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               Understanding Ayurveda

     The ancient knowledge of medicine from thousands of years ago known as Ayurveda, a gem of the great ancient India, comes down to us for active use in this modern technological day.  If its passage had been historically oral before it was even compiled in written form still centuries ago, then how curious it is to those of us who would view the separate nature of higher knowledge that pertains to the treatment and preservation of health as beyond the everyday life.  On the contrary, Ayurveda focuses the collective topic of health, well-being and longevity into the daily life as closely as it can fit for comfort, consolation and good care.  The mind becomes filled with the know-how of how to eat and what to eat as if the medicinal properties of food lift now to an apical height of possibility even beyond the rudiments of survival and simple nutritional considerations; indeed, foods are medicinal in their properties if one makes a study of Ayurveda and applies the individual character of constitutional make-up most discretely unto the self.  One can look towards thriving as well as surviving.

     This initiative herein is not to explicate the exact information of Ayurveda in depth; rather, with this introduction however brief there must be a terse route to understanding more deeply how it is that such a body of knowledge of medicine could arise with such astonishing attributes as Ayurveda.  This ancient medicine tradition confers the scientific algorithms to living well and living out one's destiny completely as a living being in the physical world with the full gift of palliation in the face of suffering, of cure in the face of disease and of miraculous ways to solve the multivariate sufferings that actually accompany the human existence.  If the Lord was so compassionate as to reveal this truth -- the truth complete of how to live well and fully and minimize suffering, seek cure and seek also rejuvenating measures -- then there is no further question to be asked except what this exactly is!  Now there is no experiment, no vast departure in a scientific laboratory to find an answer, build from that single answer and look for the next question to support, supplant or perhaps refute it; nor will there be any listening ears to the results of such objective research that temporarily guides in one direction while awaiting a different answer that might deflect the listener to another solution for treatment of an ailment or disease in yet another direction.  In the preserving hold of Ayurveda, all of life becomes blessed with the all-knowing compassion of the Lord who gave it to man out of compassion for the suffering that is found in the very nature of living in a physical body in this world.

     There are numerous websites with information of the principles of Ayurveda and how to apply them in order to improve the health, secure the health, live in good health and eat the food that will give life its fullest and best support based upon the nature of what we are most essentially.  From a metaphysical standpoint, what we are essentially is indeed hypostatic to exact biochemical or biophysical pathways, molecules and bodily conditions to be assayed by advanced diagnostic tools in all ways; the underlying mechanisms of our biochemistry are owing to doshas, and these doshas therefore govern the molecular chemistry hypostatically.  Molecules now may loom in the mind of the frightened individual as threats because of wrong level due to wrong diet, wrong eating habits with their likes and dislikes, and of endless don'tisms due to recent research.  This is not a holistic way of thinking, and it is very destructive to the body-mind relationship.  However, there is hope since such molecules can be corralled into their proper biochemical harmony as according to deeper balancing effects than even the microscopic scope can tell.  The things that are being told regarding medical truths that arise out of ongoing research have the power to enslave the individual to ignorance; notwithstanding this sad fact, knowledge not only replaces ignorance in the elevated reality of Ayurveda medicine, it also lies underneath any ignorance and was there all the time and is known about.  To ask the question is to gain the answer.  It is only to ask the question; the answer is known.  There is no reason to browbeat oneself when one lives in the happy light of knowing how to care for oneself according to a deep, pre-existing knowledge based not upon a universalizing of truth for all but rather upon the individual person's own unique tridosha traits.  

     These tridosha traits can be known; indeed, they do arise from a universal cache of truth, but each individual carries his or her own set of doshas in a unique expression of harmony or lack of it, of balance or lack of balance.  Without meaning to sound spectacular, this tridosha study for the individual constitutes essentially the key to the universe itself when applied to the nature of the substance that is the human body-mind complex since we are as individuals non-different from the entire universe in our comprise of matter.  If you think about it, that makes fundamental sense. Verily, this question of our physical comprise all comes from knowing what is.   This is not speculative; it is fact by now -- across thousands of years it is standing fact.  Ayurveda tells what is in the founding instance --matter and how it combines from ether, from earth, from air, from fire and from water; on the other hand, modern medicine seeks to know what is more narrowly and in a discrete context and then to apply that finding to the whole as if it is as great as the whole physiology.  That difference between the part and the whole, between treating the whole by manipulating a part that is not able to leverage the whole in a unified way -- that difference resounding as a side effect of the treatment is actually a sign that the ailment or disease being treated is not being cured at the root level.  Through a partial manipulation a symptom is being ameliorated, and it is the job of the doctor to explain to the patient that the side effects are to be minimally viewed in deference to the greater success in getting at the chief problem.  Moreover, the patient undergoing treatment can be left vulnerable at times to questions of the unknown that work contrary to good mental apperception of the hope for cure or for alleviation, and we are even told by some experts in the health professions of Western medicine that there are conspiracies about the place that work to cause disease.  Fear not.  Learn instead; replacing ignorance with a working knowledge proven across vast time will lift the veil of ignorance behind which such magnified caveats against our security and preservation are uttered and broadcast.

     The truth is: the universe is comprised of the five elements named above: ether, air, fire, water and earth.  As these combine in parts with one another all throughout the universe, they are no different in the comprise of the human body.  The vata is of ether and air while the kapha dosha is of water and earth.  The pitta dosha is of fire and water.  These fundamental yet quintessential elements or humors or doshas make up the constitution of the individual known as the tridosha, the three doshas.  How they balance is critical in the understanding of the state of health of the individual.  If they are grossly out of balance for an extended period of time, then ailment perhaps to be followed by disease can ensue this imbalance.  How to eat is how to account for the status of the tridosha precisely.  The food should be coupled with appropriate spices and herbs, giving countenance to the tridosha's own particular status.  That status must be analyzed and thus known.  One dosha may be dominant, all three may be in balance or two may be dominant, leaving one weak.  Whatever the outcome of the determination of the tridosha, if one eats according to the status of the tridosha one carries, then a harmony will be in order.  Where there is order there is health.  The characteristic traits of each dosha type are known about, and through a simple test in the style of a questionnaire available here on the Internet one can do an effective determination of the status of balance versus imbalance of the tridosha.

     Foods have their own peculiar properties as to how they impart their effects upon metabolic processing to the three different doshas, and it is the joy of eating foods as according to the doshic impetus of each food and spice that creates a healthy individual and has the power to sustain a healthy individual.

     The basics of Ayurveda have been briefly iterated here in deference to the true purpose of this writing: the inner purpose of this writing is to go past the knowledge that describes in English what has been gained from Ayurveda and arrive at the words themselves as from the source language, Sanskrit.  One important source of this body of knowledge is the Charaka Samhita.  By translating from this work from the Sanskrit to English, perhaps a deeper understanding of Ayurveda can be arrived at so that the veil of mystery can be lifted somewhat for any who is interested or curious; one way to build faith in Ayurveda is to go to the source as per word.  Indeed, Sanskrit is obscure to most who may hear of this ancient medicine.  It is my dearest hope to console across the distance of the source of Ayurveda to the present times and to all who may be interested in it.  Nor do I wish to challenge in any fashion the brilliance and utility of Western medicine; these two bodies of knowledge of India and of the West can co-exist and perhaps contribute one to the other most famously if the mind for truth can only soar unto the universal venue that is Ayurveda from its first principles; these universal principles of Ayurveda may be exotic-sounding until one sees them in action. 

     The first verse or sloka to be translated is here:


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