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Unified Dimensions of Ayurvedic Medicine

Unified Dimensions of Ayurvedic Medicine
Item Code: IHG052
Author: Dr. J.S. Tripathi
Publisher: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 817084402X
Pages: 272 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.8 inch X 5.8 inch
From the Jacket

Dr. Jyoti Shanker Tripathi is emerging as one of the shining stars in the galaxy of growing Ayurvedic scholars of the country. He has a brilliant academic career glittering with several distinctions and prizes. Dr. Tripathi got his graduate degree, BAMS, from State Ayurvedic College, Varanasi in 1989 affiliated to Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi. He completed Doctor of Medicine (Ay.) in 1993 in Kayachikitsa with specialization in Manas Roga Vijnana (Ayurvedic Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychiatry) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Kayachikitsa in 2002, both from the prestigious faculty of Ayurveda, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi under the guidance of his illustrious mentor and internationally renowned erudite scholar Prof. R.H. Singh,. He was also awarded the Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) honoris causa by the Open International University for complementary medicines (O.I.U. C.M.), Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1998 for his contributions in field of Ayurveda. He was also given “Charakashree” citation by Vishwa Ayrveda Parishad in 2007.

Dr. Tripathi is presently working as Reader in the Department of Kayachikitsa and Incharge of the Division of Manas Chikitsa in the faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and has published about 50 research papers and contributed four expert chapters in different books. He has delivered about two dozen orations, guest lectures/keynote addresses in various national and international seminars and CMEs. Being a reputed teacher and Researcher, he is also involved in guiding M.D. (Ay.) and Ph.D Scholars. He is one of the principal investigator in the Golden Triangle Research Partnership Programme, I.C.M.R., New Delhi; Peripheral co-ordinator in National Pharmaco-vigilance programme for ASU drugs and member of module and manual subcommittee of National Geriatric compaign. Besides being member of several academic organizations, Dr. Tripathi is also the secretary of Association for Ayurvedic Physicians of India (AAPI).

Back of the Book

“The Unified Dimensions of Ayurvedic Medicine” is a unique and unprecedented treatise of its kind. It gives a scientific interpretation and discussion on the principles and practice of Ayurveda in a most comprehensive way. It attempts to unify and synthesize the diverse and some of the less understood aspects of Ayurveda, giving scientific background behind, what is apparently understood as the philosophical and metaphysical concepts e.g. Shrishti Utpatti Krama (cosmogenesis), Prakriti (ultimate matter), Mahat (cosmic intelligence) etc. The subsequent part of the book discusses the formation of animate and inanimate objects, their biophysical, bio-energetic and biological aspects of functioning and relationship of these aspects to the body and mind. The functioning of the entire living system has been illustrated citing the example of the mental phenomenon of cognition and the Nootropic (cognitive enhancer) drugs. It also illustrates how the different kinds of non pharmacological therapies viz. Daiva-vyapashraya and Sattvavajaya bring about changes in mind and body of a patient through bio-energetic mechanisms. The book ends with the few important scientific studies conducted with nootropic drugs of Ayurveda in various clinical conditions, bringing the entire concept to the most practical level.

A broad outlook over the fundamentals of Ayurveda reveals that they can be classified into philosophical and metaphysical, biophysical, bio-energetic and pure biological concepts. These apparent diverse concepts lead to confusion even to a sincere pursuer of Ayurveda. The underlying scientific wisdom has been brought out in the present work with a view to unify and synthesize these dimensions into a single reality, so that they can be applied into practice of medicine..

Thus, the book has widespread utility to a range of scholars sincerely interested to understand Ayurveda. This is extremely useful for postgraduate M.D. (Ay) students especiallyin the disciplines of Kayachikitsa, Manas Roga, Basic Principles, Vikriti Vijnan, Sharir Kriya etc.


