Apsu me somo abraveed

Antar vishwaani bheṣhajaa

Agnim cha vishwa sham-bhuvam – Rig Veda 10:9:6           

The calm scholar, in his wisdom, has instructed me that all healing balms can be found in waters.  He has also advised that energy, too, is present in waters – energy that is beneficial to all living beings. 

 

Water is extremely important for both Earth and our body.  Two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. The human body consists of 75 percent of water. These two major facts make it abundantly clear that water is one of the prime elements responsible for life on Earth. Water circulates through land just as it does through the human body.  While circulating, it transports, dissolves, replenishes nutrients and organic matter, and carries away waste material.  In addition, it regulates the activities of fluids, tissues, cells, lymph, blood, and glandular secretions.  This current Veda Mantra, which Indian tradition claims to be 1.9 billion years old, makes a defining statement – that water is therapeutic and cures many maladies in the human body.  For this reason, we are advised to drink a decent amount of water, for every part of our body, from the skin to the brain, which relies on ample hydration to function.  The water we drink does several things for us – it cushions our brain, creates perspiration which dissipates excess heat to cool our bodies, aids in the digestion of solid foods, keeps our skin healthy, lubricates cartilage, and helps our joints glide freely, transports nutrients to all parts of our body, and helps kidneys and liver to function at their peak.   In addition to consuming water, lying down for a long time in a tub filled with hot water brings tremendous benefits. When the body absorbs heat, several subtle physiological processes occur.  First, blood flow increases, causing blood vessels to dilate and blood pressure to be reduced. Also, hot water causes muscle relaxation and a muting of the central nervous system that causes temporary pain relief. 

 

A form of water therapy proven to be most beneficial is the consumption of a gutful of water upon waking up in the morning.  Excess water in the gut early in the morning induces bowel movements and so, rids the body of fecal matter.  In addition, we all know of the simple, yet effective, calming qualities of a warm bath or the invigorating qualities of a cold shower. Practitioners of hydrotherapy use water as a medium to facilitate thermoregulatory reactions for therapeutic benefit. They claim that water causes changes in blood flow and associated metabolic functions, and so, they advise that, in the treatment of fevers, the body should be sponged with both hot and cold water.

 

This Veda Mantra says that, in addition to healing balms, energy is also found in water. Energy is the capacity of a physical system to perform work.  Energy exists in many forms, two of which are potential and kinetic.  When energy is stored and not used, it is called potential energy.  When energy is used in motion, it is called kinetic energy. Water, like many substances, contains both kinds of energy. Because of kinetic energy, water flows and creates waves.  The thermal energy in water flowing from high dams helps spin turbines and these impact the conversion of energy into electricity. Another method of producing electricity involves trapping sunlight in a freshwater pond.  The water will warm up and cause steam production.  This steam is trapped and, again, it is used to spin turbines to produce electricity.

 

This Mantra now makes a powerful statement – that energy is beneficial to all living beings.  Two forms of energy that bring tremendous benefits to living beings are steam and electricity. Steam is created by heating water. Steam can be used, among other purposes, to heat buildings, clean fabric, carpets, and floors, and take away wrinkles when clothes are ironed.  Steam is also used in bending wood, killing insects, and increasing plasticity. Steam engines are fitted to drive pistons to move trains, ships, and similar conveyances.  Electricity, on the other hand, is used in appliances related to entertainment, heating, lighting, refrigeration, air conditioning, cooking, washing and drying, etc. 

 

The final statement in this Mantra is that the person who instructs us about the benefits of water is a genuine, bona fide scholar.  The word used for such a scholar is Soma.  Soma is he who is calm in his wisdom and judgment, not someone who rushes to state his case, or who is not sure about his hypothesis.  A duly trained nutritionist, hydrotherapist,  naturopath,  and scientist – they are all Soma scholars.  So, it is most appropriate that we all strive to use water for our benefit, as directed by this Mantra. 

 

DR SATISH PRAKASH