Continous change is rule of nature. Even Ayuveda has changed a lot during last 7500 years. Ayurveda gained many of its knowledge and ideas from Atharva Veda, our scholars with thorough research added many diseases, its etiology, pathophysiology, symptoms, prognosis and treatment in detail, added use and properties of many herbs, but they did not copy everything from Atharva Veda. Since last 1000 year Rasa shastra was added to Ayurveda, considering the history of Ayuveda this addition is very recent one. In Laghu samhithas they added many new diseases like Amavatha, Phiranga roga, Soma roga etc.
We are in different era, many things have been changed since last 200 years and it seems that this is the right time for Ayurveda also to adopt new knowledges in our science for the benefit of patents.
Yes basic principles and many explanations described in different Ayurvedic text is under debate. I met many great Ayurvedic scholars, many great Ayurveda teachers of different colleges, but during discussion I have noticed a common agenda in most of them, that all the principles explained in Ayurveda, basic principles like Vatha, Pitta, Kapha are eternal truth and we have no right to change these principles.
But I don’t know why many scholars think in that way. We study Padartha vijnana for one and half year during our first professional year, unfortunately a most boring subject for most of us during college days. In that, we study regarding Pramanas, means process of obtaining knowledge, or knowing truth. Such knowledge of truth when undergoes Thadvidya sambhasha etc through different scholars and when this is accepted as Pramana by such group, is called as SHASTRA or SCIENCE or KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH.
1. Pratyaksha- knowledge gained through sense organs, or knowledge which is felt through sense organs.
2. Anumana- Knowledge gained by inference
3. Upamana- Knowledge gained by comparison
4. Vyuthpatti (arthapatti) (?Upameya)- Knowledge gained through one’s experience, his skill etc
5. Apthopadesha- Textual references, which is still considered as Shastra, here we can not depend on outdated shastras or out dated knowledge(which can be proved as out dated PRAMANAS- for example- explanation of MUTHROTHPATTI in our texts)
Even today, so called modern science, Allopathy system etc also follows the same principle. All the methodology followed in any modern science come under any one among the above five.
So whatever may be the knowledge, if that can be proved as per the standard methodology may be modern methodology or Ayurveda methodology that should be accepted and adopted wherever necessary. Bothe Ayurveda and modern science follows the same methodology, but the only difference is that present methodology is explained depending upon new tools, inventions etc., for eg. today we have electron microscope to see the micro organisms, body cells, even we can see minutest nano particles using advanced microscopes. So definitely there will be lot of difference in prathyksha pramana of olden days and present days. Jvara disease explained in Ayurveda is a very good example for that, most of the jvara explained as Asadhya is Sadhya today, that is because of new inventions.
Our scientists explained body as SHAREERA and DEHA, means which continuously gets destroyed and grows. Continuation of the same knowledge is seen in modern science as CATABOLISM and ANABOLISM with much elaborated explanation. But we can not say that whatever explained in present modern text is eternal truth, when anybody if succeeds in disproving the present knowledge using the same methodology then that knowledge is considered as outdated.
This is a natural process for any shastra and this is essential part of evolution.
About three years back I read one interesting article in a medical journal regarding recurrent renal stones, their new observation regarding recurrent renal stone is that 80% of recurrent renal stone is because of adenoma of parathyroid gland, they confirmed this with the help of color tomograhpy. Since then I have stopped recommending low calcium diet for any of recurrent renal stone patients because that may lead to osteoporosis if the cause is adenoma of parathyroid gland where calcium rich diet is necessary. We have added Kanchanara and other anti tumor drugs to our combination and treated many patients with that drug (Calculus 16 tablet). A patient with recurrent renal stone for last 20 years who took medicines from all system of medicines without any improvement, has no recurrent stone since last one and half years with the treatment started as per new concept. He is still under treatment due to fear of recurrence. Reason to mention this particular case is because the same person took medicine for one year from me 6 years back, but still had recurrent stone, now after adding potent anti tumor drugs and long term treatment with the same he has compete remission.
I came across with one Ayurveda scholar, initially he had the same view of eternal truth, but after a debate he agreed that Ayurveda has many out dated theories and principles but finally he had a view that people strongly believe in such theories, so if we change those theories then no body will accept Ayurveda. But my view is that Ayurveda is an applied science, where people and patients need results not just theories. So we should follow very strong theories and principles where each and every doctor can apply the same with ease while he treats the patient and most of Ayurveda doctor should succeed in curing many ailments, then only Ayureda will gain importance and people will accept Ayurveda with ease globally.
I have written all the above from one angle only, on the other hand even today we have lot of applicable theories, medicines and treatment plans which is proved to be better than any other system. But combining the new knowledge with our ancient time tested therapies benefits the patient.
For eg in Ayurveda there are five types of shirashula Vathaja, Pittaja, Kaphaja, Sannipathaja and Krimija and other diseases like Ardhavabhedaka, Sooryavartha and Shankhaka are other diseases where headache is the leading symptom. If we consider the same from modern point of veiw we have to think of Migraine headache, Tension headache, Sinusitis, Trigeminal and other neuralgias, Cervical radiculopathy, Meningitis, Brain tumours etc. Pittaja shirashoola can be well corelated with Sinusitis, Ardhavabhedaka with sinusitis or Migraine headache, Vathaja shirashoola with Tension headache or Neuralgias, Sooryavartha with Migraine headache and so on. By corelating in this way this helps us to select specific combinations from our text for newly understood diseases.
Please comment your view on this. I welcome both positive and negative comments. Many times negative comments help us to modify and strengthen our views.Jayagovinda Ukkinadka