'Ayur' means Life Span and ‘Veda’ mean Knowledge/Science.
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian wisdom that helps encourage health within us. So, what does one need for a wholesome life? According to the ancient texts, there are four things; Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. - Dharma is righteousness: You are in this world. You have to do something. You cannot sit idle. - Artha is money: You have to earn your living. Money is required to live a good quality life. - Kama: You have many desires throughout your life. - Moksha: It is salvation/ divinity/nirvana. It is the ultimate aim.
In striving to attain these four goals, the most important thing to remember is to manage our health. Only a healthy body can achieve all this. For example, if your life span is 80 years, you can determine the quality of those years by prioritising your overall health and well-being. What is the point of living until 100 and lying sick in bed?
Begin with faith
Dharma, Artha, Kama, Mokshanam Ayurved Updesh Vidya Parmadara.
This Sanskrit term means that one has to be faithful to the science of Ayurveda. Only then will they receive the results they seek. This also means that if someone is doubtful about this science, it will never work for them. Being respectful of the lessons of Ayurveda is the first step towards healing and happiness.
Elements of our world
The principles of Ayurveda speak about balance in the universe. Our universe is made of five elements called Panchamahabhutas. Their existence in the following order:
This order is very important because even within each human body, these elements exist in the same order.
- Space: Head
All the sensory organs are located here. The brain, knowledge, and wisdom all exist here.
- Air: Lungs and heart
Pranava is the breath which is essential for the body. It keeps the heart pumping.
- Fire: Upper stomach
This includes the liver, gallbladder, spleen and the beginning of the intestines. This is where all the food we consumed is burnt. This is the powerhouse of the body.
- Water: Lower stomach
The kidneys, uteri, and urinary bladder are all a part of the water element.
- Earth: The genital system
The male and female genital systems, uterus, prostate gland and anal region all come under the element of Earth. This is because this is where life is created.
The doshas in everybody
Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the three doshas that make up every person’s body. When the balance in the body encourages mental and physical health. An imbalance in these doshas causes both physical and mental diseases. Allopathy only addresses physical symptoms. It does not heal the root cause of the problem within the body as a whole.
Vata = Space + Air.
Pitta= Fire + Water.
Kapha = Water + Earth.
Why does water exist in two doshas?
In the universe, water is found in two forms. One is salt water (sea/oceans) and the other is alkaline water (pure river water) The salt water, also called acid water, in the body belongs to Pitta and the alkaline water belongs to Kapha. This is why, when there is a Kapha imbalance in the body, we say that the person’s body has become acidic.
The percentage of water in the universe and the human body are both 72%. Therefore, our human bodies are a mini-universe. Acidic water dominates the universe as well as within our bodies. Urine, sweat, tears and blood all are made up of acid water. The PH value of blood is 7.4, which makes it acidic. Whenever the PH value crosses 5 it becomes acidic. The lymphatic drainage is alkaline water.
‘Hith Bhuk, Mith Bhuk and Shuth Bhuk’ - Food is the giver and food is the taker. Hith Bhuk means to eat healthy/wholesome food, Shuth Bhuk means to eat only when you are hungry, and Mith Bhuk means to eat in moderation. (Here, Bhuk means digestion). ‘Swasthya swasthya rakshanam’ - Preserve health in the healthy. ‘Aturasya vikara prashamanam’ - Reduce disease in the diseased.
It is possible to achieve and maintain a healthy body through Ayurveda. The journey begins with self-acknowledgement and the willingness to commit to one of the oldest practices in the world. Every person is a unique combination of doshas. To discover how to bring wellness and health into your life, you can learn more about the wonderful world of Ayurveda.