Talk on “How Ayurveda can Power the Development of a Global Health Culture?”
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On 17th November 2022, Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organised a talk on ‘How Ayurveda can Power the Development of a Global Health Culture?’ by Śri Dr. P. Ram Manohar, Research Director, Amrita School of Ayurveda, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kollam, Kerala.

Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF welcomed the speaker and gave a short introduction to the day’s topic. He said that it is important to spread the awareness on the significance of Āyurveda among the elites as they are the people who run the country. If they themselves prefer allopathy over Āyurveda, then it would be difficult to speed up its revival. He also opined that traditional medicines should take the help of modern methodologies to spread awareness.

The speaker, Dr. P. Ram Manohar started the talk by mentioning the concept of medical pluralism from Charakasaṃhitā. He said that it is important how we choose the right method of treatment from a mix of many methods that are present in the world. The modern trend in medicine tries to integrate traditional and modern medicines, which has a disadvantage. For this integration to take place, traditional medicines would require the validation from the West that would be based on the reductionistic parameters of western medicine. To counter this issue, we need to develop a meta framework, which is accommodative and inclusive in nature, rather than a system trying to prove one medical system inferior or superior to the other.

The speaker explained that Āyurveda is a vision on life. He also expressed his delight in Āyurveda retaining its original name, unlike many other traditional systems around the world, and not being renamed into ‘Indian traditional medicine’. He said that Āyurveda is about life in its totality and cannot be limited to a single land, as its application could be everywhere. It is not merely about wellness, but also about finding the right balance between prevention and cure.

Dr. Ram Manohar later spoke about the steps we need to adopt in order to make Āyurveda contemporary. He said that Āyurveda is a knowledge system that stands on three pillars, namely, Tatva (the core principles or laws of nature), Śāstra (human understanding of the tatvas) and Vyavahāra (application of the Śāstra). Earlier, the society as a whole used to work together to update Āyurveda based on the requirements of the existing conditions. But this process has been stopped with the arrival of colonialism and all that we do now is preserve the Āyurvedic applications that were prevailing before the colonial times.. However, it is high time that we get back to updating the applications of Āyurveda depending on the need of the hour. India can do a great deal in doing this, as it is the only country in the world, where the practice of different types of medical systems apart from allopathy is legal. In the current world, India can become the pioneer in collaborating with the various medical systems and thus develop a global health culture.

The talk was followed by a Q and A session and discussions with the speaker. The discussions were also enriched by the remarks from Śrīmatī Prof. Shashi Prabha Kumar, Distinguished Fellow, VIF.

Event Date 
November 17, 2022

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