(Last Updated on : 31-08-2013)
is the most ancient Indian medical science and the origin of ayurveda can be traced back to even more than five thousand years. Ayurveda is the science based on ancient Indian philosophy and can therefore appropriately be called as 'The Science of Living'. Ayurveda traces its etymology to Ayush, meaning 'life', and Veda, which originates from 'vid' or knowledge. Popularly ayurveda can actually be defined as a medical science that helps the human body to keep fit, while providing cures from indigenous plants, animal products and minerals for ailments.
Steeped in antiquities the origin of ayurveda has two discrete dominions, one is the folk wisdom and the other is the scientific knowledge. Tradition attributes the origin of ayurveda from the creator itself. According to Mythology the creator Brahma whilst creating the universe, clutched knowledge from the four directions and created Vedas. Brahma then carried the knowledge of Ayurveda to Prajapati Daksha. Daksha passed it on to the Ashwinikumaras, the twins who were the physicians of the gods. The Ashwinikumaras then proffered this knowledge to Lord Indra. Dhanwantari
was instructed by Lord Indra
to spread this priceless science of longevity on the earth. Thus the legacy of Ayurveda initiated on earth as a holistic treatment procedure. The origin of ayurveda thus claims that the deity of this celestial science is indeed Lord Dhanwantari, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu
Although ayurveda put across antiquity, legitimacy and usefulness, yet the tradition does not determine the source of knowledge, nor does it implies any specific date of origin. Vedas, the ancient Indian testimonials contain references to illness, cures and other health-related issues. The cures are both magical and medicinal. However, the references do not add up to a theory of medicine but to a great extent signifies the deep seated relation of Vedas with ayurveda whilst marking the origin of ayurveda. Ayurveda is treated as Upaveda of Rigveda and Antharveda (internal part) of Atharvana veda.
Quite ideally therefore Ayurveda is not just merely a medical system on the contrary an entire medical kit offering the secrets of the sacred science of life. Ayurveda therefore supports the human being to lead a happy life with pure mind. The paramparas of ayurveda like the Daiva parampara, Siddha parampara and Rishi paramparas which are deeply entwined with this mystic science further points out the origin of ayurveda. The Daiva parampara states that ayurveda was revealed by the creator Brahma and was then transformed from Lord Brahma
to Ashwini kumar through Prajapati, the son of Brahma. Ashwini Kumar taught Ayurveda to Indra and then from Indra ayurveda was gradually revealed to the Saint, Bhardwaj.
The rishi parampara of ayurveda however offers another saga in regard to the origin of ayurveda. According to the Rishi parampara, Dhanvantari received the divine knowledge of ayurveda and pass it on to Sushruta. After this followed an entire Rishi parampara like from Sushruta to Vaitarana then Bambrha and after that Poshka bhavara received the knowledge. He then passes it on to Gopura rakshita and Karaveera who again pass it on to Kasyapa - Atri. It was much later Kasyapa muni passed the divine knowledge to Bhrugu and Vasistha. Laced with antique mysticism the origin of ayurveda marks this holistic treatment procedure as an ancient and higher knowledge to support human being in leading a happy life in natural way.