The need of the hour, in COVID19 crises, is to take care of the health from all aspects. A huge population of the world has not been only infected by Corona Virus but also a considerable number of persons have been deceased due to the acute symptoms of COVID19. As far no vaccine or approved medicine for COVID19 has been found by any country to date. So, the only weapon left to break the chain of the infection is to follow the precaution strategy given by various health experts. Along with precautions such as social distancing, wearing masks and gloves etc., the health experts have also revealed that weak immunity is the prime factor to come in the grip of the Corona Virus. In this research paper, the intuitive vision and indigenous immunity-boosting approaches from literature of visionary scholar Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya from India, relevant to the pandemic state, have been compiled. The reason to focus on the writings of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya is his featured knowledge of the health sector. One hundred twenty-five books out of thirty-two hundred books written by him are focused on various aspects of human health, which actually, is a boon for humanity and society.
In the past six months of the year 2020, the pandemic named COVID19 has slowly engulfed our entire planet. The whole world is trying to handle this pandemic using different ways. No other disease or infection had widespread so fast and made the world hostage in the current era. The governments of the different countries have announced various precautions directed by the World Health Organization (WHO), one of the biggest health organizations of the world, and other health experts. Citizens have been strictly advised (in many countries) to stay at their homes.
It is the first time in the history of this century when all the modes of transport (except medical and essential services), markets, societies, multiplexes and theaters, institutions such as educational, administrative, organizational, and other such public places are closed for a long time (also still staying closed as per guidelines of the Government). All of this was to control widespread infection of COVID19, and in the hope that would reduce the infection and death toll.
At the time of writing of this research paper, the WHO described the latest statistics of COVID19 in India as ‘In India, starting from Jan 30, till 10:34 am CEST, 9th July 2020, there have been 767,296 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 21,129 deaths’.
An advisory released by the Ministry of AYUSH of India says that ‘enhancing the body’s immunity plays an important role’ (1). So, in the support of such advisories for COVID19 from Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and other health experts, the following preventive tips have been given: 1) Maintaining social distancing, 2) Taking care of hygiene, 3) Adopting various methods to boost immunity
The third preventive tip is considered as a major preventive step to stay safe and secure in all aspects. The cause to consider immunity-boosting as the most important tip to fight with Corona Virus is the notion of the human immunity system. Immunity system is the natural prevention or natural defense system of humans which allows the body to strengthen itself and remove foreign bodies. In this research paper indigenous system for improving human immunity is described in details.
Man's right to be healthy is a natural phenomenon. For overall health, many great traditional scholars, visionary saints and sages, along with modern medical science-based health experts, have given need-based observations, explanations, activities, practices, suggestions, etc. to humanity. Particularly in India, it has always been the land full of distinguished saints and sages who possessed wisdom and knowledge. Ayurveda, the oldest medical system as well as the base of modern medical science (most of the pharmaceutical drugs have plant origin) has been found in India. Since more than past 3000 years, mankind is being benefited from the tradition of holistic health, wellness, and healing given in Ayurveda. It’s based on a belief that a delicate balance of mind, body, and soul drives you to complete health and wellness. A famous statement of Ayurveda says ‘Jivem Sharadaha Shatam’ (जीवेम शरदः शतम) (2) which means our life goes on for a hundred years.
In this research paper, the intuitive vision and immunity-boosting approaches, significant to the COVID19 situation, has been given by compiling the literature of renowned visionary scholar sage Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya. The reason to focus on the writings of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya is his featured knowledge of the health sector. One hundred twenty-five books out of thirty-two hundred books written by him are focused on various aspects of human health, which actually, is a boon for humanity and society.
Researching the work of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, the paper has been organized into following 7 sections: 1) health, 2) the origin and symptoms of the Corona Virus, 3) the relation of immunity and COVID19, 4) the personality and work area of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, 5) the intuitive vision of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya regarding the pandemic state, 6) the indigenous immunity-boosting approaches from the literature of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, and 7) discussion for the researched content.
A man is a foundational unit of any society, and to have a good society, the people of society must be healthy. The definition of health by the pioneer of Ayurveda, Maharshi Sushrut, in twentieth-century stated “समदोषः समाग्निश्च समधातु मल क्रियाः। प्रसन्नात्मेन्द्रियमनाः स्वस्थः इत्यभिधीयते॥ (सुश्रुतसहिंता 15/48)”.
The above shloka from Sushruta Samhita (15/48) refers that vata, pitta, kapha, fire, rasa-raktadi, dhatus, vinn-mutraadi mala, all of them should be in perfect balance in the human body. Health can be achieved if all these physiological parameters are in equal balance with a healthy mind, intellect, and all senses (3).
Health definition in Ayurveda included status of physical, mental, emotional and inner well-being (4), which WHO also accepted in their definition of health, which is also described in details below with respect of indigenous perspective. In addition, WHO also depicted health status as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (5).
Physical health is defined as “the condition of your body, taking into consideration everything from the absence of disease to fitness level” (6). It covers the balance of all the existing physiological systems in the body such as metabolism, its composition, respiratory system, circulatory system, etc. (7).
Mental health is a “dynamic state of internal equilibrium which enables individuals to use their abilities in harmony with universal values of society” (8). It deals with the interpersonal relationships of a person. Factors such as harmony in ideology and deeds, perception of conditions, recognition capability and understanding, attitude towards favorable and unfavorable moments, etc. determine the mental health of a person.
Social health involves “one’s ability to form satisfying interpersonal relationships with others” (9). It also covers one’s aptitude to adapt comfortably to different social situations and act appropriately in a variety of settings.
