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Vedic description of insomnia
Dr KK Aggarwal | 06 Apr 2012

The best description of the causes and treatment of insomnia comes from Vidura Niti a dialogue between Vidura and Dhritarashtra, said Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee and President, Heart Care Foundation of India.

The best description of the causes and treatment of insomnia comes from Vidura Niti a dialogue between Vidura and Dhritarashtra, said Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee and President, Heart Care Foundation of India.

Vidura said: "Sleeplessness overtakes thief, a lustful person, him that has lost all his wealth, him that has failed to achieve success and him also that is weak and has been attacked by a strong person".

He therefore described five basic reasons for insomnia and even in today’s science they are true. No new cause has been added in this list of stress induced insomnia.
The situations are:http://www.emedinews.org/press-release

  1. A thief
  2. A lustful person
  3. A person who has lost all his wealth
  4. A person who has failed to achieve success
  5. A person who is weak and has been attacked by a strong person.

Ayurveda describes sleeplessness as an aggravation of vata and pitta dosha. The number one cause of the same is mental tension, suppressed feelings and acute bitterness. The above five situations again hold true to this effect.

Other causes of insomnia mentioned in allopathy are constipation, dyspepsia, excessive intake of tea, coffee and alcohol and environmental factors such as excessive cold, heat or change of environment. They are in most of the situations the effect and not the cause of insomnia.

The treatment of insomnia involves either suppressing the emotions with drugs or root level eradication of stress with proper counseling.

Bhagwad Gita, Chanakya Niti and Vidur Niti are all the high level counseling books of ancient era and provide texts and sutras even true today. Bhagwad Gita was a counseling when Arjuna became very anxious and was unable to decide whether or not he should fight with his near and dear ones. He said: my legs are trembling, my bows are leaving me, by body is shaking, what should I do". The principles of Gita today are incorporated as the principles of Bhagwad Gita and they are minimal 18 counseling sessions, second and last session being the longest. In the first session, only listen and reassure the person repeatedly.

Chanakya again described principles of how to manage conflicts and win over others by way of different principles. One of his main teachings was that money earned by unfair means can only last for eight years.

Here are some of the sutras of Vidura Niti

  • Do not inhabit a surrounding where you are not respected, cannot earn your livelihood, have no friends, or cannot acquire knowledge. (1.8)
  • Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise counsel keep it secret, being determined to carry it into execution. (2.7)
  • Consider again and again the following: the right time, the right friends, the right place, the right means of income, the right ways of spending, and from whom you derive your power. (4.18)
  • A wise man should not reveal his loss of wealth, the vexation of his mind, the misconduct of his own wife, base words spoken by others, and disgrace that has befallen him. (7.1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohTDT62tSHo

One of the answers to insomnia is learning meditation as described in Patanjali Yoga Sutra or Yoga Vashistha. It is based on the principle of concentrating on the present, which shifts the inner environment from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode.

About 20 minutes of meditation morning and evening provides the same biochemical benefit as obtained from 7 hours of deep sleep.