Ayurveda is an ancient health science coming from the East. This mystical and exotic Indian system for healthy, happy and long life is gaining more and more popularity in the Western world. Many people turn to her for prevention of their general health, and others – for the treatment of diseases. Unknown and distant to most of us, Ayurveda may cause initial confusion among those who want to make it a part of their lives.
Еvery human being’s desire for a long life is the reason for the Ayurveda’s emergence. Its knowledge, passed down from generation to generation, is derived from the universal consciousness that created the visible world. Hindu mythology calls this higher intellect Brahma. Ayurveda is a complete system that was created to help people achieve the long-awaited longevity and life in health and happiness. It is believed that the great value that underlies the desire to prolong life is the human being to be able to achieve all the set goals.
According to Hindu philosophy, the human being has four natural inclinations that influence its behavior throughout his life. Following these innate inclinations, people enjoy life in the best way and according to their personal imagination. The definition of happiness is something personal, as it is due to differences in the views of individuals – we know from experience that people are different, have different goals and enjoy different achievements.
Ayurveda and the purushartis
Hinduism defines four key goals in human life (purushartis), which are inherent in every person, but characterize it to varying degrees.
Dharma is a leading goal of people who follow the path of righteousness and duty. In India, it is the caste of kshatriya, or the military units that are supposed to protect society in war, or the rulers in peacetime.
Artha is a leading goal of people engaged in financial activities and striving for economic prosperity. This goal is decisive for the caste of vaishya- entrepreneurs, merchants, landowners, ie. people who develop commercial and / or financial activities.
Kama is the goal of people who are devoted to pleasures, love thrills and other emotional experiences. They form the caste of employees with the performance of various types of services.
Moksha is the leading goal of people seeking the spiritual manifestations of life, including those who are engaged in scientific activity. They form the Brahmin caste.
Regardless of which of the four groups you recognize, the main role of Ayurveda is to provide you with a healthy and happy life for at least 120 years.
Ayurveda through the centuries
Ayurveda combines historical facts and mythology in a unique way. The mythological story refers to the origin of the doctrine ofthe god Brahma. The sages in India were afflicted with disease and premature death, although they lived in the Himalayas. They faced a serious problem to maintain their health, as there were too many restrictions that prevented them from practicing their spiritual and physical practices and achieving the basic goals in their lives, described as purushartis.
This led them to seek help from the god Indra, also called the King of the gods. When he was found and asked for help, he turned for help to the god Brahma, who passed on the knowledge of Ayurveda to the god Prajapathi, who was responsible for protecting people. Prajapathi, on the other hand, passed on the knowledge to the healers of the gods, the Kumaras twins (Ashwini Kumaras). They passed it to the god Indra, and he to the sage Atreya Punarvasu, the leader of the Himalayan sages. In turn, Atreus passed it on to Agnivesa, who in turn passed it on to the other sages. Thus Ayurveda gradually began its spread throughout India.
Ayurvedic literature provides information on sutras. Sutra is a term for a short law written in a few words. These are texts that are united with each other and create the basic concept of Eastern science.
During the centuries of Ayurveda, many sages recorded their own theories in sutras with interpretations of the original texts. The most famous of these are: Charaka Saṃhitā, Suśruta-saṃhitā, Aṣṭāṅga-hṛdayam written by Vagbhata. These works were created by the people who laid the foundations of Ayurvedic philosophy.