What Ayurveda means in Hinduism? A brief overview of the topics discussed in Ayurvedic Samhitas has been provided. It is worthwhile to investigate if their origins can be traced back to previous works and whether they have been updated and improved in succeeding eras, so that a clear picture of stage-wise historical evolution may emerge.
What is Veda?
The Vedas are our ancestors’ writings. Shivadasa Sen, a critic on Charaka, eloquently defined the term Veda. He asserts that Veda refers to knowledge in two forms: Shabdarupa Veda and Artharupa Veda, one of which is verbal in nature and the other of which is object-based. Mantras contain the Veda in written form (and other subsequent literature).
The entire cosmos is Veda in the form of things, i.e. the objects in the whole universe are indicated by the term ‘Veda’, or the meaning of the term Veda is mirrored in or represented by the whole universe.
What is Ayurveda?
According to certain schools, Ayurveda is an Upaveda of Atharva or Rigveda, or a Panchama Veda. It is also regarded an Upanga of Atharva Veda, meaning that it is not forced or introduced from the outside, but is an integral component of the Vedas’ primary body. If this is the case, the fundamentals of these talks and comments should be found in Mantras and Brahmanas.
The current samhitas are found to be in the form of Vyakhyana—discussions or comments. These lectures and comments should be based on either Mantras or Sutras. Though Rishis are referred to be Sutra Karas, no Sutra works are referenced or located anywhere. The Brahmanas and Upanishads are regarded explanation literature for the processes outlined in the Mantras, while subsequent works such as the Mahabharat, Ramayana, and Puranas are also considered explanatory notes containing illustrative instances or events.
Between these two historical epochs, Ayurvedic Samhitas exist. The Upanishads used a question-and-answer format for their explanation. Ayurveda Samhitas have a similar style of non-technical and easy-to-understand language. The bulk of the Rishis listed in Samhitas are the writers of various sutras of Darshan and are also referenced in Mahabharat’s Adi Parva. As a result, they may be classified as post-Upanishad and pre-Mahabharat.
It’s worth noting that the Atharva Veda presents the idea of a living person as a man dwelling in a city with nine gates and as a light of life blazing inside a brilliant casing (Brahma puri navadwara devanama pooh ayodhyapuri hiranmayakosho deepah). Purusha is defined in this manner. Purusha is the name given to one who lives in pura.
Similarly, in conjunction with Swasthavritta, the same concept is conveyed. In Charaka Samhita, we find the terms Kshetra and Kshetrajna, as well as kachakoshastha deepa, which are similes for the terms Nagar and Nagari (synonyms of Pura and Purusha).
The imperishable Atma and the perishable Panchabhautik body are the Purusha’s two primary components. They are described in the Yajurveda as “combining and mutually supporting each other throughout life and dissolving and merging with the components of the cosmos at the moment of death.” At death, Charaka and Sushruta define the same idea more explicitly as Shad-dhatuka Purusha and Pancha mahabhoot Shareeri Samavayh Purusha, and Panchatwa prapti, respectively.
Additionally, we come across a reference in which the term Vayu is substituted by Ayu, and Commentator Uvata explains that the letter V in Vayu is to be interpreted as an apostrophe in this instance.
Sapta Dhatus- The Sapta dhatus are also referred to subtly and explicitly as Sapta sayas residing inside the body, as well as categorically as Twacha, Lohita, Mamsa, Asthi, Majja, and Shukra. Hemchandracharya of the 11th century used the names of Rishi Bharadwaja and others as synonyms for respective Dhatus in his Abhidhan Chintamanikosha.
Tridoshas and seven dhatus are referenced in the Atharvaveda mantra “Ye Tri Saptah Vishwa Roopani Bibhratah” as sustaining forces for all living things, and Sayan, the commentator, identifies them as Tridosha and Sapta Dhatus.
Prashnopanishad enunciates the idea of Agni-Soma as all-pervasive powers equally governing Loka and Purusha via bisexual creation. Ayurveda uses the term Loka and Purusha, both of which are agni somiya, to describe the identity of Shukra and Shonita in humans, and Dwividha veerya in medicines, namely Sheeta and Ushna, with these twin powers of the cosmos.
Similarly, Kala in the form of Samvastsar is referenced in the mantras of Yajurveda and is integrated into the Ayurvedic Samhitas in the same sequence, starting with Vasanta Ritu and Madhu and Madhava, the two months allocated to it. The other Ritus and the months allocated to them follow a similar pattern in Yajurveda and Ayurveda.
The idea of Sat Ritu seems to have originated with pravrit as a division of Samvastara, which is required for the application of Panchakarma as stated in both Charaka and Sushruta Samhita. It appears to be a later development developed during the samhita era.
Sharira as a concept (body)
The concept of condemnable bodily combinations was first addressed in Yajurveda a.30. Purusha medha states that individuals who are unsuitable for homa are analabhya. In the same sequence, the same eight are listed as prohibited bodily forms in Charaka Samhita.
In terms of Purusha’s four components, the most apparent factor is Shareera or Deha. It is described in Samhitas in two sections: structures and functions. Twacha, Loma, Lohita, Mamsa, Asthi, Majja, and Shukra, i.e. the seven dhatus, are explicitly stated in Yajurveda; also Sheersha, bahu, uroo, pada, nabhi, hridaya, kloma, yakrit, pleeha, basti, vanisthu, matasna, an The roles of prana, vak, sravana, darshana, swapna, and jagarana are also briefly described in the Vedas.
