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HOW TO LIVE HUNDRED YEARS
by Swami Sivananda
Table of Contents
The Rigvedic Prayer for a Long Life
Isa Upanishad on Hundred Years of Life
Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra for Long Life
Surya Stotram for Longevity
Every Morning Dose for Hundred Years’ Life
Surya Namaskar for a Hundred Year Life
Rishi Chyavana, Ashwini Kumaras and the Preparation of Youthhood
A Herbal Preparation for Long Life
Hundred Years as Man’s Normal Duration of Life
Why Grow Old?
A Call to Abundant Energy and Long Life
Yogic Way of Increasing the Span of Life
Vedantic Methods for a Hundred Year Life
Lengthening Life by Brahmacharya
Character-building for Longevity
Spiritual Therapeutics for Longevity
Shadow-gazing for Longevity
Exercises for Arresting Old Age
Yogic Secret of Conquering Death
How to Become a Centenarian?
Some Secrets of Longevity
A Prescription for the Perfection of the Body
Longevity and Transformation of Body in Indian Medicine
Forms of Kalpa Treatment
The Rejuvenation Techniques of Hindu Rishis
Yoga and Rejuvenation Through Kaya-kalpa
Rejuvenation Through Milk Treatment
Neem Treatment for a Hundred Year Life
Butter-milk Treatment for a Hundred Year Life
Brahmi Treatment for Hundred Years’ Life
Ayurvedic Treatment for Hundred Years’ Life
Naturopathic Secrets of Hundred Years’ Living
The Attainment of Longevity
Increase the Duration of Life
Longevity Possible for Blood-pressure Patients
A Sure Remedy for Becoming a Centenarian
A Healthy Life of Hundred Years
Radiant Health through Yoga Man Can Live Forever
Is There a Long-life Secret
Protection of the Aura and Attaining Long Life
Life of Some of the Centenarians
Longevity in Vedas
In this remarkable little volume, Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj has, as a skilful doctor, an expert Yogi, an ace psychologist, and a Perfect Sage, laid down several medical, Yogic, Vedantic, psychological, scientific, Ayurvedic and Naturopathic methods for becoming a Centenarian. For all those who are earnestly seeking for perfect health and a very long life, this work will be highly inspiring, informative and valuable.
—THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
Gerontology is an ancient science! Since time immemorial Man has sought ways and means to conquer death; because, he is immortal. There is an innate urge in him to express that immortality, and to experience that immortality here and now.
The Isavasya Upanishad enjoins upon man the duty to try to live for a hundred years, performing right actions.
The Rishis had in their forest-research-laboratories discovered various methods of prolonging life—Pranayama, Asanas like Sirshasana and Sarvangasana, prayer, Havan, certain herbs, and Kaya Kalpa. They discovered that those living beings which breathed slowly, with less number of breaths per minute, lived longer, and that suspension of breathing led to hibernation and prolongation of life! They prescribed Pranayama for long life.
But, let us never forget that long life in itself is not an undiluted blessing! Health, strength and vitality are not unalloyed blessings in themselves. It depends upon how they are utilised. Life should not mean prolongation of the miseries of old age, a gradual decay, a living death. Life should be so lived as to keep you in full vigour till the hundredth birthday. Even this will not do, is not enough. Till that day, you must lead the divine life, a life of selfless service to humanity, in such a manner that on your hundredth birthday people will still pray whole-heartedly to the Lord that you will live for another century.
Spiritual dedication, dedication to a noble humanitarian cause, is one of the most important factors in the prolongation of life. Other factors are: equal wear-out of all the vital organs of the body (without one decaying faster), absence of chronic diseases, warm-hearted love towards fellow-men, especially to the younger generation, zealous interest in some useful occupation and a will to live, and live for a mission.
At the same time, there must be a willingness to accept the inevitable changes that occur as age advances. Dr. Crampton, a noted geriatrician, says: "If a man has sense enough to realise that in many different ways he is not what he was ten years ago, and acts accordingly, he is way ahead of the game. Know your limitations—adapt yourself to them—and enjoy your privileges to the utmost." And, that is very sound advice.
Be cheerful. Be child-like. Be youthful in your eagerness to know and to do. Rest in God and know, that the soul is birthless, deathless, ageless. Above all, meditate regularly and know that you are the Immortal Atman. You will be blessed with health and long life.
