I am painfully aware that my competence to write a foreword to a book on the Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda does not keep pace with my enthusiasm for the subject. My plea is that I am imbued with a genuinely reverent approach to the Vaisesika system of Natural Philosophy, which forms part of the subject matter of this book. Whether the conclusions of the Indian philosophical systems are final in themselves or whether they mark a certain stage of development in the evolution of scientific thought are points on which opinion seems to differ. Attempts have, however, been made from time to time to examine the ‘Paramanuvada’ of the Vaisesika system from the stand point of modem science. While the view points of modem science are changing from day to day as new discoveries come to light, it would be futile to correlate with the changing present with the conclusions of the ancient seers, if the same are to be considered as true for all times. On the other hand, if Indian science had been in a stage of evolution up to a time and later, ceasing to grow, came to be looked upon as of divine origin, any attempt at correlation is likely to result in “much of text-torturing and forced interpretations ..... to prove that every modem discovery had either already existed in the old doctrines or were anticipated by them.” Inspite of this dilemma, the author is intutively correct in assuming Sri Rajagopalachari’s dictum that “Truth and science are one. There can be no competetion between truth and truth, but only between truth and error. Truth runs in a single course, and prejudice firm ignorance should vanish to a minimum point. ‘In this firm belief, Sri C. Dwarakanath has put his shoulders to the gigantic task of making’ “a critical, dispassionate and scientific study of the doctrines basic to Ayurveda, so that they may be understood in a proper perspective with a view to apply the same intelligently and with advantage in practice” Such earnest efforts are bound to reveal in due course the true significance of our ancient heritage, regarding which Prof. J.B.S. Haldane has recently expressed his unbounded admiration.
The ancient Indian concepts of space, time and matter look complete and self-consistent in themselves but generally elude all attempts at identification with their modern counter- parts. A perusal of the Arambhavada and the Parinamavada will not fail to remind one of some of the basic modern concepts regarding the evolution of the Universe. The concepts of time and space as expressed in Vyasa Bhasya may, in some places, recall to us some fundamental ideas underlying the theory of relativity. Even the every idea of invoking a “Saksi’ to perceive the concepts-
“Atha Sarvepadarthasca Saksigocaram”
seems to correspond to the postulate of an “observer” in modem scientific thought. With all these resemblances between the ancient and the modem concepts, I must confess that the ancient picture eludes exact quantitative formulation on modern lines. Imbued with the zeal of a researcher, Sri Dwarkanath makes a bold attempt to elucidate the age old ideas and to consider them in the light of modem developments.
Philosophy, phenomenon and noumenon
The modern concepts of matter or padartha
The ancient Indian concepts the Arambha Vada and parinama vada
The subject and the object
The concrete and the abstract
The Vaisesika system
Guna or predicament
Peelupaka or chemical change
Pitarapaka or physical change
Dik or space
The deterministic oullook of nyaya-
V aiseshlka system
I consider it a great privilege to introduce this volume to the world of Seekers of Truth. To explain the origin of the Universe and the course of its evolution has been the subject of diligent enquiry and research by Man. From time immemorial it was felt that real happiness or bliss can be attained only by securing a correct knowledge of this problem. Possibly the nearest approach to the unravelling of this mystery was made in India, earlier than in any other part of the world. Naturally, an early approach was purely materialistic-led by Kapila Muni, his teachings being later maintained by Iswara Krsna. But it was replaced by the teachings of Patanjali Rsi and others who gave a sounder explanation of the Universe on a Theistic basis. Thousands of years later, the western philosophers followed practically the same trends of thought, and among them Haecked had such immense faith in his own reasoning that he could assert that “If given water, chemicals and time, he could create a Man.” The western scientists have outlived a Haeckel in the present twentieth century and are approaching the findings of ancient India through advanced research in Physiology, Biology and Physics. They are finding that’ ‘all attempts to explain the ultimate nature of non-vital phenomenon do not lead to mechanical conceptions, but to ideas which the science of the nineteenth century would have called mystical. “The most advanced mecanistic physiological explanations fail to explain the origin of Life. Only through Samkhya Patanjala System that one may get a glimpse of an explanation of how the gulf between the inanimate and the animate may be bridged.
