Similar to the various systems of medicine, like allopathy or homeopathy, Ayurveda is not a method of medicine but a science of life & longevity (Ayurveda= ayus: age, life, longevity, and veda: knowledge). The model of Ayurveda is based on a collective study of body (sharira), sense organs (indri as), mind (mamas) and soul (atman). Equilibrium of these is correlated to health and their dysfunction is equated with death. Homeo-stasis of the inner milcu (dhatusamaya), or equilibrium of the different dhatus, is considered essential for absence of disease. The modern definition of health as per World Health Organization (WHO) is ‘the state of entire physical, mental and social wellbeing and not essentially the absence of disease and infirmity’.
Ayurveda defines health as:
Disorder is disequilibrium of the dhatus and their equilibrium is health. Health is known as happiness although disorder is unhappiness.
Knowledge of Ayurveda is never-ending, starting with creation; we do not know when it was not there. The origin of disease and disability must have been about the same time as the beginning of life itself. The battle between the disease-creating elements and the disease-curing or disease-preventing systems should have been going on since Lord Brahma’s day, as Brahma is considered to be the originator of the universe. The exact origin of Ayurveda cannot be dated specifically, but the original text is believed to have been written in ten million verses in one thousand chapters. The awareness of Ayurveda then gradually descended through several sages, plus Bharadwaja, Aitreya, Agnivastha, and finally Charaka and his students who compiled the text recognized as Charaka Samhita, which dates between 600 and 1000 B.C.
Charaka’s explanation of Ayurveda is very organized and in many ways it surpasses the modern system of medicine, because Ayurveda has a health-oriented approach, whereas modern medicine has largely had a disease-oriented approach. Modern medicine is only now stressing to some amount the role of mind in health and disease whereas in Ayurveda the basic approach incorporates body (sharira), mind (manas) and soul (atman).
Although the Rigveda and Atharvaveda are regarded as enormous treatises, Ayurveda is considered to be higher as it deals with life, health and longevity, and it is through the healthy body only that one can attain all righteous tasks in life:
The approach in Mirik Healthfoods is ample and wholesome (holistic), while in modern medicine it is mostly limited and materialistic (quick relief from disease and not much emphasis on promotive or positive health of mind and body). The mistake frequently made is when we equate Ayurveda with ayurvedic medicines. Although Ayurveda lays importance on both the preventive and curative aspects, its stronghold has been the former; it is evidently enunciated by Charaka. Therapeutics of two types has been described in the ancient Indian literature:
Therapeutics is of two hypes: 1. that which promotes strength. in the healthy (prevention of disease), and (2) That which alleviates disorders.