WHAT IS AYURVEDA ?
"Hitahitam Sukham Dukham Aayustsya hitahitam Maanam Ch tachh yatroktam Ayurved S Ucchayate"
This ancient verse defines Ayurveda as the science of life management, which explain's about the principles, diet and lifestyles that are good or bad for life, what leads to a happy or unhappy life and what is the exact span of life, that is known as Ayurveda.
"Samdosha samagnisch samdhatu malkriya Prassnatma indriya man swasth ityabhidhiyate"
Health according to Ayurveda is balance of these tri energies. Their imbalance is the cause of diseases or ill health.
Health is defined in Ayurveda in the following verse as:-
Perfect balance between physical and mental bio energies, digestive and physiological fires, balanced anabolism, proper excretory functions, blissful soul, senses and mind is health and their imbalance is disease.
Veda - Vedic literature is the ancient treasure of knowledge which originated from God himself. God has created this world and has given us a manual in the form of Vedas explaining how this world works. Ayurveda is a manual of life management given by God explaining how to lead a healthy and happy life in every aspect.
Ayur – literally means life span and Ayurveda is knowledge of life. It's God's manual to tell us how to lead a happy, healthy, peaceful, prosperous lifestyle, preventing diseases and leading a respectful social life.
Ayurveda is in existence since the existence of life and the universe, as the principles of healing are based on laws of nature which are ageless and eternal. According to Ayurveda all physical matter as well as our body is made up of five elements-Earth, Water, Ether, Air, Fire. The only difference is that our body has a sixth element called Soul and non-living things have only five elements in different ratio and proportion. The working components of these five elements are represented by the three basic physiological humors or the biological 'Tri-energies' doing all the movement, metabolic reactions , providing support and nutrition. These biological tri-energies are called – Vata ( Kinetic Energy) , Pitta ( Thermal Energy) and Kapha (Potential Energy).
Ancient Ayurveda scholar Charaka explains about What is Ayurveda and why it is important:-
Dharmartha- kama- moksanam arogyam uttamam rogastasyapahartarah sreyaso jivitasya ca
Goals of religion or Karma, material world, sensual pleasure or liberation can be achieved only if one is healthy. The disease destroys health, well being and whole life.
(Charka Sutra Sthana 1- 15)
This ancient verse clearly indicates the importance of health to lead a happy, prosperous, and peaceful life.
Ayurvedic techniques focus on achieving that balance of Vata, Pitta, Kapha – called the trienergies.
The balance of these 'Tri-energies' can be maintained by our diet, lifestyle, different Ayurvedic herbs, minerals and purification procedures.
Their balance is disturbed by irregular life style, prolonged physical and mental stress, wrong dietary habits, incompatible foods, misuse of senses.
Ayurveda is a way of living in harmony with nature and guides us how to maintain a steady healthy state. It explains details about body care, daily routine, diet and various foods to promote health and maintain the balance of the 'Tri-energies'
If we do not sleep early in the night, the vata (Air element) increases leading to painful bones, cramps in the muscles, dark circles around eyes or sleep bags, constipation, dry mouth and hastens ageing process. Stale and kept overnight food also causes increased Vata. Excessive work, long traveling leads to fatigue, which is a symptom of increased Vata. This all leads to diseases like joint pains, cervical pain, backache, nervousness, confusion, insomnia, constipation etc.
Similarly Pitta (Fire) is excessive heat. Consuming food, herbs and our behavior similar to properties of Pitta leads to increase in pitta. Excessive consumption of hot potency food, spices, alcohol, disturbs Pitta. The seat of Pitta is liver and stomach. Excessive aggression, anger, jealousy, hatred etc. leads to increased Pitta. This leads to diseases like peptic ulcers, liver diseases, blood pressure etc.
Excessive consumption of fat rich food, sedentary life style leads to vitiation of Kapha. Excessive Kapha blocks all the nutrition and elimination channels leading to obesity, diabetes. Diet and behaviour opposite to the nature of Kapha leads to cleaning up the system and balancing the kapha. (Earth + Water) There are other concepts like Ojus, Aama, and Dhatus which need clarification here.
According to Ayurveda - The 'Ojus' is the vital energy present in our body that is responsible for our healthy physical and mental outlook. It gives glow to our skin, strength to our heart and body. The toxins or free radicals deplete the 'Ojus' within our body and there is a feeling of fatigue and depression. The toxins create imbalance of the tri-energies which also has a great negative impact on 'Ojus'. In Ayurveda, a lot of emphasis is laid on improving the vital energy or the resistance of the person called 'Ojus".
Aama – It is a kind of sticky substance that forms within the body due to excessive consumption of heavy, greasy food on regular basis. Aama can be understood as disturbed form of 'kapha' which coats the tongue, the entire length of intestines, blocks entry and exit through micro channels of the cells, clogging of arteries. This leads to congestion within the system, leading to fermentation of the stale, undigested food lying in the intestines. This leads to formation of endotoxins, which disturb the immunological system leading to all auto-immune diseases. Herbal remedies like Sanjeevani Vati, Arogyavardhni Vati etc. clear this "Aama" and offer an effective solution to such problems.
Similarly there are great chances of females getting ovarian cysts, breast cancer or uterine fibroids due to abortion or a miscarriage. Abortion or miscarriage leads to accumulation of left over hormones/chemicals which are released from the hypothalamus and pituitary to help maintain a pregnancy. After abortion, those hormones which brought changes in female reproductive organs, within the breasts are no longer useful. The changes which they did are not completely undone. God decided for a woman to be pregnant and give life to someone and that woman decided to abort it. She suffers ultimately with problems caused by "Aama". These leftover hormones can also be understood as "Aama". Other things which can be correlated with "Aama" are Rheumatoid factor, HLA B 27 and other immunological factors responsible for autoimmune diseases. The digestive fire and individual tissues fire burns these factors and mediators, if treated properly.
Dhatus (Tissues) - There are seven Dhatus which support our body. They are
- Rasa (Plasma)
- Rakta (Blood)
- Mamsa (Muscles)
- Meda (Fatty tissue)
- Asthi (Bones)
- Majja (Bone Marrow)
- Shukra (Semen & Reproductive tissue)
The "Dhatus" described in Ayurveda are the various organs and parts of our body.