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India’s Ancient Influence: Food to Architecture

Dholavira is an ancient city in India, commencing around 3,500BCE, which has some amazing influences that show continuity with later Indian culture.

1. Highly-polished pillars, not unlike the later Mauryan Pillars were found, with interesting bases. Polished statues such as the Priest-King and Red Sandstone Bust from other areas of the Indus culture also reveal this, and preceded the Hellenic world by well over 1,000 years in such techniques.

2. Large stadiums, holding up to 10,000 people have also be found. This also shows influences from India that, possibly, through trade via areas in Gujarat where Dholavira is located, as well as the influences of later Universities such as Takshashila west, influence the Greco-Roman world.

3. Hemispherical mounds were found, over rock-cut areas, not unlike later Stupas. Rock-cut architecture in Dholavira, in the form of these and also large reservoirs show the continuity of later architecture such as rock-cut cave-temples, to the amazing Kailasa Temple.

These mounds appear to be precursors to what became Buddhist Stupas – dome-shaped funerary mounds. Ruins at Kaushambi (800BCE-600BCE period) show of true-arch formations/basements with such, and also a large dome that was atop the palace. Later Stupas and Mauryan Architecture around 300BCE also sport these archways and domes – thus as early as 1,000 years before the advent of Islam, let alone so-called “Indo-Islamic” architecture in India (15thC AD).

True archways are also seen over deities on Indus-Valley seals around 2,500BCE. Ancient people as the Todas of southern India have also built their huts in such styles for thousands of years. Corbelled archways are seen all over the Indus cities, especially at Dholavira, via sewage drains and storm-drains.

4. Large step-wells also originated in Dholavira. These also show continuity with later step-wells in India, and also their grand designs. It appears in the past 5,000 years, not much has changed.

5 The world’s oldest sign-board was also found at Dholavira, and originally went over the entranceway. Along with the stone-cut architecture that continues into later India, this reveals much more about ancient India.

Kalibangan in Rajasthan is another amazing city.

1. Tandoor ovens (known as kandu in texts such as Sushruta Samhita) – and the process of cooking meats like tandoori chicken have been found here. It was earlier thought such came to India via Central Asian influences, but it is clear such influences continued in India (as in present-day Sindh and Panjab), and spread to Central Asia etc., much like how South Indian cuisine and influences shaped SE-Asian cultures, especially Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. Central Asia was once also Buddhist and Indian Universities attracted many students from there. It appears breads such as naan originated here and also spread to Central Asia as well, since the inhabitants ate much wheat; naan and kebabs are noted by Arabs in the 13th century, 400 years before the Mughals; Arabs and Persians also translated many Ayurvedic and other works which influenced their Unani system of medicine and contained many recipes; Arabs also dominated the spices from India and would have taken back some of the Indian culinary delicacies. Recipes would have also influenced this.

There is often a misconception that some dishes from Mughals, due to Hindi terms popularised by invaders. Yet, even common words in Hindi for foodstuffs, viz. goat (gosht), chicken (murgh), onion (pyaj), vegetables (subji), world (duniya), life (zindigi), heart (dil), and even book (kitab) derive from foreign sources; it doesn’t mean they aren’t native to India! Invaders often used their local terms for food etc. that were popular with them – as we see, even common every-day items used by Hindus were replaced with Turkic, Arabic and Persian loanwords in Hindi. The Greeks, for example, identified Krishna as Herakles and Shiva with Dionysus. Even kismet (fate) is commonly used in Hindi to denote karmic fate – hence Hindi, as a common language, uses foreign terms for even things Hindu replacing Sanskrit.


Various dishes such as Pilaf (from which Paella originates) originated in ancient India, from blended dishes, taken back to Europe by Alexander the Great’s soldiers. Other classic dishes from kebabs to biryani have their origin in India, as well; The ancient figure and cook Nala of the Indian epics notes of Mamsodana or “meat-rice”, cooked with various fragrant spices (in his Paka-Darpana), as does the 12th Century text, Manasollasa, which also notes of recipes from modern-day idli in South India, to curries like pasanda, koftas, bondi and even chaats in the North. One recipe notes of pork balls and bacon in curds. The early Sangam literature in southern India, which also dominated the spice-trade also notes of Oon Soru, a dish of meat-rice with fragrant spices added around 200AD.

Again, the important fact to remember is that rice and spices as pepper, long pepper, cinnamon, cassia, star anise, cardamom, cumin, cloves turmeric, ginger etc. came from India to Central Asia and Arabia, where they were then transmitted west. It is thus no wonder we find such dishes originating in India, itself. As noted, Arabs (via spice trade and later influences from Ayurvedic books, trade, astronomy and mathematics from India) and Central Asians (via Buddhism, especially in the early centuries BCE and via the Silk Road trade routes) were influenced by cuisine etc. from Northern India as much as SE Asia was from southern Indian culture and cuisine.

