Theory of Ayurveda Part 1

Ayurveda treats man/woman as a whole. It means all aspects of a man/woman are taken into consideration, the body, mind and spirit.

In spite of the advances in modern medicinal system, it still regards human beings as machines and various ‘mechanisms’ of the body are studied to the molecular levels, and treated with chemical and physical interventions. This has led to compartmentalisation and specialisation. We have specialist diabetologist, cardiologist, pulmonologist etc and the list goes on. The spiritual aspect of mankind is sidelined, even denied.

Ayurveda however accepts that reality is multi-dimensional and multi-layered. One of the basic tenets of Ayurveda is the tridosha. For a human being to be healthy the three doshas have to be in harmony within him. The three doshas are vatha, pitha and kapha. The cosmos and all that exists in it is made of the pancha bhuthas, earth, water, fire, air and ether. Vatha is related to air and ether, pitha is related to fire and kapha is related to water and earth.

The three vital forces or doshas are in varied proportions in each individual. Predominance of vatha gives rise to an active and agile personality, predominance of pitha to a dynamic and short-tempered one, and kapha to a content and home loving one. This is known as the prakrithi or nature of a person.

These vital forces give rise to the three qualities of the mind based on various permutations and combinations. They are sattva, rajas and tamas. Sattva has in it equilibrium, harmony, peace. Rajas denotes activities like planning, taking action etc. Tamas can be best described as inertia, that which retards motion and brings down everything to a standstill.

Recommended reading: Textbook of Ayurveda

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