Rishis performed great sacrifices for the welfare of the world and recorded their experiences in the form of sastras or sciences. One among them was the science of yoga or yoga sastra. That which shows the right path and induces one to perform right actions is called Yoga. When water flows in a single unobstructed path, it gains great strength, and loses it when it is diverted into many paths. Similarly, when the mind is concentrated on a single object it is capable of great achievements; if it is diverted on many objects, it is unable to achieve its goals. This onepointedness of the mind can only be obtained through the process of yoga. The steadiness of the mind, enthusiasm, physical strength, good health, right knowledge, sharp memory, beauty and happiness can be obtained by practicing yoga. Yoga is divided into four parts. They are called mantra yoga, laya yoga, hatha yoga and raja yoga. Mantra yoga is recitation of a scared syllable given by the guru. In the Hamsa mantra given by the guru, HAM and SA are recited while inhaling and exhaling. This becomes SO and HAM and one is eventually able to realize the great truths. Laya Yoga is a method for the individual soul to become one with eternal soul. This is brought about by properly following all the limbs of yoga, which merges the internal consciousness with the eternal consciousness. The union of the sun, which represents the eternal soul and the moon, which represents the individual soul, is called hatha yoga. In this yoga, the light of the sun - knowledge - dispels the ignorance caused by the moon. This is possible by following the twelve limbs of hatha yoga.
Raja yoga is the method of directly achieving oneness with the eternal soul. Also know as Siva-Sakti yoga, this powerful method enables one to awaken the sakti within one's body and make it unite with the siva or the eternal soul. These are the four major methods of yoga. However, there are many other methods, which are contained within these four. Some of them are taraka yoga, kala-vancanna-upaya yoga, kaya-dardya-siddhi yoga, samputa yoga, vedhaka yoga, hamsa yoga, samadhi yoga, sushumna yoga and kundalini yoga. Many such methods are listed in the various ancient texts on yoga. There are four levels of these yoga methods. They are the beginning (arambha) stage, gatha stage, parichaya stage and the result (pala-prapti) stage.
Great faith in the path of yoga, unconditional devotion and regular practice are the necessities for one who is in the path of yoga. Understanding the niceties of yoga and following them precisely with calmness and modesty makes one a qualified practitioner. Unconstrained living, uncontrolled food habits, laziness, mingling with the uncultured, sleeping in the daytime, staying awake in the night and fear are to be overcome for one to become qualified for yoga.
All the eight limbs of yoga have to be properly learned from an accomplished guru and this leads one to experience union with the divine soul.
Indian heritage āyurvēda is the upavēda of Atharvavēda. The science (vēda ) or knowledge of life (āya) is the oldest medical science. The word "āya" means the combination of "śarīra" (body), indriya (sense organs ), maṇa as (mind) and ātma (soul ) and vēda is the knowledge. The knowledge related to this āya is āyu. That which imports the knowledge about good living, bad living, pleasurable living, span of life is āyurvēda.
That which imports the knowledge about good living, bad living, pleasurable living, span of life is āyurvēda.
Creator of the universe brahma recalled the knowledge of life imported this knowledge to dakṣa prajāpati for benefit of living beings. Dkṣa prajāpati conveyed this knowledge to Aśviṇis to lord Iṇdra. From Iṇdra knowledge passed on to ātrēya and then agṇi vēśa and other sages and this reached human beings for their wellness / benefit.
prayōjaṇam cāsya svasthasya svāsthya rakṣanamāturasya vikārapraśamaṇam ca
1) Maintaining health in healthy.
2) Treating the diseases in diseased are the main aims of āyurvēda.
Maintenance to health is the responsibility of every individual by following dinacarya r̥ tucarya etc . And treatment of the diseases is by vaidya.
kāya-bālagrahō-rdhvāṅga-śalyadaṇṣṭra-jarāvr̥ ṣāṇ |
aṣṭāvaṅgāṇi tasyāhuścikitsā yēṣu saṁhitā ||
There are six major schools of orthodox Indian philosophy—Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā and Vedanta, and five major heterodox schools—Jain, Buddhist, Ajivika, Ajñana, and Cārvāka.
