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1.1 FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF AYURVEDA 1. Principles of Ayurveda Ayurveda is the oldest surviving medical system in the world.

It is a holistic system of healing that focuses on establishing and maintaining health of the body. The knowledge of Ayurveda contained in ancient texts but its principles are just as applicable today in our society as they were in the Vedic period. The basic principles of Ayurveda deal with the natural way of living a healthy life. According to Ayurveda, every living being in the universe is a combination of five basic elements called Panchamahabhootas. These five elements are space, air, fire, water and earth. These panchamahabhootas combine into three more energy levels known as Tridoshas that determines our health and physical condition. These three doshas or humors are vata, pitta and kapha. The elements air and space combine together to form vata, elements fire and water form pitta and the elements earth and water combine to form kapha. Each dosha plays an important role in the maintenance of the body. The panchamahabhootas and tridoshas are not visible to the naked eye but all the physical structures and physiological functions are included in them. In terms of Ayurveda there are seven bodily tissues known as the Sapta Dhatus present in the human body. These dhatus form the pillars of the body that are responsible for providing nourishment, growth and support to the body and mind. The seven dhatus are rasa dhatu, rakta dhatu, masma dhatu, meda dhatu, ashti dhatu, majja dhatu and shukra dhatu. There are three malas(metabolic waste products) - purisha (faeces), mutra (urine) and sweda (sweat). Ayurveda states that a balanced condition of all doshas, dhatus and malas are key to good health and their imbalance is the cause of disease. The body also consists of digestive fire Agni that is responsible for various metabolic activities of the body.

What is Ayurveda? The word Ayurveda can be explained as---Ayu means life and veda means knowledge. Thus, Ayurveda is the science of knowledge about life. The origin of this knowledge can be traced into Atharvaveda (1500-1000 BC). It is also considered as the fifth veda. 2. DEFINITION OF AYURVEDA The science, which imparts knowledge of life. The science, which describes the span of life and also tells about the useful and harmful, happy and unhappy life, and also gives the guidelines for what is beneficial and harmful to life, is Ayurveda. What is Ayu? Constant and continuous union and incorporation of the sareera [body], indriya [sense], satwa

[mind] and atma [soul], is defined as life. Ayu is also referred to as Dhari, Jeevitam, Nithyaga and Anubandha. 3. HISTORY OF AYURVEDA Ayurveda i.e. science of life is eternal and has no beginning or end. Life, intellect, the soul as well as the universe have no beginning or end. Naturally, the science which deals with and has co- existed with life is also eternal. The science of Ayurveda probably originated around 5000 years ago. There is evidance of its continuous practice for more than 2000 years. It is that branch of science which deals with therapy as well as philosophy of living life in a meaningful, healthy and useful way. 4. EVOLUTION OF AYURVEDA:-

Chart 1

Ayurveda avatarana Brahma

Prajapathi

Aswini twins

Indra

Bharadwaj To Arthreya punarvasu, School of Medicine.

Agnivesa, Bhela, Jathukarna, Parasara, Haritha, and Ksharapani


Brahma, remembering Ayurveda (the science of life) taught it to Prajapathi, he inturn taught it to Aswini twins, they taught it to Sahasraksha( Indra). He taught it to Athris son (Arthreya Punarvasu or Krishna Arthreya) and other sages, they taught it to Agnivesa and others and they composed treatises, each one separately.