Mamsodana or rice with meat and clarified butter, especially beef/veal (thus, beef biryani) is noted in Brihanaranyaka Upanishad (VI.4.18) around at least 3,200 years ago, said to be a recipe for providing a great son as a great scholar, able to hold debates etc. Interestingly, the modern Saint, Swami Vivekananda who brought Hinduism to the west, is known to have eaten beef! Such appears to do with the fact that Vrisha (the term for bull) also denotes strength, shakti or power – as seen by horned figures in ancient times from the Indus-Valley onwards. In the Vedas, beef or bulls was offered to Rudra (later Bhairava), who himself is often described as a bull in the Rig Veda. Shatapatha Brahmana (XII.7.2.3/6) states bulls are offered to Indra (later Shiva), since bulls as strength (indriya – also senses), as well as speech.

This may give us some clues as to the origin of biryani dishes in India, and their purpose, also.

Charaka, around 3,000 years ago (Charaka, Samhita, Sutrasthana, XXVII. 250 – 256) describes different types of rice preparations, including that with ghee, marrow, meats and fruits – not unlike variations in biryanis today. Likewise, Ashtanga Hridayam of Vagbhat around 600AD (Sutra, VI. 30 – 31) also notes of odana or boiled rice dishes with milk, meat etc (mamsa-odana, biryani), being hard to digest.

Sushruta around 3,500BCE, drawing from older works, also mentions various meat dishes that spread across the globe (along with India’s spices, just as Indian textiles and fashions did):

Mamsa Vilepi or a rice-gruel dish of meats, fruits, sour tastes and vegetables.

-Milk-Meat, processed in meat with fragrant spices, vi. cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger etc. (Su. Sam. Sut. XLVI.352). This is much like modern-day korma recipes, that pre-date Mughals by 3,000 years! Sweetened Vesavara Mamsa (ibid, 365) is similar; it is boneless meat, made into a paste, added with jaggery, ghee, Indian long pepper, black pepper and dry ginger.

Parisushka Mamsa, meat fried in ghee, processed with water, cumin and others. Pradigdha Mamsa is the same meat, placed in milk (ibid, 353). This is not unlike later variants such as keema dahi vada. Vadas themselves are mentioned (ibid 294-295) as vataka and sthunika and noted as being hard to digest, and of many varieties (“sarva vataka” – “all types of vataka“) – showing there were numerous forms and preparations; one form of discs of wheat and green-gram, as also filled with meat are noted (ibid 399). The vegetarian form of keema dahi vada also originated in Manasollasa. Preparations in buttermilk sauces etc. are noted (ibid, 449-457) where Sushruta notes various containers for storage of food preparations.

Here, we see the ideas of stuffed balls and cakes of various kinds, as also keema-parathas as originating in the time of Sushruta, 3,000 years ago or more. We recall that he was also from the more royal dynasties of Benares (Kashi), and hence mentions the foods of the kshatriya castes more.

Ullupta Mamsa or minced meat, often made into kebabs etc. (ibid, 354). It appears such also made its way into the middle-east as well. As noted, Manasollasa states of these recipes later, just in more detail. As tandoors originated in India, as also continuity in such dishes even in Sushruta’s times, shows kebabs originated in India and spread to Central Asia and Persia – perhaps by way of Gypsies, or trade, Indian scholars, or universities. Indian colonies, as via the Silk Road to Baghdad also established colonies where such influences would have existed.

Shulya Mamsa, meat roasted over coals etc. – basically, like kebab meat, or kebab-meat (ibid, 355), also called Pratapta meat, made by adding ghee, cumin, sea-salt and pepper, before roasting. Kebabs come from the ancient Akkadian term kebabu, which may derive from Sanskrit kandava (lit, “cooked in an oven/over coals”) or from kandu. Mahabharat first makes mention of roasting large pieces of meat with spices, juices etc. on spits. Harivamsa (c.400AD) elaborates on this (II.89.55 – 65), stating various substances such as fruit juices of pomegranate, vinegar, salt and black pepper used as marinades were cooked over coals on spikes; sauces of mangoes, vinegar, ghee, salt and pepper with sour fruit pastes, also.

-Bharjita-Mamsa (meat fried in fats, minced and made into pancakes – basically “meat-balls”) and finally, Kandu-pachita, basically tandoori-meat (ibid, 356), meat smeared with mustard powder, fragrant powders after being roasted. Again (ibid, 408), Sushruta mentions foods cooked on coals and mud-pans.

Many such influences were also taken west by the Romani (Gypsies) from India to Europe and the Middle East (by the Domari).

2. Fire-Altars which show continuity with the Vedic-culture to the modern-day. Ancient India’s Fire-cult as seen as early as the Rig-Veda reveals the origin of this, and also goes with the tandoors and the ancient sacred art of cooking.

