Monday, October 20, 2014
Healthy living as an Ayurveda school of thought
One of the best advantages of the Indian native practice of Ayurveda in gaining a popular following is that it generally promotes healthy living as an Ayurveda school of thought. Ayurveda, as we all know, is a natural system of medicine and treatment that is endemic anmd traditional to India and is commonly practiced throughout south east Asia. The science dates back to an estimated time range of between 5000 to 10000 years and over time, has developed into a series of disciplines and categories - all with the same focus in mind which is to promote healthy living, lifestyle and practice. Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit word literally translated as "science of life" or "practices of longevity." Ayurveda, according to the discipline, is practically applicable to every living thing, as implied by its original Sanskrit name. Its sciences, according to its principles, attribute life to more things than what is normally perceived, examples of which also include wind, fire, air, the earth, planets and stars, among others, are all thought to possess conscience like living beings. Key to understanding this discipline is the core basis of Ayurveda, which supposes that the entire cosmos or universe is part of one singular absolute and everything that exists in the vast external universe, is also mirroed in the internal cosmos of the human body. The human body, which consists of at least 100 million cells is believed to be in harmony when it is healthy, as well as in a state of self-perpetuating and self-correcting just as the universe is. Ancient Ayurveda text called the Charaka indicates that "man is the epitome of the universe. Within man, there is as much diversity as in the world outside. Similarly, the outside world is as diverse as human beings themselves." This means that human beings, according to Ayurveda, are a living reflection of the universe and the universe is a living representation of all human beings. Ayurveda was a health care system developed by ancient seers, also known as rishis, and natural scientists through centuries of observations, discussions, experiments and meditations. These teachings and practices were handed down from generation to generation over several thousand years, amazingly, through oral instructions from teacher to student. It was only about the fifth to sixth century BC, when the teachings were elaborately rendered through detailed texts in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India and for many years Ayurveda flourished throughout India and was used by rich and poor alike, including throughout large territories of Southeast Asia. Ayurveda is based on the principle of using what practitioners refer to as the five great and divine Elements of earth, water, fire, air and space that composes the Universe, similar to that of the living human body. The practices of Ayurveda are categorized into several groups from ranging from surgery also called the Shalya-chikitsa, the treatment of diseases above the clavicle or Salakyam, internal medicine or Kaaya-chikitsa, psychiatry or Bhuta vidya, pediatrics or Kaumarabhrtyam, toxicology or Agadatantram, immunology and preventive medicine or rasayanam and aphrodisiacs or Vajikaranam. Ayurvedic dietetics, on the other hand, offers a host of recommendations, ranging from healthy routines for day and night, the preparation and consumption of food, sexual life, and rules for ethical conduct. Ayurveda may be a broad science to understand and practice, however, one thing remains to be seen that is embraced by practitioners all over the world, that healthy living as an Ayurveda school of thought is the key to ensuring that it continues to propagate and flourish all over the world.