The monograph “Unified Dimensions of Ayurvedic Medicine” authored by Dr. J.S. Tripathi is based on his doctoral work conducted under my direct supervision and guidance in the Department of Kayachikitsa at Banaras Hindu University. This work is an attempt to examine and to interpretate the basic principles of Ayurveda in the light of recent developments in the field of physical and biological sciences of today. The careful interface of Ayurveda and modern science unfolds the subtle wisdom of ancients about the existence of the universe and of the life as a phenomenon. This monograph beautifully describes the nature of universe and its relation with the individual-being which is essential to understand and to apply these concepts to the practice of medicine. I congratulate the author for this out-standing contribution to the contemporary Ayurvedic Literature and wish the publication a great success.

Life, according to Ayurveda, is not merely a physical entity but is an amalgamation of metaphysical, spiritual, biophysical, bioenergetic, psychological and obviously the biological components. One will have to comprehend the body, the mind and the spirit in totality to understand the life, health and disease in a holistic manner, Thus, the life exists on various planes viz. physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual and the disease also appears on the various planes. They constantly shift from one plane to another. However, it is through the body that symptoms of diseases are reflected and hence it is the lone tangible entity. Probably, this is the reason why Ayurveda has predominantly adopted the biological approach while describing the phenomenon of health and disease.

Ayurvedists were conscious of the fact that all the planes of life are interrelated and continuously interact with each other. It is erroneous to locate the diseases in the physical body alone. Persistent diseases of the body also affect the mind, intellect and the self and the deep seated diseases of the mind, intellect and self crawl towards the body. Fear, anxiety, anger, avarices are the causes of many physical diseases. Thus, the physical body functions on the basis of vital energy and its vibrations, which is subtle. This aspect of physical existence is called as subtle aspect i.e. subtle body. The main operations connected with life emanate from this source. Self consciousness and intellect are also subtle. The feelings and emotions are again subtle and thus, the subtle section of our existence is much vast, the body is only a tool to it. The inference is that it is the subtle body that constitutes and regulates the gross body. The reactions of vital energy are at an immense speed in the subtle body and when they reach the physical levels, they seem to be stationary. Thus, the changes occur initially in the subtle body due to vibrations of the vital energy and the physical body only reports the manifested state similar to the monitor of a computer. The pathogenic causes of the different diseases are invisible and inward, mainly in the form of negative emotional and inward, mainly in the form of negative emotional states and therefore even the latest of modern equipments fail to detect them. The exterior is only the expression.

The Ayurvedic classics have comprehensively discussed the phenomenon of life, health and disease, in all their entirety with their subtle and gross relations/interactions with the environment, physical objects and cosmos on one hand and the social, interpersonal and behavioural on the other.

As the descriptions pertaining to life have been presented from different points of view and different angles, even a sincere pursuiver of Ayurveda is likely to get confused and perturbed in relating these diverse concepts and their applications. A broad outlook over these fundamental concepts reveal that they can be broadly classified into philosophical and metaphysical, biophysical, bioenergetic and pure biological concepts, ultimately leading to their practical application in the management of different diseases and promotion of the functions of psyche and soma, which have been scientifically presented in the present monograph.

For the demonstration of practical applications, Ayurvedic Medhya remedies, which are known for their nootropic and cognitive enhancing effects, have been taken as an example and the scientific studies conducted with this class of drugs have been presented in the later part of this work to bring the entire concept to a practical level.

The valuable doctrines of Ayurveda are often inter-preted by present day scholars in a conservative way, which makes them more obscure and confusing. Varying and often conflicting versions of these doctrines are often presented. A critical appraisal of these fundamental doctrines in the light of the observed facts have become taboo due to the feeling that the knowledge contained in the Samhitas are of devine origin, are perfect as such and therefore can not be modified or improved upon. Forced interpretations are made to prove that every modern discovery is either already existed in the old doctrines or they have already been anticipated. The purpose of the present work is to make a critical scientific study of Ayurvedic doctrines, their logical interpretation based on the recent developments in the field of science and to bring into the light the scientific ideas contained in outwardly looking pure philosophical and metaphysical concepts. The idea is to develop a kind of wisdom into the reader to understand the indepth realities of the life processes contained in Ayurvedic classics and to understand how the different dimensions of life are basically one and unified. Linking bonds among these diverse dimensions of life have been scientifically analyzed and interpreted, so that they may be understood in proper perspective with a vie to apply the same intelligently in the practice of medicine.

