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About Ayurveda

Ayurveda & Philosophy: Basic Thoughts:

Ayurveda encompasses not only science but religion and philosophy as well. We use the word religion to denote believe and discipline conductive towards states of being in which the doors of perception open to all aspects of life. In ayurveda the whole of life's journey is considered to be sacred. The philosophy refers to love of truth and in ayurveda. Truth is being pure existence, the source of all life. Ayurveda is a science of truth as it is expressed in life.

The ancient realized being, rishi or seers of truth, discover truth by means of religious practices and disciplines. Who intensive meditation, they manifested truth in their lives. Ayurveda is the science of daily living and this system of knowledge evolved from the rishis' practical, philosophical and religious illumination, which was rooted in their understanding of the creation

They perceived, in the close relationship between man and the universe, how cosmic energy manifests in all living and non living things. They also realized that the source of all existence is cosmic consciousness, which manifests as male and female energy- shiva and shakti.


The word ayurveda is derived from Ayus meaning life, and veda, meaning knowledge, thus ayurveda literally means Science of life. It is the ancient Indian system of healthcare and longevity.


The origin of ayurveda is lost in prehistoric antiquity, but its characteristic concepts appear to have matured between 2500 and 500 B.C. in ancient India. Ayurveda has a vast literature in Sanskrit and various Indian languages, but it would be feasible to present here only a fleeting account of this.

Mythology has it that Brahma, the creator, imparted the knowledge of ayurveda to Prajapati daksha who, in turn, passed it on to the Aswinikumar twins who were the physicians to the gods. The aswini kumars then proffered this knowledge to Indra. Dhavantari was instructed by Lord Indra to spread this invaluable science of longevity on the earth. Susruta, a renowned surgeon and student of Dhanvantari, wrote his famous compendium on surgery- the Sushruta Samhita. To Charaka, who probably lived sometime between the second century B.C. and the second century A.D., goes the credit for the famous treatise on general medicine, the Charaka Samhita. Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita are the two ancient treatises on which ayurveda are based.

Aim of Ayurveda

The primary aim of Ayurveda is to keep up the health of the healthy and to eradicate the disease of the diseased.

Basic Principles of Ayurveda According to ancient Indian philosophy, the universe is composed of five basic elements or pancha bhutas: prithvi(earth), ap(water), teja(fire), vayu(air), akash(ether). Everything in the universe, including food and bodies possesses, is derived from these bhutas. A fundamental harmony therefore exists between the macrocosm (the universe) and microcosm (the individual). The human being is comparable to the cosmos, being a miniscule image of great entity.

The human body is in a state of continuous flux or dynamic equilibrium. The panchabhutas are represented in the human body as the dosas, dhatus and malas.

Tri doshas theory

Three doshas (Vayu, pitta and kapha) are not theoretical concepts, but are tangible entities, and are considered to have specific functions:

i) Vaata (Vayu): The dosha controls all phenomenon connected with movement in the body, that is the motor and sensory phenomenon, the entire functioning of the central and autonomic nervous systems.

ii) Pitta: This pertains to metabolism and production of energy. It is responcible for digestion assimilation, enzyme induction, endocrine functions, etc.

iii) Kapha (Shleshma): It is responsible for structural integrity of the system and storage and regulation of energy.

According to ayurveda, the three doshas have distinct sites in the body. Vaata is located in the pelvis, pitta in the gut, and kapha in the stomach, chest and head. It has been suggested that these doshas may correspond to three receptor families located across the body, which o activation by suitable ligands (endogenous/ exogenous) generate appropriate cellular signals.

Sapta Dhatus

The dhatus are the body constituents and from the basic structure of the body, each one having its own functions. The dhatus are seven in number: rasa (food juices), rakta (haemoglobin portion of the blood), mamsa (muscle tissue), medas (fat tissue), asthi (bone tissue), majja (bone marrow), and shukra (semen).

Tri malas

Malas are by-products of the dhatus, partly used by the body, and partly excreted as waste matter after the process of digestion is over. These play a supporting role while they are in the body, and when they are eliminated, their supporting role is finished. The useful elements absorbed by the body are retained as prasad (waste product), while those excreted are known as malas (waste matter). The chief malas are mutra (urine), shakrit (faeces), and sweda (perspiration).

Different aspects of Ayurvedic treatment
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Eight Branches of Ayurveda
No. Sanskrit designation Modern rendering
1 Kayachikitsa Internal medicine and therapeutics
2 Shalakyatantra Diseases of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, oral cavity, throat
3 Shalyatantra Surgery
4 Kaumarabhritya Paediatrics, gynaecology
5 Agadatantra Toxicology
6 Bhutavidya Psychiatry
7 Rasaayana Antiageing
8 Vajikarana Virility


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