Our Treasure, Tradition and HeritageThe literal meaning of Ayurveda is the perfect knowledge of Life. Ayurveda is a philosophy, a way for purposeful and healthy living and a practical and pragmatic science. The highly integrated and intelligent men of yore (Rishi), out of compassion towards the predicament of their fellow beings, started exploring and experimenting with physical, mental, intellectual and pathological aspects of living organisms in general and human beings in particular. They understood the causes and the consequences of birth, growth, disease, decay and death and prescribed effectual remedies to maintain and preserve positive mental and physical health and also explained how to prevent, diagnose and cure diseases.Ayurveda is considered as an ‘Upaveda’ (branch or section) of ‘Rigveda’. Veda embodies perfect knowledge. It enables us to understand things correctly. In the presence of knowledge, confusion is replaced by clarity and courage. Only with courage and clarity can correct action be performed. In the absence of correct understanding and courage, confusion and conflict will arise. The power of concentration, comprehension and discrimination will vanish and the subject will fall into the depths of mental agony, inaction and inability leading to ‘MANOVEDANA’ (Mental Pain) and ‘SAREERA VEDANA’ (Physical Pain). In short, through Veda, ‘Vedana’ or pain can be conquered. Ayurveda not only deals with the health of human subjects but also has incorporated into it ‘Vriksha Ayurveda’ (the Health Science for plants) and ‘MrugaChikitsa’ (Health Science for animals).According to the Ayurveda philosophy, there are three forces functioning in our body. They are ‘vayu’, the vital air force; ‘pitha’, the force responsible for thermogenesis and metabolism and ‘kapha’, responsible for the production of mucus and synovial fluids for protecting the various organs and parts of the body. When these three forces are harmoniously balanced in the system, health prevails and if they are imbalanced various afflictions arise.
Vital Air or VayuThe ‘Rishis’ of yore understood the importance of oxygen to each and every cell of the body. The beating of the heart and the proper functioning of the central and autonomic nervous systems depend upon this vital air force in the body. Distribution of nutrients, excretion of waste products, muscular movements, nervous system, etc, are the main functions of this force. Vitiation of this air or ‘vayu’ is nothing but the release of new free radicals in the body and the resultant diseases.
PithaThis essential force is responsible for thermogenesis or heat in the body. This principle regulates the entire endocrine system and the production of secretions from various glands, digestion, absorption and assimilation are the other functions achieved by this force.
KaphaIt is protective and preserving in nature. Production of mucus, synovial fluids, saliva, fat and the protection of the important organs by giving a protective coating are the main functions of this vital force. Derangement of ‘kapha’ causes diseases of the lungs, heaviness in head, cold, congestion and damage to the mucus membranes.
It is very important that these 3 essential forces should be in the state of equilibrium and any derangement of this will change the total metabolism and body climate making the body a fertile soil for various disorders. Ayurveda believes in correcting the deranged subtle forces, thereby restoring the original state of health.
Datus and Malas (Tissues and waste materials)According to Ayurveda, there are seven types of ‘Datus’ or tissues by which the body is built up and sustained.
- Adipose tissues
- Bone marrow
- Male and female reproductive agents.
Besides this, there are ‘Upadhatus’ such as cartilages, various membranes and tendons in the body. ‘Malas’ are waste products formed during metabolic activity in the body and are to be excreted. These are faeces, urine and sweat. ‘Upamalas’ are secondary excretion such as secretion from eye, ear and nose.
Ojas or Human EnergyAyurveda considers the entire working of the body with vigour and virility as dependent upon the energy called ‘Ojas’, which provides immune power to the body. Ayurveda describes two types of ‘Ojas’: ‘Apara’ and ‘Para’. The loss of this energy causes infectious diseases.