, intelligence, mind, senses of perception, and organs of action. Health involves a tremendous communication, so that each cell communes with other. This cannot be purchased in a marketplace. It has to be earned with inspiration, sweat, and toil. Yoga does that.
Yoga not only works with the body, it also develops the intelligence for the sight of the self. It connects the anatomical and physiological bodies, as well as mind and soul. It provides even distribution of bio-energy or life force, and channels the mind to a state of calmness so that you face life as master of your circumstances. Yoga starts from the health of the body and makes one climb the Everest of spiritual contentment, poise and peace.
We have been bestowed by the Creator with one and only capital--the body--for a worthy and useful life. The body is our temple or kingdom. As it is the essential duty of the dweller to keep the house clean and tidy, it is the duty of every human being to keep the body healthy and clean. Ethics begins from here.