This article is a chapter from the book “Practice of Ayurveda”.
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 ancient intuitive India that brought to being thebrightest and the most inspired of eternal spiritual songs on the struggles andproblems of active life in this terrestrial world in relation to the highest Endof 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 entirenature of man to a process of dynamic spiritualisation, but literally to seekthe health, strength, vim, vitality, longevity of the third of the triune aspectof man,–the physical body, which is recognized as the indispensable andperfectible vehicle for both the enjoyment of temporal happiness and supremespiritual felicity. This tendency of an essentially intuitive mind, towards anintegral development of life, towards a complete blossoming of the whole maneven while living in a physical form in this material world, this impassionedaffirmation of positive living, this acceptance of the body as the bestinstrument for the realization here on earth, of the best blessings of theprofound spiritual realms, resulted in the obtainment of the yet unmatched,deepest insights, the subtle determining vital powers and secrets in the humansystem that govern its radiant health and longevity and in the creation of a yetanother Veda, the Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a perfect science of life andconsists of a body of most remarkable knowledge on the internal mechanism ofhuman health and longevity, on medicinal herbs and therapeutic roots, on theefficacious treatment of human ills by eradicating from the human system thevery sources of their causation. This great medical science and humanity’smost ancient and finest preventive school of practical medicine, which has beenpractised in India, century after century for over four thousand years, byexpert Vaidyas well-versed and highly trained in its lore, should now receive,as a matter of immediate practical necessity, the increasing and the bestinterest of modern free India. To those who claim to have a knowledge of thisancient medicinal science enriched by the happy results of the researches andadvancement made by eminent Vaidyas in succeeding ages, its superior merits overthe Western systems of medicine, and its immense value, do not need anydelineation. Such names of the great pioneers who added to the development ofthe science of Ayurveda, as Vagbhata, Madhava, Jivaka and Bhava Mishra ofBanaras are well-known, and the almost miraculous results that the medicinalherbs prescribed by Ayurveda have brought into the systems of those who haveused them, are more than sufficient proof of its unique value. The amazinglywide scope and the genuine scientific nature of Ayurveda received muchenthusiastic appreciation by such Westerners as Sri William Hunter, too, and therecent researches show that the early Greeks owed much of their knowledge on thephysiology of man and medicine, to Ayurveda. The interest of Government ofIndia, in Ayurveda is indeed most encouraging, but the private bodies and thepublic too should come to an increasing recognition of its importance and value,and as a first step begin trying its drugs.
The Lord Himself is the first divine physician. He is thebest among physicians.
When the body is afflicted with senility and diseases, theholy water of Mother Ganga is the medicine and Lord Narayana, from whose holyfeet Ganga emanates, is the great physician.
Once upon a time some distinguished sages happened to meet onthe 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 andpractised religious austerities. The subject of their conversation was the ‘illsthat the flesh is heir to’. They began to complain: “Our body, which isthe 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 diseasesare great impediments to our worldly affairs and bring on premature death. Inthe face of such enemies, how can men be happy? It is necessary, therefore, tofind remedies for such diseases.” They turned to sage Bharadwaja, and thusaddressed him:
“O Sage! Thou art the fittest person among us. Go thouto the thousand-eyed Indra, who has systematically studied the Ayurveda, and byacquiring from him the knowledge of that science, free us, O sage, from thescourge of diseases.”
“So be it,” said the sage, who at once went toIndra and thus accosted him: “O Lord, I have been deputed by the parliamentof sages, to learn from you the remedies for the direful diseases that afflictmankind; I pray you, therefore, to teach me the Ayurveda.”
Indra was pleased with the object of his mission, and taughthim the Ayurveda in all its parts. Bharadwaja recounted the precepts he hadacquired to the other sages who had deputed him, and with the knowledge of thisscience they were able to live in health and happiness.
Indra taught the science to his pupil Atreya, who wroteseveral works. Atreya Samhita is a celebrated book. Atreya is one of the oldestauthorities on Hindu medicine.
Brahma propounded the healing art first. He composed theAyurveda consisting of one hundred chapters of one hundred stanzas each. It isthe oldest medical book of the Hindus. It is divided into eight parts:
(1) Shalya: Surgery. (2) Shalaka: Treatment ofdisease of the eye, nose, mouth, ears, etc. (3) Kaya Chikitsa: Treatmentof general diseases affecting the whole body, such as, fever, diabetes, etc. (4)Bhoota-vidya: Treatment of diseases caused by evil spirits. (5) KumaraBhritya: Treatment of infants and of puerperal state. (6) Agada: Antidotesto poisons: (7) Rasayana: Treats of medicines which promote health andlongevity, which preserve vigour, restore youth, improve memory, cure andprevent diseases in general. (8) Vajikarana or aphrodisiac: Describes themeans of increasing the virile power, of giving tone to the weakened organs ofgeneration.
