Psychopathology in Indian Medicine

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Preface Humanity has been toiling hard to conquer pain and death since the dawn of human civilization. All sciences in one way or the other are engaged in the combat against these evil forces. Most probably, it is the history of the origin of philosophy and medical science. It is all the more true of the various philosophical and applied branches of knowledge in India. It is the common point where philosophy and medicine meet and strive with their respective specialized methods to overcom...


Humanity has been toiling hard to conquer pain and death since the dawn of human civilization. All sciences in one way or the other are engaged in the combat against these evil forces. Most probably, it is the history of the origin of philosophy and medical science. It is all the more true of the various philosophical and applied branches of knowledge in India. It is the common point where philosophy and medicine meet and strive with their respective specialized methods to overcome this nuisance affair. Pain occurs in different forms. We are sometimes spiritually pained whereas on several occasions we are mentally perturbed and there are occasions when we are physically attacked by pain through various diseases. In India, philosophers were more inclined to solve the problem of getting ultimate liberation from all kinds of pain particularly the pain inflicted by continuous wheel of death and rebirth. However, medicine is more concerned with the elimination of mental and physical pains. It does not mean that the fields of the two are separate. It is simply a distribution of work for achieving a common goal.

In India, philosophy and medical science have developed with same motto. It is therefore, that we find that Ayurveda is largely related to Indian philosophy. The spirit of the darsanas is the fundamental basis on which this science of Ayurveda has developed. Just as a medical student cannot escape from the knowledge of natural sciences, similarly, an Ayurvedic scholar cannot hold himself aloof from Indian philosophy. In spite of so much affinity between these two branches of knowledge, we find that philosophy and medicine have been put into water tight compartments and they have had no contact with each other since a long time. The philosophical schools in India have neglected this science of Ayurveda only because it is an applied science. No serious attempt has been made in this direction, except by Dr. Surendra Nath Das Gupta to assess the link that exists between these two sciences. If we go through the Ayurvedic texts we find that the fundamental principles of this discipline are invariably based on the darsanika principles, although it has developed its own darsana by adopting a synthetic and applied approach, taking into consideration the necessity of medical science.

Ayurveda has been neglected so far by the protagonists of modern medicine and it is generally misunderstood as a native, ancient and herbal tradition, which was practiced in ancient India. This impression has been formed without taking the trouble of going through the literature of Ayurveda and due to the lack of initiative to understand the principles of this ancient science without prejudice. Actually it is not a herbal tradition, but a science of life, as the term Ayurveda itself denotes. In it a comprehensive approach has been laid down. Fortunately, there is developing a trend wherein it has ceased now to be looked down upon by the protagonists of modern medicines and attempts have also been made to synthesize its significant contributions with the achievement of modern science.

Ayurveda has considered the mental and physical diseases as two separate specialized subjects. However, no line of demarcation has been drawn between the mental and psychological diseases and a flexible psychosomatic approach has been worked out. We know that psychological diseases have now posed a serious challenge to the human civilization, particularly in the western countries where materialism has reached the saturation point. The attempts so far made in this direction by the psychologists and psychiatrists have not so far borne the desirable result. At this juncture, it will be worthwhile to know the approach of Ayurveda on this subject. Psychopathology is of comparatively recent growth. Ayurveda has been reputed for its philosophical bases and psychological diseases and their treatment, however, much of the original literature in Ayurveda being mutilated, we hardly find any systematic account of its contribution to the subject of mental health and psychopathology. The present work is, therefore, a humble beginning in this direction, so that it may be utilized to solve the problems of mental health and diseases and to develop an ideal concept of human personality.

I feel it a proper occasion to express my indebtedness to all those who have inspired me for this kind of work. I always got encouragement from Dr. K.N. Uduppa, Pt, Shiva Sharma and Dr. M.L. Dwivedi for which I am grateful to them. I am particularly grateful to Dr. S.P. Sricastva who aroused an inspiration in my mind for this kind of work. Apart from my indebtedness to all the authors of the works contained in the bibliography at the end, I have had the occasion to discussion the subject pertaining to Ayurveda with late Shri Hanumat Prasad Sastri, Dr. C. Dwarkanath, and other Ayurvedic scholars for whom I feel a sense of gratitude.

I feel deeply indebted to Prof. M.M. Sinha for his guidance in conducting the practical research work on The studies of psychic personality in Ayurveda. Dr. Jyotir Mitra helped also a lot in this work. I would also like to show my gratitude to Shri E.G. Phariya, a statistician, for giving active help in the analysis of data. I am equally grateful to Smt. Indra Gupta, my life companion for providing me her heartiest co-operation for completing the work.

I highly appreciate the suggestion received from Shri K. N. Mishra regarding the publication of the book and Shri R. N. Mishra and Shri K.M. Gupta for going through the manuscript. I am thankful to Shri Ajaya Kumar Gupta, publisher for the untiring pains he has taken in bringing out my work in the book form.

In the end, I must express my gratitude to all those persons who have directly or indirectly helped me in bringing the work to its present final form. I regret that as I could not go through the proofs some printing mistakes have occurred in the book which would be corrected in the next edition.

Satya Pal Gupta


  Preface v
  List of Abbreviations xvii
  Transliteration Chart xviii
  Theoretical Fundamentals  
Chapter I The place of Ayurveda in Indian Philosophy 1-84
Chapter II Nature of mind in Ayurveda 88-136
Chapter III Controversies Regarding the location of mind in Human Organism 144-184
  Treatment of Personality in Ayurveda  
Chapter IV Physical side of Personality {The Nervous System} 191-210
Chapter V Developmental aspect of personality 217-265
Chapter VI Classification of Human Personality 271-340
Chapter VII Ideal Human Personality in Ayurveda 359-385
  Practical Therapeutics  
Chapter VIII Diseases and their Causes 389-417
Chapter IX General methods of Treatment of Mental Diseases 423-449
Chapter X Diseases with Primarily mental origin and Predominantly mental symptoms 454-475
Chapter XI Diseases with Primarily mental origin and Predominantly Physical Systems 476-495
Chapter XII Diseases with Primarily Physical Origin and Predominantly Mental Symptoms 497-512
Chapter XIII Diseases with Primarily Physical Origin and Predominantly Physical Symptoms  
Chapter XIV Concluding Remarks 520
  Appendix 533
  Bibliography 537
  List of Names of Authors and Texts 547
  Index 553


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Item Code: IDG820 Author: Dr. Satya Pal Gupta Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2000 Publisher: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan ISBN: 8170842808 Language: English Size: 8.7" X 5.7" Pages: 584 Other Details: weight of the book is 900gm
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