The Science of Life and Longevity
Ayurveda is a very ancient science which has been in existence for more than 5000 years. It teaches you how to live a healthy long life.
It focuses on our lifestyle, seasons, habits and our body constituency.
In this Level you will be introduced to Ayurveda and its Basic Principal in a very simplified way.
So lets start the journey to the world of Good Health and Healthy Living.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which means – Ayu – Life and Veda – science.
So it can be defined as the science of life and longevity .
It is not just the ancient science of Medicine but it is the science of healthy living.
WHO defines Health as ‘ Physical and mental wellbeing.’ But according to Ayurveda it is ‘ physical , mental and spiritual wellbeing ‘
History of Ayurveda
Brahma, remembering Ayurveda (the science of life) taught it to Prajapathi, he inturn taught it to Aswini twins, they taught it to Sahasraksha( Indra). He taught it to Athri’s son (Arthreya
Punarvasu or Krishna Arthreya) and other sages, they taught it to Agnivesa and others and theycomposed treatises, each one separately.
The knowledge of Ayurveda is believed to be of Divine origin and was communicated to the saints and sages of India who received its wisdom through deep meditation. Originally only Brahmins were considered as physicians. But later people from other castes also learned this art of healing and a specific term Vaidya was used for these practitioners.
When diseases and death started creating havoc, all great sages gathered in order to find solution to this havoc-creating problem. During this meeting sage Bharadvaja came forward to learn this art of healing from Indra. He then taught this science to Atreya- who further transmitted this knowledge throughout world. Later Agnivesh who was foremost among the disciples of Atreya wrote Agnivesha Samhita- the most comprehensive form of Ayurveda. The oldest compilations of Atreya and Agnivesha are lost. There are three main re-organizers of Ayurveda whose works still exist and in use. These works were compiled in texts of Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbata Samhita.
Ayurveda went through a period of decline in India during the period of British rule. It became a second option that was used by traditional spiritual practitioners and the poor. This decline was only for a short period. In 1947, when India got independence, Ayurveda again gained importance and many new schools were established. Till date Ayurvedic medicine has continued to evolve its holistic approach to health in order to cope with modern needs and scientific approaches of the day. Modern Ayurveda includes:
Principles of preventive healthcare for the entire family (kulam svastyam kutumbakam).
Treatment of addictions (sangakara chikitsa).
Purification and rejuvenation treatments (panchakarma chikitsa).
The Ayurvedic approach to diet and weight loss (sthaulya chikitsa)
Musculoskeletal system treatments (vatavyadhi chikitsa).
Promotion of self-healing and resistance to disease (svabhaavoparamavaada).
Male and female infertility (vajikarana).
Beauty and cosmetic treatments for men and women (saundarya sadhana).
ASTANGA AYURVEDA (Branches of Ayurveda)
Ayurveda has been described in eight branches —
1 .Kayachikitsa -General Medicine
2. Kaumarbhritya- Paediatrics including Gynaecology and Obstetrics
3. Bhutavidya- Psychiatry
4. Shalakya- Ophthalmology/ENT
5. Shalya- Surgery
6. Agadatantra- Toxicology
7. Rasayanatantra Rejuvenating medicine
8. Vajeekaranatantra- Improving the fertility/virulity.
The other specialization of Ayurveda that have emerged on specialised subjects during thecourse of evolution of ayurveda includes – Dravyaguna, Bhaishajya Kalpana and Rasashastra.
- Studying about the properties of materials used as medicine.
- Learning the methods of Herbal formulations
-knowing about the properties of metals, minerals their purification methods,medicinal values and their preparations.
Philosophies /Aim of Ayurveda
Ayurveda has two philosophies
“ Swasthasya Swasthya rakshanam” – maintaining the health of a healthy person.
“ Aturasya Vikara prashmanam” – Curing the ailments of the patients.