Nidane Madhava Shreshthah, Sutra Sthane Tu Vagbhatah;
Sharire Sushrutah Proktah, Charakastu Chikitsake.
It means Madhava is unrivalled in Diagnosis. Vagbhata inprinciples and practice of Medicine. Sushruta in Surgery and Charaka inTherapeutic. In his old age Madhava became an ascetic and assumed the name ofVidyaranya (forest of learning).
Charaka is said to have been an incarnation of Shesha–theSerpent God with a thousand hoods–who is supposed to be the depository, of allsciences, especially of medicine.
Charaka, the son of Vishuddha, a learned Muni, flourishedduring the Vedic period. Some believe him to have been born at Banaras 320 yearsB.C. He was the greatest physician of his day, and his “CharakaSamhita” is still held to be a standard work on medicine.
Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Ayurveda are the oldest and mostreputed treatises on Hindu medicine now extant. Charaka Samhita is generallybelieved 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 onmedicine. 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 ofSindh. Vagbhata wrote Ashtanga Hridaya. This is a mere compilation from Charakaand Sushruta.
Dhanwantari, the surgeon of heaven descended upon earth inthe person of Dividasa, king of Banaras for teaching surgery. Sushruta learntsurgery from Dhanwantari. Sushruta treats of anatomy, surgical diseases,surgical instruments, operations.
The general diseases such as fever, diarrhoea, chest diseasesetc. are treated in the book called “Uttara-tantra”
Madhava or Madhavacharya, who wrote several works embracingalmost all branches of Hindu learning was born in Kishkindha now called Golkondain South India.
Bhava Mishra, author of Bhava Prakasha lived in 1550 A.D. Hewas considered to be the best scholar of his time in Madra Desha.
Madhava Kara wrote the book Nidana. This is a concisetreatise, on the causes, symptoms, and prognosis of diseases. It is a text bookon pathology.
Chakrapani Datta wrote Chakradatta Sangraha. It deals withthe treatment of diseases.
Bhava Misra was an inhabitant of Banaras, where he is said tohave had no less than four hundred pupils. Bhava Misra wrote a book calledBhavaprakasha. It is a comprehensive treatise compiled from the works ofpreceding 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 atreatise bearing his name. The work is divided into twenty-five chapters, and isa very popular work.
There are several works in Sanskrit devoted especially to thedescription of the synonyms and properties of drugs and articles of diet. Theoldest treatment on this subject is the book called Raja-nighantu.
Bhela, Jatukarna, Parasara, Kharapani and Harita wrotemedical books.
Agnivesha’s “Nidanajnana”, a treatise ondiagnosis, is still admired.
Harita Samhita is a standard book. This was dictated byAtreya in reply to Harita’s questions.
The Ayurvedic system has been demonstrated in recent years tobe as effective against malaria as Allopathic treatment. In Rheumatism Ayurvedicmedicines are able to produce a greater alleviating and curative effect thanother systems.
The best febrifuges have been learnt by British physiciansfrom the Hindus. When patients deafened and swollen by abuse of Quinine wereslowly dying of fever under the treatment of enlightened physicians, the bark ofthe Margosa (Neem tree) and Chiretta herb have cured them completely. These nowoccupy an honourable place among European drugs.
To the ascetic Gymnosophists of ancient India, no secretpower of either plant or mineral was unknown. They possess the greatest secretsin medicinal knowledge and unsurpassed skill in its practice.
No country in the world can boast of more medicinal plantsthan India, Burma, Siam and Sri Lanka. India’s wealth of medicinal plants isunsurpassed. The literature of indigenous medicine ascribes medicinal propertiesto more than 2000 plants. Medicinal herbs are mentioned in the Rig-Veda.Ayurveda treats of herbal remedies in detail on which the ancient medicalscience largely rested.
There is an entire Upanishad on the internal parts of thehuman body with an enumeration of the nerves, veins, arteries, a description ofthe heart, spleen and liver and various disquisitions on the formation andgrowth of the foetus.