May you all become centenarians and benefactors of humanity.
May God bless you all!
How to live 100 years?
"Plain living and high thinking" is the answer.
The question and answer, both consist of five words only; but it is very difficult to practise. Simple and plain things appear so in the beginning are very hard for practice. The tendency of man is always towards high living and low thinking. A man becomes as he thinks. ‘A sound mind in a sound body’. If the thinking is sound, body remains sound. Evil thoughts exert a very bad influence on body of self and others also. They do harm to the thinker and the thought; so we should preserve ourselves from evil thoughts, and always cherish noble thoughts.
Plain Living. Plain living means natural living i.e., living according to the rules of nature. Our body consists of five natural elements, the earth, the water, the sun, the air and the sky. Full use of these elements keeps the body in good order.
The Earth: We live on this earth. Magnetic currents pass through this earth. So, as far as possible, we should walk barefooted, to be in contact with the earth. The earth has the property of taking away most deadly poisons. The earth has the property of taking away even the poison of snake-bite. In olden times when there was no soap, people were using soft earth for cleansing the teeth, the body and the hair. After bath they were applying Bhasma all over the body and it has been found that the people of old generation are long-lived and better in health than the people of the present generation. Also natural living is cheap. We do not require any money for the earth. Only little exertion is needed.
The Water: The water also plays an important part in keeping the body in good order. The first thing, as soon as we get up in the morning, is the water which we require for cleaning our mouth. Secondly we want water for drinking which cleans our internal organs. The third is that we want water for bath. Cold-water-bath in the morning is more invigorating and gives us more energy. As far as practicable we should not take water with meals. Water should be taken one hour before or two hours after meals. For better health enema of water may be taken, every week or whenever required. Water can be used as a curative agent, in the form of hot, cold packs. When the pain is bearable cold wet pack and when the pain is unbearable hot wet packs should be used.
In rainy season water becomes muddy; so it should be filtered and one whole lemon should be put in a three-gallons-pot for an hour and then that water should be used for drinking purposes. If we require water immediately we should put 2 drops of lemon-juice in 3 gallons-water-pot.
Air: The air is most important of all the elements of which this body is composed. In the morning air there is one and half times of oxygen than the air at any other time. So morning walk or running is most essential. A brisk walk is much better if running is not possible. We must spend most of our time in the open air, as far as practicable. Those persons who have to work in the open air are more healthy than the people whose work is inside the rooms. Open air drill and games are more beneficial than physical exercises taken inside the house.
People of old generations are long-lived because their work was often in the open air, because there were no factories and mills.
The Sun: Sun-bath in the morning sun for 10 to 20 minutes supplies us with much energy and purifies the body. Work in the open air outside is good but it is not possible for all when in this age of machines, most of the work goes on in mills, factories and offices. In old times there were open air schools. Most people were living in huts or houses which had roofs of tiles. In the olden times living was more natural. Now it has become most artificial. Nowadays house-problem has become very acute and most people have to live in crowded houses which are neither airy nor sunny. Surya Namaskars done in the open air are very useful to health.
Exercise: Exercise is a necessary food for long life. Surya Namaskara is the most useful exercise. It is based on the principle of Asanas and Pranayama. People of old generation were practising this exercise. It gives physical and spiritual benefits. It can be done both by men and women. Out-door-games are also good. Indian games do not require much apparatus, while European games are more costly. For children and boys running is a good exercise. For old people morning and evening walk is a good exercise. Any kind of regular exercise is necessary.
Food: Food is of great importance in keeping good health. Best food is roots and fruits. Rishis who lived long, were living on roots and fruits. Natural sun-cooked-fruits are very good for health and also are Sattvic. Now they are very costly and are not within the reach of all when even cereals are very dear. Germinated cereals contain more vitamins than milled cereals. In the absence of any vegetables, germinated food grains also serve the purpose of vegetables.
Amongst cooked food, food prepared in a cooker contain more vitamin than those prepared in direct fire. Poor men can take advantage of cheap vegetables and fruits. Too hot and too cold drinks should be avoided.
