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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-69

Samhita-based edification: an incredible primeval Indian medical education system

Department of Sanskrit Samhita Siddhant, Mahatma Gandhi Ayurved College, Hospital and Research Centre, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication21-Nov-2019

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Bharat C Chouragade
Department of Sanskrit Samhita Siddhant, Mahatma Gandhi Ayurved College, Hospital and Research Centre, Salod (Hirapur), Wardha 442004, Maharashtra.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JISM.JISM_52_19

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How to cite this article:
Chouragade BC. Samhita-based edification: an incredible primeval Indian medical education system. J Indian Sys Medicine 2019;7:66-9

How to cite this URL:
Chouragade BC. Samhita-based edification: an incredible primeval Indian medical education system. J Indian Sys Medicine [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Jul 25];7:66-9. Available from: https://www.joinsysmed.com/text.asp?2019/7/2/66/271419

Vidya Naam Narasya Kirtirtula Bhagyakshay Chashrayo Dhenu: Kamadudha Ratishcha Virhe Netran II Satkarayatanam Kulasya Mahima Ratna Tarvina Bhushanam Tasmadnyamupekshya sarvishvayam vidyadhikram kuru II

Vidya (the essence of wisdom) is the measure of delighted fame, if the destiny is shattered it acts as Kamdhenu (the godly cow providing everything) to sustain it, even in the case of diversion it gives us pleasant feeling, it is the special third eye (intuitive power), paves the way for felicitation, it is jewelry without jewel, hence Vidya should be priority has the prime importance and all other things are ignorant

Education is an important facet of human life which brings long lasting change in ones behavior, thinking and thus ability.[1]

The core purpose of education is to bring desired change in behavior of an individual. In India during Vedic civilization, education system was well organized, focused and practical oriented with blend of morals, ethics and values. It was offered in serene nature in all domains of learning, namely cognitive,assertive and psycho-motor.

Ancient seers used many terms to apprehend the concept of education such as Adhyayan (Study), Gyanarjan (gaining knowledge), Shiksha (education), Abhyasa (repeated practice), Prama (Reality), Vigyan (science), and Atmagyan (knowing self). According to Upanishads, Gyan is only Bramha (The Reality, Brahman, which is free from all evil, which is pure consciousness-Bliss, which is the substratum of this illusory world, that I am.) and nothing else, all other things are just Maya or illusion or cowardness.[2]

This shows the level of cognition of seers of yesteryears. The wisdom of nitya Iti gyan is worth understanding. The real knowledge is that which is eternal and ultimate and hence Shashwata. This domain of invisible world is still absurd and needs introspection and scrutiny.

As depicted earlier, the formal education is given immense importance but the way it is offered is really a thing to be explored upon. There are different education systems or boards universities or institutes, which offer different types of education in India, may it be formal or professional. The real zest is to see the effect of it. If one develops lateral vision to see a concept and based on it if innovative things are created, it is education in real sense. Our seers developed the concept of Panchakarma (penta bio purificatory measures) based on their observation in nature and not inside a classroom. Thus the approach should be thought oriented, practical, innovative, intuitive, natural, economically viable and Eco-friendly.

Professorial education includes a specialized program wherein skills, attitudes, behavior of the health care service provider is enriched so as to provide best available services to the society.[3]

When we look at the system of imparting education in ancient time, it was the Gurukula (residential education in an Ashram) education in which anyone who wishes to study was sent to Guru (teacher) Ashram (residential school). Guru use to examine Ahishya through different modes (Pariksha) and upon its suitability his admission was confirmed. The school used to offer all modes of education to ensure that the student gains scientific, philosophical, spiritual, social, moral, ethical, behavioral, psychological, emotional, defensive, and practical education, which converts tender mind into a matured one. In the ashram all types of education was given viz languages, philosophy, spirituality, morality, ethics, values, warrior ship etc.

In ancient era, India had been a center of higher education in the field of science, philosophy, spirituality, linguistic, cultural studies, arts and professional studies such as Ayurveda, agricultural sciences, and so on. These courses were extremely popular all over Eastern and Middle Eastern part of the world. Some of the other subjects such as Indian dance forms, martial arts, Ayurveda, astrology, arts, and music used to be imparted to Indian and foreign students. The universities such as Nalanda, Takshashila, and Vikramshila were rated as one of the finest educational institutes of yesteryears in the world.[4]

The interest of the candidate was very candidly observed by the Guru (teacher), and a higher education was then offered to him. This system used to develop a cordial relationship among Guru and Shishya rather than formal. Thus, it resulted in blossoming of flower from bud to its full potential so as to offer world yet another humane.

