The book ‘concepts of health and disease in ayurveda’ written by a well known author Prof. P.V. Tewari is a comprehensive book dealing with all the aspects of health and disease i.e. philosophy of ayurveda, components of body involved in health and disease, method of diagnosis with preventive, protective and curative (both sodhana i.e. evacuative and samana i.e. pacificative) treatments with an eye to provide sufficient knowledge for practical application of pancakarma. The therapies not falling strictly within the ambit of sodhana or samana cikitsa are appended; probable mode of action of all therapies is also discussed.
Topics specially preventive and protective care of mother and child though dealt elaborately in classics, yet not specifically emphasized by later authors, have been dealt in detail. Some other topics particularly related to women have also been discussed.
In the book efforts have been made to present the views of different authors giving relevant reference in footnote with the aim that readers besides knowing difference of open ions of the authors can consult the treatises themselves without exhausting their energy in searching the topics scattered at number of places and make their own openions.
It is hoped that the book will prove to be beneficial not only to students but teachers and researchers also.
Dr. P.V. Tewari A. M. B.S., Ph.D., born to freedom fighters Shri Rama Shankar Tewari awarded Tamrapatra by late PM Smt. Indira Gandhi and Mrs. Rama Devi Tewari having lost her life during 42 movement; a throughout meritorious student has been serving ayurveda for the last 55 years in different capacities at SAC Lucknow and BHU. During her tenture at BHU served as Professor for 20 years, headed department of Prasuti Tantra for 28 years, Dean Faculty of Ayurveda twice, Director WHO research centre and coordinator faculty of ayurveda and ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals.
As a dedicated research worker has guided 53 D. Ay, M/MD Ay. and 21 Ph.D., thesis, published 258 scientific papers, a prolific writer has published 15 books, contributed 5 chapters and edited journals. She has also been associated with almost all important committees of universities and institutes of ayurveda and also Ministry of Health, Govt. of India. She has received many awards, citations and honours.
Even at this age she is serving, gratis, suffering humanity as additional Medical Suptd. and senior consultant Mata Anandmayee Hospital, as vice President of Mata Anandmayee Kanyapeeth a gurukul for girls and is continuing her teaching as Chikitsaka Guru of RAV and serving Ma Saraswati through books.
It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction for writing the foreword of the book entitled Concept of Health and Diseases in Ayurveda.
The book deals with the philosophy and basic principles of Ayurveda including Dravyaguna and principles of treatment. It is authenticated with references from classics, so gives complete information. I have not seen such book in English which is comparable to this. It has been written by an expert of Ayurveda after a long experience in the field. Prof. (Dr.) P.V. Tewari is a versatile scholar especially in Ayurveda midwifery/obstetrics and gynecology. She has adorned the Headship of the department of Streeroga and Prasutitantra and Deanship of all the departments of Ayurveda Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University. This book is equally useful for Ayurvedic students, research scholars and those who know English language.
I am expecting many more such publications in future from her.
The day, date and time of conception of every well established subject of to-day, be it science, sociology, literature, philosophy, arts and culture or for that matter of any subject is mostly in oblivion. Some one, some where, at some time working conscientiously, consciously, and continuously with full concentration, devotion, determination and dedication picks up a particular idea i.e. gets a brain child; if that appeals to him he persues and nourishes it. If he feels the idea as logical and beneficial, and comes to conclusion established after testing it in several ways and on proving it with reasoning, he steps into theorization followed by conceptualization and then discloses it to others.
In initial stage the society being alien to it, neglects or avoids it, because no one pays any heed. Undeterred by these attitudes he persues the goal with great perseverance, then those who neglected it, get awakened to deride or criticise. Continuous flow of idea compels them to look into it and a stage of inquisitiveness comes, once that is satisfied, it is accepted and then number of hands join together to take that idea to unexpected hights.
Ayurveda also probably must have passed through all these stages, since ‘who, where, when and how’ of its origin are not known, it is accepted as a gift to the universe by its creator god Brahma for betterment of health and longevity of its creation. During vedic period, the fountain source of ayurveda, it was not so systematized. Systematization has come from samhita period.
Ayurveda has incorporated in its ambit all four theories (siddhantas) i.e. universal (sarvatantra), restricted (pratitantra), implied (adhikarana) and hypothetical (abhyupagama) (C.S.Vi. 8/37) and applied these at different places as per need. To implement these theories specific concepts were developed in tune with its definition i.e. prevention/protection, promotion and cure of not only physical and/or psychic ailments but also for spiritual well-being, with more emphasis maintenance and promotion of health.
In the beginning, the stream of knowledge of ayurveda had forceful flow similar to that Ganga seen at gomukha, the force persisted for centuries but was obstructed by foreign invasions, thus slowed down, however inspite of their vigorous onslaughts it did not meet the fate of river Saraswati (disappearance), rather maintained slow but continuous flow as ayurveda served large chunk of India albeit majority being in suburban, rural and tribal areas, thus ayurveda not only survived but thrived and flourished though with snail’s speed.
Modern technological era with all its scientific/technological advances and sophistication looked at ayurveda as an old non-milch cow or a nail and toothless tiger, and neglected it with the fond hope that this age old science will not be able to withstand the heat and glare of modernity and will die a natural death; it was a blunder on their part. Ayurveda continued to serve humanity even in those areas unaccessible to modernity. Discarding, deriding and criticisings continued until limitations and failures of modernization did not compell those in authority to shun-off their ego and understand and accept the tradition that having withstood such heavy onslaught has survived due to its potentials.
Wheel has completed one circle and the scientists world-over are now looking towards ayurveda for rescue and are trying to understand its concepts.
