From the Jacket
The book Philosophic Foundation of Ayurveda authored by Prof. B.G. Gopinath gives a panoramic view of Philosophy of Ayurveda. The author wishes to convey as to what concepts of which philosophy of Indian soil were already incorporated in health science literature even prior to the literature on philosophies prevalent in our contemporary period came into existence in the past. It was 'Atreya Darshana' which was very much relied on, to develop an elaborate and systematized knowledge system regarding pharmacodynamics of therapeutic drugs, characters or features of drugs-diet-organ-tissues-bioenergies-diseases-health-ill health etc; regarding classification of drugs, diseases, diet and therapy, evolution of successful management perspective of diseases, progressive development of Indian Psychology,. Psychopathology, Psychic therapies, many concepts of Divine therapy, Tridosh theory, Anatomy, Physiology, Preventive medicine, Etiopathology and such other sub-structural specialties were possible only because of Indian Philosophic foundational ideas. The author has put all his efforts to illustratively demonstrate the pivotal role the philosophic thoughts played in a systematic development of theories, concepts and practices related to a holistic health science. The author has rendered a new dimension to various topics of Padartha-vijnana by his thought provoking independent reflections wherever needed. The book serves as a beacon light for all those who are genuinely interested to know the theories and practices of Ayurveda in general and to PG Scholar, Research Scholars and teachers of Padartha Vijnana and Darshan in Ayurveda colleges in particular.
About the Author
Prof B.G. Gopinath, born in 1941 remote village of Karnataka graduated in Ayurveda from Ayurveda College, Udupi, did his post graduation H.P.A. from prestigious I.A.S.R. Jamnagar the present G.A.U. in 1967.
He has a long and successful academic career of over four decades. He served as Lecturer, Asst. Professor & Professor and HOD of Kayachikitsa both at U.G. & P.G. levels in Government of Ayurveda Colleges of Karnataka.
He was honourable member of Central Council of Indian Medicines, New Delhi and was invited to visit Tame Valley University, London to inspect the facilities provided to start a Ayurveda College. He has to his credit of being the founder Principal of several prestigious Ayurveda Colleges like Alva's Ayurveda College, Karnataka Ayurveda College, Mata Amritam Anandamayee Ayurveda College, Kerala, Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji Ayurveda College and Medical Superintendent of SDMCA Hospital, Hasan. He has rendered several public orations at very prestigious institutions like Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Gokhale institute of Public affairs, Indian Institute of World Culture, Nehru Centre for Advanced Studies, Bombay, Manipal Academy of higher education and has delivered many keynote addresses at national and international conferences, seminars and workshops. He has won Sampoorna Swasthya award, Ayurveda Chudamani award and Best teacher award for 2007 by RGUHS, Karnataka.
Presently, he is associated with Sri Sri Ravi Shankaraji's Ayuveda College, Bangalore as Dean of this faculty of Ayurveda.
The book "Philosophic Foundation of Ayurveda" produced by the well known author Prof. B.G. Gopinath is a comprehensive writeup on the basic approaches and principles of Ayurveda. The book attempt to highlight the philosophy of Ayurveda vis-à-vis orthodox Indian philosophy and the basic tenets of Sad Darsanas. The book attempts to discuss how Ayurveda adopts the ideas of Nyaya, Vaisesika, Sankhya, Yoga Mimamsa & Vedanta, and how it evolves a Bio-philosophy of its own by drawing threads from other philosophies. It is all a very interesting reading reflecting the sequence of events in the process of this intellectual development from philosophy to bio-philosophy, from metaphysics to higher physics, from physics to biology and from biology to medicine. This leads to the emergence of a new-philosophy which forms the basis of Ayurveda, the Science of Life.
Ayurveda is the most ancient science of life and health, its antiquity going back to the Vedas. It deals with the entity of Ayu i.e. the life and aims to comprehend the Veda i.e. the knowledge of the unique Four-dimensional concept of life. The object of the study of Ayurveda are Two fold : (1) Svasthasya svasthya-raksanam, (2) Aturasya vikara-prasamanam, the priority being Svasthya i.e. Health not Vyadhi i.e. Disease. The fundamental basis of the bio-philosophy of Ayurveda swings around the Four-dimensional concept of Ayu "Sarirendriya sattvatma" meaning that the Ayu is the composite entity comprising of Sarira (physical body), Indriya (senses), Sattva (psyche) and Atma (the soul). Obviously this concept is two steps advanced as compared to the Two-dimensional concept of life in modern science where life is at most psychosomatic if not merely somatic/physical. In applications too, Ayu is Four-dimensional depicted as Sukhayu, Duhkhayu, Hitayu and Ahitayu depicting broadly the 'Individual' (Sukha-Duhkha) and 'Social' (Hita-Ahita) dimensions.