3. The world’s earliest ploughed field came from Kalibangan also, around 2,800BCE. It shows a high-degree of agricultural sophistication.

4. Tiled floors are seen on houses, much like later and modern-day India. Latticework, not unlike that of later windows, palaces and temples is also found, of alabaster in some Indus cities.

Ancient Indian dress also inspired many across the world also, since cotton and other textiles arose in, and were exported from India since ancient times, to Mesopotamia, Egypt and later Greece and Rome, where such styles were influenced; the Roman toga derived from the Indian dhoti with upper draped garment over the shoulder as seen from Indus Valley times until the time of the Buddha and beyond; the Indus Valley also sports various types of turbans and tunics which spread across the western and eastern world, as well as numerous other headdresses, and hair-styles!

Just as we see later the Buddha sporting various knots, hair-styles and such, so also these are found in the Indus around 2800BCE onwards. Later military and royal tunics seen around 200BCE, as well as royal robes by Satavahana Kings on the older Ajanta Cave paintings, had their origin in the Indus. Tunics are also seen in The sculpture dubbed “Lady of the Spiked Throne” – a kind of bull-shaped ship, or vimana (flying chariot) sports men with tunics/robes and turbans as her guards/attendants, much as we see with later guards depicted in carvings and paintings in the Buddhist-era. Such are also seen on rock-art in Central and Eastern India, going back to 10,000BCE.

Like the art and architecture of India, these would have spread west. The use of dice, from one to six dots and the origin of chess are also from Indus cities – just as our modern numerals (1 – 9) replacing the cumbersome Roman system, zero, trigonometry, medicine and surgery, astronomy etc. spread etc. also was transmitted west via trade and also Indian universities where people studied – especially Takshashila in the western part of ancient India (Gandhara), which attracted many Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans and Egyptian students from 600BCE onwards. Here, the spread of Buddhism, Buddhist Monks and also the Sindhi-trade route would have influenced many dress-styles via being exported from India as ready-made textiles and their mode of wearing. Even buttons, for example originated in ancient India, and from the Egyptians to Romans, Indian gold and jewelry made its way west!

The Panchatantra, a work around 200BCE was translated into many languages from Latin to Arabic, and became the basis of fairy tales across the globe; like India’s numerals, integer system and decimal-place system, it is one of her most valuable contributions to the world’s culture – along with chess. Such tales in turn have their origin in the Ithihasa-purana literature – which is seen in the Brahmanas (1900BCE), and stories in the Indus-Valley motifs.

The ancient Indian system of Shilpa-Shastra or Stapathya Veda stands out as a purely Vedic model and is what has made Indus Valley cities famous; their grid-like and town-planning system, as well as hydraulic engineering, flush sit-down toilets, separate bathrooms etc. leading into large sewers – and even public rubbish bins on streets! Such is much as ancient hospitals and such are described in later times by authors such as Charaka, relative to public hygiene.

Thus, many styles of art, architecture, dress etc., especially in Central Asia (once Buddhist, and some regions even belonging to the Indus Culture) simple adapted these when converting to Islam; the once-Buddhist past was superimposed upon their new religion – which once dominated (and originated, from the Indus, spread via trade and education) from Sindh to deep into Central Asia.

The ancient name of the area, the Hindu Kush or Hindu-Killer, relates to the thousands of Hindu craftsmen slaves taken via this route to Samarkand and Bukhara, to build the capitals there.

In the East – India influenced China, Korea, Japan as well as Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines through Buddhism, Hinduism, Sanskrit literature as well as Indian scripts via southern India – the basis of SE Asian scripts, as well as dress-styles, just as Rome in the west influenced Europe. Epics as the Ramayana and Mahabharata are still performed throughout Asia and sung; ancient Cambodia boast’s the ancient Hindu Temple to Vishnu (Angkor Vat), and Thailand with it’s variants of south-Indian curries, dress and customs, scatterings of Hindu Brahmins (as also in Bali, in Indonesia) boasts southern-influences of architecture and Sanskrit-derived names for their rulers and place-names.

Even down to the anointing of the Thai rulers (Rajapisek, from Sanskrit: Rajyabhisheka – lit. “royal consecration/anointing”), the practices continue, as well as others to Hindu deities as Shiva (notably Triyampawai ceremony).

Just as the south-Indian scripts, dynasties with clothing and architecture, as also curries and spices influenced SE Asia, so also, as we see, Northern India, from things originating in Vedic times in the Indus-Valley, continued onwards and also influenced people west, such as the Arabs and Persians – translators of the Hindu texts, especially thus also gastronomical, as also influences as dress and belly-dancing from the Gypsies, Indian traders and their contact with Indian Universities. Just as the southern Gopura-style influenced SE Asia, so the northern dome and arch-styles influenced the west from the ancient and Indus origins, as also tunics, robes and such.

