Yoga: Ayurveda Healing

There was once a celebrated doctor, associated with Vedic, post-Vedic and even pre-Vedic sages, called Caraka who believed that human body is composed of innumerable cells. He lived in the second century of our era and was one of the greatest physicians that has ever lived. Caraka recorded the fact that the gods themselves were perplexed by the continued existence of disease, which was a hindrance to humanity’s progress to enlightenment.
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These same gods, he says, therefore prepared the way for Ayurveda, which literally means the “ The Science of Longevity” to be taught to the human race. Caraka (stands for an intelligent person) revised the Carakasamhita in the light of the new knowledge. The Carakasamhita today is held in high esteem as the most authentic of all the extant works on the Ayurevedic system of medicine. Carakasamhita was translated from Sanskrit into Persian and from Persian into Arabic. Al-Beruni’s chief source of medicine was the Arabic edition of Caraka. Ayurveda tradition requires at least seven years of intensive training.

Ayurveda “Mother of All Healing” “ Knowledge of Life” “The Science of Life”
“The Science of Longevity” ” World Medicine”

Ayurveda, the most holistic and comprehensive medical system available,
teaches you how to live in a true and natural balance.

Not being able to answer the question, the rishis approached Sage Bhrigu. To reach a solution after a direct ascertainment of reality, Sage Bhrigu first went to Satyaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma.

Vedic Rishis “Seers of Mantras” taught Ayurveda in an oral tradition.

Rishis also became Vaidyas (physicians of Ayurveda). The sage ~ physician ~ surgeons were deeply devoted holy people, who saw health as an integral part of spiritual life. The Rishis acknowledged that everything that existed in nature had a common source. If they found the ultimate source of their “Self” they would find the origin of all things in nature.

Vedic Rishis did not venture out and collect herbs and experiment with their effects to discover Ayurveda, but rather went into deep internal meditation. Their knowledge of the use of various methods of healing, prevention, longevity and surgery came through “Divine Revelation” (they heard the hymns of the Gods). There was no guessing or testing and harming animals.

These revelations were transcribed from the oral tradition into book form, in elaborately detailed texts written in Sanskrit ~ the ancient language of India. As a result Ayurveda developed into a respected and widely used system of healing in India. What is fascinating is Ayurveda’s application of herbs, foods, aromas, gems, colours, yoga and mantras in daily living.

The healing art of Ayurveda had spread outside of the strictly Hindu community around the 6th century BC. Wise men from China, Tibet, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Persians and many more came to learn about this world medicine and its religious scriptures it sprang from.

Ayurveda established Islamic medicine and assisted to form the foundation of the European tradition in medicine. In 15th Century Europe “Paracelsus” celebrated physician and reformer of therapeutics is a phenomenon in the history of medicine, a genius tardily recognized, who impetuously sought to overturn the old order of medical thinking.

He worked with brutal determination to substitute more comprehensive healing system for what seemed to him was archaic and flawed in therapeutics. Paracelsus, who is also known as the Father of Modern Western Medicine, stressed the healing power of nature and attacked venomously many other medical malpractices of his time and hissed mercilessly at worthless pills, salves, infusions, balsams, electuaries, fumigants, and drenches, much to the delight of his student-disciples.

He was the first to declare that, if given in small doses, “What makes a man ill also cures him,” an anticipation of the modern practice of Homeopathy. Paracelsus, in fact, contributed substantially to the rise of modern medicine, including psychiatric treatment. He journeyed to Egypt, Arabia, the Holy Land, and Constantinople seeking out the best practitioners of alchemy from whom he could learn their most effective medical treatments. His employment of such knowledge soon won him widespread acclaim for his treatments.

It is not surprising that Paracelsus was called a magician because at the time science and magic were still entwined; the study of one meant the study of the other. However, he was sceptical of the magic performed in rituals by magicians and sorcerers.

He believed in natural magic (power) and that it existed in all things. Such natural magic, he claimed, was a “Power that comes direct from God.” When directed toward a doctor it manifested itself in the ability to heal. Included in Paracelsus’ belief in natural power was astrology. He held that the stars and planets influenced life and matter.

Paracelsus believed in self-discovery. He thought it could be achieved through the power of imagination. One of his most significant beliefs was that man’s soul and body were inseparable as he claimed in the following:

Man is not body. The heart, the spirit, is man.
And this spirit is an entire star, out of which,
he is built. If therefore a man is perfect in his
heart, nothing in the whole light of Nature is
hidden from him.

