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This article is a chapter from the book "Practice of Ayurveda".

Ayurveda—Theory and Practice

By

Sri Swami Sivananda

Importance and Value
Origin of Ayurveda
The Glory of Ayurveda
Ayurveda—The Fifth Veda
Importance of Ayurveda
The Ayurveda or the Science of Life
Ayurveda is Scientific
Renaissance of Ayurveda
All-India Ayurvedic University

The Importance and Value of the Ancient Indian System of Medicine

The ancient intuitive India that brought to being the brightest and the most inspired of eternal spiritual songs on the struggles and problems of active life in this terrestrial world in relation to the highest End of Existence which Self-realisation is, and embodied them in the four Vedas, could not resist its native many-sided tendency not merely to subject the entire nature of man to a process of dynamic spiritualisation, but literally to seek the health, strength, vim, vitality, longevity of the third of the triune aspect of man,—the physical body, which is recognized as the indispensable and perfectible vehicle for both the enjoyment of temporal happiness and supreme spiritual felicity. This tendency of an essentially intuitive mind, towards an integral development of life, towards a complete blossoming of the whole man even while living in a physical form in this material world, this impassioned affirmation of positive living, this acceptance of the body as the best instrument for the realization here on earth, of the best blessings of the profound spiritual realms, resulted in the obtainment of the yet unmatched, deepest insights, the subtle determining vital powers and secrets in the human system that govern its radiant health and longevity and in the creation of a yet another Veda, the Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a perfect science of life and consists of a body of most remarkable knowledge on the internal mechanism of human health and longevity, on medicinal herbs and therapeutic roots, on the efficacious treatment of human ills by eradicating from the human system the very sources of their causation. This great medical science and humanity’s most ancient and finest preventive school of practical medicine, which has been practised in India, century after century for over four thousand years, by expert Vaidyas well-versed and highly trained in its lore, should now receive, as a matter of immediate practical necessity, the increasing and the best interest of modern free India. To those who claim to have a knowledge of this ancient medicinal science enriched by the happy results of the researches and advancement made by eminent Vaidyas in succeeding ages, its superior merits over the Western systems of medicine, and its immense value, do not need any delineation. Such names of the great pioneers who added to the development of the science of Ayurveda, as Vagbhata, Madhava, Jivaka and Bhava Mishra of Banaras are well-known, and the almost miraculous results that the medicinal herbs prescribed by Ayurveda have brought into the systems of those who have used them, are more than sufficient proof of its unique value. The amazingly wide scope and the genuine scientific nature of Ayurveda received much enthusiastic appreciation by such Westerners as Sri William Hunter, too, and the recent researches show that the early Greeks owed much of their knowledge on the physiology of man and medicine, to Ayurveda. The interest of Government of India, in Ayurveda is indeed most encouraging, but the private bodies and the public too should come to an increasing recognition of its importance and value, and as a first step begin trying its drugs.

Origin of Ayurveda

The Lord Himself is the first divine physician. He is the best among physicians.

When the body is afflicted with senility and diseases, the holy water of Mother Ganga is the medicine and Lord Narayana, from whose holy feet Ganga emanates, is the great physician.

—Lord Dhanwantari.

Once upon a time some distinguished sages happened to meet on the Himalayan mountains, among them being Agastya, Ashvalyana, Asita, Badarayana, Balikhya, Bharadwaja, Chyavana, Devala, Dhaumya, Galaya, Garga, Gautama, Gobhila, Harita, Hiranyaksha, Jamadagni, Kamya, Kankayana, Kapinjala, Kashyapa, Katyayana, Kaundinya, Kushika, Langakshi, Maitreya, Markandeya, Narada, Parashara, Parikshaka, Pulasthya, Sankhya, Sankritya, Shakuneya, Shandilya, Sharaloma, Shaunaka, Vaijapeya, Vaikhanasa, Vamadeva, Vasishtha, Vishwamitra and many others. All of them were well-versed in philosophy and practised religious austerities. The subject of their conversation was the ‘ills that the flesh is heir to’. They began to complain: "Our body, which is the means of attaining the four aims of life, viz., virtue, worldly pursuits, pleasure and liberation, is subject to diseases which emaciate and weaken it, deprive the senses of their functions, and cause extreme pains. These diseases are great impediments to our worldly affairs and bring on premature death. In the face of such enemies, how can men be happy? It is necessary, therefore, to find remedies for such diseases." They turned to sage Bharadwaja, and thus addressed him:

