Ojas (natural immunity) & Bala (strength)
Ojas is the essence responsible for vitality and immunity. It maintains the natural resistance of the bodily tissues, fights against aging, wasting and disease. Ojas is the source of vitality and immunity, but power is Bala, the outcome of Ojas. A person who has good Ojas rarely becomes sick.
The concept of Ojas includes many different types of cells; plasma cells (such as albumin, globulin, white blood cells), red blood cells, and hormones.
Ojas is formed during the biosynthesis of bodily tissue (the creation of the Dhatus) and is nourished by the bodily tissues. Collective Ojas is the name given to the pure essence of all the bodily tissues. Each and every Tissue has the capacity to create its own Ojas. The Ojas present in a single cell or tissue is known as localized Ojas.
The essence of Ojas manifests as the balanced activity of the endocrine, nervous, skeletal, muscular, hematopoietic and digestive systems. When all these systems perform their physiological function, Ojas is reflected as the potential source of strength, power, and natural resistance against illness, which is called natural immunity. The strength of Ojas is what determines whether any internal or external factor creates a disease. Ojas is much influenced by the power of digestion (Agni), responsible for breakdown and assimilation of nutrients. The quality of Ojas also depends upon lifestyle, stress, traumas, and the quality of relationships and interaction a person has in his life.
If a person has a healthy skin and flesh, is resilient to disease and injury, and has “juiciness” those are signs of good Ojas. Ojas is associated with mental stability and an earthy strength to endure. It nurturing presence is calming and grounding. It brings quality and peace of mind. It satisfies the flesh, bringing with it the confidence needed to protect the body, mind and spirit from burning desires. Ojas may be compared to a cement or glue that binds and contains the body, mind, and spirit into a functional whole.
Ojas is said to have the smell of burnt rice and the color of ghee. Some Ojas building foods include ghee, rice, milk, sugar, almonds, and raisins. The body transforms food into Ojas through digestion and metabolism.
The reasons for Depleted Ojas
Ojas is lost by too much sexual activity and loss of sexual fluids, physical trauma such as a sever car accident, psychological trauma, vigorous exercise beyond one’s capacity or total avoidance from exercise, excess mental work, fasting or not enough nourishment, excess exposure to wind or sun, drying beverages such as alcohol, lack of sleep, overwork and overload, many types of disease (infections, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease such as crohn’s or colitis, cancer), long standing emotions such as anger, worry, anxiety, sadness, the use of stimulants and drugs, strong medication such as chemotherapy, environmental toxins, a diet based on processed foods, absence of nature and natural environment, immoral behavior, and last but not least, a continuous state of stress.
Signs of depleted Ojas:
Loss of Ojashas systemic influences such as impaired vitality and immunity. Other signs of depleted Ojas are fear, constant worry, anemia, mental weakness, impatience, lack of faith, palpitations, breathlessness, muscle wasting, arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome (extreme tiredness that is not relieved by rest, poor digestion, muscle pain, mental sluggishness), and AIDs.
Bala – strength
Bala is the outcome of sufficient Ojas, and means strength or power. Strong Bala will show as physical strength, the power to resist disease or overcome disease, and also mental aspects such as self-confidence, mental stability, independence, accomplished. For example, a patient with good Bala can act independently according to the doctor’s advice and help himself heal, while a patient with medium Bala will need the doctor’s support and guidance all along the healing process, and a person with very low Bala, even the best help, advice and up close assistance will not help him to heal.