Ayurveda is simple because it uses general principles, synthesized as a result of a long, direct practice. The simplicity of Ayurveda is due to the fact that this science has reached the essence and for this reason it cannot be considered as being superficial or reduced.
The traditional Ayurvedic system is, at the same time, a precise and very well established science (including general notions and categories, as well as therapeutic modalities that have been carefully checked for thousands of years, through direct experience), as well as a real art of healing. Such an “art of healing” could not have been practiced except by those special human beings to whom spiritual realization could give the power to put life into all the healing acts in which they were involved.
In fact, Ayurveda represents a true way of living or, in other words, a way of life profoundly spiritual, simple and natural, which re-establishes the complete harmony of any human being, both with herself as well as with everything that surrounds her, thus allowing her to discover the secret harmony that exists between man and God. Seen from this perspective, we will be able to understand why Ayurveda is indeed the “Science of Life”.
The domains of the traditional science Ayurveda
The millenary tradition of the Ayurvedic system has 8 main parts (branches or specialities) called ANGAS. This traditional structuring of the Ayurvedic system in 8 main branches (ASHTANGA) is as follows:
- KAYACIKITSA (the science of healing man’s main disturbances and diseases).
- SHALYATANTRA (the traditional science of surgery).
- SHLAKYATANTRA (the science of therapeutic modalities for affections above the clavicular level).
- BHUTAVIDYA (the science of invisible, psychic and mental, factors).
- KAUMARABHRITYA (Indian traditional paediatrics).
- AGADATANTRA (the science of avoiding substances noxious for man).
- RASAYANA (the science of using tonics and regenerating substances).
- VAJIKARANA (the science of using aphrodisiac substances).
This system made of 8 main branches was kept in the Indian tradition until the modern age. Starting with the second half of the millennium, different important events determined the extension of the field of knowledge and, in this way, have led to a restructuring of the Ayurvedic system.
In the 19th century, in the medical colleges in India , there was a mixture between modern medical science and the ancient tradition of the Ayurvedic system, so that 9 other branches or specialities were added to the 8 traditional branches:
- MAULIKA-SIDDHANTA (the science that presents the fundamental principles of the Ayurvedic system).
- SHARIRA (the science that deals with the study of how the human being is made).
- DRAVYAGUNA (the science that deals with the study of qualities, properties, actions and the classification of natural substances that have therapeutic value).
- BHESHAJAKALPANA (the science of preparing, preserving and administrating natural remedies).
- RASASHASTRA (the science of essential properties of natural remedies).
- ROGAVIJNANA (the science that studies the causes and symptoms of diseases).
- SVASTHAVRITTA (the science that studies the ways in which the human being can reach a better integration in the natural and social environment, keeping herself healthy and harmonious almost all the time).
- MANASAROGA (the science that deals with the study of mental and psychic disturbances).
- PRASUTITANTRA (the science that deals with the physiology and pathology of birth and pregnancy, birth assistance and the problems of feminine genitals).