"O Sage! Thou art the fittest person among us. Go thou to the thousand-eyed Indra, who has systematically studied the Ayurveda, and by acquiring from him the knowledge of that science, free us, O sage, from the scourge of diseases."

"So be it," said the sage, who at once went to Indra and thus accosted him: "O Lord, I have been deputed by the parliament of sages, to learn from you the remedies for the direful diseases that afflict mankind; I pray you, therefore, to teach me the Ayurveda."

Indra was pleased with the object of his mission, and taught him the Ayurveda in all its parts. Bharadwaja recounted the precepts he had acquired to the other sages who had deputed him, and with the knowledge of this science they were able to live in health and happiness.

Indra taught the science to his pupil Atreya, who wrote several works. Atreya Samhita is a celebrated book. Atreya is one of the oldest authorities on Hindu medicine.

Brahma propounded the healing art first. He composed the Ayurveda consisting of one hundred chapters of one hundred stanzas each. It is the oldest medical book of the Hindus. It is divided into eight parts:

(1) Shalya: Surgery. (2) Shalaka: Treatment of disease of the eye, nose, mouth, ears, etc. (3) Kaya Chikitsa: Treatment of general diseases affecting the whole body, such as, fever, diabetes, etc. (4) Bhoota-vidya: Treatment of diseases caused by evil spirits. (5) Kumara Bhritya: Treatment of infants and of puerperal state. (6) Agada: Antidotes to poisons: (7) Rasayana: Treats of medicines which promote health and longevity, which preserve vigour, restore youth, improve memory, cure and prevent diseases in general. (8) Vajikarana or aphrodisiac: Describes the means of increasing the virile power, of giving tone to the weakened organs of generation.

Nidane Madhava Shreshthah, Sutra Sthane Tu Vagbhatah;
Sharire Sushrutah Proktah, Charakastu Chikitsake.

It means Madhava is unrivalled in Diagnosis. Vagbhata in principles and practice of Medicine. Sushruta in Surgery and Charaka in Therapeutic. In his old age Madhava became an ascetic and assumed the name of Vidyaranya (forest of learning).

Charaka is said to have been an incarnation of Shesha—the Serpent God with a thousand hoods—who is supposed to be the depository, of all sciences, especially of medicine.

Charaka, the son of Vishuddha, a learned Muni, flourished during the Vedic period. Some believe him to have been born at Banaras 320 years B.C. He was the greatest physician of his day, and his "Charaka Samhita" is still held to be a standard work on medicine.

Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Ayurveda are the oldest and most reputed treatises on Hindu medicine now extant. Charaka Samhita is generally believed to be the oldest work on Hindu medicine.

Atreya taught the Ayurveda to six pupils, namely Agnivesa, Bhela, Jatukarna, Parasara, Harita and Kharapani. Agnivesa first wrote a book on medicine. It was edited and corrected by Charaka.

Next to Charaka the authority on Hindu medicine is Vagbhata, who flourished about the second century before Christ. He was an inhabitant of Sindh. Vagbhata wrote Ashtanga Hridaya. This is a mere compilation from Charaka and Sushruta.

Dhanwantari, the surgeon of heaven descended upon earth in the person of Dividasa, king of Banaras for teaching surgery. Sushruta learnt surgery from Dhanwantari. Sushruta treats of anatomy, surgical diseases, surgical instruments, operations.

