Dr. Rajeshree Chitre
Authentic documentation is one of the important means of gaining knowledge. It is that type of perception of knowledge, where the science explained in the texts is accepted as Pramaan`a. And Pramaan`a as we have already seen is the right means of the cognition of the truth.
We can understand it in terms of the equation E=mc2 explained by Einstein and which is universally accepted. We do not go on proving it or testing it again and again because it has already been done. The physiology explained by Guyton or the anatomy explained by Gray is universally accepted. In the same manner in Ayurveda the textual quotations from Charaka, Sus`hruta and Vaagbhat`a etc. are means of cognition of the truth. They have collected their knowledge by rigorous studies and passed it on to us for the gain of mankind. The principles or drugs explained by them are accepted by all Ayurvedic physicians and are slowly but surely being universally accepted after being put through clinical research trials.
The text of science is refined and described by such scholars who have the balanced tendency not to favor or to go against, due to capability developed, any body. Temporary favor or disfavoring moods never dominate in their minds, (Rajas, Tamas). Hence they support only the knowledge for the welfare of all. They can cognize everything of all the past the future and the present. These scholars are true and honorable and specially know best due their efforts of successful penance and strongdesire of welfare of mankind; and no favor to non-worthy. The words of these scholars should be considered as the ultimate truth.
Also due to the above qualities we can realize that the research presented by commercial firms usually have vested interest in presenting their research. They ensure that the benefits remain with them and not the public
The Aapta scientist advises in such a manner where the follower is definitely benefited and the preacher or adviser is not benefited. When Charaka says green gram is beneficial more than the rest of the grams, he does not owe any manufacturing/trading in green grams. But he is keen on helping others in having a better life.
In fact, Charakaachaarya advises that the follower should first go through all possible available works, Dnyaanasamudaaya, and after gaining knowledge, he should try to see it by means of direct perception and draw inferences accordingly and treat the patients. Aaptopdes`ha is the specialty of the oriental development of the corpus of knowledge.
Ayurveda has also maintained that one should examine the science S`haastra on the following criteria
- One that is chosen for study by successful and respected dignitaries in the society.
- Sufficiently comprehensive in canvas.
- Honorably respected by members who deserve to be regarded as Aapta
- Which can be understood by intelligent average and less than average student
- Without repetition of in statements
- Propagated initially by the Rishi_s
- Appropriately arranged with texts, commentaries and compilation for study
- The actual test should have interest creating verbatim
- Should be self with self-support and reason
- Words of the texts should be easy to pronounce and verifiable
- Must have proper sequence of topic and chapters
- With decisive conclusions and guidelines for followers
- The theme meaning should not clash in different chapters
- Easy intellectually stimulating
- With definitions and examples.
S`haastra is therefore a dynamically processed and evolving corpus of knowledge. The Orientals have started efforts quite ahead of others. They have reached a stage where more modifications in postulates or inferences extended to them were not necessary. But one should note that this stage has come after thousands of years of pursuit of knowledge.
As the tradition of documentation was very rich due to a rigorous academic timber, all who contributed, the later generations have the first choice to procure knowledge in the form of finding authentic documents. This referring saved ample duplication of effort and time. Therefore thought, self, direct examination and inferences were elaborately dealt with as a means of cognition; the measure of documents was also equal or a superior means of cognition. In self-direct perception or inference the efforts of only one scientist was required. But in documents it was the synoptic report of centuries and generation efforts by high grade, dedicated, non-biased, yoga enhanced authorities in the field. So the quotation for references from authentic documents found first place in the pursuit of knowledge. These documents were made of very concise nature where only the last conclusion and advice extended on that conclusion was verbally and with the help of manuscripts carried further. The details were ignored for, considering the size somewhere this might lead to fumbling in the perception of the principle by some who might conceive it wrongly and who were not well trained to cognize it.
For those, well trained to cognize the documents or S`haastra_s i.e. science passed on through so many centuries, were advised that knowledge pursuits should start with Aaptavachana. Aaptavachana gave the knowledge about the elusive factors of the disease i.e. the type of disease, the Dosha responsible for the disease, the pattern of aggravations of the disease, the patterns of pain, the patterns of relapse of the disease etc. After accumulating this knowledge one should continue the pursuit of knowledge by direct perception and inference if possible and necessary.
The means of cognition is S`habda. The health science to be utilized should be examined according to its merits and used according to its context of practice.
The compendia form the nucleus material. They have improved in corpus and branches as more reliable knowledge was available, the subsequent authors kept the authorship undisturbed because the main theme was respected. So the compendia though modified to the required extent by contribution enjoys the continuity of name, Charaka, Sus`hruta, Kaas`hyapa etc.
The method of expression of the compendia was too compact and due to essentials of poetic construction the arrangements of the plain sentences were also changed. Hence the original text was commented on for elaboration. These commentaries help a lot in decoding the most compact texts.
The documents constructed by refining the available knowledge of the earlier generations efforts by using their means of cognition are:
- Time material, and efforts saver as the earlier generation is essentially a well wisher of the subsequent generation
- The capacity of every new generation is less in tender age, as compared to the full-grown stage.
- In all beings, there is an inherent instinct of following the elders, and looking to the recorded, refined, narration is first step for further study. The effort to document have been initiated much earlier in the east, the referring to documents is the first means to acquire knowledge about anything
Dr. Rajashree Chitre
Lecturer – Ayurved College Wagholi, Pune.
Last updated on February 9th, 2021 at 07:28 am