Introduction And History of Ayurveda
The term Ayurveda means “knowledge” (Veda) concerning maintenance of “life”(Ayu). The origin of this knowledge is already evident in Atharvaveda ( the contents of which can be dated between circa 1500-1000 BC). Atharvaveda is one of the four ancient time immortal Hindu scriptures (viz.Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda). The treatment of diseases (chikitsa) in the Atharvaveda is largely religious and ritualistic, emphasizing such practices as the sacred chanting of Mantras and Hymns, Penances (Niyam), Amulets (Mani), Fire sacrifices (Havans), Upvas (Vedic fasting) and prayashchit (Purification rites), but Atharvaveda also contains material about Human Body Anatomy, Physiology, Herbal Formulations, and Classification of diseases. Those trained in this knowledge are known as “Vaidya”. Mythologically this knowledge was first revealed to Brahma (Hindu God of creation) in Meditation and then he gave it to Prajapati, who in-turn passed in tradition to Ashwini kumars and Indra. Surgery (shilya) was revealed by Indra to Divodasa, the king of Kasi who was also known as incarnation of Divine Dhanvantari, culminating finally in the classical Sushruta tradition of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery.
Ayurvedic text were translated into Greek by Cindos (300BC), Tibetan and Chinese (300AD), Persian (700AD) and Arabic (800AD).
It is important to realize that Ayurveda is not confined to Herbal medicine only, it tackles the whole subject of life in its various ramifications. Such as Poonarjanma (rebirth), Renunciation, Salvation (moksha), Soul (Atma), etc.
Definition Of Ayurveda
It is a science of maintaining positive health and eliminating disease state.
Sushruta has defined health as:
// Samadoshah samagnishcha samadhatu-malakriyah /
Prasanna-atmendriyamanah swastha ityabhidiyate //
A person is healthy when he possesses in normal state the doshas (biological humours) agni (metabolic fire) and dhatus (body tissues) and malas (waste products)in his body and his soul, mind and organs of cognition and conation are in perfect state of co-ordination and his mental disposition is in happy and cheerful state.
Theory Of evolution Of Life In Ayurveda
In the beginning before the creation only Sat or Brahman or Purusha existed. Because it willed to become many, it caused the creation of Prakriti.
Prakriti initially started from total non-expression. Therfore it is called avyakta. The word Prakriti is derived from sanskrit root “dukrin-karane” meaning prakrishtena kriyate. It signifies the forward progression.
From it emerged Mahat. Mahat is vast ocean of matrix of consciousness enveloping entire Universe. From mahat developed the Ahamkar.
Ahamkar is the identities of one self. All biomolecules possess the property of self assembly. In biological terms it is self assembly, organization, of a cell and its duplication, multiplication, self replication, and finally the perpetuation of itself.
Our body immunity is based on this capacity of cells to identify and reject, kill, and destroy any foreign invaders as in case of various infections. The T-cells have the capacity to generate memory of invaders and produce antibodies against them.
(other meaning of Ahamkar is ego) It acts through three Primal qualities viz. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.