Ayurved and it's History
Ayurveda is the study of life. Ayur is life and Ved means to know.
According to Ayurveda, life or existence is not a rigid compartment, but a harmonious flow. Even the five elements (earth, water, air, ether and fire) of which the whole universe is made of, are not tight compartments of defined objects. They flow into one another. Each of the elements contains the other four.
The subtlest element in us is space, which the mind is made up of, and the grossest is the earth element, which our bones, marrow, the skin and the structure are made of. This is further divided into three Doshas — Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This is a way to understand our physiology, its characteristics and its reflections on the mind.
When an illness arises, it comes first in the thought form, the subtlest aspect, then the sound form, and then the light form, which is in the aura. It is only then that the illness manifests in the body. Simple symptoms arise in the fluid form, which can be eradicated, and then it manifests in the grossest form, where it needs medication. But with the practice of Ayurveda, the illness can be nipped in the bud.
The holistic approach of Ayurveda includes exercise, breathing and meditation.
Breath is synonymous to life. Our life is our breath. Our breath is our life. It is very interesting to observe the relationship between breath and the different Doshas in the body, namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These three Doshas affect certain parts of the body more than the other parts.
For example, Vata Dosha is predominant in the lower part of the body — stomach, intestine, etc. Diseases like gastric problems and joint aches can be due to the Vata imbalance. Kapha dosha is predominant in the middle part of the body. Cough is mainly a result of Kapha imbalance. And Pitta affects the upper part of the body — the head. Short temper is a sign of Pitta.
How do we bring good health to our system?
The first remedy is calming the mind, coming from the subtlest aspect of creation, the ether. If your mind is bottled with too many impressions and thoughts, and it is draining you of your resistance power, then that is where the body is preparing for some illness. If the mind is clear, calm, meditative, and pleasant, the resistance in the body will increase and it will not allow an illness to come into it. The skillful use of breath and meditation can calm the mind.
Then comes the air element. Breathing, aromatherapy, etc., come in this category. Next is the light element, wherein color therapy is used to heal. Before an illness manifests in the body, you can see it in the aura of a person. And by energizing our system with the prana or life energy one can clear the aura and prevent the illness.
Next is the water element. Fasting or purifying the system with water can bring a lot of balance in the system.
Health is not mere absence of disease. It is the dynamic expression of life.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Yurveda, also called Ayurvedic medicine, traditional system of Indian medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is an example of a well-organized system of traditional health care, both preventive and curative, that is widely practiced in parts of Asia. Ayurveda has a long tradition behind it, having originated in India perhaps as much as 3,000 years ago. Today it remains a favoured form of health care in large parts of the Eastern world, especially in India, where a large percentage of the population uses this system exclusively or combined with modern medicine.
The practice of Ayurveda
The Indian Medical Council was set up in 1971 by the Indian government to establish maintenance of standards for undergraduate and postgraduate education. It establishes suitable qualifications in Indian medicine and recognizes various forms of traditional practice including Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha. Projects have been undertaken to integrate the indigenous Indian and Western forms of medicine. Most Ayurvedic practitioners work in rural areas, providing health care to at least 500 million people in India alone. They therefore represent a major force for primary health care, and their training and deployment are important to the government of India.
Like scientific medicine, Ayurveda has both preventive and curative aspects. The preventive component emphasizes the need for a strict code of personal and social hygiene, the details of which depend upon individual, climatic, and environmental needs. Bodily exercises, the use of herbal preparations, and Yoga form a part of the remedial measures. The curative aspects of Ayurveda involve the use of herbal medicines, external preparations, physiotherapy, and diet. It is a principle of Ayurveda that the preventive and therapeutic measures be adapted to the personal requirements of each patient.
History of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is attributed to Dhanvantari, the physician to the gods in Hindu mythology, who received it from Brahma. Its earliest concepts were set out in the portion of the Vedas known as the Atharvaveda (c. 2nd millennium BCE). The period of Vedic medicine lasted until about 800 BCE. The Vedas are rich in magical practices for the treatment of diseases and in charms for the expulsion of the demons traditionally supposed to cause diseases. The chief conditions mentioned are fever (takman), cough, consumption, diarrhea, dropsy (generalized edema), abscesses, seizures, tumours, and skin diseases (including leprosy). The herbs recommended for treatment are numerous.
The golden age of Indian medicine, from 800 BCE until about 1000 CE, was marked especially by the production of the medical treatises known as the Caraka-samhita and Susruta-samhita, attributed respectively to Caraka, a physician, and Susruta, a surgeon. Estimates place the Caraka-samhita in its present form as dating from the 1st century CE, although there were earlier versions. The Susruta-samhita probably originated in the last centuries BCE and had become fixed in its present form by the 7th century CE. Of somewhat lesser importance are the treatises attributed to Vagbhata. All later writings on Indian medicine were based on these works, which analyze the human body in terms of earth, water, fire, air, and ether as well as the three bodily humours (vata, pitta, and kapha)
Many sages and saints have worked on the herbal medicine to bring health and happiness to people all over the world. Ayurveda is a science of life , its not just somthing to cure a particular disease or symptoms. It teaches us well being , how we can live our life happily and with robust health. This ancient science of Ayurveda is time tested and has prpved time and again . It has no side effects, it helps people to move forward in life not just cure diseases but prevent illness before it arises. It is time that we must bring this goodness of Ayurveda to people all over the world. They deserve it, we cannot deprive people on this planet, anywhere in this planet on the goodness of Ayurveda and Yoga. There have been lot of prejudice against Ayurveda and yoga too, but fortunately by the efforts of the Deptt of Ayush, Govt of India, things are changing and people have come forward to recognise the value of alternative systems of medicine. During this pandemic many ayurvedic doctors have worked day and night and administered ayurvedic recipes to boost the immune system and keep people healthy. Number of research work have also gone into the curative aspect of Ayurveda .
Its time the world community recognises Ayurveda and bring the goodness of it and well being to the people of the world.
Art of living Faculty
Regional Director GEP
Has been with the organisation since 20years, a meditator, a yoga enthusiast and an ardent devotee of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar ji