Physique and psyche are like two sides of the coin. Both of them are inseparable. Balance of both is very essential for a healthy and a meaningful life. This has been emphasized in Ayurveda through the definition of health.
Ayurveda has dealt with the subject of mental health in detail considering the importance of mind in the maintenance of physical as well as mental health and a separate specialty dealing with psychiatric disorders existed as Grahavigyan (or Bhutavigyan). Considering the fact that Grahavigyan is one of the eight faculties of Ayurveda, it would not be exaggerating to say that it must have been a fully developed science thousands of years ago, which is lost to time due to various reasons. However, whatever is available is. very fascinating. Presently available scattered literature related to bhutavigyan mostly constitutes behavioral science and some psychiatric disorders. Various behavioral disorders mentioned by Vagbhat and different kinds of personality disorders mentioned by Sushruta are a few examples that amazingly hold true even today. This indicates that stress inducing conditions like war, rivalries, natural calamities, domestic and professional disturbances etc were prevalent during ancient time also. A number of measures involving pharmacological and non-pharmacological tools to contain the stress and other psychosomatic disorders and to improve the mental health have been explained in the texts of Ayurveda.
Brevity of the description of different sattva and kaya in Sushruta samhita is so stark that at the very first glance it appears nebulous. However, in the selection of terminology of various sattva and kaya so much of care was paid to be precise that it unfolds the entire science of human behavior. The intimate association of our ancestors (Ayurvedic experts) with nature, their circumstantial observations of contemporary living species of earth and thousands of years of minute observations of human behavior was very much instrumental in the development of this faculty. I cannot but ponder with a feeling of astonishment that had the complete science of grahavigyan were available presently, it would have been far more superior to the present-day modern behavioural science.
Similarly the unique concept of manas and three mansika doshas is very intricate and mind-boggling. The cognition of triad of sattva, rajas and tamas in terms of biochemical entity is difficult. However, with the description of normal and abnormal functions of mind (i.e., manovyapara) it would not be difficult to understand the psychological challenges of the present-day society and serve them with the drugs as well as adravyabhuta chikitsa like counseling in individual cases or mantra chikitsa for masses in cases of natural or man-made calamities.
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