Chapter 1
Philosophical & Metaphysical
Inter-relationship-Philosophy & Medical Science 1
Comprehensive Approach to Ayurveda 2
Importance of Fundamental Principles 2
Cosmogenesis & Evolution of Matters 4
Prakrti - The Ultimate Substance 5
Doctrine of Satkaryavada i.e. Presence of Effect in Cause 6
Exact Nature of the Ultimate Cause - The Prakrti 7
Big-Bang Hypothesis - An Overview 9
Evolution of Elements 9
Gunas as Ultimate Factors of Universe 10
Nature of Cause - Ultimate Factors 10
Schematic Representation of Big - Bang Theory 11
Interaction of Infinitesimal Reals 12
Nature of Evolutes 13
Characteristic Features of Trigunas 14
Law of Conservation of Energy & Mass 16
Basic Formulae of Evolution - Differentiation in Integration 16
Evolution of Progressive State of Negative Entropy 17
Processes of the Evolution 18
-Purusa - The Stimulus for Evolution 19
-Order of Evolution 20
-Successive Evolutes During Cosmogenesis 21
Order of Succession in Evolutionary Series 23
Pancamahabhutas 24
Mahat - The First Product of Evolution 24
Ahankara - Self Sense/Ego Principle 27
Scientific Understanding of the Phenomenon of Cosmic Evolution 28
Three Layered Model of Cosmos 34
Chapter 2
Biophysical Assessment of Man and Environment
Loka (Universe) & Purusa (Individual) 39
Penta-Elemental Constitution 39
Nine Primordial Substances 40
Diversity of Substances - Permutation & Combination of Basic Elements 40
Fundamental Basis of Pancabhuta Theory 41
Coacept of Panca-pancaka-Phenomenon of Sease Perception 42
Characteristic Features of Pancabhutas 43
Pancapancikarana - The Vedanta View 45
Visualisation of Bhutas as the Constituents of Atom 47
Ultimate Constitution of Matter -
-Bhutadi - First stage 49
-Tanmatra - Second stage 49
-Bhuta Paramanu - Third stage 52
-Mahabhutas - Fourth stage 52
Fundamental Principles & Their Properties 52
Process of Formation of Tanmatras & Bhuta Paramanus 58
Parispanda - Vibration as Universal Property of Substanecs 63
Overview of the Changing Concepts of Matter & Energy 64
Electromagnatic Spectrum 66
Wave Mechanical Model of Atom 70
Chapter 3
Bio-energetic Consideration in
Indian Medicine
Bioenergy in Relation to the Concepts of Life, Health & Disease 80
Three Levels of Existing of Human Body 85
-Sthula-sarira (Gross Physical body) 85
-Karana-Sarira (Casual Body) 85
-Suksma-sarira (Subtle body/Energy body) 86
Concept of Prana 88
Mahaprana & Prana-sakti (Macrocosmic & Microcosmic Energy) 91
Specific Site of Prana - The Marmas 92
Prana - The Multidimensional Energy 93
-Pranamaya kosa (Etheric or Bioplasmic Body) 95
-Transmission of Bioenergy. 96
-Energy Distribution & Regulation 96
-Energy Network 98
-Major Pathways of Transmission 99
-Energy Registration & Transformation 99
Functions of Cakras 100
Minor Cakras (Power sub-stations) 100
Major Cakras (Power stations) 102
Prana-sakti & Citta-sakti 105
Importance of Citta (mind) in Distribution of Bioenergy 107
Five Distinct Energy Levels in Human Body 107
Relationship between Kosa & Sarira 109
Importance in Distribution of Prana - The Cause of Disease 115
Therapeutic Modalities for Bioenergy Modulation 117
Chapter 4
Human Biology in Ayurveda
The Dosas 129
Nature of Tridosas 131
Dosas as Material Substances 134
Shortcomings of Meterialistic View 136
