Ayurveda Simplified (Body-Mind Matrix)

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Ayurveda Simplified (Body-Mind Matrix)

Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world. Its popularity has been increasing globally over the last few decades. In this first book in the “Ayurveda Simplified” series, Dr. Nisha Manikantan explains not just the basic principles of Ayurveda, but also touches on topics that are not conventionally considered a part of Ayurveda. This holistic approach in explaining the mechanics of this ancient science offers a fresh perspective and makes this book a lot more than an introduction.

About the Author

An Ayurvedic physician, trainer, and an Art of Livinig teacher-Dr Nisha Manikantan have successfully played these roles in her real life. She is the Founding Director of Sri Sri Ayurveda and has toured extensively conducting numerous programs and spreading awareness about Ayurveda. She also specializes in Nadi Parikisha, the ancient method of pulse diagnosis, and has trained many doctors and therapists. In her role as a part of the Art of Living faculty, she has traveled and taught basic and advanced meditation programs across the world. Music, as well happens to be among her varied interests.

She is also a practicing sadhak and has been staying at the Art of Living International Center in Bangalore for over 15 years with her husband Dr Manikantan Menon and her gifted son Unni.


What is Ayurveda?

The name Ayurveda is made up of two words.’Ayu’ means life and ‘Veda means knowledge/science. Ayurveda is the knowledge of life. Ayurveda is a complete system of health, both preventive and curative, which originated in India thousands of years ago as part of ancient India’s Vedic lore.

It is the most enduring, time-tested healing modality prevailing in the world today. It is a natural system of healing and is accepted as the oldest scientific medical system, with a long record of clinical experience. More than just a medical system, it is a science of life, a way of living with the rhythm of nature. This ancient wisdom of life has a holistic approach towards health and treats man as a whole since it views man as having three bodies-the physical, astral, and casual (body, mind, and soul). Its systems of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment always take into consideration all three levels.

Why Ayurveda?

Dharmarthakamamokshanam arogyam mulamuthamam

Since the dawn of civilization, man is aware that ‘Health is Wealth’. In spite of this awareness, the disease has always been a part and parcel of human life.

The Vedas are the most ancient scriptures in the history of mankind that authoritatively illuminate the secrets of life and the universe as a whole. The four goals of life, as laid down by them (Purshartha) are dharma (discharge of responsibilities),artha (acquisition of wealth), Kama (fulfillment of desires), and moksa (liberation). Diseases are obstacles in the pathway of life. Ayurveda is a knowledge system, which makes life free from these obstacles. It teaches us how to maintain and protect health, how to cure diseases, and how to promote longevity.

Sariram adyam khalu dharmasadhanam

The body is the tool that enables one to carry out one’s activities and duties to oneself and others. Therefore, it must be maintained properly. The body is made up of the same five elements from the entire universe. The elements are ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth. Each cell of our system represents the whole creation in every respect. This has been illustrated by a profound statement n the Vedas:

Yat pinde tat brahmande

As is the Microcosm, so is the Macrocosm. Man is an integral part of the universe with whom he shares his make-up of five elements.

Shiryate anena iti shariram

That which perishes is the body. The elements, which decrease in amount, are again replaced and this replacement is done by nature.

Manyate anena iti manah

That which perceives is the mind. The mind makes us aware of the world around us and is also the source of self-awareness. The body and the mind are seen as components of a larger system-the individual. The treatment of the body in modern medicine has developed over many centuries. The study and treatment of mind psychology, however, is relatively a very recent development. Moreover, this branch has developed independently of the medical system. Psychologists are not expected to know psychology. In Ayurveda, however, both the body and mind are treated together and the doctor keeps track of both before going ahead. Therefore, Ayurveda is called a holistic system of treatment.


Introduction 9  
The Heritage of Ayurveda 11  
The History of Ayurveda 15  
Astanga Ayurveda (Eight Limbs of Ayurveda 21  
Basic principles of Ayurveda 23  
What makes Ayurveda unique? 25  
Principles of manifestation 41  
Introduction to Yoga 49  
Tridosas 65  
Introduction to Prakrti 79  
Types of Prakrti 83  
Dosa imbalances- Vikrti 101  

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