The Rig-Veda (I, 116, 15-16) speaks of an artificial limb ofiron as having been given to a woman whose foot had been cut off so that shemight walk. The giving of artificial eyes is also mentioned.
Jivaka, the personal physician of Buddha, is said to havepractised cranial surgery, with success. The Hindus were the first to doskin-grafting and plastic surgery, cataract operation, amputation, the caesareanoperation, etc.
Bhoja Prabandha describes a cranial operation performed in927 A.D. on King Bhoja of Dhar. Two surgeons made the king insensible by a drugcalled Sammohini, trephined the skull, removed a growth from the brain, closedthe opening and stitched the wound and restored the patient to consciousness byanother drug.
Both Charaka and Sushruta mention the ancient use ofanaesthetics.
Charaka dealt with diet, antidotes for poisons, syringes,emetic, purgatives and drugs for the cure of diseases. Sushruta was the greatestsurgeon of his time. He practised Aseptic surgery.
Vedic literature abounds in references to surgicalinstruments, such as scalpels, lancets, forceps, catheters, saws, etc.
The old Sanskrit and Pali texts give details of variousdiseases and their remedies–dysentery, jaundice, diabetes, tuberculosis,heart-diseases, etc. They declare that surgery had reached a great degree ofskill; and that difficult skull, brain and abdominal operations weresuccessfully performed.
The Homoeopathist’s Law of similars and contraries can betraced 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, notfor the fulfilment of any earthly desire of gain, but solely for the good ofsuffering humanity should you treat your patients and so excel all. Those whosell the treatment of disease as merchandise gather the dust and neglect thegold.”
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, theLord, before he created all beings. Ayurveda is really one aspect of the Veda asa whole.
Ayurveda is the Veda or knowledge of Ayus or life. It hasbeen classified as the Fifth Veda.
Ayurveda is a distinct Veda. It is even superior to the otherVedas 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 werethe great Rishis or Fathers of Ayurvedic medicines. They were Yogis. They hadgreat power of observation, generalisation and analysis. Their students madewonderful researches. India’s fertility for medicinal herbs and plantscontributed a great deal to the prosecution of their study of medicine.
Ayurveda serves as the best guide for the healthy and for thesick.
Ayurvedic medicines are more effective and less costly.
Ayurveda treats of eight subjects: Surgery (Salya), treatmentof 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 topoisons (Agada tantra), science of rejuvenating body (Rasayana) and the scienceof acquiring virile strength (Vajikarana).
The principles of Ayurvedic treatment are in the main thesame as that of allopathic treatment. They consist of removing the injuriousagent, soothing injured body and mind and eradicating the cause. The differencelies in the methods of detail adopted by the different systems. In Ayurvedagreat importance is given upon the study of the various stages of vitiation ofthe three Doshas or humours of the body.
“Dosha Dhatu Mala Moolam hi Sareeram.” Theessential constituents of the human body consist of Doshas, Dhatus and Malas.Deha Dhatus mean the supporters of the human body. The three Doshas, the sevenDhatus, the three Malas–these thirteen constitute the human body according toAyurveda.
( 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 Malasare: sweat, urine, excreta.)
Disease, according to Ayurveda, is generally defined asderangement of the three Doshas. Health is an equilibrium of the three Doshas.
Ayurveda is the science of life. It shows the way to removediseases, to keep up sound health and attain longevity.
This wonderful science cannot be rooted out of India. It isdeeply rooted in the hearts of the children of India, the offsprings of Charaka,Sushruta, Madhava, Vagbhata, Sharangadhara and Dhanwantari. Even if all thebooks on Ayurveda are lost today, it will surely survive.
The efficacy of Ayurvedic medicines prepared strictly inaccordance with the methods presented by the Ayurvedic text is very great andtheir curative powers cannot be in the least doubted or disputed.
Ayurveda was in vogue in India since very early times. TheAyurvedic and Siddha systems have played a very important and vital part in thesphere of public health. Their popularity is due to their availability,cheapness and efficacy, but their thorough knowledge was confined to a fewspecialists only. There was paucity of standardisation of the drugs andtherefore the Ayurvedic system did not keep pace with the Allopathic system.
An Ayurvedic physician is very accurate and scientific indetermining the causes, symptoms and treatment of diseases. He accuratelydiagnoses the diseases by feeling the pulse or looking at the eyes and face. Hebrings about harmony of the three Doshas–Vatha (wind), Pitta (bile) and Kapha(phlegm) by administering the suitable Rasas in correct proportions andcombinations.
