19 Mar

Lessons of Ayurveda for Vedic Cosmology

The previous post discussed the model of the human body in Ayurveda. If you haven’t noticed, the most surprising aspect of Ayurveda is that it remains silent on what modern medicine calls heart, lungs, intestines, brain, pancreas, spleen, etc. It is surprising because modern medical education begins with anatomy and memorizing anatomy is every student’s job in the first year of medical school. Of course, Ayurveda also has a branch called shalya-chikitsa or surgery which relies on anatomy. But for the most part, Ayurveda doesn’t dwell on anatomy because it uses a conceptual model of the body quite different from the perceptual model. This means that the gross body is not the human anatomy as we see it. This fact offers some insights on the Vedic cosmological model too, because the cosmological model is not what we see. Just as a complete description of the human body exists without a description of human anatomy, similarly, a complete description of the cosmic model exists in Vedic cosmology without reference to what we see.

Read More

19 Mar

The Ayurveda Model of a Living Body

Vedic knowledge provides detailed information about many aspects of material nature such as cosmology, sociology, psychology, and biology. For example, the Śrimad Bhāgavatam provides a detailed cosmic model. Varṇāśrama is a sociological model. Sāńkhya is a cognitive model. And Ayurveda is a biological model. All these models have structural resemblances and by understanding one model we can understand the others too. This post discusses the Ayurveda biological model. Subsequently, I will show how the biological model is understood in a way similar to the cosmic model. Like a toy car has similarities to the real car, the body is also a universe, and the universe is also a body.

Read More