Archive for the ‘Ayurveda’ Category
The 1st World Medicine
Ayurveda (pronounced Aa-yer-vay-da), the science of life, prevention and longevity is believed to be the oldest and most holistic or comprehensive medical system available. It was placed in written form over 2,000 years ago in India, and said to be a “world medicine”. Before the advent of writing, the ancient wisdom of healing, prevention and longevity was a part of the spiritual tradition of a universal religion.
Medical knowledge from all areas of the world was said to have gathered in India, and the famous sage Veda Vyasa dictated this wisdom to Lord Ganesh, who put into writing the complete knowledge of Ayurveda, along with the more directly spiritual insights of ethics, virtue and Self-Realization.
What is fascinating how this knowledge of the uses of herbs, foods, aromas, gems, colors, Yoga, mantras, lifestyle and surgery was obtained. The sage-physician/surgeons of the time were the same sages or seers, deeply devoted holy people, who saw health as an integral part of spiritual life. It is said that they received their training of Ayurveda through direct cognition during meditation.
In other words, the knowledge of the use of the various methods of healing, prevention, longevity and surgery came through Divine revelation; there was no guessing or testing or harming of animals. These revelations were transcribed from the oral tradition into book form, interspersed with the other aspects of life and spirituality.
There were originally four main books of spirituality, which included, among other topics, health, astrology, spiritual business, government, army, poetry and ethical living.
These books are known as the Vedas; Rik, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. Ayurveda was used in conjunction with Vedic astrology (Jyotish-inner light). At later dates, Ayurveda was organized into its own compact system of health and considered an auxiliary branch of the Vedas, called an Upaveda (limb of the Veda), because it dealt with the healing aspects of spirituality, and not directly discussing spiritual development). These authors took the passages related to Ayurveda from the various Vedas and made separate books, dealing only with Ayurveda.
Among the Rik Veda’s 10,572 hymns, are found discussions of the three doshas, Vayu, Pitta and Kapha; organ transplants, and artificial limbs, the use of herbs to heal the diseases of the mind and body and to foster longevity. Within the Atharva Veda’s 5,977 hymns, are discussions of anatomy, physiology and surgery. This information is nearly identical with modern beliefs.
Around 1500 B.C., Ayurveda was delineated into eight specific branches of medicine. There were two main schools of Ayurveda at that time, Atreya- the school of physicians; and Dhanvantari- the school of surgeons. These two schools made Ayurveda a more scientifically verifiable and classifiable medical system. Through research and testing, they dispelled the doubts of the more practical and scientific minded, removing the aura of mystery that surrounded the concept of Divine revelation. Consequently
Ayurveda grew into a respected and widely used system of healing in India. People from numerous countries came to Indian Ayurvedic schools to learn about this world medicine- in its completeness. Chinese, Tibetans, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Afghanistanis, Persians, and more traveled to learn the complete wisdom and bring it back to their own countries.
There are two main reorganizers of Ayurveda whose works are still existing in tact today- Charak and Sushrut. The third major treatise is called the Ashtanga Hridaya which is a concise version of the works of Charak and Sushrut. Thus the three main ancient Ayurvedic texts that are still used today are, the Charak Samhita (compilation), Sushrut Samhita and the Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita. These books are believed to be over 1,200 years old.
It is because these texts still contain the original and complete knowledge of this Ayurvedic world medicine, that Ayurveda is known today as the only complete medical system still in existence. Other forms of medicine from various cultures, although parallel, are missing parts of the original information.
Charak represented the Atreya school of physicians, discussing physiology, anatomy, etiology, pathogenesis, symptoms and signs of disease; methodology of diagnosis, treatment and prescription of patients; prevention and longevity. Included were internal and external causes of illness. Charak states that the first cause of illness is the loss of faith in the Divine.
In other words, when a person does not have the experience that God is inside us, and, outside- in all things, this separation of vision creates a gap in which longing or suffering for oneness of vision occurs. This suffering is the beginning of spiritual, mental and physical disease. External causes of health included time of day, seasons, diet and lifestyle. There is a whole section discussing the medicinal aspects of herbs, diet, and reversing of the aging process.
