Fever is defined as an abnormally high body temperature often combined with shivering and delerium. It is also a state of excessiveness and near blind compulsivity.
When there is too much for us to process, fever comes. In our metaphysical selves, the accumulation of selfish desire creates a febrility of the mind. In one commentary of the Bhagavad Gita, selfish desire is followed by a “wrath.” This wrath is a fever. It is obtuse anger and a compulsive wanting. Like a virus, this urgent needing is virulent and spreads on all planes – including within the self and throughout society. This cycular epidemic can be known as adharma – a time when things are moving counter to any supportive rhythmn. According to the Bhavagad Gita, when too much of adharma aggregates, there is social decay and God must embody on Earth to begin a deep and sometimes radical cleansing.
Arjuna, when asking Krishna for guidance on the battlefield, reveals his state of profound confusion, of moha. Moha is a byproduct of illhealth. It is a time when we are so overcome that we are unable to comprehend the difference between supportive and unsupportive – in fact we often confuse the two.
In our physical selves, according to Ayurveda, when too much of any incompletely or poorly digested material piles up within the body, it becomes toxic and is known as ama. Like in the social sphere, it compounds and aggressively prohibits the natural rhytmns of life. The body’s response is to break down the ama as efficiently as possible. If ama is left untreated, the tissues can no longer funtion properly as the blockages created by the ama send the systems into a phase of haywire – also a kind of moha.
Similar to our spiritual selves, fever is a byproduct of the accumulation of a ceaseless toxicity. Essentially, the accumulation of ama is an adharmic state within the body. The movement back to health requires a purgation of the ama from the system. This is prerequisite for health in the same way that to return to a dharmic state demands the removal of the toxic thinking and subsequent behaviour.
It is beautiful to see how both the processes of the physical and spiritual planes parallel each other. We become sick in the same ways on both platforms and the path to healing also corresponds.
Adharma accrues when there is too much tamasic and rajasic need – when we are functioning out of base levels of thoughtlessness and depravity. Even just imagining it, we can feel the heat rising.
Our goal as yogis is to conitinuously monitor and cleanse our systems so as to avoid the need for a grand purge. When we search and know why we are here on Earth, and how we can serve via this purpose, we keep our minds in a state where purity, sattva, carries the mental majority. Essentially if we live our lives as a consistent act of Karma Yoga, we keep adharma at bay.
Similarly, if we know our systems, and faithfully practice the methods for keeping them in a state of equilibrium via dedicated daily and seasonal supports, we also prevent ama from gathering.
This is one reason the systems of Yoga move me so much. It is not that it lacks complexity. Rather, the complexity emerges from brilliant attention to the commonality of all natural patterns surrounding us. Even our most subtle selves are made of the same materials as our most tangible, therefore the way to and from health should of course share ressemblence.
The movement from adharma to dharma is explained as a means of moving from the unreal to the real. Similarly, when our bodies are overcome with ama, we are unable to function as our true selves. We begin to behave in a way that is also unreal.
Fever of all kinds produces a hazy vision, an unstable footing, and a fear-full grabbing. The goal on both planes is to maintain a purity that stems from our ability to digest life’s offerings with ease. When we feed ourselves poison, the result is madness. The time we must spend to remove the madness is time we withold from living the gorgeous life we are granted.
Yoga graciously offers us the path to this goal. As we get closer to understanding ourselves and appreciating the sweetness of health, the more faith we have to continue the process.
Health in many ways, is a means to our greatest salvation.