Ayurveda in the Lower Himalayan Regions
Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine developed indigenously in the himalayan regions in India. Its roots are in the ‘Atharva Veda’ which is filled with natural recipes and chants for healing, optimal living, health, and happiness. The name comes from two conjoined Sanskrit words “Ayuh” (life) and “Veda” (science or knowledge).
The core principles of Ayurveda are based in an understanding of the universe as composed of energy and dynamic force called ‘Shakti’. This force is in perpetual change and exchange and manifests in cycles of life and death to ever-more complex and subtle levels. These cycles of life, death, and renewal, to richer and ever-more complex levels, can be consciously understood and utilized for optimal living.
Since the body, mind, and soul, is an integral part of universal energy – our cells are’light-ridden’ and vibratory resonances like ‘mantras’ – so, by consciously using the laws of energetic exchange, one could discover and maintain the delicate balancing point or pivot between the continual and ongoing processes of creation and dissolution of life. This delicate edge or focal point where emergence and vanishing of energies come together in a paradoxical conjunction offers a kind of stability or sustainability – life can remain pulsing at this ‘still point’ without the inexorable pull into decay and loss of energy.
The goal of ‘Ayurveda’ then, is to find this balancing-point in the body, mind, and soul complex when life wells up into being – fresh as a tender new leaf – and before it fades away as old and decayed. It seeks to discover this experientially, spiritually, and physically, and to retain or extend it for as long as possible. Through various herbal treatments, massages, meditations, yogic exercises, and ‘mantric’ chants, one could stay at the well-spring or fountainhead of life and keep renewing its vital forces.
Three vital forces of Ayurveda
One of the fundamental beliefs of Ayurveda is the doctrine of “Tri Dosha” or the Three Vital Forces – Vayu, Pita and Kapha.
Generally translated into Wind, Bile and Phlegm, a more accurate interpretation of Vayu is the transmission of energy within the body; in modern medical terms, nerve impulses, muscle contractions and hormonal activity.
Pita may not be confined to bile but signifies the whole scope of metabolism and internal heat production while Kapha means mucus, often described as “The Protective Fluid”.