The Tridosha Siddhanta The Tridosha theory is one of the most discussed yet very vaguely understood concepts in Ayurveda. It forms the basis of Ayurvedic physiology, pathology and pharmacology. But the lack of definite interpretations and fruitful discussions leave many questions unanswered, prompting the scientists to question even the credibility and scientific basis of Ayurveda. Ayurveda has undergone many changes over the years, not in its fundamental principles but the way it is interpreted and practiced. But there is one thing that remains the same even after generations - the insatiable human curiosity to question everything until the truth is transparent. Let’s try to unleash one of the most enigmatic theories of all times, the Tridosha Siddhanta. “If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough” -Albert Einstein. The origin and evolution of Tridosha Siddhanta The Tridoshas or Vata, Pitta and Kapha are mostly explained as bio-energies which cannot be seen with the naked eye, yet experienced at various levels. As per Ayurvedic principles, a perfect harmony between the Tridoshas in the body contributes to health and any imbalance causes disease. But these descriptions are so vague that it leaves many basic unexplained questions as to what it really is. To get into a deeper level of analysis, it is imperative that we start afresh beginning with the origin and evolution of the theory itself. Vedas are considered as the ultimate source of knowledge and the most ancient literature scripts available now. The earliest relatable reference of Tridoshas is available in Atharva veda where the derangement of three physiological factors are claimed to be responsible for the manifestation of diseases. Those factors are described as shushka, siktha and sanchari which are translated to dry, wet and permeating respectively. So, there is every reason to think that the ancient Ayurveda Acharyas took these three as the main properties of what is considered as the basis of life, which later termed as Vata, Pitta and Kapha respectively. The ancient sages were the spectators of every natural phenomenon and this observation led to the interpretation that the living beings need gaseous air, liquid water and solid food for sustenance. These are the three forms of matter without which life is non-existent. They are interdependent too as in, air is required for the formation of water and water is needed for the formation of food & digestion. So the ultimate basis of life should also be existing
History reveals the leaders of ancient times were keen on their oral health to an extent that the teeth of some famous leaders are still conserved. For example, the left canine of Gautama Buddha is still preserved at the “Temple of tooth” in Sri Lanka. But apart from brushing daily, people these days are concerned about oral health only when some dental problem pops up. We brush regularly, flash a smile as a mode of expressing several emotions, munch on several eatables a day. Yet, how many of us are really serious about oral hygiene? Compared to the present era, people of olden times were more conscious of oral health. Ayurveda as a mode of healthy lifestyle gives great importance to oral health and hygiene. This article throws light on the several Ayurveda procedures that can be practiced daily for maintaining oral hygiene. BRUSHING THE TEETH For some reason, there is always an apprehension for both adults and children alike when it comes to dental checkup. It could be the thought about extraction, the injections, the anesthesia that may be required during the process or even the fear for all those equipment and instruments. Whatever the reason be, the fear has forced us to search for healthy preventive options and many are turning the Ayurveda way. So, what Ayurveda says about dental care? Intrigued? Let us find out. शरीरचिन्तां निर्वर्त्य कृतशौचविधिस्ततः अर्कन्यग्रोधखदिरकरञ्जककुभादिजम् प्रातर्भुक्त्वा च मृद्वग्रं कषायकटुतिक्तकम् कनीन्यग्रसमस्थौल्यं प्रगुणं द्वादशाङ्गुलम् भक्षयेद्दन्तपवनं दन्तमांसान्यबाधयन् II (Ashtanga Hridayam Sutra sthanam 2/2-4) As you may be aware, people during ancient times used the twigs of trees for cleaning the teeth. Acharya Vaghbata is very specific about the herbs that should be used for this purpose. He recommends the use of drugs with Kashaya (astringent), Katu (pungent)and Tikta (bitter) predominant tastes such as Arka (Calotropis procera), Nyagroda (Ficus benghalensis), Khadira (Acacia catechu), Karanja (Pongamia pinnata), and Kakubha (Terminalia arjuna). Oral diseases are mainly Kapha dosha predominant and that is why he mentions those three tastes in particular, as they help pacify Kapha. He further mentions, the twig should be straight with a thickness equal to the tip of one’s little finger and length around 12 Angula (approx. 24cm). If you look at this description closely, this is nothing but an ancient model of a toothbrush. Acharya also advises to chew the tip of the twig and while cleaning, one should not hurt
