"SWASTHATURAPARAYAMNA": Ayurved deals with healthy as well as unhealthy. Maharishi Charak calls it TRISUTRA as it dwells upon Etiology, signs and symptoms and proper medicaments. A healthy person maintains his health and an unhealthy person heals himself through Ayurveda.
Trisutram savastam punyam bubudhe yam pitamah."
Ayurveda has its own characteristics. It does not lay more emphasis on materialism like modern medical sciences. It rather emphasies purity of mind, thought and action. Since it is devoid of materialism, not more is visible. It can only be felt, realised, senses, perceived through experience only. Hence a lot depends on imagination and estimation which sometimes may go wrong as well. Hence, insight plays an important role in Ayurveda but todays is a scientific era which depends more on visible i.e. solid than imagination which requires insight to test its accuracy. Todays medical philosophers/doctors have their own tenets which too are pious, useful for mankind and quite right in their own sense but when there is a wide gap between the modern and the ancient, then the former should also pay due consideration to the old keeping in mind that the later is the outcome of the great sacrifices and dedication of sages.
Modern medical science being the product of industrialisation centres round mass production and hence thanks of the whole society instead of an individual. Keeping in mind that the society is perfect, the individual will naturally be perfect ancient thought centres round individual, for his development (mental, physical, ethical, intellectual etc.) with a view if the individual is perfect the whole society will be perfect. Hence the aim of both is uniform but the approach is different.
Since industrialisation, in spite of its usefulness, has created some unique problems for the mankind (For example pollution) it is necessary that due attention is paid to the old wisdom contained by Ayurveda to sort out modern ills. For this, individual attention to the sufferer will have to be given keeping his nature, temperament, physical features, way of living, food habits and his bent of mind because of the fact that each individual is different in forms of the factors mentioned herein before. For example the drug "Cholera Vaccine" may not be suitable to all individuals in spite of its efficacy to treat cholera. Hence Ayurveda takes the individual into account before proceeding to treat him. Not only this, it also prescribes behaviour according to time, whether, climate and nature. Daily routine too is similarly guided by these factors. Food, drinks, bath, sleep, celibacy, marriage and family life. All are extensively carried under Ayurveda which clearly answers "what, when and why" to remain healthy. On these basis, many a couplets, proverbs, old sayings have been in vogue to guide the society as a whole and the individual in particular which keeps old wisdom alive and passed on from one generation to another. It keeps the individual mentally, intellectually, physically and morally very sound and leads, to a harmonious social order and nation. Hence it is in the larger interest of the society that "Hygiene and Public Health" of the modern medical philosophy and "Personal Hygiene" of the Ayurveda are synthecised properly to benefit it from both the thoughts.
We should not be misguided from the individualistic approach of the Ayurveda and conclude that it can do nothing in case of epidemics. Ayurveda is fully competent in this direction as well. Even then it lays its first emphasis on individual approach.
Which means that a healthy person cannot be fully termed "not suffering" from illness until he is healthy by this mental state, ethical ideology and moral standing. It is reflected in the following shloka...
GERIATRICS: Nothing in this world is permanent. All the things on the earth are in the process of decaying. Human beings to are no exception. They take birth, enter youth, grow old and a stage comes when they become too weak to move and consequently die. It is natural. Ayurveda is very clear in accepting this natural fact. But it has a lot to see that the last stage. i.e. oldage and infirmity does not become too unbearable. It has certain pieces of advice for such people to follow and certain formulas of medication to slow down ageing, to recover the lost power and strength and restore the whole body with new vigour. If these principles of healthy living are religiously followed there is no reason to feel disappointed.
Modern medical sciences too are working towards achieving the goals mentioned herein above and in the process have developed certain drugs tending to prevent diseases. These prophylactics are general in nature. The Allopaths are also working on slowing the process of ageing by replacing or supplementing harmones using geriatrical medicines. Though they have not succeeded but serious trial are on.
