No special apology is necessary for the publication of a book of this kind. The vast medical literature of Ancient India practically remains as yet unexplored. Any undertaking which has the object of making that "Terra Incognita"known to the modern scientific world is bound to be welcomed by the public, and we sincerely hope the work we have undertaken will supply a longfelt want, and help to start a fuller inquiry into the subject of "Mother and child Welfare" of Ancient India. Many institutions have been already started in foreign countries, wit the sole object of studying Aaayueveda, and our compilation, we hope, embracing as it does the results of researches made by our Ancient " Maharshis" in the land of their origin may contribute no small amount of useful information to those bodies.
A few remarks on the method we have adopted in compiling and editing this book are necessary by way of explanation. Influenced as we are with western education and western methods of research, we have deliberately limited ourselves to gathering up the written word from Aayurvedic Literature, and have tried to curb at all times the tendency to look behind the meaning of that written word, and discover ideas which were never meant to be there, whether these be in conformity with or against the views of modern Medicine. The subject matter dealt in the present volume is divided into parts. The first part is primarily the theoretical aspect of the real ground work on which the entire fabric of the science of pediatrics is built. The second part entirely deals with treatment or the steps to be taken to alleviate the suffering. Despite the varying circumstances of social and personal life, deep down in the human individual, the impulses of life remain the same now as thousands of years back. Hence in spite of newer forms of life and expression, his dominant nature has to be understood and evaluated in terms that hold good for all time.
We are to-day at a turning point in human history and every step forward must be determined after a full appraisement of the forces of the past as well as of the present. It is with this ardent desire to help us at this critical moment to advance and progress in the right direction and to obviate the risk of error and trails that this "Light", from the hoary past is compiled, translated and unveiled. This knowledge has a living continuity of study and practice in India, for more than a thousand years and amidst more than a fifth of the human race and in a land which has always been the meeting place of all countries and colors of west and east, and which has assimilated the best of wisdom from all sources.
Besides there are other vital reasons and circumstances that have been responsible for bringing out and shaping the present work "Mother and Child Welfare"- Kaumaara bhritya of Aayurveda. The dynamics of social progress in a vast field comprising the ethical, economic, hygienic and sanitary well being of the Nation. Leaving religion and economics apart, medicine is the largest factor that ensures the proper safeguarding of the social well being.
From the jacket
1 -Throughout his life and career Dr. Achanta Lakshmipati Garu (1880- 1961) made all efforts to revive and instill amongst Indians the eternal principles of good health and mental poise so elegantly put forth by Ayurveda (Refer Autobiography of Bhishag Ratna Dr. Achanta Lakshmipathi, Telugu and English editions published by the Arogya Ashrama Samiti) and this book Mother and child Welfare is a part of his great contribution to the spread of Ayurvedic Sciences, a Science of Eternal Values.
2- For the Propagation and development of Ayurveda and for its acceptance and recognition by the Government, Dr. A. Lakshmipathi Garu became a Crusader and fought a relentless battle. By his efforts and achievements he adorned the pedestal of All India Leadership.
From the beginning of this century, for almost seventy years without any rest. Dr. Achanta Lakshmipathi has played a primary role in rejuvenating the 'Be all and End all' of his life was the revival of Ayurveda.
3- Amongst those whose goal was the revival of Ayurveda and who dedicated their lives. Towards this cause, Dr. Achanta Lakshmipathi stands foremost. His services to the Telugu language and to the Andhra Medical World are incomparable. As a BISHAG RATNA (Jewel amongst Doctors) by percept and example he led an exemplary life upto his last breath a great soul who did his best to distance physical and psychological diseases from the people (KULAPATI). He was at once, a great scientist, a leader amongst medical men, a social reformer and a very compassionate human being.
4- Rarely in a generation can come across a person like Dr. Lakshmipathi in whom, patriotism, love humanity, and great reatability had all come togetner. This was a man most selfless, soft hearted, very humble and who led a very simple life. When one thinks of him, one is filled with only pleasant thoughts of him.
These studies reveal to us a glimpse of the pristine glory of India in the field of medicine. Europe and more recently America have taken a lead in medical discoveries and some of the observations in the book may appear out moded in the light of present day biology. But it should be remembered that these observations were made more than a thousand years ago. whereas modern medicine is just about three centuries old. It was Ballantye in Scotland who in the second half of last century first recognised the importance of ante-natal care and rest of Britain followed the lead, but here is a treatise centuries old where the .ninute and lucid delineations about the mother and child evoke one's admiration.
Recognition of pre-natal care and antenatal care IS considered one of the advances of the century and in this book there is even a wider view, by emphasising the importance of heredity, parental influences and environmental factors in determining the future health of the child.
The chapters on breast-feeding arc particularly note- worthy. They are exhaustive with such minute details as are hardly found in many a modern book on this subject. The authors have laid as under a deep debt of gratitude by their assiduous labour and what is more by giving the original texts in Sanskrit side by side with their translations. It is pleasing to note that similar views on this subject in the words of Dr. Hutchison one of the foremost pediatricians of our times, are also published for comparative study.
"Yours is not a Nation yet" said the angelic Rev. J. P. Ashton M. A., of the L. M. S. College, Bhawanipur in 1873, in answer to a question of Logic, when one unwisely described our people as a "Nation". "If you were a Nation, you would have your own army, your navy, your parliament, your king, your arts and sciences and would not allow foreigners to come and govern India."
What prevents Indians to become a 'Nation'? Medical practice. For more than two-thirds of my life among poor Indians has convinced me that if Indians are ever to become a 'Nation' they must be healthy at first. It is impossible for a people with tottering vitality, to compete in trade and commerce with the first-class powers of the world as for a dwarf to fight a giant.
The nation-builders of India, the Aryan settlers brought with them their science the art of health and longevity; 'Aayurveda'
We find the following quotation in Sushruta :-
"We have not heard of a holier discourse than the medical science on account of the eternal and imperishable character of the "Aayurveda", fromits tested merit and its beneficial effects upon the created beings and science it is always worshipped by the whole human race, for the fact of its fully explaining the import of words (i.e., delineation of its specific subjects). Whoever stores up into his memory and acts up to these Sacred and worshipful injunctions on the science of life (Aayurveda), propounded by the nector-origined sage (Dhanvantari), the preceptor of all physicians and equal to "Celestial Indra" in respect of majesty. enjoys happiness both in this world and the next.’’a
The enthusiasm of these writers, the deep erudition as displayed in their writings, the acuteness of their observation, the precision or their diagnosis and their efficacious prescriptions are striking proofs of their genius. With what minuteness did they describe the symptoms or discase ! How carefully they collected drugs! How cautiously they made their therapeutic preparations:
And thus while the outside world was yet steeped in cimmerian darkness, India laid foundation of a great system of Medicine Preventive and Curative. Had har progress not been arrested she might have, 'by this time been the foremost teacher of the lessons of curing disease and attaining health and longevity.
And What is our position now? Aayurveda has been tested in the fire of practical efficacy and therapeutic value of its recipes now stand above all suspicion. Like the chastity of the divine Seetha Maha Devi, She has shown to all who have eyes to see that the sages of Ancient India laid the foundation of adamantine structure, which as it was nearing completion was suddenly swept away by the successive hurricanes of Invasions.
The whirlwind of the dark ages which has thrown us so much back, has done us one good at least. Like the thick layer of good earth and/ manure which a river leaves, when she recedes after.a heavy flood, the dark ages have left back an intellectual manure to the people. It will be good husbandry to cultivate this soil for producing a crop of intellectual giants who will make modern medical science which is still in its infancy, more complete, and be the teachers of the world.
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