Dr. Bhagabat Kumar Goswami, Shastri, M. A., Ph. D. Formerly Ashutosh Professor of Sanskrit, Calcutta University. If the pristine glory of Ayurveda is to be fully revived, it must be done only by the traditional method with strict adherence to the fundamental truths as revealed to the Ayurvedic sages of old. Ayurveda is not exactly an empirical science as the term is commonly understood, Ayurvedic teachers have claimed, from time immemorial, that the eternal truths concerning the human constitution, in the main, like all other eternal truths, were divinely communicated to man through competent seers - seers who concentrated their mind upon the human constitutional aspect of Creation and recieved the inspiration of the first truths in the process of exclusive devotion to and meditation upon the Source of all inspirations. Upon those Soul to soul communications they built the Ayurveda Shastra. The progress of Ayurveda in its adoption to the changing needs of human constitution-and . the mundane order is changing in all directions under the fundamental impulse of its nature (prakriti )-has been traditionally recorded in the works of the seer and sages from generation to generation, from teacher to pupil. These teachers themselves in all cases ultimately subjected their accumulated empirical knowledge to the test of constitutional yoga in order to the subsidiary truths as adopted to the first truths. The while empiricism had its place in the Ayurvedic scheme, the scheme itself, in the main, developed on the lines implied in the revealed truths. Ayurveda in this way has been more concerned with the revelations of Yoga than with pure empiricism.
It is a gratifying sign of India's revival, the revival of Indian culture and thought, that in this most important field also there have now come forward workers who have earnestly taken upon themselvs the task of explaining the basic truths of Ayurveda and indicating the healthy way of bringing the shastra up to date. These enthusiastic exponents of Ayurveda have full faith in the inner power of growth or rather adaptability of the shastra, They have full faith in the traditional methods, the methods of Yoga. They have nothing to do with any 'borrowed science' in this connection, however good and useful .that may be in its own sphere. They would rather resort to further Yoga concentration to bring back to sight the lost portion or neglected portions of their old Shastra. The purely empirical science of the 'Vest has certainly its own use-and nobody denies that it has done immense service to the art of healing- but mere empiricism is not in the Ayurvedic line. So long as the lost and neglected portions of the Shastra are not thoroughly regained in Yogic knowledge, the sincere exponents of Ayurveda will rather leave the ailments concerned to be treated in the western method wholly; but they will refuse to compromise in a matter of fundamental principle and will be no party to passing off as Ayurvedic what is not Ayurvedic at all. Surely it is wisdom to have the true best of everything and to freely acknowledge the service of others when that service is required. Engrafting is not permissible, nor possible either, whore there is a fundamental difference in genus. If the world of men needs the services of Western healing art or medical science, it has also need for Ayurvedic treatment, as it has been preserved traditionally in many spheres. Let man have the best of both and understand the best of both-in their essential purity. Let not what are constitutionally different be mixed up to the confusion and discomfort of ailing humanity.
For the above reason every sincere well-wisher of genuine Indianism will welcome a clear exposition of the basic principles of Indian Ayurveda the Ayurveda of the Rishis and sages. And my friend Pundit Yogendranath Tarkatirtha, who is eminently fitted for the task by his saintly and devotional habits and by his vast knowledge of the Ayurvedic lore, and who has acquired large experience as a teacher and practitioner of the Ayurvedic system and knows how to turn his knowledge and experience to profit-to the service of ailing humanity, has now come forward with 11 is work, AYURVIJNANA RATNAKARA, in the pages of which he unfolds the basic truths of Ayurveda in a really masterly way. For the sampradaya -the present generation of the teachers and the taught in Ayurveda he has, in clear and concise language in Sanskrit, given his expositions, while for the mass of his readers he has given full Bengali explanations of his original expositions, thus doing justice to the modes of thought and expression of the Ayurvedic sages on the one hand and bringing the Ayurvedic knowledge within easy reach of the common people on the other, Pundit Yogendranath is certainly to be congratulated on the success of his present effort. It is sincerly to be hoped that it will be followed by expositions of the remaining portions of the Shastra. Bengal can ill afford to be denied the fruits of his ripe scholarship, saintly devotion, and genuine Indian outlook in this most important branch of Shastric knowledge.
As for the present work, it is entirely devoted to examination of the truths that form the very basis human constitution, the constructive, preservative a disruptive energies in human constitution-the energies that account for the ever-changing nature of hum body. One can easily see from his explanations thatthe author has had no difficulty in reviewing human body as an integral unit of creative energy, a definite part a parcel and an epitome in itself of the whole body Creation. To know the part-the vyashti-one most understand the whole- the samashti. Here' is the clue to the whole Yoga system with which Ayurveda concerned. One who has mastered these truths or key, positions can confidently march on to conquer the whole position of Ayurveda in the fullness of time. Hence the supreme value of this part of the work, and I have no misgiving that it will be hailed with delight by theBengali public as a genuine attempt to revive the glory of Ayurveda.
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