In Ayurveda, GERIATRICS is a separate branch and there are historical evidences when old and infirm were restored to youth. Chayavan Rishi's famous KAYAKALPA is a case in point. Todays doctors who study modern science consider it a flight of fancy but it is true. Continuous use of Haritaki, Bibhitaki and Amla in a certain ration alongwith seasonal carrier regular the lost strength.
PANCHAKARMA: The term having a special status and significance is self explanatory. Panchakarm plays an important role in treating various diseases and restore the subject to perfect health. It has its unique technique to warm up the patient for right treatment. For this two main pretreatment activities are followed. They are Snehana (Use of oils, Ghee, Vasa) and Swedana (Causing and speeding up of perspiration) which prepare the ground for the use of Panchakaram which is as follows.
VIRECHANA (Laxatives) is the process to clear the bowels to tone up the digestive system Rainy season often cause indigestion leading to so many health problems in rainy season and thereafter in winters.
VASTI: The diseases like gout, rheumatism, body-ache etc. often are caused during summers which are aggravated on the start of rains. Panchakaram activities which are five in number (VAMAN, VIRECHAN, ASTHAPAN VASTI, ANUVASAN VASTI and SHIROVIRECHAN may be used singularly or the appropriate ones jointly. It has to he decided by the Ayurvedacharya keeping the patient, his nature, his life styles, his food habits etc. It is said-
"Karmana kaseitekena dvabhyamkascit tribhistatha.
Vikarah sadhyate kasciccaturbhirapikarmabhih."
in India we have three main seasonal disorders of winters in spring season, those of summers in rainy season and those of rainy season in winters. These should be dealt with through PANCHKARAM to root out such seasonal maladies. It is said-
"Haimantikam dosacayam vasante pravahayan graismikamabhrakale.
Ghanatyaye varsikamasusamyakprapnoti roganrtujannajatu."
Innovative use of PANCHAKARAM is thus very important in modern times because the fast and sedentary life styles are cause a lot of new health problems. Todays doctors whichever pathy they may be practising must make use of this old Ayurvedic technique to keep the individual in particular and the society in general healthy.
Kva surya prabhvo vansah kvachalpavisayamatih.
Titirsurdustram mohadudupenasmi sagaram.
Though I have negligible say in the field of Ayurveda, but the inspiration and guidance from Dr. Ramanath Dwivedi former Prof. Of the Faculty of Ayurveda, Benaras Hindu University proved to be a beacon for me and I could compile this voluminous work. It has been also blessed by Dr. Ramanath Dwivedi with his valuable opinion through "Foreword & Introduction". Padmashri Dr. G. K. Vishwakarma, Former DGHS Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI who worked as Ortho-Surgeon to Former President Giani Zail Singh Ji too inspired me to take this work. Dr. Vishwakarma is no more. But finding this work inspired by him complete, his soul will rest in peace.
Some mistakes, errors, discrepancies must have crept in this work. I am sure scholars will excuse me for this as learned people never look at others faults. It is said-
"Saram tato grahyamapasya phalgu.
"Gacchatah skhalanam kvapi bhavatyeva pramadatah.
Hasanti durjanastatra samadadhati sajjanah."
Till the one is healthy, he should continue to work for the welfare of the society because death spares none and no one knows when it suddenly pounce on us. This work is with this spirit. I believe the scholars will benefit from it. I am thankful to all those who have assisted me in the completion of this stupendous work. It is said-
"Yavatsvastho hyayam deho yavanmrtyusca duratah.
Tavadatmahitamkuryatpranante kim karisyati."
14th January, 2005
Dr. (Smt.) Sudha Sharma
M.A. B.P.Ed., T.T.C.C.,
D.Y.Ed. (Yoga), (K.D.Lonawala Pone),
N.D.(Diploma in Naturopathy & Yoga)
P.E.T., K.V.Pragati Vihara,
Acupuncture & Acupressure (198)
Gem Therapy (21)
Original Texts (230)
Therapy & Treatment (147)
Tibetan Healing (130)
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