The general diseases such as fever, diarrhoea, chest diseases etc. are treated in the book called "Uttara-tantra"

Madhava or Madhavacharya, who wrote several works embracing almost all branches of Hindu learning was born in Kishkindha now called Golkonda in South India.

Bhava Mishra, author of Bhava Prakasha lived in 1550 A.D. He was considered to be the best scholar of his time in Madra Desha.

Madhava Kara wrote the book Nidana. This is a concise treatise, on the causes, symptoms, and prognosis of diseases. It is a text book on pathology.

Chakrapani Datta wrote Chakradatta Sangraha. It deals with the treatment of diseases.

Bhava Misra was an inhabitant of Banaras, where he is said to have had no less than four hundred pupils. Bhava Misra wrote a book called Bhavaprakasha. It is a comprehensive treatise compiled from the works of preceding authors. There is additional information on the properties of drugs, accounts of new drugs and of some new diseases like syphilis.

Then followed Sharangadhara, son of Damodara, who wrote a treatise bearing his name. The work is divided into twenty-five chapters, and is a very popular work.

There are several works in Sanskrit devoted especially to the description of the synonyms and properties of drugs and articles of diet. The oldest treatment on this subject is the book called Raja-nighantu.

Bhela, Jatukarna, Parasara, Kharapani and Harita wrote medical books.

Agnivesha’s "Nidanajnana", a treatise on diagnosis, is still admired.

Harita Samhita is a standard book. This was dictated by Atreya in reply to Harita’s questions.

The Glory of Ayurveda

The Ayurvedic system has been demonstrated in recent years to be as effective against malaria as Allopathic treatment. In Rheumatism Ayurvedic medicines are able to produce a greater alleviating and curative effect than other systems.

The best febrifuges have been learnt by British physicians from the Hindus. When patients deafened and swollen by abuse of Quinine were slowly dying of fever under the treatment of enlightened physicians, the bark of the Margosa (Neem tree) and Chiretta herb have cured them completely. These now occupy an honourable place among European drugs.

To the ascetic Gymnosophists of ancient India, no secret power of either plant or mineral was unknown. They possess the greatest secrets in medicinal knowledge and unsurpassed skill in its practice.

No country in the world can boast of more medicinal plants than India, Burma, Siam and Sri Lanka. India’s wealth of medicinal plants is unsurpassed. The literature of indigenous medicine ascribes medicinal properties to more than 2000 plants. Medicinal herbs are mentioned in the Rig-Veda. Ayurveda treats of herbal remedies in detail on which the ancient medical science largely rested.

There is an entire Upanishad on the internal parts of the human body with an enumeration of the nerves, veins, arteries, a description of the heart, spleen and liver and various disquisitions on the formation and growth of the foetus.

The Rig-Veda (I, 116, 15-16) speaks of an artificial limb of iron as having been given to a woman whose foot had been cut off so that she might walk. The giving of artificial eyes is also mentioned.

Jivaka, the personal physician of Buddha, is said to have practised cranial surgery, with success. The Hindus were the first to do skin-grafting and plastic surgery, cataract operation, amputation, the caesarean operation, etc.

Bhoja Prabandha describes a cranial operation performed in 927 A.D. on King Bhoja of Dhar. Two surgeons made the king insensible by a drug called Sammohini, trephined the skull, removed a growth from the brain, closed the opening and stitched the wound and restored the patient to consciousness by another drug.

Both Charaka and Sushruta mention the ancient use of anaesthetics.

Charaka dealt with diet, antidotes for poisons, syringes, emetic, purgatives and drugs for the cure of diseases. Sushruta was the greatest surgeon of his time. He practised Aseptic surgery.

Vedic literature abounds in references to surgical instruments, such as scalpels, lancets, forceps, catheters, saws, etc.

The old Sanskrit and Pali texts give details of various diseases and their remedies—dysentery, jaundice, diabetes, tuberculosis, heart-diseases, etc. They declare that surgery had reached a great degree of skill; and that difficult skull, brain and abdominal operations were successfully performed.