Milk and Its Products: Cow’s milk is useful from baby to an oldest man. It is a perfect food. Now it has become very dear and many cannot afford the same. In the beginning of the 20th century milk was cheap and within the reach of all people, the poor and the rich alike. Now only the rich can afford milk, curd, ghee, etc. Ghee has already disappeared from the meals of the poor and middle class men. Artificial Ghee has taken its place.
Buttermilk is as good as milk. So middle class men can take advantage of butter milk. From medical and health point of view, cow’s milk is the best. Fresh milched milk is the best, but this is not possible for all now. So once boiled milk should be used.
Vegetables and Fruits: They are also most necessary for good health. Our meal really should contain ¼ of cereals and ¾ of fruits and vegetables. These also have become dear, so, cheap leafy vegetables may be used. Vegetable salads are very good. If this is not done vegetable should be boiled in air-tight vessels or in a cooker.
Amongst vegetables spinach, lettuce, etc. are good. Amongst fruit-vegetables carrots, radish, tomatoes are within the reach of many people. Among cheap fruits, bananas, lemons are good.
Amongst dried fruits, dates, raisins, are good and also cheaper. So cheaper fruits may be used with advantage.
Good Habits: Good habits are also of great use in keeping up health. ‘Early to bed and early to rise’ makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’. For night-duty people the habit of getting up at 4 a.m. and going to bed at 10 p.m. is not possible, but those persons who have no night-duty also, get up after sunrise and stay awake till late at night. The habit of morning walk is also necessary for those who have to remain often in close quarters. Food also should be taken at regular times as far as possible. It should be well masticated and should not be gulped hurriedly. Hot drink, such as tea, coffee, cocoa are not necessary for the climate of our country, except for people who live in hilly countries.
Good Conduct: Good conduct is as necessary as food. We should be kind to each other and ever ready to help others as we are the sons of the same Almighty Father God who rules the whole universe. "A man becomes as he thinks". We should always cherish good thoughts. Evil thoughts, not only do harm to others, but they harm us, also. So we should never wish ill of others. We should not hurt feelings of others by harsh talk or unnecessarily criticising others. "To err is human." Here in this world none is perfect, so we should forgive any wrong done to us, thinking that the same is due to ignorance on the part of the other man. We should bring home the wrong to him in loving manner. If we behave unjustly towards any one, do wrong to others or deprive one of any of the things or articles, which do not belong to us, our mind naturally becomes uneasy and this has an evil effect on our health, as our own conscience pricks us. So we should be more careful about others’ things.
The feelings of anger is also very harmful, so we should try to control our mind, under unfavourable circumstances. In the same way the fear of any untoward happening is not conducive to health. Anxieties and worries, undermine both the body and the mind. We should have forethought but as far as possible should not give place to anxieties in our mind.
Idleness also is bad for health. An empty mind is devil’s workshop. So we should always engage ourselves in some work or other, private or public. Overwork is also not good. Enough rest is also necessary. Rest means change of work. For rest we should have light and interesting work, or some good hobbies or reading of some good books, from which we can learn something. Library is the people’s university. We can gather much useful knowledge by reading good books. Gardening, evening walk, or good talk with friends are entertainments of a better kind, than cinema or cards.
Brahmacharya: Brahmacharya plays a most important role in keeping us healthy and giving long life. It gives power and strength. Much stress was laid on Brahmacharya in olden times. Now it is mostly neglected. All great men practised Brahmacharya; they were pure in thought and deed. For a man who leads a life of a householder it is necessary that he should practise Brahmacharya up to 25 years and then he should marry. After marriage also much self-control is necessary. The cinemas and the cheap third class literature which is being produced in large quantities is a great hindrance to Brahmacharya. Old was gold. Now everything is imitation only.
Prayer: Lastly we should pray to God who is protecting us at every moment of our life. We should pray to God for His Grace at least in the morning as soon as we get up and at bed-time, if we do not find time during the day owing to heavy work for earning our livelihood and household and social duties. More things are wrought by prayer than a man dreams of. So prayer is as essential as food. We should never forget God under any circumstances, either good or bad. Unfavourable circumstances are due to our faults, either in this life or in previous birth. We alone are responsible for them and not God. In short, plain living and high thinking is the watch-word of Long Life.
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Last Updated: Monday, 21-Feb-2005 08:33:26 EST
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