Ayurveda through the Samkhya Vedic system is firmly based upon the principle of causation. Nothing can exist without a cause. As is the cause, so will be the effect.
Ayurveda and Healing
This doctrine, that from a real cause can only occur a real effect of like nature, is called the principle of “Satkaryavada,” the law of real effects. For example, from the qualities inherent in earth as the cause, a pot can be made as the effect. A pot cannot be made with water or air, as these do not have the inherent qualities or necessary causal basis. This means that there is a definite and understandable order to events in the universe.
The Law of Karma
This doctrine of cause and effect is the basis of the law of Karma, the basic law of action in the universe. Whatever we do must produce an effect of like nature. From violence, for example, must come unhappiness, as violence in its own nature is essentially a state of distress. From non‑violence must come peace, as non‑violence is itself a state of peace.
This principle of causation is important in Ayurveda and Healing. Whatever is our condition there is a reason for it. A disease cannot arise without a cause of like nature. If one has a Kapha (phlegm) disease like the common cold, a Kapha cause must exist in such things as exposure to cold or damp, eating of damp or mucus forming foods, excessive sleeping and other Kapha-increasing actions. Everything has a reason and if we discover that reason we can correct the chain of circumstances that brings us pain, disease or sorrow.
Nothing happens that is uncaused, unmerited or not produced by our own actions. This doctrine of causation means that we bring about and are responsible for our own condition in life, physical and mental. It means that we possess the power to correct it by remedial measures of opposite nature. As we have made all that we are, we can also unmake it. In fact this doctrine is the foundation of my book Breaking the Attention of Pain.
Ayurveda teaches us that though the causes of things may be complicated or may have come from the distant past, even from previous lives, they still exist and can be understood. Once understood we can correct them and prevent their negative effects from arising. There is an absolute justice in nature through which we can only experience forces that we ourselves, individually and collectively, have previously set in motion. This doctrine of responsibility gives us the basis for correcting any wrong actions. It does not put us under the rule of any external fate or give credence to any type of self‑pity or resignation. It shows us that what we have spoiled we can also make well again or even better in time. It gives freedom through which we can arrive at self‑mastery.
Ayurveda healing is not a passive form of treatment. It does not give the patient a treatment or remedy and send them away. It insists that the patient themselves must take an active part in the treatment, for it is only the individual that can change their own chain of cause and effect. No one and nothing from the outside can do it, as our bondage to cause and effect is rooted in our dependency on the external.
Reversing this process of causation, we can go back to the spiritual origin of things, all the way back through Nature to the inner Self, and cease to come under the affect of outer forces. This return process is the process of reintegration and unification that is Yoga. Dr David Frawley
THE BACKGROUND OF THE DISEASE PROCESS IN AYURVEDA
- Each of us possesses a basic nature or constitution, Prakriti, in whose state of balance or equilibrium is health.
- Disease arises from a differentiation or degeneration from that basic state of health, Vikriti.
The ego is the main factor of division and decay on a personal as well as on a cosmic level. It causes us to act in an artificial or unbalanced way and to deviate from the basic law of our nature, through the failure of wisdom it promotes.
Ayurveda aims at restoring our basic nature (Prakriti) and allowing us to live in harmony with it. To do this, we must first understand what it is. For that determination of constitution, physical and mental, is necessary, which is the foundation of Ayurveda.
In Ayurveda, therefore, the state of health is natural. We should all be naturally and spontaneously healthy and happy if we merely live in harmony with our own nature. But we are so caught in a conditioned pattern of ego responses that we confuse our desire nature, which really comes to us from the outside as various conditioned or artificial wants, with our original nature. We indulge ourselves and dissipate ourselves, rather than seek to know and understand ourselves.
Even treatments and medicines tend to be outside of our nature and may be a further imposition on it. For this reason Ayurveda tries to harmonize us with our nature as a primary treatment and uses outside modalities only in a supplementary way. We may be so obsessed with our disease that we cannot use our natural healing power, which alone can correct it.
Therefore in treatment we must aim at what is natural, intrinsic and spontaneous. It is not in the complexity or clinical nature of treatment methods that the cure will arise. It is in a return to the simplicity and innocence of our deeper Self. Thus only on this spiritual background do we have the knowledge to use Ayurveda in its original and exalted way.
GOAL OF AYURVEDA HEALING
Ayurveda exists to provide the state of health or freedom from disease, Arogya, which is the necessary basis of the yogic goals of life. But Ayurveda also exists to show us how to use health as a basis for the true goal of life, which is liberation.
The true practitioner of Ayurveda, and Yoga therefore, will not be motivated by the selfish pursuit of pleasure. Their goal will be to be a source of healing, knowledge and liberation for all. Ayurveda and Yoga is based on spiritual values and can only be truly practiced if these are followed.
PATH OF ACTION
Like increase like:
- Factors of similar nature to health, like rest, good food or meditation will increase health. Those of variant nature like overwork, bad diet or worry, will detract from it. We must promote as many of the positive factors and reduce as many of the negative factors in order to arrive at the optimum. Without having done this we cannot expect our condition to improve. This concept further develops into the idea that conditions are corrected by their opposite:
Opposites cure each other
- A condition of excess heat in the body can only be corrected through the application of cold. Hence in Ayurveda we employ opposite qualities to balance conditions. First we ascertain the qualities that are in excess, like cold, dryness and disturbance in a Vata (air) disorder. Then we apply substances or actions that are opposite, like the use of a gentle warm oil massage in this case, to correct it.
- This same principle holds true on a psychological level also. Hatred never comes to an end through hatred but only through love, its opposite. Hence in examining mental disturbances we must also seek balance, not try to find justification for any imbalanced state.
We have control
- This is a very empowering doctrine, because it gives you back the power. The power and the skills to journey back to health or maintain a balanced mind and body. Whether it is problems with chronic pain, sleep disorders, of inflammation in the body, Ayurveda Healing has solutions for you to try. You just need the determination and commitment to make some lifestyle changes.