The other name for the source of perfect health. Health -represents not only physical, mental & spiritual wellbeing as well.
Ayurveda (Science of life)is not confined to medicine but encompasses the total sweep of life science and pursues the quest for understanding the life in all its ramifications.
“The Science of life shall never attain finality. therefore humility and relentless industry should characterize your every endeavour and your approach to knowledge .The entire world consists of teachers for the wise and enemies for the fools . Therefore, knowledge , conductive to health ,longevity , fame , and excellence , coming even from an unfamiliar source , should be received , assimilated and utilized with earnestness”. (Ch.Vi.8/14)
Ayurveda as a Life Science:-
One is impressed by the vast conceptual canvas and frame work of Ayurveda. It is important to realise that Ayurveda is not confined to Medicine only, it tackles the whole subject of life in its various ramification .This can be seen by the variety of topics in literature , such as re-birth, renunciation, salvation (Moksha),soul(Atma) , etc.
The purpose of life is four fold , to achieve dharma (virtue), arth (wealth), kama(enjoyment), and moksha (salvation). In order to attain success in this four- fold purpose of life , it is essential to maintain life not only in a disease – free state but also in a positively healthy state of body ,mind , and spirit .
The emphasis on the maintenance of positive health or Swastha Vratta , is a distinguishing feature of Ayurveda.
The word Ayurveda (as study of ayu or life) in itself signifies its importance.
Ayurvedic system of medicine contributes as an ultimate provider of stable health.
The main sourse of Ayurveda is – Veda.
Vedas are regarded as the oldest scripts or records of knowledge known to man. They are stated to be of divine origin and given to mankind through the Rishis or seers of wisdom and thereafter transmitted from generation to generation.
There are 4 Vedas namely: Rig, Yajus, Sama, Adharva, which have come down to us through several thousands of years of oral transmission before finally being recorded in writing.
Ayurveda is considered as the branch of Adharvaveda. Ayurvedic scholars from subsequent generations collected the materials scattered in the Vedas and arranged them symmetrically to form Samhithas (Collections). Ayurveda initially was divided in to 8 branches old as ASTANG AYURVEDA it covered all the modern days (so called) speciality branches like —
(1) Kayachikitsa (General Medicine)
This branch deals with general medicinal part of human body’s complete illness either chronic or acute .
(2) Kaumarbhratya or Balachikitsa (Paediatrics)
This branch deals with the prenatal and postnatal baby care as well as the care of a woman
before and during pregnancy. It also elaborates various diseases of children and their treatments.
(3) Graha Chikitsa (Psychiatry)
The study of mental diseases and their treatments. Treatment methods include not only medicines and diet but also yogic methods for improving psychic power.
(4) Shalakya Tantra (Eye Diseases, ENT and Cephalic Diseases)
This branch deals with the diseases of ear, nose, throat and head and their treatments including special techniques for curing these diseases.
(5) Shallya Tantra (Surgery)
Maharishi ‘Sushrutha’ is the first surgeon who is also the author of Shallya Tantra, the foremost speciality of Ayurveda. He describes various surgical operations using different surgical instruments and devices.
(6) Agada Tantram (Toxicology)
This branch deals with the toxins from vegetables, minerals and also toxins from animal origins. The concept of pollution of air and water in certain places and seasons has been given special consideration. Such pollution is also said to be the cause of various epidemics.
(7) Rasayana (Rejuvenation Therapy)
This branch which is unique to Ayurveda, deals with prevention of diseases and promotion of a long and healthy life. It acts as immunomodulator. It also advises how to increase our health, intellect and beauty.
(8) Vajeekarana (Aphrodisiac treatment)
This branch deals with the means of increasing sexual vitality and efficiency.