FUNDAMENTOS DEL AYURVEDA
Ayurveda is an ancient philosophy of India. The word comes from sanskrit and means “the science of life or knowledge of life“.
Like many great civilizations, India never separated science from philosophy and religion.
India saw knowledge as part of a whole, designed to promote happiness, health, and human growth.
Within this philosophical system is one of the world’s oldest and holistic medicines, dating back some 5,000 years. This knowledge were revealed to the rishis, sages who retreated to the mountains in their search for truth. Many texts collect all this knowledge, including the Vedas.
Charaka Samhita, written by the Sage Patanjali, is the oldest Sanskrit Ayurvedic text in existence and describes the doshas and subdoshas. The Sushruta Samhita, collected by the wise Nagarjuna, was the first to describe surgery, and in fact even today it is commented on in medical schools because of the great advance it represented at the time. Vagbhata was also a famous Ayurvedic doctor from the 6th century who wrote the Ashtanga Hridaya and Ashtanga Sangraha, texts of great value within Ayurveda.
Ayurveda aims to keep the body in balance in order to have a long and healthy life, in which we can grow as spiritual beings and reach samadhi or enlightenment. Thus, by taking care of the body, through food, our habits and different treatments, we can begin the path of Yoga and study our mind with clarity and discernment.
And how does ayurveda work?
In principle it is a preventive medicine that together with its philosophy teaches how to know, respect and love our body and also the environment that surrounds us in a continuous exchange between human beings and nature, great provider of food and home.
But Ayurveda is not only limited to the prevention of illnesses through daily routines and recommended foods to each unique and personal body constitution, but also restores the balance by curing the great majority of illnesses: modifying or changing some foods in our diet, performing massages or different body treatments with oils, using herbs, spices and minerals where necessary.
According to Ayurveda, every little thing is included in Nature. The microcosm and the macrocosm are composed of 5 elements, Panchamahabutas. These are: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
These five elements are grouped in three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each person has at birth a balance of these doshas in a unique proportion. It is considered that the imbalance in these causes the disease. The proposed treatments from Ayurveda are directed to bring back the balance diminishing the element or elements that are in excess.
The specialties of Ayurveda have been divided into eight branches:
The medical traditions or ancient cultures of the world are often unknown in Western culture and are considered “not very scientific” by traditional medical science.
However, these traditions have been curing and preventing diseases for thousands of years.
Ayurveda teaches us the science of life and why it is special. It teaches us to get to know ourselves with freedom and responsibility about our own well-being to take an active part in maintaining our health.