The Sage Jivaka is a vivid illustration of the spiritual power of putting into practice ina divinely inspired way of the teachings of his wise spiritual guide Kashyapa, who revealed to humans many of the mysterious aspects of the manifestation of the fundamental energy of life (ayus) in the human being, particularly during childhood and youth. A reflection of such a mystical aspect is found in the exceptional life of his child disciple Jivaka, who was five years old when he learned Ayurveda from his teacher and soon after wrote the work inspired by it.

By the very example of his life Jivaka reveals to us that the period of childhood sums up in every human being an unfolding order of potential, latent aspects that are exceptional. These aspects are the fruit of previous experiences accumulated by the human being.

The period of childhood is also the most favourable for accelerated spiritual transformations, which occur under the influence and wise guidance of spiritual beings, who ensure that this transformation takes place in the right way. In this regard, we can quote a statement of the sage Nagarjuna contained in the chapter entitled : "The duties of each period of human life" from the famous work Vaidya-Jiva-Sutra : "From birth until the age of 10, the human being is required to remain ina state of deep humility and contentment ". As is well known in the age-old science of the Ayurvedic system, the state of humility and deep contentment are essential conditions for maintaining a state of balance and harmony in kapha-dosha, the subtle structuring energy that prevails and governs this period of human life.

Humbly listening to the spiritual and practical teachings offered can optimally highlight the state of heightened receptivity that is particularly evident during this period. He who knows how to learn patiently and humbly from his teachers when he is still a child, and who is fully satisfied with this elevated receptive condition, will later be able to manifest, ina specific way, the very sublime aspects that can manifest through the general function of the subtle energy governing this period of life (kaphaAn illustrative example of these sublime aspects is exceptional superior creativity.  

The spiritual message that the sage conveys Jivaka is precisely to strive to always be young in spirit and soul. This requires that we systematically cultivate spiritual qualities such as humility, patience, attentive obedience, consistency in spiritual practice, openness to learning from the wise and gifted with divine graces, from nature and from the whole universe.

Life on the physical plane of the sage Jivaka highlights an exceptional event that masterfully illustrates these fundamental spiritual truths. The Sage Jivaka was the son of the wise man Richika.  Jivaka received the teachings of Ayurveda when he was five years old directly from the wise Kashyapathen memorized-o as a result of a perfect memory capacity and later systematized-o, finally taking the form of a work.

He presented this work to the scholars of that time, shortly after the Ayurvedic teaching was assimilated by him,  Jivaka (as a child), noted that they could not accept the fact that this teaching was being recited to them by a five-year-old. Then, seeing that because of their pride and self-importance in regard to their venerable age, those scholars gave him no credit because he was only a five-year-old child, the wise child Jivaka s-completely submerged in the river Gangesin the sacred place called Kanakhala and came out shortly afterwards with graying hair, just like a respectable being in his old age. Amazed at this miracle, the scholars then accepted the truths set out in the work by Jivaka. They recognized in him a manifestation of God's wisdom and power, and because of his sacrifice in this direction, theyhave since called Vriddha-Jivaka.

Prefix Vriddha signifies not only his appearance as an elderly being, but is also an indication of a spiritual endowment that manifests itself in the being as a result of a vast previous experience, which comes from multiple existences devoted to the attainment of the state of wisdom. This attribute, Vriddha, was added to the name of Jivaka to emphasize the craftsmanship that Jivaka, disciple of Kashyapa, had it in knowing the mysteries of the Ayurveda. The example of Jivaka can help us understand what constitutes the superior attitude of humility and devotion of a model spiritual aspirant.

Jivaka represents the state of wisdom that awakens in the being of the one who always manifests the state of a child of God. The state of fullness of heart thus opens the gates of Heaven for the human being. To such a pure being will then flow countless divine gifts, just as a good and obedient child receives wonderful gifts from his parents. Jivaka teaches us that the state of candor can overtake biological age if it (age) becomes an impediment to spiritual openness to divine guidance due to closedness. The sublime state of candour is thus coexistent with the state of deep communion with God the Father, a state which is enjoyed by one who is always young in his soul, regardless of the biological age of his body.

Childhood and youth are also the time to make the most of the energy of the beginning. In fact, it is in the energy of the beginning thata condensed form the whole unfolding of events over time. The famous fairy tale entitled : "Youth without old age and life without death" once again symbolically attests to the continuity of the awakened soul's peak experience.

The state of spiritual openness is easily attainable in childhood if the two essential conditions listed above are met: the exemplary state of humility and the state of deep inner contentment. Looking from this perspective we will be able to understand even more deeply why our divine model Jesus was telling us: "Let the children come to me, for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven..".

Sensing the potential of this young age in man's spirit, the famous writer Goethe said, "If children would grow up as they are and as they look at the beginning, then there would be only geniuses and wonderful people on earth". (DichtThe period of childhood gives man the living example of a state of openness of soul to the miracle of life. At this age the human being discovers inin a mysterious way many of the hidden mysteries of Mother Nature. The intimate connection with the Universal Feminine Principle is naturally greatest at this age. It then gives the soul of the human being-child the opportunity to benefit from the gifts of a direct, experiential knowledge of the mysteries of God's creation.

Childhood and youth give the human being a sense of subtle intimacy with the whole of nature. In this respect, the writer Jean Paul Sartre remarked, full of inspiration: "Children are very close to nature, they are good relatives with the wind and the sea. Their whispers or songs offer the one who knows how tounderstand them, comprehensive teachings full of wisdom." (The Words).

All these are aspects that we can discover ina living form through the spiritual example of the sage Jivaka. Even though he and-retained the physical appearance of a venerable man, yet he remained throughout his existence a child of God, full of humility and brilliance of spirit. This aspect is also attested to by another story which describes him, this time on Jivaka as one of the wise man's model disciples Atreya.

After Jivaka assimilated the teachings of Ayurveda from his teacher Kashyapaafter (as a child) he even wrote a paper based on the teachings he received from KashyapaJivaka went on to study further Ayurveda, being a model disciple by the state of humility and elevated receptivity he showed.

It is said that at one point, havinghim as a disciple and on Jivakathe wise Atreya i-sent all his disciples into the wild to bring back certain plants which they could claim to have no therapeutic use. Each of the disciples brought something, looking for the most insignificant plants, which they believed at the time to be useless. Just Jivaka s-returned empty-handed. He was the only one who answered correctly to the test that the wise Atreya l-offered to his disciples, because in reality no plant in nature, if well known and correctly used, can be without therapeutic usefulness. Jivaka s-thus proved once again to be a model student and a very good connoisseur of the essence of millenary science Ayurveda.