The Homoeopathist’s Law of similars and contraries can be traced to the ancient Indian classics of Charaka and Sushruta through Egypt, Persia, Arabia, Greece, into medieval Europe and down to modern times.

Here is a beautiful ideal of Charaka: "Not for self, not for the fulfilment of any earthly desire of gain, but solely for the good of suffering humanity should you treat your patients and so excel all. Those who sell the treatment of disease as merchandise gather the dust and neglect the gold."

Ayurveda—The Fifth Veda

Ayurveda or the Science of life is an Upanga of Atharva-Veda. It consists of 100,000 verses in 1000 chapters. It was composed by Brahma, the Lord, before he created all beings. Ayurveda is really one aspect of the Veda as a whole.

Ayurveda is the Veda or knowledge of Ayus or life. It has been classified as the Fifth Veda.

Ayurveda is a distinct Veda. It is even superior to the other Vedas because it gives life which is the basis of all enjoyments, study, meditation and Yoga Sadhana.

The three main branches of Ayurveda deal with the causes, symptoms and treatment of diseases.

Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhata, Madhava and Sharangadhara were the great Rishis or Fathers of Ayurvedic medicines. They were Yogis. They had great power of observation, generalisation and analysis. Their students made wonderful researches. India’s fertility for medicinal herbs and plants contributed a great deal to the prosecution of their study of medicine.

Ayurveda serves as the best guide for the healthy and for the sick.

Ayurvedic medicines are more effective and less costly.

Ayurveda treats of eight subjects: Surgery (Salya), treatment of diseases of the head (Shalaka), treatment of ordinary diseases (Kaya-chikitsa), the processes of counteracting the influences of evil spirits (Bhuta-vaidya), treatment of child-diseases (Kaumara-bhritya), antidotes to poisons (Agada tantra), science of rejuvenating body (Rasayana) and the science of acquiring virile strength (Vajikarana).

The principles of Ayurvedic treatment are in the main the same as that of allopathic treatment. They consist of removing the injurious agent, soothing injured body and mind and eradicating the cause. The difference lies in the methods of detail adopted by the different systems. In Ayurveda great importance is given upon the study of the various stages of vitiation of the three Doshas or humours of the body.

"Dosha Dhatu Mala Moolam hi Sareeram." The essential constituents of the human body consist of Doshas, Dhatus and Malas. Deha Dhatus mean the supporters of the human body. The three Doshas, the seven Dhatus, the three Malas—these thirteen constitute the human body according to Ayurveda.

( Note: The three Doshas are: Vatha (wind), Pitta (bile) and Kapha (phlegm) . The seven Dhatus are: Rasa (chyle), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (flesh), Medas (fat), Asthi (bone), Majja (marrow) and Shukla (sperm). The three Malas are: sweat, urine, excreta.) 

Disease, according to Ayurveda, is generally defined as derangement of the three Doshas. Health is an equilibrium of the three Doshas.

Importance of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the science of life. It shows the way to remove diseases, to keep up sound health and attain longevity.

This wonderful science cannot be rooted out of India. It is deeply rooted in the hearts of the children of India, the offsprings of Charaka, Sushruta, Madhava, Vagbhata, Sharangadhara and Dhanwantari. Even if all the books on Ayurveda are lost today, it will surely survive.

The efficacy of Ayurvedic medicines prepared strictly in accordance with the methods presented by the Ayurvedic text is very great and their curative powers cannot be in the least doubted or disputed.

Ayurveda was in vogue in India since very early times. The Ayurvedic and Siddha systems have played a very important and vital part in the sphere of public health. Their popularity is due to their availability, cheapness and efficacy, but their thorough knowledge was confined to a few specialists only. There was paucity of standardisation of the drugs and therefore the Ayurvedic system did not keep pace with the Allopathic system.

