MAY 2011
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Guest Column: AYURVEDA


Dilip Patel



Ayurveda is the study of natural law. The word Ayurveda means the science of life; therefore, the essence of Ayurveda has always existed. Ancient Vedic texts tell us that the rishis or holy ones of India acquired the knowledge of Ayurveda through meditation and keen observation of nature. The rishis, through their inquiry, obtained the understanding of life and how to end physical and emotional suffering. For generations, the knowledge that the rishis attained was passed along through an oral tradition. Since Ayurveda predates the written word, its exact beginnings are difficult to calculate, but we know the Vedic texts, the documents where Ayurveda is recorded, date beyond 5,000 years.

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest medicine. It is the foundation of all healing practices on earth and the basis for modern allopathic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Ayurveda thrived in India for thousands of years despite invasion and occupation by Muslim, Turkish and Mongol rulers. The practice of Ayurveda was driven out of the major cities by the English as they established colonial rule over India (1765-1947). Ayurvedic schools were closed and the medical practice of Ayurveda was displaced by Western (allopathic) medicine, but Ayurveda continued to be practiced and taught in villages and homes. When India reclaimed independence from British rule in the mid-20th century, the education and medical practice of Ayurveda began to flourish once more. Since Indian independence, the significance of Ayurveda as a path to health, longevity and well-being, has been recognized by its government and is practiced side by side with modern allopathic medicine. It is becoming better known in the United States as it is being practiced by the millions of those who have discovered it through their practice of hatha yoga.

Ayurveda is an ancient system of preventative health care, rejuvenation and longevity. Ayurveda as a way of life creates harmony by teaching us to honor our individual nature, while we consciously follow the rhythms and cycles of the natural world.

It is based on elemental principles that pertain to life on earth. Ayurvedic philosophy establishes the five great elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth as the building blocks of the natural world. These five elements pair up in three combinations to form the primary forces of nature called doshas.

According to Ayurveda, we were born with a unique combination of the doshas that result in our prakriti, orconstitutional nature. Our prakriti is fixed throughout our lifetime, but can go out of balance, as it is influenced by the time of day, the season, our diet, environmental conditions, and our place in the cycle of our life. Our current doshic state is called our vikriti. Vikriti may be in balance with our prakriti, which is our original nature, or can refer to a state that is out of balance to our original nature.

Ayurveda teaches that in a state of doshic harmony, we experience true health and happiness. According to Ayurveda, disease is a state of doshic imbalance. Ayurveda gives us the necessary guidance to live in harmony with our true nature, as we experience all of the doshic influences we encounter in life. It gifts us with the knowledge of using foods, herbs, oils, gems, metals, colors, hatha yoga and meditation, to maintain our doshic balance. Ayurvedic writing instructs us about cleansing and rejuvenation routines and treatments to assist our doshic balance. As Ayurveda encourages us to acknowledge our original and unique nature, it empowers us to walk our individual and perfect path to balance and bliss.

Denise O’Dunn, president and founder of Balance & Bliss Inc., is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist (ma58502) and yoga teacher. She received her degree in Ayurveda from the Florida Vedic College and is a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. She can be reached at or visit

Guest Column



Benjamin Franklin once said that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In any business relationship, a written contract acts as that ounce of prevention, helping reduce the likelihood of expensive and time-draining disputes. A contract also provides all parties with a transparent understanding of the terms of their relationship, improving the chance that everyone’s expectations will be met. These benefits exist regardless of the business you are in, how long you have been doing business, or whether you are doing business with a friend or foe.

The benefits of a contract are obvious. So why do so many people, including business professionals, still shy away from contracts? Many of my clients mention that they had chosen not to use a contract to govern their business relationships because they did not want to offend their business partners or cause other parties to feel distrusted. This, however, is the wrong sentiment. Insisting that a contract govern the business relationship will evidence your professionalism, provide certainty to the business relationship, prevent nasty surprises, and protect all parties in the long run. Insisting on a contract also acts as a form of due diligence. What if the other party begins to squirm when you insist on a contract? This might be a tell-tale sign that they may not be able to meet their obligations. Finally, some claim that the process of creating a contract is too costly and time-consuming. However, for convenience and to cut costs, many of our clients ask that we prepare standard contracts that can be minimally tailored to a specific job or client. Most important, the time and energy you will save by preventing a costly legal dispute from ever arising makes the “ounce of prevention” spent to draft a contract worthwhile.

Business professionals also must keep in mind that certain agreements must be in writing to be binding. For example, real estate sales, agreements to pay someone else’s debt, contracts that take more than one year to complete, and a contract for goods over $500.00 must be executed in writing. Otherwise, they are unenforceable in a court of law.

Remember that by entering a business relationship without a contract, especially on recurring gigs, you may be setting yourself up for legal troubles down the road. The lack of a written deal can and will come back and bite you. Allow your business to stay ahead of the game and put the agreement in writing. Always use a written contract to govern over your business and professional relationships. You will protect yourself in the long-run by providing clarity to the nature of your relationship and legal protection for your business. This will lessen your hassles and help raise your bottom-line.

Sumeet H. Chugani, President-Elect for the South Asian Bar Association of Florida, is an attorney at Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP, in Miami, and concentrates his practice in business dispute resolution and commercial transactions. He can be reached at (305) 375-9220 or e-mail

homeeventsbiz directorysubscribecontentclasses/places of worshipnewseditorialhealthimmigrationfinance
techno cornermoviesfashionmusic/dancebooksyogahome improvementastrologycuisinemotoringgetawayclassifiedsARCHIVES
Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Getaway Motoring Cuisine Astrology Home Improvement Books Yoga Music and Dance Fashion Movies Techno Corner Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Classes/Places of Worship Content Find us on Facebook!