The classes were held in the early morning when the tridoshas (principle physiological units of the body) are in the balance state and satva (knowledge) at its peak. The Mahaguna (satva, raja [activator] and tama [retardation]) are considered as attributes of manas doshas, which is an important factor for gaining knowledge.

The students were offered ample of practical training from nature to cite examples––the concept of Penta Bio Purificatory Measures (Panchakarma) was learned from nature, Elephant on developing arthritic pain in the knee joint used to rub his leg against stem of big tree to such an extent that the bleeding occurs this procedure was later modified as Raktamokshan (bloodletting), similarly hans (goose bird) use its beak to push waster through his anus developed the concept of basti (medicated enema). These and much more evidence shows the scrutiny power of our Acharya. To learn surgical procedures, Yogya is a dedicated chapter where students were taught various surgical procedures on fruits, vegetables, and tendrils, so as to get hands on training. At the end of each chapter, a value-based ethical, moral code was taught so as to convert him into a good person, which in technical term is hita ayu (whose presence is of great help to others). The features are described in the literature as follows.

Acharya have given methodology for examination of Shashtra (science), even to get better exposure the students were taught by different methods.

India was ruled by diverse reign from time to time; hence, the system of education also changed its contour and practice. This led to implementation of Modern Education System that presently exists. The present Indian education system is a cumulative corporation of different origins that came from entire world. Hence, the original value-based education system, such as “Gurukul,” had lost its existence. If the present status of Indian education system is compared with the developed countries of the world, one would find the scope and need for the improvements.

The survey of Times Higher Education avers that the top Indian universities do not find a place even in the first 250 top universities in the world. This has become an astounding fact and a big fret for India. The ranking of autonomous institutes such as IITs, IIMs, Central, and old Universities ranks less than 300 in the world. The question of Ayurveda institutes in world ranking is a million dollar question. This implies that our education system, methods, and process of supremacy have declined over the time, which were well developed in the past.[5]

The basic education system in Ayurveda has some lacunae, as the foundation of the technical education has always been to understand the theory and performing practical or laboratory class properly to learn the theory pragmatically. Majority of our colleges lack imbibing the potential higher degree students in practical aspect, which in turn de-motivate the students for research at higher level of education. Moreover, the kind of education system we have, emphasis is given on memory-based examination systems. Lack of basic infrastructure for research, improper process of disbursement of government funds, unnecessarily very high number of tracking and governing bodies, state governments has hampered the natural blossom of young minds for professional advancement. The fact that, our education system as a whole have not been refrained from corruption, be it the bureaucrats or the middle level government officials. The corruption on all levels gives way to malpractice among the education providers and the seekers as well. Another important point is the employability after education in India. As the practical aspect of curricula has been minimal, the employability of the degree and diploma holders decreases. Thus, in many occasions professional education has become the last resort for the students who fail to secure better jobs after undergraduate level. Although the budget allocation for research and development has been quite sizable, the same looks meager with respect to other developed countries. Therefore, it is high time for the government to rethink and make some major amendments in the education policies of Ayurveda, organize the private sector in education, and streamline the Ayurveda education processes. The major emphasis must be given to the development of Ayurveda institute as world class industry of wellness. It should make symbiotic relationship with modern medicine and develop an integrated protocol of learning par excellence. The curriculum should be aliened in tune with finest medical universities of the world. There is a need of integration at all levels especially in research. The increasing number of pop-ups of institutions has maligned the quality of technocrats passing out from various universities. Due to unstructured education policies, especially in postgraduate education and research field, the teachers are compelled to do research work irrespective of their interests, which resulted in poor quality of research and basic teaching is being impaired.