An Ayurvedic physician is very accurate and scientific in determining the causes, symptoms and treatment of diseases. He accurately diagnoses the diseases by feeling the pulse or looking at the eyes and face. He brings about harmony of the three Doshas—Vatha (wind), Pitta (bile) and Kapha (phlegm) by administering the suitable Rasas in correct proportions and combinations.

Ayurveda is based on ten fundamental considerations—

1. Dusyam (the seven Dhatus and Doshas), 2. Desam (surrounding), 3. Balam (strength), 4. Kalam (season), 5. Analam (fire of digestion, Agni), 6. Prakriti (body), 7. Vayaha (age), 8. Satvam (mental state), 9. Satmyam (compatibility), 10. Aharam (dietary habits).

Ayurveda can cure certain diseases for which the Allopathic Pharmacopoeia has no remedy. There are great many indigenous drugs of extreme utility but little known to the students of Allopathy. The Allopaths are just emerging from the slough of empiricism. Many of the empirical methods of treatment adopted by many Ayurvedic physicians are of the greatest value. Whatever the ancient Ayurvedic physicians of yore knew are nowadays being brought to light as new discovery by the Allopaths. If people follow the treatment according to the methods of Charaka, there will be few chronic invalids in the world.

The Ayurveda or the Science of Life

The Ayurveda is by itself an almost perfect science treating of Surgery, Medicine, Therapeutics, etc., in as efficient a light as possible. Those antiquated sages and Rishis had been men of miraculous powers. The root-medicines, the medicated leaves with which they cured the disease were all powerful and unique. They were, as it were, God-sent medicines. Dr. Wise remarks, "Asia can munificently give, but it does not need to borrow." This Ayurvedic system of medicine was promulgated early in the Vedic age. The Hindu Medical system called Ayurveda or the Science of Life is regarded by the Hindus as the fifth Veda. A portion of the Atharvana Veda was devoted to medicine. It is stated that this knowledge of medicine was revealed by Brahma who instructed for the first time the patriarch Daksha. Punarvasu, the son of Atri, Bharadwaja, Indra and the two Aswins practised this system of medicine. A time came for the Rishis and sages to take their long leave and their disciples practised Ayurveda, who in their turn went the way of all flesh and blood and their followers practised it. In course of events, Ayurveda became a monopoly and exclusive right of certain families only and it has become more or less an occult science. There were no well trained masters to give clear instructions, no schools and colleges to receive education and practical training. Selfishness played a most conspicuous part. Self-denial and self-sacrifice were quite novel things. Controversies and contests arose in the arena of Ayurvedic field. An Ayurvedic father was jealous to make even his son well-versed in Ayurvedic Science. Exclusivism, and not the spirit of inclusivism, aristocracy and not liberalism and plebianism were the most pondering elements. The books written by the Rishis and sages, were in the hands of certain unsympathetic audacious men who cared not the well being of the suffering humanity at large. The books were in their hands, the sole means to acquire wealth. So, in the field of Ayurveda, there were no well-trained sympathetic captains to guide. The Science, the exclusive Science, which the exclusive men hid for themselves and thus prevented its sunshine to glow over far off climes, and which would have become an eternal blessing, sank into partial oblivion.

It is our sincere and heart-felt longing to see this venerable and ancient system of medicine, the system of our ancestors, sages and Rishis come to the front and occupy the same prominent position, it held in days of yore. It is highly gratifying to note that some generous hearted and liberal minded noble men of the Aryan land are straining their every nerve in the resuscitation of our ancient system of medicine, which, but for their munificence would have been swept away altogether from practice at the present day.

Ayurveda is Scientific

Western scholars who have studied the Ayurveda are of the opinion that the Hindus developed their Medical science without any extraneous aid. That the Arabs at one time celebrated for their cultivation of Medical Science, had borrowed Medicine from the Hindus, is of course admitted. But whether the Greeks were ever indebted for their medical lore to the people of India, is not so clear. There are scholars whose enthusiasm of Greece is so great that they do not hesitate to advance the extraordinary proposition that except the blind forces of Nature nothing moves in the world that is not Greek in origin. We have nothing to do with scholars that have in even their historical speculations taken leave of sobriety. The accepted opinion is that, as in the case of their Astronomy and philosophy, the Greeks derived considerable help as regards their Medicine also, from their knowledge of India.

