Course On The Fundamental Principles of the Ayurvedic Medicine

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Item Code: NAD550
Author: Dr.Jan Erik Sigdell
Publisher: Chowkhamba Krishnadas Academy
Edition: 2001
ISBN: 9788121800765
Pages: 148
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 150 gm
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Book Description
Back of the Book

Concept of ama is as old as concept of ama, which is basic in Ayurvedic principles. Where the concept of ama is a physiological approach, the concept of ama is-a pathological one. Hence the concept of ama is an unique one which helps in understanding a disease 75% of the disorders in the present day are sarna rogas starting from fever, infections, allergies, auto immune disorders, immunological, metabolic, free radical and GIT disorders etc. For alleviating these disorders knowledge of concept of ama is an essential one.

This book deals in detail the concept of agni and location of its sites, panchavidavatas and its location in the autonomic nervous system, formation of ama due to various etiology at various levels and the various stages in the formation of ama and causation of the disease are also identified.

In chapter V clinical diagnosis of sarna conditions are given in detail with explanation. The most impressive thing about this book is that sarna conditions are explained in light of modern science and diagnosis of the sarna condition through various laboratoy investigation starting from simple CUE-to bio-chemical, serological test .are also explained, which is the first of its kind.

In chapter VI of the .book laboratory investigations are described to diagnose and assess the gravity of ama in the body in order to facilitate students, researchers and practioners alike. Which is also the first time report in this field as the author is having 30 years experience in the field of ama and its related disorders. This criterion has been noted vasing on the statistical data of more than 200 cases of ama and its related disorders.

Another highlight of the book is identifying ama as various levels and identifying deepana and pachana dravyas working at various levels with examples. How to consider ama as criteria in planning formulations are also described vividly ie. In which form like swarana, choorna, kwatha, asava act at which level like pachakagni, bhootagni, dhatwagni etc.

Finally a modal disease of ama 'amavata' which is the most crippling disorder in the world has been explained in detail in the light of ayurvedic science along with treatment. This book focuses on the concept of ama in light of present scirnces like genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry ete.



(Except for a handful of physicians who had studied in India, some sanskritologists and two outstanding scientists, at the same time physicians and sanskritologists who translated ancient ayurvedic scriptures as their doctoral theses in medicine !)*. The audience-some 60 persons taki ng the course were excited and deeply impressed by this important ancient science and not the least by Prof. Dwarakanath himself, who, over 70 years old and nearly blind, gave the whole series of lectures, three lectures a day f~)f one week completely out of his memory and even accurately reciting the verses from the scriptures- he could no more read at that time (but underwent a cataract operation about a year later.)

He even started to recall the German language during this week. He had studied medicine in Germany in the 1930's and never since had the opportunity to speak the language, but now it came back to him again, and at the end of the lecture series he often replied to questions before we had translated them.

A second series of lectures was planned for October 1978, in which Prof L.M. Singh of Varanasi (at that time in Katmandu) was also to cooperate, sharing the lecturing work. However, due to the sad message of Prof. Dwarakanath's death about a month before, this course had to be cancelled. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to be his guest in his home in Delhi before it was too late. We discussed the plans for this second course in June 1978- meeting again after an intense correspondence in the time between.

The second course then took place in May 1979, with Prof. L.M. Singh alone. Again this arose much interest in Ayurveda and the audience received his valuable lectures with much appreciation. I hope one day to find the time to write a more extensive book for German language readers, based on the two lecture series and on my own studies in the mean time. So far, there is no much interest among pers.ons with limited access to English language literature. Only one book on Ayurveda is today available in German, which is of much practicl interest but not an ideal basis for the real understanding of this science. Other works have been written earlier by a few scientists, decades ago, and are long out of print. They wrote however, more for indologically oriented academic readers than for a wider, medically oriented readership, and mixed in certain earlier western indo logical views, which do not fully promote the true• understanding of Ayurveda. It must also be mentioned here, however, that so far only fully translation of Vagbhata's Astangahrdayasamhita into a western language was made into German in the 1940's is regrettably also out of print." Two outstanding German sanskritologists, Prof. C. Vogel and Prof. Emmerick have also translated ayurvedic scriptures into English.

Prof. Dwarakanath's daughter Miss Ramadevi of New Delhi, who has taken much effort to have her father's lectures published in India, undertook the work of typing the reedited English language manuscript. It is to a major extent thanks to her and to her brothers Mr. D. Rishikesh of Madras and Mr. Gokulachandran of Sevagram that this can now finally take place. I am indebted to the whole Dwarakanath family for much help and pleasant hospitality during various visits to India, have become unforgettable events in my l!fe.

