Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 163 (Vol #3) Dated 15 Dec 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 163 (Vol #3) Dated 15 Dec 2009.
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from page No 749 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://Advaitam. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

52. Ayur Veda is complimentary and not at variance to rest of the Veda doctrines. The Saastraa-s aim mainly at balancing the three predominant character qualities of human beings namely, Sattva, Rajasa and Tamasa guna-s. These guna-s should be made to neutralize each other and bring the mind to a via media. What is said in ‘Sankhya Darsanam’ is completely agreeable to the Vedic dharma too. (Darsanam can be taken as Atma Saastra.) Sri Krishna Paramatma has spoken about these three guna-s in many places in the Bhagawat Gita. Sankhya and Yoga Saastra-s are very similar in their views on these three guna-s. Similar to this balancing between the three guna-s, is the balancing between Kapha, Vaada and Pitta, root materials in the human body as per Vaidya saastra.

53. For all the things that goes wrong in ‘Prakruti, Maya and Avidya’, that is ‘the ignorant and illusive nature‘, that is seen as the world of so many life forms, these three guna-s are responsible! Vedaantam says that if these three guna-s are balanced, the whole universe could and will abide into total peacefulness! Exactly similarly, Ayur Vedam says that for all that goes wrong in the human body, the imbalance in this trio of Kapha-Vaada-Pitta, is responsible. If they are balanced out, the body will be healthy and harmonious, says Ayur Veda. For all that goes wrong in nature of individuals, societies, nations and the world, the cause is to be found in these three guna-s. Similarly for all the thousands of diseases big and small, it is these three dhatu-s the cause as found by Ayur Veda.

54. You know what is Kapha? Cold, cough, flu, pneumonia are all caused by Kapha. It is mainly concerned with the chest cavity and face. In the form of blood its effect is spread throughout the body. Vaada or Vaayu is the air. Muscular pain, muscle pulls, sprains, pain in the bones, flatulence and such are caused by this, leading to rheumatism, arthritis and such. The moment air is mentioned you may think of breathing. But this Vaada is concerned with the whole body. Pitta is not just one but, about all the digestive juices that is excreted, starting from the mouth to the stomach and big and small intestines. Further the digested food spreads throughout the body by way of blood circulation. A trained Vaidyar can feel the Naadi (the pulse), in any part of the body and can identify as to which of the three, Kapha, Vaada or Pitta that has the problem.

55. A modern day Doctor may require a variety of scans, blood / urine / stool tests and x-rays, before making up his mind about what is wrong with the patient. For a Vaidyar however, the physical look of the patient, their complaint and feeling the Naadi will do most sufficiently for arriving at the correct diagnosis! This is true despite the fact that problem may be concerning the heart or brain, eyes, ears, nose, mouth or any other part of the body! By feeling the Naadi and by identifying as to which Dhaatu of the three Kapha, Vaada or Pitta, the Vaidyar can identify and locate the problem area.

56. Our Vaidya Saastra has spread all over the world. These things were never kept as a secret from any one. In India there has always been absolute transparency in spreading of knowledge, as long as the aspirant after knowledge displayed sincerity of purpose. In Greece these three Dhaatu-s became four Humour-s. With the three Guna-s and three Dhatu-s, they added four of the five Biota’s namely, the principles of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The Space or Akaasam was too subtle to be included. These four Humours decide the character qualities of a man, they clearly said. These four humours as identified by them are, Phlegm, Choler, Melancholy and Blood. William Shakespeare had a clear understanding of these concepts, as he often alludes to them in his dramas.

57. As blood circulates by air pressure of the breath, that can be taken as Vaada. Relating it to Guna-s, when there is more Phlegm (Kapha), as the patient will be somewhat dull and dispassionate, this could be equated with Sattva. When Choler increases, the person would be easily irritated, annoyed and angered, that could be taken as Rajas. When Melancholy is high, he will be a cry baby, thoughtful and quiet, which can be taken as Tamasa. When Blood as a Grecian humour is high, one is likely to be easily agitated, also sort of Rajas. Though not exactly the same, they had their own logic for their four Humours, which was a mix of these concepts of Sattva, Rajas, Tamas of Guna-s and Kapha, Vaada and Pitta of Dhatu-s. But you can make out that there is borrowing of ideas from our faith, belief and logic.

58. I was saying that in the matter of three Guna-s and Three Dhatu-s, our old vaidya saastram of Ayur Veda is in concert with Vedic saastraa-s. Similarly Pancha Kavyam that is acceptable in our religious rituals, is also an important item in Ayur Veda treatment. As explained earlier, you may note that Pancha Kavyam is a concoction of say a spoon each of, cow’s milk, curd, ghee, dung and urine. This is prescribed in many rituals of expiation, when you do ‘parihaara or praayaschitta’, for past sins of omission or commission. The same concoction is also prescribed in the end period of treatment, to be partaken to prevent any fresh infection.

59. What is called as Paapam and Punyam (acts of sin and meritorious deeds), is mentioned as ‘hitam and ahitam’ in Ayur Veda, that is harmful and beneficial to the body. So what is ‘anaachaaram’ is forbidden as ahitam in the Ayur Veda texts. So, I entreat you all that, those who are true followers of our religion, may resort to allopathic medicines only when it is unavoidable and stick to Ayur Vedic medicines only, for all practical purposes. Please do not go in for cod liver oil, liver extract and such things, which are absolutely both ‘anaachaaram and ahitam‘ !
60. Surgery. Now-a-days it has become unavoidable that, when surgery is necessitated, we have to resort to only allopathic treatment! Even those who are very strict in observing their aachaaraa-s, out of necessity have to resort to operations such as cataract, appendicitis and open heart surgery. We can do nothing about it now. But I am of the view that, due to our carelessness and inattentiveness, this line of treatment has been forgotten and lost sight of!

61. The mistake lies in the mind set which believes that surgery is not there in our Ayur Veda discipline. In fact surgery has always been a part of Ayur Veda from the very beginning of this discipline. There were two stalwarts of this Veda. One was Charaka and the other Susrutha. It is their Samhita-s which are the original authorities and reference books. Charaka Rishi is none other than Patanjali Muni famous for Yoga Aasanaa-s. The writings by Agniveshya Rishi were developed upon by Charaka. There is one scripture authored by Vaakpata, known as ‘Ashtanga Hrudayam’ which is also an authority in Ayur Veda. In Tamil language too, we find many traditional authoritative books on this subject.

62, Charaka talks of giving medicines for diseases, and Susrutha has described the surgical methods. We call the doctor involved in general practice of medicine as Physician and the one with expertise in conducting operations on the body of the patient as Surgeon. In the degree awarded for a doctor passing out from a medical college these days, (M.B.,B.S.), both these are included, that is, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. Had we saved and protected our Ayur Veda from going defunct, we would have had Vaidya-s who could have been experts as Physicians and Surgeons.

(To be continued.)

Sambhomahadeva.

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