Spiritual health deals with discovering satisfaction and happiness in life. According to Taekema (10), spiritual health is “…the ability to develop our spiritual nature. This would include our ability to discover and articulate our basic purpose in life, learn how to experience love, joy, peace, and fulfillment and how to help ourselves and others achieve their full potential” (10). It is considered as a link between the physical, mental, and social health.
The above four aspects of health are intertwined with each other in such a way that no one can segregate them when it comes to live a life. Hence, immunity of health should consider immunity in totality for all these aspects, which are described in details as follows.
Corona Virus and its Symptoms
On 11th March 2020, the Corona Virus, causing COVID19, has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (11). Formally an epidemic is defined as “a state that occurs worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people” (12). Based on it, WHO has redefined the definition of epidemic as the pandemic state in which a disaster for the health sector spread around the world at the same time. WHO has provided all scientific details of the Corona Virus, epidemic, and pandemic (13). At the time of the declaration of the pandemic, the WHO had found a total of 118,000 infected cases in 114 countries whereas 4,291 people had died due to Corona Virus.
The Corona Virus was earlier unidentified and first appeared in the Wuhan city of China in December 2019, from where it spread in the world. Now the virus had created a situation where hundreds of thousands of lives are infected and more than half of million lives have passed away. For millions of other peoples, who have not fallen ill with this disease, their routine lives have severely been affected.
The first case of COVID19 in India was reported on 30 January 2020 in Kerala state. From 25th March 2020 onwards, India has faced four lockdowns phases with variety in guidelines. The lockdown can be defined as “a situation in which people are not allowed to enter or leave a building or area freely because of an emergency” (14).
In medical terminology, the Corona Virus variety referred as SARS-CoV-2 infection. This infection was defined into three stages – “Stage I, an asymptomatic incubation period with or without detectable virus; Stage II, non-severe symptomatic period with the presence of virus; Stage III, the severe respiratory symptomatic stage with high viral load” (15). Corona Virus symptoms given by the WHO narrates that ‘COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. The most common symptoms of COVID19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes are the less common symptoms. The serious symptoms of COVID19 include difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, loss of speech or movement (16).
Immunity and COVID19 crisis
Immunity is the natural defense system of the human body fights with a particular infection by the action of specific antibodies and alerted white blood cells. Now, in the COVID19 crisis, it has also clinically proved that the human immune system is playing a vital role to avoid the spreading of the Corona Virus. In the study presented by Shi (17), the immune response formed by SARS-CoV-2 infection is two-phased. During the incubation and non-severe stages, a specific adaptive immune response is required to eliminate the virus and to preclude disease progression to severe stages (17). Many health experts revealed that weak immunity is the prime factor to be affected by the Corona Virus.
To date, there is no certified vaccine or drug available for COVID19 all over the world. So, the only weapon left to break the chain of the infection is to follow the precaution strategies given by various health experts. To prevent the spread of COVID19, the WHO has released the preventions; some of them are as following - cleaning hands frequently and thoroughly, usage of soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, maintenance of safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing, wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible, avoiding to touch eyes, nose, and mouth, covering the nose and mouth with bent elbow or a tissue while coughing or sneezing, to stay at home, etc. (16)
In addition to the precautions given by WHO, Indian government has also considered the remedial strategies of Ayurveda. The advisory notice released by the Ministry of AYUSH of India has mentioned that “…the simplicity of awareness about oneself and the harmony each individual can achieve by uplifting and maintaining his or her immunity is emphasized across Ayurveda classical scriptures” (1).
On 14 April 2020, the Government of India advised their citizens to follow the advisory which included the recommendations from sixteen eminent Vaidyas (Traditional medicine scholar and Ayurveda experts) of India. The recommendations were as following: 1) General Measure e.g. drinking of lukewarm water, practicing yoga, pranayama, etc., 2) Ayurvedic Immunity Promoting Measures e.g. taking Chyavanprash, herbal tea, etc., 3) Simple Ayurvedic Procedures e.g. nasal application etc., 4) Treatment for during dry cough, sore throat, 5) Herbal concoction of Tulsi, Dalchini, Kalimirch, Dry Ginger, etc.
In addition to these suggestions, the Government of India (also some private organizations) is continuously spreading awareness among the citizens about preventions for COVID19 through communication technologies such as caller tunes in different Indian languages, Radio, TV, and multimedia advertisements. A special mobile application named AarogyaSetu was also launched by the Government of India on 2 March 2020 for accessing the health status, COVID19 statistical updates, media news, etc. The application has amassed over twelve crore downloads since its launch back in April 2020. Many cases infected from the Corona Virus in the world were benefited or recovered using quarantine approach. India is at fourth rank after the USA, Brazil, and Russia in recovery (as per COVID19 statistic on 12th June 2020 by WHO). There is presently no clear indication that people who have recovered from COVID19 infection have antibodies to fight for re-infection i.e. second infection.
Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya
The entire life of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has been dedicated to the service of humanity. He was a saint, visionary, scholar, and social reformer. He was born on September 20, 1911, in a village named Anwalkheda in Agra District of Uttar Pradesh, India. His life was destined for the emergence of a new era of universal peace and harmony.
At the age of fifteen, his master initiated him in practice of ‘Gayatri sadhana’. He took part in the non-violent fight for India's independence as a volunteer and went to jail several times as part of the freedom struggle. He has given a 100 points agenda for Yug Nirman Yojna (Transformation of the era) for social, intellectual, and spiritual evolution through social and moral upliftment.