Dosas as Biological Principles 137
Deha-prakrti (Psychosomatic Constitution) 139
Classification of Prakrti 140
Assessment of Deha Prakrti 140
Clinical Applications of Deha Prakrti 144
The Agni (Biological Fire) 145
Functional States of Agni 149
The Ama (Intermediate Product of Metabolism) 150
Role of Ama in Pathogenesis of Diseases 150
Different Dimensions of Ama 150
The Sapta Dhatus (Body Tissues) 153
Nourishment of Dhatus 154
Theories Explaining Mechanisms of Nutrition 156
-Kedari-kulya Nyaya 156
-Khale-kapota Nyaya 156
-Ksira-dadhi Nyaya 157
Process of Formation of Dhatus & Upadhatus 158
Physical Properties & Functions of Sapta Dhatus 159
Ojas (Essence of the Body-tissues) 162
Characteristics of Ojas 163
Causes of Disorders of Ojas 163
Disorder of Ojas 164
The Malas (Metabolic Waste Products) 164
Srotas (Internal Transport System) 167
Srotovaigunya (Functional Disturbance of Srotasas) 170
Chapter 5
Concept of Cognition and the Nootropics
Basic Aspects of Learning & Memory 177
Learning Paradigms 178
Classical or Respondent Conditioning 178
Instrumental or Operant Conditioning 179
Non-associative Learning 179
Biological Basis of Learning & Memory 179
Three Stages of Memory Process 181
Information Processing Theories 182
Component of Memory Process 182
Classification of Memory 184
Classification Based on Type of Information Stored 185
Structures Involved in the Neural Substrate of Memory 186
Intelligence 188
-Factor Theories 189
-Cognitive Theories 190
Measurement of Intelligence 191
The Nootropics 192
Ayurvedic Concepts of Cognitive Function 194
Cognitive Dimensions of the Manas 195
Cognition Process 196
Concept of Memory 198
Cognitive Functions & Dosas 200
-Sadhaka-pilta & Cognitive Functions 200
-Vata & Mental (Cognitive) Functions 201
-Role of Alocaka-pitta in Memory Process 201
Nootropic Effect & Medhya Drugs 202
Chapter 6
Development of a Clinical Model for
Evaluation of Nootropic Effect
Mental Status Examination (Manasa Pariksa) 213
Objective Parameters for Assessing the Eight Factors 213
Sattva-bala Pariksa (Assessment of Mental Strength) 216
Assessment of Memory Functioning 217
Psychometric Tests 217
Mini-mental State Examination - MMSE 219
The General Health Questionnaire - GHQ 221
Vocabulary Test 222
Evaluating Nootropic Effect in Ederly 222
Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) 223
Logical Memory Test (LM) 224
Digit Span Test 224
Paired Associated Learning Test (AC) 225
Visual Reproduction Text (VR) 225
Object Recall Test (ORT) 225
Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) 226
Simple Reaction Time Test 227
Actual Conduction of Trial 227
Sandoz Clinical Assessment of Geriatric Scale (SCAG) 228
Chapter 7
Evaluation of Observations of
Medhya Drags
Residual Psychoses (Avasista Unmada) 233
-Clinical Studies with Smritisagara rasa 234
Depression (Cittavasada)
-Asvagandha & Kapikacchu
-Studies Conducted with Medhya Drug Jyotismati 245
Mental Retardation (Jadata) 248
-Therapeutic Trial of Mandukaparni 249
Tension Type Headache (Vatika sirahsula) 251
-Clinical Trial of Jatamamsi 252
Ageing Cognitive Functions & Medhya Rasayana Drugs (Nootropics) 254
-Therapeutic Trial of Asvagandha & Kapikacchu in Geriatric Patients 255

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