The four most revered holy books from India written over 5000 years ago are known as the Vedas. One of the sacred texts, the Atharva Veda, gave many references to medical knowledge based on the principles of Ayurveda and the protection of health. The physicians or vaidyas at that time cognized the divine connection between health and spirituality during deep states of meditation. They initiated the development of gurukula, the oral transmission of knowledge that was passed down through the generations before Ayurveda was finally written into book form. Approximately 200-400 B.C., the first Sanskrit verses on the principles of Ayurveda were recorded by the Ayurvedic physician, Charak, becoming well known throughout history as the Charak Samhita.
The philosophy of Ayurveda states that everything that exists in the universe appears internally in human form. In other words, a human being is a living microcosm of the universe and the universe is a living macrocosm of a human being. Therefore, the significance of Ayurveda cannot be compromised over time because its principles are on based on the natural order of universal law. Everything in the universe is made up of a combination of the five elements called the pancha mahabhutas. These five elements are known as:
The main underlying principle of Ayurveda is called the tridosha theory. The five elements manifest in the body as three biological forces known as the doshas: vata (air), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth). The interactions of these three biological forces adjust the physiological and psychological functions in the body and determine the conditions of health
How vata, pitta and kapha manifest in each human being at the time of conception determines the psycho-physical constitution of an individual. Prakruti, our genetic constitution, is a unique combination of all three doshas in various degrees in every cell, tissue and organ so that no two people are alike. A harmonious state of the three doshas creates balance; vikruti or imbalance can result in excess, deficiency or disease. Knowledge of our essential prakruti is indispensable in maintaining good health.
According to Ayurveda, an ideal state of health exists for the individual, society, the environment and the vast reaches of space as well. We are merely a drop in the ocean of consciousness and Ayurveda offers us guidelines for synchronicity with nature’s intelligence in its entirety.