As with textiles originating in India and being exported, so also thus, North and South, India as the land of exporting rice and spices to the world also generated many delicacies along with these over thousands of years. Some became staples in Buddhist periods in Central-Asia and also the Arab world influenced from India – which were this popularised even more by their local names upon such invaders taking power of India; yet, we see the indigenous origin of such things “Mughal” as 5,000 years old in India, with continuity from later times (500AD – 1200AD), as we do with south Indian influences and those given to SE Asia.

From the naan and kebab, to tandoori dishes and biryani, Northern India has had such an influence on the western world, just as south India did with coconut and tamarind-based curries and such!

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Ritucharya (Seasonal Routines):

[EXCERPT from Up-coming book “Ayurvedic Wellness Tips”]

© Durgadas (Rodney) Lingham/Arogya Ayurvedic Health Ltd.

All Rights Reserved.

No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any form, without direct permission from the author. Quotes may be used in research works, providing proper citations and references are given.

Ayurveda considers the effects of seasons on our lives, due to their constant changes due to exogenous effects, that can affect our daily metabolic functions, both physically and mentally.

We have discussed in the beginning, how Ayurveda correlates various times of the day and correlates them with the doshas and their aggravation. Likewise, as a part of the Ayurvedic circadian clock, Ayurveda also looks at various effects relative to seasons (ritu), which we will now discuss here, as an important topic, relative to the scope of this book.

As a part of its preventative medicine scince, Ayurveda thus looks at the effects of these seasons and the changes they have relaive to affecting us, as individuals.

According to the traditional six-season model in India, vata accumulates in the summer-time and aggravates in the early rainy-season; pitta accumulates in the rainy or monsoon season and aggravates in the autumn and kapha accumulates in pre-winter and aggravates in the spring.

Here, the six seasons are:

Vasanta
or Spring
Grishma or Summer
Varshaor Monsoon season
Sharada or Early autumn
Hemanta or Late autumn
Shishira or Winter

Today there are many that claim to use the classical six-season system of the classics of Ayurveda (introducing shishira or late-winter / cold season and varsha or rainy / monsoon season) and apply them to western and other environments. Yet, the reality is that that we cannot use the six-season model of Ayurveda as in India, as we don’t have six seasons! Moreover, the seasons also differ in the Northern and Southern hemisphere! In Australasia for example, we celebrate Christmas in the summer-time, not in the cool winter as in the Northern Hemisphere and hence the same regimens and times cannot be superimposed. India is also a tropical nation, whereas others are not and change accordingly.

Moreover, these differ as per nation as per specific climates and cycles also, especially in relation to the North and South pole, which Ayurveda understands well with desha (land or region)etc. which all of this also comes into.

The climates across the US alone can change quite dramatically, especially the South closer to the equator and the North which is closer to the North Pole! This reveals that different models are here required as seasons have different properties even in the North American continent, let alone between continents themselves and localised variations of weather patterns. Land-locked regions of the south are also different in the desert to those bordering coastlines etc.

Even ecologists today employ four-seasonal systems in temperate and sub-polar regions, but employ a six-season system for more temperate or tropical regions. Kerala for example has to be treated as a kind of “rainy season / monsoon” (varsha season) climate due to having the highest rainfall of India. Hence, such issues need to be addressed relative to these sciences, as such again doesn’t apply to the rest of the world – just as the consumption of turkey, chilies, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, avocados etc. native to the Americas[1] is suitable for those habitually used to other foodstuffs in their diets for thousands of years (as Europeans) – whereas such are anti-doted with spices to aid in their digestions in the orient where they were introduced through trade in the past 400 years[2] – what is known as satmya or suitability in Ayurveda, as per cultural and social norms in dietary, lifestyle and other habits that are not always the same. Not all nations eat curries or spiced foods as India does for example and thus may not be able to handle the hotter, more pungent spices (such as Indian long pepper, ginger and garlic) traditionally used in South Asia.

Here we must remember that regions nearer the equator will have different kinds of seasonal effects to those nearer the poles, especially relative to summer and winter. India as a more tropical climate has its system centered more upon this system which differs from many other nations here and thus such properties must be assessed in a more unique manner – just as one should differentiate between predominating doshic factors in a patient, as also their vayas (age) in which doshic predominating factors are high, as also relative to their ethnicity also, as such variations exist. Smaller eyes for example are not always a sign of a vata person, just as a larger nose is not a sign of a kapha person when it comes to race. India possesses various racial types from Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Australoid and Negrito. We have to allow for differences here, just as we do for seasonal changes and changes in climatic factors and properties relative to them.

As such, the following four-season model is adapted to the west and such relative to Ayurveda. We must remember that Ayurveda considered such things as desha (location) and the effects of such regional changes, relative to how it assessed various things and gave such various properties accordingly. We know these by our own regions, once we have understood the gunas or properties of these.


[1] As per Ayurveda, these foods wouldn’t necessarily cause issues to people habitually suited to them, but may for others newly adopting them. Ayurveda often,as Indian cooking, uses spices to “anti-dote” these toxic effects of new foods and those we are unaccustomed to. 

Here, Charaka Samhita, Chikitsasthana, XXX.321-325 gives examples of, just as how the diets of Chinese, Europeans etc. doesn’t affect them, though sometimes contrary to disease, so sometimes like qualities of the doshas can alleviate them, as pitta deep within the tissues can be brought out by heat as in poultices or hot application and that excreta from a fly, though causing vomiting sensations, can also cure it (things which are normally contrary, but in certain cases help the disorder)!

[2] There is evidence to support the use of potatoes, chillies, maize, pumpkins etc. in India and Indian cooking in the pre-Columbian period.  Maize is seen on Hoysala and other sculptures in earlier times, as as early as 100AD (Sorenson, John L & Johannessen,  Carl  L: Scientific Evidence for Pre-Columbian Voyages Sino-Platinoc Papers,  Dept. of  East Asian Languages and Civilisations,  University of Pennsylvania, April 2004.).        Amaranth has also been culyivated since Indus-Valley times (source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/indus-valley-non-vegetarian-national-museum-6278349/).

Here, we know that India-America relations were possible in the earlier centuries AD, as also as early as the Ramayana and the Chola etc. Empires. Thus, it’s possible we used chilies much earlier!

According to the Asian Scientist magazine (June 1, 2018), sweet potatoes have have first been cultivated in India itself, and not the Americas as history tells us., due to fossils of leaves around 57 million years ago (Source: https://www.asianscientist.com/2018/06/in-the-lab/fossil-sweet-potatoes-asia-india/ ).


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What was the Ancient Indian diet like?

Q: How was Indian food made spicy before the introduction of chilies from the Americas?

A: Indian cooking has used garlic, ginger, black pepper and a spicier variety of pepper (Piper longum or “Indian long pepper” – from whence the term ‘pepper’ itself originates, via Latin piper) – in spices. Indian long pepper itself was used in many formulas to dispel phlegm, improve rheumatic complaints and as a digestive aid.

Being more pungent than normal black pepper (Piper nigrum), when combined with other spices, viz. turmeric, ginger, garlic etc., it turns the food, or curry, quite spicy in itself.

Q: Indian cooking uses tomatoes. Was there anything used before this to ‘sour’ Indian dishes?

A: Yes! Tomatoes simply replaced the older Indian variants of making curries slightly sour in taste. The main traditional ingredient prior to the introduction of tomatoes from the Americas was tamarind.

However, dried mango powder, curds, buttermilk and lemon juice were used in traditional recipes in the periods of pre-Columbia contact, and are still used to this day.

Q: It is said that North Indian dishes with creams etc. are “Mughlai” dishes introduced by the Turkic invaders from Central Asia?

A: Actually, Central Asia was once a part of greater India that included Gandhara (Afghanistan) and Sindh (Pakistan and North-Western India) where the cuisine was much the same. 2,000 years prior to the Mughal invasions, the Ayurvedic texts as Charaka Samhita speak of people in Sindh consuming foods or curries mixed with dairy. Classic texts also speak of buttermilk, curds etc. mixed with foods.

In Southern India, due to the hotter climate, coconut milk and cream was used. Hence, creamy curries are not simply exclusive to Central Asia, though these people did prefer them from antiquity, due to the influences from ancient Buddhist regions as Gandhara they received influence from
.

The ancient centre of learning for Persians, Indians and Central Asians – which included Ayurveda and also influenced regional cultures via architecture, dress and cuisine was in Takshashila (Taxila) in this region, which dates back to around 1200BCE, based on archeology.

Q: Was Tandoori chicken a thing in ancient India?

A: Tandoors date back as early as the Indus Valley civilisation, around 5,000 years ago. Chickens and other meats are said to have been barbequed, roasted etc., as in the later texts as Sushruta Samhita (c.2000BCE).

Various breads would have also been cooked this way as well.

In addition, chickpeas, lentils, dals and rice, as also wheat and amaranth were consumed some 5,000 years back.

Q: Were ancient Indians vegetarian?

A: No. Based on both the texts as the brahmanas as well as the Ayurvedic texts and archeological evidences, Indians ate beef, goat (also a speciality of Kashmiri Brahmins to this day), fish, eggs as well as chicken and exotic meats as tortoise, iguanas and even peacocks!

I have noted more about this in my article HERE.

Ayurveda Auckland, Ayurvedic Practitioner Auckland, Auckland ,Ayurveda, Ayurveda Practitioner Auckland, NZ Ayurveda, Ayurveda North Island, Ayurveda Albany, Ayurveda Auckland CBD, Ayurveda Auckland, Ayurveda Auckland Practitioner, Ayurveda Auckland, Yoga New Zealand, Yoga Auckland, Panchakarma Auckland. Ayurvedic Skype Consultation, Skype Ayurveda, Online Ayurveda. Durgadas, Practitioner Ayurveda, Ayurveda Consultation Auckland. Naturopathy Auckland. Astrology Auckland 


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Why Ayurveda – Nature’s Healing System?