In last few decades of twentieth and first decade of twenty-first century sizeable number of voluminous books on almost all topics by experts have been written in English and Hindi both languages, but the writing never ends, every author presents the work with different perspective. The concepts of ayurveda are so deep and wide that some confusion persists amongst the experts even to-day in India. Few years back one expert from India tought to students at a foreign land that women possess only six dhatus not the seventh i.e. sukra, thus are week, fragile with less stamina. As per ayurvedic philosophy entire cetana (animate) or sentient world is made up with seven dhatus irrespective of speces and sex. This controversy has been touched in a book “Ayurvediya prasutitantra-striroga” published twentyfive year back, but the readership of that book is not much, as it is a book on specialized subject, similarly in entire description of preventive and promotive health, emphasis on preconceptional, conceptional, antenatal, natal and postnatal preventive and protective care offered latter. Both these points have served as pointing finger and also impetus for writing this book.
In this book concerted effort has been made to limit the subject within the scriptural description without trangressing the limits set by sages. Difference of openions if any on any topic amongst Brddhatrayi and Laghutrayi have been recapitulated and relevant reference cited, with the idea that a reader gets complete and comprehensive picture of the subject at one place. The differences are neither on basic concepts nor very much important, minor changes/modifications might have been necessitated due to variations in desa (place/habitat), kala (period/climate), prakrti (nature) of rogi (patient), roga (disease) and ausadh (drugs) as-well-as personal experiences of the authors, this also hints that restricting one self with ayurvedic ambit minor modifications can be done by treating physician as per need. Interpolation with own ideas or modern explanations has also been avoided, so that the reader remains free to formulate his own ideas about concepts of ayurveda without straining him self to search the books. Explanations about mode of action are added at the end of that topic either in a separate paragraph or under a separate heading.
The book is divided in nine chapters, the sequence of these chapters is according to intelligibility/applicability of subject. Since presently pancakarma is highly talked and practised world over and due to interest in the subject sizeable equipments easy to handle with comfortable applicability and accuracy are in market, resulting into almost total replacement of old-age equipments, thus a bit detailed description of pancakarma in comparison to other topics is given, An attempt has been made to present the diagrams of few of those for correct appraisal of the subject.
In translating samskrta/hindi words internationally accepted diacritical marks have been given.
Specific therapies not falling within the ambit of pancakarma but used commonly by practitioners are given in appendix one. After adding modern equivalents of weights and measures in appendix 2; in appendix 3 constituents of group of drugs referred in the text, then in appendix 4 botanical names of the plants referred in the text and also of the drugs of various groups have been appended, however, the drugs mainly cereals, pulses and vegetables having already been translated in english in the text are not included. Botanical names of the drugs are given on basis of “Dravyaguna Vijnana” by Prof. P.V. Sharma; ‘Bhawa Prakasa Nighantu’ by Prof K.C. Chunekar; Glossary of Vegetables drugs in Brhattrayi and Vaidyaka Sabda Sindhu. The index is the end of the book.
In appendices two to four the alphabetical order is based on devanagari script, while in index after initial separation of a, a, s, s, and s only, according to subsequent index is alphabetical order of english language.
I bow at the feet of my departed mother the first teacher of life followed by all the teachers who enabled me to hold my pen. I bow form my bosoms of bosom to reverend Prof. P.V. Sharma my mentor, who imbibed in me the courage, knowledge and endurance to step into the path of academic writings. I bow respectfully to Bhau K.C. Chunekar an eminent scholar of Dravyaguna whose blessings, encouragement, guidance, timely suggestions, corrections and help at every stage of work has been a good support in my academic pursuit, Expressing gratitude would be undermining his blessings that he extended by writing forewords of the book; besides correcting word by word appendix four.
Warmth of the affection of my elder sister, Dr. (Mrs.) Pushpa Vati Tewari has always pulled me towards heights, while my younger sister Dr. Asha Kumari an exponent of sathskrta and english languages with knowledge of ayurveda has always pushed me up with all her might, even at the cost of her personal health and family. At places accurate english translations of ayurvedic subjects are given by her. Lexicons have failed to coin befitting words for expressing my gratitude to both these. Moral support, encouragement and at places even suggestions given my children Mr. Atul and Alok and also Anjali, Gopal, Anshu, Akhaya and Divya need special mention. Special thanks to master Achintya Mishra whose sweet voice is an impitus to me.
Diagrams/photographs at times help in clarification or correct appraisal of subject, presentation of those could never have been possible but for help extended by Dr. B.M. Singh Hod. Dept of K.B./Balaroga Bhu Varanasi by providing photographs of modern gadgets of sirodhara and also its practical application on a child and basti yantra. I would be failing in my duties if I do not express my gratitude to him and also other budding dyurvedic paediatricians Drs. P.S. Upadhyaya (Asst. Prof.) and Dr. Niraj Shrivastava senior resident for their help. Caring and helping Mr. Sumit Benerji I/C Path. Lab. M.A.H., Varanasi introduced me to Mr. Bhaskara Patra an expert artist who has made majority of diagramas. I am thankful to both these persons.
Young enterprising publishers Mr. Sunil and Ashok guptas deserve applause for bringing this book in such a short time.
I will be very greatful to eruditis if they forgive me for shortcoming of the present work and give constructive suggestion for improving in future.
Finally I bow before almighty and pray him to bestow upon me the courage and ability to serve goddess Saraswafi and to her to guide, direct and dictate me and also enlighten my path so that I could serve her better—
O Supreme Goddess! of learning and knowledge
I beg your pardon,
with hands folded and head at your feet,
for shortcomings or faulty use,
of a letter or a word,
or missing of a prosodial instant,
forgive me, forgive me,
be pleased and bless me.
O Goddess Saraswati!
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