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 AllopathicPharmacopoeia has no remedy. There are great many indigenous drugs of extremeutility but little known to the students of Allopathy. The Allopaths are justemerging from the slough of empiricism. Many of the empirical methods oftreatment adopted by many Ayurvedic physicians are of the greatest value.Whatever the ancient Ayurvedic physicians of yore knew are nowadays beingbrought to light as new discovery by the Allopaths. If people follow thetreatment according to the methods of Charaka, there will be few chronicinvalids in the world.
The Ayurveda is by itself an almost perfect science treatingof Surgery, Medicine, Therapeutics, etc., in as efficient a light as possible.Those antiquated sages and Rishis had been men of miraculous powers. Theroot-medicines, the medicated leaves with which they cured the disease were allpowerful and unique. They were, as it were, God-sent medicines. Dr. Wiseremarks, “Asia can munificently give, but it does not need to borrow.”This Ayurvedic system of medicine was promulgated early in the Vedic age. TheHindu Medical system called Ayurveda or the Science of Life is regarded by theHindus as the fifth Veda. A portion of the Atharvana Veda was devoted tomedicine. It is stated that this knowledge of medicine was revealed by Brahmawho instructed for the first time the patriarch Daksha. Punarvasu, the son ofAtri, Bharadwaja, Indra and the two Aswins practised this system of medicine. Atime came for the Rishis and sages to take their long leave and their disciplespractised Ayurveda, who in their turn went the way of all flesh and blood andtheir followers practised it. In course of events, Ayurveda became a monopolyand exclusive right of certain families only and it has become more or less anoccult science. There were no well trained masters to give clear instructions,no schools and colleges to receive education and practical training. Selfishnessplayed a most conspicuous part. Self-denial and self-sacrifice were quite novelthings. Controversies and contests arose in the arena of Ayurvedic field. AnAyurvedic father was jealous to make even his son well-versed in AyurvedicScience. Exclusivism, and not the spirit of inclusivism, aristocracy and notliberalism and plebianism were the most pondering elements. The books written bythe Rishis and sages, were in the hands of certain unsympathetic audacious menwho cared not the well being of the suffering humanity at large. The books werein 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, theexclusive Science, which the exclusive men hid for themselves and thus preventedits sunshine to glow over far off climes, and which would have become an eternalblessing, sank into partial oblivion.
It is our sincere and heart-felt longing to see thisvenerable and ancient system of medicine, the system of our ancestors, sages andRishis come to the front and occupy the same prominent position, it held in daysof yore. It is highly gratifying to note that some generous hearted and liberalminded noble men of the Aryan land are straining their every nerve in theresuscitation of our ancient system of medicine, which, but for theirmunificence would have been swept away altogether from practice at the presentday.
Western scholars who have studied the Ayurveda are of theopinion that the Hindus developed their Medical science without any extraneousaid. That the Arabs at one time celebrated for their cultivation of MedicalScience, had borrowed Medicine from the Hindus, is of course admitted. Butwhether the Greeks were ever indebted for their medical lore to the people ofIndia, is not so clear. There are scholars whose enthusiasm of Greece is sogreat that they do not hesitate to advance the extraordinary proposition thatexcept the blind forces of Nature nothing moves in the world that is not Greekin origin. We have nothing to do with scholars that have in even theirhistorical speculations taken leave of sobriety. The accepted opinion is that,as in the case of their Astronomy and philosophy, the Greeks derivedconsiderable help as regards their Medicine also, from their knowledge of India.
The Hindu Medical System called Ayurveda or the Science ofLife is exceedingly voluminous. It is commonly supposed that a portion of theAtharvana Veda was devoted to Health and Medicine. The Vedas are eternal and theScience of Life therefore, as included in it is also eternal. The other opinionis that the Science of Life was evolved by Brahma, the Grandsire of all theworlds. The Vedas are unquestionably the most ancient books in the world inspite of all the care taken to preserve them in their entirety, there can be noquestion that in course of many long centuries they have suffered mutilation.The destroying influence of Time is irresistible. No trace accordingly, can befound of the Ayurveda as it formed a part of the Atharvana. The earliesttreatises extant on the Science of Life are those of Agnivesa, Bhela,Jatukarana, Parasara, Harita and Kharapani. They were the six disciples ofPunarvasu, 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 ofthe 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 bebetter known. It was, some centuries after, revised and arranged by Charaka. OfCharaka the Xarch of the Arabian writers, nothing is known beyond the fact thanhe 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’sgreat work is certainly a very valuable contribution to the Hindu medicalliterature. The other great medical work of ancient India is Sushruta. It dealslargely with Surgery.
