Need for Physical Strength and Health


Is it true that physical strength is an important requisite for spiritual realization as claimed by statements like नायमात्मा बलहीनेन लभ्यः (Mundakopanishad) and "You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger." (Collected works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3)?

—Ashutosh, India


Dear Friend,

That sloka is encouraging us to live the teachings and practice dharma rather than only just read about in the scriptures! In addition, the vitality of the human body is a great aid to one’s ability to function well – to concentrate, to meditate, and to activate the will power with devotion and creativity.

Perhaps more subtly, this sloka is saying we should absorb the vibration, consciousness, and lessons of the Gita to our very body-cells and from there into our lives, thoughts, and attitudes.

It can also be seen as the integration of body, mind, and soul as “One.” It means to achieve omnipresence in our own body first and then progressively expand our consciousness to Infinity.

It does not mean health and vitality are better than or a substitute for the teachings of the Gita. See it as “both-and” not “either-or.” Does this make sense, then?


Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA