The origin of Ayurveda is shrouded in myth, but is popularly believed to be the medicinal system of the Indian Gods, which was formed through intense meditation and a deep understanding of creation. Ayurveda has been the traditional herbal healing system of India since conception of the Universe, and Lord Dhanwantari is considered as the father of Ayurveda. This science of healing and good health is thought to have existed much before the creation of man, and his various ailments.
According to the principles of Ayurveda, diseases broke out when man fell into sin, a prey to evil passions, wealth and desires and this eventually led to weakening of the human body. As longevity declined, robbing man of his pure mind and heart, Sages of ancient India, assembled on the slopes of the Himalayas and through deep prayer and meditation they sought God’s intervention and knowledge to eliminate human suffering. Through this spiritual journey, it is believed, Sage Bharadyuraja was send to Lord Indra to learn about Ayurveda. This secret health system of the Indian Gods, was then taught and handed down generations. Ayurveda has now evolved and served as the system of natural medicine in India, and is still surviving as a distinct entity from ancient times.
Initial contributions of this traditional herbal system of healing, can be traced back to the oldest surviving religious, philosophical and spiritual Indian literature and texts called the Vedas. Through deep meditation and spiritual rituals, the Rishis of long ago, compiled the Vedas to elaborate upon the complex truth about human physiology and health. Specifically, contributions of a comprehensive and systematic description of an array of diseases, accompanied with their treatments, are only found in the Atharva Veda, one of the four types of Vedas existing in the Indian Vedic literature. Mentions of the original and complete knowledge of Ayurveda in Vedic literature, initially written in Sanskrit and thought to be completed by 1200 BC is still in use today.
As years progressed, this systematic development of herbal medicine in India was accompanied by organised medical help in the form of hospitals, dispensaries and a certain measure of health propaganda. Evidence of organised medical care in India was initially noted during the Samhita Period, between 6th century BC to 7th century AD, where a number of classical works were produced by several authors of ancient India.
Ayurveda has also greatly influenced medical practices in the East and West , lending her contributions to Chinese medicine, Buddhist philosophy and Herbology. Despite years since the inception of the Ayurvedic healing concept, and influences of various modern medical and healing systems, the Ayurveda practiced today, in the 21st century, still revolves around its earliest philosophies.