Ayurvedic science. The word “Ayu” refers to life while “Veda” refers to “knowledge.” It is the “knowledge of life” as a whole that Ayurveda embodies, and through its name, Ayurveda’s broad expanse as science becomes clear.
As a science, Ayurveda isn’t considered as merely another naturalistic system for fighting disease.
By dismissing the disease-based mindset that most other medical schools of thought focus on, Ayurveda advocates a dynamic health consciousness, by primarily enriching the overall quality of our lives. Ayurveda accomplishes this by requiring us to adopt measures that support our well-being, like eating a pure, fresh, cooked diet and participating in daily and seasonal rituals that greatly benefit our bodies by enhancing all its functions.
The Distinguished Ayurvedic sage known as Rishi Sushruta, who lived in the latter first to early second centuries, is regarded to be the father of holistic surgery in Ayurveda. He is also the author of one of the most prominent treatises on the subject of Ayurvedic surgery. His fantastic definition of health demonstrates this ancient wisdoms comprehensive vision.
Sage Sushruta defined a healthy person as someone who has a balance in every fundamental physiological factor; including their three doshas; vata, pitta, and kapha.
While also having a healthy digestive and metabolic function, healthy biological tissues, and an efficient excretion process.
When an individual’s sensory perceptions, mind, and intellect are at peace with their inner Self, called “Atman”, then they have achieved an optimal state of health called Swastha.
Therefore, in Ayurvedic terms, health is a state of balance that consists between the physical body, the senses, the spirit, and the psyche.
Ayurveda’s definition of health is perhaps the oldest that we have from an established medical system. It goes well beyond the scope of allopathic medicine’s definition of health as the absence of disease within a body.
The WHO definition of health is; “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
However, the WHO definition doesn’t incorporate the spiritual dimension, as Ayurveda’s definition does. So ayurvedic medicine addresses our health in all of our many facets, body, mind and spirit.
In an Ayurvedic line of treatment, people’s bodies are not viewed as separate organs, structures, and functions, but rather as a comprehensive whole. Western pharmacology habitually treats ailments individually, aiming at dealing with the symptoms instead of addressing the underlying cause. This approach is a direct opposite to the teachings of ancient sages of Ayurveda.
Nowadays, there is much focus on the value of recognising, diagnosing, and treating patients holistically. Ayurveda however, offered an efficient and practical system to implement these holistic ideals in overall health thousands of years ago, including the interconnecting effects that environment, society, and culture can have on health.
As an organised body of thought, Ayurveda recognises one crucial truth; The closer we are to Nature and its natural cycles, the healthier we will be. The more we distance ourselves from Nature, the more we will suffer.
To thy own self be true through Ayurveda…
The Ayurvedic sages practised living consciously, by aligning their inner nature, called the microcosm, with external Nature, called the macrocosm. Hence, in Ayurvedic medicine, an individual and their daily environment, including the social, personal, climatic, and even geographical, are viewed as a connected unit.
Our quality of life shouldn’t be an afterthought, considered to have no impact on our health; it is an authentic and vital aspect of our health. An Ayurvedic lifestyle reintroduces us to the natural laws of the universe, and, with time, we come to appreciate the fact that our inner nature is patterned on outer Nature.
In essence, practice the following.
Create a sacred and inspiring space to dwell in with purity and cleanliness
Breathe fresh air in deeply, knowing that the joy and recognition of its presence sustains our life force
Drink pure water that nourishes you.
Eat organic, seasonally appropriate foods, cooked with love and spices that sustain.
Practice some form of physical exercise