What is Ayurveda really?
For most of us, Ayurveda is just another way of treating illnesses with medicines that are made up of herbs. Well, Ayurveda is much much more than that and today, on National Ayurveda Day, we are going to explore that.
Ayurveda is the Upaveda (sub or near to veda) of Atharva veda. It’s also called Panchama veda (5th veda). The word Ayurveda is made of two words Ayu and Veda. The word Ayu doesn’t mean just life, instead it means –
शरीरेन्द्रिय सत्वात्मा संयोगो। – चरक संहिता १।४२
śarīrendriya satvātmā saṃyogo।1.42
The union of Shareera (body), Indriya (sense organs), Satva (mind) and Atma (soul).
Veda means knowledge. Hence, Ayurveda means the knowledge of the union of body, sense organs, mind and soul. So when people bless saying ‘दीर्घायुषी भव।’ (dīrghāyuṣī bhava।) it means let you be in union with all the above factors for a long time!
Long time ago, our sages took a note of the fact that people are becoming greedy, getting diseases and are not happy compared to what they were in the past. Some sages went in search of a remedy to cure diseases, make people remain healthy and happy. When they went to lord Indra, he preached the knowledge of Ayurveda to the sages, who then preached the same to their students and so on so forth. From there on the saga of Ayurveda started, for the sole purpose of betterment of mankind.
Principles that govern Ayurveda
स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्य रक्षणं, आतुरस्य विकार प्रशमनं। (चरक संहित सूत्र ३०।२६)
svasthasya svāsthya rakṣaṇaṃ, āturasya vikāra praśamanaṃ। (Caraka Saṃhita Sūtra 30।26)
Ayurveda Shastra aims at keeping a healthy person healthy and managing or curing diseases (mind, body or both) that manifest in a person.
Samanya Vishesha Siddhantha
(Ordinary – Special Principle)
When you have dryness of skin, you might apply moisturizer to bring back the moisture that was lost in your skin. The moisture content of your skin is increased by a similar moisture containing the product. This is Samanya. At the same time, the dryness was reduced due to the Vishesha of moisture that is opposite to dryness in your skin.
For a drug to act, both Samanya and Vishesha principles come into play.
समान्यं एकत्वकरं,विशेषस्तु प्रुथक्त्व क्रुत् ॥
सर्वदा सर्व भावानां सामान्यं व्रुद्धि कारणं, ह्रास हेतुर्विशेषस्च॥ (चरक संहिता सूत्र १।४५)
samānyaṃ ekatvakaraṃ,viśeṣastu pruthaktva krut ॥
sarvadā sarva bhāvānāṃ sāmānyaṃ vruddhi kāraṇaṃ, hrāsa heturviśeṣasca॥ (caraka saṃhitā sūtra
The principle of a dravya (substance) that brings about union or increase in the dravya’s quality or
quantity is called as samanya. The principle of a dravya that brings about non-union or decrease in a
dravya’s quality or quantity is called as vishesha.
Panch Mahabhoota Siddhantha
(5 Fundamental elements Principle)
Dravya is any substance that has qualities and actions residing in it. We, human beings are also a dravya. Ayurveda being more practical oriented subjective science, opines that based on the different structural and functional aspects of the universe and organisms, each and every cell, organ, organ systems and in general every Dravya (substance) in the universe is made of Pancha Mahabhoota (5 proto elements or atoms) that are in different proportion in each substance –
- Prithvi (earth proto element)
- Jal (water proto element)
- Agni (fire proto element)
- Vaayu (air proto element)
- Akasha (space proto element)
For example, the hardness of bones is due to Prithvi Mahabhoota predominance. The unctuousness in our body, all fluids is due to Aap Mahabhoota predominance. The temperature of one’s body, various digestive fluids is due to Agni Mahabhoota predominance. Various movements of enzymes to target cells, bodily movements are due to Vaayu Mahabhoota predominance. The hollowness of different organs like lungs, heart, etc is due to Akasha Mahabhoota predominance.
The 5 Mahabhoota’s combined with each other give rise to 3 Dosha’s (type of defects) that help in maintaining physiology of our body when in stable state and they cause diseases when in unstable state. These are like the basic software of our body.
वात (Vaata) – The dosha that is responsible for the movement of each and every atom, and also provides space for all movements to occur. For example, the act of respiration, peristaltic movements in the intestine, excretion of waste from our body, movement of nerve impulses in the nerves, initiation to do any work, etc.
पित्त (Pitta) – Responsible for any transformation taking place in our body and also the temperature changes in our body. For example, digestion, metabolism, breaking of large food particles to smaller ones for absorption in our body, etc.
कफ (Kapha) – Responsible for energy storage, the formation of new structures, protection in our body and bonding between molecules in our body to form larger molecules. For example, immunity, synovial fluid in joints, mucous lining protecting the digestive tract, adipose tissue storing fat, the stability of our body and mind, etc.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, or ayurvedic medicine, is a healthy-lifestyle system that people in India have used for more than 5,000 years. Ayurveda emphasizes good health and prevention and treatment of illness through lifestyle practices (such as massage, meditation, yoga, and dietary changes) and the use of herbal remedies.
What is ayurveda used for?
Some people use ayurvedic practices to maintain health, reduce stress, and improve flexibility, strength, and stamina. Practices like yoga and meditation can be helpful for people with diseases such as asthma, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
Ayurveda stresses proper diet for maintaining good health and treating disease. Herbal medicines are prescribed based on the person’s dosha type.
Why to Choose Trueveda?
Trueveda stands for ayurvedic excellence and leadership. They believe in creating a disease-free society and the trend is continuing in every action.
Benefits of Ayurveda?
While Ayurveda has many health benefits related to the mind and body, some of them are listed below: