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Ayurveda- an Introduction

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This slideshow presents an introduction to the oldest medical system in the World- Ayurveda. I have tried to offer a story of Ayurveda that, like its name (Ayu-Life and Veda-Knowledge) would give anyone an understanding of the fundamental principles, necessary to make the best use of their life and health.

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine
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Ayurveda- an Introduction

  1. 1. AYURVEDA
  2. 2. ayurveda is the science or knowledge (veda) ofthe nature of Life (Ayu)
  3. 3. ayurvedais not just a medical system that is practiced by ‘doctors’ it is a wisdom of life and health that can be practiced by all
  4. 4. Ayurveda is the ‘mother’of all healing systems it acceptsall things as medicinal and all things as poisonous
  5. 5. Like a Mother accepting all her children ayurveda accepts all the qualities of life and allthe different healing modalities and explains ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘why not’each and every thing and system works
  6. 6. The ancient Ayurvedic physician- Caraka defines Ayurveda:“That science, through the help of which, one can obtain knowledgeabout the wholesome and harmfultypes of life, happy and miserable types of life, things which are beneficial and harmful for such types of life, the span of life as well as the very nature of life”
  7. 7. Ayurveda was not inventedLike Gravity it was discovered or revealed to the vision of the rishis or seers
  8. 8. the quality of ‘not originating’ is called in Sanskrit- Anadi it refers to something which is eternal This is the quality of TRUTHThis is what the vedas represent
  9. 9. the buddha practiced ayurveda Bbuddhist monks carried the principles and practice of ayurveda throughout southeast asia
  10. 10. Angkor Wat, Cambodia is the largest religious temple in the world on either side of the main entrance are huge stone sculptures of the gods and demons churning the ocean of milk
  11. 11. the gods or devas pulling on the snake
  12. 12. on the other side the demons or asuras
  13. 13. the Elements
  14. 14. I want to know Gods thoughts ... the rest are details - Albert Einstein
  15. 15. ayurvedauses the ‘metaphorical’ language of the elements to consider the world around us and our bodies and minds with the language of the elements ayurveda evaluates all things relates all things to each other and understands all things
  16. 16. Everything in creation without exception is made upof different combinations of all of the five elements together
  17. 17. the quantity, quality and proportion of the elementsalways show themselves in the nature of a thing -charak samhita
  18. 18. Lets look at some examples: a desert exhibits the predominance of the ether, air and fire elements
  19. 19. because of the varying climates and conditions all around the worldayurveda advises people to eat locally and seasonally ayurveda was concerned with the balance of the individual with their environment this is the ayurvedic reasoning to eat locally and seasonally
  20. 20. the Law of Karma
  21. 21. Ayurveda in Nature
  22. 22. since we are talking about trees Lets look at a well knownrecent and ongoing occurrence in the local environment of california SUDDEN OAK DEATH
  23. 23. THIS CONFUSION OF CAUSE AND EFFECT STANDS AT THE HEART OF WESTERN MEDICINE AS IT IS PRACTICED IN AMERICA TODAY OUR MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT IN ITS PHILOSOPHY AND PRACTICE SEEKSTO REMOVE OR PALLIATE THE EFFECTS NOT REMOVE THE CAUSETHIS WAY OF THINKING IS BACKWARDS AND CAN BE HARMFUL
  24. 24. ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONTHE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN AMERICA TODAY AFTER HEART DISEASE AND CANCER IS IATROGENIC DISEASE IATROGENIC MEANS : TREATMENT BY A DOCTOR
  25. 25. the Doshas
  26. 26. When the Five Elements are considered in terms of the body they are called the doshas
  27. 27. Vikrutimeans that which ‘covers over’ prakruti
  28. 28. there is the dosha of your prakruti and the dosha of your vikruti If they are the same you are healthy if they are different you are not
  29. 29. One way of considering these doshas is as the very stuff of the universe as it occurs within the human body Vata is energy Pitta is light kapha is materiality each of these can change into the others
  30. 30. another wayto consider the doshas is in terms of the varying typologies of human beings
  31. 31. we have said that ‘ayurveda is not idealistic’rather, it is based on Sama- balance and that balance is different for different individual elemental or doshic types it is the individual not the disease that is at the root of ayurveda
  32. 32. ayurveda seeks to balance the elements of each unique anddifferently composed individualrelative to their ever changing environment this is why your dosha is so important to know
  33. 33. Just as the Sun, the Moon and the Wind are necessary for the regular functioning of the world so are vata, pitta and kapha necessaryfor the regulation of health in the human body -Sushruta
  34. 34. The Cause and Causes of Disease
  35. 35. According to Ayurvedathe original and ultimate cause of disease is avidya-‘ignorance’ also known as prajna apradha
  36. 36. Avidya gives rise to improper feeling evaluations which give rise to wrong thinking which leads to wrong actions Wrong actionscreate all the symptoms of illness and suffering
  37. 37. Ultimately, ayurveda says that we must remove the cause- this means we must do away with,remove, overcome and replace avidya with vidya
  38. 38. It is this linking of all suffering to avidya and its removal to vidya that contextualizes ayurveda as a ‘spiritual practice’it is the lack of spiritual realization that is at the root of all ignorance
  39. 39. Yoga and Moksha eliminate suffering absolutely and finally-Caraka Samhita : IV. 1. 137
  40. 40. Fate and Free Will
  41. 41. Ayurveda recognizes boththe law of karma-fate and free will
  42. 42. ayurveda is based on the law of karma this meansthat fate is taken into account andfree will is taken into account and both are true
  43. 43. Free Will demands knowledge or vidya by means of avidya our choices are limitedwe only think we have free will
  44. 44. one of the ways i learned about fate and free will was quite extraordinary let me tell you about it
  45. 45. if you stand on one foot that is free willnow try to raise you other foot at the same time that is fate
