Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical sciences. Its thoughts and methods have a deep impact on Indian’s lifestyle. Its principle of healthy living merged with day to day practices and was reflected in traditional cuisine by the usage of spices and other medical ingredients. The fundamental basis of Ayurveda is found in Darshana. There is a similarity between the words Theory and Dharshana. Both mean the same, “to Observe”. The basics of any theory are observation, and the same resides in Ayurveda.
Quantum theory says that, atom is the smallest particle which is composed of electrons, protons and neutrons. Further these fundamental particles are composed of quarks. All the functionality of these fundamental particles are interrelated and thus, together come to form an atom. From the atom it forms an entire element.
● So can we see the same in our body?
● Can we relate the same theory as the theory of our existence?
● What is within us?
● What are we made of?
● How does the system work?
● What’s behind all our subconscious minds?
Let’s dive deep into how Ayurveda answers these questions.
According to Ayurveda, the entire organism is constituted of a functional entity. This entity is Tridosha (Vata, Pitha & Kapha) which is inclusive of all the considerations of factors including structures and biochemistry. The Tridosha are collectively known as the concepts derived from nature to explain living organisms. This Tridosha can be interconnected with the universe as the moon, sun and wind which are important for a universe to sustain.
Vata brings about movement, Pitha brings about transformation and Kapha brings about support and growth. The psycho-physiological functions of each can be given as follows:
1.Vata: Movements of all the systems in the body like skeletal, respiratory, reproductive, excretory, circulation and digesting. It sustains all organs of the body and coordinates all sense functionality.
2.Pitha: Metabolic processes in the body like digestion and transformation at the physical and mental level. It sustains heat, desire, hunger, complexion and memory.
3.Kapha: Responsible for stability of the body, compactness of joints, lubrication, intelligence. It provides the structural basis of body, cohesion, nourishment, strength and forbearance.
These functions cannot be further reduced to fundamental entities like an atom or molecules. The Doshas are constituted of Panchamahabhuta which refers to five basic elements in the world. These are: Earth, air, water, space and heat. The earth, air and water refer to three states of matter that are solid, gas and liquid respectively; the other two space and heat refer to important elements of the universe, without which existence of life is not possible. Thus, life can be viewed as a complex network in which everything and every function are interconnected. Thus in Ayurveda, the functioning of Tridosha are interdependent and their harmony refers to the wellbeing of the body and a human, indeed.
The above context was relative to functional aspects of the body. Ayurveda has also given a brief about structural aspects. According to Ayurveda, all the physical entities are made of Panchamahabhuta (matter in five forms). Caraka says in no uncertain terms, “Detailed knowledge of the human body is useful to the well-being of the individual. Understanding the components of the body provides knowledge regarding the factors responsible for its well being. It is because of this that experts extol the knowledge of the details of the body”.
When the tissues within the body are damaged, there is a disease.
Further, these Panchamahabhuta are divided into minute units called “Paramanu”. There are in numerous amounts and cell-like particles. All these structural components are connected by Srotas (a channeled system). These channels are important for the transportation of essential nutrients in the body to get energy. These channels precisely connect subtle to the gross structure of the body.
Ayurveda considers a human being as a combo of two elements which are inert matter (Jada) and consciousness (chetana), which together make a human being. Thus, humans are not only a physical entity but also psychological at a subtle level of consciousness. Thus a healthy person is the one whose dosha, dhatu (structural entity) and metabolic end products are in harmony, or we can say, in equilibrium.
As discussed earlier, the atom can now be considered as a cell in which Doshas are electron, proton and neutron. Proceeding further, these Doshas are composed of Panchamahabhuta.
Thus, it becomes important to mark that basic knowledge in Ayurveda is derived by observing the universe as a whole. Ayurveda considers not only physical aspects of a body but also its subtle conscious mind and forces that act on it. Ayurveda understands humans as a network of relationships that includes consciousness fundamentally. Further, Ayurveda finds multiple parameters for a single disease and cures it at a subtle level and achieves a holistic perspective of an individual. Thus, it won’t be false to say that Ayurveda is somehow interconnected to the universe within and outside and thus, cosmos, indeed!