The Hindu Medical System called Ayurveda or the Science of Life is exceedingly voluminous. It is commonly supposed that a portion of the Atharvana Veda was devoted to Health and Medicine. The Vedas are eternal and the Science of Life therefore, as included in it is also eternal. The other opinion is that the Science of Life was evolved by Brahma, the Grandsire of all the worlds. The Vedas are unquestionably the most ancient books in the world in spite of all the care taken to preserve them in their entirety, there can be no question that in course of many long centuries they have suffered mutilation. The destroying influence of Time is irresistible. No trace accordingly, can be found of the Ayurveda as it formed a part of the Atharvana. The earliest treatises extant on the Science of Life are those of Agnivesa, Bhela, Jatukarana, Parasara, Harita and Kharapani. They were the six disciples of Punarvasu, the son of Atri, who got the science from his preceptor, Bharadwaja, who had again got it from Indra, according to the ancient belief. The chief of the celestials, it is said, had got it, through the Aswins from the Grandsire. Among the works of the six disciples of Punarvasu, that of Agnivesa comes to be better known. It was, some centuries after, revised and arranged by Charaka. Of Charaka the Xarch of the Arabian writers, nothing is known beyond the fact than he was a Rishi who belonged to Panchanada or the country of the Five Waters (Punjab). As a treatise on Hygiene and the treatment of diseases, Charaka’s great work is certainly a very valuable contribution to the Hindu medical literature. The other great medical work of ancient India is Sushruta. It deals largely with Surgery.

The Rishis forbade the sale of knowledge. There were, therefore, no public schools or colleges in which students could acquire knowledge of any branch of learning. Hindu physicians, as soon as any of them succeeded in acquiring celebrity, attracted pupils from the surrounding country. They had not only to teach but also to feed the pupils thus attracted towards them. Besides lecturing on the subject, they had to take more advanced ones among their pupils with them in their daily round of practice. For use in the lecture-hall, almost every physician of fame had to compile an abridgment condensing not only the contents of the more famous works known at the time but often supplementing them with the results of his own experience. Some of those abridgments in process of time, became standard works, and were commented upon by succeeding physicians of note. In this way, a very large and voluminous body of medical literature has grown up in India. If collected with care that literature is capable of fairly filling a large library.

The charge has frequently been preferred against Hindu Medicine that instead of being scientific, it is purely empirical. No charge could be more absurd.

The charge proceeds from erroneous conviction that as a system of Therapeutics, Hindu medicine is inferior to the Western system of diagnosis and treatment.

Depending largely as Hindu medicine does on herbs and plants, the medical treatises of India contain the most elaborate instructions regarding the methods or manner of gathering these. Annual plants are to be collected before the ripening of their seeds, biennials in the spring, and perennials in autumn; twigs are to be of present year’s growth; roots are to be taken up in winter; leaves in the hot season; and the barks and pith in the rainy season. Minute descriptions occur regarding the manner also of preparing medicines. Not less than six and twenty forms of medicines are mentioned, such as powders, extracts, boluses, decoctions, and infusions in water and milk and ghee, syrups, expressions, distillation, fermentation, medicated oils, etc. The very fuel that is to be used in view of particular preparations, has been described.