For modern skeptics who wonder if this ancient wisdom can be believed, they only need to read Charak’s month-by-month description of the development of the fetus in the womb to see its exact parallels to what we know today from using modern technical machinery.
Sushrut comes from the Dhanvantari school of surgeons. In America, there is a society of surgeons who named themselves the Sushrut Society, after this great medical author. In this text, there are detailed and sophisticated discussions of surgical equipment; the classification of abscesses, burns, fractures, wounds, amputation, plastic surgery, anal/rectal surgery, which are validated by modern medicines technical equipment and research.
There is a complete discussion of the human anatomy; the bones, joints, nerves, heart, blood vessels, circulatory system etc.., again, corroborated by todays methods of mechanical investigation. From the Sushrut Samhita, we learn of the first science of massage, using marma points or vital body points, which parallel Chinese acupuncture. Even the popular Polarity Massage Therapy in America, was developed by a man after studying massage in India.
Eight Branches of Ayurveda
It is astounding and inspiring to discover just how complete the Ayurvedic system was. Further, we see how it has continued in pieces, to develop into today’s methods of medicine. There were eight branches of medicine that one could major in ancient Indian times.
1. Internal Medicine (Kayachikitsa) This is related to the soul, mind and body. It was recognized that there was a psychosomatic relationship, and that sometimes the mind caused illness in the body and vice versa.
The seven body constitutions and seven mental constitutions (discussed in article one) were delineated here- Vayu (air), Pitta (fire), Kapha (water), Vayu/Pitta, Vayu/Kapha, Pitta/Kapha. The idea of finding the cause of an illness is still a mystery to modern science, but it was the main goal of Ayurveda. Six stages of the development of disease were known then (aggravation, accumulation, overflow, relocation, build up in a new site, and manifestation into a recognizable disease).
It is fascinating to note that modern technical equipment and diagnosis can only detect a disease during the fifth and sixth stages of illness. Ayurvedic physicians can nip an illness in the bud by using the more insightful methods of diagnosis. Health is seen as a balance of the biological humors, whereas disease is an imbalance of the humors. Ayurveda brings balance through supplying the deficient humors and reducing the excess ones. Only as a last resort do they rely on surgery.
Modern medicine is just beginning to realize the need to supply rather than remove; but they still do not know how or what to supply. Additionally, there are over 2,000 medicinal plants classified in India’s materia medica; plus a unique method of completely removing toxins from the body, known as pancha karma (five actions). This is a method of reversing the disease path from its manifestation stage, back into the blood stream and eventually into the gastrointestinal tract. This is achieved through special diets, oil massage and steam therapy. From here, they are removed from their sites of original development through special forms of emesis, purgation and enema. Lastly, another unique aspect of Ayurveda is rejuvenation. Rebuilding the body’s cells and tissues after the toxins are removed.
2. Ears Nose and Throat (Shalakya Tantra) Approximately 72 diseases of the eye are discussed by Sushrut, including surgical procedures for cataracts, pterygium and for diseases of the ears, nose and throat.
3. Toxicology (Agada Tantra) Discussed here is air and water pollution, toxins in animals, minerals and vegetables, epidemics, etc..
4. Pediatrics (Kaumarabhritya) Here, prenatal and postnatal care of the baby and mother is addressed. Topics include, how to conceive, how to choose the child’s gender, their intelligence and constitution; childhood diseases, and midwifery.
5. Surgery (Shalyatantra) Over 2,000 years ago, sophisticated methods of surgery were known. This information spread to Egypt, Greece, Rome, and eventually throughout the world. Although China maintained this wisdom, the dark ages of the Western world lost this information. Topics of intestinal obstructions, bladder stones, and the use of dead bodies for dissection and learning were taught and practiced.
6. Psychiatry (Bhuta Vidya) There is a whole branch of Ayurveda which specifically deals with the diseases of the mind. In addition to herbs and diet, yogic therapies (die. meditation, breathing, mantras, etc..) were employed.
7. Aphrodisiacs (Vajikarana) This section deals with two aspects; infertility (for those wanting children) and spiritual development (for those who want to transmute this sexual energy into spiritual energy).
