The First World Medicine
Ayurveda is considered a world medicine and the most comprehensive medical system available containing the ancient wisdom of healing, prevention, and longevity. Healers from all over the world gathered to impart their medical knowledge to India. The famous sage, Veda Vyasa, preserved the all of the knowledge of Ayurveda in texts. Some say Ayurveda was passed down from the Gods to humans.
The knowledge of Ayurveda includes methods of herbs, foods, aromas, gems, colors, yoga, mantras, lifestyle, and surgery. Health was, and to this day is, seen as as an integral part of spiritual life. It has been said that Ayurvedic teachings can be directly obtained via meditation or divine revelation, as guessing or animal testing was unnecessary. These revelations were transcribed from oral teachings into written form.
In the beginning, four main books, known as the Vedas: Rik, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva, spirituality existed and included holistic integrated topics such as health, ecology, astrology, spiritual business, government, military, poetry, and ethical living. Ayurveda was used side by side with Vedic astrology, also known as "one's inner light", and is said to have its main origins in the Atharva branch (upaveda) which covered the healing aspects of life and spirituality as a whole. In sum, this branch shows how to remain balanced with nature. The Rik Vedas included topics such as organ transplants, prosthetics, and the use of herbs to heal imbalances of the mind and body to promote longevity. In addition, within the Rik Vedas are dialogs of the three constitutions (doshas): air (Vāyu ["Vata"] ), fire (Pitta), and water (Kapha).
Ayurveda became scientifically verifiable once two Ayurvedic schools, the school of physicians (Ātreya) and the school of surgeons (Dhanvantari), transformed the science through research and testing. This caused Auyrveda to grow and became a widely used system of healing in India.
The Vedas are considered to contain eternal wholistic wisdom, adapting to the needs of time. Throughout the teachings, it is cleared stated that the first cause of illness is loss of faith in spirituality. In other words, when people do not recognize that all is one, including themselves, this separation of vision creates an opening, consequently creating a longing or suffering for oneness of vision. This suffering manifests as the beginning of physical, mental, or spiritual dis-ease.
People from cultures throughout the world, such as the Chinese, Tibetians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Afghanis, Persians, and others, traveled to India to absorb and disseminate the wisdom. Ayurveda was first discovered by travelers on India's Silk Road, an established trade route spanning between Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
The two schools of Ayurveda were created by two distinguished researchers: Charak and Sushruta. Charak represents the school of physicians which discusses physiology, anatomy, etiology, pathogenesis, symptoms and signs of dis-ease, methodology of diagnosis, treatment and prescription for patients, prevention, longevity, and internal/external causes of illness. As mentioned above, the internal cause of is the loss of faith, the loss of oneness. External influences on health includes the time of day, the seasons, diet, and lifestyle. Sushruta represents the school of surgeons which discusses sophisticated accounts of anatomy, surgical equipment, classification of abscesses, burns, fractures, wounds, amputation, plastic surgery, and anal/rectal surgery, all of which have been corroborated by modern scientific investigation.
Tirtha, S. (2007). The Āyuveda encyclopedia. Bayville, NY. Ayurveda Holistic Center Press.
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