Purusha’s second component is indriyas. They are hidden in shareera at particular locations (adhishthana) and are only discernible via their unique functions. The buddhindriyas, such as shrotra, chakshu, and twacha, and the karmendriyas, such as pada, hasta, payu, vak, and upastha, are also discussed in relation to ashwamedha, pashumedha, and purushamedha.
Purusha’s third component, manas, is much more delicate than the two inert ones mentioned before. It serves as Atma’s tool for communicating with the external universe, indriyas, and body, as well as for conceiving thoughts about the past and future. Its proportions and functions are eloquently described in Yajurveda’s “Shiv sankalpa sukta.”
Atma is the fourth component. It is characterized as all-pervasive and as one that enters a physical body to assume the shape of a living being; it is not distinct from the universal; the two are one.
These instances demonstrate that the fundamental principles of Ayurveda are stated in the Vedic mantras. They were created throughout the course of the Brahmana and Upanishad periods, not in isolation, but as part of debates about yajna procedures or philosophical subjects.
They were, however, addressed in depth and organized in a methodical manner throughout Ayurveda post-Upanishad or Samhita era. All Samhitas express clearly that they are discourses or explanatory notes, the succinct text of which is extinct or exists only in the Vedic mantras.
The same may be said about illnesses and medications.
Yakshma (general diseases and specifically a disease characterized by consumption), Takma (fevers), Kasa (cough), Harima (jaundice), Kilasa, Shwitras, sidhma, etc. affecting the skin (varieties of Kushtha, etc.) are physical diseases; Unmada, Apriatipada, Amati, Durmati, etc. are mental diseases; asu (vandhya-
Source of vegetables
Udbhid, vanaspati, vriksha, pushpavati, and prasoovari are classified. Food grains (Anna) such as Yava, Godhuma, Vrihi, Masha, Masure, Mudga, Upavaka (Yavaka), Tila, Priyangu, Shyamaka, and Nivara are mentioned in Ayurveda.
It is referred to as the animals that live in villages and those that live in forests (gramya and aranya). Those who have their home in water (naranya) and those who have their abode in the sky or air (Vayavya). Village animals such as man, horse, cow, sheep, and goat are mentioned, whereas aranya animals such as mayu (kinner), gavaya, sharabha, and ushtra are mentioned. All of these creatures are consumed as food in Ahara’s Mamsavarga.
In terms of mineral origins
There are references to ashma, sikta, mrittika, hiranya, ayas, loha, shyama, seesa, and trapu, among others. These were created in the latter era of Rasashastra via the processes of shodhana, marana, apunarbhava, rasayana, and transformation.
In terms of preparedness
Food preparations are also mentioned in the Vedas as indicating culinary skill. Yoosha, Mamsa pachana, Amiksha, Saktu, Laja, and Masara are among them.
Masara – is a powdered mixture of Vreehi, Shyamaka, Odana, and other edibles.
Nagnahu – is a mixture of powdered Sarja bark and 26 additional ingredients.
Shashpa is the term used to describe sprouting Vreehi. Tokma is the term used to describe sprouting Yava.
In the nineteenth Adhyaya of Su. Yajur Samhita, a detailed description of the extraction and fermentation of Soma Rasa, as well as the instruments, equipment, and utensils to be used, is given, along with instructions on the measurements and doses of each item and the processes to be followed, are given.
In terms of causal factors
The terms Ayakshma and Anameeba are used to refer to a healthy state. Ameeva is used to refer to both an illness and a causal cause for the disease in the form of an infectious germ. Similarly, Rudra, Rakshas, Yatudhana, Arati, and Sarpa are described as unseen entities that assault man through Anna, Pana, and Patra (food, beverages, and utensils).
They are at home in the outside world’s habitats of air, rain water, and soil, and they assault humans with lethal consequences. They are also described as being capable of being destroyed by the heat of fire and the sun. Anamaya, or disease-free living, was sought and prayed for not just for people but also for the whole village with its inhabitants and livestock.
As is apparent from the preceding, the Vedas are the original sources of Ayurveda subject content. While the ideas were sometimes formed and discussed casually in the Upanishads, they were methodically organized and advanced during lengthy talks that were successively documented in Ayurveda Samhitas; and even in the Ramayana and Mahabharat during narrations of various events.
Throughout the pre- and post-Buddha eras, these ideas were fashionable both theoretically and practically, and were firmly entrenched in society. Until the year 1000 AD, educated commentators and compilers such as Vagbhata (old and younger), Chakrapani, Jejjata, Gayadasa, and Dallhana maintained this flame by compiling references and providing comprehensive explanations, as well as sometimes introducing and adding new ideas.
Chakrapani and Upachaya’s concepts of Avikarini vriddhi and Vikararupa vriddhi, Poshya and Poshaka dhatu or sthayi and asthayi dhatu Lakshana Ojas and Shakti Lakshana Ojas; jeerna Artava and Nava Artava; and Stree Ojas and Stree Shukra, all of which have distinct roles according to Dallahana, are a few instances. Then the time of darkness starts. In light of contemporary science, it is essential to evaluate and revitalize old Indian wisdom.