By Swami Harshananda
Ādhi literally means ‘illness of the mind’.
The ancient sages have recognized that the body and the mind form one unit and that this unit is of fundamental importance in achieving anything worthwhile in life. Hence each one, the body and the mind, should remain in a healthy condition and in harmony with the other. Vyādhi (illness of the body) and ādhi (illness of the mind) are both considered to be serious obstacles in the path of progress, whether temporal or spiritual.
In most general terms, anything that disturbs the equilibrium of the body is a vyādhi and anything that upsets the equipoise of the mind is termed as an ādhi. The ariṣad- vargas or six enemies of a being termed as ādhi are as follows :
Worries and anxieties are the examples of Rāga (attachment) and dveṣa (aversion). These are the root causes of all ādhis. Conquest of these will help in removing the ādhis.
In the dharmaśāstras, the word is used in the sense of a pledge, deposit or article of mortgage.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore