Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ayurveda and Agni (Biological fire)

     The entire range of digestive and metabolic activities of the body takes place with the help of biological fire of the body called as agni. Ayurveda conceives the following components of Agni which functions at different levels of digestion,metabolism and assimilation activitis in the body.
     There are following types of Agni have been explained in Ayurvedic classics, they are -

Jatharaagni     - located in the GIT, performs digestion of the food.


Dhatwagni     - located in the respective Dhatus (body tissues) and responsible for tissue metabolism.


Bhutagni     - one in each of the five Mahabhutas they are situated and
                    responsible for finer molecular metabolism and assimilation.


     The Jatharagni represents all the digestive chemicals and enzymes produced in or poured in the gastrointestinal tract which are responsible for digestion of different component of ingested food. The Jatharagni is considered as the master Agni and is claimed to govern the function of all other agnis in the body besides its own function.

     There are seven Dhatwagnis in the body, each for one Dhatu. namely - 1)Rasagni 2) Raktagni 3) Mamsagni 4) Medagni 5)Asthyagni 6) Majjagni 7) Shukragni. the Dhatwagni are located in the respective Dhatus and participate in the specific tissue metabolism. They are responsible for processing the respective Poshak components in preceding Dhatu to transform thm in to subsequent Dhatu. It is with help of the respective Dhatwagni that a Dhatu assimilates its precursor materials.Thus the Dhatwagnis represents the entire renge of the enzymes and harmones functioning in the respective tissues taking part in tissue metabolism and assimilation.

There are still finer and subtle Agnis located in five Mahabhutas for molecular metabolism. These Agnis help in the synthesis and break down of materials at molecular level. they are called as Bhutagnis. They are five in number each for one Mahabhuta.namely - Bhaumya,Apya,Agneya,Vayavya, and Nabhasa, these five types of agnis digest the respective Bhutas of Ahara (food), after it has been brocken down by Jatharagni.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ayurvedic concept of Dhatus (Body Tissues)

        There are seven basic tissues or Dhatus in the human body according to Ayurveda, which supports and sustain the living body. because of their sustaining nature they are called as Dhatus. these seven Dhatus have inherited quality of getting vitiated or diseased by Dosha hence they are called as Dushyas (which gets vitiated). in contrast to Dosha, these  Dushya (Dhatu) have no competence to vitiate other body factors. they are only passive component of a disease process where as the Tridoshas are active components in disease.
         The following are the seven Dhatus -
Rasa - Plasma
Rakta - Blood
Mamsa - Muscle
Meda - Adipose tissue
Asthi - Bones
Majja - Bone Marrow
Shukra - Reproductive tissue.

        These seven Dhatus are continually formed in the same order, Rasa being the first Dhatu and Shukra being the last 7th one. Each preceding Dhatu plays nourishing and precursor role of the subsequent Dhatu. After digestion, the food is converted into Poshaka  Rasa i.e.the primary nutritive pool which gets transformed into the first Dhatu i.e. Rasa dhatu. with the help of Rasa Agni i.e. specific metabolic fire this Rasa Dhatu gets converted into the Rakta Dhatu. similarly the further sequence proceeds to achieve genesis of remaining Dhatus.
        The concept of Sapta (seven)  Dhatus is not only linked with the fundamental Ayurvedic concept of tissue nourishment and tissue metabolism but also linked with the concept of genetic transformation of the tissues.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tridosha Theory in Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic science of medicine is purely based on biological application of ancient hindu physics i.e.Panchamahabhuta theory.the five physical attributes of panchamahabhuta constitute three major biological components of the living body, they are called as Tridosh viz; Vata,Pitta,Kapha. The entire body function is explained in terms of these Doshas. Health and disease condition of not only humans but all living creatures is explained on the basis of Tridosha. They are called as doshas because they inherit the tendancy to get vitiate and to vitiate other body factors. In normal or balanced state they also called as Tridhaatu.


Panchbhoutic composition of Tridosha


Vaata – Vaayu (Air) , Akash (Space)

Pitta – Agni (Fire)

Kapha – Jala (Water), Prithvi (Earth)

These are understood by three conceptual constructs developed by ancient sages of Ayurveda. Essentially human body is made up of solid mass with various chemical reactions happening over it with an energy pool of motions and movements. All these functions co-exist in pre determined proportions and their functions are complimentory to each other inspite of opposite qualities. Among these the solid mass,immunity,binding factors in body etc are represented by the Kapha all chemical reations,heat, metabolic activities,conversionetc are functions of Pitta whereas all motions,movements are done by Vata dosha.