The focal point of concern and the cherished with of humanity is a healthy long life 'Jivema saradah satam'. Ayurveda is not only a Science of Life; it is the science of long life i.e. Dirghayu. This is why the Caraka Samhita the foremost classic of Ayurveda beings with its very first chapter as 'Dirghanjivittya-adhyaya'. Ayurveda while deliberating of the purpose of life depicts the concepts of Purusartha-catustaya Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksa emphasizing that Dirghayu is essential pre-requisite for achieving the Purusarthas. It is the Purusarthas which prove the purpose of life and lead the ultimate goal of Moksa.
As the Ayu i.e. the life is Four-dimensional the Svasthya i.e. Health is also Four-dimensional and so also the Disease and Cure are Four-dimensional. As a matter of fact the English word Health' is literally not comparable with the Sanskrit word 'Svasthya'. Svastha (Sva + Stha) refers to a state of primary normalcy and the state of eternal well-being, not merely a state of mental-physical fitness. Literally the term 'Health' possibly refers to the connotation of Healded. It does not indicate the primary normalcy as depicted in Svasthya. The word Sva means 'self'. It also refers to the quintessence of the individual being i.e. the Atman or the Soul. Thus the one who is seated in his Sva is Svastha.
The latest modern definition of Health is '"Health is a state of physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (WHO). The modern definition has been developed by thinkers in the field of modern medicine in several stages during last several decades. It seems the most primitive definition of health was "Physical well-being." The adjectives like mental, social and spiritual were added from time to time in order to complete the definition. The term social well-being was added in the year 1955 while the term spiritual well-being has been added only few years ago. This progress in the development of the definition of health reflects a clear convergence of the medical thought from oxidant to orients. The trend is to adopt the Ayurvedic definition of Svastha which is four-dimensional covering the four-dimensions of Ayu as mentioned above. This provides the testimony of the sound thinking in the development of medical bio-philosophy in Ancient Indian Traditions.
The Ayurvedic classics categorised the diseases too in similar categories viz. Adhibhautika, Adhidaivika, Adhyatmika and so on. Similarly when a patient is examined for diagnostic purposes in Ayurveda a physician pursues a Two-fold approach: Rogi-pariksa and Roga-pariksa. Thus Ayurveda tries to de-link the disease from the patient. A patient is not just a bundle of diseases, he is much more than that. A patient is essentially a living human being specifically featured with his individual genetic background and psychosomatic makeup. The seven types of Deha-prakrtis and sixteen types of Manasa prakrtis as described in Ayurveda beautifully display the genetic traits possible formed by clustering of genes. On the other hand inspite of being diseased the patient also carries with him varying degree of "remainder health" of Svasthyamsa. And a wise physician is expected to asses the genetic makeup of his patient and the degree of healthy features/functions which have remained within him inspite of disease. Because of this component of the clinical state a patient responds to the treatment given by the physician and the physician tries to help the patients by "self healing" through the above component of remainder health. Examination of the disease i.e. Roga comes in the second priority of clinical examination and the information obtained from the part of examination is useful only for instituting disease specific i.e. Vyadhipratyanika cikitsa. This is a great Clinical Philosophy evolved by Ayurveda which is not perceived in western clinical medicine.
Ayurveda makes an unique holistic approach to cure. The first and foremost principle of cure is elimination of the cause of disease "Nidana-parivarjana" Sanksepatah kriya-yogo nidana-parivarjanam" (Susruta). If the cause of the disease is eradicated the disease state heals up spontaneously. Further therapeutic procedures are designed to reverse the disease process i.e. Samprapti-vighatana. and Samprapti-vighatana present interesting concepts which highlight the fundamental nature of a disease state. The concepts of Prakrti-vighata of a disease in the context of Krimi roga and Prakrti-sthapana approach to cure open newer vistas of understanding of patho-physiology and cure.
The theory of Karma and Rebirth with continuum of birth-death cycle blended with the concept of Karma and Daiva are interesting features of Hindu thought adopted by Ayurveda in the realm of Cikitsa. Ayurveda propounds two fold Cikitsa viz. the path of moksa while Laukiki cikitsa refers to the path of cure of humanity from medical ailments. Thus Ayurveda encompasses the human welfare ranging from Health to Total Health and from Total Health i.e. Svasthya to Koksa. Ayurveda is applicable to the present life and the present world as well as the eternal life and the other world. This continuum is the sheet anchor of the Bio-philosophy of Ayurveda which surpasses all philosophies of the world.
It is imperative to point out that Ayurveda is not merely a folklore belief system. It evolves through a systematic codified science of knowing through three Pramanas viz Pratyaksa, Anumana and Aptopadesa and several complementary parameters like Upamana and Yukti. All this projects a very highly evolved Science and Philosophy of Ayurveda comparable to any advance system of knowledge in the world.
The author of this book Prof. B.G. Gopinath is a well known scholar of Ayurveda. He has sound knowledge of the Science and Philosophy of Ayurveda besides his extensive professional experience. He presents in this book an unified philosophical basis of Ayurveda on comparative basis with an intellectual interface of Sad-Darsanas and Ayurveda. It is hoped that the book will prove to be an authentic write-up on the subject and will be useful reading for students, teachers and researchers of Ayurveda and allied disciplines.
