Ayurveda is ancient traditional system of medicine originated in India thousands of years ago. Since then, Ayurveda has helped human kind to help overcome their illnesses, protect them from diseases and promote health and live healthy for long.
Lord Dhanvantari prayer (for long healthy life)
“Om Namaami Dhanwantari aadi Devam sura asuraihi vandhita paada padhmam..
Loke Jaraa ruk bhaya mrithyu naashanam Dhaataaram eesham vividha aushadheenaam”
Concept of Health in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, whose Dosas, Agni and function of Dhatu and Malas are in the state of equilibrium and who has cheerful mind, intellect and sense organs is termed as “Svastha” (Healthy).
Ayurveda provides knowledge of etiology,symptomatically and therapeutics, best way for both the healthy and the sick,tri-aphormismic, continuing since time immemorial and virtuous which was first known to Brahma the creator.
History of Ayurveda
History of medicine is a fascinating subject as it is a saga of man’s struggle against disease,which brings the best out of human kind in terms of healing and coping with illness.
As the civilization advances and as the disease pattern changes, the medical science also changes, which influenced by the then existing social practices.
Ayurveda is the system of medicine that evolved in India with a rationale logical foundation and it has survived as a distinct entity from remote antiquity to the present day.
Ayurveda, “the science of life” (knowledge of Ayu), is a comprehensive medical system that has been the traditional health care system in India for more than 5000 years.
It has influenced many of the older traditional methods of healing including Tibetan, Chinese and Greek medicine. Hence, Ayurveda is considered by many as the ‘mother of all healing sciences.’
Ayurveda was branched into the following eight branches :
Basics of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is that which deals with Ayuh (life) or promotes life-span. Ayurveda is that which deals with good, bad, happy and unhappy life, its promoters and non-promoters, span and nature.
Mind, self and body – these three make a tripod on which the living world stands.
That (living body)is Purusa (person),sentient and its location is Ayurveda.
The science of Ayurveda has simplified the organizational layout of the human body into three basic components,
Dosa (Body Humours), Dhatu (Tissue) and Mala (Impurities). Body is originally composed of dosas, dhatus and malas .
The Ayurvedic philosophy says that an individual is bundle of ‘spirit’,desirous of expressing itself,uses subjective consciousness or Satva to manifest sense organs and a mind.
Spirit and mind then project themselves into a physical body,created from the five(Panca) great (maha) eternal elements (bhutas) together called the 'the five great elements' (Pancamahabhutas) –which arise from Tamas.
The entire science of Ayurveda is based on the “five great elements” (Pancamahabhuta) theory.The sense organs then using Rajas to project from the body into the external world to experience their objects. The body becoming the vehicle of mind, for gratification of senses.
The Bhutas combine into ‘tridosas’ or bioenergetic forces that govern and determine our health or physical condition. While the three gunas (Rajas; or activity, Tamas or inertia and Satva , which balances the first two) or psychic forces determine our mental and spiritual health.
Ayurveda is thus a holistic system of health care that teaches us to balance these energies in order to achieve optimum health and well being.
Schools of Ayurveda and Scholars
The medical history of ancient India is authenticated, as already stated,mainly in the writings of the two great sages of Indian medicine-Sushruta, the surgeon, and Charaka, the physician.
These two teachers headed very advanced Schools of surgery and medicine respectively around 2500 to 600 BC.
Later, from the six to seven BC, there was systematic development of the science and it is called Samhita period, when a number of classical works were produced by several authors and during this period there is evidence of organized medical care, form which the basic treatises even to this day, for practitioners of the Ayurvedic system of medicine in India.
Senior Triad texts are,
Need of Ayurveda in Today’s world
The main aim of Ayurveda has been described as “Ayurveda not merely being a system of medicine, but a way of life”.
Its objective is to accomplish physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being by adopting preventive and promotive approaches as well as treating disease with a holistic approach.
What you eat, where you live, even the colours you are attracted to can be explained by Ayurveda.
In today’s world we have lost the tradition of the holistic way of living and we are running behind material desires ignoring our health.
Ayurveda has many more principles and a strong foundation of years of practice rather than just prescribing medicines. It teaches us how to balance our lifestyle with different things.
The Global Ayurveda: Future Medicine
Though efficient enough the old heritage of Ayurvedic healing has faced lot of struggle to mark it’s place along with the conventional medicine.
The eight decade of 20th century witnessed third upsurge in the popularity of Ayurveda among Westerners.There is an economic aspect to this trend too people in western world typically pay out of pockets for traditional medicines.
So, Ayurveda is receiving momentum as an effective alternative to the conventional system of medicine by virtue of its systematic approach to cure and prevent ailments using natural resources. Ayurveda has emerged as effective preventive medicines and providing answers to various unsolved health problems.
Today, Ayurveda is extending its roots across India becoming a global holistic medicine.