Relevance of Ayurveda today !

Dr H N Patwari
Human beings are nature’s unique creation. Inanimate and animate objects follow nature’s laws. Existence of survival depends on learning to live with nature. Somewhere during the renaissance period human being  in an attempt to understand nature and conquer it, developed an attitude to drift away from its all-encompassing effects. Rapid scientific progress in modern science and technology, diverted our minds to ignore certain phenomena like animals, birds, trees and followers. We ignored the fact that nature and human beings supplement each other and  human body in particular does react to nature’s over changing moods and suffer accordingly. Chronobiology, seasonal variation, environmental alterations and rapidly changing life style are all contributory factors. That explains the emergence of life style disorders on alarming level.
Ayurveda has withstood the most stringent of tests – that of time. It is a science that has overcome attacks on its veracity. It has wealthered changing political winds with its brilliant exercise in logic and observation. Ayurveda is one of the most ancient systems of medicine in logic and observation. Ayurveda is one of the most ancient systems of medicine in the world. The name Ayurveda denotes ‘knowledge of life’ and that precisely is the essence and fundamental basis of Ayurveda.  It not only gives recipes for treatment of illness but discusses at length methodology to prevent any form of disease.
The central principle of Ayurveda is that we are all unique with an  individualized constitution and our own physical and physiological nature. Hence the Ayurvedic approach treats all aspects of a person, as anything that affects the mind will affect the body.
It is one of the few sciences that treats the individual through a thorough assessment of a person’s unique makeup and circumstances. The individual is examined within the border context of their life all factors influencing their well being are taken into consideration. The success of the Ayurvedic tradition comes through the promotion of balanced living and is founded on the principles that nothing functions in the isolation. While it is an ancient science  from an ancient culture, in today’s throwaway and quick fix culture, the perennial wisdom of seeing the individual as a whole and as part of his environment, is fundamental to long term sustainable well being and happiness.
Ayurveda is the continuing health science in the world !
Ayurveda is 5000 year old philosophy based on a deep understanding about the human body as a whole, encompassing the mind, spirit and emotions. It embraces medical science, philosophy, psychology as well as environmental factors. Yoga and meditation today widely embraced on gloabl level are integral aspects of Ayurveda. Personally speaking, in order to enhance larger acceptance of Ayurveda irrespective of religious tags it is imperative that religious oriented mythological aspects of Ayurveda  need not to be largely emphasized. There is no place for religious bigotry in any scientific philosophy.
In today’s fast paced high pressure modern world, stress and burnout are becoming an epidemic. In the United States, nearly 80 percent of people experience physical symptoms caused by stress, sleep deprivation, over exposure to media, financial pressures, poor nutrition, work pressure and relationship problems are all causing serious health issues. Ironically enough, people are turning to quick fixes instead of dealing with the underlying problems and accordingly end up in a spiral of bad health and compromising well being.
Ayurveda is logical answer for such social catastrophe as three main goals of the Ayurveda are to preserve the health of a healthy person, to prevent disease and to promote longevity through improves quality of life in mind, body and spirit. In Ayurveda exclusively, health is defined much more than just the absence of disease.
One of the great scholars of Ayurved has defined health in this way :-
“Health is the state of equilibrium of Doshas (biological humor) Agni’s (trans formative physiological system functions),  Dhatu’s (tissue and organs) and Malas (metabolic byproducts) along with conceptual, mental and spiritual well being. (Sushrata).
Ayurveda is the science of combating problems with natural solutions and hence there are minimum side effects. The medicines  in this field are prepared perfectly on the discipline and rules presented in the Ayurvedic scripts and texts. Hence they have still retained their effectiveness in curing even incurable disease.
Currently, it has greatly influenced health care practices in the east and west. Recently in the last decades, Ayurveda has received big boost in the west due to its holistic approach and good success rate in handling psychosomatic disorders and for the promotion of positive health. It has gained popularity in Europe and America in the form of Panchkarma therapy or to the best detoxification therapy.  It is sustainable system of healing that is available to all and works in harmony with the natural world. Ayurvedic healing tools are easily available and the central message of Ayurveda is, “let food be your medicine and kitchen be your first pharmacy.
(The author is former Deputy Director Ayurveda)


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