The Rishis forbade the sale of knowledge. There were,therefore, no public schools or colleges in which students could acquireknowledge of any branch of learning. Hindu physicians, as soon as any of themsucceeded in acquiring celebrity, attracted pupils from the surrounding country.They had not only to teach but also to feed the pupils thus attracted towardsthem. Besides lecturing on the subject, they had to take more advanced onesamong their pupils with them in their daily round of practice. For use in thelecture-hall, almost every physician of fame had to compile an abridgmentcondensing not only the contents of the more famous works known at the time butoften supplementing them with the results of his own experience. Some of thoseabridgments in process of time, became standard works, and were commented uponby succeeding physicians of note. In this way, a very large and voluminous bodyof medical literature has grown up in India. If collected with care thatliterature is capable of fairly filling a large library.
The charge has frequently been preferred against HinduMedicine that instead of being scientific, it is purely empirical. No chargecould be more absurd.
The charge proceeds from erroneous conviction that as asystem of Therapeutics, Hindu medicine is inferior to the Western system ofdiagnosis and treatment.
Depending largely as Hindu medicine does on herbs and plants,the medical treatises of India contain the most elaborate instructions regardingthe methods or manner of gathering these. Annual plants are to be collectedbefore the ripening of their seeds, biennials in the spring, and perennials inautumn; twigs are to be of present year’s growth; roots are to be taken up inwinter; leaves in the hot season; and the barks and pith in the rainy season.Minute descriptions occur regarding the manner also of preparing medicines. Notless 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 thatis to be used in view of particular preparations, has been described.
It goes without saying that as Botany was never cultivated bythe Hindu physicians on a scientific basis, the difficulty experienced in theidentification of herbs and plants is often very great. Fortunately, theprofession of medicine in India, like most other professions, has beenhereditary. This has ensured the descent of knowledge from generation togeneration. The son, discerning an aptitude for the profession of the sire, actsas his sire’s assistant from his earliest years. This circumstance enables himto acquire a full knowledge not only of the medicinal herbs and plants mentionedin the Hindu medical treatises, but also of the processes of preparing everymedicine with care. By the time, therefore, he begins to practise as aphysician, after, of course, having completely mastered the principles ofScience by a thorough study of the standard works, his proficiency as anapothecary becomes unquestionable. The instruction laid down in medicaltreatises for the preparation of medicines are not, in every case, complete.Even when complete, mere theoretical knowledge can never go far. No man canbecome a good cook by only reading even the most excellent treatises on cookery.Without practice, such knowledge cannot be much useful. The hereditary characterof the medical profession, therefore, in India, and the circumstance of theyounger members of the family being the helpmates of the practicing physician inthe subsidiary branches of his science and art, always ensure a high degree ofskill, both in treatment and the apothecary’s art in every physician.
Ayurveda is an exact science. It is the Indian medicalscience practised by ancient Rishis and seers of India. It is a portion of theVedas. It is a very effective system of treatment of diseases. It had longperiod of development in its various branches including surgery. It was verymuch advanced in ancient India.
Ayurveda has a significant name. It is the knowledge of thescience which ensures health and longevity. It is in no way inferior to othersystems. The Ayurvedic doctors had very great influence in the field ofmedicine. Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhata, Madhava Nidhan are the well-knownscientific books on Indian Medicine.
The Allopathic doctors are perhaps intolerant towardsAyurveda. They have not understood and recognised the value and importance ofthe Indian System of Medicine. If they combine Allopathy and Ayurveda, they willbe more useful to the suffering humanity and will do wonders in the field ofMedicine.
The Ayurvedic system, on the other hand, laid the foundationto Allopathy. It has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the system ofAyurveda travelled from India to Egypt, Arabia, Rome and other places.
This glorious system of medicine fell into disuse owing tolack of State support and facilities for proper study, training and research.
Rasayana treatment which confers Kaya Kalpa (rejuvenation of body) comes underAyurveda.