Stress And Anxiety : How Ayurveda Can Help Stress and anxiety are two emotions that have the power to sabotage our confidence and make our simple day to day activities overwhelming. Learn how to cope with your fears and uncertainties to protect and reclaim your lost vitality and well being.We are leading a busy life. Technology, workplace pressure, and career goals have made us so immersed in our professional life, that we hardly find time to pause and think about ourselves. Unless the situation becomes out of control, we never pay attention to how much we are exhausting ourselves. Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at some point in life. Although used interchangeably, there is a strong connection and overlap between these two emotions. Broadly speaking, stress is a response to a difficult situation, and anxiety is a reaction to stress. They are a part of human life and are not always bad. Feeling worried about a job interview you are about to face or getting tensed to take an examination; these emotions are temporary, keeping us on our toes, helping us overcome a situation, and even motivate us to be more responsible. But when these emotions become persistent, uncontrollable or, begin to interfere with multiple aspects of our normal day to day activities, it is time to address the situation and seek help. The Science Of Stress Stress is a normal fight or flight response to a challenge, while anxiety is excessive fear which manifests behaviourally in anticipation of a physical, emotional, real, or perceived threat. It is completely normal to feel stressed and anxious in uneasy situations: it ensures that we are ready and alert to deal with any imminent danger. When we face any danger or challenge, the hypothalamus, a small region at the base of the brain sends signals to adrenal glands, which releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones cause an increase in the heart rate, boost energy supply, and elevate blood pressure at the same time sharpening our senses. It is a very primitive homeostatic mechanism; which helped our ancestors to protect themselves from potential danger or predators. However, in the modern era, our threats are less physical and more psychological like the pressure to perform or coping with a difficult situation.The stress response is self-limiting and once the danger has ended hormone levels return to normal. But if you are constantly dealing with a difficult situation, you
Brahma Muhurta : The Hour of Divinity & Our Health What is that one thing you hated the most as a kid? Undoubtedly (or maybe), it was your mother waking you up early in the morning to study. Little did you know that she was doing right by bringing out the best in you and carving a wonderful future ahead. Our ancestors were keen on waking up in the morning and knew the benefits of being active early. Ayurveda has always given importance to a healthy lifestyle and mentions ‘Brahma muhurta’ as the best time to wake up. If you still hate your Mondays or like to snooze the alarm, read on to know what miraculous effect early mornings can bring into your life and what Ayurveda says about Brahma muhurta. What Is Brahma Muhurta? The word ‘Brahma’ literally means knowledge and ‘Muhurta’ stands for time. Thus, Brahma muhurta is a specific time that is considered best for gaining knowledge. It is the last phase of night, before the dawn when one should give up his/her sleep and gear up for a new day. As a mode of healthy lifestyle, Ashtanga Hridayam describes the importance of Brahma muhurta, the first thing in the chapter Dinacharya: ब्राह्मे मुहूर्त उत्तिष्ठेत्स्वस्थो रक्षार्थमायुषः II (Ashtanga Hridayam Sutrasthana 2/1) Acharya Vaghbata in the above verse says, a person should wake up at Brahma muhurta in the best interest to protect his life and for longevity. Now the question comes as to which time is considered as Brahma muhurta. There is a difference of opinion regarding the time of Brahma muhurta, but the most accepted time period is roughly one and a half hours before sunrise or more precisely 1 hour 36 minutes before sunrise. A quick look at this calculation is going to be interesting: According to commentators like Arunadatta, Indu and Hemadri, one Ahorathram (one day and one night) consists of 30 muhurtas in total, which means a day and night consists of 15 muhurtas each. Brahma muhurta is the 14th Muhurtakala of night. 1 muhurta = 48minutes Therefore, 1 night = 15 muhurta = 15*48 = 720 minutes. Since Brahma muhurta is the 14th muhurtakala of night, it comes after the completion of 13 muhurtas. Also, 13*48 = 624 minutes. Thus, Brahma muhurta is 720-624 = 96 minutes or 1 hour 36 minutes before sunrise. As the sunrise varies according to seasons and weather changes in different parts of the world, Brahma muhurta also varies
