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Ayurveda: The Science of Life

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AYU: Means Life. VEDA Means Knowledge.

Thus Ayurveda is to attain knowledge of life; i.e. The Science Of Life. In Hinduism, the philosophy of life has been expostulated in the four Vedas;i.e; The Rigveda, The Yajurveda, The Samaveda, and The Atharvaveda. It is believed that Ayurveda has its origins in the Atharvaveda, also known as Upaveda. Mention of medicines is found in Rigveda too, but detailed information is found in Atharvaveda. In the days of yore, there were no written manuscripts available. Later, the theories were noted down on palm leaves. Going by the available evidence, it has been deduced that this system of medicine has been prevalent on the earth for the past 4000 –5000years.

During the first three yugas(Krutha yuga, Thretha yuga & Dwapara yuga), people led a very wholesome life; in harmonious communion with their external environment-Nature. Naturally, diseased conditions were unheard of. Problems arose when this equilibrium was destroyed. Population increased, demand increased. With increase in Demand, new solutions were to be found. When demands were met by unnatural means, complications rose. The harmonious balance between Nature and living organisms was upset. Health was affected which naturally led to mental ill health also. It became imperative to find a solution to the ensuing problems.

According to Hindu Mythology, the Universe is governed by three phenomena: Creation-Srishti, Maintenance/Protection- Sthithi, and Destruction-Samhara. Brahma is the Creator, Vishnu is the Protector, and Siva is the Destroyer. Brahmam meaning Universe, and one who knows about the Universe is Brahma. Naturally, it was up to Brahma to provide the Answer to the problems. And So He did: Brahma recalled the Answer to The Problems: Ayurveda-The Science Of Life-The Tenets to A Healthy Life. Ayurveda also emphasizes that “Those who are healthy physically and mentally should maintain the same health and those who are suffering from ailment should be given relief”.

According to Ayurveda, Health is the maintenance of the balance of the life forces- the Doshas in the body. When this balance is upset the body becomes diseased. Beyond this, Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of a healthy state of mind for a healthy body. Stress is made on preventive measures to diseases by adapting to Life Style Norms, like the Dinacharya or daily routine, the Ritucharya or seasonal routine etc.

Ayurveda prescribes the following canons for a healthy life: SAMADOSH: Maintenance of Equilibrium of the three Doshas in the body. SAMAGNI: Equilibrium of Digestion. SAMADHATU: Equilibrium of the Organs. MALAKRIYA: Healthy Bowel movements. PRASANNA ATMA, INDRIYA, MANA— Mental Equilibrium, fresh and energetic Temperament, Pure in Spirit, Senses & Mind.

WHO manifesto summarises the description given above: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”


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