Amongst the educated milieu a certain prejudice prevails and predominates western thought even today: that scientific thought has originated from western spheres, based on the knowledge of classical Greece. These views ignore the substantial influence other cultures have had on Science. Who knows now or even registers the fact, that the numerical 0 is the cognition of Indian mathematicians; or that astronomy was definitely influenced by the Egyptians. There are sufficient examples of this nature, to emphasize the enormous importance other cultures have had in enrichening the field of oxidental science and philosophy.
Ayurveda is considered to be one of the oldest healing systems in the world. The historical origins are documented in the Vedas, the ancient holy texts of India. Already in the 19thcentury western academicians delved with the healing methods of ayurveda, but orthodox western medicine did not allow this space to enter the field of science.
In the Indian subcontinent today more than hundred million people benefit from the healing method of ayurveda. There are more than 350.000 Ayurveda doctors and in India itself there are 200 Ayurveda collages teaching this system of medicine.
As data reveals even Indology, predominated by philologists did not consider it worthwhile to research in the healing methods of ayurveda. This was not considered serious enough to be taken note of. Linguistic involvement with ancient systems allowed space for syntax and phonetics but were not concerned with healing methods. The erudite assumption amongst many scholars is that the further one looks back in history the more uncivilised or barberic the environment or the way of life of the “primitive man ” must have been. Hence not worth the effort, since of less philological value, to research on what the people of that era made out of their lives. The basic interest of day to day life of common people were not of great importance for the study of Indology.
The legitimate question placed by some scholars is that are members of the western scholastic/cultural circles at all in the position to judge the medical systems of India? Do they at all have the competence or know how to evaluate the indigenious Indian systems of medicine?
Since the time ayurveda is booming around the mid nienties many orthodox doctors are engageing themselves with this holistic study of medicine which incorporates the idea of the whole human being in diagnostic method of treatment instead of segmenting it to 80 different disciplines. None the less the time is not yet ripe enough for a complete acceptance of the holistic Indian system of medicine. Before genuine cooperation and acceptance takes place the river of time will probably flow till it reaches the estuary.
Translated by Paramita Lahiri
Source: Raimund Mueller