The term Ayur-Veda is well known both in India and in the Western world. Much of what is called Ayur-Veda today in India and around the world has, in fact, been fragmented, lost or forgotten over time, or known to just a few experts. The effect of foreign invasions of India, including the British, has been very detrimental to the knowledge and practice of Ayur-Veda. The knowledge has been distorted through incorrect translations, the practice of Ayur-Veda has been disrupted and in many cases prohibited. The important role of consciousness, of meditation and other mental techniques was lost (Sharma and Clark, 1998). Thus Ayur-Veda has greatly needed to be restored to its completeness by knowledgeable people.
In collaboration with leading experts in the field of Ayur-Veda and modern medicine, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has carefully and systematically put together this body of knowledge, techniques and recommendations in Maharishi Ayur-Veda, considered the most complete and integrated form of this "ancient Vedic science of natural health care.”
It emphasizes prevention of disease and promotion of health more than remedial medical intervention, encompasses many cost-effective, natural approaches, including technologies of consciousness (Sharma and Clark, 1998; Maharishi, 1996).
In the term Ayur-Veda, Ayu means life, and Veda means knowledge. It means knowledge of life, the whole span of life, long, short, eternal (Maharishi, 1986). A main purpose of Ayur-Veda is to maintain balance (Sharma and Clark, 1998; Maharishi, 1986). Most of its procedures and recommendations aim at creating or restoring balance; balance in the physiology, balance of mind, balance in life. It does so through application of various herbal compounds, diet recommendations,daily and seasonal routines, specific Ayur-Vedic treatments including purifying procedures such as Panchakarma, etc.(Sharma and Clark, 1998).
What is special and unique about Maharishi Ayur-Veda is its emphasis on development of consciousness. A well-researched technique for transcending is recommended such as Transcendental Meditation® ™ ”a simple, natural and effortless procedure practiced for 15-20 minutes in the morning and evening sitting comfortably with the eyes closed” (Maharishi, 1994, p. 260) as a basis that makes it truly holistic.
As is quite obvious, rest is the basis of activity and is very important for health and wellness; the practice of the TM-technique provides a deeper and different kind and quality of rest than sleep and ordinary rest. It provides a state of restful alertness, not just deep inertia, like sleep, and promotes mind-body coordination. This is very beneficial for the health of everyone in order to relieve strain and stress and keep fatigue from accumulating and giving rise to ill health.
Maharishi Ayur-Veda “takes the whole into account and nothing is left out. It redresses the whole so that no aspect of life – physiology, psychology, behavior or intellect – is in disorder. Everything in perfect balance” (1996). It does not present fragmented or partial information and knowledge, but complete and comprehensive knowledge and advice.

Without a systematic method for development of consciousness, the knowledge of Ayur-Veda would remain fragmented and incomplete, much like modern, allopathic medicine. A point to keep in mind is that the goal of Maharishi Ayur-Veda is development of perfect health, higher states of consciousness, and ultimately complete Enlightenment (Maharishi, 1996). “The purpose of Ayur-Veda is perfect conditions of life in the fields of the body, the mind and the self-referral state of consciousness” (1986). Incorporating a systematic method for complete development of consciousness makes Maharishi Ayur-Veda truly holistic.


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1994). Maharishi Vedic University, Maharishi Vedic University Press, Holland.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1996). Forum of Natural Law for DOCTORS. Canada, Age of Enlightenment Press.

Life supported by Natural Law. Maharishi, 1986. Age of Enlightenment Press, D. C.

Contemporary Ayur-Veda (1998).Sharma and Clark, Churchill-Livingstone.

Author's Bio: 

Ph. D., Vedic Psychology, 1999
MA, Vedic Psychology, 1991
MA in the Science of Creative Intelligence, 1989
Cand. Pcych., 1976