It goes without saying that as Botany was never cultivated by the Hindu physicians on a scientific basis, the difficulty experienced in the identification of herbs and plants is often very great. Fortunately, the profession of medicine in India, like most other professions, has been hereditary. This has ensured the descent of knowledge from generation to generation. The son, discerning an aptitude for the profession of the sire, acts as his sire’s assistant from his earliest years. This circumstance enables him to acquire a full knowledge not only of the medicinal herbs and plants mentioned in the Hindu medical treatises, but also of the processes of preparing every medicine with care. By the time, therefore, he begins to practise as a physician, after, of course, having completely mastered the principles of Science by a thorough study of the standard works, his proficiency as an apothecary becomes unquestionable. The instruction laid down in medical treatises for the preparation of medicines are not, in every case, complete. Even when complete, mere theoretical knowledge can never go far. No man can become a good cook by only reading even the most excellent treatises on cookery. Without practice, such knowledge cannot be much useful. The hereditary character of the medical profession, therefore, in India, and the circumstance of the younger members of the family being the helpmates of the practicing physician in the subsidiary branches of his science and art, always ensure a high degree of skill, both in treatment and the apothecary’s art in every physician.

Renaissance of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an exact science. It is the Indian medical science practised by ancient Rishis and seers of India. It is a portion of the Vedas. It is a very effective system of treatment of diseases. It had long period of development in its various branches including surgery. It was very much advanced in ancient India.

Ayurveda has a significant name. It is the knowledge of the science which ensures health and longevity. It is in no way inferior to other systems. The Ayurvedic doctors had very great influence in the field of medicine. Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhata, Madhava Nidhan are the well-known scientific books on Indian Medicine.

The Allopathic doctors are perhaps intolerant towards Ayurveda. They have not understood and recognised the value and importance of the Indian System of Medicine. If they combine Allopathy and Ayurveda, they will be more useful to the suffering humanity and will do wonders in the field of Medicine.

The Ayurvedic system, on the other hand, laid the foundation to Allopathy. It has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the system of Ayurveda travelled from India to Egypt, Arabia, Rome and other places.

This glorious system of medicine fell into disuse owing to lack of State support and facilities for proper study, training and research.

Rasayana treatment which confers Kaya Kalpa (rejuvenation of body) comes under Ayurveda.

Nadi-pariksha or examination of the condition of the patient through feeling the pulse is a noteworthy feature in this system of treatment. No other system in the world has this feature. An Ayurvedic doctor or Vaidya feels the pulse of the patient and diagnoses the disease at once. He gives a vivid description of the state of the patient. Allopathy speaks of volume, tension, etc., of the pulse. The allopathic doctor says only "The pulse is wiry, small, feeble, etc.," but the Ayurvedic doctor dives deep and speaks volumes on the subject.

Herbs and Bhasmas (metallic oxides) play a prominent part in this system. Herbs and oxides possess infinite potencies or Saktis. A small herb dissolves stones in the bladder, kidneys and gall-bladder in a minute or the twinkling of an eye.

The various potent Ayurvedic preparations are Asavas (infusions), Arishtas (decoctions), Tailas (various medicated oils), double Kashayams or Kvathas, Churna (powder), Lepa (ointment), Gutika or Gulikai (pills), Ghritams (medicated ghees), Bhasmas or metallic oxides, Sindoor (oxides), Rasa, Rasayanas, Lehyam (confections), Dravakam.

The preventive aspects of the Ayurveda have been incorporated in the religious and social observances of the Hindus. If they are prescribed in a modern way, rationally, in terms of modern science, they will appeal nicely to the people. They will take them with a pleasant frame of mind as prescriptions for the maintenance of good health and proper hygienic conditions.

Ayurvedic system is still alive even after centuries of vicissitudes and non-recognition by the State. This points out definitely that the system has a vigour, vitality and power. It has a natural deep root in India. It can never die or become extinct.

India or Bharatavarsha is rich in medical plants and herbs. In the Gandhamadana hills of the Himalayas and in the vicinity of Nahang near Simla, rare medical herbs are found in abundance. All these herbs can be utilised to great advantage.

There should be Ayurvedic Universities in different parts of India. Training should be imparted to the students on modern lines. Ayurveda and Allopathy should be harmoniously combined. Then the doctors will do more good in the suffering humanity.

There should be more rural dispensaries. People in the villages should be benefited. The cheap and equally efficacious indigenous medicines should be used.

