CHAPTER 8: BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER – SUMMARY
शरीरेन्द्रिय सत्वात्मा संयोगो। – चरक संहिता १।४२
śarīrendriya satvātmā saṃyogo।1.42
Meaning: The union of Shareera (body), Indriya (sense organs), Satva (mind) and Atma (soul).
Chapters 1-7 have introduced you the foundational frameworks of Ayurveda. These include the aims and philosophy of the field, elements of the universe, and then then internal bodily concepts of the doshas, tattvas, gunas, koshas, dhattus, and rasas.
Chapter 1 gives you a beginner’s eye view of Ayurveda. It starts off with defining the term as the ‘science of life’. It adopts a natural and holistic system of health, by linking internal body composition with the elements of nature. This is achieved by connecting the mind, body, and soul. It also explains methods of knowledge transferral through centuries, such as through oral traditions and shlokas, and finally addresses other holistic healing systems.
Chapter 2 looks at the universe around us. The five earthly elements – namely, ether, air, fire, water, and earth – are intrinsically linked to bodily constitution and the control of one’s indriyas or sense organs.
Chapter 3 talks about the doshas (biological energies) and the tattvas (principles of the universe). It illustrates how the tridosha in one’s body (namely, vatta, pitta, and kapha) work in harmony to enable the body’s energy balance. It further speaks of how the 25 tattvas form the absolute reality of human existence.
Chapter 4 talks about the gunas, or attributes of the universe. There are the sattva, rajas, and tamas gunas, each of which hold different characteristics.
Chapters 5, 6 and 7 bring up concepts unique to the human body. Firstly, the koshas are different layers of the body, literally translating to a sheath or covering. Next, the dhatus are the body’s building blocks (such as lymph, blood, fat, bone, and muscles). Finally, we have the rasas, which are the types of taste receptors. Ayurveda recognises sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent tastes.
These have given you the basic tools to understanding the more complicated concepts of Ayurveda. The next few chapters consider the different systems of the body in detail. Move on to Chapter 9 (about the digestive system), by clicking here.
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