Ayurveda: Medicine Of The Past, Medicine Of The Future
The Ayurvedic treatment goes beyond some 5,000-10,000 years back when an ancient people who inquired of the world they lived in. They looked to the skies and saw the celestial lights and wondered in awe of their origin and meaning. They looked around at the world on which they lived and wondered why I am here and what is the meaning of my life? They knew the world around them was fraught with challenges and potential dangers. How can I stay safe and healthy they pondered. These ancient people lived in the land known as India today. They were among the earth's oldest human inhabitants. To answer these questions, the wisest and most learned of the clan went forth to seek answers of these questions from the Gods. They were known as rishis or seers, the ones who had the gift to attune themselves to Gods ways. Deep in meditation the Gods came and answers were given. They learned about astrology and astronomy, about health, about air, fire and water, and they learned about ritual. This knowledge was passed down through generations through songs and chants and then written down in the oldest of books existing on the planet. These books are the Vedas
The Knowledge of the Vedas is vast. The knowledge pertaining to health is known as Ayurveda or the knowledge of life. The knowledge of Ayurveda was given to the rishis so that they might know how to stay physically and emotionally healthy so that they could pursue their deeper spiritual goals.
The Vedic teachings thrived in India and Ayurveda thrived as well for several millennia. Scholars, philosophers, and doctors journey from a far to India to study and each took pieces of this knowledge home with them. Then between 700AD and 1000AD, India was invaded by the Middle East. The Muslims went on anti-Hindu crusades and destroyed many of the ancient books and the knowledge of Ayurveda began to slip away. Later, in the 1800's the British invaded India, destroying what was left. Schools were closed and books were destroyed until Ayurveda vanished into the corners of society. In place of the Ayurvedic schools, Western medical schools were established. In 1947, when India gained her Independence, interest in Ayurveda was renewed and scholars and spiritual teachers tried to pick up the pieces of this profound science. Schools re-opened and began to train Ayurvedic physicians. By the early 1990's there were several hundred small schools in India. Still, India is a vast country and the number of Ayurvedic practitioners relative to the population is very small. Ayurveda remains a secondary system of health care to the Western influence health care system. In the mid 1980's great interest emerged in the West about the science of Ayurveda as Westerners began to question the tenants of their own health care system. Profound writers like Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Vasant Lad, along with Dr. David Frawley and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, began to enlighten readers and listeners about this ancient wisdom. Interest mushroomed, and now we seethe very first Ayurvedic Colleges opening in the United States offering formal study of this ancient knowledge.
Ayurveda is a science that is first and foremost about creating harmony with one's environment. Ayurveda teaches us that when we live in harmony we shall be healthy, and that disease is the normal expression of living out of harmony. Hence, Ayurveda is a health care discipline that first and foremost asks us to look inside of ourselves so that we may discover how we are living out of harmony. Only then can we make the life changes necessary for healing to take place. Ayurveda gives us back both responsibilities for our well being and the power create our state of health. Ayurveda teaches us that we are all unique individuals and that each individual's path toward perfect health is equally unique. Ayurveda is not a dogma of ?how to, ? rather it is a system which illuminates our unique journey and helps to guide us to our destination. Ayurveda utilizes diet, herbs, aromas, colors, meditation and yoga, along with special cleansing techniques known as Pancha Karma to assist each person in his or her process. Most importantly, however, Ayurveda helps each person to look at their lifestyle, discover areas that are disharmonious, while empowering greater harmony. Where there is harmony, there is health