Intense research in the Ayurveda is a need of the hour. Treasures lie hidden in Indian herbs and medicinal plants. They must be brought to light. Then the whole world will be immensely benefited.

India is free now. It is Svatantra Bharat. The Government and the people should endeavour to resuscitate this indigenous system.

The present Ayurvedic institutions should be put on a very sound basis. Many more institutions should be started in various parts of India, Europe and America.

It is gratifying to note that the Indian Government has already taken up the work of promoting Ayurveda. It is hoped that the Government will leave no stone unturned in unearthing the treasures which are hidden in this glorious system of medicine and in establishing Ayurvedic laboratories, Research Institutes in various centres and Ayurvedic Dispensaries in every village.

Many Ayurvedic Pharmacies in India are already doing great research work in the promotion of Ayurveda. If the public take interest and if the Government gives proper aid and help now, Ayurveda will once again come into prominence and prove to be of incalculable benefit to India and the world at large.

All-India Ayurvedic University

Ayurveda is closely associated with the ancient Aryan or Bharateeya culture.

Treasures lie hidden in Indian or Bharateeya herbs and medicinal plants. Research can do a lot by unearthing those treasures, not only for the sake of India, but for the sake of the whole universe at large.

Ayurveda has immense potentialities. Even today it is used by 80 per cent of the population in India. Ayurvedic drugs are cheap, easy to obtain and administer and are more effective, too.

Look at the marvels of Ayurveda!

Bhasmas even in the smallest quantity work wonders and cure incurable diseases.

Kaya Kalpa is another marvel of Ayurvedic science.

Nadi Vijnana is a third wonder.

Diagnosis of diseases through facial and eye expressions, odours, sounds, etc., is astounding. Finding of incurability or otherwise of diseases through Til oil examination is also wonderful.

Doctrines of Tridoshas, Mahabhutas, Rasa, Vipaka, Veerya, Prabhava, etc., are thought provoking.

The Ayurvedic system is still alive after centuries of vicissitudes. Even now there are institutions, doing wonderful work; this clearly indicates that it has a vitality and natural root in India. All that is required is proper encouragement.

What is necessary for the growth of Ayurveda at the present moment is standardisation of quality, methods of administration, ways of manufacturing and the degree of potency.

The establishment of an All-India Ayurvedic University is an important constructive work in India. It should be taken up by the State at once.

The Ayurvedic Pandits, all workers in the science, sympathisers and lovers of Ayurveda must co-operate, collaborate, co-ordinate to organise themselves and help in the establishment of this University.

This will bring about uniformity in Ayurvedic education and practice. It will purely produce capable and efficient Ayurvedic graduates in vast numbers and bring forth specialists and research scholars in different branches of this wonderful and remarkable science in a very short time.

Now India is free. It should have immediately an All-India Ayurvedic University for the growth and uplift of the wonderful medical science of Rishis—the Ayurveda or the Science of Life.

The best place for starting the All-India Ayurvedic University is Delhi. Herbs can be easily secured from Himalayas. Delhi is the capital of India, too. The University will adorn the capital.

Wake up now at least. Open your eyes. The wealth of India is being drained by the import of sulphonamides, Iodides, tinctures, etc. Tap the inexhaustible herbal wealth of the Himalayas. Make your own Asavas, Arishtas, Avalehas and Ghritas. Enrich India and bring good health to the people. This is your very onerous duty. Kindly fulfil it now. Please discharge your duties well, and obtain the grace of the Lord. Here is a great field for your selfless service, purification of heart and salvation.

Glory to Ayurveda, the fifth Veda! Glory to Ayurvedic Rishis, Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhata and Madhava!

Glory to righteous and self-sacrificing Ayurvedic physicians! Glory, Glory! All glory to Dhanvantari Bhagavan, the Lord, the original father and supporter of the Ayurvedic medicine!


Last Updated: Sunday, 17-Oct-2004 09:35:38 EDT
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