But the study of these Darsanas was, even in the earlier centuries beset with enormous difficulties-one such being subtelties of the Grammarian and the Logician who interpreted the texts just as they pleased. Later when the original concept was getting obscure, there was no limit to misinterpretation. Later stilt, when the country became a subject of invading hordes, the texts had to be stored in the memory of certain chosen people, as it was common for the invaders to set fire to libraries. This was followed by jealous hiding of the knowledge by a few gifted families, who gradually lost the real idea of the original Rsis and who could not correct their ideas by comparing notes with others who happened to have parts of the texts. Thus in diverse ways, the true knowledge of the texts and the correct interpretation was mostly lost leading to all sorts of fanciful interpretations being given. No wonder our Darsanas which form the fundamentals of Ayurveda became objects of derision by the allopaths, who had the support of the Governments in India, and who had not even heard of such Darsanas.
I am extremely grateful to the gifted author of this volume for his perseverant and enterprising effort to make a feast of these intellectual feats, where the main dish is the gift of the great Darsanacaryas, the side dishes are selected from authors like Alexis Carrel, the author of’ “Man-the Unknown”, R. W. Moncrieff, the author of ‘ ‘Chemical Senses’ , ; Whitehead, the author of’ ‘Science and the Modern World” ;James Jeans, the author of “The New Background of Science”; Margaret Knight, the author of’ ‘Consciousness and the Brain”; Adrian C. Moulyn, the author of “Functions of Point and Line in Time measurement” and others.
Further, he has written the book in a language most widely known at present, so that he can bring the ancient message to the largest public possible. He has the gift of using Key-words when he has to help the student to get over obstacles offered by new conceptions in Modern Sciences, which are parallel to or identical with old conceptions of ancient India, which without such aid would have baffled him. His apt quotations to maintain the postulate of the Samkhyas that “the Purusa not only starts the process of evolution, but also continues to be present unchanged throughout the process, both “in the evolvent and the evolute”, go a great way in making the student realise that there cannot be an un bridgeable gulf between the living and the so-called non-living. His chapter on “Tanmatras and the Quantum Theory” must make the un-enlightened critic, very often the practising allopath, to pause before he scoffs at the Fundamentals of Ayurveda.
There is inspiration in every page and matter for careful meditation throughout the book and I hope great good will flow from the publication of this book.
The Aims of Enquiry
Duhkhatraya or the threefold miseries
The Nature of Man
The Pramanas or the Means of Right Cognition
Pratyaksa Pramana or observation
The Mechanism of Pratyaksa
Anumana Pramana or Perception gained by inference
Sabda Pramana or Apta Vacana
The Doctrine of Parinama or Evolution
The Fundamental Postulate
The Three Components of Pattern of Prakrti the Gunas and their interaction
Purusa or Atma
The Doctrine of the Conservation of Energy (and of Mass) and Transformation of Energy
Pralaya or dissolution and retrocession
The Samkhya Doctrine of Causality or Karana Karya
Fixed order in the chain of causation
Kala or Time and Dik or Space
The two A vasthas or aspects of Akasa
The order of the evolution of Tanmatras and Amis
The Tanmatras and Quantum Theory
The Pancabhuta Theory
Chemical analysis and synthesis
The Jaina contribution
Atomic linking and mutual attraction
The Subject Series
The relation between Manas and Indriyas
The Adaptive functions of the Indriyas
Pancabhutas and Tridosas
The three Gunas-Satva, Rajas and Tamas
The present book is a serious attempt at explaining the Fundamental principles of Ayurveda to students of Modern Medical Science and as such worthy of consideration and respect for the efforts by the author.