8. Rejuvenation (rasayana) Prevention and longevity are the topics discussed in this branch of Ayurveda. Charak states that the methods of longevity include ethics and virtuous living.
The Decline of Ayurveda
The alert person may now ask why, if Ayurveda is so exceptional, is it not widely practices in India today. This is a valid question, which has an equally valid answer. Ayurveda, like all of Vedic philosophy follows the belief of `Sanatana dharma’, which states, accept everything in its appropriate time and place, and reject nothing. All aspects of medicine are useful at certain times, just use the required treatment when it is called for.
This is why Ayurveda does not reject modern medicine. Like this, the Indian temperament allows for all religions to express themselves freely in India. Consequently, Buddhism, Jainism and other religions grew in India and began to influence people’s thoughts. Then there was a time when all religions lost some degree of their spiritual link and began bickering over which practices were better. Gentle spiritual medicine began to lose ground over the more harmful black magic.
Then came the numerous conquests of the Moslems in India. They razed cities, closed down Ayurvedic colleges and insisted the Indian people practice only their forms of living, which included medicine. Finally the British ruled India and closed down the remaining Ayurvedic universities (although Ayurveda was practiced in secret). Only in 1920 did Ayurveda reemerge, and with the help of the Indian government, began to rebuild the universities.
Now there are over 150 Ayurvedic universities in India, and over 100 Ayurvedic colleges (plans are presently underway to expand Ayurveda even more). However, there are many Ayurvedic pharmacies and herb markets which are unethical, giving people the wrong herbs. People need to know which are the reputable pharmacies in India today. Thus Ayurveda, without resisting or rejecting other systems, is slowly coming back into recognition and re-establishing its true value.
The oldest medicine, Ayurveda, is now the last to be re-discovered. This world medicine may not only help unite healing practices, but also peoples, cultures and religions. The impact of its reawakening is astounding, as we see its effectiveness and demand in the United States grow in leaps and bounds. Among the respected teachers of Ayurveda, many are including the original spiritual integration, re-establishing the ancient Ayurveda in tact, in modern society. Spiritual Ayurveda, the original world medicine will soon find validation and universal acceptance in all areas of society and the world.
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.
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 assued 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 instructions 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.
He 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.
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.
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.
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!
Guest is God
GUEST IS GOD, YOU KNOW?
United States of America, a nation which is not quite a nation, this nation is to the world of the culture of Vulture and dead flesh. This Vulture can kill not! But can devour the one that is already killed, or the one that is wounded. But in case of small prey, they will not hesitate to go for it. This vulture of our community if starts to take interest in us give birth to a situation of Caution Vulture motivates the real enemies to fight against each other and then eats the spoils. Such is the American culture of A Vulture.
This Vulture can well be classified as a number of other attitude holder, well lets see it this way that the Vulture can be equal to the worst quantities possible in your life. Such as, what to say, oh yes! Guests, so this America is that guest of your house (nation), that does not require an invitation or prior permission to come to your house, just the knock on your door, even that is not possible to be done at many many times, therefore it is basically just a walk in business, the guest will walk in, will get in your room and before you are able to speak anything, will tell you that this room suits me perfectly to restore the peace and harmony in the world which is needed and your co-operation and willingness in this movement is not a forgettable thing for the upcoming generations and you are shocked, Guest says thanks for giving this to me! You will be flattered as well as amazed at the capability of your newly found guest to fool others. Although you will stick this thought out of your mind as soon as it comes on, because he is your guest after all! And the Guest is just like a God, you know! So let’s see what the God, I mean guest, will do next.
Now these guests will move on to your house, He will cook his own food, his own dishes, his own recipes, just your vegetables, your resources, your spices and your kitchen. During this cooking gauntlet usage, kindly do hesitate to interfere your guest; because guest is not only a guest, Guest is a God, you know. Now the God, I mean Guest, moves on to make the relationships better with other members of the family. Suddenly you realize one day, that your father, due to a long period of sickness, has died, when you had not seen any inch of sickness in him previously. Just as you try to explain this fact to others, your guest comes to the rescue with a medical certificate, which is certified with the unknown medical certifications of your guest only! But who needs a certification of your friend! Who is your guest and as you know, the Guest is like God, in fact is a God!
