Ayurveda: Indias Science Of Longevity
By Vishnu Dass • February 18th, 2006 • 7375 Views
Ayurveda is India's ancient science of life, health, and longevity. It is thought of by many scholars to be the oldest form of health care in the world. It originated in India over 5000 years ago, and was taught for thousands of years in an oral tradition from accomplished masters to their disciples. The purpose of Ayurveda is to heal, to maintain a high quality of life, and to increase the longevity of the individual. It is an art of daily living that has evolved from practical, philosophical, and spiritual insight. Even though they have been used for thousands of years, Ayurvedic principles have never changed, since they derive from universal laws of nature that are eternally true.
In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means the "Science of Life." Life is the integration of body, mind and consciousness. Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through diet, lifestyle, yoga and meditation practice, the use of herbs, as well as cleansing and and rejuvenating therapies (panchakarma, abhyanga, shirodhara, nadi swedana, etc.)
Ayurveda is a science of self-understanding. By understanding our own unique nature or constitution we can begin to understand how we interact with our environment and thus make choices that will lead us toward greater health. Ayurveda defines disease as the natural end result of living out of harmony with our original constitution. Therefore, the Ayurvedic approach is very individualized, since the path to optimal health is different for each person, depending upon their unique constitution or prakruti.
The Ayurvedic system believes that the individual's constitution (prakruti) is recorded at the time of conception as a genetic code that can be expressed physically and mentally as disease proneness and emotional response.
This constitution is determined by vata, pitta and kapha, which are the three main doshas, or psycho-physiological functional principles in Ayurveda. They govern the individual's response to changes and they promote the disease process when out of balance.
Many factors, both internal and external, can disturb this balance and bring about changes in the original constitution that may lead to disorders and disease. ...