The ayurvedic system can well claim to be the chief source from which the mighty river of the western medicine has had its beginnings. History reveals that Ayurveda influenced the Greek medicine, it in turn on Arabian medicine, and this on the medicine in the Europe. Ayurveda had a glorious past, but its present state is not satisfactory, yet its future is bright. After suffering from the decadence and stagnation by centuries, it is now being revived and revitalized to suit to the present medical needs of the society without loosing its fundamental principles..
The definition of Ayurveda is very interesting and depicting the exact contents of the ocean of knowledge it bears. It says: it is that medical science which is also called as science of life, wherein are laid down the good and bad of life, the happy and unhappy of life, and what is wholesome and what is unwholesome in relation to life, as also the measure of life.
This science has been evolved and propagated for that creation of nature which is called as a human. The man is nothing but the assemblage of the body, mind, senses and soul. Till they are set together they collectively are called as life or ayu. And Ayurveda is for ayu.
Ayu has been divided into 4 types. Hitayu, Ahitayu, Sukhayu,Dukhayu.
Nature of happy and unhappy life ( Sukhayu and Dukhayu)
The life of such a man is called happy as is not afflicted with physical or mental ailments as is , in particular, endowed with youth, strength, vigor, virility, reputation, endeavor and boldness applying his abilities; He is actuated in his deeds by the combined urge of knowledge, science, the senses and the sense objects. He is possessed of diverse and delightful amenities accruing from great wealth, all in which efforts are prosperous and who can plan as he likes.
A life contrary to above is called as unhappy.
Nature of good and bad life. ( hitayu and ahitayu )
A life of that man is said to be good who is a well wisher of all creatures. He does not long for other people’s goods, he is a teller of truth, he is peace loving, he acts with deliberation, he is not negligent. He is devoted to the three ends: viz. virtue, wealth and enjoyment. He does not let any one end come into conflict with the other two. He is reverential to those who are worthy of reverence, he is a scholarly, scientific and humble character. He is partial to the company of elders.
He is of well curbed passion, desire, anger, envy, pride and conceit. He is constantly given to the charitable acts. He is always devoted to austerity, knowledge and tranquility. He is endowed with spiritual insights. He is endowed with memory and understanding. He is one minded, contemplation of the good in this world and the next.
That is which is the opposite nature to this is called as not good.
Ayurveda believes in imparting Sukhayu i. e. the person is happy and healthy for himself and Hitayu i.e. productive and beneficial for the society, the nation and the world. To attain meaning to life Ayurveda advocates strong physique, quiet mind and kind heart.
The point of Ayurveda is such a broad perception encompassing not only physical or psychological health but also social and spiritual health. It is in a true sense a social medicine. The modern ways of life are more and more stressful, more and more of dukhayu or ahitayu type. Ayurveda advocates the opposite. Though It sounds philosophical, gives Ayurveda an edge over other medical sciences. Ayurveda not only deals with matters but also with mind and that it its strength.