Ayurvedic (DevanÄgarÄ: आयुर्वेद, the ’science of life‘) is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian Subcontinent and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda consists of the words Äyus, meaning ‚life‘, and veda, meaning ‚related to knowledge‘ or ’science‘. Evolving throughout its history, Ayurveda remains an influential system of medicine in South Asia. The earliest literature of Ayurveda appeared during the Vedic period in India. The Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Samhita were influential works on traditional medicine during this era. Ayurvedic practitioners also identified a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for curing various ailments and diseases.
Ayurveda, regarded as a Holistic manual of Life & Age, describes a lifestyle that’s in harmony with nature. The Ayurvedic description of health is:
“Samadosha, Samadhatu Samagnischa, malkriyah,
(समदोष: समधातु समाग्निश्चा मलक्रियः)
Prasannatmendriyamanah, Swastha ityabhidhiyate
(प्रसन्नात्मेंद्रियामन: स्वस्थ इत्याभिधियते)”
i.e. Only he, whose doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) dhatus (physical components – Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja & Shukra i.e. Plasma, Blood, Flesh, Fats, Bones, Bone marrows & Semen respectively) & agni (digestive fire) is balanced, appetite is good, all tissues of the body and all natural urges are functioning properly, and whose mind, body and spirit (self) are cheerful or full of bliss, is a perfectly healthy person. Ayurveda considers the individual as whole and seeks to re-establish harmony between all the constituents of the body and a perfect balance of the tripod – Mind, Body and Spirit. Basically Ayurveda is Health promotive – preventive – curative and nutritive – all self contained.
The two principle objectives of Ayurveda are:
- Swasthasya swasthya rakshanam (स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्यरक्षणं)‘ – To prolong life and promote perfect health (add years to life and life to years )
- ‚Aturasya vikar prashamanamcha (अतुरस्य विकार प्रशमनाम्चा)‘ – To completely eradicate the disease and dysfunction of the body.
Ayurvedic approach to Life-style:
Health is greatly influenced by Life-Style (Swastha-vritta). According to Ayurveda, Life-style (the rules and guidelines) is divided into three parts:
- Dincharya ~ दिनचर्या (Diet and regimen for the daytime)
- Ratricharya ~ रात्रिचर्या (Diet and regimen for the night)
- Ritucharya ~ ऋतुचर्या (Seasonal Diet and regimen) and Sandhikal (diet instructions for the joint period of two seasons)
One more thing that is very helpful for the knowledge of proper life-style ‚Samsarjan karm (संसर्जन करम)‘ means specific diet program after illness or after Panchkarma Treatments. For perfect health, long disease free body status, one must follow these instructions.
One way to describe the Lifestyle is in terms of the doshas, Vata, the air element; Pitta, the fire element; and Kapha, the water element. Vata is dominant from 2 to 6 in the morning and afternoon. Kapha is dominant from 6 to 10 in the morning and evening, and Pitta is dominant during mid day and midnight. (10 to 2) Keep in touch with these energies during the day and move with them, not against them.
– Please check our next Blog, Part-2 “DinCharya (Daily Conduct).