Monday, December 20, 2010

Ayurveda - The Science of Life

"Ayurveda" literally means "the science of life". 

It is the oldest and most holistic medical system available on the planet today. 

It was placed in written form over 5,000 years ago in India, it was said to be a world medicine dealing with both body and the spirit.

It gives a total approach to health, healing and Longevity.  

The unique system of healing believes not only in treating the ailments of body alone but also the mind and spirit. The most amazing part of Ayurveda is that it uses almost all methods of healing like yoga, meditation, purification, regime, astrology, and incorporates herbs, gems, colour, massages, diet, exercise etc, which can be individually used to heal a number of ailments in a suffering person.

It is believed that other healing systems were influenced by the knowledge of Ayurveda. 
Four main books of spirituality, which covers a vast number of subjects from astrology, health, business etc are written in Sanskrit and are known as Vedas. 
These Vedas belongs to approximately 2500 B.C or earlier and known as oldest writing in the world. 

They are,
1. Rig veda 
2. Yajur veda
3. Sama veda
4. Atharva Veda

During 3000 to 2000 B.C Atharva Veda was written of which Ayurveda is upaveda (Sub-section). This was first time the traditionally practiced oral form of Ayurveda was written in a text form.

Atharva veda lists eight divisions of Ayurveda. 

These are,
1. Kaya Chikitsa (Internal medicine),
2. Shalakya Chikitsa (Treatment of head & neck, Ophthalmology),
3. Shalya Chikista (Surgery), 
4. Agada Thantra (Toxicology), 
5. Bhootha Vidya (Psychiatry),
6. Kaumara Bhrithya (Paediatrics), 
7. Rasayana (Gerontology or science of rejuvenation),
8. Vajikarana (Science of fertility). 

Around 1500 B.C two school of thoughts existed and those made Ayurveda a scientifically verifiable and classified medical system.
1. Atreya: The School of Physicians.
2. Dhanwantari: The School of Surgery.

Both school thoughts had their own philosophy, diagnostic patterns, treatments and medicine. They had different followers and the texts were written by the school accordingly.

Basic Principles:

According to Ayurveda all the matters in the universe is made up of five elements, originally called Pancha maha bhoothas. 

They are,
1. Prithvi : Earth - It represents the solid heavy state,
2. Aap : Water - It represents the free flowing liquid state. 
3. Tejas : Fire - It represents a substance's ability to undergo change.
4. Vaayu : Air - It represents the gaseous state. 
5. Akash : Ether - It represents space.

Ayurveda group these five elements into three categories called Doshas. 

1. Vata
2. Pitha
3. Kapha

An imbalance in these doshas causes illness.  

Samaan Viparita Nyaya:

Since body is also an object, it is also made up of five elements. 
The health is preserved only when these five elements comprising our body are in homogeneous state and equilibrium. 
Our food and life style has impact on this delicate balance of five elements. 
However these foodstuffs and lifestyles have three types of effects on the body.

1. It can act as food and nourish the body.
2. It can act as medicine and bring about balance in the elements.
3. It can act as poison and disturb on the body functions.

As per Ayurveda there are Seven Dhathoos (Saptha Dhathoos) in the body.

They are,
1. Rasa : Chyle or Plasma.
2. Raktha : Blood.
3. Mamsa : Flesh.
4. Medhas : Fat.
5. Asthi : Bone.
6. Majja : Bone Marrow.
7. Shukra : Semen.

Building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion, and proper excretion leads to vitality.

Thus, body, mind, and spirit/consciousness need to be addressed both individually and in unison for health to ensue.

The practice of Panchakarma  is  to eliminate toxic elements from the body.

Ayurveda describes Dhina Charya and Erthu Charya for a healthy living.

"സമ ദോഷ സമാഗ്നിശ്ച്ച സമ ധാതൂ മലക്രിയാ!
പ്രസന്ന ആത്മ ഇന്ദ്രിയ മന: സ്വസ്ത ഇതി അഭിതീയതെ !!"
                                                                 (Shushrutha Samhitha)

‘Health is a state where in the Tridosha, Digestive fire, all the body tissues & components, all the physiological processes are in perfect unison and the soul, the sense organs and mind are in a state of total satisfaction (prasanna) & content”

Know Ayurveda, Live Healthy.

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1 comment:

  1. good article ,but it would be more attractive by including a brief summary of charaka samhita and susruta samhita. expecting an article related to yoga .


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