Dr. Sabina Khadka Feb 16 2021
The term Ayurveda is composed of two Sanskrit words: Ayu and Veda.
Ayu = Life , Veda = Science or knowledge
Ayurveda = “the Science of life”
Thus, the Science of life is known as Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is an ancient science of life that incorporates Yoga and other branches of healing techniques utilized by eastern civilization since antiquity. This is a consciousness-based science where every phenomenon is evolving entity of mass and energy. This holistic system of healing has been developed from natural laws of existence and compiled during the state of higher aspiration by the ancient seekers and masters. It utilizes natural-based products, lifestyles, and guidelines for achieving the highest goals in life. Here a state of inner and outer dynamic harmony is considered the optimal state of health, balance, and joy.
The root of Ayurveda dates back to the Vedic period. Vedas are the oldest recorded documents of human civilization. According to the Caraka Samhita, 52 eminent Scholars, Rishis and experts gathered in the Himalayas and performed meditation thereby discussing, developing, and documenting this science. The knowledge of Ayurveda can be found in a number of manuscripts, books, healing practices, cultural functions and ceremonies, and in the teachings and practices of traditional healers.
There are many classical manuscripts of Ayurveda available till date. Among them series of three big books called as Brihattrayi are Carak Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Astanga sangraha and another series of three books called as Laghuttrayi are Sharangadhar Samhita, Bhav Prakash Nighantu, Madhav Nidana are of major importance.
According to Ayurveda, Ayu(life) is a functional union of sharira (body), indriya (senses), mana (mind) and atma (soul).It is a dynamic process which is ever changing, ever transforming and ever functioning. A body is a Pancamahabhutic (made up of five fundamental elements: air, space, fire, water and earth ) unit governed by tridosa (Biological operating forces: Vata,Pitta and Kapha)which transforms within Time and Space. Thus, our body is an effervescent entity, a functional wholeness, which is pulsating, fluctuating, ever-changing, and ever-regenerating. This is the collection of atoms ultimately evolving into functional systemic entity. A balance in this sharira, indriya, mana and atma is to be considered in order to achieve ultimate state of health.
Health- “Svarupa Avasthanam”= Being in one’s own Natural State
Health in Ayurveda is a state of deeper harmony and balance. This is a dynamic natural state of positive well-being maintained by our own awareness and healthy practices. It is a subtler dynamic process with a potential scope of continuous transformation from physical to sensorial, to mental, and to the spiritual dimension.
Objectives of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a traditional medicine practice that aims to achieve a state of transcendence and prevent disease by promoting health and awareness through the use of herbs, diet, and lifestyle changes.