The proportion of these three remains in appropriate range of normalcy. This range of normalcy varies from organ – organ or tissue – tissue. For example bone tissue like osteophytes may have more Kapha dosha qualities than other doshas also neuron have more qualities of Vata than other dosha as function of carrying the nerve impulse is attributed to Vata dosha . these Dosha have been atrributed certain qualities among them some are common in nature. They are –


Vata and Kapha are Shita (cold) in nature.

Pitta and Kapha are Sneha (oily) in nature

Vata and Pitta are Laghu (light) and Sara (movable) in nature


Among thse Dosha Vata is considered as most powerful in nature as it is responsible for all actions,motions, movements etc without it Pitta and Kapha can not be carried to another place in the body. In Aurvedic classics simili have been given that, as clouds can not be carried away without air similarly Kapha and Pitta are lame without Vata dosha.



Five types of Vata and their functions



• Prana

          o Located in brain.

         o Moves to respiratory track and chest.

         o Responsible for cortical functions and intelligence.

        o Sensory perception

        o Functioning of heart

        o Swallowing,belching,sneezing etc.



• Udana

      o Situated in chest

      o Moves to throat,lungs nose, and upper GIT

      o Controls speech,memory,insight etc

      o Courage,discrimination,alertness of mind


• Vyaan

      o Located in heart

      o Moves all over the body

      o Attributed to all movements

      o Blinking of eye lids,yawning,sweating

      o Taste perception

      o Nourishment of tissue

      o Separation of waste products from the system


• Samaan

      o Located near agnisthhan i.e.stomach and intestines

      o Food absorption

      o Assists the digetion of the food.

      o Separation of nutrients and waste products.



• Apaana

      o Situated in lumbosacral region

      o Reproductive and excretory activities.

      o Expulsion of foetus.



Five types of Pitta and their functions



• Paachaka

o Located near to small intestines.

o Controls digetion and assimilation of food.

o Controls other forms of Pitta in the body.



• Ranjaka

o Located in the liver,spleen.

o Imparts colour to the blood.



• Saadhaka

o Located in the heart.

o Controlls intelligence,pride

o Enthusiasm,achievements of goals



• Alochaka

o Located in the eyes

o Responsible for vision



Bhraajak

o Located in the skin

o Controls colour and complexion of the skin

o Absorption of the external therepies.


Five types of Kapha and their functions



• Avalambaka

o Located in the chest,shoulders,and sacrum

o Controls other Kaphas.

o Water balance,supports body fluid systems



• Kledaka

o Located in the stomach

o Moistens the food



• Bodhaka

o Located in the tongue

o Controls taste perception



• Tarpaka

o Situated in the head

o Nourishes the sense organs



Shleshmaka

o Located in the joints

o Lubricates joints.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Concept of PanchaMahabhuta in Ayurveda.

          Physics is the first eminant from philosophy towards material consideration, it seems that phenomenon of the life and its attributes was conceived in ancient times in terms and understanding of philosophy and physics. The biological concepts of these physics were later developed during Ayurvedic time period. 
       Hence these are fundamentals of theories of Tridosha, Saptadhatu, Mala etc. theories of Tridosha, Saptadhatu, Malas were not developed during Vedic era, though very detailed explanations are available about PanchaMahabhuta, Triguna etc. Panchamahabhuta doctrine and theory of Triguna these higher level concepts were known in Vedic period, obviously Tridosha etc applied concepts of life science were developed subsequently in Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Sushrut Samhita etc.

       According to ancient Indian philosophy, all physically perceivable matters irrespective of living, non-living are made up of five fundamental principles called as Panchamahabhutas. They are –
Akash – Ether

Vayu – Air

Agni – Fire

Jala – Water

Prithvi – Earth.

ORIGIN OF MAHABHUTAS.

       In the evolution process of Mahabhuta, the later Mahabhuta is produced from the former Mahabhuta. Hence the attributes of the former Mahabhuta are passed through or enter in to later Mahabhuta.

      According to this principle of evolution Akash (Ether) is created itself in the beginning. It is subtle and light. Shabda (Sound) is the inherent quality of Akash, when Akash only present Shabda (Sound) also exist in it. Vayu (Air) is born out of Akash. Quality of Akash i.e. Shabda is also passed in to Vayu with its own quality of Sparsha (Touch). Likewise Agni (Fire) has qualities of Shabda (Sound), Sparsha (Touch) with its own Rupa (Vision). Jala Mahabhuta has qualities of Shabda, Sparsha, Rupa and its own Rasa (Taste). And at last Prithvi (Earth) has all five qualities i.e. Shabda, Sparsha, Rupa, Rasa and Gandh (Smell).