Nadi-pariksha or examination of the condition of the patientthrough 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 Vaidyafeels the pulse of the patient and diagnoses the disease at once. He gives avivid description of the state of the patient. Allopathy speaks of volume,tension, etc., of the pulse. The allopathic doctor says only “The pulse iswiry, small, feeble, etc.,” but the Ayurvedic doctor dives deep and speaksvolumes on the subject.
Herbs and Bhasmas (metallic oxides) play a prominent part inthis system. Herbs and oxides possess infinite potencies or Saktis. A small herbdissolves stones in the bladder, kidneys and gall-bladder in a minute or thetwinkling of an eye.
The various potent Ayurvedic preparations are Asavas(infusions), Arishtas (decoctions), Tailas (various medicated oils), doubleKashayams 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 incorporatedin the religious and social observances of the Hindus. If they are prescribed ina modern way, rationally, in terms of modern science, they will appeal nicely tothe people. They will take them with a pleasant frame of mind as prescriptionsfor the maintenance of good health and proper hygienic conditions.
Ayurvedic system is still alive even after centuries ofvicissitudes and non-recognition by the State. This points out definitely thatthe system has a vigour, vitality and power. It has a natural deep root inIndia. 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 nearSimla, rare medical herbs are found in abundance. All these herbs can beutilised to great advantage.
There should be Ayurvedic Universities in different parts ofIndia. Training should be imparted to the students on modern lines. Ayurveda andAllopathy should be harmoniously combined. Then the doctors will do more good inthe suffering humanity.
There should be more rural dispensaries. People in thevillages should be benefited. The cheap and equally efficacious indigenousmedicines 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 broughtto light. Then the whole world will be immensely benefited.
India is free now. It is Svatantra Bharat. The Government andthe people should endeavour to resuscitate this indigenous system.
The present Ayurvedic institutions should be put on a verysound basis. Many more institutions should be started in various parts of India,Europe and America.
It is gratifying to note that the Indian Government hasalready taken up the work of promoting Ayurveda. It is hoped that the Governmentwill leave no stone unturned in unearthing the treasures which are hidden inthis glorious system of medicine and in establishing Ayurvedic laboratories,Research Institutes in various centres and Ayurvedic Dispensaries in everyvillage.
Many Ayurvedic Pharmacies in India are already doing greatresearch work in the promotion of Ayurveda. If the public take interest and ifthe Government gives proper aid and help now, Ayurveda will once again come intoprominence and prove to be of incalculable benefit to India and the world atlarge.
Ayurveda is closely associated with the ancient Aryan orBharateeya culture.
Treasures lie hidden in Indian or Bharateeya herbs andmedicinal plants. Research can do a lot by unearthing those treasures, not onlyfor the sake of India, but for the sake of the whole universe at large.
Ayurveda has immense potentialities. Even today it is used by80 per cent of the population in India. Ayurvedic drugs are cheap, easy toobtain and administer and are more effective, too.
Look at the marvels of Ayurveda!
Bhasmas even in the smallest quantity work wonders and cureincurable 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 ofdiseases 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 ofvicissitudes. Even now there are institutions, doing wonderful work; thisclearly indicates that it has a vitality and natural root in India. All that isrequired is proper encouragement.
What is necessary for the growth of Ayurveda at the presentmoment is standardisation of quality, methods of administration, ways ofmanufacturing and the degree of potency.
The establishment of an All-India Ayurvedic University is animportant constructive work in India. It should be taken up by the State atonce.
The Ayurvedic Pandits, all workers in the science,sympathisers and lovers of Ayurveda must co-operate, collaborate, co-ordinate toorganise themselves and help in the establishment of this University.
This will bring about uniformity in Ayurvedic education andpractice. It will purely produce capable and efficient Ayurvedic graduates invast numbers and bring forth specialists and research scholars in differentbranches of this wonderful and remarkable science in a very short time.
Now India is free. It should have immediately an All-IndiaAyurvedic University for the growth and uplift of the wonderful medical scienceof Rishis–the Ayurveda or the Science of Life.
The best place for starting the All-India AyurvedicUniversity is Delhi. Herbs can be easily secured from Himalayas. Delhi is thecapital of India, too. The University will adorn the capital.
Wake up now at least. Open your eyes. The wealth of India isbeing drained by the import of sulphonamides, Iodides, tinctures, etc. Tap theinexhaustible herbal wealth of the Himalayas. Make your own Asavas, Arishtas,Avalehas and Ghritas. Enrich India and bring good health to the people. This isyour 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 selflessservice, 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 fatherand supporter of the Ayurvedic medicine!