In 2007, my grandfather lay on his death bed with over 35 members of his family lovingly gathered around him to say their goodbyes. He had peace in his heart and a sense of fulfillment on his face. He had almost all his dark hair, a heart that functioned like an 18-year-old boy, clean lungs, and no chronic or acute conditions. He had amazed the doctors at every visit.
We lived in Mumbai–a city where human bodies tend to deteriorate rapidly. The Air Quality Index usually hovers around 150, 50 points above what WHO considers acceptable for most people, and the tropical sun shines hot and bright. But my grandfather, an Ayurvedic healer, had used a combination of Ayurvedic and Yogic principles to defy aging and live his life to its fullest potential.
Bapuji would volunteer at various dilapidated municipal hospitals with low hygiene standards to distribute free medicines and personally greet lonely patients on every bed until his 90s. Most of these buildings had no elevators, and often, he would walk up seven stories; no cane, no support. The family often displayed their concern for infections, but he remained undaunted. He had trust in his body’s ability to protect itself, and in the 30 years of these visits, he never once caught something.
Today, 14 years after his passing, his remarkable Ayurvedic life still inspires me daily, and I carry his legacy to the West. Below are some of the core tools, practices, and principles that kept him thriving.