The Wisdom of Ayurveda, by Dr. Arya Krishna
Ayurveda is a holistic healing science which comprises of two words, Ayu and Veda. Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge or science. So the literal meaning of the word Ayurveda is the science of life. Ayurveda is a science dealing not only with treatment of some diseases but is a complete way of life.
HISTORY OF AYURVEDA
Ayurveda is considered eternal, as its basic principles are similar to that of the elementary principles of creation of Universe. This eternal science is believed to be recollected by Lord Brahma (Hindu Deity- known as the creator). He is presumed to be the primary source of all knowledge and taught this life science to his son, Prajapathi Daksha. He in turn parted this science to Asvini kumaras, who in turn taught to Indra (ruler of heavenly kingdom) and Indra to other sages and disciples.
According to Ayurveda, humans are made up of unique proportions of Vata,Pitta and Kapha. These are called the ‘Tri Doshas’(functional units of the body). The state of equilibrium of these doshas results in orchestrated, harmonious well being of human body where as their disequilibrium may cause ill health, or even death. These ratios of the Doshas vary in each individual and because of this Ayurveda sees each person as a special mixture that accounts for our diversity.
Understanding this main principle of Ayurveda , it offers us an explanation as to why one person responds differently to a treatment or diet than another and why persons with the same disease might yet require different treatments and medications.
From the time of fertilization itself, the constitution of the individual is determined by these doshas or functional units of the body. And this general body constitution of an individual is termed as ‘Prakrithi’ ( meaning Nature/ constitution).
The main aim of Ayurveda is both preventive and curative aspects of health i.e. to maintain the health of an individual and to tackle the disease in an unhealthy person.
Ayurveda offers a number of ways to balance doshas and find your well-being. The key is to find balance with a combined approach— addressing mind, body, and spirit. Ayurvedic remedies draw on a number of modalities:
- Diet modifications
- Intake of herbal formulations
- Lifestyle changes
- Cleansing processes known as the Panchakarma(purification therapy)
Ayurveda proposes three stages in the quest for good health: daily routine and seasonal activities to prevent illness, purification therapy and medications for diseases and rejuvenation of the system to enhance health and quality of life. In addition to these factors Good social conduct, morality, good manners and good character are some other factors which are necessary to stay away from diseases. Thus Ayurveda approaches the complete individual while giving instructions about maintaining the health.
Article prepared by: Dr Arya Krishna
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery,
Fellowship in orthopedic rehabilitation.
Associate Editor, American Journal of Ayurveda