Ayurveda proposes that Purusha (individual) and Prakriti (nature) are interlinked and so, the chemicals used in prakriti will lead to serious after effects in purusha. It is mentioned in Ayurveda that food grown in polluted environment loses its rasa (taste) and gandha (smell), thus reducing its pharmaceutical properties. The cultivation of plants whether for consumption or medicinal use should be done in a sustainable manner, with minimum interaction from chemicals to ensure good health and longevity along with a more positive impact on your mental and emotional health.Ayurveda being a holistic system of medicine places immense importance on proper diet. The quality of food is an important aspect which influences our health. The foundation of a healthy body and good immune system lies in a proper, wholesome diet. With our busy schedules, the concept of eating healthy and staying healthy was being neglected, but the scenario is changing and the current generation is extremely careful about what they eat. Counting each calories and researching the labels of ingredients for any harmful additives, we are on a close vigil for everything we consume. But one fact which we often fail to realise is the long list of unwanted chemicals that intrude into our everyday food, and we are on a false conception that we are eating healthy. We are eating healthy, but are we eating right As a part of the war against hunger and food scarcity, about four decades ago, India also launched the widely celebrated Green revolution in a bid to achieve food safety for its vast population. But the truth is that the green revolution was never very green. What started with the modern technique of using high yielding seeds, monoculture cropping, petroleum based fertilisers and pesticides in place of the traditional methods of farming, definitely improved the situation of world, but it is leading to a more serious predicament: decline in environmental quality and pernicious health issues which are threatening global security.The reckless use of chemical pesticides reduces the general biodiversity of the soil and accumulation of these chemicals into living organism, the concentration of which increases as we proceed up in the food chain, leads to a phenomenon called bio magnification. Considering that humans are at the top of the food chain, we have a high risk of accumulating substantial concentrations of these chemicals through bio magnification. The health implications of these chemicals range from short time impacts
Viruses have a fascinating evolution: they are inanimate complex organic matter that have perfected the art of surviving without actually living, hijacking a living organism to create millions of copies of itself. Today the world seems to have come to a screeching halt i covid19 n front of one such virus: a small packet of genetic material, one-tenth the width of our eyelash, COVID-19, which has been declared a global pandemic by WHO. The Spread of COVID-19 In the current era of globalisation, humans, animals, and food are moving around frequently and more easily than ever before. This intercontinental flow of goods, information, and people pose a great threat of spreading infections across the globe within a few days and it becomes difficult to contain it within specific geographical areas. One example is malaria: twenty years ago, only 20% of the world population was living in areas where malaria was endemic, and now the numbers have risen to 40%. While in the past, it took months or years for a pandemic to spread, it is now only a matter of a few days because of more interaction among people of different races and cultures. Just look at the present scenario: what started as few unusual cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, has now spread to 213 countries, killing more than 652,600 people. The COVID-19 probably originated in bats, then jumping onto an intermediate host which then ultimately infected humans. This is not the first time that a virus has jumped from animals to humans. SARS, MERS are other examples of infections previously unknown to humans which are speculated to have a zoonotic origin. The solution? As medical science is constantly progressing, we have developed vaccines for a variety of deadly illnesses like smallpox, but because disease-causing organisms are evolving at a fast rate, it becomes difficult to provide immunity against many diseases. There is a huge surge in new diseases along with the re-emergence of old infectious diseases. According to the 2007 report of WHO, infectious diseases are emerging at an alarming rate. Cross-species transmission of unknown strains of viruses has led to a host of new infections unknown to us, like the first major epidemic of the 21st century: SARS. Coronaviruses were previously mostly known for causing the common cold, but SARS became the game-changer: and a deadly coronavirus with pandemic potential was discovered. This also opened gates to a variety of studies in
As a science with around 5000-year-old tradition, it is certainly evident that Ayurveda must have undergone developmental changes and status-based impact over the years. It is worth giving a look on how it evolved as one of the mainstream medical systems, overcoming the challenges and continues to enjoy its superficial status with all its glory. The influence of civilizations, religious beliefs and different schools of thoughts in various eras are certainly evident in the literature of ancient times. All such cultural and spiritual influences from various fields rightly contributed to the upliftment of Ayurveda during each period. The period from 5th millennium BC to 3rd century AD witnessed several changes and development in Ayurveda while undergoing tremendous influence from different communities and civilizations.