I am happy to write these few words by way of introduction to and appreciation of Dr. H. L. Sharma is book entitled 'Rejuvenation Therapy'. It reviews the ancient classical concepts, traditional practices and recent advances made in this important field with due evaluation and rational assessment. The Body Purification Therapy is not only an important component of Ayurvedic treatment but is also forms the fundamental basis of Ayurvedic Therapy. This is an unique approach and is very fundamental of Ayurveda. There is an urgent need of standardizing the classical Rejuvenation Therapy-(Rasayana-Cikitsa) procedures in consideration of the need of today.
Dr. H. L. Sharma, in this work, has covered a wide range of topics and aspects on Rejuvenation Therapyand has dealt with comprehensively and systematically the classical concepts, traditional practices and recent advances on the subject.
It is with this view that I welcome this present publication which has been brought out by the painstaking Dr. H. L. Sharma who has tried his best to make the work intelligible and simple. I congratulate the author for the onerous task that he has fulfilled so energetically and patiently.
The publishers also deserve praise and compliment for their helpful attitude, encouragement and support in this publication.
I express my indebtedness and cordial thanks both to the author and the co-author who so affectionately invited me to accept the honour of writing this foreword.
I am thanking again both for this work.
The science of 'Kayakalpa' or 'Rejuvenation' has received the attention of some of the most eminent physiologists and doctors ever since the vedic period. The development of this science has been along lines are very well recognised in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Perhaps it would not be wrong to say that the very fact that Ayurveda recognised a certain system of treatment which embraced the simultaneous revival at the important organs of the body, has made the development of 'Kaya-Kalpa' up to its present standard possible. The term "Present Standard" may perhaps be misleading and it would be worthwhile making it clear; that by "present standard" is meant the standard which it achieved at its height. It may be that at present we do not know certain aspects owing to researches remaining incomplete and the consequent back-sliding. The present day Allopathic System of medicine is based on the same elements as the Unani System that was at its height in India during the Moghal Period. This the same system that was practices by some of the well-known Greek sages and the Elixir of lie which has been so open heard of was one of their main objectives. There is no doubt that for this Elixir of life great researches were made and many a learned man devoted his life to find it and give to the world life everlasting.
In the west it seems that efforts were made or the assumption that there is exist in this universe other as an element or as a compound, some kind of matter which, if introduced into the life-stream of human bodies, had the effect of making it immune from the destructive influences of nature. Obviously, therefore, more attention was paid to the discovery of the requisite elements than to the human faculties was no doubt a phenomenon well-known to the sages of the Greek and Roman civilisation, but it seems that their efforts were no applied towards the checking of this decline, as much as towards the discovery of something which would make such a decline disappear altogether.
In Ayurveda, the contrary, all efforts have been dissected towards the checking of the decline of the human faculties and it has been always believed that the utmost success that could be achieved in this direction would be to retard the action of decay and decline for a certain period. With a view to bring about this result, minute attention has been paid to human anatomy and all those influences which have a bearing on its development and decline. Or the two, therefore, we have no hesitation in finding that Ayurveda and the researches that have been carried out under its guidance have been by par the more scientific and accurate.
This fact, it seems, was recognised by the Unani System particularly when it came into sharp conflict with the Ayurvedic System in India. As a result, same of the well-known physicians who have practised this system have applied themselves assiduously to evolve some method parallel to "Kaya Kalpa" or "Rejuvenation". There is no doubt that their efforts have met with considerable success but it is a pity that that knowledge which they succeeded in acquiring after vast efforts ahs not been preserved as accurately as it should have been. Anyhow, the fact remains that they were able to bring about a system by which the degeneration and decline of the bodily powers of human beings were considerably retarded.
Today the west and its institution are so predominant that what ever progress had been achieved by the old sciences in the East has been sadly neglected in consequence of which some of the advantages which were available to our forefathers in India have been lost. This observation has been confirmed with the contact of thousands of people and physicians all over the country. In the field of medicine, there is a great scope for systems which can help to get right the mistakes of individuals in modern society. But advantage is not taken of them on account of certain new-fangled ideas which have been advocated by the Allopathic physicians. It does not stand to reason that where a certain malady having limited scope can be cured, the same disorder should be come incurable when it affects the general morale of the body. Moreover, it also seems to be unreasonable that, whereas actual maladies are curable, it should not be possible to tone up the system generally or to assist nature to bring it up to an average standard.