Indian Philosophy (or, in Sankrit, Darshanas), refers to any of several traditions of philosophical thought that originated in the Indian subcontinent, including Hindu philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and Jain philosophy (see below for brief introductions to these schools). It is considered by Indian thinkers to be a practical discipline, and its goal should always be to improve human life.
The main (astika) schools of Indian philosophy are those codified during the medieval period of Brahmanic-Sanskritic scholasticism, and they take the ancient Vedas (the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism) as their source and scriptural authority:
Samkhya is the oldest of the orthodox philosophical systems, and it postulates that everything in reality stems from purusha (self or soul or mind) and prakriti (matter, creative agency, energy). It is a dualist philosophy, although between the self and matter rather than between mind and body as in the Western dualist tradition, and liberation occurs with the realization that the soul and the dispositions of matter (steadiness, activity and dullness) are different.
The Yoga school, as expounded by Patanjali in his 2nd Century B.C. Yoga Sutras, accepts the Samkhya psychology and metaphysics, but is more theistic, with the addition of a divine entity to Samkhya's twenty-five elements of reality. The relatively brief Yoga Sutras are divided into eight ashtanga (limbs), reminiscent of Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path, the goal being to quiet one's mind and achieve kaivalya (solitariness or detachment).
The Nyaya school is based on the Nyaya Sutras, written by Aksapada Gautama in the 2nd Century B.C. Its methodology is based on a system of logic that has subsequently been adopted by the majority of the Indian schools, in much the same way as Aristotelian logic has influenced Western philosophy. Its followers believe that obtaining valid knowledge (the four sources of which are perception, inference, comparison and testimony) is the only way to gain release from suffering. Nyaya developed several criteria by which the knowledge thus obtained was to be considered valid or invalid (equivalent in some ways to Western analytic philosophy).
The Vaisheshika school was founded by Kanada in the 6th Century B.C., and it is atomist and pluralist in nature. The basis of the school's philosophy is that all objects in the physical universe are reducible to a finite number of atoms, and Brahman is regarded as the fundamental force that causes consciousness in these atoms. The Vaisheshika and Nyaya schools eventually merged because of their closely related metaphysical theories (although Vaisheshika only accepted perception and inference as sources of valid knowledge).
The main objective of the Purva Mimamsa school is to interpret and establish the authority of the Vedas. It requires unquestionable faith in the Vedas and the regular performance of the Vedic fire-sacrifices to sustain all the activity of the universe. Although in general the Mimamsa accept the logical and philosophical teachings of the other schools, they insist that salvation can only be attained by acting in accordance with the prescriptions of the Vedas. The school later shifted its views and began to teach the doctrines of Brahman and freedom, allowing for the release or escape of the soul from its constraints through enlightened activity.
The Vedanta, or Uttara Mimamsa, school concentrates on the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads (mystic or spiritual contemplations within the Vedas), rather than the Brahmanas (instructions for ritual and sacrifice). The Vedanta focus on meditation, self-discipline and spiritual connectivity, more than traditional ritualism. Due to the rather cryptic and poetic nature of the Vedanta sutras, the school separated into six sub-schools, each interpreting the texts in its own way and producing its own series of sub-commentaries: Advaita (the best-known, which holds that the soul and Brahman are one and the same), Visishtadvaita (which teaches that the Supreme Being has a definite form, name - Vishnu - and attributes), Dvaita (which espouses a belief in three separate realities: Vishnu, and eternal soul and matter), Dvaitadvaita (which holds that Brahman exists independently, while soul and matter are dependent), Shuddhadvaita (which believes that Krishna is the absolute form of Brahman) and Acintya Bheda Abheda (which combines monism and dualism by stating that the soul is both distinct and non-distinct from Krishna, or God).
