By Dr. Regina Antony
Ayurveda considers the human body as a reflection of the universe. The human body is a miniature representation of the external world. All functions within the human body is a reflection of activities taking place in the universe. Acharyas of Ayurveda used this similarity between the human body and the universe to explain human anatomy and physiology.
This theory is called Loka Purusha Samya Vada.
Table of Contents
Loka = world
Purusha = human being
Samya = similarity
Vada = theory
Acharya Sushruta explains the similarity between the Sun, Moon and Wind in the atmosphere and the human body – Gaining of strength (visarga), decrease of strength (adana) and initiation of actions (vikshepa) in the universe is carried out by moon, sun and the wind respectively. Similarly, in the human body, Kapha, Pitta and Anila (vata) govern all functions.
Acharya Charaka, in Charaka Samhita, Shareera Sthana explains that the human body is a miniature version of the external world. Individual is a miniature representation of the universe. All materials and phenomena of the universe can be correlated to entities and events in the human being.
Read related – Balanced Doshas And Their Contribution To Comprehensive Health
Examples by Charaka
Acharya Charaka enlists factors in the universe, which are parallel to the living body –
(Reference – Charaka Samhita Shareerasthana 5/5)
|Entities in the universe||Related entities in the |
|Prithvi (Earth element)||Morphology, shape, |
|Ap (Water element)||Fluids, moisture|
|Tejas (Fire element)||Heat, burning sensation|
|Vayu (Air element)||Liveliness, vital breath|
|Viyata / Akasha (Ether |
|Inter-cellular or unoccupied |
spaces within the body
|Brahma (Creator of the |
|Antaratma – Soul|
|God Indra (King of Gods)||Ahamkara – individuality|
|Aditya (Sun God)||Lessening of strength gained by water |
|Rudra (An angry form of God |
|Soma (God of water)||Euphoria|
|Sarvendriyani (All sense |
|All sense organs|
|Sarva indriyartha (objects |
of sense organs)
|Perception by sense |
|Jyothi (light as the divine |
principle of life)
|Krita yuga (first of the four |
ages of the world)
|Treta yuga (second world |
|Dwapara yuga (third of |
|Kali yuga (fourth of world |
age, the present age)
|Yuga anta (end of |
Similar to how the universe originates, grows, sustains, becomes old and gets destroyed, the human body also takes birth, grows, sustains, becomes old and then dies.
Read related – Shareera: Formation Of Human Body, Ayurvedic Concept
Functioning of the universe and the human body are similar. Origin and destruction of universe and the human body also occur in a similar manner.
This similarity provides a guideline for a physician. When there is difficulty in curing a patient, the physician should observe the universe for similar examples and arrive at a solution.
What is human farming?
Dr JV Hebbar
When ancient masters were collecting herbs, they used to go to the wild, on an auspicious day, wearing white cloth, after having done Pooja and prayers, in a positive mindset, praying for the health and welfare of all.
Read: Collection And Preservation Of Ayurvedic Herbs
The point is that the medicinal herbs were collected from their natural habitat. In the wild, the herb is exposed to hot sun, heavy rainfall etc. adversities, which would have made the herbs stronger.
There is a theory that, if an herb is exposed to fungus or any enemy microbe, it will produce natural chemicals which gives it the ability to fight the germ. This is the way the herbs naturally develop anti-microbial properties over a period of several centuries. This process is called xenohormesis. In short, this theory states that stressed out herbs are more beneficial.
But now, the medicinal herbs are collected from farmed lands. These lands are not exposed to challenging conditions.
In the farms, conditions are made favorable for the herb to grow without facing any challenging situations. This probably makes the herb less effective.
Think of our foods. The same principle can be applied to our grains, pulses, vegetables, fruits, nuts etc. They are rich in nutrition, of course, but they lack the survival instinct, the fighting spirit.
Think of ourselves, the human beings. We are also being farmed. Human farming, if you will.
We live in overly protected cocoons called apartments, every morning, we do not struggle to get food, we have lost the ability to fight, we are not even one third fit, compared to our grandparents. Add to that, junk foods, complex relationships, smartphones and other addictions.
All these have made our lives secure. But we have lost our survival instincts. We have become soft, fearful, hyper-sensitive, vulnerable.
Forget about an arrow, piercing our chest, someone’s political opinion causes us unbearable pain now! We don’t have to go to a restaurant. In 5 clicks on a smartphone, the food will arrive at our doors.
During an infection, we do not give our body immunity fight back, there are antibiotics to do that job.
If our thyroid hormones are secreted less, instead of finding ways to stimulate it, we push hormones to our body as a replacement.
The way out:
Daily exercise, combat training,
Living in a positively stressed environment – like challenging our mind and body from time to time with some tasks that are above our capability. For example: If you can run 4 km easily, challenge yourself to run 5 km. Or try to run faster.
Challenging ourselves mentally with celibacy, meditation, sitting still for a few minutes, abstinence from smartphones, etc.
Spending time in nature
Living close to nature and fellow human beings.
Read related: Courage – Best Medicine for Mental Disorders