He lived a simple, disciplined life full of devout austerity, visited the Himalayas several times and attained spiritual eminence and foresight. Based on his work for humanity, he was called with different titles of Yugdrishta (Visionary of the era), Yugrishi (Sage of the era), Acharya (A teacher, instructor or preceptor who edifies the learners towards the real knowledge), Vedmurthy (Expert of Vedas), and Taponishtha (Established in austerity).
Many great leaders and saints of India have praised him for his commendable work for global humanity. Ex. President of India (25 July 1992 – 25 July 1997), Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma once said about Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya that “AcharyaJi has shown the path to social change by giving logic and words suited to the modern era and for these logics and words the generations will remain grateful to him” (18). When the entire literature Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya was presented to the Ex. President of India (13 May 1962 –13 May 1967), Dr. Radhakrishnan said - “If I had got this knowledge a few years ago, I probably would not have entered politics and would have been learning spiritual philosophy by sitting at the feet of Acharya Shri” (18).
His whole literature is scientific and also embraces the formulas for the holistic development of humanity. He has presented the solutions to the challenges of 21 Century and positively announced the 21 Century as a bright future. He has translated the entire Vedic literature in the Hindi language and more than thirty-two hundred books have been written by him on all aspects of life. His writings encompass far-reaching, sagacious, and feasible solutions to the innumerable problems of today. He has written a range of books on various aspects of human health. The grand contributions other than his literature are Gayatri Pariwar fraternity, Shantikunj Ashram (an academy for moral and spiritual awakening), Brahmavarchas Research Institute, Akhand Jyoti Sansthan.
Intuitive Vision about Pandemic
Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya was a great seeker of Gayatri. He has done twenty-four mahapurashcharana (spiritual practice of recitation of 2.4 million ‘Gayatri Mantra’ per year with ascetic life for 24 years). He has envisioned the present time situation of pandemic based on his intuition in his literature, which is described as following.
In the book entitled ‘Gayatri Ka Suryaupasthan’ (19) written in 1979, he has inscribed the following statement –“अगले कुछ दिन में बहुत तीव्र और शीघ्रातिशीघ्र परिवर्तन होंगे, योतो सूर्य कलंको (सनस्पॉट्स) के कारण पृथ्वी में प्राकृतिक परिवर्तन का क्रम ११ साल बाद आता है, पर किन्ही अज्ञात कारणों से अगले दिनों इन नियमो को तोड़कर सूर्य पृथ्वी में परिवर्तन लायेगा. इसमे वृष्टि, अनावृष्टि, सुखा, अकाल, ओलावृष्टि, आदि ही नहीं युद्ध और महामारियों के प्रोकोप भी होंगे” (गायत्री का सूर्योपस्थान, पृष्ठ ३९)”. It translates, ‘Very fast and quick changes will happen in the next ‘few-days’ (upcoming time). Normally, the order of natural changes on the earth based on Sun Kalank (Sunspots) comes after every 11 years, but due to some unknown reasons, by breaking these rules, the Sun will bring changes on the earth; it will not only have rain, dryness, famine, hail, etc., but also the outbreak of war and pandemics’ (Book – ‘Gayatri Ka Suryaupasthan’, Pg. no. 39) (19).
It can be seen from the above statement that Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has predicted about the pandemic in 1979. He has also explained that these changes would occur due to the unknown activities. These days, since December 2019 to date, the whole world is going through this epidemic.
Another reference for the pandemic was mentioned in the book named as ‘Yug privartan Kaise Aur Kab?’ (Transformation of era: How and When?) (20), written in 1984. He has envisioned and wrote the following statement: “अगले दिनों में चीन शाश्त्र-युद्ध की अपेक्षा कीटाणु-युद्ध में विश्वास रखेगा तथा इसमे असंख्य प्राणियों की मृत्यु हो जाएगी. चीन के विरुद्ध रूस, अमेरिका एक होकर लड़ेंगे. (युगपरिवर्तन कैसे और कब? पृष्ठ २७३)”. It translates –‘In the upcoming time, China will believe in Germ-war (biological-war) instead of Armed force-war and innumerable lives will be lost in it. Russia and America will together fight against China’ (Book – ‘Yug privartan Kaise aur Kab?’ (Transformation of era: How and When?) (20) (Pg. no. 273).
In his literature at various places, Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has clearly mentioned challenging time for humanity from transition of 20th to 21st century and afterwards coming of bright future of 21st century. Here, anecdotally, selected above statements have mentioned. These have also taken attention of scholars when Corona Virus outbreak happened in China mainland and first identified in China. Both the statements made years ago by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, which have now proved to be true in 2019-2020 indicating his intuition and visionary power.
Indigenous Immunity Boosting approaches from the literature of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya
The Vedic philosophy of life is the basic of the indigenous concept of health and immunity. The basic foundation of the indigenous health approach is Ayurveda and the lifestyles propounded by ancient sages. In Ayurveda, holistic health means the total absence of three types of grief i.e. divine, somatic, and lack of material suffering. Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has also considered the indigenous approach of health as the most important scheme to develop overall health (the health of the overall ecosystem). In his literature, for the prevention of all miseries, he believed that a well-organized lifestyle, cooperating nature, living in the presence of the sun, and dieting are the main ones.
Arogya (absence of illness) is to ‘run life's order in an orderly manner. Only a healthy body can be able to increase the pleasures of happiness, peace, and progress’ (20). In case of normal health issues, the naturopathy-based approaches such as fasting, rest, proper intake of water and sunlight, cleanliness, etc. should be made. In case of severity of the disease, the treatment should be based on medicinal-plants. For treatment, such medicinal-plants are used, which have sedative properties with no-known adverse effect (22).
