Ayurveda stresses the concept of balance in healing. One can learn to heal themselves or remain healthy by staying in balance. Ayurveda (pronounced I-your-vay-da), said to be a world medicine, is the most holistic or comprehensive medical system available. Five thousand years ago in the Himalayas, one of the greatest sages of India, Srila Vyasadeva wrote down the Vedas for the first time, this included a limb of which is called Ayurveda: "The science of Life" (Ayur means life and Veda means science).
The Vedas came from an oral tradition that reached back into antiquity. Srila Vyasadev entrusted the original copies of the texts with his most erudite and enlightened disciples, who, along with other great sages, inaugurated a very long sacrificial ceremony for hundreds of years for the purification and blessings of the entire world. Remember people lived for one to two thousand years back then. During that time, they studied and discussed these ancient texts with their own disciples, who wrote commentaries, and expanded and developed these original and eternal truths without ever altering them.
Ayurveda is a science that teaches how to live in a true and natural balance. This is not limited to the proper functioning of our mind, body and soul but extends further in establishing a natural and balanced relationship with the nature as a whole. This includes a balanced relationship between us and all the creatures, our family members, our friends, our colleagues at the place of work and also the work, the climate and the society we live in, our ideas and customs, and finally with truth and God.
Ayurveda teaches how to maintain this balance. As long as we can maintain this balance we are healthy and when there is imbalance there is disease, unhappiness and misery.
Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. It is a Sanskrit word, which means "The Science of Life." Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often called the "Mother of All Healing". It stems from the ancient Vedic culture and was taught for many thousands of years in an oral tradition from accomplished masters to their disciples. Some of this knowledge was set to print a few thousand years ago, but much of it is inaccessible.
Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages maintaining health by paying close attention to balance in ones life through right thinking, diet, lifestyle and herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create balance of body, mind and consciousness according to ones own individual constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance.
Just as everyone has an individual face or thumb print, according to Ayurveda, each person has a particular pattern of energy--an individual combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics--, which is his or her constitution. This constitution is determined at conception by a number of factors and is the same throughout ones life. Many factors, both internal and external, act upon us to disturb this balance and are reflected as a change in ones constitution from the balanced state. Examples of some of these emotional and physical stresses are ones emotional state, diet and food choices, seasons and weather, physical trauma, work and family relationships.
Once these factors that can cause imbalance are understood, one can take appropriate actions to nullify or minimize their effects or eliminate the causes, and re-establish ones original constitution. The cause of disease in Ayurveda is viewed as the lack of proper cellular function because of an excess or deficiency of vata, pitta or kapha and/or the presence of toxins. In Ayurveda, body, mind and consciousness work together in maintaining balance. They are simply viewed as different facets of ones being.
To learn how to balance the body, mind and consciousness then requires an understanding how vata, pitta and kapha work together. According to Ayurvedic philosophy the entire cosmos is interplay of the energies of the five great elements--Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Vata, pitta and kapha are combinations and permutations of these five elements that manifest as patterns present in all creation.