OJAS: the biochemical of bliss
What is it that causes the glow in the cheeks of a pregnant women, the lustre in the eyes of someone in love and the experience of incredible lightness and bliss when you are really happy? ... Ojas
Ojas is defined as a vital substance in the physiology. It is the connecting link between consciousness and matter. Being at the most refined end of the spectrum of matter, it has not yet been discovered by modern science. However the effects of ojas are observable; ojas gives strength, immunity, good digestion, radiant skin, shinning eyes and the feeling of bliss. It provides nourishment and integration to the physiology, mind and intellect, leading to balance in thought, speech and action. By creating an abundance of ojas in the physiology, the memory of wholeness is enlivened and sickness and suffering are eliminated.
The function of ojas can be thought of as a stream of intelligence flowing all through the mind and body with the instructions of how to function properly. This knowledge connects all the parts to the whole and only allows actions which are conducive to good health. We no longer crave unhealthy food because the awareness of the effect is simultaneous with the consumption of it. Instead of having a strong desire for chocolate, enjoying eating it, and then feeling dull or congested, one is not attracted to anything that is unwholesome.
Ojas is both a process and an end product. It provides the knowledge of how to be, what to eat etc, and is a substance which gives the feeling of nourishment and bliss. All Ayurvedic treatment is designed to promote ojas and avoid its reduction.
Some factors that increase ojas
A positive state of mind
This can be achieved by reducing stress through meditation, associating with uplifting friends and colleagues and putting attention on the positive aspects of life rather than dwelling on the negative.
Wholesome food to suit your constitution
Certain foods have been found to increase production of ojas such as milk, rice and ghee. Everyone’s constitution is unique and therefore everyone requires different dietary advice. Ayurvedic pulse assessment is useful in identifying your needs.
If one’s digestion is poor, even the most wholesome diet will create impurities. Therefore strengthening your digestive system will help in the production of ojas. How the food is prepared and consumed is also important. A happy loving cook is a valuable ingredient in the recipe for ojas. Eating in a relaxed manner with friends or family will aid in producing ojas whereas eating while walking, watching T.V. or in a rush will not.
Panchakarma or Ayurvedic purification therapy
Panchakarma involves internal elimination therapies and a variety of massage and steam treatments. Its success in treating chronic disorders such as arthritis, asthma, headaches, chronic constipation and psoriasis, lies in its ability to remove impurities from the body which may have built up over time. By unblocking the channels in the body, ojas is more easily produced and can flow more freely through the physiology.
Ayurvedic herbal substances rejuvenate and balance the physiology. Rasayanas act like tuning forks re-enlivening the correct functioning of the physiology.
Factors that diminish ojas
Poor or light diet
Over exposure to the elements
Lack of sleep at night
Overindulgence in sexual activity
Injury or trauma
Some indications of an abundance of ojas
Upon waking you feel fresh and rested
After meals you feel satisfied
Absence of food cravings
Free of allergies and infections
Limbs feel light and flexible
Balanced mental and emotional state
Good and constant energy levels
Younger looking than chronological age
If you feel that your ojas supply could be somewhat depleted, pay more attention to your diet, lifestyle and general state of mind, remembering that consciousness is primary. Cutting out all your favourite foods and religiously following a strict health routine is not guaranteed to create ojas but a cuddle with someone you love, a moonlit walk in the beauty of nature and a good belly laugh with your best friend is.
The author, Wendy Rosenfeldt BA DipHealth(MAVHEC), is a Maharishi Vedic Health educator. She is based in Melbourne but travels regularly to the Gold Coast. For further information on seminars, consultations or any aspect of Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health call 03 9846 5294 or 0438 507 188.