He has described the vigorous role of the sun in human immunity. In a book entitles ‘Aksun Swasthya Prapti Hetu Ek Shashwat Rajmarg’, it translates ‘An eternal highway for complete heath’, he has mentioned that Surya (Sun) and Pawan (Air) are the best physicians (boost immune system). They have the extraordinary quality of healing and prevention of sickness or disease. Thinking about the above fact, everyone should adopt a policy of maximum contact with them in pure form. From food to the skin, clothing, equipment, etc. all should be given the equal opportunity to take full advantage of their company (23). It can be easily understood that he is indicating to get benefits from sunlight and pure air for boosting our natural defense system.
In addition to these, Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has also mentioned different aspects to increase immunity for all aspects of Health in various books. He described the following indigenous schemes to increase immunity as follows:
For Physical Health
1. Pragya Yoga Exercise
Pragya Yoga Exercise (Pragya Abhiyan ka Yoga Vyayam) is a wonderful combination of asana, pranayama, dhyana, and mudra (24). The prime purpose of Pragya Yoga Exercise is to enhance the power of both mind and body. In the Pragya Yoga Exercise package, there are a total of sixteen asanas, which are practiced with the letters of Gayatri mantra with proper breath-in and breath-out. Every letter of Gayatri mantra is represents specific philosophy, hence while practicing this Yoga, naturally meditation is also achieved when the Gayatri mantra is recited with meaning in mind.
2. Prana-akarshan Pranayama
Prana-akarshan Pranayama enhances the immunity of humans by all means. Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharyahas said that “Prana-akarshan pranayama is beneficial in developing the capacity of heart and brain as well as it is beneficial in colds, coughs, breathing and tuberculosis” (25). The heart and brain are the two major organs within the body on which the vitality and mental health of a human being is dependent. Prana-akarshan Pranayama is not merely breathing exercise but it involves feeling and imagination of absorbing Prana (viral energy) from space to be full of it along with an exercise for the refinement and enhancement of specifically both these organs.
3. Kalpa-Chikitsa – body purification technique
Kalpa-Chikitsa is a traditional scientific technique to promote overall health. It is having the body purification processes, which are not only beneficial for curing diseases, but also for improving immunity (26). In this approach, the body is cured only by frequent systemic consumption of any common plant and food items. The usage of specific plant and food items depends upon the requirement of body. The effect of Kalpa-Chikitsa on the body is long-lasting. Besides, it brings changes in life-style and food eating pattern which protects from potential future disease or ailments.
For Mental Health
1. Dhyan (Meditation)
One definition of meditation given by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya is the bathing of mind in noble and pure thoughts. He has also mentioned meditation as a source of mental energy. It does not only delight the human mind and but also rejuvenates it. He has given very unique and different types of meditation techniques. For example - a) Teen Shariron ka dhyan (meditation of three bodies) (27), Panchkosh ka dhyan (meditation of five element (treasuries) of the human body) (28), Amritvarshadhyan (mediation of showering of nectar/energy) (29), Jyoti Avtran Sadhana (meditation of descend of divine light) (30), Nad Yoga (Yoga of divine sound through specifically recorded instrumental musical) (31), etc.
2. Swadhyay (Study of Self)
As the name implies, Swadhyay is the process of contemplation of self. Swadhyay is a key solution for all subjects of our life. A person who does self-study is a successful doctor of his soul. Swadhyay means the study of such literature that removes our worries, resolves doubts and dilemmas, brings harmony and auspicious thoughts in the mind, and makes the soul feel at peace (32). नित्यंस्वाध्यायशिलश्चदुर्गान्यातितरन्तिते|| (शांतिपर्व, महाभारत); the shloka from Chapter Shantiparv of Mahabharata states: “A person doing self-study regularly overcomes with sorrows” (32).
3. Vyast-RahenMast-Rahen (Stay involved- Stay happy)
Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has propounded theaphorism,Vyast-RahenMast-Rahen, which serves as excellence solution for enhancing the mental health in the modern hectic world. There is no doubt that an empty mind is the devil's house but when this empty time is well-managed, it always came up with extraordinary results. Emptiness remains negative until it is tied into the outline of a program. Therefore, he has given the aphorism (sutra) to Stay healthy, Stay involved, and Stay happy (33). This formula is guiding us that we should not have a lack of content in our life. When someone is busy, he/she does not have time to think negative. So, in applied form, in the crisis of COVID19, this sutra is inspiring us to be healthy by staying busy (well-planning of work schedule) and clam in all situations.
For Social Health
For social health, ‘Salaahlen-Samman den, Sukh Baateyn- Dukh Bataayen’, and ‘Mil-Baantkar Khayen’ are the key aphorisms for sensibly interacting with our society. The application of these aphorisms enlarges one’s social circle and ultimately become the base of a healthy society. These aphorisms are practiced by the individual, but the expression of success of these exercises is always in the form of better co-operation with family and society.
1. Salaah len- Samman den (Take advice- Give respect)
Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has described this formula as an important aspect of healthy social life. In the COVID19 emergency, it is our prime duty to listen and welcome the opinions of health experts and take their advice (34). In this pandemic, we must support the commands and recommendations from our administration also. Cooperation brings success in any work quickly. By adopting this sutra we can practice thinking deeply about the suggestions given by others which we sometimes ignore due to our issues.
