by Prashanti de Jager
“The whole man is most supported by empowering his clarity, his balance, his bravery, his wisdom, his masculinity - his true power.”
In this newsletter, Prashanti de Jager shares profound perennial wisdom that has benefited men since millennia to live and evolve skillfully in balance and harmony.
According to profound perennial wisdom traditions, there are three fundamental qualities of Nature that manifest at all levels, from quasars to ecosytems to the nature of men. These principles are preservation/equilibrium (sattva) creation/kinetics (rajas) and destruction/inertia (tamas). Essentially, all three are equal in importance and power, and keeping them in their right place is fundamental to living skillfully and evolving individually and collectively.
What this effectively means, is that the balance and harmony of these principles in the body mind and spirit, result in an inner balance and an abiding sense of wellbeing, capable of facing the stresses of daily life with equanimity, maintaining harmonious relationships, making decisions with clarity of mind and intention, empowered by well functioning systems within the body, and attuned senses that perceive the world clearly. The sattvic man, who has the controlled tamas of his physicality, the sharp tool of rajas in the sensory abilities by which he interacts, and the clear potent balanced sattva filled mind, creates a world of unity and sustainability in an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.
Traditionally a sattvic diet that promotes true wellness for a man in harmony within himself and the world he lives in, is one that includes supportive herbs, pure water, fresh organic local seasonal fruits and vegetables, and nourishing sensory impressions, as well as the balance of relaxation and exercise.
For millennia and beyond, balancing the whole man’s power has been intricately woven with the robust intelligence of the sattva promoting herbs, including Tulsi (Holy Basil), Arjuna, Triphala, Ashwagandha, Shatavri, and Brahmi.
I do not mention these herbs because they are the ones ORGANIC INDIA biodynamically grows or sustainably wildcrafts, but rather, ORGANIC INDIA provides them to the world as potent vehicles of evolving consciousness. In fact, one of the main words for herbs in the ancient world is Aushadhi, meaning "carrier of light," or "vehicle of consciousness." The socially and environmentally responsible methods used to ensure the quality of these herbs, reflects the commitment to sharing the wisdom these vehicles of consciousness carry.
When asked which is the main Ayurvedic herb for men, most herbal cognoscenti would immediately answer Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is one of the best Medhya herbs, the herbs that promote a balanced and profound intellect. By supporting physical and energetic masculinity, deep core vitality, and sattvic wisdom, Ashwagandha is indeed a great herb to support the whole man!
One of the most renowned herbal versions of the classic moiety of opposites, (which include man-woman, hot-cold, assertive-receptive) would be Ashwagandha-Shatavri, giving rise to the questions that further support balance in the whole man of today: do men need to be more masculine, or do we need to be more balanced? Do men need more agitated aggression, or more balanced assertiveness in making the right choices? Do men really need to be more physically powerful, or do we need to be more empathically empowering? Do men need to be more dominating and pursuing dominion, or do we need to be more conscious stewards of a domain that actually belongs to the good earth on which we walk?
The answer here is that the earth and society needs men to have less tamas and rajas in the minds and more sattva. Ashwagandha's deep sustainable support of core vitality supports a man’s power and sattva.
Men tend to be powerful in some ways and weak in others, and in fact his strengths can be weaknesses and his weaknesses can be strengths. In today's world, what men really need is not more power, but more depth to the power he has, the wisdom to base his intentions on, and the clarity of mind to direct his actions.
To make Ashwagandha's deep sustainable support of core vitality more balanced, I almost always recommend that men take it with Shatavri, often known as "the main herb for women." This helps men to be more balanced, more whole, and more potent in every way.
Ashwagandha also builds the stamina, endurance, and pure potency of the quality of vitalized stimulation, making it one of the best herbs to invoke the rewarding raw physical power that include sexual vitality in the life of a whole man.
Though a combination of Ashwagandha and Shatavri, 3:1, is a great first choice for men, my first choice of an herbal ally for today’s man is the herb of the wise accomplished warrior, the herb of the braveheart, the herb that stabilizes and bolsters our spirit and will, the herb that many herbalists call the world’s best herb for the Heart, and that is Arjuna.
What is man about? Offering a potent seed for "their" offspring? Protection? Providing? Though seemingly outdated, the noble warrior archetype is very much called for these days to ensure that we not only have the power to face the challenges of the world we have created, but sometimes to even get out of bed in the morning!
The world can be a very challenging and heart-breaking place: Oil spills in the Gulf that destroy so many beings is heartbreaking; unskillfully handling the power of nature leads to heartbreaking events like Fukushima; rampant myopic corporate greed that exploits resources and disempowers the masses is heartbreaking; witnessing the dumbing-down of once brilliant nations like America is heartbreaking; and so we need the braveheart of the warrior to face and make the changes necessary for a sustainable future. To protect and provide these days, and to do so in a way that promotes sustainability, one needs the clear unwavering strength of a dedicated warrior ready to cross the rubicon of mediocrity, and with a lions heart dauntlessly create a sustainable world for the deserving generations of those to come.
There is a saying in an ancient omnibus of wellness that declares:
"Nothing can be said about Arjuna the warrior that cannot be said about Arjuna the herb."
Arjuna is considered by many to be the great warrior of all times and was, according to the legends, the "son" of the lord of the gods. So any herb that is the namesake of such an epic warrior without doubt has more than a few empowerments to offer men! And indeed, Arjuna the herb, the rose colored bark of 120 foot tall trees of North Indian jungles, has at least a dozen major mechanisms of vivifying the Heart.
Note that I capitalize "Heart." That is because it supports the physical heart, and many herbalists around the world claim that it is the world’s best heart herb, and Arjuna also supports the subtle Heart, the emotional center, and the Heart of the will. Some of the best herbs for men to take are herbs that nurture Shen, Spirit, the Light of the Heart, Tejas, because today’s whole man requires the confidence that arises from deep spirited wisdom. Shen herbs, which support the deepest levels of the heart, include: Reishi, Tulsi (Holy Basil), Arjuna, Rhodiola and Ashwagandha.
As a man who wants to help other men truly live empowered and empowering, as an activist who wants to support men to take better care of their world, and as a clinician who sees the present trajectory of most men in their throes of deep imbalance, I would recommend this protocol that can be followed by practically any man of any constitution:
Taken twice a day with a strong cup of Tulsi Tea (2-3 teabags per cup) with food if possible. If you can’t make the tea then add a Tulsi (Holy Basil) capsule to the mix and drink with a glass of warm water. Tulsi (Holy Basil), along with Brahmi, is one of the most sattva inducing herbs on the planet, and hence very important in empowering men out of the vicious cycles of rajas and tamas entrapment, and into the exponential empowerment of sattva. Also note that Arjuna is the main ingredient in the Heart Guard formula.
It is time that all of us support the whole man, the man that sees a whole woman, the man that sees a whole earth, the man that sees his whole self flourish in a future we all can enjoy contributing to a sustainable, peaceful, harmonious community.
I dedicate this article to my Son and Fathers, including the Lion of Lucknow, a great sattvic powerfully whole Man!
Prague, May 26, 2011