Sukham Aayu Blissful Life
Anti Aging, Restorative Ayurveda
Nutrition, Wellness, & Empowerment
Ayurveda is a comprehensive science of health, nutrition, lifestyle and therapeutics; and the primary mode of medicine and therapeutics in India for generations.
As in all things Sanskrit, the meaning lies in the union of the two words
Ayuh...Life & Veda...Compendium of Knowledge (Vid) = Ayurveda <The Science of Life>
Ayurveda is not just a study of health and disease, but of Life itself!
Its origins in the historical Indian subcontinent, by some estimates as early as 5500BC – 3500BC, it was propounded by the Rishis, sages so prominent in their times that they blend into India’s mythology, folklore, and religion. Their mystical insights into nature, enhanced and sharpened by the discerning powers of yoga and austerity, proffered the world a comprehensive theory on the play between energy and matter, and everything in various planes of existence, that we now call ‘Consciousness’.
The profound knowledge of the ancients, venerated through millennia as ‘knowledge from the Gods’, was so vast as to be later classified into 4 Vedas (the Rig, Yajur, Atharvana, & Saama), with later commentaries of the 13 Puranas, and innumerable other compendiums. Classics of Ayurveda were translated into Persian, Arabic & Latin at various points in history.
Ayurved is a section of its original text, the Atharvana Ved.
In modern parlance, Ayurveda is an anti-aging, restorative, individualized, functional, comprehensive ‘medicinal science’ of health & longevity.
Anti-aging: ‘Longevity is the primary reason for (following) Ayurveda’, says the Charaka Samhita, the primary compendium of Ayurvedic knowledge. The compilation starts with the justification for a long life, the need for health, and sections on herbs & formulations to keep the natural progression of aging in abeyance.
Ayurveda calls this ‘Rasaayana’
Restorative: The natural progression of aging with the rigors of life, deep-rooted imbalances due to inappropriate food & lifestyle, debilitating illnesses that wither away at one’s life force (Praana) or severely affect one’s immunity (Ojas)… they all necessitate a restoration back to one’s ‘youthful as a stallion’ state
Ayurveda calls this rejuvenation, ‘Vajikaran’
Individualized: The concept of ‘Prakruti’ is unique to Ayurveda; it is the unique combination of the 3 doshas in varying states of intensity, as at the time of conception. Prakruti is the genetic imprint that predetermines one’s personality, health, tendencies, and thereby, possible predispositions towards health and disease. Since Prakruti, the divine giver of life, manifests through the human mold in innumerable forms, each individual possesses her unique qualities of mind & body. Of the 10 factors described in disease management, Prakruti forms a critical one.
Ayurveda calls this ‘Prakruti’
Functional: Ayurveda mandates that a Vaidya understand the exact pathogenesis of an illness. ‘Idiopathic’ has no place in the Ayurvedic dictionary; (it claims) no illness can be eradicated without understanding how it came into existence. Understanding the pathogenesis and contributing factors is the only way to rebalance the body; especially since the continuance of contributing factors would never allow for the complete reversal to original states of balance.
Ayurveda calls this ‘Sampraapti’
Comprehensive: Ayurveda is comprehensive in the truest sense of the word.
As a science of health & longevity, it delves into theories of Nutrition & Healthy Living, as seriously as it’s command over diagnostics, disease management, and therapeutics.
As a science of life, it steps us through the various stages of life from conception & birth, from childhood to puberty, youth and aging, to the ultimate human reality of death.
As a science of ontology, it emphasizes the mind-body connection as the fundamental basis of health, illness, and therapeutics; acknowledging the effects of the Sun, Moon, Planets, & the Elements on the energy centers (Chakras) & subtle energy points (Marma) of the body.
As a science of philosophy, it borrows its understanding of creation and the mind, from larger Vedic philosophies and the treasured Indian anthology, The Mahabharata (The Spiritual Victory).
As a science of action, it integrates the energetic to the physical through its study of Praanayam (Deep breathing), Chakras (energy centers), & Yoga (Righteous living).
As a science of therapeutics, it recommends various modalities of food, herbs, complex formulations, physical and mental therapies, from subtle to intense ones, for rebalancing the mind & body.
As a science of humanity, it respects each individual for Its journey, without criticism or judgement.
Thus, Ayurveda is known as ‘The Science of Life’
The Universe & the Panchamahabhoota(s), the 5 Primordial Elements
From Creation of the Universe to the evolution of all beings, sentient (chetanam) and insentient (nirchetanam), the Veda(s) propound the theory that everything is formed by the leela (play / interaction) between the five primordial elements of nature, the Mahabhootas (maha => primordial, bhootas => elements), each succeeding element in progression, a precipitation (condensation or crystallization) of the preceding one.
Akaash ... Space
Aakash (Space), described by Greek theologists and scientists as ‘Ether’, and more recently hypothesized as the vast expanse of ‘dark matter’, creates the nothing-ness from which everything needs to emanate. Aakash lends itself to stillness & emptiness, the backdrop to the theater of existence.
Space holds the Universe, the solar system and constellations, just as the mind holds its microcosm through thoughts, aspirations, desires and emotions;
both lending themselves to an eternal expansiveness.
Aakash is Consciousness itself, the ability to ‘watch’ life, without emotion, just the way it unfolds!
Vaayu (Wind), the derivative of Aakash, resulting from the energetic spacial differences of Aakash on the space-time continuum. Vaayu lends itself to movement and activity, imagination & expansive thought, it is the theater of existence, bringing into play all succeeding mahabhoota(s).
Vaayu gives Life; without vaayu there would be none!
