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Essential Ayurveda

Essential Ayurveda
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The desire for health, wealth, longevity, and happiness is a fundamental human instinct.  Our constant efforts to invent new technologies are aimed at improving life in a material way but at same time we are witnessing the damaging effects of modern lifestyle to the natural environment.

We are unable to strike a balance between nature and us.  With time, we are also sacrificing our personal and social health due to the imbalance between life and nature.  Ayurveda, the ancient science of life, defines health as the balance of the internal environment and the external environment.

In this article we are going to discuss why Ayurveda is essential and how it can restore balance into life.

Why Ayurveda?

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In Quest of Happiness

Who does not want to be happy?  Without any exception, everyone is striving for happiness.  Millions and billions are spent on this project, and numerous brains are busy deriving definite formulae to make humankind happy.

There is no particular formula which suits every individual, though.  In sports, winners are happy but those who lose feel pain and agony.

People want success in their lives.  Many are ready to spend their entire wealth to achieve that – some damage their health, challenge their relationships, hamper their equilibrium and peace, and even though success comes at last, happiness is lost along the way.

Complete Access to Life

Ayurveda, the ancient science of life, recommends a harmony of body, mind and soul to synchronize ourselves with life.  In turn, this offers complete access to the abundant energy of the universe.

Resonate with the Universe

A person is a miniature version of the universe. This means that the principles of the universe are also valid for people.  There are five basic material constituents (Pancha mahabhoota, or the Five Basic Elements):

  • Ether (Aakash)
  • Air (Vayu)
  • Fire (Teja)
  • Water (Jala)
  • Earth (Pruthvi) which are present both in people and in the universe.

If those elements are in balance, their functions in people and in the universe are in order.  The concept of health in Ayurveda is beyond the physical body or personal mind.  There is resonance of one’s inner world to the world outside.

My Constitution

The scientists working with the science of life further simplified these five principles into three biological energies.  These are directly linked to the influence of the sun on the universe, which is represented by energy transformations in the body (Pitta), the moon keeping molecules together (Kapha), and the wind responsible for all the movements and transportation in the body (Vata).

Harmony in these three energies results in health, whereas disharmony – in disease.  As per the dominance of one or more of these biological aspects, Ayurveda classifies individual constitutions, food, and diseases as Vata, Pitta, Kapha or Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Vata-Kapha, or all three together (Tridoshas).

This classification is very important for taking an individual approach towards any disease or suggesting appropriate food as per the current body situation or seasonal variation in nature.

How Ayurveda Helps Restore Balance

5000-year-old Ayurveda is as useful to humans today as it was in ancient times.

People discovered complex technologies to make life easier but ended up making life more complex and competitive.  They have lost the balance and are finding it difficult to bring it back to enjoy health.

Ayurvedic daily life routines (Dinacharya) are meant to enhance the overall health, both mental and physical, on a daily basis.  Living an organized life, it is much easier to monitor and correct your daily routines while also rejuvenating yourselves and enjoying technologies to the fullest.

Life is made of actions.  Ayurveda is a holistic lifestyle system that recommends practical details on how to choose, prepare and cook your food, do physical workouts and train your brain, have adequate rest times and handle business better, as per your constitution.  The aims of Ayurveda are to achieve a balance of body, mind, and soul.

Seasonal Maintenance

The quality of health does get affected by the external environment.  Clouds bring congestion while extreme heat causes burn-outs and allergies.

Seasonal variation alters Doshas. The seasonal changes affect the Dosha either positively or in a negative way.  The concept of seasonal regime is to gain maximum benefits from nature when it protects the body from harmful effects.

Imbalance in your natural state is the first sign that the mind and body are not perfectly coordinated.  When prakruti gets disturbed or imbalanced, the body becomes vulnerable to external pressure such as virus pollution, stress, and bacteria.

Ayurveda is aware of the impact of weather, food, drinks, exercise, and rest periods on Doshas.  Hence, the science of life has designed special purification methods (Panchakarma) to pacify both seasonal and off-seasonal vitiation of the specific Doshas.

Ayurveda also recommends seasonal foods, health drinks, physical exercise, mind training, or a complete seasonal regime as per the individual constitution to maintain proper balance of body, mind and soul on a seasonal basis.

The Urge to be Healthy

One should have a strong urge to stay healthy.  All desires, longings, cravings, hunger, or thirst should be in accordance with the strong urge to stay healthy.

It is one of the secrets of life which Ayurveda offers humankind.  No other health system has ever noted the health hazards of mishandling the natural urges.

Ayurveda advises never to suppress any of the following 13 natural urges:

  • flatulence
  • urination
  • belching
  • defecation
  • sneezing
  • thirst
  • hunger
  • coughing
  • yawning
  • emesis
  • crying
  • sleeping
  • dyspnea due to exertion

Ayurveda has identified the health hazards of the forced suppression of these natural urges and proposes treatment to overcome these health conditions effectively through Panchakarma and medical regime.

Just like natural physical urges, lust, anger, jealousy, and hatred, among others, are mental urges which Ayurveda recommends controlling using strong will.

Ethical Code of Conduct

Heavy traffic can be running smoothly and at maximum pace if everybody follows the traffic rules.  Similarly, there is a continuous communication among us, which means that a wide range of thoughts and emotions are running in the periphery of our minds and manifest in our every action.

Just like it is best to keep heavy traffic running smoothly and fast, Ayurveda recommends a certain code of conduct to do so when it comes to health.  If the rules are followed as prescribed, everybody will be contributing to the welfare of humankind – the traffic will freely flowing!

This balanced state of mind is a sign of a healthy mind, which is characterized as SatvikRajas and Tamas are harmful qualities of the mind produced by passionate and ignorant actions.  Such ignorant minds generate wrong judgments and misconceptions, which are signs of unhealthy minds.

Traffic is on a standstill!  Everybody is trying their own way, not bothering to follow traffic rules.  Hence, every attempt possible should be made to increase the Satvik quality of the mind, following an ethical regime prescribed by Ayurveda.

These are principles of correct conduct that are universal and applicable to everyone irrespective of their background, religion, country or generation. These are the rules for life as a peaceful journey.  Violating or ignoring them makes the journey of life awful.

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