The Vedas are considered the earliest literary record of Indo-Aryan civilization. It is the most sacred scriptures of India. They were meant to be mantras (incantations) in praise of various Aryan gods, it being the age when the Aryans were finding their feet in India. What they also reflect is a startlingly vivid picture of life. Vedas are the treasure troves containing spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of our life. Vedic literature with its philosophical maxims has stood the test of time and is the highest religious authority for all sections of Hindus in particular and for mankind in general. The word Veda means wisdom, knowledge or vision, and it is revered as the language of the gods in human speech. The essence of the Vedas is to regulate the social, legal, domestic and religious customs of the Hindus which is meticulously pursued to the present day. All the rituals of Hindus conducted upon birth, marriage, death etc. are based upon Vedic doctrines and they are being followed from time immemorial.
The Rig Veda is a collection of brilliant songs or hymns and is a main source of information in detail on the social, religious, political and economic background of the RigVedic civilization. It is the oldest book in any IndoEuropean language and contains the earliest form of all Sanskrit mantras. Even though some of the hymns of Rig Veda characterize monotheism (belief in the existence of one god), naturalistic polytheism (belief in more than one god,) and monism (belief of different paths to the one god), in general, can be found in the hymns of Rig Veda. The RigVedic 'samhita' (collection of mantras) consists of 1,017 'suktas' (hymns) divided into eight 'ashtakas' (songs) each having eight 'adhyayas' (sections), which are subdivided into various groups with a total of about 10,600 stanzas. The hymns are collection of the work of many authors called 'rishis' (according to post Vedic tradition "seers"). Atri, Kanwa,Vashistha, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Gotama and Bharadwaja are considered as the seven primary seers. The hymns are devoted to thirtythree different gods, most of them nature gods like Indra (rain god), Agni (fire god), Rudra (storm god) etc. A sizeable chunk of the verses are also dedicated to Soma (air god).
The Sama Veda is purely a collection of 'samans' (chants) derived from the eighth and ninth books of the 'original Veda', the Rig-Veda. The hymns in the Sama Veda, used as musical notes have no distinctive lessons of their own. Hence, its text is a reduced version of the Rig Veda. Vedic Scholar David Frawley says that if the Rig Veda is the word, Sama Veda is the song or the meaning, if Rig Veda is the knowledge, Sama Veda is its realization, if Rig Veda is the wife, the Sama Veda is her husband. Sama Veda was meant for the priests who performed the rituals of the soma ceremonies [rituals of the threefold realm of life & death (samsara)]. As time went on rituals and ceremonies of worship became increasingly complex and so a need arose to compile all the rituals and their chants in a book, as a sort of reference point for the priests. The emphasis was on the specific style of its poetry and its literary content had no relevance. There are also very strict instructions in SamaVeda as to how particular hymns must be sung. Great emphasis was put upon sounds of the words of the mantras so that they could have accomplished effects on the environment and the person who pronounced them.
The Yajur-Veda or the wisdom of sacrifices is also a liturgical collection and was made to meet the demands of a ceremonial religion. It lays down various "yajurs" (sacred incantations) which were chanted by a particular sect of priests called adhvaryu. They performed the sacrificial rites. The Yajur Veda practically served as a guidebook for the priests who execute sacrificial acts and at the same time uttering the prayers and the sacrificial yajurs. Few hymns are also attributed to various Gods. However, the core of the Veda is dedicated to the theory of the rituals thereby making it very much ritual based. Many chants for the purpose of praying and paying respect to the various instruments that are involved in the sacrifices could also be seen the Veda. Not less than six complete recessions of Yajur Veda, viz. Madyandina, Kanva, Taittiriya, Kathaka, Maitrayani and Kapishthala are available now.
The Atharva Veda (the wisdom of the Atharvans) is called so because the families of the atharvan sect of the Brahmins have traditionally been credited with the composition of the hymns of the Veda. This is the last of the four Vedas and is completely different from the other Vedas. It is considered next only to RigVeda with regard to history and sociology because its compilation of hymns lacks the remarkable spiritual experience that the RigVeda offers. Its hymns are of a more diverse nature than the Rig Veda and are also simpler in language and therefore it infuses a different experience. In fact, many scholars do not consider it part of the Vedas at all. The Atharva Veda consists of spells and charms prevalent at its time, and portrays a clearer picture of the Vedic society. It has incantations for everything, from success in love to the realization of otherworldly objectives.