What is Ayurveda to health is like what religion is
to God. Ayurveda is not only related to disease and its remedies but
emphasizes the right and healthy way of living. Since the origin of
Ayurveda is said to be from Atharva veda, the philosophy of this health
system is based on self discipline and balanced outlook. To understand
that Ayurveda is an integral part of India and its culture is to further
compare the ethos of Hinduism being –not a religion but a way of life and
that of Ayurveda being –not a remedial system but a way of healthy living.
The principles of Ayurveda can be understood by drawing a parallel to a
better understood system of present day...Allopathy. The definition of
health by WHO is ‘A state of not merely the absence of disease but a sense
of well being at a physical, mental, psychological and spiritual level’.
The definition of health in Ayurveda is a balance and harmony of all
forces acting on the body at the physical, mental, psychological and soul
level. While western medicine is of disease and treatment, Ayurveda also
includes rules of healthy living and ways of maintaining health. Thus the
scope of Ayurveda is wide and encompasses diet, behavior, principles of
right living and also of disease and treatment of disease.
The system of Ayurveda looks at a man as a part of nature and the entire
cosmos, in contrast to allopathy which looks at a man as an individual.
Prevention is preferred to cure in Ayurveda and like in allopathy,
prevention is not restricted to immunization to certain diseases but to an
entire methodology of right living. The system goes beyond objectivity and
merges objectivity with subjectivity. The role of allopathy is
indispensable today with superb technological advancement of the
understanding of disease and medicine but Ayurveda has an equally
indispensable role in maintaining that the roots of health are in the mind
and the soul.