Revered by man since ages, Agni (Fire), derived by the ‘slowing of speed and increase in heat’ of Vaayu, forms the basis of all transformation. Agni is revered in the Vedas as the element most significant, not only for its importance to human existence, but also for its instrumentality to the primary goal of human life – the enhancement and elevation of the Soul. As the central mahabhoot in a progressive list of five, it holds the key to the balance in nature.
Just as the Sun gives energy for the world’s transformation, Agni enables the transformation of all gross and subtle matters of the body and the mind.
Agni brings growth and clarity; fire brings transformation and discerning thought, the ability to ‘see’ through events in life!
Apa (Water), also called Jala, emanates from the cooling and slowing of Agni, the cooling condensation further adding gross weight. Apa retains some of the mobility of Vaayu and Agni, presenting itself with mixed characteristics of both, coupled with the birthing characteristic of mass for its next mahabhoota, prithvi. If ‘joy/ content/ bliss’ is the primary desire in life, Apa is the conductor leading the melodious symphony of the mahabhootas.
The moon influences waters on Earth, just as it does emotions of the mind.
Apa brings the calm, the joy in life – for the fire would burn, the wind would scatter, and the earth would stagnate!
Pruthvi (Earth), also termed as Dharaņi for it holds (dharaņ) all life, is the crystallization of Apa. Just as water turns to ice when frozen, Prithvi takes form through the manipulation of characteristics of Apa. Pruthvi, with its mass, gives form and stability. Prithvi is the players, the musicians, the artists, and the very stage of relative stability on which life rests.
Pruthvi gives the stability to let life unfold in its own time; no stability would exist without Pruthvi!
The dosha (s)
The progression from Aakash to Prithvi is a transformation of energy from the subtle to the gross, the story of Creation, of Universe and of Mankind!
Its reverse progression from Prithvi to Aakash, is transformation of energy from the gross to the subtle, the story of evolution of the human mind from its survivalist animal instincts to the understanding of Self & Consciousness!
The Dosha (s)
Dosha(s), the fault-lines that constitute us, giving us our unique characteristics & making us who we are, are the underlying substratum of forces defining all states of balance & imbalance in Ayurveda. A combination of two primordial elements each, the 3 doshas determine our life, our health & our destiny.
Cared for and respected, these lead to longevity and blissful life; neglected, these faultiness start expanding, creating imbalances that turn to disease.
The movement of Vaayu (air) within Aakash (space) forms Vaata. It enables all action, from thought to motion, respiration to elimination.
It is the underlying biological force behind the sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous systems.
Quick and flexible, it gives creativity and inclusiveness. Dry, light, cold, rough, mobile & subtle, it erodes like the desert winds!
Vaata people tend to be writers, painters, artists, sculptors, & visionary entrepreneurs. Physically, they tend to be thin, lean, quick, speak fast, low in stamina; with variable appetite they eat little, multiple times a day. An imbalance in vaata usually tends towards diseases characterized by cold dryness, constipation, nervous system & neurological disorders, variable pain, cracking joints, flatulence, and unbridled thought with emotions of anxiety, fear, loneliness, & insecurity.
An amalgamation of the characteristics of Fire (Agni) and Apa (Water), Pitta enables all transformation from digestion & assimilation, to physical and emotional growth.
It is the driving biological force behind all digestion & metabolism; assimilating nutrition from food and clarity from thought.
Hot, sharp, light and penetrating like fire, and flowing like water, Pitta burns like an oil fire!
Pitta people tend to be professors, actors, speakers, visionaries and CEO's. Physically, they tend to be medium built, bronze/ pink complexioned, speak with authority and persuasiveness, have strong appetites with good metabolism, love the finer things of life, simultaneously seeking meaning and clarity to their higher purpose.
An imbalance in pitta usually tends towards digestive, metabolic, blood and skin issues characterized by burning, redness, dryness, sharp pain, and emotions of impatience, anger, and hubris.
Bringing together Apa (water) and Pruthvi (Earth), Kapha is the primary dosha that gives form and structure to the (human) body. It is like the dough formed from flour and water, with a touch of fat, the proportions of each influencing the relevant structure. It is the driving biological force behind strength, immunity, and stability. Curtailing the constant mobility of Vaata & Pitta with its heavy, gross, stable, wet, unctuous, adherent nature,
Kapha brings strength, forbearance, compassion and love!
Physically, Kapha people tend to be well built, with heavy bones, smooth joints, large eyes, uniform teeth, oily complexion, slow metabolism, calm and patient temperance, and based on the proportional composition, either good musculature or heavy constitutions. If conscientious of their predisposition to inertia, kaphas can live a long life due to their physical and emotional strength.
Imbalanced kapha tends towards sluggish metabolism, weight challenges, and depressive tendencies. Like a dough exposed to wind, kapha (the body) dries and cracks with exposure to vaata; like dough transforming into bread with fire, Pitta transforms & regulates metabolism of kapha (giving growth), keeping it to its right consistency.
The Individual and his reflection, the internal and the external self, are a direct result of the play between the doshas, vaata, pitta & kapha. Keeping the balanced proportionality of these doshas and their emotional equivalents, walking the moderate in between path of life, not indulging in the extremes, and keeping a constant vigil on this Temple of the Soul, leads to a long life and everlasting joy... so says, Ayurveda
Empower Yourself with the Knowledge of Ayurveda
As you undertake your journey to being whole again, and rejuvenate yourself to a better state of being,
you will experience subtle aspects of your body and mind that you probably took for granted, or never really knew existed.
Come... understand yourself and the world around you... with a set of new eyes...
Experience the world through those of the sages, the wise men...
Experience your life through Ayurveda!