History of Ayurveda
Ayurveda , the science of life, prevention and longevity is the oldest scientifical medical system. The first ayurvedic books were written 5,000 years ago dealing with both body and spirit. Veda Vyasa, the famous sage, shaktavesha avatar of Vishnu, wrote the complete knowledge of Ayurveda, along with more direct spiritual insights of self realization into a body of scriptural
literature called the Vedas and the Vedic literatures.
There were four main books of, which included also other topics, such health, astrology, spiritual business, government, army, poetry and spiritual living and behavior. These books are known as the four Vedas: Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. The Rig Veda, a compilation of verse on the nature of existence, is the eldest surviving book of any Indo-European language (3000 B.C.). The Rig Veda (also known
as Rik Veda) refers to the cosmology known as Sankhya which lies at the base of both Ayurveda and Yoga, contains verses on the nature of health and disease, pathogenesis and principles of treatment.
In the Rik Veda there are discussions of the three dosas, Vayu. Pitta and Kapha, and the use of herbs to heal diseases of both mind and body and how to foster longevity. The Atharva Veda lists eight divisions of Ayurveda: Internal Medicine, Surgery of Head and Neck, Opthamology and Otorinolaryngology, Surgery, Toxicology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Gerontology or Science of Rejuvenation,
and the Science of Fertility.
The Vedic Sages took passages from the Vedic Scriptures relating to Ayurveda and compiled separate books dealing only with Ayurveda. One of these books, named the Atreya Samhita is the eldest medical book in the world ! The Vedic Brahmanas were not only priests performing religious rites and ceremonies, they also became Vaidyas (physicians of Ayurveda). The sage-physician-surgeons were the same
sages or seers, deeply devoted holy people, who saw health as an integral part of spiritual life. It is said that they received their training of Ayurveda through direct cognition during meditation. In other words, the knowledge of the use of various methods of healing, prevention, longevity and surgery came through Divine revelation; there was no guessing or testing or harming animals. These revelations were transcribed from oral tradition into book form, interspersed with other aspects of life
and spirituality. Fascinating is Ayurveda's use of herbs, foods, aromas, gems, colors, yoga, mantras, lifestyle and surgery.
Consequently Ayurveda grew into a respected and widely used system of healing in India. Around 1500 B.C., Ayurveda was delineated into eight specific branches of medicine. There were two main schools of Ayurveda at that time. Atreya- the school of physicians, and Dhanvantari - the school of surgeons. These two schools made Ayurveda a more scientifically verifiable and classifiable medical system
People from numerous countries came to Indian Ayurvedic schools to learn about this world medicine and the religious scriptures it sprang from. Learned men from China, Tibet, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Afghanistanis, Persians, traveled to learn the vedic wisdom and bring this supreme knowledge back to their own countries. Ayurvedic texts were translated in Arabic, physicians Avicenna
and Razi Sempion, both of whom quoted Indian Ayurvedic texts, established Islamic medicine. This style became popular in Europe, and helped to form the foundation of the European tradition of medicine.
In 16th Century Europe, Paracelsus, who is known as the father of modem Western medicine, practiced and propagated a system of medicine which borrowed heavily from Ayurveda.
There are two main writers of Ayurveda whose works are still existing in tact today - Charak and Sushrut. The third major treatise is called the Ashtanga Hridaya, which is a concise version of the works of Charak and Sushrut. Thus the three main Ayurvedic texts that are still used today are the Charak Samhita (compilation of the oldest book Atreya Samhita), Sushrut Samhita and the Ashtangha Hridaya
Samhita. These books are believed to be over 1,200 years old. It is because these texts still contain the original and complete knowledge of this Ayurvedic world medicine, that Ayurveda is known today as the only complete medical system still in existence. Other forms of medicine from various cultures, although parallel are missing parts of the original information.
Five thousand years ago in the magnificent Himalayas, one of the greatest sages of India, Srila Vyasadeva wrote the Vedas for the first time, this included a branch which is called Ayurveda: "The science of Life" (Ayur means life and Veda means science).
The Vedas came from oral tradition that reached back into antiquity. Srila Vyasadev entrusted the original copies of the texts with his most erudite and enlightened disciples, who, along with other great sages, inaugurated a very long sacrificial ceremony for hundreds of years for the purification and blessings of the entire world. During that time, they studied and discussed these ancient texts
with their own disciples, writing commentaries, and expanded and developed these original and eternal truths without ever altering them.
During the years after the conclusion of this sacrifice, copies of this perfect Vedic texts were placed in various temples and libraries throughout India. They were written down in the original Sanskrit language for the benefit of the general population. (Sanskrit is the father of Latin and most of the world languages).
As far as the science of life was concerned - Ayurveda - volumes of wisdom poured forth like the rains during the monsoon season. Beside Vyasadeva's information about hundreds of herbal drugs in the Vedas, there were descriptions later on, by other sages like Sushruta, Charaka, etc. on how to perform prosthetic surgery to replace limbs, cosmetic surgery on the nose and elsewhere, caesarean section, and
even brain surgery !
Everything was described in great detail and archaeological research has uncovered evidence that proves that some of these operations were performed successfully between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago. The great sage Charaka has given information in Ayurveda about the development of the child within the womb week by week, month by month, limb by limb, from conception to birth, that equals our modern medical
texts in accuracy.
There is information about atomic energy, gynecology, pediatrics, surgery, anatomy, herbal drugs, Ayurvedic dieting and nutrition. All are described in the most simple and profound manner so as to make it easy enough for any person to have a basic working knowledge of this great science of life - Ayurveda. I know this sounds incredible and you may be wondering, "How is it possible to have one system
embrace all systems" How would it be applied? The answer is simple. The first step is to ascertain the individual's "Biological Mode" , and than to treat the person accordingly.