The three therapeutic approaches of Ayurvedic medicine: yuktivyapashraya, daivavyapashraya and sattvavajaya

Year: 2023
Language: German

Therapy (cikitsā) in Āyurveda is a comprehensive concept in which different treatment approaches are combined.

Basically, Āyurveda differentiates three approaches to disease treatment:
1. daivavyapāśraya-cikitsā: "subtle" therapies.
2. yuktivyapāśraya-cikitsā: rational therapies.
3. sattvāvajaya: psychological therapies

Daivavyapāśraya-cikitsā includes forms of therapy whose mode of action cannot be rationally explained on the basis of ordinary worldly logic. The term daiva can be interpreted in two ways in this context: on the one hand, as results of past actions (principle of cause and effect) and, on the other hand, as subtle factors beyond the control of man. Daiva, from an Ayurvedic point of view, can also have a pathological effect and thus cause disease. The classical Ayurvedic texts point out that conventional, rational forms of therapy do not work or work insufficiently when a disease is caused by daiva.

Examples of daivavyapāśraya therapies include prayers, mantra (recitation of certain sound combinations), homa (Vedic fire rituals), maṇi (gemstones), a way of life based on ethical principles (niyama), upavāsa (spiritual fasting), pilgrimage, etc.

The field of yuktivyapāśraya-cikitsā includes all forms of therapy whose mode of action can be explained rationally, i.e., on the basis of ordinary worldly (quasi-scientific) logic. The term yukti can be translated in this context as "logic" or "logical reasoning.
Yuktivyapāśraya therapies are further subdivided into cause prevention (nidāna-parivarjana), purification (saṃśodhana: internal and external cleansing and surgery), and palliation (saṃśamana: diet, behavior, and medication).

The sattvāvajaya therapy pillar includes psychic/psychiatric therapies designed to enable the patient's mind to withdraw from harmful objects (e.g., negative ways of thinking, traumatic memories, or distressing emotions) and gradually return to mental clarity, resilience, and positivity. The prerequisite for this is the gradual strengthening of sattva-guṇa and the reduction of excessive rajo- and tamo-guṇa in the patient's mind. To achieve this, Ayurveda uses a complex psychotherapeutic concept in which diverse therapeutic elements are combined.

In the lecture, the three therapeutic approaches of Ayurveda outlined above will be further elaborated.