Why should I try Ayurveda?

  1. Ayurveda is the world’s oldest natural-healing system – time-tested across India, China, Korea, Japan, SE-Asia and also influencing founders of western medical systems as Hippocrates and later Arab physicians taking this science into Europe in the Middle-Ages, with the revival of surgery and humoric medicine
  2. It promotes models of biological sustainability through working with circadian rhythms as per our phenotypes (unique biologies)
  3. It sources 100% natural and organic cures from the earth which are compatible with the human body (a product of nature, not a synthetic structure)
  4. Ayurveda assesses our unique changes for optimum health, based on our own unique suitabilities (genetic, cultural and biological), rather than a ‘fad’ or ‘cookie-cutter’ dietary or yoga regime
  5. Many from Hollywood Celebrities, movements such as TM (Transcendental Medication), Deepak Chopra to Prince Charles and Camilla promote Ayurveda (the English Royal family still themselves, use homoepathic doctors, whose roots in European herbalism derive from Ayurveda)

Do I need to believe in anything to practice Ayurveda? Can I be vegan?

A: Ayurveda is based on a system that caters for all types of people and varied tastes, as per the ancient diverse dietary habits of religious and cultural preferences across Asia – ranging from meat-eaters, to lacto-vegetarians, lactose-intolerant individuals and even those who avoided root-vegetables, as well as communities such as Jews and Muslims with specific dietary (halaal and kosher) requirements.

Based on various factors such as one’s own unique biological makeup and psychology, Ayurveda then assesses the disease patterns and manifestation of the individual (if applicable) and recommends an integral dietary and lifestyle approach based upon this.

As an example, the ancient vegetarian, non-alcoholic Jainas of India, whilst mainly lacto-vegetarians unlike modern vegans – many did avoid dairy from farmers who ill-treated their cattle, and like modern vegans, also avoided honey – in addition to even more strict regimes such as fungus (as mushrooms), yeasts as well as root-vegetables, as Brahmins (priestly families) in India avoided the use of onions, garlic, alcohol etc.

Yet, it also understood and respected some regions consumed higher quantities of dairy (in the north), fish (in the east) and meats (in the Himalayas) and provided appropriated dishes and spicing in accordance with these variations, as also when treating those with religious dietary restrictions/prohibitions.

In fact, in ancient times, Indian physicians were invited to Persia, Greece, Rome and later Baghdad in the Arab world, where they were respected and honoured as teachers to people of various faiths – Jewish, Muslim and Christian. Ayurveda itself has been practiced by numerous denominations of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, atheists and others for thousands of years.

One is free to stick to their dietary and religio-cultural habits and personal beliefs, making some adjustments within these to avoid/include foods that can assist in proper health for the individual, based upon the in-depth energetics of foodstuffs – including, herbs, herbal preparations etc. and how/when these are consumed, as also with what combinations.

Yoga also isn’t just about difficult poses, but forms a major part of Ayurvedic Psychology, assessing levels of the mind, breathing practices, sound and aroma therapies that affect the mind-body complex; here, yoga can be said as the study of, and also the practice of (by way of visualisations, sound and breathing techniques, as also certain stretches [where required] ) psycho-somatics – something little understood in western approaches in the modern-day.

Carl Jung was also among noted psycho-analysts that noted Ayurveda and Yoga’s ability to understand the mind and psychosomatics to a deeper level than western medical science.

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SPRING NEWS AND UPDATES

2019 Spring News and Updates

Spring is in the air again, with kapha (phlegm) being aggravated and starting to liquefy with the warmer weather, and the time of allergies.

For allergies, place a little ghee (clarified butter) in the nostrils after cleansing sinuses with a neti pot in the morning (add a little warm water with a pinch of salt, ginger powder and cinnamon, with a drop or two of sesame oil). Otherwise, you can use Anu Taila, which you can purchase from us.

We need to continue our spices and herbs for the winter regimens, and also continue with those ginger drinks during this period.

Some yoga practices can also help
(these are listed further on, below).


Ayurvedic Health Tips for Spring:

  • Eat more dehydrated and dried fruits and nuts and avoid excessive intake of fresh fruit – especially in the mornings and evenings when kapha is high in our bodies
  • Use mustard oil and spices for cooking, but avoid deep-fried and fried foods
  • Wear reds, as this colour helps stimulate the mind and also heats the body, which is useful in Spring
  • Go for Spas and Saunas, as these are heating and help liquefy kapha (phlegm) build-up during this season
  • Excessive use of meats, dairy foods and seafood should also be avoided, due to kapha aggravation during Spring.
  • Drink spiced teas and beverages, such as ginger and (old) honey with warm water and a little black pepper to clear the doshas

Yoga for Spring:

Perform Kapalabhati Pranayama, which is where we ‘pump’ the stomach and force our out rapidly. This helps dispel phlegm from sinuses.

