The Science of Life
WHAT IS ĀYURVEDA?
Many thousands of years before modern medicine, Indian sages developed Āyurveda, which has been passed down through generations into the modern day. The ancient Rishis that developed Āyurveda observed nature closely for hundreds of years. The outcome of their observations was that the physical universe is composed of four primary states of matter – a solid state of matter (Pṛthivī/Earth); a liquid state of matter (Āpas/Water); matter in a state of transformation (Agni/Fire); and matter in movement (Vāyu/Air or wind). These four states of matter exist in a fifth state, a field or space (Ākāśa/Ether). This is called the Pancha Maha Bhutani, or five great states of matter.
More than a system for treating illnesses, Āyurveda is a 'science of life'. A science that develops from the philosophy and cosmology of Yoga, using its principles and philosophy extended to the body. It is rooted in the Samkhya Darshana (way of perceiving reality), one of the six classical schools of Indian philosophy.
The word Āyurveda is a combination of two words: Ayusha - means life - as the harmony between the higher Self (Atman), mind (Manas), Prana (life force), senses and body, and Veda - means science or knowledge. Hence, Āyurveda means the
"Science of Life".
Āyurveda is rooted in the principles of nature, which reflect the principles of the Universe. Its aim is bringing human beings in harmony with life as a whole.
Āyurveda is a complete yogic system of medicine in terms of its understanding of anatomy, physiology and psychology, its understanding of the disease process and diagnosis, its treatment methods, its life-style recommendations, its philosophy and implementation of Yoga practices for healing purposes. Yoga and Āyurveda naturally complement each other and were always practiced together. These sciences are built on the concept of the three Gunas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
"Ayurveda views life as a complex interrelationship of forces - some chemical, some physical and some subtle, like mental functioning. It says that you have to try to understand life through understanding the totality. Trying to go through individual parts will not help you to understand the totality of life because it is limited to the parts. Each part cannot be seen outside of the totality to which it belongs and supports."
Vaidya Atreya Smith
THE SCIENCE OF THE GUNAS
Āyurveda is a medical system based on the Gurvādiguṇas or attributes. The attributes are used in all Vedic sciences. It is a logical system of identification which allows us to organise matter. The vision of the attributes is used to understand all substances (weather, food, sensations in the body, etc). The attributes are the most primary in nature and are used to understand the Pancha Maha Bhutani or 5 states of matter. These 5 different states of matter are governed by three managers or doshas, which are intelligent because they come from Prana, the intelligent principle of energy in the universe - the Tridosha theory and the basis of the Ayurvedic system.
The Doshas are the primary forces and subtle substances behind all physiological and psychological functions. They produce the body and are also the causative factors in the disease process. Vata, Pitta and Kapha correspond primarily to the elements of air, fire and water. Vata has air and ether, Pitta has fire and water, and Kapha has earth and water. The Doshas are the three functions that constitute life: building (Kapha), transforming (Pitta), movement and decline (Vata). We all carry the three Doshas, which is where the five states of matter unite. They are all present in different amounts in our bodies.
Āyurveda uses the Doshas to understand the structures (anatomy) and functions of the body (physiology), the cause of disease (pathology), the manifesting of symptoms (symptomatology), diagnosis as well as the manifestation (pathogenesis) and the classification of disease. In the end, Āyurveda develops a methodology to understand life.
HEALING THROUGH ĀYURVEDA
Āyurveda provides a logical approach for determining a diet and a healthy nutrition based upon an individual’s constitution.
In order to understand how the Doshas affect you, it is necessary to distinguish between Prakriti, the balance of Doshas at the moment of conception, and Vikriti, the imbalance present in your current situation.
In Āyurveda, the mind is regarded as a powerful healer. Whenever something happens in the mind, something corresponding happens in the body. Thoughts of love, peace, kindness and compassion, produce a corresponding state in the body. The same applies for negative thoughts as well. An imbalance in the mind-body flow connection is often the underlying factor of disorder and disease.
In my Ayurvedic Consultations, I help you achieve body and mind balance by integrating Ayurvedic principles into your daily life. Bringing balance to your own nature is aligning yourself with the cycles of nature, which we are all a part of. This is also done with the help of the Vedic Natal chart. Āyurveda and Vedic Astrology or Jyotish are both rooted in the Vedic system of knowledge. Vedic Astrology reflects the law of karma, a concept also considered by Āyurveda as the principle of causation, and just as we have our genetic code, we also have our karmic code, which is extremely important to understand. The aim of Āyurveda is to heal both the body and the mind, and the wellbeing of our body and mind are directly correlated to our karmas, which are expressed over time and reflected in our Vedic natal charts. The Ayurvedic doshas correspond to the nine planets of Jyotish. Planets set their corresponding doshas in motion when they are dominant in the chart.