Hello learner, welcome to Sanskrit Gurukul. This is the first chapter of Padarth Vigyan’s notes, Ayurveda Nirupana. In this chapter, we will learn all about the Lakshana of Ayu, the composition of Ayu, and the Lakshana of Ayurveda. Later in the second part of the post, we will learn about types of Siddhanta, and an introduction to the basic principles of Ayurveda and their significance.
Lakshana of Ayu, and the composition of Ayu.
What is Ayu?
Ayu is a Sanskrit term for life or longevity. In Charak Samhita, Acharya charak has mentioned the meaning of ayu in the following shloka,
शरीरेन्द्रियसत्त्वात्मसंयोगो धारी जीवितम्।चरक संहिता सूत्रस्थान 1-42
Ayu is the combination of the physical body (शरीर), sense (इन्द्रियाँ), mind (मन), and soul (आत्मा). Life depends on the coexistence of all these four entities. Life is not merely the existence of a machine-like physical body, the conscious interaction of the soul, mind, and sense organs make it live.
Synonyms of Ayu
In the same shloka above, the various synonyms are also mentioned with the definition of Ayu. So the other names of Ayu are dhari, jivita, nityanga, and anubandha. Let’s understand them one by one.
So I have come across two ways to explain the ayu synonyms. As we already know, Ayu combines body, sense, mind, and soul. All the component of ayu undergoes modification with time except the soul (atman), which is eternal and unchanging. Therefore Ayu is called dhari (holds) because it holds the atman; jivita (alive) means it defines the period of atman with the body or lifespan; nityanga (continuous) means Atma is imperishable, and anubandha (bond) means it endures atman with the body.
The second viewpoint of the same shloka is; Ayu is known as
–dhari because it does not let the body rot.
–jivita because it beholds life and allows us to live,
–nityanga means moves constantly, and lastly
–anubandha means it is interdependent or links between past life and future life.
Thus Ayu is continuity (anuvritti) of consciousness (chetana), liveliness (jeevita), bonding with the body (anubandha), and preserving vitality (dhari).
Lakshana of Ayurveda
Definition of Ayurveda
हिताहितं सुखं दुःखमायुस्तस्य हिताहितम्।चरक सुत्रस्थान 1।41
मानं च तच्च यत्रोक्तमायुर्वेदः स उच्चयते॥
The one in which the beneficial and non-beneficial aspects of four types of ayu (life) i.e. good (hitayu), bad (ahitayu), happy (sukhayu), sad (dukhayu); and quality and measures of ayu has been elaborated is called Ayurveda. In addition, the medical science in which good and bad happy and sad life are described, wherein there is a description of complete and incomplete life and in which the characteristics of life are there, is called Ayurveda.
In other words, we can say; that Ayurveda is that, which deals with good, bad, happy, and unhappy life, its promoters and non-promoters, measures, and nature.
Synonyms of Ayurveda: Ayurveda, branch, knowledge, principle, intelligence, science, characteristics, and system (mechanisms).
Types of Ayu.
As we have seen above, there are four types of ayu as explained by Achyara Charka namely,
Hita means a favorable and beneficial lifespan. A person is said to be experiencing hitayu (हितायु) if he has the below-mentioned qualities in his life. They are-
- He does not desire other people’s goods and possessions.
- The person is the well-wisher of all the creators.
- He always speaks the truth.
- One who is a peace lover.
- He acted with his thought, after analyzing them.
- He cautiously follows righteousness, ethically earns wealth, and wishes for desirable and reasonable ambitions.
- Severs old age people.
- He is well-curbed with passion, desire, anger, envy, and pride; he always donates many clothes.
- He is always devoted to austerity, knowledge, and tranquillity
- He also does their rituals and does all the tasks that are performed respectfully keeping them in mind in this world and the afterlife.
Ahita means unfavorable, non-beneficial. Therefore ahitayu means experiencing an unfavorable or non-beneficial lifespan or ayu. Below are the qualities of Ahitayu, which would provide an unfavorable lifespan. In other words, we can say that hitayu and ahitayu are exactly opposite to each other.
- Not being compassionate to the living creators.
- He desires other people’s goods and possessions.
- Always telling lies and cheating others.
- He does not promote peace and love.
- Has no control over his desires and emotions etc.,
- He acted without his thoughts, before analyzing them.
Sukh means happiness. Here sukhayu means enjoying a happy lifespan. A person’s life is said sukhayu (happy lifespan) if it has the below-mentioned qualities.
- He is devoid of any physical or mental ailments.
- Endowed with youth, strength, vigor, strength, prestige, effort, and courage
- He works in his deeds by the combined urge of knowledge, science, the senses, and the sense of objects.
- He is equipped with diverse and delightful facilities earned from great wealth, in which all prosper according to desires.
Dukha means unhappiness or grief. Here dukhayu means experiencing an unpleasant life. A person is said to have an unhappy life or dukhayu if he has the following mentioned qualities. Those qualities are-
- Suffering from physical and mental disease.
- Getting old and weak.
- Being fearful and timid.
- A person who has not attained knowledge of anything etc.
Therefore we can say that dukhayu is the opposite of the qualities mentioned for sukhayu. Also, sukhayu and dukhayu are traits related to the body, whereas hitayu and ahitayu are traits related to the soul and mind and deeds we do in life.
In conclusion, we can say that sukhayu and hitayu are beneficial to us whereas dukhayu and ahitayu are harmful to us. Sukhayu and hitayu help us to achieve 4 pursharth pf life. i.e. dharma, artha, kama, moksha. The other two push us into misery and trouble.