Q: What is Āyurveda?
A: Ayurveda is a word derived from two basonyms in Sanskrit. The first part is derived from "Aayus" (आयुस् in the devanagari alphabet) and is roughly translated as "Longevity", or "Life". The second part is "Veda" (वेद), which simply means "Knowledge".
The real meaning of Ayurveda, therefore, can be loosely translated in English as the knowledge of life, or the wisdom which brings about long life. The origins of Ayurveda trace themselves to a more ancient time and civilization in the Vedic period of India (it is believed roughly 5,000 years ago) where man lived in a harmonious state with the environment.
Ayurveda itself is said to be derived from wisdom of Divine origin, having been originally cognized by sages, and passed down as an oral tradition. Eventually, this wisdom was documented and transcribed into the knowledge, which is currently available today.
Q: What is Jyotiṣa?
A: Jyotiṣa comes from the Sanskrit word jyótis (meaning light, or heavenly body). It is the study of the subtle light emanating from heavenly bodies and its effect on the self. Since the early 1980s, it has been commonly renamed as Vedic Astrology, the Vedanga or branch of Vedas related with the study of the stars and timing.
Jyotiṣa differs from modern Western astrology in that there are additional considerations and precise calculations relating to the sidereal zodiac. In addition and among other factors, there are calculated life cycles, such as the Vimshottari Dasha cycle, where there is a natural evolution of the self towards its highest purpose. Different aspects of our lives are activated during these naturally evolving periods, requiring us to pay attention for our growth.
Just as everyone is born with different traits, characteristics and experiences their life journey individually, the study of Jyotiṣa can reveal the purpose of our birth and provide a likely roadmap of things to come. It can help us understand why we undergo experiences in life, and how to unfold our perspective to live in harmony with purpose. Light a flashlight being shined on all areas of our lives, it can reveal or highlight natural strengths, weaknesses and “blind spots” where we feel those “gotchas!” in life.
More recently, it has been used primarily in India for purposes of predictions. Most traditional Indian families will have consulted with astrologers at some point in their lives. It is our belief at Hearts Wide Open that while there is tremendous predictive power in the hands of a skilled astrologer, its true power lies in helping us understand our purpose.
Q: Do you make Astrological predictions? Or Forecasts? Are they accurate?
A: Yes...sometimes, and only when appropriate. It is important to note that while elements of Vedic Life coaching from Hearts Wide Open (HWO) can include astrological services, the information and astrological interpretations received are not meant for diagnosis and treatment, and are primarily intended as tools for self-analysis. Ethically, I can no way suggest infallibility where astrological forecasts are concerned. For prognostic questions of a medical nature, please consult a doctor or medical professional. Financial or speculative queries should be referred to expert Financial advisors.
Q: Did you study in India?
A: Yes, but not in any official capacity. Ayurveda is practiced as a complete medical modality in India, alongside Western Allopathic medicine. The educational standards are much higher in India than in the West, as Ayurvedic doctors graduate under a BAMS degree (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) or as an MD-Ayu. I do work with Ayurvedic doctors, and can help refer you to a competent one if it is indicated. I do have teachers, currently residing in India, and my current learning is in the "Gurukula" format (direct transmission from teacher to student).
Q: Is the practice of Ayurveda regulated in Canada/Ontario?
A: No. As such, at this time, anyone can claim to be an Ayurvedic practitioner (licensing issues aside), so please beware of this when looking for a competent practitioner. Make sure that any Ayurvedic practitioners have legitimate credentials before signing up with them.