Exploring ways to improve the health and well-being is something every individual need to do. Earlier in ’90s Ayurveda and Yoga were referred to as ‘New Age’ – compartmentalizing them with the rest of the occult. They were never appreciated as sciences and disciplines that were comprehensive, tried and tested. But the failure of Western approaches to health and the need for world to look and feel good, broke the barriers of acceptance and embraced the traditional knowledge. More than treating a disease, world is looking upon holistic treatment approaches that provides health and harmony. Ayurveda is a fabulous tool which helps to maintain health and general well being throughout life.
Ayurveda which is believed to be one of the oldest systems of medicine on earth was originated during the Vedic period between 3000 to 1500 BC. Evolving throughout its history, Ayurveda remains an influential system of medicine in India and many parts of the world. An interesting fact is that, Indian mythology believes Ayurveda is anadi i.e. it does not have a beginning. The earliest verse in Ashtanga Hridayam says….
” ब्रह्मा स्मृत्वाSSयुषो वेदं प्रजापतिमजिग्रहत् ।
सोSश्विनौ ………..पृथक् तन्त्राणि तेनिरे ॥”
Even Lord Brahma the creator himself recollected Ayurveda. He taught it to the emperor Daksha. He in turn parted this science to the twin Ashwini Kumaras. They imparted the same to Lord Indra, he then to the munis like Atreya, Kashyapa and then their disciples like Agnivesha who composed their own separate treatise on the subject. And it passed on thereafter.
In Sanskrit, ‘Ayu’ means life and ‘Veda’ implies science or related to knowledge.
“हिताहितं सुखं दु:खमायुस्तस्य हिताहितम् ।
मानं च तच्च यत्रोक्तमायुर्वेद: स उच्य्ते ॥”
The sloka says, Ayurveda is designated as the grand treatise, which defines the knowledge of hitayu (good and beneficial life), ahitayu (non-beneficial life), sukhayu (happy life), and asukhayu (unhappy life). These concerns to different conditions of diseased and healthy life. The basic aim of Ayurveda is to protect the health and prevent the diseases by balancing body, mind, soul and the environment. Ayurveda concentrates on two main factors, ‘ स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्यरक्षणं ‘ which defines the preventive aspect of Ayurveda where we can achieve a prolonged life and promote perfect health. The other factor tells about ‘ आतुरस्य विकार प्रशमनं च ‘ i.e. to eradicate the disease condition and dysfunctions of the body. In order to achieve good health one should follow the Dinacharya (i.e. daily regimen) and Ritucharya (i.e. seasonal regimen) explained in Ayurveda.