How to Live Hundred Years
- Author: Swami Sivananda
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.
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!