Right-nostril breathing performed faster, also helps. This helps heap the mind and body and dispel tamas or darkness and lethargy in our minds and bodies; it helps invigorate us again.

Perform heating asanas or postures such as the staff-pose (dandasana), lion-pose (simhasana) and backward bends.

Use fiery meditations to the sun, red hues, deities such as Bhairava, Murugan (Mars/St. Michael), a candle, and also mantras such as Huṃ.

Featured Article:

Ayurvedic Massages – Good or Bad?

Posted by AROGYAYURVEDAonAPRIL 26, 2019EDIT

Ayurveda has long considered the uses of massage, often as a daily palliative treatment, but performed with specific oils after a complete Ayurvedic examination by a trained professional to examine all facets of psychology, disorders, constitutional issues and others. Here, panaceas are often not the best, nor Ayurvedic per se!

Many forms of Ayurvedic massage today can actually be harmful as they can cause unwanted toxins in the body if performed outside of their required actions and techniques, which are specific cleansing actions or shodhana (purificatory) therapies; here, massages are often performed – again with specific oils, decoctions and substances – as preliminary methods (purvakarmas) to relocate toxins in the body and expel them, but in a clinical setting along with specific diets, formulas and lifestyle regimes as well. Such advanced and often aggressive methods are not to be performed for one and all, or outside specifically tailored detoxification programs, based on an individual’s disease category, age and other factors! This requires a full training in clinical Ayurveda from the classical point of view.

Other therapies are given as part of the Spa Ayurveda regimes today, which are just as bad, as such don’t target the true problems. Each disease requires specific treatment, internal and external, as a part of traditional Ayurveda over modernised New-Age Ayurveda often being practiced by Naturopaths and Yoga teachers.

For this reason, Indians were taught these sciences from youth and understood the spiritual and cultural contexts and rituals/implications that went along with this, which are important. The Hindu tradition and sciences are about specifics over generics

As an example, you wouldn’t go to a Chinese person to learn how to bake French pastries, nor would you turn to the Frenchman to teach you about authentic Qi Gong as the two cultures are completely different. Being immersed in such and understanding such means also the language behind it – which is imperative one understand from youth to gauge these nuances, over those who have culturally-appropriated and set up ‘Wellness’ businesses and organisations, who often tend to pasteurise these teachings, to the detriment of many.

Here, while massages and Ayurvedic therapies are useful, they have to be performed simply after a full clinical assessment by a trained and experienced Practitioner, not simply given based on a few quizzes alone. The therapies and manner in which they are conducted also change for the individual as well – so the use of generic oils and substances as if often done, isn’t true Ayurveda! It is merely money-making!

  • Always chose a trained, experienced Ayurvedic Professional with Clinical Training and Experience in all facets of Ayurveda, Yoga and related sciences
  • Look for those who have studied the entire tradition back to its roots, are fluent in the language (Sanskrit) as well as culture and heritage and connected to its ancient Vedic-Hindu system in practice and lifestyle
  • Avoid many vegan-based and modern veganesque and pan-Naturopathic formulas such as ‘Turmeric Coconut Milk’ and ‘Ashwagandha Coconut Milk’, Raw Food and other infusions; these are not Ayurvedic, but are simply based on other systems and aren’t good for one and all
  • Make sure you check whether or not they are simply starting a ‘Spa-Wellness’ business, or wish to share the deeper facets of Ayurveda with specific recommendations and guidelines If you are curious about Ayurvedic therapies and what might be best for you, book a consultation with us today, or fill out the form below!
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ayurveda Uncategorized

RESET your Digestion!

Resetting your digestion means re-setting your biological rhythms also, which ancient systems as Ayurveda see as the root-cause of many diseases, not merely gastrointestinal! 

Many people today complain of issues such as :

  • Bloating/abdominal distention after eating
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and similar symptoms
  • Constipation or difficulty passing stool
  • Intolerance to foods such as wheat and dairy products

In our unique program, you can Reset Your Digestive Patterns and learn the following:

  • STRENGTHEN your metabolism and help eliminate issues such as gas, distention, bloating, heaviness, IBS and other conditions 
  • BOOST your metabolism through key herbs and spices 
  • DISCOVER the best foods for you and your current condition 
  • UNDERSTAND the effects of your eating and psychological patterns on a daily basis 
  • BECOME AWARE of simple techniques and lifestyle adjustments for optimal digestive and gut health 
  • WORK WITH effects of climatic changes to help cope with changes in metabolic and circadian rhythms

Contact us today for more information regarding this service and begin your journey towards resetting your digestion!