Then your guest, keeping in full sympathy with whatever has happened to you, goes on to attend the funeral of your father and announces publicly how good of a person was he and he will never forget the favors your father had done to him. There comes a long speech, in here your friend certifies himself as the friend of your family in the time of need, when you did not want it to happen when your friend, Guest and God, ends up in the funeral. Afterwards all of you come to your home and begin grieving. After this period of your guest supposedly becoming a part of your family self acclaiming next you begin to realize that your brother is starting to have some issues against yourself
Guest, as we know, now starts to support your brother in each and every issue he raises against you, and gives a half-justified cause as to why is he doing that, also the issues your brother raises now are backed up by your Guest’s proofs which give the reference of some very non well known sources. Your Guest has now raised some immense family issues against you, which include your brother being against you, and your sister asking for dividence in the property. The issue raises some more riots in your family.
This Guest of yours, now talks to you about the peaceful solution of all these problems, when you see nobody else being in your support you insist on hearing to what your Guest has to tell you, and this is where you realize that you have committed the worst mistake of your life, which is, hearing to what your guest has said. But as soon as you realize this fact, you quickly jump out of the scene and decide not to hear what your guest has to say. But after the Death of your Beloved Father, little is stable.
Your Brother and Sister have started Bombarding on you the next day you wake up, and you realize that your brother is charging you for not taking good care of himself, he points out to you from the background of your smiling Guest, that you didn’t even give him a bandage to heal his wound when you both were toddlers. Such crimes against you are charged by your Brother and thereafter you begin to realize that those things… were actually Crimes.
Such arguments heat up when you try to cool everything down, with your Guest taking your Brother’s side and trying to convince you of the things you did not do. Suddenly your brother starts firing on you again, when your sister Jumps in with the same bombarding capacity too! You realize… its time. For what? Tells your Guest, he explains to everybody that this house has turned into a war field, and for getting everything peaceful, he has become the peace dove of all, which is News for you. Next your Guest tells you that now are the time to get a division in Property of your father. You decide to do something else against the Guest, with his plans to break the house in 3 parts, the fields in 3 parts, everything into 3 different parts. Suddenly you realize that everything has changed. You are no longer in a position with which you can do anything at your house, at your will.
Just then! Your Guest points out that you are the root of all this nonsense happening in the house, you are shocked! Then you’re Guest, with the able support of your brother and your sister asks you that why did you kill your father? You are shocked once again, and then your brother starts repeating the emotional dialogues taught to him by your Guest last night, same is with your sister… you try to explain that you absolutely do not have an involvement in all this. But your family doesn’t realize so.
Now, you are obviously awed at what has happened in your life in these past days. When suddenly everything starts going against you, the right turns into the wrong and the false turns out to be therefore true. Then you and your Guest team up together, supposedly, all of a sudden because now you have realized that Guest is your only savior, so now you try to join your guest once again, but the Guest starts playing tricks on you. Demands ransom to flee you from his caverns. But you refuse and will to fight your own fight!!
Then your Guest, after all this coming of the recent happenings, goes on to have you in a jiffy, and then calls over the police to file the charges to get you hanged on there gallows but then. Now has come the time of the real fight. Your Guest has given you to the Police, where you are hanged, under the charges of your Guest, when your Guest then calls himself the savior of your family, you are getting angry, but you die anyways. You see from the heavens, your brother has acclaimed your Guest as his true brother, and your Guest, finally leaves your house, giving it a gruesome look which tells everyone that this house has been destroyed by your Guest, your Guest affixes a warm relationship based on your death with your family, and after all, the Guest is rewarded with a good share of your property, finally your Guest walks away happily, after destroying your house.
Such is the United States Government, dont shake hands with them, they will confiscate you by your collar, and if you make friends with them, they will rob you fully. Such is the America, a Guest and a friend, if exists, does not let remain the need of an enemy because Guest is God, you know.