The word Ayurveda is made up of two Sanskrit words ayur and veda meaning 'life' and 'knowledge' respectively. Taken together they mean the 'science of life'; in a more limited sense, the term is used to imply the science of medicine.
Legend has it that Brahma, the Creator (a part of the Hindu holy trinity of gods) first perceived it and taught it to his sons, Daksha Prajapati. Subsequently, Lord Dhanwantri, the God of healing and the teacher of the medical sciences passed it on the prominent Hindu sages Atreya, Bharadvaja, Kashyapa, Sushruta, Parashara and Charaka. Sage Atreya's disciple Agnivesha is said to have written the original Agnivesha Samhita around 1000 BC which has come down to us in the form of Charaka Samhita. This text is considered an authoritative pronouncement of Ayurvedic doctrine.
The universe is made up of the pancha mahabhutas or five primary elements:
Earth (prithvi) and
An individual similarly according to Vedic philosophy, is made up of five layers: the physical body which is the outer layer and four inner layers: the astral body, the psyche, the intellect and the layer at which complete bliss can be felt.