Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word, derived from two roots - ayur (which means life) and veda (knowledge). Knowledge arranged systematically with logic becomes science. During the due course of time, Ayurveda became the science of life and now called so. It has its root in ancient vedic literature and encompasses our entire life, the body, mind and spirit.
Another longer definition of ayurveda goes: ayurhitahitamvyadhe nidaanamshamanam thathaa vidyate yatra vidhwadhihi tatra ayurveda uchyate. This verse takes us to a deeper level to understand what ayurveda is.
Manifestation of Creation:
From the essence of satva the five senses are created:- Ears to hear, skin to perceive touch, eyes to see, the tongue to taste, and the nose, to smell. The essence of rajas is manifested as the five motor organs: speech, hands, feet, genitals and the organs of excretion. The mind is derived from satva, while rajas is manifested as prana, the life force. The tamasic quality is also responsible for the creation of tan matra, the subtle elements, and from whom the five basic elements are manifested. They are space, air, fire, water and earth.
Expansion of consciousness is space and space is all enclosive. We need space to live, and our bodily cells contain spaces.
Its representative in the body is the biological air, responsible for movement of afferent and efferent, sensory and motor-neuron impulses.
Where there is movement, there is friction, which creates heat, so the third manifestation of consciousness is fire, the principal of heat.
Because of the heat of the fire, consciousness melts into water.
The next manifestation of consciousness is the earth element. Because of the heat of the fire and water, there is crystallization. According to Ayurveda, earth molecules are nothing but crystallization of consciousness.
The Three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha
The structural aspect of the body is made up of five elements, but the functional aspect of the body is governed by three biological humors. Ether and air together constitute vata; fire and water, pitta; and water and earth, kapha. Vata, pitta and kapha are the three biological humors that are the three biological components of the organism. They govern psycho-biological changes in the body and physio-pathological changes too. Vata-pitta-kapha are present in every cell, tissue and organ. In every person they differ in permutations and combinations.
According to Ayurveda, there are seven body types: mono-types (vata, pitta or kapha predominant), dual types (vata-pitta, pitta-kapha or, kapha-vata), and equal types, (vata, pitta and kapha in equal proportions). Every individual has a unique combination of these three doshas. To understand individuality is the foundation of healing according to Ayurveda, "The Science of Life" -