‘Arōgyā paramā lābhā, santutthi paramam dhanan’, which literaly means that ‘Health is the ultimate gain, happiness is the ultimate wealth’. As we are Sinhalese, we can proudly say that our ancestors had magnificent clinical methods to maintain the health of the body, which is said to be composed of five elements, according to the teachings of the lord Buddha.
However, unfortunately the life expectancy and physical fitness of our people are gradually decreasing from generation to generation. There are a number of people who were diagnosed with one or more non-communicable diseases even before completing their youth. We are now being punished by the nature for practicing harmful agricultural methods, instead of the environmental friendly method which we were gifted from our ancient farmers, who were considered to be the pioneers of the nation.
The number of kidney patients is dramatically increasing in the dry zone of the country, where most of the agricultural activities are carried out. The members of their families are suffering as they are missing the wealth of happiness. Poverty and dissipation are ruling the villages, ruining our proud rural culture. In addition, as a result of the drug menace in current society, especially among the youth, a considerable number of men are suffering from infertility. Nowadays, it has become an essential for most of the people to carry a medi-pack with them where most of them tend to be a victim of common diseases such as diabetics and high blood pressure. Most of the houses are like hospitals or pharmacies. Majority of the people who go to monthly clinics and take daily medicine, do not understand the fact that they are not healthy any more. People are turning sick and weak, lowering their life expectancy and suffering from physical pains, as well as metal depression. This is the reality of modern medical science.
The whole nation has become diseased, because of a serious mistake that took place somewhere. It is high time to identify the reasons, why the Sinhalese are having decreased life expectancy, diseases such as cancers; rather than just surviving with daily intakes of medicine. It is not an impossible task to get our future generations to the correct path, towards a healthy nation, by bringing back those old practices to the present. We owned agricultural methods and techniques to produce our main diet, rice, with the blessings of nature instead of using any harmful substances and practices. We enjoyed diversified food habits based on seasonal changes, time, age, gender etc. These correct food habits helped to keep the people healthy and sound, while allowing them living sustainably in the environment. They lived in peace and harmony, respecting each other, and enjoying the family life with many children.
A nation, who owned such a wonderful culture and a life style, now has faced a pathetic situation, hiding diseases from each other, misleading their families and pretending to have successful lives.
Although, it is a difficult task, the best thing that we can do is, bringing that old life style back in to our lives. If we sacrifice one generation, it will be able to benefit the future generations. The natural disasters like floods, landslides, droughts etc. would not occur, if we live sustainably, protecting our existing environment without any further destruction. Plant based food that you take from poison-free farming will never be harmful. The healthiness will be gifted from fresh food you eat while ensuring complete nutrition. This means, it is time to bring our ancient practices back to enjoy the ultimate profit of healthiness, happiness and peace.