General introduction and concept of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is applicable to every living thing, as implied by its name, the science of life. Vedic sciences attribute life to air, wind, fire, the earth, planets, stars, etc., where all are thought to possess conscience like living beings.
Ayurveda is an ancient wisdom of holistic healing and it is being practiced in India for more then 5,000 years. Ayurveda was first recorded in the Vedas, the world’s oldest literature.
According to Ayurveda human being has four basic instincts. These are the spirituality, wealth, gratification and renunciation and only a disease-free condition is the base to achieve it. The purpose of Ayurveda is to help the healthy person to maintain their health and to regain health of those, who are sick. It is a medical- metaphysical healing science of life, the mother of all healing arts. The practice of Ayurveda is designed to promote human happiness, health and creative growth.
Human being is a microcosm, a universe within himself and any changes in the external environment for e.g. weather, seasons, climate, eclipses, pollution, day and night etc. affects internal environment. Similarly, our actions also affect the external environment and bring changes to it. Life is considered in all its dimensions, and nothing is ignored because everything is interconnected and interdependent. Even our previous life karmas (actions) are said to account for the quality of the next life.
According to Ayurveda the Universe is made up of five fundamental elements i.e ether, air, fire, water and earth. Life comes in this material universe from the universal soul which pervades each element of the cosmos. The human body as microcosm, governed by three humors or forces: Vata ,Pitta and Kapha.
When in a state of balance and harmony, the five elements of the cosmos are life-supporting, whereas their imbalance causes destruction and catastrophe. Similarly, for a state of well being, it is essential to maintain the equilibrium of these three body forces. The mind has three different qualities (rajas, tamas and sattva) and their balance is also essential for the balance of body humors because of the interrelationship between physical and mental faculty. According to Ayurveda; food, sleep and celibacy are the sub-pillars of the human body and it is says that excess use, less use or perverted use of these sub-pillars, five sense objects, intellect, our actions and time, causes the imbalance of body humors or forces. An appropriate Ayurvedic diet depends upon the intrinsic quality of the food we consume, and should be coordinated to the basic constitution, age, season, time of the day, stage of the health, and geographical location. Food should be taken in the appropriate quantities. All these factors are interrelated and interconnected. Ayurveda does not deal with the caloric values, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates etc. It believes that food may be harmful or useful, depending upon their preparation, time of consumption, and other factors. Food products are described as wholesome or unwholesome. The wholesome food should be enriched with all the six rasas to provide body with all five elements it needs. These in turn gives rise to three vital forces (Vata, Pitta and Kapha).
Because several factors affect the human health and Doshik (body humors and mental doshas i.e. Rajas & Tamas) equilibrium which leads to accumulate the toxins in the body therefore the ancient Rishis evolved a technique known as Panchkarma to detoxify the body to bring normalcy in the body humors. This ancient method is designed for the both purposes, to maintain the health of a healthy person and to regain the health of a sick person and it is mentioned that it is essential to every body in their middle age should undergo in this process.
The essence of Ayurvedic practice lies in making every effort to maintain good health or to improve from weak or ill health. The purpose of all this, is keep balance of the humors is only aspect for a healthy and fulfilled life.