Ayurveda in Rishikesh and the Upper Ganges Valley

The highly spiritual atmosphere of the Garhwal Himalaya, the Gateway to the Gods and the Char Dham (four centres of Hindu spirituality) along with the temple towns of Hardwar (Har-Dwar-Gateway to God) and Rishikesh (Hair of the Mendicant) has resulted through the aeons in traditional expertise in Ayurveda being endemic to the region and one of northern India's showcases. Spashram RiverMountain leverages this expertise to full advantage for the benefit of its visitors and gives access to the best exponents in different fields.

Ayurveda, the 'science of life' is a system of traditional medicine native to India, and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine. Ayurveda is a form of complementary and alternative medicine where several of its components such as herbs, massage, and are applied independently a form of treatment. The seven chakras and the Mahabhuta in Tantric tradition. Yoga and Tantra have influenced traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurveda believes in 'five great elements' earth, water, fire, air and space forming the universe, including the human body Blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, chyle, and semen are believed to be the seven primary constituent of the body. Ayurveda stresses a balance of three substances: wind/spirit/air, phlegm, and bile, each representing divine forces. According to Ayurvedic beliefs, the doctrine of these three Doshas- vata (wind/spirit/air), pitta (bile) and kapha (phlegm) is important. Traditional beliefs hold that humans possess a unique constellation of Doshas. In Ayurveda, the human body has 20 Guna, meaning quality). Surgery and surgical instruments are employed. It is believed that building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion, and proper excretion leads to vitality Ayurveda also focuses on exercise, yoga, meditation, and massage. The concept of Panchakarma is believed to eliminate toxic elements from the body. Eight disciplines of Ayurveda treatment, called Ashtanga are given below:

  1. Surgery (Shalya-chikitsa)
  2. Treatment of diseases above the clavicle (Salakyam)
  3. Internal medicine (Kaaya-chikitsa)
  4. Demonic possession (Bhuta vidya):   Ayurveda believes in demonic intervention and as a form of traditional medicine identifies a number of ways to counter the supposed effect of these interferences. Bhuta vidya has been called psychiatry. (Note from Spashram RiverMountain: The communities of the Indian himalaya have a deep belief in spirits. In our experience this usually strikes women. Parmahansa Yogananda the Yogic Master does in his book. The Autobiography of a Yogi explain this phenomenon very well when he says that God is the most powerful Spirit of all, and focusing on him, rather than lesser spirits, crowd out all malefic spirits
  5. Paediatrics (Kaumarabhrtyam)
  6. Toxicology (Agadatantram)
  7. Prevention and building immunity (rasayanam)
  8. Aphrodisiacs (Vajikaranam)

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