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An ancient traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda is considered to be the oldest system of health care, with literature going back 5000 years and an oral tradition that is much older. This healing system has been practiced in daily life in India for more than 5000 years. ‘Ayur’ means ‘Life’ and ‘Veda’ means ‘Science’. Thus Ayurveda is the ‘Science of Life’.

Ayurveda’s Definition Of Health

“Sama Dosha Sama Agnis Cha Sama Dhatu Mala Kriyaaha|
Prasanna Atma Indriya Manaha Swastha Iti Abhidheeyate” – Sushruta Samhita

Meaning :

One is in perfect health when the Three doshas (vata, pitta and Kapha) Digestive fire (digestion, assimilation and metabolism) all the body tissues & components (Dhatus) (the entire physical body) all the excretory functions (the physiological functions of urination and defecation) are in perfect order with a pleasantly disposed and contented mind, senses and spirit.

Concept Of Disease According To Ayurveda

Ayurveda has a very profound insight in understanding the disease and its time of manifestation and the various approaches to treat the diseases.

This particular verse from the classical Ayurveda text beautifully describes it.

Tat shantihiaushadhaihi, daanaihi, japahomasuaarchanaihi.”

All diseases are rooted in the mind before manifesting. (mind has a longer shelf life than the physical body. The imprints of the mind gets carried forward to the next body. This is known as repeated births. According to Ayurveda the seeds of diseases are carried in the mind and they manifest at appropriate times during one’s life. According to Vedic astrology, which is also in line with Ayurvedic principles, Planetary forces govern the expressions of these imprints (KARMA) in the mind.

When such a disease is manifested, it should be treated with:

  • Aushada – Medicine.
  • Daana – Giving donations and doing charitable acts.
  • Japa – repeating a particular mantra in a prescribed manner.
  • Homa – offering of various herbs and dishes to the fire, chanting mantras with a particular intent, either to a deity or a planet.
  • Suraarchana – Special prayers to specific deity.

In Ayurveda, health is a state of spiritual and physical attainment. It is a medical, metaphysical healing life science – the mother of all healing arts. The practice of ayurveda is designed to promote human happiness, health and creative growth.

It is the science of daily living and this system of knowledge evolved from the sage’s practical, philosophical and religious illumination which was rooted in their understanding of the creation. Ayurveda helps the healthy person to maintain health and the diseased person to regain health.