I congratulate the author for such an elegant addition to the contemporary Ayurvedic literature and hope that many more such book will come out of the pen of the versatile author.
It is a matter of great pleasure to present the book entitled 'The Philosophic Foundations of Ayurveda' before the readers in pursuit of knowledge. At the outset the author is dutibound to pay respectful regards to Dr. B.V. Subbarayappa. M. Sc. Ph. D. the Honarary Director of Institute of World Culture, Bangalore and the editor 'Medicine and Life Science in India' Vol V part 2. PHISPC New Delhi at whose benevolent initation and encouragement this piece of work has been possible.
Padartha Vijnana is one of the subjects for BAMS degree and M.D. Ay (Basic principles). It is mandatory for all these graduates of Ayurveda to study the Philosophic thoughts expressed in various philosophies.
Inclusion of philosophies in the curriculum itself is sufficient enough to demonstrate the importance attached to those thoughts of philosophic nature which in fact formed the foundational ideas, based on which many fundamental principles like Tridosa theory, Pancabhuta theory, Rasa-guna-vipaka theory, Samanya-visesa theory, Loka-purusa samyavada, Karya-karana theory and so on were developed. Sub-specialities like Holistic health concept, Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Etiopathology etc. could be systematically developed and to the extent required for a health science of high standard and presented down to the preset generation. It seems that there was a philosophic tradition even prior to the Buddha's period and was known to be 'Atreya Darsana'. The founder of this tradition is believed to be the sage Atreya, the venerable preceptor of sage Agnivesa in whose name presently available Caraka Samhita originally existed. This Atreya Darsana now extinct, probably consisted all the important philosophic thoughts presently available in Sad Darsanas which were independently developed much later. It is likely that the same Streya tradition might have continued to the extent required to a health science, in the ancient Ayurveda literature like caraka Samhita.
The focus in the present work is to show how those foundational ideas drawn from various philosophies are applied, in what context and to what extent are they applied. Emphasis is laid on to show how systematically codified Ayurveda came into existence as a consequence. Ancient Ayurveda literature is impregnated with all necessary philosophic thoughts as are applicable to any thing concerned to health science. Philosophies to Ayurveda are like basic sciences to any modern applied science like medicine, engineering etc.
The author sincerely feels that these applied aspects of philosophies are not reflected as much as desired in the modern Ayurveda literature presently available on the subject. A sincere and humble effort is made to put forth the reflections on applied aspects of foundational ideas drawn from pure philosophies, which is genuinely a need of the hour. It is sincerely hoped that the students, academicians, research scholars in particular and interested readers stand benefited, by going through this work. Any positive remarks, constructive criticisms, suggestions to improve further are most welcome. The author wishes to be excused for any unintentional omissions or commissions in this book.
This volume consists of 8 chapters beginning with introduction where the main theme of the book is discussed. Chapter-2 deals with major topics of Nyaya philosophy as are very much relevant to the topics available in Ayurveda. Chapter-3 deals with such of the topics commonly discussed both in Ayurveda and Vaisesika philosophy. Chapter-4 similarly deals with Sankhya philosophy as comparable to Ayurveda literature. Yoga philosophy in tally with similar thoughts of Ayurveda are elaborately discussed in Chapter-5. The practical application of many of the socio-cultural religious practices found in Ayurveda literature has been discussed comparing with Mimamsa philosophy in Chapter-6. It is emphasized in this chapter that these practices in health science were advised to keep in tune with the contemporarily prevalent socio-cultural practices in order to maintain harmony and to create a positive vibration in the atmosphere. The Chapter-7 elaborately deals with the Vedanta philosophy of Ayurveda. The necessity of Vedanta philosophic view in health science is emphasized here in a broader perspective of health. The last chapter is solely devoted to highlight the glimpses of Pancamahabhuta theory as envisaged by the ancient visionaries of Ayurveda.
The author is highly indebted to Prof. R. H. Singh the honorable vice-chancellor of Rajasthan Ayurveda University, Jodhpur, for his valuable foreword. The author also wishes to place on records his sincere thanks to all those authors of modern Ayurveda literature, especially Dr. Jyotirmitra Acharya the author of "Caraka evam Susruta ke Darsanika Visaya ka Adhyayan" Which proved to be very useful in obtaining the source material four the present work. The author is grateful to all those beloved students, members of the teaching faculty, professional fraternity and other scholars with whom dialogues and interactions were useful in writing this book, and also to all those who helped to make this manuscript ready for printing. Mr. J.D. Gupta, senior member of the family of publishing house Chaukhamba Sanskrita Pratishthan, New Delhi, specially deserves hearty appreciations for his vourteous and friendly valuable suggestions to give it a presentable shape, to make it more attractive and understandable to the esteemed readers. His son Shri Praveen Gupta needs to be thanked for his initial venture to take up this work for printing and publishing.
Lastly the author is very much pleased to dedicate this book with great sense of humility to Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji, the great spiritual master of the world today.
It would be highly gratifying, if the readers are satisfied with the contents and approach of this book. The error is human and to excuse is devine.
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