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Categories
ayurveda Uncategorized

Ayurvedic Massages – Good or Bad?

Ayurveda has long considered the uses of massage, often as a daily palliative treatment, but performed with specific oils after a complete Ayurvedic examination by a trained professional to examine all facets of psychology, disorders, constitutional issues and others. Here, panaceas are often not the best, nor Ayurvedic per se!

Many forms of Ayurvedic massage today can actually be harmful as they can cause unwanted toxins in the body if performed outside of their required actions and techniques, which are specific cleansing actions or shodhana (purificatory) therapies; here, massages are often performed – again with specific oils, decoctions and substances – as preliminary methods (purvakarmas) to relocate toxins in the body and expel them, but in a clinical setting along with specific diets, formulas and lifestyle regimes as well. Such advanced and often aggressive methods are not to be performed for one and all, or outside specifically tailored detoxification programs, based on an individual’s disease category, age and other factors! This requires a full training in clinical Ayurveda from the classical point of view.

Other therapies are given as part of the Spa Ayurveda regimes today, which are just as bad, as such don’t target the true problems. Each disease requires specific treatment, internal and external, as a part of traditional Ayurveda over modernised New-Age Ayurveda often being practiced by Naturopaths and Yoga teachers.

For this reason, Indians were taught these sciences from youth and understood the spiritual and cultural contexts and rituals/implications that went along with this, which are important. The Hindu tradition and sciences are about specifics over generics

As an example, you wouldn’t go to a Chinese person to learn how to bake French pastries, nor would you turn to the Frenchman to teach you about authentic Qi Gong as the two cultures are completely different. Being immersed in such and understanding such means also the language behind it – which is imperative one understand from youth to gauge these nuances, over those who have culturally-appropriated and set up ‘Wellness’ businesses and organisations, who often tend to pasteurise these teachings, to the detriment of many.

Here, while massages and Ayurvedic therapies are useful, they have to be performed simply after a full clinical assessment by a trained and experienced Practitioner, not simply given based on a few quizzes alone. The therapies and manner in which they are conducted also change for the individual as well – so the use of generic oils and substances as is often done, isn’t true Ayurveda! It is merely money-making!

  • Always chose a trained, experienced Ayurvedic Professional with Clinical Training and Experience in all facets of Ayurveda, Yoga and related sciences
  • Look for those who have studied the entire tradition back to its roots, are fluent in the language (Sanskrit) as well as culture and heritage and connected to its ancient Vedic-Hindu system in practice and lifestyle
  • Avoid many vegan-based and modern veganesque and pan-Naturopathic formulas such as ‘Turmeric Coconut Milk’ and ‘Ashwagandha Coconut Milk’, Raw Food and other infusions; these are not Ayurvedic, but are simply based on other systems and aren’t good for one and all
  • Make sure you check whether or not they are simply starting a ‘Spa-Wellness’ business, or wish to share the deeper facets of Ayurveda with specific recommendations and guidelines If you are curious about Ayurvedic therapies and what might be best for you, book a consultation with us today at www.ayurvedicnow.com 

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”1″ /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”1″ /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Comment” type=”textarea” required=”1″ /][/contact-form]

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ayurveda Uncategorized

Ayurvedic Karmic Evaluation Assessment

The ancient system of Ayurveda is more than simply looking at the physical manifestation of disease, and questions even where congenital or even ‘unexplained’ life-long issues come in due to karma of our past actions.

Our Ayurvedic Karmic Evaluation Assessment looks at these from a deeper perspective of the past incarnations, calculated from one’s time of birth and other facets such as physical features and signs correlated with these.

Here, Durgadas – international author, Vedic Astrologer and Ayurvedic Practitioner of many books on Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedic Astrology and Tantra will assess your chart.

Here you will get valuable information regarding your Birth Star (Nakshatra), Birth Sign (Rashi), Planetary Periods (Mahadashas) and any important Transits (Gocharas) you are running and how to avoid issues in them, as also specific health-related combinations and remedies for all such issues, whether health, career, personal, business or relationship etc. related.

Here, we bring in Ayurveda and Yoga techniques and spiritual practices that can help with at a deeper spiritual (karmic) level, and help to work out karma behind diseases, as also get an indication of our deeper patterns in life.

-Understand how the planets affect your karma and health
-Learn specific remedial measures to reduce these effects
-Learn how planetary cycles affect you now
-Understand your personality/psychology due to karmic astrology

It is recommended that two-monthly or six-monthly follow-up consultations ($95.00 each) along with this be booked, so that one can be kept up to date relative to planetary transits and influences, as also practices one is doing to rectify issues.

***Birth place, time and date are all that is required for this consultation.***

Available over Skype also, anywhere in the world.

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Price: NZ $275.00*
(Initial Consultation, Report/Assessment and Recommendations)

*Payments can also be made by cash on the day or by internet banking if in person. Please select your option when making a booking.

CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment