HimVeda was started by 2 young minds who were close friends since early college days.Studying in a premier Ayurvedic college the friendship nurtured with every passing day.It didn’t take long for them to observe that this great science had been reduced to a mere 2nd cousin of western medicine. The Indian wisdom was now referred to as alternative system of medicine.The friends started to explore the reasons for this decay.
To understand this we need to go back to the times when Ayurveda was in its full splendor and western medicine had no influence at all.This was the time before British rule. People used to live in joint families.Individual was responsible for family ,family was responsible for clan, clan was responsible for village and so on.In this setting every individual was working for a larger cause rather than for his own self.The betterment of individual was inherent in the betterment of the society.Those who were unable to contribute anything because of physical or mental handicaps or lack of skill were taken care of automatically.
It was a non competitive society (one need not be competitive to survive) .Instead it was a society based on mutual interest. Upliftment of mankind was the purpose of living.People were rooted to their culture and traditions .Ayurveda was very much a part of this tradition . It was a way of living and reflected in every activity and ritual.
After the advent of British,western thought along with western culture as well as medicine was introduced.It continued to make its mark even after the British left. Indian civilization had the tendency to accept and tolerate. Western thought which was based on competitiveness started to slowly uproot the traditional .Reductionism and consumerism broke up the joint family culture into nuclear. Ayurveda being intricately linked to the tradition took a deep blow.Reductionist western medicine enjoyed the favour because of its ability to give immediate results suiting the fast paced society.
Western influence can be seen in research work being carried out in premier Ayurvedic institutes in the country.For clinical trials drug is selected to be prescribed to all the patients of the same disease irrespective of the state of the disease and doshas (body constitution) of the patient.This is against the fundamental principle of Ayurveda
Ayurvedic pharmaceutical industry is also influenced in a big way.Instead of using drug as a whole many international pharmacies use active principles .Young Ayurvedic doctors groomed in such an atmosphere don’t develop the right perspective. They start practising medicine with half western and half Ayurvedic mindset resulting in unsatisfactory clinical results.
While we are not against western methodology or use of technology but we have to strike balance. For e.g. in a case of cerebro vascular accident Ayurvedic treatment can only be given if the cause is known. It could be due to hemorrhage or infarct (blockage) which can be best judged with a CT scan. Nadi pariksha (pulse diagnosis) can only tell us about the state of doshas and region of disturbance but not the cause of disturbance.Ayurvedic line of treatment will be totally different in both the cases.
Disillusioned after witnessing this our 2 young minds were in dilemma whether to continue with their career in medicine or switch-over .Before deciding they wanted to explore more. After completing formal education in the college they went to different corners of the country to receive informal education from traditional vaidyas (Ayurvedic practitioners). They worked with gurus enlightened in Ayurveda . They now started to live and enjoy this great science every moment of their lives.They started to see doshas and gunas(qualities)in all things living and non living which is the hallmark of a true vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor).
With changed perspective they continued with formal education to obtain Master’s degree in Ayurveda.This empowered them with technological expertise.After finishing college they were offered lucrative jobs in government as well as private colleges and hospitals. They declined these offers as they had envisioned a vedic institution where they could follow their heart. HimVeda is a manifestation of that vision . It is a modest beginning and their is a long way to go.