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Mother Nature, The Supreme Teacher

Dr. B.V.Sathye
M.Sc; Ph.D

The compendia authors of oriental sciences in general and that of Ayurvedain particular, have expressed the methods of studies. Further they have elaborated the means of achieving and consequently of accumulating the knowledge. They are somewhat distinct from those in vogue today.

Beginning of efforts for knowledge is by reading the documentations done by earlier generation

  1. Earlier generation is definitely well wisher of the progeny. They provide to the later generation experience of them, by narration or documentation.
  2. The efforts done by earlier generation to acquire the knowledge of entire surrounding need not be repeated anew by later generation.
  3. Simple and extra-talented peoples go on adding and refining the corpus of the wisdom for the benefit of learning younger ones. This is achieved by teaching the necessary skills, with cautious alert guideline for risks in random contacts with environmental entities. As the parents are definitely well wishers, the knowledge transferred by them is beneficial to the learning follower, rather than to the teacher.
  4. The initiation of life, due to yet to mature tissues and sense organs, is not capable of independent scrutiny, but follows what is seen around, for a stipulated span in every species.

The each and every learning, it is wise, should start with the reference to the documents or narrations available. Having looked through them one can start using his sense organs for awareness of newer or non- mentioned entities. Here the substances, phenomena, observed in nature and in individual are compared for the purpose of explanation of what is happening in (the inside) the body. This method saves time efforts, and inputs otherwise essential for demonstration. In nature things are exhibited consistently, and everybody can observe them constantly. The validation of the association between in-nature to that of in the body is intelligently reconfirmed many times by many curious scientists. Ayurvedicseers, therefore, thought it appropriate to give the guidelines for aspirant learners. The nature is the supreme teacher of all who are desirous to know about any thing or any one. Here by nature or technical term Loka, takes in ambit the entire environment except the studying individual. This teacher is typically friendly to those they exert their intellectual capacity to unfurl the science behind natural phenomena. It is equally enemy to those who go on with laziness, by ignorance and no desire to understand. As the documents available have nothing recorded by earlier observers, a curious should go to the supreme teacher, which is nature. Author Charaka puts it by these two ways, where as Vaagbhat`a states that in all activities (of human health-welfare) the only available worthy teacher is the nature.

From this teacher, after individual learning, the curious disciple submits his view to fellow colleagues, for refinement of his expression. These submitted expressions are of three types:

  1. Pointing the simple similarity of entity or action in nature to that of one being or taking place in the being.
  2. Submission of some essence arising out of such frequent observations, to the scholars for validation and approval/rejection by authority after full consideration of favorable and adverse remarks expressed on the submission.
  3. After sufficient scrutiny by numerous scientists, with many aspects of possible scrutiny, the all accepted refined doctrine comes to the fore, and this continues endorsement by all even though rigorous validation is done.

The initial exemplification is called Nyaaya as it leads the enhancement of corpus of knowledge. The submission to many is called Vaada as initiates multifaceted discussions, and the process of limited approval / rejection in the scientific circle. The few which find acceptance and prove repeatedly, without exception at any occasion, are named as the end-proved one; Siddhaanta

The method of getting knowledge is by:

  1. Deploying the sense organs to object proper as frequently as required for complete understanding, and
  2. By mind concentration, without attaching sense organs to the object properly. This capacity to accumulate knowledge is dependant on fruitful penance inputs by aspirant scientist. The possibility of knowledge without use of sense organs is a very distinct feature documented by oriental seers. The aspirant student needs to possess the yogic methods of acquiring knowledge.

Therefore two terms are used. Dnyaanachakshu_s use brings sense organs deployment dependant knowledge, where as Dhyaanachakshu_s use provides knowledge without contact of sense organs to the object. The corpus of knowledge so achieved is superior as compared to the earlier one. Attentive use of sense organs is possible by all, where as only mind concentration for the topic of study, and no use of sense organs; is possible only by few.

Another distinct feature of such refined texts / documents is that the advice by such seers is definitely beneficial to the follower, and there is no direct or hidden gain/interest of the preacher. When Charaka Samhitaa preaches, change your habit and wake-up one and half hours earlier to sunrise time; the follower is sure to harvest benefits of the change in habit. But by no way there is any gain/interest consideration accruing to the credit of original adviser or the present-day preacher of the centuries old advise.

Nature provides so many items of so many requirements of all beings, but there is no gain of any one. When one wishes to have more information, it is the nature that teaches and there by the entire animal kingdom is culture for survival. Therefore study of substances is started by saying, that the item is not originally initiated by any individual but, essentially by Mother Nature. So the first noted character of substances is that, they are not initiated by single individual termed technically as Anaadi. Majority of health or disease managing stimuli (substances or processes) are expressed naturally. The professional by their experience streamline the use of all. When a bone fractures, the muscles around contract maximally, comparable to the bone. The application of splints of bamboo, or of similar fiber material is the procedure just in tune of what nature has done immediately to immobilize the fragmented ends to minimize trauma / destruction of important components around. Decreasing the food is naturally initiated by natures dictation. Professionals streamline it by their experience, by distinction of type of Agni, constitution, tissues status, pregnancy / nursing status etc. There are innumerable examples to understand such point.

While studying substance it is obligatory to understand the self (natural) expression so to say Svabhaava of the material. The substances by themselves exhibit the potential utility, harmfulness to other substances, plants, animals. Naturally every thing possesses a set of properties, by learning which, professional has to use them. A quickly perishing substance can not be used for making the consumer to have long lasting tissues. Swinteblica fruit naturally exhibits non-decomposing nature, when left as it is. This specific property is observed by students in the teaching by nature. By noting this distinction, choice is made for efficacy to achieve long lasting of body-components.

There many similar examples that communicate the selection or rejection of entities. The reliable reproducibility is dependant on repetition of such observed properties, years and centuries. The term Bhaava_Svabhaava-Nityatva is the feature of constancy of properties and substance observed in nature.

Since everywhere the study of nature is useful to save many efforts, time and money; Ayurvedicseers lay emphasis on study of environment with context of beneficial and harmful. And there by make the statement that entire environment is the supreme teacher of intelligent curious aspirants of lasting knowledge.

Dr. B.V.Sathye
Sr.Scientist AyuSoft. Pune.

Last updated on February 9th, 2021 at 07:28 am

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