What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine that originated thousands of years ago in India. The word Ayurveda is derived from ayu and veda. Ayu means life. Veda means science or knowledge. Ayurveda means the science of life.
Charaka defines “that the science designated as Ayurveda is that which deals with advantages and disadvantages as well as happy and unhappy states of life along with what is good and bad for life, its measure and life itself” (Charaka Sutra 1-4).
Ayurveda covers all living beings, human and non-human. It is divided into three main branches, namely Nara Ayurveda, which deals with human life; Satva Ayurveda, the science dealing with animal life and its diseases; Vriksha Ayurveda, the science dealing with plant life, its growth and diseases.
It is quite clear that Ayurveda is not only a system of medicine but also a way of life for complete health and spiritual attainment.
Ayurveda believes that positive health is the basis for achieving four cherished goals of life: chaturvidh purushartha, namely Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha. All these four goals cannot be achieved without good positive health.
Positive health is defined as:
a. Dhatu samya dosha (well balanced metabolism)
b. Prasanna Atma, Indriya, Manah (blissful state of soul, senses and mind). The senses here mean the five organs of perception Gyanendriya namely smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing, together with the organs of action: Karmendriya namely mouth, hands, feet and organs of excretion and reproduction.
Ayurveda Day is celebrated every year on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti (Dhanteras) since 2016. Lord Dhanvantari is regarded as the divine propagator of Ayurveda. He is conferred with the virtues of bestowing health and wealth.
Therefore, Dhanvantari Jayanti is celebrated every year as Ayurveda Day with the aim of creating awareness about Ayurveda and its principles. This year, Ayurveda Day will be celebrated on 2 November 2022.