  46. 46. Ayurveda is a sister science of jyotish or vedic astrology traditionally, ayurvedic medicine as well as all the great medical systems of ancient timeswere practiced along with astrology
  47. 47. “No one should call himself a doctor unless he or she was also an a astrologer” -Hippocrates
  48. 48. jyotish is the vedic science traditionally practiced along with ayurveda used to determine those aspects of life thatlie out beyond the horizon of the individual and yet affect him or her
  49. 49. Limitation
  50. 50. on my first day of class in ayurveda the teacher said “everything in the world is medicinaland everything in the world is poisonous”
  51. 51. something good for you at one time is not good at another
  52. 52. that ‘context’ is found by taking into account our own elemental make-up andthat of our environment
  53. 53. ayurveda addresses the unique limitations of each person as well asthe unique limitations and qualities of that person’s environment once we knowthese unique and specific qualities then we can create balance or healthwe must recognize our limitations
  54. 54. the Dynamics of the Elements
  55. 55. ‘Like Increases Like and opposites decrease one another’ these are the ‘principles’ of how to remedyanything that is out of balance
  56. 56. Agni
  57. 57. one of the unique contributions of ayurveda forunderstanding disease and diet relative to our health is the concept of agni
  58. 58. Agnican get out of balance due to stress or change of any kind: emotional psychological passage of time change of seasons inappropriate food wrong use of the senses wrong use of a thing too much or too little of anything
  59. 59. in our body agni is disturbed by the doshas or elements and if agni is disturbedagni will disturb the elemental makeup they are like two legs of a chair pull oneand the other will move along with it if the agni is very strongit can take much more disturbance from the elements without being dimmed if the elements are overwhelming they will overpower agni
  60. 60. agni can be likened to the fire of digestion if you do not have good agniyou will not have good digestion
  61. 61. ayurvedaalways considers the condition of agni in an individual without good agniany diet will not work nutrition is the relationshipbetween agni and food
  62. 62. ‘A person is as old as his Agni’“The span of life, health, immunity, energy, metabolism, complexion, strength, enthusiasm, luster,and the vital breath are all dependent on Agni Agni is necessary for the normal process of digestion and the subtle energy of Agni transforms the lifelessmolecules of food, water and air into the consciousness of the cell” -Charak Samhita
  63. 63. AMA
  64. 64. In both body and mindwhatever you do not digest becomes toxic ayurveda calls thisundigested or improperly digested food- ama
  65. 65. Knowledge or Vidya
  66. 66. the Qualitiesof the Environment
  67. 67. Vidya- knowledge and discrimination allow us to tell whether something ismedicinal or poisonous
  68. 68. The principles ofhow to use the elements are these:
  69. 69. “The earth is a very big cooking vessel the Sky is the lid to this vessel The cook called Time puts allmovable and immovable things in to this vessel He takes the firewood of night and day and lights them up with Sun. He stirs it with ladles called seasons and months and this happens daily” -mahabharata
  70. 70. Food
  71. 71. When diet is wrong what good is medicine? When diet is correctwhat need is there of medicine? – Ayurvedic Proverb
  72. 72. So important is diet or food that the Ayurvedic vaidyas or practitioners of old used to say: “If you will not eat my diet, do not take my medicines”
  73. 73. Ahar or food builds tissues medicinesdo not build tissues
  74. 74. With this in mindlets consider food
  75. 75. In addition to your dosha what is your vikruti? What level of activity are you engaged inwhat are the environmental factors of season time of day time of life?
  76. 76. Any and every food must be considered in contextone of those ‘contexts’ is a person’s dosha
  77. 77. ‘dosha’ means ‘error’ or ‘that which goes out of balance or decays’ This is because of their inherent tendency to change every ‘thing’ is in a state of constant change
  78. 78. This ‘change’ tends to happen to each person in a unique way Every dosha and every person is composed of differing combinations of the elements this is why each person needs a unique and individual approach to attain and preserve balance or health
  79. 79. the Doshas . . . again
  80. 80. Let us briefly consider the qualities of the doshasor the elemental make-up of a person as well as the general principles of how to bring about a healthy- balance to the three main elemental or doshic types
  81. 81. The ‘general principles’ of how to bring about balance of the doshas are based on the observed- ‘dynamics of the elements’ like increases likeopposites decrease each other now, keeping this in mind,lets look at the qualities of the doshas themselves:
  82. 82. VATA
  83. 83. Pitta
  84. 84. KAPHA
  85. 85. We can look with more detail at the qualities of the doshas and whatsystems of the body they control
  86. 86. Summary Considerations
  87. 87. “A person is called healthy, whose physiological processes and tissues are in balance, whose digestionfunctions normally, whose eliminationprocesses are working well, and whose Self, mind, and senses remain always full of bliss” -Sushruta Samhita
  88. 88. the ayurvedic/sanskrit word for health is svastha ‘one who is established in the self
  89. 89. The universe is the macrocosm and man is the microcosomthe realization that the universe and and the individual are the same is called ‘satya-buddhi’ or true and balanced intelligence -charaka
  90. 90. Those desirous of a long healthy life which is the means of achievement of dharma (right action artha (wealth and prosperity and sukha (happiness)should give their utmost attention and apply themselves fully to the teachings of ayurveda -charak samhita
  91. 91. let us go forward to dancing and laughter assuming a longer and better life -rig veda
  92. 92. created by: Peter MalakoffCertified Ayurvedic Practitioner Kalidas Sanskrit University Nagpur, India 2004
  93. 93. There is no end to learning Ayurveda You should carefully andconstantly devote your self to its study. Increase your skill by learning from others without jealousy.the wise regard the whole world as their teacher, while the ignorant consider it to be their enemy. charaka

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