2. Sukha Baateyn – Dukh Batayen (Share your happiness – reduce others’ sufferings)
Human is a basic unit of society and in society many of the resources of society are combined. The whole society will be civilized and contented if our other brothers and sisters will be happy. Conversely, if our other brothers and sisters will be suffering then how could we live happily? So, we should keep asking the condition of brothers and sisters around us. Here, the meaning of sharing of your happiness and help reduce in other’s sorrow means ‘we should share our happiness/resources with the people around us so that everyone can be happy’ (34). It is indeed an important formula for healthy family and social life.
3. Mil-Baantkar Khayen (Share and Eat together)
This aphorism describes the attitude of cooperation and collaboration. In this Corona Virus period, where everyone is instructed to stay at home, as much as possible, and conditions of lacking have identified. Hence, in such conditions, this aphorism inspires us to live in harmony with the people around us, taking care of their needs, and sharing our food, resources, facilities, etc. with needy. Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has mentioned that “Friends! one who has faith in divine and have divine virtues in the heart can eat only after sharing with others” (35).
For Spiritual Health
Upasana, Sadhana, and Aradhana are the paramount and holistic practices for spiritual growth as propounded by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya. These practices not only improve immunity employing mental stability but also help in the expansion of self (spiritual immunity) leading to harmony in society which specifically needed in crisis like COVID19 pandemic.
1. Upasana (To imbibe divine virtues by worshiping)
In Upasana, the divine qualities are embraced in the body, mind, and senses. This is fundamentally a practice for cultivating good habits in our behavior. It opens plenteous opportunities to deepen our relationship with our spirit. Upasana at a higher level includes extraction of self-consciousness from imperfect bondages and connecting in with ultimate-consciousness which allows emotional integration and consequential effort for unity with supreme-soul (36).
2. Sadhana (Spiritual discipline)
The literal sense of Sadhana, in the Sanskrit language, is ‘practice’ or ‘discipline’. Sadhana means to mold our life into divine discipline. In Sadhana, one has to continuously observe own thought process and direct it towards a righteous path. Physical training, way of living, self-restraint, the performance of duties, development of virtues, eradication of evil tendencies, etc. come under the purview of spiritual discipline (37). It is a process by which one’s individuality is made pure, authentic, and brilliant. The learned virtues from Upasana are imbibed and practiced in daily routine by Sadhana.
3. Aradhana (Selfless services/ Adoration)
The meaning of Aradhana is to do what is need by another (38). As a human, we have the duty of offering our human services to society and the world. We are supposed to help in maintaining the natural ecosystem and to contribute our level best for the healthy and happy growth of all animate and inanimate of the world. According to Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, it is only through caring for the needs of others, one’s selfishness can be replaced with selflessness (38).
Two practices have been instructed by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya to incorporate Upasana, Sadhana, and Aradhana in daily life. The practices are Samayadan and Anshdan. Samayadan means to wisely utilize time for the pious purpose through social welfare activities. Anshdan means offering our wealth and resources for the welfare and upliftment of society. Both of these practices are severely needed to combat with COVID19 crisis.
For the Enhancement of Holistic Health and Immunity
For holistic development, Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has given some specific practices which are elaborated as following.
Yagya is a righteous act in Indian scriptures. The Vedic Mantras as well as the herbal substances mentioned in the scriptures, when duly invoked in Yagya Agni (divine Yagya fire) it generates a divine atmosphere through performer and participants benefit (39). Scientifically, it is a Vedic herbal therapy that uses herbal healing treatment with fire where medicinal vapors (phyto-constituents of plant herbs) and gases are released. It is principally an inhalation therapy that promises wider remedial applications without any risk of side effects. It is cost-effective, natural, and provides added benefits of purifying the environmental conditions by balancing the ecosystem (40).
2. Pragya Yog Sadhna
Pragya Yoga Sadhana covers three types of Yoga i.e. Gyana Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. By performing this Sadhana, one can achieve better status of physical health, mental peace, and spiritual bliss. Pragya Yoga Sadhana has practiced with Atma-bodh i.e. self-realization, Tattva-bodha i.e. Self-introspection, Upasana (worship), Manan (Contemplation), and Gayatri Anusthan (Spiritual Practices). Gayatri Anusthan can be performed weekly, monthly, or annually (41). Figure 2 depicts the steps of Pragya Yoga Sadhana.
3. Four steps of Self Development
The four steps of self-development are Sadhana (Spiritual discipline), Swadhayay (Self-Study), Sanyam (Self-Restraint), Sewa (Service or Aradhana). Out of these four steps, Sadhana, Swadhayay, and Sewa are already discussed previously in this manuscript. Sanyam is important to avoid the withdrawal of mental and physical energy. There is animal instinct in the human mind, so if it is not restricted by self-control then it would create inconsistency in the society. It works on four fronts, i.e. control of the sense organs, control of the mind, righteous use of time and righteous use of money (42).
4. Four Pillars of Self
Four grounds have been considered to be the key to overall spiritual development by means of self. The four pillars of self are – 1) prudence, 2) honesty, 3) responsibility, and 4) bravery. They should be considered as important in terms of spiritual-inner seniority as food, water, clothing, and habitation are considered essential for the body (43).Prudence (Samjhdari) implies the adoption of visionary rationality. Based on prudence, it can be possible to avoid calamities and create possibilities for a bright future. Honesty (Imandari) is to keep speech and action together. It is helpful to maintain authenticity and credibility. Responsibility (Jimmedari) means to accomplish our responsibilities in the right manner and at the right time. Bravery (Bahaduri) means to handle the struggle of life for truth with courage. The fundamental basis of the progress is to fulfill these duties.
