Let’s look at health through an Ayuvedic lens!
We all have times when we don’t feel well in general. We feel that we don’t have the same amount of energy as we used to! Sometimes we go to the doctor only to be told there is nothing wrong. This is kind of a wake-up call for all of us!
What is actually occurring is that our doshic imbalances have not yet become “Obvious” to be labeled as a disease. Yet it is serious enough to make us feel the discomfort. We may start to wonder whether it is just our imagination. This is when we must get some insights from our ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. It is time to understand our unique self and start becoming in sync with our body as well as the universe around us!
In this blog, I am going to share with you the definition of health as per Ayurveda and would leave you with some questions that you may ask yourself to find out if you are really healthy in the true sense!
Definition of health as per Ayurveda:
“Samadosha samagnischa samadhatu mala kriyaha prasanna atmenindriya manaha swasthya ityabhidheeyate” ~ Sushruta Samhita
The above definition of health is in Sanskrit and is written in 5000-year-old ancient Ayurveda texts. As per Ayurveda a healthy person is the one who has all three doshas (Vata, Pitta & Kapha) in equilibrium, the digestive fire in a balanced state and the cells, tissues & systems of the body working in an optimal state. The mind, body & soul are all in a pleasant state. Such a person is called “Swastha”- a healthy person in true sense!
Let’s understand each word of this definition of Health as per Ayurveda….
Samadosha: The doshas (The three dynamic forces of interactions namely vata, pitta and kapha) present in the body and mind, must be in a balanced state in order to keep a person healthy. When the balance of the doshas are disturbed, that’s the beginning of disease.
Samagnischa: As per Ayurveda a healthy person is the one whose digestive fire i.e. the state of digestion as well as the dhatuagni (i.e. enzymes at the cellular level) must be functioning optimally. When agni is low (Manda-agni), high (tikshna-agni) or Variable/erratic (Vishama-agni) this is actually the root cause of disease anywhere in the body. As per ayurveda a person is alive as long as his agni is alive and healthy. It is well-known that the health of an individual depends on the proper strength of his digestive power. Even Hippocrates said 2500 years ago that “All Disease begins in the gut!”
Samadhatu (Balanced state of dhatus- i.e. tissues of the body): According to Ayurveda there are seven Dhatus namely Rasa (Plasma), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (muscles), Meda (Fat), Asthi (bone), Majja (Bone marrow) and Shukra (reproductive tissue, sperm & egg). In a healthy person, all the seven tissues of the body must function appropriately in order to experience health to the fullest!
Mala kriyaha: is the Sanskrit word for elimination. In a healthy person, the elimination must be regular and well balance. i.e. the person must have a regular bowel movement every morning and must neither be constipated nor have loose stools. He must have regular urination. The color of the urine tells a lot about the health of the urinary system. Even Sweda (sweat) is one of the malas of the body. One must have regular sweating to get rid of toxins via that route.
Prasanna atmenindriya Manaha: In Ayurveda, the state of mental health is more important than that of the physical health of a person. A person who is happy and joyous most of the time is a healthy person in true sense. One must wake up in a pleasant state of mind each morning and not feeling angry, frustrated, depressed, anxious or worried about the day! If this is the case, then you may conclude that one or the other dosha is out of balance and is giving you such emotions. One must feel joyous & happy at the deepest level of the soul (atma), senses (indriya) and mind (manaha)!
Swasthya ityabhidheeyate or the healthy state of mind, body and soul can be maintained from birth until death if your doshas remain in a balanced state! You can easily achieve a well-balanced constitution, attractive appearance, good muscle strength and complete peace of mind and have all the energy and ability to achieve all the goals in your life, if you follow the rules laid down according to this ancient ayurvedic wisdom.
If you really want to know whether you are a healthy person in true sense…… ask yourself the following questions…
- Do I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full or am I an emotional eater or binge eater?
- Am I able to listen to my body signals and what my body is trying to tell me in order to keep me in balance or do I ignore those signs and signals and get carried away in the pleasures of the senses?
- Is my Digestion good or do I have gas/bloating/ heartburn/acid reflux/abdominal pain?
- Is my elimination good or do I have constipation/diarrhea?
- Do I sleep well at night?
- Do I have plenty of energy for the day?
- Are my relationships good?
- Am I generally peaceful and joyous or do I feel frustrated/anxious/depressed at times?
After all, we all are born on this planet to experience happiness in the true sense. And we can achieve this goal only and only if we are healthy in the true sense! Isn’t it?
It is my humble wish to make Basics of Ayurveda available to each one of us in an easy to understand format. ‘coz if all of us are healthy at the deepest level of the soul, only then this planet will be a happier place to live!
If you are new to Ayurveda, do take our short introductory course on What’s your Dosha?
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M.Sc., R.H.N., Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant
The content provided in my blogs are for knowledge sharing purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.