Ayurveda – “Ancient science of life”

History and principles of Ayurveda


Ayurveda is ‘the Science of Life’. It is a holistic system of medicine  which evolved from Brahma’s ages of Ancient India some 3000-5000 years ago and have withstood the test of time.

Ayurveda defines life ‘Ayuh’ as the intelligent coordination of our four parts, the soul, the mind, the senses, and the body, with the totality of nature and the cosmos. Health is not just a state of the body. We interact with the seasons, planetary changes of the earth, and moon, other planets, as well as orbiting relationships within our lives. Bringing all of this into balance is the key to living healthy.

The Ayurvedic philosophy says that an individual is bundle of ‘spirit’, desirous of expressing itself, uses subjective consciousness or Satva to manifest sense organs and a mind. Spirit and mind then project themselves into a physical body, created from the five (Panca) great (maha) eternal elements (bhutas) together called the Pancamahabhutas –which arise from Tamas. Thus the entire science of Ayurveda is based on the “five great elements” (Pancamahabhuta) theory. The Bhutas combine into ‘tridosas’ or bioenergetic forces that govern and determine our health. While the three gunas (Rajas; or activity, Tamas or inertia and Satva , which balances the first two) or psychic forces determine our mental and spiritual health. Ayurveda is thus a holistic system of health care that teaches us to balance these energies in order to achieve optimum health and well being.

In short, the concepts of universal interconnectedness, the body’s constitution (prakriti), and life forces (doshas) are the primary basis of ayurvedic medicine.  Goals of treatment aid the person by eliminating impurities, reducing symptoms, increasing resistance to disease, reducing worry, and increasing harmony. In Ayurveda, perfect health is defined as “a balance between body, mind, spirit, and social wellbeing.” In fact, the twin concepts of balance and connectedness echo throughout Ayurvedic texts, thought, and practice. Apart from providing various therapeutic measures for diseases, emphasizes on maintenance, promotion of health and prevention of diseases through diet and lifestyle regimens.

Dhanwantari {The physician to God) is considered a mythical deity born with ambrosia in one hand and Ayurveda on the other at the end of the churning of milk ocean. He reincarnated himself in the Chandra dynasty. He was born to King Dhanwa, learnt Ayurveda from Bharadwaja.  Dhanvantari teachings are recorded in Agnipurana through the teachings of his famous disciple Sushruta. The glossary of materia medica in nine sections is known as Dhanvantari Nighantu,


The five main types of diagnostic methods in Ayurveda as mentioned by Madhava involve an examination of Purvarupa (prodromal symptoms), Rupa (manifested symptoms) and Samprapti (pathogenesis), and the conduct of Upasaya (therapeutic tests), and Ashtavidha Pareeksha (physical examination).

The Ayurvedic system of medicine is very safe that can help in reducing the enormous burden of mortality and morbidity caused by the various side effects of conventional prescribed drugs. Ayurveda is recognized in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, UAE, Colombia, Malaysia, Switzerland, South Africa, Cuba and  Tanzania. Romania, Hungary, Latvia, Serbia and Slovenia are five  countries of European Union (EU), where Ayurvedic treatment is regulated.


Ayurveda has following Eight divisions and also  known as Astang Ayurveda

1. Kayacikitsa (Medicine)  Curative or treatment

2. Salakya (ENT.
& Optha.)  Curative or treatment

3. Salya (Surgery)
Curative or treatment

4. Visa Vigyan (Toxicology)
Curative or treatment

5. Bhuta Vidya (Psychiatry)
Curative or treatment

6. Kaumarabhrtya (Pediatrics)
Curative or treatment

7. Rasayana (Rejuvenates)
Promoting health

8. Vajikarana (Aphrodisiac)
Promoting health


Basic Principles of Ayurveda

1.        The TriGunas Three Fundamental universal
energies : viz – Satva, Rajas and Tamas

2.       The PancaMahabhutas – Five basic elements viz.-Akasha (Space),Vayu (Air),Teja or Agni(Fire),
Jala (Water) and Prithvi (Earth)

3.       The TriDosas – Three Body Humours viz.-Vata,Pitta and Kapha

4.       The SaptaDhatus – Seven types of body tissues
:viz.- Rasa (fluid) DhatuRakta(blood)DhatuMamsa
(fat)Dhatu,Asthi Dhatu,Majja Dhatu and Sukra

5.       The TrayodosaAgni – Thirteen types of digestive fires
: viz.-Jatharagni (gastric fire), SaptaDhatvagni and PancaBhutagni

6.       The TriMalas – Three types of Body Wastes :viz.-Purisa (faeces),Mutra (urine)
and Sveda (sweat) 

The relation between Tri-Dosas and Panca-Mahabhutas with respect to their Guna (Properties) and Karma (Functions)



Vata (Vayu and Akash)


Pitta (Agni and Jal)


Kapha (Jal and Prithvi)


Light, Cold, Dry, Rough.

Subtle Mobile. Clear

Dispersing, Erratic, Astringent


Light, Hot, Oily, Sharp

Liquid, Sour, Pungent


Heavy, Cold, Oily, Slow, Slimy

Dense, Soft