Ayurveda is in the ancient study from the holy books, The Vedas. Ayurveda’s true history dates back to the Vedic century as several historians claim that this study is a part of Atharva Veda one of the four Hindu Vedas. In the current era, this study is prevalent throughout the whole world, even in countries like the USA, and Australia practising it as their primary form of treating illnesses. However, as India is the place where Ayurveda was born, we must understand where the roots of Ayurveda are located and its rich history. Ayurveda is being practised for over 5000 years as its practices are healing people and giving them a shield against chronic and common health hazards.
Beginning to Ayurveda
The four Vedas preach the philosophy of life and Atharva Veda consist of the principle of healing which Ayurveda is based on. ‘Ayur’ in Sanskrit means life, hence, Ayurveda is considered the ‘mother of healing’. Several Rishis and Munis covering the large area surrounding the Himalayas practised Ayurveda with the help of herbs and nature’s offerings. It was because of their unique intellectual contributions that the world was introduced to the Ayurvedic way of life that treated each and every disease in the human body from its root.
How was Ayurveda Destroyed?
To put it all together, Ayurveda is a holistic system that integrates the functioning and wellness of mind, body and soul. Unfortunately, for a few centuries, the tradition of Ayurveda was dimmed and disturbed due to human and natural calamities along with the invasion of foreign cultures into India which destroyed the sacred texts. Some of the sacred texts were stolen too, however, many doctors also known as Vaidyas managed to preserve some of the knowledge available in these holy Scriptures, in order to sustain the gift of long life and good health. Several divine plants are still being rediscovered after the ancient texts were destroyed in the early centuries losing the presence of the natural herbs.
Currently, many renowned families of those ancient doctors are still functioning in India in order to offer the best treatment of the branches of Ayurveda that their ancestors, and now they themselves, specialise in. With their knowledge and ancestral gift, the ancient study of ayurveda is today being revived along with the ancient culture and traditions inherent to Ayurveda. In order to preserve and continue this ancient medical practice, we need to understand its roots and how it became a true gift for modern civilisation.
Also read: Why is Ayurveda better than Allopathy?
Branches of Ayurveda
- The ancient is divided into eight branches that treat eat different kinds of medical divisions.
The first one is Kaya Chikitsa which focuses on internal medicine and therapeutics.
- The next is Shalya Chikitsa, which is surgery or a way of extracting foreign bodies or things that cause discomfort to the mind as well as the body.
- The third branch is Shalakya Chikitsa which is the treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat and head basically ENT and Ophthalmology.
- The fourth branch is Bala Chikitsa which focuses on Paediatrics and Gynaecology-Obstetrics.
- The next is Rasayana Chikitsa which focuses on modern Gerontology.
- Further, there is Vajikarana which is modern-day Sexology.
- The next is Bhoot Vidya which focuses on Spiritual Therapy and Psychiatry.
- And last, but not least is Visha Chikitsa which is Toxicology.
Lord Of Medicine: Lord Dhanwantri
One of the best Vaidyas in the history of ancient Ayurvedic practitioners is Lord Dhanvantri. He was highly intellectual with knowledge of medicinal science. Also, Lorn Dhanvantri has a keen interest to work in medical practice. Furthermore, he also offered his knowledge to deserving individuals who could carry this science forward. He was a physician who had acquired 6 attainments;
The knowledge of the science of medicine,
Critical scientific reasoning,
Deep insight into allied sciences,
Promptness in action and
Perseverance of seldom failing to achieve his objective.