Originated nearly 5000 years back and considered as one of the ancient medical system, Ayurveda was practiced by rishis. It signifies a rich outlook that leads towards a healthy lifestyle. The word Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words, 'ayus'(life) and 'veda'(knowledge). The rishis laid the foundation of Vedic civilization that helps in organizing the fundamentals of life into proper systems.
Vedas serves as the main source of knowledge while practicing this ancient science. The main veda from where we derive the knowledge about the ancient science is Atharvaveda. The veda was written 1000 years back and is supported by other treaties such as Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita. The Charaka Samhita is dedicated to the study of internal medicine and the Sushruta Samhita is dedicated to the study of surgery. One other treaty named Astanga Hridayam is created about 1000 years ago and the modern ayurveda, which is practiced today is based on this treaty.
In 6th century, the Buddhist monks traveling to different places such as Tibet, China, Mongolia, Korea and Sri Lanka carried ayurveda with them. They made a lot of changes in this ancient science form and various new age concepts were originated from there.
Sankhaya’s philosophy of creation and manifestation was greatly influenced the ayurveda. The philosophy states the existence beyond time and space with no beginning or end and qualities. The pure existence arises the desire of experiencing inner-self that results in disequilibrium and demonstrate the primordial physical energy. The two unite to make the "dance of creation" come alive.
This primordial energy serves as the creative force for all the actions and leads to the explanation of our mental and physical worlds. The primordial energy also results in cosmic consciousness. Individual intelligence is different from everyday intellectual mind is derived from this consciousness and is a part of it. The inner wisdom, which makes the part of individuality and is remained unswayed by the demands of daily life is called Ahamkara or the sense of 'I-ness'.
The concept of Ahamkara is not understood by everyone and is misunderstands to 'ego'. Embracing much more than just that, it is in essence that part of ‘me’ which knows which parts of the universal creation are ‘me’. Since ‘I’ am not separate from the universal consciousness, but ‘I’ has an identity that differentiates and defines the boundaries of `me’. All creations therefore have Ahamkara, not just human beings.
The two-fold creation which arises from Ahamkara are: Satwa and Tamas.
Satwa, the subjective world, one that is manipulated or perceived. It comprises the subtle body with the capacity of five sense organs to hear, feel, see, taste and smell, and for the five organs of action to speak, grasp, move, procreate and excrete.
Tamas, the objective world that revolves around the five subtle elements of sound, touch, vision, taste and smell.
The last element Rajas or the force of movement or energy brings these two world together.
It is worth noting that even at the stage of the dense elements the philosophy of creation - which according to Sankaya is now and in the present, without any past and any future - is still dealing with aspects of existence beyond our simple physical realms. The point of contention being that we are the first and foremost spirit experiencing existence. To use Ayurveda in daily life, one has neither to accept nor even understand this philosophy. But it does provide a deeper insight into how Ayurveda works towards betterment of your health.
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