Prof. Dwarakanath left me a real surprise. After his death, I learned that he had ordered a Sri Dhanvantari idol be made for me at the Ayurvedic trust in Coimbatore. It took some time to have it completed, and much more time before it came to me since itwas un locatable for an extended period. During my last visit to India, a stopover in Delhi in December 1980, it was considered lost, but shortly' afterwards was delivered to Prof. Dwarakanath's family. A friend brought it to me in June 1981 and it is now finally in my home, duly honored with pujas. Therefore, a suitable conclusion of this preface in the honor of Prof. Dwarakanath and in reverence to the one who revealed Ayurveda to the world.


A year has passed since Professor Dwarkanath held his course on Ayurveda in Achberg. It was promised to the participants that the course would be worked out in writing and then put to their disposition.

Surely, many a participant has asked himself in the meantime it such a written presentation is still to be expected, or not. .... But probably nobody could expect how much a doubt upon* the publication of such a written presentation was actually justified. The problems which posed themselves when working out the material were actually insoluble and I cannot say that they have been sorted out, now that the publication is finally written. On the contrary, we had to decide to present the course in its present, though still very incomplete, form, after all.

I do not intend to go into the details of the indicated difficulties here; this alone would make a little book of its own. But the reader should know that the text here presented is published with reservations. Those reservations are especially valid for the readers who did not participate in Achberg- or one of the other seminars given by Professor Dwarakanath. In spite of certain lacks, the course itself was a great success. This real success was due to the special athmosphere which gradually developed after the second day of the course, approximately. In spite of a continuous exposition to unfamiliar ways of thinking, unaccustomed concepts and a flood of Sanskrit expressions, which firstmeant an overload to the participants, a new kind of listening developed among those present. One of them expressed this as follows: "I have understood only little, or perhaps even nothing, properly of -tha t which was said. Still I was fascinated, increasingly. Until then unknown prespecitives, wide horizons, opened up before me- and I had the feeling that here are huge treasures hidden." This occurred to everybody, more or less, and showed up in the great patience with which the participants- after initial resistance and even protests- sat in calm attention at least for two hours per lecture. Except for the material, this was also due to the person of Professor Dwarakanath himself, the complete devotion and inexhaustible effort of whom, in order to bring Ayurveda to us (Westerners), simply met full respect.

We knew that the seventy years old Professor was almost blind due to a cataract which just could not be operated before he came to Germany. Therefore he could not, for example, look up this or that in his books, as he once told me. The whole course, consisting of sixteen lectures, was therefore freely presented by him, not using any written manuscripts.

This specific element, which characterized the course in Achberg, could not be brought on to the paper as well. This is something all who did not participate should consider! The reading could to them easily appear as a "dry skeleton of abstruse concepts" which would hardly evoke the great devotion which Ayurveda to my opinion fully deserves.

And now to the written presentation itself. The working team consisted of Jan-Erite Sigdell- the writer of the text- Christian Muller and myself as his coworkers and finally Mary Hardy who wrote it all down with the typewriter (twice, actually). The process was such that Jan-Erit first listened to the tape with the lectures in English (sprinkled with Sanskrit Words), and portion-wise brought it together, written In German. When the whole tape was worked through in this manner, he started, based on the so collected portions, to write. a coherent description, under a structure of chapter headings, designed by himself. this was the first version of the course, which was then first read through by Christian and then by me. Then we had a conference upon which way we should now choose.

The first version showed us, actually, that .unexpected problems came upon us. The value of such a publication was strongly doubted upon, expecially by Christian and me. One reader wrote us, that she could not understand why there-were all these doubts ... It was clear to us that we would never be able to make this "exactly right". I would rather have preferred an own smaller publication which would by far not go into all the themes touched upon by Professor Dwarakanath, but instead in a fully responsible way give an introduction into a few basic concepts of Ayurveda. Jan-Erile, however, pleaded for a presentaiton which would follow "Achberg" as closely as possible. This would then, be it incomplete, form a start, a fundament upon which could be built. And we decided to do so.




Introduction 5
On the spelling and pronunciation of Sanskrit words 14
Mythological Origin, history of arisal and development of Ayurveda 19
The scope, aims and objects of Ayurveda 26
Ayurveda in to-day's India 29
On the "three miseries" and on Life in Society 31
General validity of Ayurveda in respect to changing appearances of disease in Society 37
General classification of causes of diseases. Medical specialities 38
Logic and Methodology 42
Philosophical b asis-Samkhy a and Nyay a Vaisesika 44
Cosmology and theory of matter in Ayurveda. Samkhya and Nyaya- Vaisesika 60
Theory of tissues 79
Prakrti 88
Therapy 88
A few notes on Vocabulary 102
Name of persons 142

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