Ayurveda, Boon from the Blue
Ayurveda is the oldest healing quintessence of India. It dates back to 6000 years.
Brahma , the god of creation in a bid to alleviate human suffering , offered the knowledge of Ayurveda to many Gods. Out of these Gods, Dhanvantari is the foremost .
Ayurveda’s effectiveness was so intense , its name and fame reached beyond the seas and influenced the most advanced and civilized countries of those times like China and Greece. Ayurveda’s approach towards an ailment is one of “Holistic.” It means, Ayurveda treats whole body as a single unit and treats the
cause of the ailment, not just the symptoms.
The word Ayurveda is a combo of two Sanskrit words. Ayush and Veda. Ayush means life. Veda means knowledge. Hence Ayurveda means “ Wisdom of Life.” Or “Science of life.” Ayurveda aims at a blissful life that’s perfectly tuned with Nature. The wisdom of life was spread into four treatises known as The Rigveda,
The Yajurveda, The Samaveda and The Atharvaveda.
Ayurveda owes its origin to Atharvaveda. Ayurveda believes that the Universe and the organisms within the universe are composed of Five elements, earth, water, fire, air and ether. And the man is no exception. But, these five elements present in human beings are known as “ Tri Doshas’ or three energies, Vata,Pitta and Kapha.
- The combination of air and ether is known as Vata. This energy is responsible for bodily functions linked with motion. They include blood circulation, blinking andbeating of the heart.
- The combination of fire and water is known as Pitta. This energy is responsible for bodily functions linked with metabolic systems. They include bodytemperature, digestion, absorption and nutrition.
- The combination of water and earth elements is known as Kapha. This energy is responsible for bodily functions linked with growth and protection. They includesupply of water to all body parts, skin moisturizing and maintaining immune system.
All humans are composed of all three doshas. In every individual one or at times two doshas will be dominating. As long as the doshas are in their natural balance, a human remains free from ailments. But a life style filled with stresses and strains is capable of unbalancing the Dosha balance Ieading to several ailments. It’s here Ayurveda takes the charge of your body and keeps the erring doshas in their respective places. it means Ayurveda brings your body back to your normal position.
For this process of maintaining the dosha balance, Ayurveda suggests a set of Dos and Don’ts in our lifestyle like yoga, meditation and massages.
There are eight different disciplines in Ayurveda. They are popularly known as Astanga Ayurveda.
- Kaya Chikista is the branch that describes research pertaining to causes, symptoms of diseases, and treatment. This is equivalent to contemporary generalmedicine.
- Bala Chikista or Kaumara bhritya is the branch that describes about the illnesses of the children. This is equivalent to contemporary Pediatrics.
- Bhuta- vydya or Graha chikista deals with psychological disorders and mental illnesses. This is equivalent to contemporary psychiatry.
- Urdhvanga- chikista or Salakya deals with all those ailments connected with ear, nose, throat and eyes. This is equivalent to contemporary ENT andOphthalmology.This also describes about the minor surgeries of organs located above the collarbone.
- Salya- tantra is the branch that describes about treating organs with pathological disturbances and changes in the organism. This is equivalent to contemporarySurgery.
- Agada- tantra, which is equivalent to present toxicology studies poisons and poisoned organisms.
- Rasayana which the modern science call s as Geriatrics is the science of aging.
- Vajikarana is the study of sex.
From the above, it’s clear how advanced were the Indians who were practicing that healing quintessence 6000 years ago which is no way lesser than the modern healing sciences.
Susruta, the first plastic surgeon of the world mentioned 76 eye conditions of which 51 of which were treated surgically in his book Susruta Samhita, which along with Charaka Samhita and Astanga Samgraha are considered as the great Triology or Brihat Trayi. The great surgeon used 101 blunt and 20 sharp surgical instruments that are surprisingly similar to the instruments used today.
Ayurveda treatment is basically a non-invasive and non- toxic. It believes in treating most of the critical ailments through simple dietary changes, lifestyle changes and body purification methods. Many Ayurveda users say that the results of the treatment will take much longer time to show up. Yes, it’s true. Because, Ayurveda treats from the roots, not just on surface symptoms. Hence it takes time.
The icing on the cake is Ayurveda treatment is without side effects unlike the main stream medicines which curb a disease and create three more new complications.
As it was mentioned earlier, Yoga is an integral part of Ayurvedic treatment. There is no definitive clue about the inventor of Yoga. Still it’s believed Sage Patanjali, the son of sage Atri and Saadhwi Anasuya. Patanjali is well known for his compilation of Yoga Sutras Yoga basically is a unification process. It unifies body, mind and soul to achieve balance that brings inner peace and a balanced behavior.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra has paved the way for a system known as Astanga Yoga or eight- limbed yoga. The eight limbs are, Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
- The first of eight-limbed yoga is Yama, that says about five abstentions to maintain a disciplined life.
- Niyama says about five observances purity, santosha (Contentment), Tapas (Austerity), Svadhyaya (Study of vedic scriptures and Ishvara- pranidhana(Surrender to god).
- Asana explains the postures for performing meditation.
- Pranayama describes the control of the life force.
- Pratyhara deals with withdrawal of sense organs from external objects.
- Dharana teaches about fixing the attention on a single object.
- Dhyana explains about intense contemplation.
- Samadhi is all about fusion of consciousness with the object of meditation.
Ayurveda, thus has developed in to a full-fledged healing science as early as 5000 years ago, when half of the world was still unborn. The wisdom of life has gone in to oblivion for a long time as there was no patronization even by the Indians. Now, with the failure of main stream medical systems in treating modern ailments without side effects and the high treatment costs, People all over the world are looking towards alternative medical systems like Acupuncture, Acupressure, Unani and Ayurveda.
Pix : painted in Photoshop by the author.
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