What is Ayurveda?
” What is Ayurveda ” is a one billion dollar question. Because everybody say Ayurveda is invaluable, it is eternal. Ayurveda is based upon the Vedic philosophy. Before stepping into the details of Ayurveda we should start with “Mangalacharan” the holistic humble submission.
Trishna dirgham asat vikalppa sirasam pradwesha chanchatphanam
Kama krodha visham vitarka damshanam raga prachandekshanam..
Mohasya sarira kotare sayam chittoraga darunam.
Pragyan manatra valen yah samitavan buddhaya tasmai namah..
This body is a shelter where resides a snake. Trishna is its length, negative alternative thinking, its head, wide range of ill intention and jealousness, its hood, sex and anger, its poison, argument, its teeth, interest in materialistic life, its eye and Moha (passion) is its mouth. That snake residing inside the body is nothing other than the Mind. Genuinely it has been narrated Hridayh manasah sthaanam. Heart is the site of mind. I devote my best regards to those intellects who have managed to control this snake.
The total process is managed by Ayurveda. The importance of Ayurveda can be justified more by the following sloka.
- Ayuh Kamayamanena Dharmartha sukha sadhanam
- Ayurvedepodesheshu, vidheyah paramadarah.
The objectives of life are Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. All these things are possible only when somebody will be having a long and healthy life. For that the person should have interest in Ayurveda. At this point we have to take some ancient statements into consideration and analyze the world of healthy life. Ayurveda is Indian system of traditional medicine. It has no side effects.
But question arises-
What is Life? What is Ayurveda
- Sarirendriya satwa atma sanjoga dhari jivitam,
Nityagascha anubandhascha paryayaih ayu uchhyate.
The time period when the body, mind, soul, sense organs remain integrated and composed is called Ayu or Life. All the words like sarira, Indriya, Satwa, Atma, Sanjoga, Dhari, Jivita, Nityaga, Anubandha are synonimus to Ayu.
Then question arises-
What is Sarira (Body)?
Siryate kshyayate anena iti sarira.
What is decayed and degenerated every moment is called sarira, the body.
Then question may arise, what is the composition of sarira? The answer will be
- Dosha Dhatu MalaMoola hi Sarira.
Sarira is composition of Dosha, Dhatu, Mala.
- Sarira dooshanat dosha.
- Dosha- It makes the body toxic.
- Dharanat dhatabah.
- Dhatu- It holds up the body.
- Malinikaranat malah.
- Mala- It makes the whole system dirty.
Objective of Ayurveda
Narrating the objective of Ayurveda the eminent Rishis say that
- Prayojanam chasya, swasthasya, swasthya rakshanam, aaturasya vikkara prashamanam cha (Ch Su 30/26)
- Vyadhi upasrustanam vyadhi parimokshah, swasthasya rakshanam cha (Su Su 1/14)
Objective of Ayurveda is to conserve the good health of the healthy person and to manage the disease of the ailing person.
Along with curative aspect they give stress with priority towards conservation of ideal health.
Then what is health?
“Health is nothing but a complete state of physical, mental, social and spiritual well being and not merely the absence of any disease or deformity”. This is the latest definition of health according to World Health Organization.
This definition resembles with the holy version of Maharshi Sushruta where he says-
- Sama dosha samagnischa sama dhatu mala kriyah.
- Prasannaatmendriya manah swastha iti abhidhiyate.. (Su Su 15/41)
A state of balanced dosha, agni(power of appetite and digestion), dhatu(tissue), mala(excreta) and pleasant mind, sense organs and soul is called Health. In this definition social health is not described. But it is not overlooked. It is described in Janapada Dhwnsa in Vimana Sthana of Charak Samhita.