June 2015 By Dr. Partap Chauhan Yoga’ is a Sanskrit word that means ‘to join’ or ‘to link’. Its fundamental meaning is to join or link the soul to God or the ‘Supersoul.’ This is achieved by balancing the body through various physical postures, controlling the mind and the senses through pranayama, and finally realizing the truth that the soul is the real conscious energy. The word ‘ayurveda’ is formed by an amalgam of two Sanskrit words—‘Ayu’ meaning a combination of body, senses, mind and soul, and ‘Veda,’ meaning knowledge. The ultimate goal of ayurveda, too, is to attain a connection with God, though its procedures are different. Through adherence to proper diet and lifestyle, ayurveda aims to keep the body toxin-free, which in turn induces clarity of mind and awakening of intelligence, leading to soul-realisation. The fundamental processes in both ayurveda and yoga involve purifying the mind and body, controlling the mind, and finally linking the soul or consciousness with God. According to both systems, it is this connection with God that is the ultimate purpose of human life and leads to a state of eternal bliss, even while one is resident in this material world. Just as yoga is not limited to physical postures and fitness, ayurveda, too, is not limited to herbal remedies for physical disorders. Both systems have deeper levels, and if practised properly, can lead to a state of complete balance at the physical, mental and spiritual level. Not only are yoga and ayurveda similar, they supplement each other. A person practising yoga needs to follow a specific ayurvedic diet and regimen according to his or her constitution. Similarly, a person following an ayurvedic diet and regimen also needs to practise yoga on a regular basis to stay healthy. In ayurveda, the process of treatment or healing is not restricted to the physical body alone. but encompasses the mind, senses and soul. This is important because we see that many people today suffer from mental disorders, related to the stress-filled lifestyles that we follow. The knowledge of yoga has proved very beneficial in this regard. The achara rasayana (code of conduct) described in ayurveda is same as the yama and niyama of yoga. Both yoga and ayurveda proclaim moksha (liberation from material bondage) to be their ultimate goal. Both systems see the body as being composed of subtle and gross elements and help each other in healing. Ayurveda takes care of the dosha-dhatu-mala (body humours-tissues-metabolic wastes), while yoga suggests ways to keep the mind balanced in different circumstances. Sattvavajaya, which means ‘healing the mind by increasing purity of mind’ is one of the three main types of treatments mentioned in ayurveda, and there is mention of the use of yoga techniques and meditation to maintain a healthy state of mind. The conclusion is that ayurveda and yoga need to be practised side by side in order to attain a state of complete health and happiness. It is time now that we integrate the two systems to attain maximum benefits. Contact us for more information on this topic. Dr.Partap Chauhan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 91-129-4040404, Website: www.jiva.com
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