From the Jacket
Mind being an intriguing subject, has drawn attentions of scholars of varied times and fields. Volumes have been written on it and it has been a subject of debate since remote past. Mass has the most evolved and advanced mind. Surprisingly, in spite of tremendous material advances of the modern era, hardly any progress is made in unearthing the intricacies of human mind. Till date Upanishads, Vedas, Geeta and Ayurveda remains as an unsurpassed and monumental works on Mind. One can not think of a more rational, scientific and balanced approach to the functioning of the Human Mind than that described by these ancient sages. This book presents the subject in eight detailed and Comprehensive chapters; Introduction, Ayurveda-Back to Future, The Psyche of Poets and Seers, The Psyche of Intellectuals, The psyche of Medical Scientist, The Associates; The Soul-Atma, The Psyche of the Rationalist, and lastly Psycho-synthesis.
Born in 1961, in a tiny village, Arikere, in Kolar Dist. Of Karnataka, Dr. A.R.V. Murthy is presently Principal of Gomantak Ayurveda College & Research Centre, Shiroda-Goa. He was graduated from Udupi Ayurveda Collage, Udupi, in 1983, got his postgraduate degree (M.D.) in Kayachikitsa, from the prestigious Banaras Hindu University in 1987, under the Supervision of Prof. R.H. Singh. He obtained his doctoral degree Ph. D., from Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati in 1999. He was deputed as Ayurveda consultant to SVIMS Tirupati, a Modern Super Speciality Hospital to take up collaborative research work in 1995 and has done research work on Stroke, Epilepsy and Ascites. He is also deeply involved in literary research on Vedic sciences in relation to Ayurveda at Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati.
Dr. Murthy visited Japan in Oct. 2000 as an invited speaker in the International Conference on Ayurveda held at Tokyo. He has extensively traveled in India and delivered over 100 guest lectures in different parts of the country. He has published around 50 research articles in listed Journals and participated in more than 30 National and International Seminars. He is member, on Board of Studies, and postgraduate examiner at various universities. He has won a gold medal and M.V. Sastry memorial prize and Nambier memorial award for his meritorious performances during the B.A.M.S. degree course. This book is author's first work though he has significantly contributed to two other books Principles of Ayurveda Therapeutics and Ayurvedic Clinical Medicine, published by Sadguru Publications, Delhi.
The book "The Mind in Ayurveda and other Indian Traditions" authored by Dr. A.R.V. Murthy presents an unique blend of scientific and philosophic exposition of the concept of Psyche. The book presents the work in eight well-designed chapters, viz., Introduction, Back to Future, Psyche of Poets and Seers. Psyche of Intellectuals, Psyche of Medical Scientists, the Associates-The Soul-Atma, The Psyche of Rationalists and lastly Psychosynthesis. Such a surveying of the concept of Phyche in varied fields of expression in a range of contexts provides the author a comprehensive opportunity to realize the phenomenon of mind and psyche as depicted in varied fields of perception from folklore to poetry and from philosophy to science and logistics. The book beautifully develops an interface between subjective and objective ways of expression.
Mind has been an intriguing subject since antiquity down the ages. Modern psychology is yet to touch the bottom of the heights of ancient Indian classics on the subject. The Vedas, Upanishads, Geeta and the Yoga Sutras present such an in-depth insight into the subject of the concept of Psyche and consciousness in India tradition that it becomes an outstanding wisdom. Which still remains untapped and is beyond the philosophy have been intimately interwoven at times also overwhelmed with religion and spirituality, making the subject more difficult.
The westerners have been treating the subject in a crude physical manner. To begin with, attempts were made to separate psychology from philosophy and lately psychology too could not survive in real sense, as in major proportion psychology was gradually transformed into psychophysiology. And attempts were made to describe the Mind as the function of Brain. This reductionistic approach of reverse understanding back from subtle and advanced to gross and primitive did not allow the knowledge to grow further, rather it forced the endeavour in reverse gear. And as such there has been no growth and further unfolding of ancient classic wisdom of the orient India.
The oriental and the oxidantal approaches to psyche and consciousness are absolutely diverse. The ancient orients conceived consciousness a separate entity than psyche. Not only this, they connected individual consciousness with the cosmic consciousness merging the individual with the universe, i.e., the message of the great Advaita thought of the orients. That is the meaning of the great 'Whole' the 'Moksha'. In this context the mind is a lower entity and is an unconscious element. However, there are possibilities of its transformation and merger into the conscious. Thus there seems to be no meeting grounds for the orient and the oxidant on this issue.
The ray of hope is that a turning point is visible. The scientists on the apex have started thinking that the reality is in another direction. It can be stated quite safely that there have been only few original discoveries of the fundamental nature in western modern science. What we have all seen in the name of science today is really not science; that is all are application of few scientific discoveries. That is all the advancement in technology, are not fundamental scientific breakthrough. The first fundamental discovery in Science was the Newtonian observation when Newton saw an apple falling down on the earth from the tree. He speculated and established the principle of physical relationship between the big masses of the galaxy with each other. This knowledge led to a series of technological applications of this law culminating into many achievements. The second breakthrough in Science could be considered the work of Einstein who established the inter-relationship of particles of matter through quantum physics and discovered the inter-convertibility of 'Matter' and 'Energy'. This knowledge revolutionized the field of science and paved the way to innumerable technological applications. After Einstein there has been no real breakthrough of fundamental nature in Science although technological applications have been flourishing. Both Newton and Einstein have discovered the mysteries of the External World, i.e. the Unconscious. It is believed that the third big break-through discovery in Science will be in the Inner Word, i.e. in the 'Consciousness' the Self. And when it so happens both 'Inner' and the 'Outer' i.e. self and non-self or the unconscious and conscious will merge meaning that totality will be discovered. And that will touch the truth which our Vedas and Upanishads deliberate on.
The Scientists of today especially the psychologists have to turn their route from external world to internal world, from gross to subtle transcending the psyche to proceed towards the consciousness. Although it will be difficult because the scientists are great reductionists. They believe in observation and evidence, not always because it is the only right way to peruse, rather it is so because it is the way they have learned to proceed.
The concept of Manas, i.e. Mind/Psyche in Ayurveda is similar to the concepts prevalent in the main stream of Indian Philosophy. In order to reach a precise perception of this complex concept, it is necessary to assemble the classic descriptions and statements available in the authentic scriptures and to evaluate them through rational comparative study and interpretation. The literary data available in Ayurvedic classics is very rich and warrants weighage to Historicity, (2) Linguistics of classic descriptions and (3) Comparative study of emerging facts. It cannot be over-emphasized that the concepts which are being referred to in the present context are most ancient and their antiquity goes back to the Vedas. Hence inspite of the fact that many facts could be true beyond time and space, they do need their evaluation in relation to their historicity. Similarly, the ancient classic wisdom is recorded in Sanskrit and the allies using their own technical terms hence it is necessary to take appropriate linguistic insight to reach the right meaning. Further, to achieve workable contemporary meaning comparative Further, to achieve workable contemporary meaning comparative studies are always helpful. Thus there is a need of extensive debate n approaches and methodologies of investigating the ancient wisdom.
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