As discussed in above mentioned sections, it is necessary to increase the body’s immunity during theCOVID19 crisis. Governments of all countries are instructing their citizens to follow various preventive guidelines as well as to rethink about their immunity level. In Indian medical philosophy, many measures have been given to increase immunity. The different immunity-boosting approaches and aphorism given by Pandit Shriram Sharma are mentioned in section ‘Indigenous Immunity Boosting approaches from the literature of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya’. Summarily, for physical health, practices such as Pragya Yoga Exercise, Pranaakarshan Pranayama, and Kalpa-Chikitsa can improve the overall health during the outbreak of the Corona Virus. Pragya Yoga Exercise package increases the movement of the body with asanas, which are easy to follow by all age and all normal conditions. It is a complete package that positively affects the muscular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, endocrine, etc. systems of the human body. In addition, Gayatri mantra incorporation in it is a prayer for the righteous path in life, so a person practicing Pragya Yoga Exercises automatically adopts the benefit of Gayatri Mantra helping mental immunity.
With Prana-akarshan Pranayama the practitioner inhales the vitality through lungs for strengthening the circulatory system. Clinically, it has been described that the Stage-III of COVID19 attacks the human respiratory system very severely (15), therefore, practices such as Pranaakarshan Pranayama for 10-20 minutes increasing vitality might help increase immunity and fight against infections. Kalpa-Chikitsa as explained by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya can improve immunity by taking commonly available herbal plants and following specific food intake pattern. A variant of Kalpa-Chikitsa has been already given in the advisory given by the Ministry of AYUSH of India. Regular intake of Tulsi, giloy, Amla, Neem, etc., based on their medical properties, removes the alien elements from the body. On one side, the intake of foods that are not properly digested in the body is stopped and on the other side medicinal plants that can help in healing and healthy growth are initiated. The Government of India is also advertising to have simple food and concoction for the balance of human health and society.
Sudden changes in life not only affect the routine of life but also disturb the mentality. Due to pandemic, routine of people is disturbed very widely and deeply i.e. work from home, losing job, business slowdown, decreased earnings, etc. In addition, those who are going to their jobs have fear in their mind for Corona Virus infection affecting mental immunity. The Government of India and many governments of other countries also have started free psychological counseling sessions for their citizens so that people can cope with these strange situations arising around them during COVID19. However, to deal with this epidemic effectively, one requires a strong mindset and traditionally well-established approaches and strategies.
For this Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has emphasized self-contemplation with spiritual discourses, meditation practices, and self-study through life upliftment-based contents. Individuals and families are in quarantine-like situation at their respective places in this adverse time-period. There is no doubt that the present circumstances are unfavorable for the common man. Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya has given a series of books on handling adverse situations in human life by the mind. He often used the phrase ‘मनःस्थितिबदलेतोपरिस्थितिबदले’. It translates, ‘If mindset is changes, then the circumstances (situation) will change’; he also published a book on the subject.
As per Indian philosophy, ‘human birth is given to upgrade the garden created by God’, assimilating the fact, he had devoted his entire life to humanity. He has written, in his literature on social health that only humans who are best creature of God, has ability to think with discriminative wisdom and contemplate. Therefore, in the COVID19 time-period, it becomes very important to share our resources with other needy people if we have enough resources with us.
He has given a formulae for social health, ‘अपनी रोटी मिल-बांट कर खाए ताकि हमारे सभी भाई खुश रह सके'. It translates, ‘Share your bread, so that all our brother can stays happy’.
The principles of Upasana, Sadhana, and Aradhana are given for spiritual health that benefits the whole personality. According to him, without working on self a person cannot do any progress. Spiritual health concerns one’s integrity, social conduct, duties, beliefs, and self-esteem. As Upasana consolidates beliefs and self-esteem, Sadhana develops integrity and discipline, and Aradhana aware the person about social duties and conduct. He gave the formula for spiritual happiness, 'सच्चा सुख ईश्वर के गुणों को धारण करने, अपनी आत्मा को जागृत रखने एवम संसार की सेवा करने में ही निहित है'. It translates, 'True happiness lies in imbibing the qualities of divine, by keeping our soul awake and by serving the world'.
Surely, the approaches and aphorisms given by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya can fulfill the needs of each class of society along with strengthening its core structure. These approaches can be adopted by any person to improve their health and immunity.
His list of relevant books on all aspect of health is given in Table 1. One can read his series of books to stay busy and happy (calm) in the adversity of COVID19; this value-oriented and life-enrichment literature available online at is open access for public to read. Few books are available in print-format only.
The authors tried their best to select relevant titles given in table 1 to relevant category. However, it is possible that in addition to the books mentioned in table 1, other books on the same subject may also be available. The researchers aim to highlight the health-based literature of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya for mass benefit inCOVID19. The content presented in this research paper would be saving the precision time and valuable efforts of the future researcher in a similar research domain.
Protecting health is the prime duty of every human being. It is well said proverb that ‘health is wealth’. This statement is equally demanding COVID19 pandemic era. With reference to the COVID19 pandemic, present study attempted to highlight an intuitive vision and immune-boosting approach given by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya. The intuitive-vision reflected his ultimate discriminative intellect and visionary ability, whereas his literature for physical, mental, social, and spiritual health describes his featured knowledge on the respective fields. The advisories released by the Government of India are already covered up in his literature in depth, which one can adopt to boost their immunity and stay healthy and happy. He has done true service to society by dedicating all his literature to humanity. The approaches from the literature of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya would act as the conceptual mentor for evolving and discovering new ways of health and immunity.
