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Definition of Life span (Ᾱyu) in Ᾱyurveda
The Ᾱyurveda considers life span (age) as functional interplay of body, senses, mind and soul
kÈyendriyaman„ cÈtma-saŠyogÈvadhiÌ ityÈyuÌ.
Caraka Sa×hitÈ (SÊtrasthÈna, 1.42) also defines Ᾱyu (life span) as the functional interplay of body, sense, mind and soul. Caraka attributes life span with such epithets as dhÈri (non-decaying), jivita (ever-alive), nityaga (ever existing), anubandha (transmigrating from one body to another).
„arÏr-endriya-sattvÈtma-saŠyogo dhÈri jÏvitam
nityaga„ cÈnubandha„ ca paryÈyair Èyurucyate.
In fact, Ᾱyurveda believes that the constitution of living beings is the Tripod of mind, soul and body. This tripod is called as PumÈn. This is sentient and the same is the subject matter of Ᾱyurveda. Caraka (SÊtrasthÈna, 1. 46-47) maintain thus:
sattvam ÈtmÈ „arÏraŠ ca trayam etat trida‡Çvat
lokas ti–—hati saŠyogÈttatra sarvaŠ prati–—hitam
sa pumÈ¤„ cetanaŠ tacca taccÈdhikara‡aŠ sm‚tam
vedasya tadarthaŠ hi vedo’yaŠ saŠprakÈ„itaÌ.
Mind, soul and body - these three are like a tripod; the living beings are sustained by their interdependent. They constitute the substratum for everything.
This combination of above three is called pumÈn; this is sentient and subject matter of this Veda (Ᾱyurveda). It is for this reason that the Ᾱyurveda was published.
Out of this tripod, the body and mind are said to be vulnerable to pathogens and unhappiness (ill-health). The reconciliation of pathogenic factors in body (vÈta, pitta and kapha) and mind (rajas and tamas) is the cause of happiness and health. On the other hand, soul is essentially devoid of all pathogenecity. Soul is the cause of consciousness through senses and their stimulis like sound, vision, touch, taste and smell. He is eternal and mere witness to all activities and not the actor in real sense. The Caraka (SÊtrasthÈna, 1.55-57) upholds this view as under:
„arÏraŠ sattvasa¤jaŠ ca vyÈdhÏnÈm È„rayo mataÌ
tathÈ sukhÈnÈŠ yogastu sukhÈnÈŠ kÈra‡aŠ samaÌ.
vÈyuÌ pittaŠ kapha„ coktaÌ „ÈrÏro do–asa×grahaÌ
mÈnasaÌ punaruddi–—o raja„ ca tama eva ca.
nirvikÈraÌ parastvÈtmÈ sattvabhÊtagu‡endriyaiÌ
caitanye kÈra‡aŠ nityo dra–—È pa„yati hi kriyaÌ.
The body and mind is the abode of pathogenecity and happiness. The reconciliation of the pathogenic factors in body and mind is the cause of happiness or health.
The pathogenic factors in body are vÈta, pitta and kapha, while those in mind are rajas and tamas.
Soul is essentially devoid of all pathogenecity. Soul is the cause of consciousness through senses and their stimulis like sound, vision, touch, taste and smell. He is eternal and mere witness to all activities and not the actor in real sense.
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