The mystical and exotic Indian system for a healthy, happy and long life – Ayurveda, is becoming more and more popular in the Western world. Many people turn to it in order to maintain their good health, while others embrace it to treat their health disorders. Since it might be unfamiliar and distant for most of us, Ayurveda could cause initial confusion in those who decide to live according to its principles.
We offer you an opportunity to dive into the depths of this Eastern health science,and we will do our best to make it more understandable and familiar to you.The reason that has given rise to Ayurveda is the desire for longevity humans have. The knowledge, which has been passed down from generation to generation, is derived from the universal consciousness that created the visible world. In Hindu mythology, this superior intellect is called Brahma. Ayurveda is a holistic system that was created to help people achieve their dream of longevity in good health and happiness. It is believed that the great value lying at the core of the quest for extended longevity is for people to achieve all the goals they have set for themselves.
There are four natural tendencies that influence a person’s behaviour during their entire life. Following these inherent inclinations, people can enjoy life in the best way possible as per their own perceptions. Everyone has their own definition of happiness, which differs according to their point of view. From our experience, we know that people are different, have different goals, and rejoice at different achievements.
AYURVEDA AND PURUṢĀRTHAS
Hinduism defines four key goals in human life (Puruṣārthas) that are inherent to everyone but characterize an individual to varying degrees.
They are defined as:
Dharma: people who follow the path of righteousness and duty. In India, this is the caste of Kshatriya,which stands for the military units that are responsible for protecting society in time of war, or the government in peace times.
Artha: people who deal with finance and strive for economic prosperity. They form the caste of Vaishya,who are businessmen, merchants, landowners; e.g. people engaged in commercial and financial activities.
Kama: people who are dedicated to bodily pleasures, love thrills, and emotional experiences. They form the caste of the various service providers.
Moksha: people seeking the spiritual aspects of life, as well as those dealing with science. They form the caste of the Brahmin.
AYURVEDA OVER THE CENTURIES
Ayurveda is a unique combination of historical facts and mythology.
The mythological narrative of Ayurveda refers the birthof the doctrine to the creator god Brahma. The Sages in India were overtaken by disease and premature death despite living in the Himalayas. They faced serious difficulty maintaining good health due to the numerous restrictions interfering with their spiritual and physical practices and preventing them from fulfilling their goals in life described as Puruṣārthas.
This made them seek the help of god Indra who is described as The King of Gods. When they found him and asked him for assistance, he turned to god Brahma who, in turn, gave the knowledge about Ayurveda to god Prajapathi who was responsible for the protection of people. Then Prajapathi passed down the knowledge to the Ashwini Kumaras twins who were the healers of the gods. From them the knowledge came to god Indra. He sent the knowledge about Ayurveda to the Atreya Punarvasu Sage who was the leader of the Himalaya wise men. In turn, he passed the knowledge to Agnivesa from whom Ayurveda came down to the rest of the wise men, and thus gradually began its spread throughout India.
Ayurvedic literature sheds light on sutras (sutra is a term for a short law written in several words). These texts are incorporated in a corpus and thus form the main concept of the Eastern science.
Over the centuries Ayurveda has been in existence, a number of Sages wrote their own theories in sutras containing interpretations of the original texts. The most famous are Charaka Saṃhitā, Suśruta-saṃhitā, and Aṣṭāṅga-hṛdayam, written by Vagbhata. These works were written by the Sages who laid the foundations of the Ayurvedic ideology.