(Last Updated on : 25/05/2013)
Rasayana Tantra or Jara Chikitsa is that branch of Ayurvedic science which deals with various preventive measures for ensuring a hale and hearty existence. It is a kind of rejuvenating therapy, which promotes rejuvenation in a healthy person and restores a diseased person to health. Rasayana Tantra aims at longevity, enhanced memory, health, youthfulness, radiance of complexion, generosity, bodily vigour and the sharpness of the senses. Rasayana implies that physical, mental and spiritual support which helps the human body to come out of its age or disease induced degenerated condition and regain health. The practitioners of this branch of Ashtang Ayurved recommend various treatments for checking the wear and tear of the body tissues due to age or diseases. They even claim that Rasayana Tantra has the unique potentiality to retard the process of aging.
Rasayana Tantra improves the metabolic activities which in turn ensure proper bio- transformation leading to health and normal life. The curative procedure mainly involves boosting up the ojas (vital force of life) and the immune system. It helps a person to sustain good health or to regain impaired or lost physical or mental health. Ojas is responsible for a glowing appearance, sharp memory, consistenty high performance and every expected pleasure. The adjective ojaswi is used for those persons who maintain good health in all seasons of the year and in all stages of their life. It is almost analogous to obtaining a high grade in a physical or mental fitness exam throughout one's life span. To achieve this state of health, Rasayana Tantra suggests regeneration of dhatu or body tissues from time to time. A person who goes through this therapy seriously is ensured a long, disease free and vigorous life .
There are two types of treatment in Rasayana Tantra. The first type is prescribed to a patient who is short of time, unenthusiastic and cannot take much effort or one who cannot undergo the full length of the treatment for some unavoidable circumstances. This category of patients receive a short package of Rasayana Tantra . That person is allowed to carry on with his or her own daily routine simultaneously. The patient is advised dietary changes and changes in life style in addition to certain rasayana medicines. These medicines are very meticulously chosen keeping in mind the patient's age, sex, prakruti (constitution), daily habits, living conditions, past ailments and the present condition of the body.
Kaya kalpa (total renovation of the body) , the second type of treatment under Rasayana Tantra is more complex . The patient is keep apart from his or her daily activities for a certain period of time and has to reside in a kutir (hut) which is specifically devised for Rasayana Tantra . He or she is kept here under the inspection of an ayurvedic specialist. The patient has to undergo an intensive treatmental procedure in addition to specially cooked food and constantly monitored lifestyle in the kutir. It is believed that when the patient comes out of the kutir after going through the entire treatment, his or her body is completely rejuvenated. All the degenerated dhatu (body tissues) are replaced by new, active and lively dhatu thus ensuring the person a fresh and reinvigorated life.
Before starting the rasayana schedule, the patient is advised to undergo panchkarma (cleansing ). This helps in the initial detoxification of the body and prepares it for the rasayana processes . The rasayana regime includes several physical, mental and spiritual disciplinary activities along with medicines. Rasayana Tantra is supposed to take care of the individual in all respects of life during the period of treatment.
Rasayana Tantra advises the patient to follow a very strict diet along with the medicines. Amalaki, haritaki, trifala, brungaraj, ashwagandha, punarnava, chitraka are some examples of herbs that are used to make rasayana medicines. These are collectively known as rasayanakar. Moreover, Bhasma (calyxes) of various metals like gold, silver etc., bhasma of jewels like hiraka (diamond), manikya (ruby), moti (pearl), etc. are precious components in the group of rasayana medicines. They are believed to have aphrodisiac qualities.
In conclusion, we can say that Rasayana Tantra ensures rejuvenation and provides vital energy. It bestows the gift of health to the young as well as the old. This ancient branch explains why the Ayurvedic sages had such great longevity and glowing health