|Naturopathy and Home Remedies||Yoga and Yogic Lifestyle||Family and Social Health|
|प्राकृतिक चिकित्सा विज्ञान (The science of Naturopathy)||यम-नियम (Yam-Niyam)||स्वास्थ्य संवर्धन प्रगति की पहली सीढ़ी (First step of progress is health promotion)|
|घरेलू चिकित्सा (Home remedies)||पतांजलि योग का तत्त्वदर्शन (Philosophy of Patanjali yoga)||इन दिनों का प्रजनन विपत्ति का आमंत्रण (Procreation these days means invitation to misery)|
|पंच तत्त्वों द्वारा सर्व रोगों की चिकित्सा (Treatment of all diseases by five elements)||प्राणायाम से अधि-व्याधि निवारण (Solutions of physical and mental health issues through pranayama)||नशेबाजी के खतरों से सावधान (Beware of drugs hazards)|
|सरल चिकित्सा विज्ञान (Fundamental science of treatment)||आसन और प्राणायाम (Asana and pranayama)||सुप्रजनन भावीपीढ़ी का नव-सृजन (Ideal family planning is base of future generations)|
|कब्ज कैसे दूर हो? (How to overcome constipation?)||आसनों द्वारा का्य चिकित्सा (Physiotherapy by asanas)||जीवन यात्रा का एक भटकाव (Intoxication- A disorientation of life)|
|स्वच्छता मनुष्य का प्रथम गुरुमंत्र (Cleanliness is master formulae for humans)||सर्वोपयोगी सरल व्यायाम (All-purpose simple exercises)||तम्बाकू एक घातक विष (Tobacco is a deadly poison)|
|आहार में संयम बरतें (Be restraint in diet)||ज्ञानयोग की साधना (Discipline of Gyanayoga)||गरीबी भगाएँ गरिमा बढाएं (Shun poverty - increase dignity)|
|स्वास्थ्य – रक्षा प्रकृति के अनुसरण से ही सम्भव (Health care is possible only by following the nature)||व्यायाम आन्दोलन को व्यापक बनाया जाये (Make the Exercise movement extensive)||बाल विकास की समस्याएँ (Complications in child development)|
|शारीरिक परिशोधन हेतु उपवास की अनिवार्यता (The necessity of fasting for physical refinement)||Mental and Physical Health||मित्रता करें पर समझ-बूझकर (Do friendship with prudence attitude)|
|वृक्ष सम्पदा को घटने न दें (Do not let fall the wealth of trees)||हँसती और हँसाती जिन्दगी ही सार्थक (Joyful life is only meaningful)||अहंकार में डूब मत जाइये (Do not drown in ego)|
|Ayurveda||हम अशक्त क्यों? सशक्त क्यो? (Why are we disabled? Why strong?)||सुखी वृध्दावस्था (Ecstatic old age)|
|आरोग्य रक्षा के रहस्य (Secrets of health care)||सुखी इस तरह रहा जा सकता है (Contented life can be lived like this)||सज्जनता की राह (Path of gentleness)|
|बिना औषधि के काया – कल्प (Rejuvenation without medicine)||मत असंतुष्ट रहिये (Do not be dissatisfied)||अन्न संकट की चुनौती का सामना कैसे करें (How to face the challenge of food crisis)|
|कल्प चिकित्सा (Kalpa therapy)||सदविचारो की सृजनात्मक शक्ति (Creative power of ideas)||मर्यादाओं का उल्लंघन ना करें (Do not avoid dignity)|
|बिना कष्ट के प्रसव (Painless Delivery)||व्यक्तित्त्व के परिष्कार में श्रद्धा ही समर्थ (Faith is only proficient to refine the personality)||तम्बाकू का दुर्व्यसन छोड़ा ही जाना चाहिए (Must quit tobacco addiction)|
|क्या खाएँ? कैसे खाएँ? (What to eat? How to eat?)||सात्त्विक जीवन चर्या और दीर्घायुष्य (Sattvic lifestyle and longevity)||स्वच्छता मनुष्य का गौरव (Cleanliness is pride of human)|
|शक्ति-संचय के पथ पर (On the path of power accumulation)||आत्म रक्षा मनोरोगों से भी करनी चाहिए (Self must be protected from psychopathy)||अस्वच्छता का अभिशाप मिटाना ही सबसे बड़ी सेवा (Greatest service is to eradicate the curse of uncleanliness)|
|घरेलू शाक वाटिका - शोभा, स्वास्थ्य, सृजन एवं बचत (Domestic herbicide - beauty, health, creation and savings)||मनःसंस्थान को विकृत न बनने दें (Do not let the mind be distorted)||Lifestyle-Based|
|मसाला वाटिका हेतु घरेलू उपचार (Home remedies from spice garden )||मन को स्वच्छ और संतुलित रखें (Keep the mind clean and balanced)||क्या खाएं, क्यों खाएं कैसे खाएं (What to eat? Why eat? How to eat?)|
|दूध की आश्चर्य जनक शक्ति (The amazing power of milk)||विक्षोभों और उद्वेगों से बचें (Avoid disturbances and excitement)||आहार और विहार में असंयम ना बरते (Do not use incontinence with diet and behavior)|
|स्त्री रोग चिकित्सा (Gynecology)||मनोरंजन का मनोविज्ञान (The real joy of entertainment)||बल वर्धक व्यायाम (Strengthening exercises)|
|कब्ज की सरल चिकित्सा (Simple treatment of constipation)||महत्त्व कांक्षाएँ विकृत न होने पाएँ (Ambitions should not be distorted)||स्वस्थ रहने के कुछ मूलभूत सिद्धांत (Some basic principles to stay healthy)|