It is just possible that in the western countries, the various aspects of 'Rejuvenation' have not been considered seriously, because of their system of medicine, which often takes the symptoms to be the disease, as opposed to the theory of the Vedic-System, that the depletion of the nerve force is the common cause of all infirmity. In any case the "Elixir of Life" seems to have been much more assiduously sought after in the east. The background for the western treatment is consequently very prosaic. This may be an advantage in so far as there are no fantastic claims made by the followers of this system.
In India there are two main systems of medicine excluding those that have come from the west. The first and the oldest of thesis the Ayurvedic System and it is mentioned in the Rigveda. It is sometimes claimed that certain theories of the Hindus are derived from Hypocrites but since it is spoken of in the Rigveda this claim is not tenable. Ayurveda has been ranked as an Upaveda or supplementary revelation. In the earliest Sanskrit Literature of 500 A.D. Occur certain discussions which refer to systematic cultivation of Medical Science.
In the Mahabharata, reference is made to the three attributes (Kapha ) cold, (Pitta ) heat and (Vayu ) wind, the presence in harmony of which is the mar of health. In Buddhist India, nearly two thousand years ago, there were organised hospitals and medical studies were undertaken by students from all over India and from Japan . Gardens were maintained where potential herbs were grown and experiments carried on.
Dhanvantari was the founder of the Hindu Science of medicine and six great vedic authorities while is given below-
1. Maharsi, CARAKA
2. Maharsi, SUSRUTA
3. Maharsi, VAGBHATA
4. Maharsi, CAKRADTTA
5. RASENDEV SAVA and
These are the pillars of the science known as the Ayurvedic System of medicine. According to these above named authorities the Ayurvedic theory about human ailments is that there is a common cause which upsets the balance of the three attributes namely cold, heat and wind. This common cause is the depletion of never force. The Ayurvedic practitioner knows that in order to be physically sound, a human being must have adequate never force.
Dhanvantari practised mental healing and healing by drugs, the natural phenomenon and other eternal agencies. By these agencies he cured both mental and physical diseases. He was able to appreciate mind and matter and according to him "vital force" was the adequate expression, the indefinable idea of human life.
The Ayurvedic system is worthy of special note as its basic principle is unity of the cause of disease. Another outstanding feature is that it recognises the healing forces within oneself. Moreover an equal amount of importance is attached to natural influence and the maintenance of certain standards.
The other system is the Yunani-system As the name implies it is of rack origin and with some of its doctrines as associated the names of Socrates, Jalinus and various other sages of the ancient Greece . This system has passed through so many changes however, that it is a great exercise of faith to believe that it comes from Greece .
In the first place it passed into Persia probably with the Greek conquest. Naturally it became persianised to a great extent. It is claimed that it was re-introduced into Europe with Islamic conquests and formed the nucleus of the present day Allopathic system of medicine as practised in Europe, America and the other countries of the west.
It cannot be said how far this claim is justified, but there is no doubt, that there are certain similarities of method of diagnosis and some of the drugs are common although they have different names. Of course this comparison is withthe present day Yunani system of medicine as practised in India. Here again there were material changes during the difference of climatic conditions, religious beliefs and language. Indeed in the matter of language conditions were extremely unfavourable in this country. With the coming Moghul Raj there is no doubt that persian became the court language but India is such a vast country and there is so much diversity of language that a common dialect which all Indians could understand has not been evolved all through these centuries. Excepting the immediate vicinity of the Moghul court persian made but slow progress and the progress of the system of medicine that the Mohamedan rulers introduced was scantier still.
By and by there merged a new language which was a mixture of various dialects which was called Urdu Persian words words naturally in a preponderating majority but it soon became popular in the Northern and Central India. In the remote South and East it was spoken and written by fairly large number of persons. The medicinal system of the court was also translated into this new language or at any rate those who were practising physicians found it necessary to think and talk in Urdu . We have advisedly qualified our statement about the translation, because this system is not as fortunate in the matter of written authority as same of the others. The names of diseases and drugs were changed and it would be very difficult to connect the pharmacopiya of the present Yunani Hakims with the Greek medicines.
