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What is Ayurveda?

By Dr. Ranvir Pahwa, MSc, DHM, AHN, PGD Tox, DOHS, DNM, PhD Ayurveda is a timeless holistic medicinal science originated in old India (Aryavrita or Bharata) over five thousand years ago. Ayurveda is a medicine that can adapt and absorb any healing science and be adopted by any medical system. Ayurveda is said to be a medical science which was delivered by the Gods to the sages and seers (Rishis) who were yogis and renowned for their insight, intuitions and keen observations of human behaviors. The sages and seers transferred their knowledge to their disciples. Ayurveda was an indigenous medical system that was popular and practiced in Indian sub-continents since the pre-biblical era. Ayurveda became an integral part of the Indian Society. The word Ayurveda is composed of two Sanskrit words, the first word being Ayur which means Age and the second word Veda meaning Knowledge or Science, and it is elucidated as a “Science of Age,” the “Science of Life” or the “Knowledge of Health.” It is also described as the “Science of Longevity.” Ayurvedic literature explains the purpose of Ayurveda magnificently and in very simple, sanctimonious and diverse ways. The teachings and principles that were put forth in ancient times were to keep one’s health disease free, this exact philosophy is implicated in modern times. The purpose of Ayurveda is to protect the health of the healthy and alleviate disorders in the diseased. It has also been indicated as the science of the protection of your life (Ayu). How Ayurveda explains Age (Ayu) Age is the conjunction of the body, senses (indriya), organs, mind (sattva) and soul (the self, the Atman). Several synonyms of Ayu exist as mentioned in the literature; that are dhari (what we sustain and achieve), jivita (who is alive, the organism), nityaga (always with us) and anubandha (in continuous flow). References: 1. Charaka Samhita, Part I &II, Commentary by Pt. KN Pandeya and GN Chaturvedi. Chowkhamba Vidya Bhavan, Varanasi, 1962 2. Pahwa R. Ayurvedic medicine-Top Ten Herbs. Saskatoon, SK, Canada, Self Published, 2013. 3. Pahwa R. The Purpose of Ayurveda. J H M, (2012): 1:e102. doi:10.4172/2167-1206.1000e102 (Open access article)

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