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PHILOSOPHY OF AYURVEDA

Natural, Mental And Moral Philosophy

In the great-enlightened Golden age called the Vedic age which traces its roots 5000 year back, spirituality permeated the life. In this system we can recognize 4 levels of knowledge i.e. the knowledge on: the physical body (which is composed of matter); the astral body (of thoughts and emotions); the causal body (the reincarnating entity) and the universal spirit.

Philosophy & Phenomena of Ayurveda

The basic doctrine on which the Ayurvedic conception of physiology, pathology, pharmacology, medicine and therapeutics are founded is known as the Doctrine of Panchabhutas. This doctrine has been expounded, among others, by the Shad-Darsanas of the sic philosophical systems of India. Of these, Ayurveda has largely relied on the Nyaya-Vaiseshika and Sankhya-Yoga Systems.

It has to be observed that the term philosophy used here should not be confused with religion, as is generally the case. Ordinarily, this term has often been confused with the supernatural and the superstitious. On the other hand, it has been understood and used in the past as in the present, to signify, “the science which aims at the explanation of all phenomena of the universe by ultimate causes,” and “as the science which aims at an explanation of all phenomena as explained by and resolved into causes and effects.” The term phenomenon used here means, “the form through which, it becomes known to the senses or understanding.

Philosophy can be classified under the following three broad headings viz.
i. The Natural Philosophy – Physics, Chemistry, etc.
ii. Mental Philosophy – Meta-physics etc.,
iii. Moral Philosophy – Ethics, etc.

In the context of Ayurveda or the Science of Life or Knowledge of Life, the term philosophy comprehends all these three categories which, between them, seek to elucidate and explain the phenomenon of life and life process and lay down the laws and principles that govern them. The Shad-Darsanas claim to have sought for and ascertained the ultimate causes relating to life and life process in terms of causes and effects and enunciate the laws and principles that govern them. The term Darsana which is derived from the root ‘Dris,’ means “to see” “seeing,” “looking” or “sight.”

In order that we may not mix up these philosophical systems with religion, supernatural and superstitious, it may be noted here, that these systems include the materialistic or atheistic philosophy of the Charvakas – the Charvaka Darsanas. The Charvakas, while denying the existence of God or a Creator, held that every aspect of the phenomena of the universe including life was the result of the combination of the atomic particles. For that matter, the Sankhya system is of two kinds viz., the Seswara Sankhya and Niriswara Sankhya. Whatever the difference between one system and another, all of them are material basis of the phenomenal universe and every thing included in it.