Ayurveda and Yoga: The Common Foundations

                                     Dr. Prachi Garodia




                   ...
Ayurveda and Yoga: The Common Foundations

Ayurveda and Yoga have their origin in the eternal knowledge of the Vedas and h...
There are 24 principles of prakriti. These include:

    •   the panch mahabhutas(Akash, vayu, tejas, ap, prithvi),
    • ...
"When the embodied soul is able to transcend these three gunas of nature associated with the
material body, he can become ...
kala buddhi indriyarthanam yogo mithya na cati ca
dvyasrayanam vyadhinam trividha hetu samgrahah

    -   Charaka Su.1.54
...
Integrating Ayurveda and Yoga Therapies:


Kosha /         Original     Disturbance     Yogic and Ayurvedic
Sheath        ...
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Ayurveda education system in India

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Ayurveda and Yoga -The Common Foundations - Dr. Prachi Garodia

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Ayurveda education system in India

  1. 1. Ayurveda and Yoga: The Common Foundations Dr. Prachi Garodia February 2008 * This Article is a Free Download. Any tampering with or misuse of a part or whole of information produced herein will not be entertained. The contents of this article can be accessed, printed and downloaded in an unaltered form with copyright acknowledged for a non-commercial use and not for a direct commercial use. 1 * PUNARNAVA AYURVEDA TRUST * International Conference on “Ayurveda & Yoga: Where Science Meets Consciousness” www.AyurvedaConference.com , www.punarnava-ayurveda.com conference@punarnava.com
  2. 2. Ayurveda and Yoga: The Common Foundations Ayurveda and Yoga have their origin in the eternal knowledge of the Vedas and have been known and practiced through the ages as complementary sister sciences. Sushruta Samhita confirms 1.1.5: "Ayurveda is an upanga of the Atharva Veda, containing 100,000 verses in one thousand chapters. Brahma is the author of these verses." They both have been mentioned in the latter scriptural writings, including the Upanishads, The Bhagvad Gita, The Yoga Sutras, Shiva Puranas, and so on. However, in the modern age, lack of deep insight into the philosophical aspect of the teachings, has led to a superficial division between these systems of knowledge that are otherwise so complementary. In modern times, more so in the last couple of centuries, the eternal wisdom contained in the Vedas, including Ayurveda and Yoga, have been subject to much superficial interpretations. There has been a lot of movement away from the core of the teachings, including destruction of the ancient scriptures. Students have been interpreting and adapting the knowledge to their capacity and convenience, resulting in distortion or misinterpretation of the subtler meanings. The aim of life according to Yogic philosophy is to achieve Union (Yuj) with the self or become one with the universal consciousness, the eternal Truth or Brahman. The aim of Ayurveda is to provide a healthy body and longevity, to attain the four Purusharthas (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha). "Shareeram Aadyam Khalu Dharmasadhanam". The final aim of both is similar: to attain the goal of human birth, i.e. merging with the pervading consciousness and liberation from the cycles of life and death. Ayurveda stresses on the maintenance of health and increasing the longevity, so that the full potential of this life, the realization of the pure spirit/soul inside each one of us, can be achieved. Without a healthy body and mind, there can not be progress in the yogic path of life. Without progressing spiritually, the whole purpose of taking a Human birth is lost. The Ayurvedic and Yoga philosophical system are closely allied with the Samkhya school (one of the shad darshanas of Hindu philosophy). The Samkhya philosophy maintains that the universe is made up of two eternal realities: Purusha and Prakriti. The Purusha is the eternal consciousness, whereas the Prakriti is the source or mother of all material existence. When prakriti (inert matter) comes in contact with purusha (conciousness), creation happens! 2 * PUNARNAVA AYURVEDA TRUST * International Conference on “Ayurveda & Yoga: Where Science Meets Consciousness” www.AyurvedaConference.com , www.punarnava-ayurveda.com conference@punarnava.com