In the age of information technology, video conferencing, education site, online libraries, and so on, the concepts of virtual classes are becoming popular day by day. The conventional chalk and talk teaching methods are equally important for face-to-face contact between students and the teacher. Hence, blended learning and teaching may be a good choice in India, where we lack adequate laboratory, reference books, journals, and research facilities for higher technical education. The government should allocate more funds for the enhancement and development of postgraduate and higher professional education in India. The unnecessary number of monitoring and other certification bodies should be decreased. The policy makers must think about the introducing Ayurveda as a means of health and fitness at school-level education and prepare the curricula practical oriented to nurture the young minds. This in turn will generate the interest among students to take up higher education and research in future in Ayurveda. This in turn will arouse special interest in India and thus world.[6]

The method was to learn the pada (word) by chanting repeatedly, understanding its meaning to its full length, and then interpreting it properly before its practical application. Thus, learning was exceptionally realistic and innovative. Ayurveda is unfortunately losing its importance due to lack of evidence, which can be created by doing fundamental research and publishing it in index journal. This can be achieved through integrated work. Another aspect is lack of comprehension of Sanskrit language; it has hence created havoc among different scholar.

Hence it is recommended that Samhita-based education to be adopted by the apex council at every level of education in Ayurveda. The Samhita-based teaching will make student to think pada in terms of Ayurveda and due to root analysis of dhatu (verb) exact meaning of the word can be comprehended. This will help us to understand the exact view of Acharya; this however is diluted if we simply translate the term.

To cite an example, the word dosha means the one which is vitiated, deviated [Dushyanti Iti Dosha and Dharayanti Iti Dhatu] but actually the meaning is, in balance state it is dhatu and in imbalance state it is dosha. Similarly, Pankaj is name for lay person but for Sanskrit scholar it is lotus; thus, the sense of perception changes if you critically examine the etymology.

But in present world this type of teaching is not available and therefore the sensitivity of shloka (verses) is reduced to mere by hearting the shloka. Moreover, as the students are coming from contemporary sciences the concepts must be taught in such a way that the students can visualize the difference and the depth of the subject, integration is essential, keeping it in mind that it does not become the adulteration.

Introduction of Samhita is very important and hence one class for shloka pathan daily in the morning should be made compulsory. The curriculum should be modified according to need and orientation of Ayurveda fundamental teaching should be more applied and practical. Introduction of bruhatrayee should be made compulsory and it should run from first to final-year study of UG curriculum.

The subjects such as Padarth Vigyan should be taught through Drushtant/laboratories and not just through books. Early clinical exposure is a good concept to be made compulsory. The time duration of the course must be of 18 months rather than 12 months as it is really difficult to complete the syllabus for the first-year students. Undue repetition of the matter should be avoided. More practical hours should be introduced in all most all subjects. Shortening of time will not create problem but also will result in confusion and unnecessary stress.

With regard to herbal garden and herbs, only available herbs are to be taught at length rather than rare, controversial, and extinct. The students should be encouraged to learn the art of conservation. Similarly, Rasa and Bhaishajyya kalpana should be taught in the most practical way as the world is looking toward Ayurveda from different perspective. The speculation that herbal medicines contain heavy metals, which may affect kidneys, has compelled European Union to impose ban on Ayurveda medicines. All this happens because of improper preparation of medicines. The lack of scientific attitude is the most important reason. Thus, even though the procedure is cumbersome the rationality is unquestionable.

Shloka pathan should be done for Bruhattrayee and Madhav Nidana and Sharangdhar Samhita. This will enthuse a sense of understanding, belief, and a natural attraction toward Ayurveda concepts. Small research projects should be given to each student and clinical case log for internee so as to imbibe confidence. It is our duty to ensure that all students should engage themselves in Ayurveda practice only after their exit and hence exposure should be broadened. All subjects should be reviewed periodically so that one gets latest knowledge. Sanskrit should be taught in most practical way rather than subject. It is advisable to introduce Sanskrit-speaking culture in Ayurveda as a medium of communication apart from local or regional languages.

Ayurveda hospital services need to be more realistic and any unnecessary requirements should not be imposed quality should not be diluted. Astringent measures should be taken to ensure sufficient quality, variety, and ample exposure to all students.[8]

A subject of holistic health care and AYUSH therapies introduction should also be added to the existing curriculum. This in turn will create a sense of integration among all faculties. Curriculum should ensure full-fledged development of students and faculties also as rightly asserted in upanishada Viz, May all be protected, nourished, be possessed with sharpened intellect by effective study, without any animosity between people, but only with peace in self, in nature and in the divine forces.[7]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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