Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal system originated in India around 6000 years ago. The traditional Ayurvedic system was nurtured by ancient vedic scholars on the basis of ayurvedic philosophy, oriental methodology and prevelant traditional practices in the vedic era. The change in every system is obvious with time. Similarly Ayurvedic medicine system went through lot of changes during its acceptance in the modern world. Based on the Ayurvedic principles and practical experiences , the Ayurvedic scholars in South India , modified certain techniques and found them quite effective. Some examples of these techniques are Shirodhara, Pizchil and Kizhi. These techniques got popularized as “Keraliya Panchkarma “ and are accepted worldwide now.But these are rather Rejuvenation therapies not actual panchkarma. Panchkarma in itself has a very vast meaning not just the rejuvenation therapies . It has preparatory, main and post karma (Procedures) and its around 2-4 weeks of process.
The changes in any system are acceptable, as long as the basic concept is at its place. Ayurvedic principles of Dosha, Prakriti, Kala , Dhatvagni etc should not loose its authenicity during its modernization and globilization. Unfortunately that did not happen during modernization of Ayurveda.
Three Dosha’s (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are described as functional units of body by Samhita’s not as three energies as mentioned in modern Ayurvedic texts. Satva, Rajas and Tamas are different states of mind not just good and bad energies. Marma points described by ‘Acharya Sushruta’ have surgical importance, they are not just energy points of body. In the modern Ayurvedic texts, Ayurveda is all about energy healing, spiritual healing, reiki etc which is not true, Ayurveda is much more than that.
Some of modern Ayurvedic Rishis (Saints )have even made their Ayurveda practice and healing techniques similar to a religion. These ‘rishis’ have many followers practicing these healing techniques. Ayurveda is not a religion, it is medicinal treatment system that teaches us about physical, mental, spiritual and social well being. Ayurveda is a science that involves how to live and remain healthy by following its principles and if you do get diseased there are scientific ways of diagnosis, evaluation of patient and then proper treatment protocols for each and every ailments.
Currently Ayurveda is being promoted as an integrative complimentary medicine in western world which seems to be, the business model rather than promotion of Ayurveda in true sense. Ayurvedaic teaching approach in western world is not enough to gain Ayurvedic knowledge to be an Ayurvedic practitioner. Curriculum of Ayurveda courses should be more precised and accurate and time period of courses should be made suitable to gain enough skills and knowledge to be an Ayurveda practitioner.
In my opinion, modernization of Ayurveda make sense but modern Ayurveda does not . Ayurveda will always be traditional system of medicine but effective in modern world due to its strong principles, concept and methodology. In my opinion, with modernization of Ayurveda; its traditional value and authenticity should not be affected. Ayurvedic basic principles and values should always be followed by Ayurveda practitioners.
Disclaimer: The view and opinion expressed in this blog are of writer only. These views are not to target any person or organization.
Ojus Health Ayurveda Clinic, Melbourne, Victoria.