Ayurveda and Molecular Life
- July 27, 2020
I have been invited to write an article about how I understand Ayurveda. A few lines that tried to emphasize Ayurveda as something more than oleation massages and beauty techniques. But there are enough articles about this already and fortunately at this point people have transcended that concept.
It is known that Ayurveda is founded on a trinity. A cosmology that proposes three principles or generative forces to shape matter and life. Vata, Pitta and Kapha compete with each other to finally manifest themselves in varied and capricious proportions.
There are many books that detail the different qualities for each of them, such as that Vata is light, Pitta hot or Kapha heavy. The first time I read these types of descriptions I found them ambiguous and impractical. In India, my teacher Dr. Gueeta S.R. helped me integrate this philosophy and suggested that I research it. I discovered that to really understand certain concepts, one must experiment and make them one’s own. Only then will we be able to understand that the principles that govern the universe, rule and manifest themselves equally in our soul and body.
As a chemist I have been fascinated to see that this trinity is also reflected at the molecular level. From the point of view of the biochemistry of our body, each biomolecule is governed by one of these principles according to its composition and function. Transaminases, for example, are enzymes in charge of facilitating transamination reactions, important processes for the synthesis of non-essential amino acids and for the degradation of most amino acids. The function of these transaminases is to catalyze. They do not intervene directly in the reaction, but rather reduce the activation energy necessary for the reaction to take place. By energetically facilitating transamination reactions, these molecules embody the Pitta-generating principle. Specifically Ranjaka Pitta.
If we continue to observe carefully and go to the level of tissues, we verify that imbalances in the levels of transaminases in the blood reflect organic dysfunctions in the liver. Liver problems such as hepatitis, conditions related to alcoholism and drug addiction or excessive accumulations of fat in the liver.
On the other hand, isn’t the liver one of the organs associated with some of the emotions of the Pitta life principle? Feelings such as joy or determination to push oneself, in an excess of Pitta, could trigger its negative aspects giving rise to anger or rage. We continue to see how there is a close relationship between emotions and our physical body.
This is very interesting, but to integrate everything from a holistic medicine like Ayurveda we must go deeper, exploring more subtle aspects. Ayurveda invites us to discover and strengthen the link with our spiritual side. We cannot talk about global health until we integrate it together with the physical and mental planes. It is the connection with this disembodied aspect that gives us peace and unity with life, a healing acceptance of inevitable vicissitudes such as death or illness. Following the line of our example with Pitta, the anger or resentment associated with the liver are scourges that isolate us from our spiritual contact. They are the antithesis of the Love we would like to cultivate to elevate us as human beings.
We have given a simple example, hand in hand with one of the three vital principles of how we can travel from a biomolecular level to a higher or spiritual level, proving that there is a wonderful connection between them and how Ayurveda integrates and interprets them.
I have designed this course with deep respect for Ayurveda and my teacher, trying to give a real and holistic approach: food, physical practice, energy practice and spiritual practice, manual healing techniques, use of phytotherapy, cosmology, cleaning techniques and panchakarmas and a section for beauty.
ॐ सह नाववतु ।
सह नौ भुनक्तु ।
सह वीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्वि नावधीतमसु मा विद्व्तावहै ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
OM, sir protect us all
Let us learn together
Let us work with energy and vigour
It allows our learning to be brilliant
And avoid the misunderstandings between us
OM, peace, peace, peace!
Pedro Arce Cifuentes
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and trained as an Ayurvedic therapist recognized by the Indian Government by Dr. Gheeta S.R. in Kerala, India. Professor of Integral Ayurvedic Medicine at the Institute of Natural Studies El Vergel: http://www.ienelvergel.com/