Healthy Living Through Vedic Sciences  

 Definition of Health in Vedas

Aims of Ᾱyurveda, the Indian system of Health care and cure, as quoted in Su„ruta Sa×hitÈ.

1.      svÈsthasya svÈsthya rak–a‡am

To protect the health of the healthy individual and

      2.   Èturasya roganidÈnam.

      To treat the disease of the diseased.

According to Caraka Sa×hitÈ (SÊtrasthÈna, 41) Ᾱyurveda is aimed at prescribing life style and food that is advantageous and disadvantageous to the health of one’s body, mind and soul. It also prescribes standards for happy and unhappy states of body, mind and soul. The verse goes like this:

hitÈhitaŠ sukhaŠ duÌkham Èyustasya hitÈhitam

mÈnaŠ ca tacca yatroktam ÈyurvedaÌ sa ucyate.

 In view of above aims a complete and comprehensive definition of health was devised to know whether an individual is completely healthy or not.

Su„ruta Sa×hitÈ sheds ample good light on the concept of health as under:

samado–aÌ samÈgni„ ca samadhÈtu malakriyÈÌ

prasanna Ètmendriya-manaÌ svastham ity abhidhiyate.

‘Health is a condition or functional equipoise of Trido–a (three pathogenic factors named vÈta, pitta and kapha), Agni (bio-energy or Aura), seven dhatus (physiological evolutes like rakta, mÈnsa, majjÈ, asthi, etc.), and detoxification leading to the state of happiness of body, senses, mind and soul.

Above concept of health care and cure, evolved during Vedic period, was based upon such pious intention as:

sarve sukhinaÌ santu  sarve santu nirÈmayÈ

sarve bhadrȇI pa„yantu mÈ ka„cid duÌkha bhÈga bhavet.

Let all be happy, let all be healthy- immune of diseases, let all see good all around, let there be suffering to none.

Ᾱyurveda was born and it came to rest on the sound philosophical bedrock of astrology, SÈ×khya philosophy, Yoga philosophy, Vai„e–ika philosophy and Tantras to name a few.  

There is one definition of health given by World Health Organization. WHO  has defined health as follows:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.

We may analyse both of these two definitions of health:

WHO’s definition of health covers three major aspects - physical, mental and social well-being. Physical and mental well-being is quite easy to understand. The social well-being refers to how a person interacts positively with the people around him etc.

Ayurvedic definition of health is elaborate.

samado–aÌ samÈgni„ ca samadhÈtu malakriyÈÌ

prasanna Ètmendriya-manaÌ svastham ity abhidhiyate.

‘Health is a condition or functional equipoise of Trido–a (three pathogenic factors named vÈta, pitta and kapha), Agni (bio-energy or Aura), seven dhatus (physiological evolutes like rakta, mÈnsa, majjÈ, asthi, etc.), and detoxification leading to the state of happiness of body, senses, mind and soul.

Accordingly it addresses:

Trido –a: Do–a in Ᾱyurveda means a pathogenic factor. Body has three do–as in its constitution viz. vÈta, pitta and kapha. These are together known as Trido–a. Soothing or reconciled state of Trido–a (Pathogenic factors) is essentail for sound health, but their aggravation leads to health hazard. Thus the central concept of Ᾱyurveda is that health exists when all the three pathogenic factors are in soothing state.

Agni (Bio-energy or Aura Energy): Ᾱyurveda believes that disharmony in the energy of an individual and objects coming into his contact are the real cause of his unhealthy state. This refers to physical and mental well-being.

Dhatus (Physiological evolutes): According to Ayurveda, there are seven dhatus in the body. They are rasa (a thick liquid produced in stomach as a result of disgestion), rakta (blood), mÈnsa (muscles), meda (fat), asthi (bone), majja (marrow), „ukra (reproductive fluid or Semen)

Toxic substances: In course of time, due to metabolic activites, body accumulates several toxic substances. So detoxification of body is must for good health. This also refers to physical well being.

Happiness of Soul, senses and mind: This refers to mental, social and spiritual well-being.


 

 

 

 Vedic Approach to Health

 Definition of Health in Vedas

 Definition of Life span (Ᾱyu) in Ᾱyurveda

 Types of Health

 Mental and Spiritual Health

 Karmas as determinant of Health

 Child health care in Vedas

 Prominent Health Care Therapies

 Regimen for maintaining good health

 Regimen for management of Tridoa

 Dietary regimen for individuals of different constitution types