Ayurveda: The Science of Life

AyurvedaRooted in ancient India, Ayurveda is a complete system for self healing and right living that helps prevent and relieve disease.  Ayuh means life and veda means knowledge. Essentially, it is the science of how to live life.

Ayurveda comes from the Vedas (the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, and the Sama Veda) and draws wisdom from the six systems of Indian philosophy, the Shad Darshan. Renowned Vedic scholar Dr. David Frawley explains the Vedas as:

“The great mantric scriptures set forth by the Himalayan rishis, yogis and sages who lived many thousands of years ago. [The Vedas] are said to manifest the wisdom of the cosmic mind that is the origin and support of the universe and the foundation of natural law. The Vedas present the broader system of Self and cosmic knowledge of which yoga and Ayurveda are specific manifestations.”

Ayurveda is a secondary Veda, or Upaveda. It is the knowledge of the healing arts. Ayurveda treats the whole person, not simply symptoms, and uses many different treatments including psychological treatments, spiritual counseling; internal medical concerns; rejuvenation of the physical, mental or spiritual health; aphrodisiac needs; detoxifying body/mind/spirit (panchakarma); and surgery (before the Buddhists popularized Ahimsa, or non-harming)

The eight branches of Ayurveda are:

  1. Internal medicine
  2. Surgery
  3. Head and neck treatment
  4. Toxicology
  5. Psychology and evil spirits
  6. Pediatrics
  7. Geriatrics and rejuvenation
  8. Aphrodisiacs

There are three main levels of treatment in traditional Ayurveda

  1. Reduction of Doshas (Kapha: water/earth, Pitta: fire and Vata: air/ether – the unbalanced states of the five elements) through herbs, diet, bodywork and panchakarma
  2. Increase of Sattva (quality of harmony) by reducing Rajas (quality of action and agitation) and Tamas (quality of darkness and inertia) through yoga
  3. Use of spiritual methods including mantra, yantras, pilgrimage and other Tantric practices


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