Ayurveda: A way of Life has been the first book ever that explains the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in terms of modern science. It was published in India in 1990, thereafter in various European countries and America. It is a scholarly book that is meant to give the reader an insight into the classical tradition of this 5000 years old discipline. At the same time, the book is a guide in the living tradition of Ayurveda and inspires one to assimilate this age-old wisdom into daily life for enhancing energy to the optimum level. The book also highlights Ayurvedic psychology and importance of sattva (inner peace and stillness) and santosha (sense of contentment) in order to ward off the ailments. Modern medical research is directed toward finding cures for diseases, but there is little talk about finding methods to maintain good health and adopting preventive measures to avoid various ailments. Healthy living and preventive measures are not a part of the medical education. In Ayurveda, the principal focus is on maintaining good health and adopting a healthy way of living. The second important drawback in modern Western medicine is that it treats all human beings the same way. Individual differences and individual constitutions are not taken into consideration. We differ as much inwardly in our reactions and responses to a given treatment as we vary in our external appearance and personality traits. In Ayurveda, individual variations are taken into consideration and health care and treatment are based upon the individual constitution. Ayurveda is an extensive and vast source of knowledge. This book is only an introductory guide to the Ayurvedic way of life. Day-to-day practices and what we can do for ourselves in order to keep good health and bring harmony in our lives are described. Various methods for self-diagnosis, for curing minor ailments through simple measures, for preventing disease, for making simple herbal medicines, and for inner and outer cleaning of the body are discussed here. Every practical detail is explained and information about the availability of various products is provided. Ayurvedic medicines are not limited to the herbs that grow in India (especially in the Himalayas) where the original literature of Ayurveda was compiled. Identification of the herbs according to taste and other properties of the drugs are explained in detail. This book is written to help people become conscious of their health—to make them aware that a little care can save them from minor health problems, as well as from long-term health hazards. With the increasing number of ailments and a universal rise in health care costs, it has become more and more essential for each individual to make a personal effort to maintain good health. The old wisdom of rishis (sages) teaches us the use of preventive measures and mild medicine for maintaining good health instead of waiting until body and mind are exhausted and there are major disorders in the organism. The purpose of this book is to present methods people can use to improve the quality of life. For this, it is essential to begin from a new beginning. We live our lives in bits and pieces, fragmented in time, space, body, and mind. Therefore, to adapt Ayurveda in our lives, we just cannot start the application of its principles on our disintegrated beings. What I mean by a new beginning is that first we need to see and feel ourselves as a “whole,” as a “unit,” and an “integrity” and then we can realize our oneness with the cosmos. Holistic medicine is not possible without a holistic way of life. This book is presented in a way that will make us self-aware so we can realize our integrity as body, mind, and soul. This book is written for general readers who may not have any background of Ayurveda or medicine in general. A special effort has been made to explain the technical terms in an easy-to-understand manner. Comments and suggestions from readers are welcomed.
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