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Showing posts with label Itihasa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Itihasa. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Brief Introduction of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an Indian science of medicine. In samhita of Ayurveda mentioned that:

Ayuhu vedayati iti ayurvedaha.

The meaning is "The science that tells us about Ayu is known as Ayurveda."

What is ayuAyu is life. In samhita of Ayurveda said that Ayu is the combination of body, sense organs, mind and soul. 

The synonym of Ayu are Dhari, Jivitam, Nityagam and Anubandha.


The History of Ayurveda

In classic shastra history is called as IthihasaItihasa means it happened or took place. Itihasa tells us about the the details of the past and reals incidents and includes the events of the present.

Ayurveda Itihasa means the history of Ayurveda. History of Ayurveda depends upon the recorded events in history of India. It is believed that the history and development of Ayurveda has taken place from the beginning of the creation. Why? because it is the necessity of the human being to preserve the health. 

Nobody knows exactly when the life existed in the universe and there also many opinion regarding the existence of human in the universe. In teaching of Ayurveda, the history is divided into:

Vedic Period

Samhita Period

Modern Period

Vedic Periode

The content of vedas mainly consists of ritual works but also mentions the matter which is related to the preventive and curative aspects of medicines. Veda generally classified into two types such as Sruti and Smriti. Sruti means heard. Smriti means recollection. The term veda literally means knowledge. There are four vedas such as Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda.

Each one of these four vedas is divided into Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads. The Brahmanas and Samhitas are designated as Karma Kanda which is the portion dealing with rituals. Upanishads designated as Jnana Kanda which is the portion dealing with supreme knowledge. 

Every veda has an Upaveda such as:

Dhanurveda (archery) is an Upaveda of Rigveda..

Gandharvaveda (Music) is an Upaveda of Yajurveda.

Stapatyaveda (Architecture) is an Upaveda of Samaveda.

Ayurveda (Science of life) is an Upaveda of Atharvaveda.

Ayurveda also regarded as the Upaveda of Rigveda. Event Ayurveda is known as the fifth veda, as mentioned by Sage Kashyapa. Shankara in his work regarded Ayurveda as the upaveda of Rigveda.

There are so many references regarding Ayurveda found in the vedas, such as about the tridhatu (in Rigveda 1.7.46), which is according the commentator of veda—Sayanacharya interpreted tridhatu as vāta, pitta, and kapha.

Anatomical terms also mentioned in veda such as:

Antra (intestines)

Dhamani (artery)

Nadi (nerve)

Hṛdaya (heart)

Yakṛt (liver)

Plīha (spleen)

Kaphodau (lungs)

Kukṣi (stomach)

Kloma (pancreas)

Mastiṣka (brain)

Manya (neck)

Basti (bladder)

Gaveni (ureters)

Vṛṣana (testes)

Guda (anus)

Those are some example about the anatomical term that mentioned in veda.

In Chandyogya Brahmana of Samaveda references about the process of metabolism are available. Also mentioned about the kṛmi  (worm), yuktivyapasraya (treatment of diseases based on yukti), and soma (plant that praised as the king of plant).

In veda also found some references regarding diseases includes their causative factors. Mentioned also about the blood circulation, toxicology, surgical references, rasāyana and vajīkarana, obstetrics and gynecology, and also about the ṣaḍvṛtta (good conduct).

In Brahmana Granthas mentioned several herbs such as Āmba, Ādhar, Adyanda, Akṣa, Amra, Anjana, Apamarga, Arjuna, Arka, Asmagandha, Askeni, Asvattha, Atasi, Avaka, etc other herbs.


In Aranyakas mentioned about the importance of Sūrya Namskara in maintenance of health, which is found in Taitriya Aranyaka. In Shankhayana Aranyaka found that “All divine personalities are inherent in the Puruṣa, just as Agni in speech, Vāyu in Prāna, the sun in the eyes, the moon in the mind, the direction in the ears and water in potency.”


In Upaniśad mentioned about the method of Kundalini awakening, Prānayama, Manduka yoga, Prāna vāta, and several herbs such as Aggaru, Aksha, Amalaka, Amra, Anu, Arjuna, Arka, Askhini, Atasi, Kola, Maharajan, Munja, Palasa, .etc other herbs.


In Vedanga found that the dream interpretation same as in Ayurveda.


In Smṛti found about the hygienic rules, classification of plants as Auṣadhi, Vanaspti, Vṛkṣa, and Valli which is found in Manusmṛti. The preventive measures that mentioned in Viśnusmṛti found in Aṣṭāṇga Saṇgraha. In Yajnavalkyasmṛti mentioned about the number of bones, layer of skin, vein, artery, muscle .etc body part.


The existence of Ayurveda also can be traced in the historical treatises like Mahabharata and Ramayana. It is also traced from the travelers from Tibet, China, Arabia, Greece, etc. which visited India from time to time.


Some of the traveler such as Herodotus from Greek, Yuan Chang, Fahian, and Itsing from China, Lama Taranath from Tibet and Al-Baruni from Arab.