  3. 3. There are 24 principles of prakriti. These include: • the panch mahabhutas(Akash, vayu, tejas, ap, prithvi), • the pancha tanmatras(Shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa, gandha), • the panch Jnanendriyas(shrotas, twak, akshu, Jivha, Ghrana), • the pancha Karmendriyas(Vach, pani, pada, payu, upastha), • Manas, Buddhi, chitta and ahamkara(with the three gunas/attributes). All these combined make up the three Shariras (Sthoola/gross, Sookshma /subtle and Karana/causal) and the Pancha Koshas (the five body sheaths: Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vignanmaya, and Anandamaya) Starting from Annamaya Kosha the five kosha's are progressively subtler. Taittiriya Upanishad mentions that our real self, the 'atman' is Pancha kosha vyatariktah i.e. that which transcends the five kosha's, but exists independent of these five kosha's. We all do the mistake of identifying with the shariras and koshas, and not recognizing The self- revealing, ever-effulgent self, the absolute consciousness residing in our essence. Samkhya philosophy also maintains that the Microcosm (man) is a reflection of the whole Universe (macrocosm). The entire universe and the individual are one and the same is called “Satya Buddhi” by Charaka: Sarvalokamatmanyatmam ca sarvaloke, samanupasyata satyabuddirutpadyata iti Ca. Sa 5.7 There are three attributes or qualities of the mind / manas: Sattvic (pureness, light, clarity), Rajasic (activity, confusion) and Tamasic (Inertia, dullness): These three are affected by the deeper samskaras/Habits, lifestyle, diet, actions and thoughts. Both Ayurvedic and yogic paths strive to remove Tamas, pacify Rajas and increase Saatvic guna in the mind-body complex of the 3 Shariras and 5 Koshas. In Vedanta philosophy, the equilibrium of the 3 gunas is achieved by transcending them (guna samya or Gunatita), leading to freedom from the “disease” of repeated birth and death gunan etan atitya trin dehi-deha samudbhavan janma-mrityu-jara-dukhair vimukte 'mritam ashnute Bhagvad Gita 14.20 3 * PUNARNAVA AYURVEDA TRUST * International Conference on “Ayurveda & Yoga: Where Science Meets Consciousness” www.AyurvedaConference.com , www.punarnava-ayurveda.com conference@punarnava.com
  4. 4. "When the embodied soul is able to transcend these three gunas of nature associated with the material body, he can become free from birth, death, old age and other miseries associated with these. Thus one can enjoy the nectar (of immortality) even while living in the body." As described so beautifully by Adi Sankara in his Nirvana Shatkam: Mano Buddhyahankaara Chittaani Naaham Na Cha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghraana Netre Na Cha Vyoma Bhoomir Na Tejo Na Vaayuhu Chidaananda Roopah Shivoham Shivoham I am not the mind, intellect, ego or memory: the 4 antahkaranas I am not the ears, tongue, nose or eyes (or skin): the five senses I am not space, earth, fire or wind (or water): the five mahabhutas I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am Shiva, I am auspiciousness. Na Cha Praana Samjno Na Vai Pancha Vaayuhu Na Va Sapta Dhaatur Na Va Pancha Koshah Na Vaak Paani Paadam Na Chopastha Paayuh Chidaananda Roopah Shivoham Shivoham I am not the breath not the five vital airs: the five pranas I am not the 7 tissues of the body nor the 5 body-sheaths of consciousness nor am I the speech, the hands, the feet, nor the genitals or anus: the five motor organs I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Shiva, I am auspiciousness. Health according to Ayurveda and Yoga Health is defined as “Swa-stha” – Staying, absorbed or settled in self The concept of Health in Ayurveda is very unique. It deals with the concept of the soul or the self, the Uniqueness of Individuals, Human Body as a self correcting mechanism, Balance and harmony with the nature and universe and developing perfect Health and longevity. The practice of Ayurveda is very individualized, according