What are Artha and Moksha in Ayurveda?
Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are the four life goals (purushartha), which, according to Ayurveda, draw the roadmap of human life. These goals do not have well-defined periods and timelines to reach; we may even fail to understand that we are going through them but each of us goes through at least the three life goals (cycles).
Why do we go through the three cycles but not always through the last one – Moksha?
Artha, Kama and Dharma are secondary goals through which each person goes from their birth until the end of their earthly path. They are secondary not because they are not as important but because if we manage to achieve them, we will reach our most important goal – Moksha or liberation.
We are born with our Dharma (duty) and we follow through our entire life. We study, go to work, educate our selves, create a family, care for our relatives, join our societies, and try to be useful to society.
As we grow up, we begin to look for ways to secure ourselves and our relatives financially – we buy houses, cars, we furnish and put away money in banks. This cycle is called Artha and means accumulation of wealth.
The third cycle – Kama – is the time of pleasures and fulfillment of our dreams. If we have followed our Dharma, if we have secured the financial (we have reached Artha), the time comes where we can indulge in the pleasures and desires (Kama). We can travel, have fun and do whatever gives us pleasure.
The fourth objective or cycle of human life according to Ayurveda is called Moksha and means liberation. This actually is the ultimate and most important goal in our lives but very few people reach it. Very few of the people who have gone through Dharma, Artha and Kama are able to reach liberation because reaching the idea of freedom from everything material, from any pleasure or desire is difficult to achieve, especially nowadays.
Ayurveda and the life goals
Understanding life, pursuing goals may sound a little philosophical, and you do not see a connection between Vedic medicine and treatment of diseases, but there is a relation and it’s a quite important one.
In order to make the connection between the four life goals and Ayurveda the treatment, we must first ask ourselves: What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian science, philosophy and a holistic treatment system that respects natural laws, taking care of the physical, mental and mental health of man.
According to Ayurveda, each man's philosophy is a small cell of the universe. A cell that is connected not only to all the objects on the planet but also to all other heavenly bodies (stars, planets, etc.) Consequently everything that happens with a person and around them inevitably affects them, and everything that happens inside of a person affects the surrounding world.
Everyone in their lives must constantly learn, perform certain lessons and listen to nature and the Universe. When a person finally understands their nature, they begin to devote all their energy, all their strength to the common good (fulfill their life goals). If somewhere along the way goes they get confused, if the balance within them is interrupted, it will inevitably affect their health (physical, spiritual or mental).
Vedic doctors, following natural laws and studying the structure of the human body many years ago, discovered the so called energy information centers or chakras. They also found out that each chakra is characterized by its specific frequency, which corresponds to the energy information characteristics of different planets and other cosmic objects. On Earth this proves to be in line with the rhythms of the plant, animal species and minerals.
Using this knowledge of nature, man, and the Universe, Ayurveda to this day cures diseases only with herbs, herbal tinctures, essential oils and other natural products.
As people who are away from Hinduism and the roots of Ayurveda, this may seem odd but, according to Vedic science, the root of all diseases lies in the heart... in the closed heart of man.
What does this mean?
According to Ayurveda, if a person's heart is open, they live in harmony with themselves, the others and nature. If the heart is closed, this stops the exchange of energy and information with the Universe and various vices such as pride, envy, greed, malice, hatred are activated. They not only destroy this person’s body and cause many diseases but they have a disruptive influence on the whole of society.
How does Ayurveda cure?
In Ayurveda the word diagnosis has a very different meaning than in modern medicine. In Ayurvedic treatment, diagnosis means knowing and understanding the patient rather than detecting the disease. When the true character and nature of the patient is clear to the Ayurveda physician, then the disease can be detected, understood and treated.
From Ayurveda's point of view, the highest form of treatment is not only to treat the patient's illness but also to help them live in such a way that the disease does not occur again.
The Ayurvedic approach to health starts with a simple but very important question: Who are you?
This means not only telling your name and what complaints you have.
This means: What is your heart – open or closed? This means: What are your physical, emotional and spiritual characteristics? How do the energy and information from the Universe enter your flesh and blood, your hopes and dreams? How does this affect your work, your relationships with people, nature and the food you eat?
Before any treatment is started, the Ayurveda specialist takes the time to talk to the patient in order to understand as much as possible about their physical, mental and spiritual health.
Pulse diagnostics are conducted in order to establish if there is a problem; thanks to it the Vedic doctors can establish with great precision whether or not there is an imbalance in the body.
The presence of a disease is confirmed by imbalance of one or several doshas, and the treatment that is applied is to restore the balance of the doshas.
For the purposes of the treatment, Ayurveda (the only holistic system officially recognized by the World Health Organization) uses natural remedies of vegetable or mineral origin, diets that in effect have the power to heal and unique healing therapies, massages and procedures.
Treatment is chosen individually for each patient, depending on the type of the constitution (the principle of the three doshas) and the imbalance of the doshas which have caused the disease. The healing process is done by restoring the body's balance as a whole, by removing toxins from the cells and tissues, thus eliminating the causes of the disease. At the same time, medicines strengthen and cure damaged organs and systems.
One of the most important Ayurvedic techniques is PANCHAKARMA – a five-stage body detoxification system.
What does Ayurveda cure?
The Vedic holistic treatment system is very effective in the treatment of various chronic diseases, some of which prove to be difficult to tackle for the conservative medicine. In cases where the disease has gone too far Ayurveda could delay the destructive processes, improve the general condition and quality of life of the patient (e.g. in the tertiary stage of cancer after chemotherapy and surgery).
Numerous studies conducted in India and around the world have shown that Ayurvedic medicine achieves outstanding results in areas such as:
* cardiovascular diseases (coronary heart disease, arterial hypertension, etc.);
* diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, ulcer, enteritis, colitis, etc.);
* psychosomatic diseases, stress, depression, neurosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, etc.;
* metabolic diseases and the endocrine system (diabetes, obesity, thyroid disease, etc.);
* infertility and sexual disorders in both sexes;
* skin diseases (psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, etc.).