Ayurveda – Understanding Your Constitution

Ayurveda – Understanding Your Constitution

Ayurveda literally means the knowledge of life. It is the worlds oldest holistic healing system still in use today. The ancient principles of Ayurveda originated in India more than 5000 years ago. They have been passed down as a sacred oral tradition and within the Vedas- the oldest scriptures known to humankind. The essence and practices of Ayurveda have no borders or boundaries. It is an art and science for all who wish to return to a state of internal and external harmony.

Prakruti and Vikruti

Each individual has a prakruti or inborn constitution, a unique composition of the three doshas. One’s current state is known as the vikruti or imbalance stemming from deviation from our innate nature. Once we establish our prakruti and vikruti, we can use the wisdom of Ayurveda to consciously make choices regarding food, lifestyle, yoga, exercise, career path, environment and every other aspect of our life to maintain balance, and therefore have the energy to fulfill our highest potential.

How to Establish Your Constitution

Go through the following dosha checklist twice. To establish your prakruti (essential nature/ constitution from conception), initially check the boxes that relate to your long-term tendencies or the way that things have been most of your life. The 2nd time through, check the boxes that relate to your vikruti (current state). The checklist is merely a guide- its accuracy is determined by the objectiveness of the individual. It is best to see an Ayurvedic Consultant or Practitioner to get a clear and accurate assessment of both your prakruti and vikruti.



What is the Ayurvedic Perspective on Cannabis?

What is the Ayurvedic Perspective on Cannabis?

The cannabis plant serves a thousand purposes and is a remarkably renewable resource (it literally grows like a weed). This global shift towards legalization is long overdue and offers hope that we can yet reverse the absurd suppression and violent defamation this sacred plant has suffered in the last century.

In his book, Shiva’s Broken Dream— detailing the world history of cannabis and the powerful movements to vilify it — Mel Thomas relates how,

The Vedas… describe how cannabis was created when the Gods stirred the heavenly oceans with the peak of Mount Mandara. A drop of amrita (heavenly nectar) fell from the sky and a sacred cannabis plant sprouted on the spot. Lord Siva brought the cannabis plant down from Mount Mandara for the pleasure of Mankind and for this the plant was consecrated to him [Siva].

Indeed, there are some intriguing theories that the cognitive and spiritual evolution of mankind was due in part to our interaction with sacred plants acting as vehicles for higher consciousness. For example, did you know mushroom spores can survive the vacuum of outer space?

The Ayurvedic tradition recognizes marijuana (known as vijaya in Sanskrit) as a medicinal herb. However, it is only ever recommended in minuscule doses, and always in combination with other more sattvic herbs to balance the tamasic effects of cannabis.

Alakananda Ma, a highly respected spiritual teacher and doctor of Ayurveda, acknowledges marijuana as “a muscle relaxant, euphoriant and analgesic” in her article on the topic. She explains,

Although long revered in India as a sacred plant of Shiva, ganja has, as we have seen, significant physical, emotional and spiritual impacts. In its ancient cultural setting, it has for centuries been used by world renouncing sadhus in conjunction with fasts and severe austerities.

In such a context, ganja could potentially be of value on the spiritual path, although this author has rarely met a ganja-smoking sadhu who had attained the ultimate goal. Taken out of its cultural context and introduced into a party lifestyle unheard-of in ancient tradition, ganja has become far more problematic.

This is a crucial point. Neo-hippies and new-age spiritualists often invoke the use of ganja as an ancient and therefore legitimate tool on the road to enlightenment. What these invocations generally lack, however, is the proper ceremonial context and attendant sattvic lifestyle habits that accompanied the practice in the past. Ritualistic inhalation of a sacred herb on rare, auspicious occasions is very different than daily spliffs or perfunctory bong rips.

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