to the unique prakruti of the patient. According to Samkhya philosophy, the whole creation /universe is made up of the 5 elements (panch mahabhutas). The three doshas in the body (vata, pitta and kapha) are life forces created of a combination of 2 elements each. The Ayurvedic definition of health and disease is very simple. If the basic constitution of a person remains balanced, the individual is defined to be healthy. Dis-ease or infirmity results as the doshas get imbalanced. Therefore Diseases are nothing but imbalance of one or more of the five primary elemental energies caused by either excessive, deficient or misuse of the senses and sense organs. 4 * PUNARNAVA AYURVEDA TRUST * International Conference on “Ayurveda & Yoga: Where Science Meets Consciousness” www.AyurvedaConference.com , www.punarnava-ayurveda.com conference@punarnava.com
  5. 5. kala buddhi indriyarthanam yogo mithya na cati ca dvyasrayanam vyadhinam trividha hetu samgrahah - Charaka Su.1.54 Ayurveda manages to achieve this balance through following the correct Dinacharya (daily routine), Ritucharya (seasonal routine), following the correct dietary advices and precautions for one’s prakruti, regular exercises, meditation, chanting and performing good deeds. Bhagvad Gita mentions different paths of yoga (Karma, Jnana, Bhakti -- all leading to meditation/Raja yoga) based on the inner tendencies/samskaras and potential of each human being. Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali Yoga sutras mentions the various steps leading to Yoga: In yoga sutras 2.29 And certain Upanishads (shalidyopnishad 1.1.2) Bahiranga-- Yama Niyama asana pranayama Pratyahara Antaranga-- Dharana Dhyana Samadhi Both Ayurveda and Yoga have suggested Anna, Aushadhi, mantra, Japa etc. as the means of achieving their objectives Yoga also teaches the use of herbs for citta shuddhi. Ayurveda also teaches the practice of yoga Yogarambhe satatamanirveda Ch. Sa. 5.12 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali mentions 4 means of achieving the siddhi of Yoga: Abilities by Birth, herbs, meditation and mantra chanting: Janma-aushadhi mantra tapah samadhi jah Yoga sutra 1.4 Thus these sciences work together by utilizing the different matter/techniques required for purifying the mind- body complex, getting rid of Tamas, and increasing Sattva. We have to be more aware of the individualistic teachings/ therapies and their application. Even the Preliminary yogic techniques (Asanas and Pranayama) and aushadhi have to be very specific for the different Prakruti and vikruti. Different mantra will be suitable according to the unique samskaras. Since these allied sciences are so entwined in their beliefs, goals and practical approach, it is unfortunate that they have drifted apart in the modern world. Thus it is very important to understand the philosophy, rather than just get stuck in the physical aspect of them (asana, pranayama, herbs)…which are just the beginning of the path! 5 * PUNARNAVA AYURVEDA TRUST * International Conference on “Ayurveda & Yoga: Where Science Meets Consciousness” www.AyurvedaConference.com , www.punarnava-ayurveda.com conference@punarnava.com
  6. 6. Integrating Ayurveda and Yoga Therapies: Kosha / Original Disturbance Yogic and Ayurvedic Sheath Nature Techniques Annamaya Relaxation Tension First 3 limbs of yoga Physical (Yama, Niyama, Asana) Decrease Tamas Diet, Herbs, lifestyle Build up Ojas Rejuvenation, Tonification Pranamaya Slowness Hyperactivity Pranayama Ethereal Improve Prana bala Manomaya Calmness Agitation Pratyahara, Dharana; Mental Balance Rajas Karma Yoga Improve Tejas ; Sadhaka Pitta Vigyanamaya Wisdom Confusion Dhyana; Intellectual Jnana Yoga : Contemplation, Satsang, Swadhyaya Build up Sattva guna Anandamaya Harmony Disharmony Samadhi Blissful Bhakti Yoga: selfless giving, devotion, evoke love and compassion for the universe. Strengthen Sattva guna 6 * PUNARNAVA AYURVEDA TRUST * International Conference on “Ayurveda & Yoga: Where Science Meets Consciousness” www.AyurvedaConference.com , www.punarnava-ayurveda.com conference@punarnava.com

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