AYURVEDA THE SCIENCE OF LIFE
"Hitahitam sukham duhkham Ayustasya hitahitam |
Manam ca tacca yatroktam Ayurvedah sa ucyate ||
- Charak Samhita"
Ayurveda is the knowledge that indicates the appropriate and inappropriate, happy or sorrowful conditions of living, what is auspicious or inauspicious for longevity as well as measure of life itself. Ayurveda, which literally means "The science of life", is the natural healing system of India, its traditional medicine going back to ancient times as earlier as the time of Vedas.
Ayurveda originated as a part of ‘Vedic science’. According to astronomical records in Vedic texts Ayurveda was in practice before 4000 B.C.. Hence, we know that Ayurveda was already old and predominant in India thousands of years ago. The two main purposes of Ayurveda are "maintaining the health of the healthy and curing the ailment of the ailing".
Ayurveda gives more importance to the maintenance of the health rather than cure of the ailments. The definition of healthy as told by Acharya Charaka is the most appropriate one even today-
"Samad o Shahsam Agnishca samsdh Atumalakriyah |
prasannatm Emdriyaman Ah swastha ityabhidhIyate ||
- Charak samhita"
In whom all the dosas, dhatus and malas are in the state of equilibrium and whose soul, senses and mind are in a state of prasannata (happiness) is called as svastha or healthy.
ASHTANGA AYURVEDA (Eight branches of Ayurveda)
Ayurveda is divided into eight branches by the ancient sages as thus:
1. Kayachikitsa - General Medicine
2. Koumarabhritya - Paediatrics
3. Grahachikitsa - Microbiology and Psychiatry
4. Shalakya Tantra - Otto-rhino-laryngology (E.N.T.) and
5. Shalya Tantra - Surgery
6. Agada Tantra - Toxicology
7. Rasayana - Geriatrics or Rejuvenation
8. Vajeekarana - Virilification or Aphrodisiacs
SHODASHANGA AYURVEDA (16 Departments of Ayurveda)
Presently for the easy comprehension of Ayurveda in total Ayurveda is divided in to sixteen branches or departments –
1. Moulika siddhanta - Basic Concepts
2. Shaareera - Anatomy and Physiology
3. Dravyaguna - Pharmacology
4. Bhaishajyakalpana - Pharmaceutics
5. Rasa Shastra - Alchemy or Chemistry
6. Roga Nidana - Diagnostics and Pathology
7. Kayachikitsa - General Medicine
8. Svastha vrittha - Preventive and social medicine
9. Manasa roga - Psychiatry
10. Vajikarana - Virilification or Aphrodisiacs
11. Agada Tantra - Toxicology
12. Shalya Tantra - Surgery
13. Shalakya Tantra - Otto-rhino-laryngology (E.N.T.) and Ophthalmology
14. Rasayana - Rejuvenation and Geriatrics
15. Koumarabhritya - Paediatrics
16. Prasooti Tantra - Obstetrics and Gynaecolog