This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Psychotherapy in Ayurveda

Sandhya Ojha — Sri A. K. Autonomous P. G. College, Varanasi & R. S. Ojha — Govt. Ayu. Hospital, Mirzapur.

Ayurveda stands for the ancient Indian system of medicine which, at its best, covers maintenance and promotion of health and prevention and cure of diseases. Ayurveda defines life as a state in which body, mind and soul find themselves united. The period of time during which this union holds good is called ‘span of life’. The literal meaning of the two words Ayus (Life) (according to the rules of Sanskrit grammar the letter ‘s’ becomes ‘r’ in Ayurveda) and veda (science, or knowledge) have been brought together to create a term thoroughly representative of all its implications, namely, Ayurveda, the ‘science of life’. Ayurveda is the science of life which deals with the prevention of disease, the prolongation of life as well as the cure of various types of mental, physical and spiritual diseases. Mental and psychic diseases are usually treated by some form of psychotherapy, such as psychoanalysis. Psychotherapy involves a systematic interaction between a therapist and a client. The therapist uses psychological principles to bear on influencing the clients’ thoughts, feelings, or behaviour in order to help them overcome their problems. This paper argues that techniques as used in psychoanalysis have already been suggested in ancient Ayurvedic texts.

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