World Health Day on April 7 is an occasion to take a closer look at our ideas of health and wellness. Here, Shekhar Kapur asks Sadhguru what keeps us alive, and what decides how long we live.

Read in Hindi : कैसे रहें स्वस्थ

Read in Telugu: ఆరోగ్యం – దీర్ఘాయుర్దాయం

Shekhar Kapur: Health and longevity are two things everybody talks about, but the messages that are coming across are quite diverse. So I have two questions: a), what is the value of living beyond a certain age, and, b) when living beyond a certain age, is there something inherent in us that actually could keep us healthy, or do we always need outside help from doctors and hospitals? If there was something inherent in us, then maybe I would believe that nature has an intention to keep us alive.

Sadhguru: If nature didn’t have an intention to keep you alive, you would be dead. Even now, you are alive not because of the medicine you take or the health check-ups and hospital consultation you go to, but because nature still intends that you should live. It is because of the life process that you are living, not because of medicine. Medicine can play around a little bit. It cannot create life as such.

This very body that you carry was created from within. You provided raw material from outside, but the creation process happened from within. That means the source of creation or the manufacturer of the body, is within. Trying to fix health from outside is a very effortful process. If you keep access to the innermost core, health will be a natural phenomenon. Thinking that it is something that you have to manage from outside is wrong perception.

Shekhar Kapur: So, the idea of spirituality as staying in touch with your inner self, and your relationship to all of existence naturally promotes health without you having to think about it – is that true?

Sadhguru: Today, it is common medical knowledge that every cell in the body is naturally programmed for health. If it is programmed for health, why would it work against you? Let us make a distinction between infectious and chronic diseases. An infection is an invasion by external organisms. It is kind of a war-like situation. You need chemical warfare to kill them. But more than 70% of the ailments on the planet are chronic. That means they are self-created from within your own body, by your own system. Why would this system, which has an immense desire to exist and survive, create an ailment or something against itself? Because somewhere, some fundamentals have gone off-track. If you keep in touch with the innermost core, which is the source of creation and maker of this body, health is not something that you need to discuss or aspire for. If you keep this system in a certain way, health exudes by its own nature.

Shekhar Kapur: Would you describe that way as a meditative way?

Sadhguru: I would like to, but I would avoid the word “meditation” because it is such a badly abused word. If I say “meditation,” everyone has their own ideas of what it is. If you knew as much as what it means to simply sit here absolutely still, if everything was still within you for two minutes a day, you would be perfectly healthy. Just two minutes. Man is ill only because he does not know how to be still.

Editor’s Note: Download the ebook “Cancer: A Yogic Perspective”, for more of Sadhguru’s insights on health and chronic ailments.