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Ayurveda, the “science of life”

The Nectar of Immortality is known as Amrita.  This nectar of immortality represents Atmajnana, the true knowledge of the Self. This implies that real freedom from diseases can be obtained only through Self Knowledge and that Ayurveda is a path to immortality as much as it is an approach to managing disease. The Ayurvedic approach to health care aims to approach and conquer disease in such a way that it eventually leads to the spiritual awakening of the individual. Hence, the aphorism that Ayurveda is the foremost amongst the paths that lead to immortality – Ayurvedomrtanam

Ayurveda, the “science of life,” is the ancient wisdom science of living in harmony with each other and our environment. It is a part of the spiritual tradition of Sanatana Dharma, or Universal Religion.

Because Sanatana Dharma transcends all caste, creed, nationality and religion, it is applicable to all people of all places and times. The knowledge and science of Ayurveda was given by the ancient Rishis (enlightened seers). It expounds spiritual insights for living happy, healthy and peaceful lives, while seeking the ultimate goal of Self-realization. Ayurveda also incorporates the mystical science of yoga and Vedanta (the philosophy of non-dual or united consciousness). The knowledge of Ayurveda is found in all of the four Vedas. The main Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita, describes the nature of the universe with all its manifestations, and how to bring ourselves into harmony with it. Thee sayings, “We are the microcosm of the macrocosm,” and “As above, so below,” eloquently explain the universal truth that the whole universe is interconnected and interdependent.

Ayurveda is the traditional natural healing system of India. The concept of Ayurveda is not just focused on medical treatment or diagnosis of a diseased condition; it is a set of practical, simple guidelines for living a long and healthy life. Through these principles, we can bring our bodies and minds into perfect balance.

Ayurveda has a theoretical basis, but is also completely practical in nature. The word “Ayurveda” is composed of two words— “ayus” and “veda.” Ayu means, “life,” and veda means, “science.” Together, the words mean, “the knowledge of life.” In Ayurveda, the process of ayu (life) is considered as a combined experience of body, senses, psyche/mind and soul. Ayu represents all aspects of life, including death, dying and immortality.

The science of Ayurveda has developed over thousands of years. Today, it is moving to the forefront of body-mind-spirit medicine. Ayurveda has expanded far beyond its traditional base in India and is gaining recognition throughout the world. With its profoundly comprehensive understanding of life and consciousness, it is becoming the medicine of the present and future.

The main aims of Ayurveda are the prevention, treatment and cure of disease, as well as the promotion of health on four levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

There is also a direct correlation between Ayurveda and Yoga. The science of Yoga also originates from the Vedas. As with Ayurveda, the goal of Yoga is union with the Divine. The word “Yoga” means, “to unite, or to join together.” The principles of Yoga and Ayurveda are the same and have similar systems of healing the body, mind and spirit. Yoga was first expounded by the sage Patanjali, who gave us The Yoga Sutras. Patanjali is said to have also been proficient in Ayurveda. Ayurveda and Yoga are first and foremost spiritual sciences. They serve as maps to guide us along the spiritual journey.

Ayurveda and Yoga teach us how to create balance in order to attain perfect health. As we better understand the union of our body, mind and soul, we are able to extend our life span and enhance our well-being. The deepest purpose of this science is to provide the framework and opportunity for Self-realization, to know the true Self, Sat Cit Ananda (Truth/Existence-Consciousness-Bliss). We must recognize that our bodies and minds are constantly changing and that we live in a world of physical finality and duality. Our task is to discover the veiled part of us that is always there – the knower, the seer, the infinite, unchanging Source. With diligence, perseverance and patience, we can wake up from Maya (dreaming state/ illusion) and become free of suffering. And as we awaken to our true Self, we create freedom in our body-mind-spirit. Ayurveda recognizes that we came to this earth to remember who we are and to follow dharma (right conduct and divine purpose) and to maintain the health of the physical existence while seeking Moksha (liberation, freedom from the illusion). When harmony of body, mind and spirit is established, we become free.

There are several aspects (physical and spiritual) unique to Ayurveda:

PHYSICAL:

  • Ayurveda offers clear direction for managing treatment specific to each individual.
  • Ayurveda science, with its profound understanding of causative factors of disease manifestation, includes analysis and diagnosis of the individual constitution.
  • Ayurveda can be used to structure holistic models of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state of each person, and to create a vision or goal for a balanced state of being.
  • Ayurveda offers uniquely specific recommendations to each individual in regards to lifestyle, diet, exercise, yoga, herbal therapy and spiritual practices to restore and maintain balance in body and mind.
  • Ayurveda recognizes that everything is made up of five elements or building blocks: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. According to this principle, the human being is a miniature model of the universe.

SPIRITUAL:

  • To serve Humanity and Nature as your Higher Self by meditating on and attaining peace within and sharing that peace with the World.
  • By virtue of being a Human Being, it is the birthright of every Human Being to strive to attain Sat-Chid-Ananda (Truth Bliss and Consciousness).
  • It is a Human Beings responsibility to live in harmony with and protect Mother Nature. As Human Consciousness evolves so does the balance of Nature, as Mother Nature and Human Beings are one and the same.
  • Ayurveda and Yoga provide a scientifically proven way for to heal ones Self on every level and restore the lost balance of Humans and Nature.

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