|बाल रोग चिकित्सा (Pediatrics treatment)||सुख भोग में नहीं त्याग में है (Happiness is in sacrifice not in materialism)||व्यायाम हमारी आवश्यकता (Exercise is our need)|
|शाकाहारी व्यंजन (Vegetarian dishes)||विकृत चिन्तन रोग – शोक का मूलभूत कारण (Deformed thinking is the primary cause of grief)||तन मन स्वस्थ रहे ऐसा आहार करें (Take such diet which keep body and mind healthy)|
|शाकउगाएँ, अन्न बचाएँ (Grow vegetables save food)||मन के हारे हार जीते जीत (The defeated mind defeats and the victorious mind wins)||दवाएं खातें जाएँ, रोग बढातें जाएँ, ये कहा तक उचित है (How far is it appropriate to take medicines and increase the disease?)|
|खाया कैसे जाए? (How to eat?)||रुग्ण रहें या स्वस्थ, यह अपने मन पर निर्भर है (Stay sick or healthy, it is up to your mind)||सशक्त जीवन का राजमार्ग (Highway for powerful longevity)|
|स्वस्थ रहना है तो दही खाइये (Eat yogurt to be healthy)||काम आवेंगे अपने ही हाथ (Only your efforts will help you)||आहार संतुलन रखें अपच से बसें (Keep diet balance and avoid indigestion)|
|चिरस्थायी यौवन (Eternal youthfulness)||कामना और वासना की मर्यादा (Modesty of desire and lust)||आपको सौ वर्षो तक जीवित रहना चाहिते (You must live 100 years)|
|तुलसी के चमत्कारी गुण(Miraculous properties of Basil)||असंतोष की आग में यों न जलें (Do not be anxious with dissatisfaction)||खाते समय इन बातों का ध्यान रखें (Keep these things in mind while eating))|
|दूध पीएँ तो इस तरह (Drink milk like this)||संयम हमारी एक महत्वपूर्ण आवश्यकता (Restraint is our vital need)||जिंदगी एक कलां एक खेल (Life is an art, a game)|
|स्वास्थ्य एवं दीर्घ जीवन की कुंजी – आहार संयम (Diet Restraint-the key for health and long-lasting life)||जो करें, मन लगाकर करें (Whatever do, do whole-heartedly)||उपभोग नहीं उपयोग (Don’t consume but utilize)|
|जड़ी-बूटियों द्वारा स्वास्थ्य संरक्षण (Health care by herbs)||आराम नहीं, काम कीजिए (Do not rest but work)||हम अस्वच्छ ना रहें घृणित ना बने (Don't be unclean and disgusting)|
|जड़ी-बूटी विज्ञान का नये सिरे से अनुसंधान (Research on herbal science from new aspects)||विनोद और उल्लास की प्रवृत्तियाँ (Tendency of humor and glee)||उन्मत्त हाथी की तरह ना जियें (Do not live like a crazy frantic)|
|जड़ी-बूटी चिकित्सा एवं संदर्शिका (Herbal therapy and guidance)||उतावली न करें, उद्विग्न न हों (Do not rush and panic)||स्वाद की गुलामी तो स्वीकार ना की जाएँ (Do not accept servitude of taste)|
|कब्ज से कैसे बचें और कैसे छूटें? (How to avoid constipation and how to get rid of it?)||दूसरों के दोष – दुर्गुण ही न देखा करें (Do not see the faults of others)||रोग से लड़ें पर रोगी को तो बचाएं (Fight disease but save the patient)|
|आधि-व्याधियों की बाढ़ और उनकी रोकथाम (Stream of diseases and their prevention)||निराशा को पास फटकने न दें(Do not allow disappointment nearby you)||पौष्टिक आहर सर्वसुलभ और सस्ता भी (Nutritious food is commonly available as well as economical)|
|हरीतिमा वृद्धि से स्वास्थ्य परमार्थ का समन्वय (Health benefit in collaboration with Green Growth)||आवेशग्रस्त हो ने कीअपारहानि (Immense loss of being angry)||खाने तक में नासमझी की भरमार (Delusions of food)|
|चिर यौवन का रहस्योद्घाटन (Revelation of eternal youthfulness)||मानसिक स्थिति का स्वास्थ्य पर प्रभाव (Effect of mental state on health)||निरोग बने रहने के शाश्वत सिद्धांत (Eternal principles of being healthy)|
|समग्र स्वास्थ्य – सम्वर्द्धन कैसे? (How to improve overall health?)||न डरिये, न अशान्त होइए (Do not be afraid and upset)||चिकित्सा उपचार के विविध आयाम (Diverse dimensions of the treatment)|
|कच्चा खाएँ – स्वास्थ्य बनाएँ (Eat raw-build health)||असन्तोषकीआगसेबचिये(Beware of dissatisfaction)||निरोग जीवन के महत्वपूर्ण सूत्र (The important aphorism of healthy Life)|
|मांस मनुष्यता को त्याग कर ही खाया जा सकता है (Meat can be eaten only by abandoning humanity)||आत्मविश्वासी बनें, भय न करें (Be confident and do not be afraid)||चिरयौवन एवं शाश्वत सौन्दर्य (Eternal youthfulness and perpetual beauty)|
|काम शक्ति के दुरूपयोग की विभीषिकाओं का ध्यान रहे (Beware of the miseries of misuse of Sensual Power)||स्थूल शरीर को नीरोग बनाने की कला (Art of making the physical body healthy)||जीवेम शरदः शतं (Live for 100 years)|
|मांसाहार मानवता विरुद्ध है (Non-vegetarian is against humanity)||शरीर को स्वस्थ रखिये (Keep your body healthy)|
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