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Principles of Ayurveda


- Preface 7
- Commentary of a Scholar 9
Chapter 1 : Ayurveda
1. Definition of Ayurveda 11
2. Life 17
3. Origin of Ayurveda 20
4. Base of Ayurveda 24
5. Aim of Ayurveda 25
6. Specialities in Ayurveda 26

Chapter 2 : Man and Universe

1. Introduction 36
2. Composition of Universe 37

Chapter 3 : Philosophy and goals of Ayurveda

1. Philosophy of Ayurveda 57
2. Role of Ayurveda 58

Chapter 4 : Medical education and ideal Physician

1. Selection of text books 62
2. Selection of teacher 63
3. Student 64
4. The medical student 65
5. Advice at convocation 66
6. Physician - Doctor 67
7. Consultant - Specialist 67
8. Teacher 68
9. Medical research worker 69
10. A learned man 69
11. Philosopher 70
Chapter 5 : Origin of various constituents and qualities
of body and mind
1. Constituents and qualities of body and mind 73
2. Embryological development of various organs 74

Chapter 6. : Psychological constitution

1. Sattva - Raja - Tama 79
2. Trigunatit 83
3. Purushottam - Ideal person 84
4. Diet and mental activity of brain 85

Chapter 7 : The five basic elements

1. Panchmahabhootas 91
2. Panchabhoutik constitution 94
3. Selection of medicine and therapeutic measures 99

Chapter 8 : Origin of basic biological elements

1. Five casual elements 104
2. Subtle elements 104
3. Gross elements and their pentads 105
4. Formation of Vata, Pitta and Kapha molecule 106
5. Formation of Vata, Pitta and Kapha in the body 111
6. Vata, Pitta and Kapha as molecular dhatus,
doshas and malas 112
7. Similars increase similars in the body 113
8. Effect of food on mind, sense organs and motor organs 115

Chapter 9 : Biological elements

1. Kapha 117
2. Vata 119
3. Pitta 122

Chapter 10 : Constitution
1. Prakruti (Based on Tridoshas -Vata, Pitta & Kapha) 134

Chapter 11 : Increase or decrease in Vata, Pitta and Kapha

1. Aetiological factors 151
2. Clinical manifestations 154
3. Treatment 157
4. Doshas and diet 159
Chapter 12 : Permutations and combinations of doshas 170

Chapter 13 : Manifestations of diseases caused by

three doshas 176

Chapter 14 : Tridosha theory and modern medicine 186

Chapter 15 : Tissues - Dhatus

1. Nourishment of dhatus 190
2. Rasa - body fluids 195
3. Tissue tonics 226
4. Dhatusara - tissues of good quality 229

Chapter 16 : Mala - waste products

1. Urine 270
2. Purish - faeces 275

Chapter 17 : Dosha, dhatu and mala 285


Science is advancing by leaps and bounds. With recent

scientific advances, our understanding of Universe as well as of man
is much better today. However, more we know about the intricacies of
human life, more we realise how much more we are yet to know.
Student of modern medicine can rattle out the functions of various
organs like heart, kidneys, liver, brain etc. very well. However if he is
asked a simple question viz. what are the functions of man ?, he is
taken aback.
From time immemorial, Ayurveda has given guidelines and
will continue to give guidelines to mankind about the art of living,
science of health and philosophy of life. Ayurveda has studied man in
relation to the Universe and has come to the scientific conclusion that
man is the epitome of Universe. All objects in the Universe right from
energy particles to huge celestial bodies and from microbes to man
are derived from the same basic elements. Maintaining the
consistency of the physical as well as biological elements in the body
i.e. milieu interior constitute the basic function of physicians.
Ayurveda, the science of life aims at attaining ideal
physical,mental and spiritual health. One can acquire physical health
by following Swasththa-vrutta i.e. daily and seasonal regimen. One
can develop strong mind by following Sat-vrutta i.e. rules of good
conduct. One can attain spiritual health by understanding the true
nature of self and his relation to the Universe as well as by developing
a philosophical attitude.
Principles of Ayurveda are eternal truths, as they are based
on sound scientific facts. Understanding 'Principles of Ayurveda' will
not only help mankind to live a better life, but will also help all the
present as well as future scientists and research workers in
understanding and unravelling the mysteries and intricacies of human
life in a better way.
'The mind is the man' says Bacon. Human mind has
mysterious powers. Mind has no limits or bounds for its development.
It is up to us to develop or degrade our mind. It can convert an enemy
into a friend, a moment into years, a hell into heaven and man into
almighty. The philosophy of Ayurveda stresses the importance of
utilising mind, the most powerful instrument of man as given in the
following prayer,
"From unreal, lead me to the real.
From darkness, lead me to light.
From ignorance, lead me to knowledge.
From death, lead me to immortality."

Dr. Vasant B. Athavale

M.D., D.C.H., M.A.M.S.