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Ayurveda

Ayurveda is one of the greatest ancient sciences. 'Ayu' means life and 'Veda' means knowledge. The origins of Ayurveda date back to the evolution of civilization on Earth. Thousands of years ago India's greatest wise men documented the knowledge of life in the oldest scriptures known to mankind, Rigveda, Atharvaveda and Yajurveda. The basic principles of Ayurveda are mentioned in these scriptures. Ayurveda is the sub-scripture of Yajurveda. This Veda contains abundance of information on how to keep yourself healthy and to control disease.

Ayurveda originated as a part of Vedic science, which is a spiritual science and gives a clear understanding of the entire universe, which it sees as working according to a single law. Vedic science includes Yoga, Meditation, Astrology etc. Ayurveda is its branch for dealing with the physical body, and it includes herbal medicines, dietetics, physiology, surgery, psychology, spirituality etc.

The basic philosophy of Ayurveda is that suffering is disease and happiness is good health. No one can be healthy if they do not posses a sound body, a sound mind and a sound soul. Ayurveda outlines the complete way of life, it illustrates how we should keep healthy by guiding us on the basic aspects of personal hygiene and social conduct. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of preventive medicine, which is achieved by developing the individual's own immune system to fight against infections and disease.

Ayurveda is part of the Vedas, the oldest available record of supreme knowledge and experience of mankind, the essence of which is mankind's harmony with nature and oneness with the universe. Ayurveda is to be viewed in such a broader perspective.
Ayurvedic treatment is practiced on two levels, one for the individual and self-care, and the other for the healer and his practice. The first outlines a detailed life-style treatment for enhancing health and prevention of disease, with some simple home-remedies for different diseases. A few simple therapies done as a part of our daily routine are extremely effective. It's only when our life- style is out of harmony with nature that more severe diseases arise, and more specialized and complicated health care becomes necessary.

The second level provides some of this specialized Ayurvedic medical knowledge utilized by a health care professional. Many Ayurvedic methods are ways of correcting disorders in the energy field behind the physical body, as well as the field of consciousness. Most disease conditions involve physical, mental and spiritual factors and require treatment on all three levels. Ayurveda, traditionally, involves a treatment of the entire human being and its full cosmic nature.

According to the Upanishads, the spiritual teachings of ancient India, disease is the highest form of spiritual knowledge, whereby the truth of life and the truth of one's own self can be revealed. Disease may be a sign of wrong actions in life, but can also be an indication that the soul is directing its energy within. Either way it requires a spiritual re-examination of our lives, especially if the disease is severe. Therefore, self-examination is the first step and basic principle of understanding and resolving any disease.
Ayurvedic medicines consist of various natural herbs and minerals and are gradually gaining acceptance all over the world.

from the book 'Light of Hope' by Gurdip Hari

 

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