A brief interview with our Chief Physician Dr. Sahdev Arya about Ayurveda:
Sir, what is the nature of Ayurveda? Is it a science of medicine or a science of life itself? How old is it?
According to Acharya Sushrut, a human being is a union of these five basic elements and soul (shariri).
The permutation and combination of these five elements lead to three Humours in human body called TRIDOSHAS viz. VATA, PITTA,KAPHA. VATA : composed of space and air. It is responsible for all the movements in body i.e. both voluntary as well as involuntary and sensations. It is the motivation force behind the two other humours. PITTA: composed of fire and water. It is responsible for all physiochemical phenomena (Digestive and Metabolic activities). KAPHA: composed of water and air. It maintains compactness or cohesiveness in the body by providing the fluid matrix to it. It provides the strength and stability for holding body tissues together and thus responsible for the constitution of gross structure of the body. The fundamental concept of Ayurvedic medicine system is that “the equilibrium of these three humours (Tridoshas) results in health while a condition of imbalance causes disease.” While the Tridoshas determine our physical health, it is the three Gunas (Trigunas) that determine our mental or spiritual health (Manas Prakriti). The three Gunas or Trigunas are:-
- Rajas – characterizes motion and stimulation
- Tamas-characterises heaviness and resistance
- Satva—characterizes consciousness, purity and clarity
How is Human body conceived in Ayurveda? What are its attributes? How are they related with the condition of good health?
- Doshas (Humours)
- Dhatus (Tissues)
- Malas (Impurities)
- Dosha: As said earlier, the permutation and combination of the five basic elements lead to three Humours in human body called TRIDOSHAS viz VATA, PITTA,KAPHA.
- Dhatu: “BODY TISSUES” , according to Ayurveda the human body is composed of seven
tissues called Dhatus which hold together and nourishes the body:-
- Rasa:- Plasma
- Rakta:- Blood
- Mamsa:- Muscles
- Med:- Fat
- Asthi:- Bone
- Majja:- Marrow
- Shukra:- Reproductive Tissue
According to Acharya Sushrut , every first Dhatu nourishes the other as Diet and nutrition yields Rasa Dhatu, Rasa Dhatu nourishes Rakta Dhatu and so on respectively.
- Mala : They are the waste products produced during the course of digestive and metabolic
Three primary Malas:-
There are some other attributes of human body defined in Ayurveda as:
AGNI: Agni is the biological fire that governs metabolism and is responsible for the whole sequence of chemical reactions and interactions in the body. According to Ayurveda there are thirteen types of Agni in the body. The most important of them is the Jhatharagni i.e. the Gastric fire , which is responsible for the digestion of food as according to Ayurveda , digestion is the cornerstone of good health. SROTAS: Srotas are the numerous channels of the body which allows the flow of energy, nutrients and the waste products e.g. alimentary canal etc. AMA: ama is a toxin which is generated either by weak digestive fire or by out of balance doshas. OJAS: Ojas is the essential energy of the immune system. It is a unique concept of Ayurveda ; the vital essence of the body; a subtle force that integrates and cements the body, mind and spirit into a functioning individual. Low Ojas lead to degeneration and immunological diseases. Abnormalities of Ojas will lead to diminution of immunity and the individual will be vulnerable to infections and diseases.