Meaning of the word Ayurveda

The word Ayurveda is comprised of 2 Sanskrit words,

Ayurveda = Ayu + Veda, where Ayu = Life and Veda = Wisdom/Knowledge/Science

•Hence the simplest meaning of the word Ayurveda is, it is the science, Wisdom or Knowledge of Living a good Life.

•It is not only a healing science but a total way of living a fruitful and healthy life.


Definition of Ayurveda

Hitahitam Sukhamdukham ayustasya hitahitam manam cha tatra yatroktam ayurveda sa





Ayurveda is the knowledge that indicates the appropriate and inappropriate, happy or sorrowful conditions living, what is auspicious or in auspicious for longevity, as well as the measure of life itself.

It is interesting that the Sanskrit word for happiness is 'Sukha', it can be further separated into 2 words, Su and Kha, the word Su denotes good and Kha means Space. So sukha can be translated as good space. For the proper functioning of the body the body cavities or spaces should be in a proper condition. Having a good empting of these body cavities so as to facilitate reformation, storage and growth is necessary for sustaining health. (Wish good morning to a constipated person, whose space/ colons are still not empty and he will wonder, what's so good about the morning)


On a mental level the word good space denotes the necessity of Space to experience various things that life has to offer and learn from them. (Imagine sitting on a beach and traveling on a crowded bus or metro, which is more pleasurable?)


Hence Ayurveda says having well determined space, internally and externally is necessary for Health.


Body Functions:

According to Ayurveda, our body movements are governed by 3 dynamic forces Vata, Pitta and Kapha.



Vata : it is the moving or propulsive force in our body. Its main functions are inspiration, expiration, voice production, sensory activities, elimination, transportation, muscular function etc. All the movements happening in our body are as a result of the stimulatory force of Vata.



Pitta : it is the transforming force in our body. All types of transformations, conversions and

digestions taking place in our body are because of Pitta. Its main functions include

digestion and metabolism, coloring of individual tissues, intelligence, skin complexion etc.



Kapha: it is the cohesive and guarding force in our body. It is responsible for lubrication, growth, binding and cohesion, protection and giving durability to our body components.

When these three are working in equilibrium a person is healthy and conversely any

disequilibrium between them leads to disorders.

Based on the quantity of each of these three dynamic forces an individual is classified and this is called as the constitution of that person.