Monday, November 01, 2010

"ESSENTIALS OF AYURVEDA - a science of Life... !!!

हिताहितम सुखं दुखामायुस्त्स्य हिताहितम ! मनम च तच्चा यात्रोक्तामायुर्वेदाह स उच्यते !!

The science that deals with Hita-aayuh (useful Life), ahita-ayuh (harmful life), sukha-ayuh( happy life) and Dukhayuh (Unhappy or miserable life), along with that span (short & long) of life is designed in Ayurveda, it is clear from this verse that Ayurveda is a science of Life which imparts knowledge of life with special reference to its four aspects i.e. useful, harmful, happy and unhappy life. It not only covers the knowledge of life but also the knowledge of healthy living. Also Ayurveda is not merely a science or knowledge of drugs, herbs or some effective remedies but has much wider aspects.

सो अयमयुर्वेद: शाश्वतो निदिर्श्यते, अनादित्वात, स्वाभावासंसिधालाक्ष्नात्वात ,भावास्वभाव्नित्यात्वाच्च !! Ch. Su. 30/26 In support of eternity of Ayurveda, Charak states that as it has no beginning, as it deals with the things which are inherent in nature and as these natural manifestations are eternal.

No science can stand the test of time and prove its validity in practice without having concrete footings of its fundamentals. The fundamentals once postulated and verified by various means and measures, when get established, should never face otherwise, in every past, present, and future situations acted Ayurveda fully justifies this principles, as its fundamentals are ever changeable and unaffected by ‘winds of Doctrines,’ even though there had been many additions and implications from time to time to the application and implications of the original principles, without however altering or changing their essence. Contrary the fundamentals of basic sciences and modern medicine temporarily stand the test of time and are liable to change with further advances, in the field of concerned. The reality & steadily of any science could be easily detected by understanding the themes of its fundamentals which form the basis for all the practical, theoretical applications and benefits of the science.

The ancient medical science required great medical practice & cosmic spiritual knowledge to be applied in proper way. The Ayurveda-a science of life, where all the fundamentals doctrines have been isolated from ‘darshamas’, teaches us an outlook of problem of health. It has been said that health is chief basis for development of religious, economic, worldly and heavenly happiness of man. The wealth of country merely depends not merely on its natural resources but also on the vitality of the people. Hence it is necessary to have basic conceptions pertaining to science of life( Ayurveda) and its approaches to attaining ‘health’ – a basis for dharma( religious), artha (economic), kama( worldly happiness) and moksha ( heavenly pleasure ) of a man. “धर्मार्थकाम मोक्षनामारोग्य मुलमुत्तम !!

The basic doctrines over which all the Ayurvedic concepts of physiology, pathology, pharmacology, medicines and therapeutics are depend on theory of ‘panchmahabhutas’ (five great elements), The modern anatomy may be said to be classified into different tissues and organs and limited to its detail description. In Ayurveda in addition to these, it is ‘atma’ (soul), ‘panchmahabutas’( 5 great elements), ‘mana’ (mind), which forms essential constituents for ‘doshas’(body humors), ‘dhatus’ (tissues) and ‘malas’ (waste) are regarded as fundamental structural cum functional units of the body. Basically, the body is believed to be composed of 5 primordial factors, i.e. Prithvi (solid components), jala( liquid componenets), teja (heat or energy components), vayu (gaseous components), aakash (ethereal components). The whole universe is also believed to be composed of the same and hence, the food we eat and water we drink and the air we breathe – all these are to aid the nutrition of our body – are composed of the same five components. This leads to a harmony existing between the microcosm (man) and Macrocosm (universe).

The physiology aspect of Ayurveda deals with the combined functions of soul, mind, sense organs, and the body. Here the functions of the body consisting of different systems have been described in terms of trigunas (satva, raja, tamas), five elements, body humors/doshas, tissues/dhatus, malas/waste. In ancient views, all matter whether subtle or gross, exhibit the characteristic of trigunas in terms of reveal, to make active and to suppress or make passive, respectively.

The basic knowledge of preparation and application of drugs depends on its rasa/taste, guna/qualities, virya/potency, vipaka/end product, prabhav/special action. These five factors are responsible to govern the action of the drug and entire pharmacology of Ayurveda is based on this theory. It is most essential particularly on the part of Ayurvedic physician to estimate the correct proportions of combination of the drugs in accordance to the amount of derangements in ‘doshas’, & ‘dhatus’ of the patient to bring about the equilibrium or harmony of the body.

In Ayurveda, entire process of digestion and metabolism is controlled by ‘agni’. Out of 13 types of ‘agnis’ are described in Ayurveda, it is Jatharagni, which plays important part in digestion of food. The ‘bhutagnis’ and ‘dhatwaagnis’ both are directly supported and controlled by Jathargni.

In Ayurveda, the term ‘Vyadhi’ is defined as that which brings about the different forms of unhappiness and the word ‘Roga’ is defined as that which causes discomfort. It is believed that an equilibrium of somatic doshas i.e. vata, pitta, and kapha, maintains homeostasis and brings harmony in functioning of the body. These somatic dosas when they are normal in proportion and action rule the functions of the body in normal manner and thus person enjoys normal health, but due to abnormal diet, practices and certain other obvious reasons, which there is derangements or change in proportions and actions, the body suffers.

Vyadhikshamatva or immunity is one of the many significant concepts developed in Ayurvedic literature. It deals with the body resistance and possesses tremendous importance to the daily welfare of the living body.

Ayurveda-a science of life is like knowledge compared with ocean, its pleasure to learn even one drop of it.

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