[Author: Dr. Prasad Gokhale, an international Ayurveda Physician and Panchakarma expert. Medical Translator for Russian,Japanese, German and Spanish. https://www.facebook.com/prasad.gokhale.988373]
One of my European friend called me recently and told that he is now living very good quality of an Ayurvedic life. This was very satisfying to hear, and took me back to the memory lane. I remembered this European friend 2 years ago- 30 years, severe complications of Anxiety disorder following road traffic accident in past. When we started discussing his health and treatment options, he didn’t understand english language. That was the first time I realised the need of expressing myself in his native European language. And that’s how everything started. Determination was strong. Indeed that was the herculean task. To my pleasant surprise, I started enjoying my work like never before. Falling in love with foreign languages and Ayurveda was the best thing happened in my life.
I had to explain him basic Ayurveda and Yoga philosophy, seasonal and daily routine principles, diet, lifestyle, few simple home remedies and most importantly taught him to live positively with spiritual and materialistic life at the same time. We worked together for 2 years. What more he is happily married now! This is purely success of Ayurveda and Yoga .
Inspired by this success and zest to spread our ancient wisdom of various holy sages who selflessly devoted their life for betterment of mankind , I started ‘Voice of Ayurved’ YouTube channel and blogging- to spread an ancient classical science of mankind in this modernised world.
Now moving to our first question in the title- What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is one of the most ancient healing and therapeutic systems ever known to mankind . Out of the 4 holy vedas (ancient texts of knowledge originated in India) Ayurveda is a part of Atharva veda. Historically Ayurveda is believed to be transitioned from heaven via Holy Gods of Heaven to Sacred Sages on Earth for benefits of mankind.
Many of us are already know that Ayurveda actually means Science of Life. At least once in your lifetime you must have heard this word- Ayurveda. Probably on the bottles of your health supplements like Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Shilajit; or in your gym, Yoga studio; in any advertisement on Television, YouTube, social media and so on. Some of you might actually have lots of ingredients in kitchen that are mentioned in Ayurveda. So knowingly or unknowingly we have assimilated Ayurveda in our life since our birth .
Now when I say the word science, it does mean that Ayurveda being science is for Everyone… Yes, you read that right! Ayurved for everyone!! Independent of gender, age, individuals living in different geographical areas in different time zones, individuals belonging to all religions and faiths etc.
Because science is always pure and universal.
In fact Ayurved is a way of life in every aspect. One of the thought goes like this: we live once, so why not bring spiritual harmony with balanced materialistic offering in this life rather than refraining from it. After all man loves to live in a society. Using ayurvedic principles of seasonal and daily routine, diets and food habits, lifestyle and behavioural habits, you will be able to live a long, happy, healthy life. Not just that, you can also establish perfect balance of mind and body. Bringing goodness of nature right in your balanced materialistic life… Yes, you read it correctly!
Now Friends, as I have told you about what is ayurveda and how we can apply ayurveda in our daily life, let’s move on towards the next question which comes in your mind. whenever you visit any ayurvedic clinic, lots of queries are raised in our mind. First of all we encounter a sign board and words written- B.A.M.S. You might have thought- what exactly does this mean? Are these Ayurvedic doctors really compatible and enough qualified for curing modern diseases?
Full form of B.A.M.S degree is Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery. It is a professional degree in medicine focused on Ayurveda. It is a full time degree course, 5 and half years duration including 1 year of rotating internship in government rural Hospitals , government Primary Health centers and hospitals affiliated to concerned colleges approved by Government .
For example , after completing my Secondary School certificate examination (S.S.C) from St. Xavier’s high school conducted by the state government and based on marks obtained in this exam, I studied Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Russian language in Vivekanand college in Kolhapur for 2 years. At the end of the course I had to pass an exam called Higher Secondary School Certificate Examination (H.S.C). From there main journey of admission to medical colleges begins. State Government conducts Common Medical Entrance Examination.
Students have to clear this entrance exam with high scores. Then Admission is given according to merit as well as preferences of the candidates. I studied B.A.M.S course in Government Affiliated Ashtang Ayurved Medical College (Pune , State: Maharashtra , Country : India). Few students prefer to study in Deemed Universities medical colleges and certain students choose Armed Forces Medical College.
What are the subjects which are taught in Medical Graduation Course (B.A.M.S) ?
The graduation course consist of 3 professional years, each of 18 months. Every year consist of ayurvedic syllabus as well as modern medical syllabus. The syllabus of this courses is uniform throughout India. Books and Syllabus for modern medicine in our course is same as that taught for M.B.B.S. (Modern Medical Science). In addition to this, we have to study ayurvedic syllabus. First professional year consists of Sanskrit language along with the subjects based on Ancient Ayurveda Texts like: Charaka samhita (Book based mainly on Therapeutic Internal Medicine), Sushrut samhita (Focused on surgical procedures), Ashtang Hruday (based on Ayurvedic basic and advanced principles, Preventive and Therapeutic seasonal and daily regimen as well as Dietary recommendations and lifestyle recommendations).
The second professional year consists of Ayurvedic and modern methods of examination of patients and diagnosis of various diseases, pathology, ayurvedic herbal plants pharmacopoeia and pharmacognosy, herbo-mineral pharmacopeia, toxicology and forensic medicine, Swasthavrutta (preventive medicine and Community Health), and practicals including pathological laboratory, field visits to pharmacy, community water purification plant etc.
Third and final professional year consists of both Ayurvedic and Modern Internal medicine, paediatrics , surgical procedures, gynaecology and obstetrics, E.N.T and ophthalmology, Panchakarma and allied procedures (Human Body Bio detoxification Procedures). In final year all practicals are performed in Respective departments inside Hospitals .
The final exam is conducted after all 3 professional years taught in 4 and half calendar years. After passing final degree examination conducted by University of health sciences, we get temporary registration for starting our 1 year Internship in Government Hospitals mentioned earlier . Finally after 5 and half long years registration is done in State and Central Council of Indian Medicine Register. B.A.M.S degree is awarded along with Permanent Registration Number and a person can start practice.
Different states in India have different policies regarding the practice of Ayurveda graduates. In my state we are allowed to practice both modern (Allopathy) as well as Ayurveda practice. But I choose to practice Ayurvedic system of medicine .
Ayurveda treats our soul, mind and body holistically. It considers individual as a whole being and establishes harmony with our natural environment. Individual who learns ayurvedic principles of life- enjoys longevity, health and best quality of life, all in all individual learns the “Way of Life”.