      Likewise one more attribute is passed from former Mahabhuta in to later one during the process of evolution of Panchamahabhutas. In any circumstances, matter is mixture of these Mahabhutas in varying proportions which are determined by PanchPanchikaran Sidhhanta.



Why only 5 Mahabhutas?

     It is the commonest question asked regarding Mahabhutas. Human being is provided with only five ways of gross knowing/sensory organs (i.e. PanchGyanendriyas) Human within his inherent limitations can only perceive these 5 qualities of matter. These 5 senses are predominant in each Mahabhuta. Like –                                                                             Sense of Hearing – Akash

Sense of Touch – Vayu

Sense of Vision – Agni

Sense of Taste – Jala

Sense of Smell – Prithvi.

      Hence there are only 5 Mahabhutas, if at all there are any other categories they are supposed to be merged with nearest range of quality perceived.


PANCHAPANCHIKARAN SIDHANTA

      The theory or Panchamahabhuta is linked with theory of evolution. The evolution started with Akash, and got dandified up to Prithvi. Akash is lightest and most subtle whereas Prithvi is gross and heavy.

      According to PanchPanchikaran Sidhhanta, all Mahabhuta intermingle with each other to form any matter is called as AnyonyaPraviShta. The Akash Mahabhut enters in all 4 Mahabhuta. Vayu passes through all Mahabhutas Like this all Mahabhutas intermingle with each other. during this process the proportion of Mahabhutas varies and that matter is considered to be that specific Mahabhuta dominant e.g. Jaliya, Akashiya, Agneya etc. this composition occurs as follows – if matter is Jaliya (Water predominant) its PanchaMahabhoutic composition will be-

Jala (Water) - ½ parts

Akash (Ether) – 1/8 parts

Vayu (Air) – 1/8 parts

Agni (Fire) – 1/8 parts

Prithvi (Earth) – 1/8 parts

like wise if matter is of Prithvi Mahabhuta predominant then its composition-

Prithvi (Earth) – ½ parts

Jala (Water) - 1/8 parts

Akash (Ether) – 1/8 parts

Vayu (Air) – 1/8 part s

Agni (Fire) – 1/8 parts
 and so on.

           Hence PanchaMahabhuta theory, PanchPanchikaran Sidhhanta etc are ancient Hindu physics. The most classic Hindu medicine science is attempted to explain all aspects of existence and human organism on the basis of these concepts of philosophy and physics.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Creation of Universe.

Ayurveda makes holistic approach to life, health, disease etc. This is in contrast with analytical and objective consideration of western science of medicine. Ayurveda is considered more of subjective science rather than objective. This approach will be more evident when we understand the nature. Ayurveda is purely based on laws of nature, hence understanding them will make us clear about attributes and different theories of Ayurveda like Triguna, Panchatanmatra, Tridosha, Saptadhatu etc.


Ayurveda accepts the metaphysical concepts of origin of universe proclaimed by ancient Hindu philosophy. The Prakruti and Purusha are the factors which preclude the process of gross creation. Mahat descending to Aham and will further gives rise to Manas. Manas is of 3 types viz; Saatvic,Rajasic,Tamasic. Their union permits formation of gross universe. When manas tilts towards satvathey will unite and give origin to panchagyanendriya(5 sensory organs), panchakarmendriya (5 motor organs), and manas. Whereas when Rajas and Tamas unites they will give rise to Panchatanmatra (subtle form of Panchamahabhuta) further it will lead to formation of Panchamahabhuta(5 main factors of matter). Hence Satva and Rajas will form sendriya srushti (conscious creation). And Rajas with Tamas will form nirendriya srushti (unconscious creation).

Thus Trigunas pre-exists in Panchamahabhutain due course of creation. These trigunas represents 3 diamensions of human mental being. Satva represents – purity,clarity,tranquility,peace,light of character. It is nearest state of Chetana i.e. consciousness. Rajas represents – activity,dynamism,restlessness,heat,rege etc. Tamas is opposite to Rajasa which represents inertia,dullness,timidity,sadness, darkness etc.

For gross understanding these Triguna can be related with Panchamahabhuta,like

Satva- Akash (ether)

Rajas – Vayu (air), Tejas(fire)

Tamas – Ap (water), pruthvi(earth).