Paracelsus contributed significantly to modern medicine particularly in the areas of diagnosis and chemical treatment. His studies and work laid the foundation for modern chemical physiology. He publicized and practiced a system of medicine which borrowed heavily from Ayurveda, which emphasizes prevention of disease, rejuvenation of our body systems, extension of life span and offers a unique blend of science and philosophy that balances the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components necessary for holistic health.

Ayurveda, is not simply only a health care system but a form of lifestyle adopted to maintain perfect balance and harmony within the human existence, from the most abstract transcendental values to the most tangible physiological expressions, it is the art of healthy living that enables you to create harmony in daily life by applying self- knowledge and self-care.

The Ayurvedic approach to life requires listening to and addressing the unique needs of your body, recognizing and balancing your mental and emotional states and deepening your connection with your spirituality. You are the only one who can do this, because you are the only one who will truly benefit from your actions or suffer from your abuses. Your whole life and lifestyle ought to be in harmony before you can enjoy true wellbeing.

You can bring balance to your body through daily practices including yogic exercise, rest, massage and the foods you eat and how you eat them.

One can learn to heal themselves or remain healthy by staying in equilibrium. It is not limited only to the proper functioning of our mind, body and soul, but extends further in establishing a natural and balanced relationship with the nature as a whole. There can be no mental health without physical health, and vice versa. In Ayurveda, the mind (or consciousness) and the body (or physical mass) not only influence each other ~ they are each other, together they form the mind ~ body. Ayurvedic philosophy and practices link us to every aspect of ourselves and remind us that we are in union with every aspect of nature, each other, and the entire universe.

This includes a balanced relationship between us and all the creatures, our family members, our friends, our colleagues, the climate and the society we live in, our ideas, customs and much more. When we maintain this balance we stay healthy, the moment we are out of “sync” imbalance comes, joined by unhappiness, misery and shortly after that disease follows.

Many aspects, both internal and external, act upon us to disturb our balance. Examples of some of these emotional and physical stresses are: one’s emotional state, diet and food choices, seasons and weather, physical trauma, work and personal relationships.

Balance is the natural order, imbalance is disorder. Health is Order ~ Disease is Disorder. Within the body there is a constant interaction between order and disorder. Once one understands the nature and structure of disorder, one can re-establish order.

Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages maintaining health by paying close attention to balance in one’s life through appropriate thinking, diet, lifestyle and herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to establish balance of body, mind and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance.

Just as everyone has an individual face or thumb print, according to Ayurveda, each person has a particular pattern of energy ~ an individual combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics, which is his or her constitution.

Ayurveda identifies three basic types of energy ~ Doshas (in original Sanskrit words Vata, Pitta and Kapha) that are present in everybody and everything. Energy is required to create movement so that fluids and nutrients get to the cells, enabling the body flawless function.
Vata is dosha of movement, Pitta of digestion or metabolism and Kapha of lubrication and structure.

All people have Vata, Pitta and Kapha, but one is usually primary, one secondary and the third least prominent. With Ayurveda, we acknowledge that beneficial daily habits are different for each person, given that each person is a unique combination of these three energies. Everybody has all three energies- although people experience each of them to a greater or lesser degree.

The cause of disease in Ayurveda is seeing as the lack of proper cellular function due to an excess or deficiency of Vata, Pitta or Kapha and/or the presence of toxins. In Ayurveda, body, mind and consciousness work together in maintaining balance. They are simply viewed as different facets of one’s being.

To gain knowledge of how to balance the body, mind and consciousness one requires an understanding how Vata, Pitta and Kapha work together.
The key method for returning and maintaining the balance of body and mind is through our diet. There are general recommendations of diet, however, a qualified Ayurvedic physicians, who has undergone at least seven years of training, must treat more serious illness. He or she will recommend a more finely tuned diet as well as special therapeutic techniques to attempt to readdress serious imbalances.
There are three main Ayurvedic texts still used today. The Charak Samhita (collection of the oldest book Atreya Samhita), Sushrut Samhita and Ashtangha Hridaya Samhita.

These books are believed to be over 1,200 years old. It is because these texts still contain the original and complete knowledge of Ayurvedic world medicine, that Ayurveda is known today as the only complete medical system still in existence. Other forms of medicine from various cultures, although parallel are missing parts of the original information.

Ayurveda is an affordable, accessible daily practice for creating health and harmony in your body and in your environment. Once you begin to incorporate Ayurveda principles in your daily activities, you will see positive benefits in every aspect of your life.