Foundations of Āyurveda Part I, Lesson 2 – Philosophy of Āyurveda: 4 Aims & Stages of Life, & Sāṃkhya Philosophy

Welcome! We’re glad you are here.

In this 5-hour lesson, we explore various philosophical visions of how life and substance manifested into form from formlessness and how we humans may move through it in a manner that promotes health and happiness. Many of the rather esoteric concepts in this lesson become more tangible and practical in future lessons.

Regarding this particular course, you should know it is one excerpted section (Lesson 2) of our Foundations of Āyurveda Part I course. We are offering each section of that course as a stand-alone section–like this one–so that people can explore just one topic of interest but, if it seems a little out of context standing alone, it is because it is indeed out of context. But we feel the information presented will be valuable nonetheless.

If you would like more information on this course than what you’ll find on this page, whether it is approved for NAMA credits, etc., kindly peruse the home page–including the FAQs– for  Foundations of Āyurveda Part I

Sample Video

For a little taste of what to expect before you sign up, here is a little introduction to Dr. Welch & Dr. Svoboda, recorded at the taping of this course.


If you are more interested in improving your own personal health and daily practices than in studying Āyurveda more extensively, Dr. Welch’s Women’s Health & Hormones: Hormonal Balance & Stagnation Part I online, self paced course might be a better starting point – whether you are a man or a woman.

If, however, you have taken that already, or wish to focus on or go further into the Āyurvedic perspective and teachings on life and health, then Foundations of Āyurveda Part I might be a good option for you. That course is a prerequisite for Foundations of Āyurveda Part II, also taught by Dr. Welch and Dr. Svoboda.

This particular course you are considering is one section of Foundations of Āyurveda Part I, and could be good for you if you already have studied Ayurveda and just want to brush up on this one topic.


By the end of this course, if you have kept up with the memorization and study needed to assimilate what is taught, you will have achieved the following:

1. Have an introductory understanding of the philosophical foundation of Āyurveda, including the 4 Aims and Stages of Life (dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa / brahmacaryā, gṛhastha, vanavāsa or vānaprastha, saṃnyāsa

2. List and have an introductory understanding of the main elements of sāṃkhya philosophy: (avyaktipuruṣaprakṛtimahadbuddhiahamkārasattva: 5 sense faculties + 5 faculties of action + mind; rajas; tamas: 5 tanmātras—sound/śabda, touch/sparşa, form/rūpa, taste/rasa, odor/gandha associated with the 5 elements/mahābhūtas—space/ākāśa, air/vāyu, fire/agni, water/āpas and earth/pṛthvī).

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This course can be taken on its own or with private or group tutoring.

New: Women’s Health & Hormones online course taught by Dr. Welch, with an innovative approach to understanding women’s hormones and health conditions. Designed for everybody, regardless of medical background, from MDs to professionals of Ayurveda or TCM, to anyone interested in women’s health.