Such a book has been badly wanted by such of those who cannot understand Sanskrit or Hindi and find it difficult to follow the Text from the original Sanskrit Literature. The subject has been well divided in a continuous series of sections which follow each other as a link in its part of a difficult subject.
It is no easy job to explain the deep meanings of some of the Ayurvedic terms which when translated into English practically destroy the sense of what originally had been meant. The temptation to do so is often very great and difficult to avoid and requires great tact and patience for the author to give the exact rendering of the sense in which the term had been used.
The author has attempted in some places to find equivalent renderings in Modern Medical Science of the Biological, Chemical and Pathological processes so cryptically explained in Ayurveda, and which the Sanskrit Commentators had found difficult to expound.
Vata, Pitta and Kapha whether they be called Dhatus or Dosas, are practically the Soul or the pivot, round which the whole sense of Ayurveda turns.
The Author has taken pains to impress on the readers that Ayurveda is more a book for the exposition of health rather than of diseases.
Special attention has been given to Dravyas and the properties which ought to make it easy for one to understand what they are, and the great part they play both in the Physiology and Pathology of the body.
I consider the book worthy of a place on the Library Shelf for such of those students of Modern Medical Science who desire to delve into Ancient Literature and pick out from it such gems as would form the basis for a future investigation. The literature often contains plenty of Confirmative evidence and is easily available to those who care to read it with sympathy and desire for knowledge.
I congratulate the Author on satisfying this desire and pointing out the place where such information might lie.
SECTION I- Ayuskamiya
Obeisance to the Deity
The term “Ayurveda’’ its meaning, scope and outlook
The raison d’etre of health and longevity
The legendary origin of Ayurveda
Ayurveda-an eternal and progressive science
Its contents - the eight limbs
The Tridosas or the Function triad
Their role in the maintenance and impairment of health
The main seats of the three Dosas
The Dosic time
Agni and the influence of Dosas
Prakrti or Temperament
The characteristic properties of the Tridosas
The Sapta-dhatus or the seven basic tissues of the boby
Malas or the waste products
The general principles which govern the increase and decrease of the Tridosas, Sapta-dhanis and Malas
Sadrasas or the six tastes
The actions of Rasas on the Tridosas
Gunas or qualities of Dravyas
General causes which predispose to health and disease-Asatmendriyartha samyoga and Prajnaparadha
Disease or Roga and Health or Arogya
Two kinds of diseases - Somatic and Psychic
Two main seats of diseases - Soma and Psyche
The Dosas of the Manas or Psyche
The examination of the Rogi (Patient) and Roga (disease)
Two kinds of Desas
Time factor in relation to the therapeutic effects of medicaments
Two kinds of medicaments - Sodhana and Samana
Main lines of Sodhana and Samana therapies in somatic disturbances
Four limbs of Medicine
The prognosis of diseases
The type of patients to be avoided
Section II - Dravyadi Vijnana
Introduction and definition
Rasa or taste sensibility
The characteristics of dravyas according to their pancabhautic constitution
Two main classifications of dravyasurdhvagami and adhogami
The concepts of Virya and Vipaka introduction
Sahaja and krtrima viryas
The relative actions of rasa, virya and vipaka
The assessment of the value of substances in which all the five propeties are of equal strength
Vicitra and samana pratyayarabdhas
APPENDIX (Extracts from the Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus by Prof. B. N. Seal).
Chemical action and heat
Parispanda-resolution of all physical action into motion
Mechanics (kinetics) - Anlaysis of motions
Meaning of adrsta
The concept of vega
Cause of pressure and of impact
Illustrations of the combination of forces
Composition of gravity with vega (momentum) 200
Motion of a particle in the case of a composition of forces
Typical cases of curvilinear motion (Gamana)
Motion of fluids
Interesting examples of motion ascribed to adrista
Measurement of Motion-units of Space and Time
Component of velocity
Motion of three axes
The principle of the differential calculas applied to the composition of motion (variable motion)
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