Best references of these triguna can be found in vedic literature, Upanishadas,ShadDarshanas even in Bhagavat Geeta.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Descent of Ayurveda


It is believed that Ayurveda is of Divine origin. there are different schools of thought regarding origin of Ayurveda but all these believe in Daivi parampara (Divine transmission of Ayurveda) and Manushi Parampara.(Mortal transmission)

Brahma the creator of universe revealed Ayurveda to Daksha prajapati and Daksha taught it to the Ashwini Kumaras, the vedic gods of medicine these Ashwini Kumar taught this holy science to Indra

According to Charaka samhita,first human to get the knowledge was Bharadwaj from Indra for redemption of suffering human beings. then Acharya Bharadwaja taught it to Atreya and disciples in turn they taught it to Agnivesha,Harita,Bhel,Jatukarna etc disciples

According to Sushrutas version of belief Dhanwantari received this holy knowledge from Indra, along with Bharadwaja.Similarly Kashyapa Samhita believes that Acharya Kashyapa received this knowledge of Ayurveda directly from Indra along with Dhanwantari and Bharadwaja

Till Indra from Bramha, descent of Ayurveda is called as Divine in origin and from Bharadwaja it is called as mortal transmission of Ayurveda.



Preceptors of Ayurveda ( In descending order )


Bramha

Daksha Prajapati

Ashwini Kumar

Indra


Acc. to Sushruta                          Acc. to Charaka             Acc. to Kashyapa

Dhanwantari                              Bharadwaja                         Kashyapa

Sushruta etc                            Atreya Punarvasu                Vashishtha

                                                    Agnivesha etc disciples      Atri Bhagu etc.



Lord Bramha


Lord Indra





Saint Bharadwaja


Saint Atreya    



 Acharya Charaka


Acharya Sushruta

















Thursday, June 17, 2010

HISTORY OF AYURVEDA

INTRODUCTION


Being as old as Vedas, the history of Ayurveda takes us back into ancient ages. but Ayurveda is not merely science, it is an art too, genuine in itself and having solid base of experience of thousands of years. Ayurveda's survival through all ages in spite of foreign invasions and competitions with imported medial sciences gives us testimony of its real time efficacy and strenght of its foundations. hence Ayurveda is not a science which originated over night, instead it is collection of thousands of years of practical experience and carefully evolved clinical investigation methods.

under these circumstances its very difficult to decide specific time period of Ayurveda, but it can be classified in to –
      1) Vaidic Kala

     2) Samhita Kala

     3) Sangraha Kala

     4) Adhunik Kala


VAIDIC KALA (VAIDIC ERA)

Hindu scriptures are generally classified in to two types i.e. Sruti and Smruti. our ancients believed that they have been heard as revelation from Brahma and recorded for our benefits these records thus called as VEDAS. Smrutis are simply amplify principles laid down by Vedas. in point of authority Vedas stands first than Smrutis.

Vedas are 4 in no. viz

The Rig Veda

The Yajur Veda

The Saama Veda

The Atharva Veda

though Ayurveda have been described as essence of all Vedas and fifth Veda by maharishi Kashyap, traditionally it is considered as upa-Veda of Atharva Veda. whether Ayurveda forms sub-Veda or not, all Veda have contains scattered topics of Ayurveda and none of them contain Ayurveda as whole.



SAMHITA KALA (SAMHITA ERA)


This period extend from 2500B.C. to 500A.D. and denotes highest development of Ayurveda from all sides Rishis and acharyas systematised and generalised the science by recording the observations already made by their predecessors during vedic period
             in this period can be considered from time of sage bharadwaja to sage vagbhata. during this period extensive work have been done in all branches of Ayurveda.equal importance was given to preventive and curative aspect. all eight branches have been made during this period to have deep and thorough knowledge of each branch. during samhita period Ayurveda flourished and the greatest treaties were composed (charaka samhita,sushrut samhita etc.), which are useful for generations together.


SANGRAHA KALA

Reign of gupta kings may be called as golden period of Indian history. in this period many medical facilities were provided to people which were obviously based on Ayurveda science.

in the preceding ages ancient acharyas had made voluminous works on Ayurveda and it was not possible for ordinary people to learn Ayurveda by referring various texts on subject. so time demanded consised books which were written in this period. this need was mainly fulfilled by acharya vagbhata. at first he compiled book called as “ ashtanga sangraha“. by collecting knowledge from available treaties viz., charak samhita,sushruta samhita & other treaties.


ADHUNIK KALA (MODERN ERA)

the system of Ayurveda faced great setback after the Britishers came to India and established east India company in 17th century. with them they brought western system of medicine and made compulsory in India.

in absence of British rulers support,several philanthropists and different states offered Ayurveda education by providing institutions which provides Ayurveda education.after revolution in 1857,Indians realised urgent need of preservation of socio-cultural heritage which also include Ayurveda. in 1907 all India Ayurveda conference was held. various imminent personalities have done excellent work to flourish Ayurveda and because of it we can foresee the golden age of Ayurveda in coming years.