Sunday, March 29, 2020

Origin of Ayurveda

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Indian medicine is described as having a divine origin in the different ancient medical texts. Different authors has given different versions of the story. These stories may have been circulated to make the system more acceptable to the people in ancient times. In all these Samhitas or medical texts, 'Brahma' the omniscient Hindu god is said to have originated Ayurveda before the creation of man, for their protection.

Brahma first taught Ayurveda to the twin physicians of the gods; the Aswins, and they passed it on to Indra (lord of the sky) and from Indra it was passed on to the different sages who in turn passed it on to their sons and disciples. Thus Ayurveda - the science of longevity spread.

Historically, the origin of Indian medicine can be traced to the Vedic periods or Vedas - especially to 'Atharva Veda' which mentions 2 systems of medicine; first, the system predominantly of charms and magico-religious medicine; second, the system of drugs used on an empirical basis. The change in the outlook of medicine from the magico-religious to the physical causation and theories could be the result of the philosophical concepts of the 'Nyaya Vaisesika' and the 'Samkhya' on which the theoretical structure of the Ayurdeva came to be based.

The 'Atharva Veda' consists pre-dominantly of Bhutavidya (Psychiatry) and Sarpavidya (agada or toxicology). Besides the above two, Rasayana (geriatrics or the science of rejuvenation) and Vajikarana (virilisation therapy) are also traceable in the 'Brahmanas' and the 'Upanishads'. The Ayurveda contains besides the above four divisions, another four namely 'Salya' (surgery), 'Salyaka' (ENT and ophthalmology), 'Kaya-Chikitsa' (internal medicine) and 'Kaumara- Bhrtya' (paediatrics). The knowledge about these latter four divisions did exist before, but it became systemic with the origin of Astanga Ayurveda (Eight-divisional Ayurveda) roughly between 800-600BC. 

Another school of thought expressed lately is that, Ayurveda, in its eight Specialities, the 'Ashtangas' was not a direct outcome of the earlier Vedic medicine but must have existed even before the Vedas. The medical knowledge and experience of the Vedic times must have served as a background on which the new knowledge exotic in origin was planted, leading to the synthesis of the two. 

Influence of the Indian schools of philosophy

The theory of  'Pramanus' which came to be known as the 'Vaisesika' ('Vaisesa' means peculiarity) theory was propounded by Kanada in the sixth century BC. According to Kanada, everything in the Universe is made up of 'Pramanus'; the real entities which are obtained when a thing is divided and sub-divided until further division is not possible. 'Pramanus' combine together in various fashions and it is by their combination that they give rise to the Universe and all its contents.

According to 'Vaisesika theory', whatever is in the Universe can be broadly placed under six categories (Padarthas), one of these categories is substance (dravya), which can be sub divided into nine entities, five of which are earth (Kshiti), water (apa), fire (teja), air (vayu) and ether (akasa). It is these five types of substance which supplied the 'Panchabhuta' or the five concepts of matter and this forms the basis of the Indian medical system of Ayurveda.

Vaisesika philosophy describes the manner in which combinations of different types of 'Pramanus' occur, producing the various substances that we see around us. This combinations can cause even chemical reactions under the influence of 'Teja' (fire). This chemical reaction, provided the basis for the concept of digestion and metabolism of food and its conversion into 'dhatus' and 'doshas' of the body, upon which was built the theory of 'Tridosha'. Thus the contribution of Vaisesika to the systematization and development of Ayurveda is fundamental.

Another sage, Gotama Aksapada composed 'Nyaya Sutra' which explains all the knowledge needed to establish the identity of  a fact or substance. According to 'Nyaya', there are four methods of establishing the true identity of a fact, a phenomenon or an object. They are perception (pratyaksa), inference (anumana), comparison (uhamana) and testimony (aptavakya). These four methods of  Nyaya based on the physical experience of things, have been made use of extensively in the study of action of various drugs included in Indian medicine. Thus the contribution of the Nyaya system of philosophy to Ayurvedic medicine in establishing scientific methodology is as great as the contribution of the Vaisesika to Ayurveda.

The contribution of the 'Samkhya' philosophy to the fundamental basis of Ayurvedic medicine is not as much as that of the Nyaya and the Vaisesika, but its basic tenets are woven in different forms around Ayurvedic medicine. According to the Samkhya theory expounded by Kapila around the 6th century BC, the universe evolved out of an un-manifested, undifferentiated, infinite and eternal primordial ground termed 'Prakriti'. This is made up of three basic entities called 'gunas'. There are three gunas. The first guna 'Tamas' or matter, has the property of inertia. The second, 'rajas' or energy, has the property of overcoming resistance. The third, 'Sattva' oressence, has the property to manifest itself to the senses. According to Samkhya, gunas are always uniting, separating and uniting again so that cosmic evolution is a two fold process, creative as well as destructive.

Some of the terms used in these systems of philosophy have been modified in Ayurvedic treatises. It is to the influence of these schools of philosophy that Indian medicine is indebted, which led medical men to gradually substitute causation of disease from spiritual agencies of animism to physical attributes.

Questions of
 Questions & Answers
 1.  Posted on : 29.5.2015  By  :  rutuja thorat , loni View Answer (1) Post Answer

how much marks should get in CET for bams to get admission in government college?


above to 50%

  Posted By :vishal , vpo jant sairwas | On 11.1.2018
 2.  Posted on : 4.2.2011  By  :  priyanka , bangalore View Answer (1) Post Answer

what are the scope after completing (ayurveda) bams only as i want to join research so is it necessary to do PG in ayurveda


yes it will provide u more scope if u will do pg ,but if u want to join only for job purpuse then no use.

  Posted By :dr. sandeep khrangr , haryana | On 28.8.2011
 3.  Posted on : 30.11.2009  By  :  paramjit , delhi View Answer (1) Post Answer

is it mandatory to go for enterance test for BAMS studies and whent it will be conducted?


yes ,it is as mendatory as like m.b.b.s.not any seperate test is conducted,it is most likely on the basis of common medical enterance test

  Posted By :dr.tanvi gupta , j n k | On 18.9.2012
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