Unlike Ayurveda whose origin can be traced to Rig-Veda the Yunani System is an orphan. It has however developed considerably and there have been and are practising eminent and successful physicians, whose skill is acknowledged and whose opinions are respected. In recent years various colleges for training in the Yunani-System of medicine have been established and modern methods of diagnosis have been introduced.
In all fairness however, it must be admitted, that their methods of diagnosis are very successful, the art of diagnosing an illness by feeling a patient's pulse has been developed to a degree that is nothing short of marvellous. Patients have been told correctly the entire history of their malady by this method without a word being exchanged between them and their physician. This system is based on a theory of a constant chemical action in the human body and the maintenance of a correct ration between the various elements.
In this system also rejuvenation is recognised as a method of stewarding the process of decay of the Human Body and rebuilding the vital organs which are called Aaza-I-Raisa especially the heart and the brain. It has however not attained the same amount of importance as in the case of Ayurveda because in the latter system it is the basic principle on which the whole structure is built.
In India the Sanyasi and the Yogi have played an important part in healing. The Yoga does not usually depend on drugs and medicines. They administer simple water or similar other harmless agents to produce a state of mind conductive to receive the commanding influence of the patient healing force. So far as the other systems of medicine are concerned because they have prescribed certain rules of life and certain routine methods which would assist any process of rejuvenation where it is based on herbs, medicine, psycho therapy, Mantra Therapy or any other mental process as ultimately the object to be achieved is physical.
In the west there was not much diversity in the systems of medicine practised in the various countries. There has however, appeared a new system which merits mention, this is namely Homeopathy . There was a time not long ago when it was taken as a grave insult by a physician if he was described as Homoeopathy . Today this medical science has advanced immensely and has won the respect and admiration of some of the most learned men. Even his majesty kind George VI have had to consult a Homeopathic doctor. The fundamental principle of this system of medicine is that all disease are the result of a common cause and they endeavour to cure that basic cause in all cases. They have also a theory of their own regarding the Potency of their drugs and "Like cure like" .
The Hindu mythology tells us of the satayuga when the span of life of human beings was many times that of the Kalayuga, which is now in its youth. In trait and Duwaper which were the Yogas or periods intervening between the Satayuga and Kalayuga the conditions were not as good as Satayuga, but were immensely better than Kalayuga . It is adieus therefore, that amongst the other changes that have come about since the creation of the world, the span of human like has decreased to a very great extent.
Man is said to be responsible for shortening his life and whether one has faith enough to credit all that is described in the Purnas or not, it seems to be quite true that during the comparatively short period of sea the last century there have been vast changes. As a result in India at least, human beings are comparatively short lived and the deterioration of the faculties sets in at a much earlier period. We have already seen that the downfall of vigour and vitality. The process of Rejuvenation it is more important to know which organ of the body needs particular attention, of course, in the general toning up of the body all the components have to be brought up to the peak of their performance.
The present study is based primarily, on the Caraka-Samhita, Susruta-Samhita and other oldest available texts on Ayurveda, An attempt is made here to present a detailed account of some of the nonclinical aspects of Ayurvedic principles and applications of health care, with a special reference to rejuvenation as found in oldest, Ayurvedic Texts. Incidentally, some general and specific problems regarding the identifications of medicinal plants are also discussed.
In the meanwhile, I have only made an humble attempt to present as much material as I could gather, some in chapter 12, some in the Three Appendixs, and same latest ones in this introduction itself. I will welcome any suggestions from the learned readers.
I must confuse that I am just presenting the picture of Rejuvenative health care as I saw in the texts and as obtained from my learned friends.
I have not words to express my deepest sense of gratitude to all of them. I am also grateful to Dr. R. N. Dwivedi Ex. Prof. Kayacikitsa, I.M.S.B.H.U., Varanasi, Dept of Ayurved, Vaidya Vasudeva Mishra, Principal, P.P. Ayurvedic College Khetasaraya, Jaunpur, U.P., M/s. Chaukhamba Orientalia and its proprietor Shri Brajpal Das Gupta & Ajay Gupta and his families member deserve all my best wishes and thanks for bringing out this study so speedily and so well.
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