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MEDICINE : AYURVEDA
The methods of prolonging life,
however, are not methods of avoiding death. Life can only be renewed
through death. Ayurvedic rejuvenation methods allow us to undergo a mini-death process in
body and mind to allow for rejuvenation. If we are not willing to die psychologically to our
attachment to the past and our ego identity these practices seldom work. Hence they all involve
cleansing and purification.
More important than rejuvenation of the body is rejuvenation of the mind. Our brain cells get old under
the burden of memory. To reach true awareness in old age it is necessary to cleanse the cells of
these memory accretions.
Ayurvedic rejuvenation practices usually follow Pancha Karma or a period of internal cleansing. They
are combined with Yoga and meditation, because if the mind is not renewed, the body cannot
either. They use many of the special rejuvenative herbs mentioned above. They often
require a period of weeks or months in retreat in nature as society is filled with the forces of
decay. Yet if we live according to our individual nature, with the proper
life-regime, that itself is productive of longevity, even if we do not
resort to such specific rejuvenation practices.