Q: Suppose a man observes the laws of hygiene – will he not keep in good health?
The laws of hygiene are more or less artificial rules and they do not take us very far. A man apparently healthy often breaks down under unexpected attacks, while a man in poor health lives through many vicissitudes. All that can be said is that a vigorous life in fresh open air is congenial to health and longevity.
Q: What is it that really helps the man to keep good health?
Diseases are attacks on the vital being. For every individual there is a sort of balance between his vital being and the external forces; if he can keep this balance he keeps in good health. The body is in a way conscious of this balance and if left to itself is likely to adjust itself to circumstances, but generally this body-consciousness is disturbed and obscured by mental ideas and forms. We have formed many habits and samskāras which are responsible for many of our bodily ills.
– Sri Aurobindo