The term ‘Ayurveda’ consists of two words, namely ‘Ayus’ and ‘Veda’ meaning ‘The Science of Life’.
“The Hindu religion is not only a religion, but also a philosophy, not only a religion and philosophy but it is a way of life”- so says Somerset Maugham in his book “Points of View”.
The Hindu religion places four ideals before the mankind.
1) Dharma meaning Righteousness
2) Artha meaning Wealth
3) Kama meaning Desire
4) Moksha meaning Liberation.
Dharma is associated with the soul itself which is to be inferred from its results.
Artha is the attainment of wealth like gold, money etc.
Kama is the fulfillment of desire like embracing women.
Moksha is liberation from the world.
In order to attain the above four, man has to live long. Out of the three basic desires namely desire to live, desire to earn and desire to perform virtuous acts, one should give priority to the desire for longevity; because with the end of life there is end of everything.
There are four ages namely Satya Yuga or Satya age, Treta Yuga or Treta Age, Dvapapra Yuga or Dvaprara Age and Kali Yuga or Kali Age.
Human beings having disciplined life were enjoying a span of life for 400 years in Satya Age. In Treta Age it was reduced to 300 years. In Dvapara Age it was 200 years. And in the present Kali Age it is 100 years.
“A cart with normal qualities and carriage comes to the stage of destruction, only after the expiry of the specified period. So the life of a person with undefined span of life is destroyed even before the attainment of the normal span of life due to his own faults” so says Agnivesa, the great sage.
To live happily one should take a wholesome diet. There are ten principles underlying
the wholesome diet and its intake.
1)The food should be hot.
2)The food should be unctuous
3)The food should be taken in proper quantity
4)The food should be taken only after the previous meal is digested
5)The food- ingredients should not be contradictory in their potency.
6)The food should be taken in a pleasant place with required accessories
7)The food should not be taken in excessive hurry.
8)The process of intake should not be exceedingly slow.
9)While eating, one should neither talk nor laugh; during this time one should concentrate on eating only.
10)Only such food should be taken which is wholesome to the physical constitution and psychic temperament of an individual.
(The English translation of the verses of Caraka Samhita given in this series of articles is by Dr Ram Karan Sharma and Vaidya Bhagwan Dash).
One who is desirous of living for hundred years should always perform certain noble acts with proper care. The acts that are to be performed will be enumerated in the next article.