What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is traditional Indian medicine and is the most ancient system of medicine known to humankind. It is believed to be at least 5000 years old but some say it’s even older. Therefore, often called as “the Mother of Medicine” and is recognised by World Health Organisation as alternative medicine.
Ayurveda is a medical science and its purpose is to heal and to maintain the quality and longevity of life. It offers a profound understanding of each person’s unique body, addressing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realities in harmony with the laws of nature. In other words, Ayurveda is a system that helps maintain your health by using the inherent principles of nature to bring you back into equilibrium with your true self.
The Meaning of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which is derived from two roots: ayur and veda. Ayur means life. According to the ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka, ayur is comprised of four essential parts and is the combination of mind, body, senses and soul. And, veda means knowledge of life or knowledge of longevity. The word Ayurveda can be translated in at least three different ways:
• Science of life
• Knowledge of life
• Art of living
The Origins of Ayurveda
Ayurveda originated within the tradition of the Vedas which are India’s sacred books of knowledge and wisdom. They are produced by the seers (rishis), enlightened wise men who directly realised God. The Vedas are believed to be more than 10,000 years old. The four main Vedas are Rigveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda and Samaveda which are considered to be the oldest bodies of recorded/written knowledge in human culture. Vedas contain practical and scientific information on various subjects beneficial to humanity, not just health but also philosophy and engineering. Some say Ayurveda is developed from the youngest of the Vedas; the Atharvaveda and the others feel the origin was within Rigveda.
How did I come to know Ayurveda? I will tell you all about it in my next post. So, stay tuned.