What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is different. It is grounded as a 5,000 year old knowledge system that has survived this long because it works. In fact, as more and more people search for solutions to long-lasting health concerns, Ayurveda is seeing a massive resurgence of interest. Similar to the popularization of Yoga in the Western world, Ayurveda appears to be following this path as many are already seeing the powerful difference this sage medicine can provide.
According to Ayurveda, health is a state of reality in which you experience the reality. The health available through the practice of Ayurveda has the ability to bring balance and higher spiritual wisdom.
The Ayurvedic therapies include Panchakarma, herbal medications, massage treatments, diet recommendations, and lifestyle changes. Each remedy is provided with the goal of balancing the doshas. Doshas are the functional forces of the body. They are responsible for all of the life processes. The 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) sustain life in a normal state but produce diseases in an imbalanced state by creating impurities in the body.
Ayurveda, is a holistic healing system with a profound philosophical background and comprehensive understanding of life with a history of 5,000-10,000 years. It is largely based and originated from India where its roots lie in the Himalayas. The principles of Ayurveda originated in the Veda which serves as the basis of for its practices and traditions.
What is Veda?
The Vedas contain the essence of all knowledge and wisdom. Veda is an eternal truth first conceived in the Himalayas by sages who meditated upon the truth and purpose of life.
In their deep meditation they realized that the source of life lay beyond the body, senses, mind and even intellect. The sages shared their experiences of the truth in the form of sound, known as Veda. They wanted to help ease the struggles of mankind caught in the drama of the sensual world. Veda, the true knowledge, is timeless truth. The Veda are the blueprints of universal evolution and dissolution.
They contain mantras, or powerful sounds, which illuminate the truth bringing peace and happiness. Veda also means the source of all knowledge.
1) Rig Veda: Rig = Hymn in praise. Each Rig, or hymn, is a mantra. The Rige Veda contains 10,000 mantras and it begins and ends with a prayer to the Sun God. The emphasis of this Veda is, “Everyman should unite and think in one mind, all the hearts should be filled with love and joy. Happiness should be the common goal.”
2) Yajur Veda: Yajur = to worship. This Veda is estimated to have been composed between 1,400 and 1000 BC. It explains the sacrificial rites to the fire. The emphasis of this Veda is “share all, serve all, love all”.
3) Sama Veda: Sama = Which gives peace of mind. Sama Veda is written in poetic form. Indian classical music is derived from this Veda. It describes the sounds and music for healing diseases.
4) Atharvana Veda: Atharvana= To overcome. Atharvana Veda describes the ways to overcome from evil spirits that may be causing diseases. It also describes about the nature of health and diseases.
** Each Veda has an Upaveda or Sub-Branch. Ayurveda is an Upaveda of the Atharvana Veda.
Contents of Veda:
Each veda has two parts.
1. Karma Khanda- This part outlines the various rituals one must perform during life and proper method of performing karmas (actions).
2. Jhana Khanda- This part includes the famous Upanishads which describe the truth and reality of universe and life.
Goal of Veda:
1. To attain Moksha (liberation)
2. To follow the dharmic path honestly and with loyalty to the Universal Spirit in order to reach a state of happiness.
3. Veda always says there is only God. According to Veda, there may be only one God or many Gods. It is up to each individual to find their truth and to follow it honestly.
Definition of Ayurveda:
1. Where the knowledge of life exits.
2. The real knowledge to know oneself and to lead a healthy long life.
3. Health- based medicine rather than disease- based medicine.
4. Patient- oriented, not disease- oriented.
Origin of Ayurveda:
The wisdom of Ayurveda was first recalled by Brhama, the Creator during The Creation. He taught Ayurveda to Daksha Prajapati, the protector of the people. Daksha Prajapait then passed this knowledge of Ayurveda to Ashwini Kumaras, the twin physicians of God. They taught Ayurveda to Lord Indra, the King of Planets who then spread it to the sages.
Sages, seeing the disease, suffering, and ignorance of humanity, felt compassion for mankind and they decided to find a way to ease the pain of the world. They went to meditate in the snowy Himalayan mountains to discover a path to eradicate disease and suffering. Their meditation revealed the message from Lord Indra who bestowed upon them the healing medicine, Ayurveda. The sages then taught this ancient medicine to master physicians around the world to heal man’s sufferings and cure their diseases.
Principles of Ayurveda:
Tridosha: The functional forces of the body.
Dosha = Impurity
Doshas are responsible for all of the life processes. The 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) sustain life in normal state but produce diseases in imbalanced state by creating impurities in the body.
Formation of the 3 Dosha:
The Dosha are formed from the predominance of 2 elements respectively as follows:
1. Air + Space = Vata Dosha
2. Fire + Water = Pitta Dosha
3. Earth + Water = Kapha Dosha
What is The Functional Body?
The functional body is composed of the 5 elements. It is continuously undergoing changes (creation, preservation, and destruction). Materials flow form the outside nature into the living being in the form of food, water, and air. These are transformed into body materials by fire element (Pitta). These body tissues remain in the system for a specific period of time by water element (Kapha) and then are expelled out by air element (Vata). This cycle repeats as long as life remains. This functional body consists of 3 doshas in which vata produces movements, pitta transforms and kapha acts as a base for all functions. Kapha represents creation, Pitta preservation, and Vata destruction.