Ayurveda is the vead (knowledge) of Ayu(life). Vedas are collection of mantras. It puts light on our ancestral culture. Ayu means naturally diminishing. Ayurveda informs about the ways and measures to be adopted for sustaining and extending Ayu.
Every individual wants to live a healthy and long life. Certain disciplines have to be followed in all works of life to achieve the goal of healthy life. According to Ayurvedic theory health results from harmony. To live in harmony with the cosmic law is an Ayurvedic way of life.
Human Being is a complex structure of physical, biological, mental and spiritual factors. To establish the equilibrium between human nature and environment, Ayurveda has developed various principles and practices. The goal of Ayurveda is freedom disease. Ayurvedic philosophy believes that only a person with a strong immune system can be health. The ancient Vedic word for immunity means forgiveness of disease, as the negative thoughts and lifestyle results in various diseases.
All human beings have a unique body constitution (prakruti) and the health treatments depend on the type of prakurti. We should eat certain foods that are beneficial for our body type and should avoid some others. Prakurti has the quality of satwa, raja and thama. These factors interact with purusha (space and time) to form the five bhootas (panchabhootas). The first step in the process of evolution is the interaction of both purusha and prakruti. Everything in the universe including our body is comprised of these panchabhoothas. Other than panchabhoothas there are three fold energies known as vatta, pitta and kapha. These energies are known as doshas and these doshas are linked to the panchabhootas of the body.
ORIGIN OF AYURVEDA
The most ancient science in Healthcare -Ayurveda originated in India thousands of years ago. The most known ancient literacy work known as the Vedas gives the historical evidence of wisdom of Ayurveda. Vedas reflects the lifestyle of ancient people, customs, their thoughts, ideas, achievements, pitfalls, problems and their solutions. Various methods and measures adopted by them for health care and treatments are also recorded in the Vedas.
The Ayurvedic texts and the Vedic tradition have a different story of the origin of Ayurveda.
Lord Brahma as per to Hindu Mythology created the Universe. He captured knowledge from the four directions and created Vedas. Therefore, He was regarded as the first guru of Ayurveda (Adya). Brahma first taught Ayurveda to the Aswins and they passed it on to Indra (Lord of the sky) and further it was passed on to different sages, their sons and disciples.
Before the wisdom of Ayurveda was recorded in the texts it was transmitted orally from teacher to disciples. Veda Vyasa, the famous sage and avatar of Vishnu, compiled the complete knowledge of Ayurveda in writing into a body of scriptural literature known as the Vedic literature. The Vedic literature was divided into four main books or Vedas- Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.
The Rig Veda refers to the cosmology known as Sankhya, contains the text on the nature of health and disease and the principles used in the treatment of these diseases. Rig Veda shows the discussions on three doshas- vitta, pitta, kapha and the use of various herbs in the treatment of diseases of mind and body. The fourth of the series Atharva Veda dates back to around 1000 B.C. and has listed the eight divisions of Ayurveda.
• Internal medicine (kaya chikitsa)
• Surgery (shalya)
• Ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngology (shalakya)
• Toxicology (agad tantra)
• Psychiatry (bhoot vidya)
• Pediatrics (kaumar bhritya)
• Gerontology (rasayana)
• Science of fertility (vajikarana)
The knowledge about all these eight divisions of Ayurveda was systemized with the origin of Ashtanga Ayurveda around 800-600 B.C. This Ashtanga Ayurveda must have served as the ground or basis on which the new knowledge regarding the eight divisions was formed.
The subjects of Ayurveda were recorded not only in the Vedas, but also in Aranyakas, Brahmanas and Upanishads. All the details were scattered all over the texts and lacked the structural presentation. The structural presentation of Ayurveda took place between 2 nd century B.C. and 10 th century A.D. These presentations were named Samhitas. The two most popular Samhitas are Charaka Samhita and Susrutha Samhita. Charaka Samhita is older than Susrutha Samhita. Charaka Samhita deals with kaya chikitsa i.e. general medicine and Susrutha Samhita deals mostly with shalaya i.e. surgery. Charaka Samhita is considered to be the compilation of the oldest Atreya Samhita. The third major presentation is known as the Ashtanga Hridaya and it is a concise version of works of both Charaka and Susrutha. These three treatises are still in use and are believed to be over 1,200 years old.
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