Column: Ayurved


Ayurved is about using the benefits of our ancient wisdom to maintain the balance in the physical body. Here’s a run down on this practice and its benefits
Ayurved is the science of life that deals with the physical body. It talks in detail about those elements that benefit the body, or can reach it harm, their measures, and the happy and unhappy states of life. Life is a balance and balance is nature or Prakriti. A healthy body is said to be one which is in a state of balance or equilibrium. The entire science of Ayurved is based upon achieving and maintaining this state of balance.

“No gift can surpass the gift of life”, says Charak. The gift of Ayurved was given to mankind at a time when disease had not yet manifested itself in the physical world. So selfless was the state of the Rishis of the earlier Yugas that even when there was no need for a science like this, for their own self, they asked Lord Indra to expound the knowledge of Ayurved, all in anticipation of the onslaught of diseases, and manifestation of heavier karmas of people, in the coming Yugas.

Ayurved is not a science of treatment. It is a science of creating balance. A disease-free body is one that is able to keep the imbalances away
In Satyug the level of selflessness and purification of beings in existence was so high that the atmosphere wasn't conductive for diseases to exist in that kind of environment. A disease, to manifest, needs an environment conducive for its existence. Just like ice cannot remain ice at any temperature higher than 0°, similarly, disease which is considered as heaviness or imbalance cannot exist in a pure environment. As the level of selfishness increased in every yug as the result of the heavy thinking patterns of people, the environment became conducive for diseases to flourish. That is when Ayurved was needed and towards this end, for the very first time, Dwapar Rishi Vyas began documenting the sciences which had until then passed on to the Shishya by the Guru through word of mouth.
A body falls sick only when it moves from its state of balance into a state of imbalance (vikriti). The state of balance differs from individual to individual since it depends on the basic constitution of a person. The factors on which this balance is maintained in the physical body are Vata, Pitta and Kapna, called the Tridoshas.

In a healthy body these three doshas are said to be in a state of equilibrium. When any one of these three doshas increases or decreases from its state of balance they cause disease in the body. Ayurved is not a science of treatment but is a science of balance. It talks about the diets and regimens which aid the maintenance of balance in the body and the resorts to bring this balance back whenever there is an imbalance.

Ayurved takes into account the immediate and distant causes of diseases, and prescribes the regimens and diets to avoid such conditions, it talks about the entire signs which indicate health or disease and similarly the treatments if required, according to the dosha which has increased or decreased from its state of equilibrium.

The diets, regimens and drugs, all are classified into three categories. Some alleviate doshas, some vitiate them and some are good for the maintenance of health. Ayurvedic treatment is strictly individualistic, that is to say, as the constitution of every person differs from the other, the treatment also has to be in accordance with the constitution.

A disease-free body is one that is able to keep the imbalances away. The key to maintaining this balance is to follow a disciplined and a healthy diet which results in increased immunity.

Here is given a recipe which helps build immunity in the system and maintain the state of balance. It is always to be kept in mind that Ayurved is individual specific, there are no general treatment or tonics, always get yourself evaluated and take the prescribed drugs, tonics only. General tonics are exception to this rule. Impregnate 1kg of Amla powder with Amla juice for 21 nights. To this add 1kg of honey and ghee each. Add 1/8th and 1/4th of the whole quantity of the preparation above, powder of pippal and powder to desi sugar and mix well. Store in a ghee-smeared glass jar and put it under a heap of ashes throughout the rainy season. After rains it should be consumed keeping in mind the diet and power of digestion.

— Arti Gaur will unravel the world of Ayurved for you. She can be reached on

January 2006

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