A Brief Introduction of Ayurveda
A system of self-care that originated in India more than 6000 years ago, Ayurveda is becoming very popular all over the world, with hundreds of healers incorporating it into their practices.
The main vehicle of the transmission of knowledge during that period was by oral method. The language used was Sanskrit — the vedic language of that period (3000–500 BC). The most authentic compilation of his teachings and work is presently available in a treatise called “Sushruta Samhita”. This contains 184 chapters and description of 1,120 illnesses, 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations from mineral sources and 57 preparations based on animal sources.
Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life.” Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 6,000 years ago and is often called the “Mother of All Healing”. It stems from the ancient Vedic culture and was taught for many thousands of years in an oral tradition from accomplished masters to their disciples. Some of this knowledge was set to print a few thousand years ago, but much of it is inaccessible. The principles of many of the natural healing systems now familiar in the West have their roots in Ayurveda, including Homeopathy and Polarity Therapy. Ayurveda provides both curative and preventive measures towards optimal physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in one’s life, right thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance.
Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, each person has a particular pattern of energy, an individual combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics which comprises their own constitution. This constitution is determined at conception by a number of factors and remains the same throughout one’s life.
Many factors, both internal and external, act upon us to disturb this balance and are reflected as a change in one’s constitution from the balanced state. Examples of these emotional and physical stresses include one’s emotional state, diet and food choices, seasons and weather, physical trauma, work and family relationships. Once these factors are understood, one can take appropriate actions to nullify or minimize their effects or eliminate the causes of imbalance and re-establish one’s original constitution. Balance is the natural order; imbalance is disorder. Health is order; disease is disorder. Within the body there is a constant interaction between order and disorder. When one understands the nature and structure of disorder, one can re-establish order.
Balancing the Three Principle Energies of the Body
Ayurveda identifies three basic types of energy or functional principles that are present in everyone and everything. Since there are no single words in English that convey these concepts, we use the original Sanskrit words “Vata”, “Pitta” and “Kapha”. These principles can be related to the basic biology of the body.
Energy is required to create movement so that fluids and nutrients get to the cells, enabling the body to function. Energy is also required to metabolize the nutrients in the cells, and is called for to lubricate and maintain the structure of the cell. Vata is the energy of movement; Pitta is the energy of digestion or metabolism and Kapha, the energy of lubrication and structure. All people have the qualities of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, but one is usually primary, one secondary and the third is usually least prominent. The cause of disease in Ayurveda is viewed as a lack of proper cellular function due to an excess or deficiency of Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Disease can also be caused by the presence of toxins.
In Ayurveda, body, mind and consciousness work together in maintaining balance. They are simply viewed as different facets of one’s being. To learn how to balance the body, mind and consciousness requires an understanding of how Vata, Pitta and Kapha work together. According to Ayurvedic philosophy the entire cosmos is interplay of the energies of the five great elements, Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Vata, Pitta and Kapha are combinations and permutations of these five elements that manifest as patterns present in all creation. In the physical body, Vata is the subtle energy of movement, Pitta the energy of digestion and metabolism, and Kapha the energy that forms the body’s structure.
Vata is the subtle energy associated with movement composed of Space and Air. It governs breathing, blinking, muscle and tissue movement, pulsation of the heart, and all movements in the cytoplasm and cell membranes. In balance, Vata promotes creativity and flexibility. Out of balance, Vata produces fear and anxiety.
Pitta expresses as the body’s metabolic system made up of Fire and Water. It governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature. In balance, Pitta promotes understanding and intelligence. Out of balance, Pitta arouses anger, hatred and jealousy.
Kapha is the energy that forms the body’s structure bones, muscles, tendons and provides the “glue” that holds the cells together, formed from Earth and Water. Kapha supplies the water for all bodily parts and systems. It lubricates joints, moisturizes the skin, and maintains immunity. In balance, Kapha is expressed as love, calmness and forgiveness. Out of balance, it leads to attachment, greed and envy.
Ayurveda also discusses the ways to pacify aggravated doshas or imbalances, the tools to create balance in the imbalanced body, mind, senses or spirit.
Author: - Roy Chavarcode is a member of Chavarcode Ayurveda family. The Chavarcode family is from India and is highly reputed for their knowledge in the great tradition in Ayurveda, India's ancient and holistic method of treatment. For more information visit - http://www.gurusgarden.com
# # #
Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life.” Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 6,000 years ago and is often called the “Mother of All Healing”.