Ways To Improve Knowledge, Intelligence As Per Sushruta

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa, BAMS
We are all gifted with a particular measure of intelligence and certain range of brain functions. These vary from person to person. Some may be created with highest qualities and many may have moderate to less proportions of these qualities. 

We are in constant quest of enhancing these functions. This syndrome is found in parents who are anxious to know if the basic intelligence and brain capacity of their child can be enhanced to unconquerable proportions. They keep visiting doctors in seek of a solution for this, especially if they happen to discover their child not giving a good performance at studies, bad at memory or not sticking to their norms and charts.

There are many things which enhance intelligence and brain functions including medicines, diet, exercise, Yoga, meditation and lot more. But nothing is better than continuously training, trimming and updating the brain and existing intelligence. This keeps the brain and brain functions enhanced to optimum levels (as per ones capacity) and activated.

It is interesting to note that Ayurveda had identified such natural brain remedies which constantly train the brain and keep the mechanism of intelligence, memory and thought processes healthy and intact even with ageing process in the going. One could find such reference in Sushruta Samhita treatise in the context of Achara Rasayana in the name of ‘Buddhi-Medha Vardhaka Gana’ i.e. Factors influencing and enhancing the brain functions and capacity.

Buddhi Medha Vardhaka Gana

Below mentioned are the natural measures of enhancing Buddhi and Medha i.e. intellect and brain functions.
सतताध्ययनं वादः परतन्त्रावलोकनम् |
तद्विद्याचार्यसेवा बुद्धिमेधाकरो गणः ||२७||

Satata adhyayanam vaadaha para tantra avalokanam
Tad vidyaa aachaarya sevaa cha buddhi medhaa karo gunaaha (Ref – Sushruta Chikitsa 28/27) 

Satata Adhyayana

Satata Adhyayana – Constant study, practice, updating and upgrading knowledge
One would definitely agree that constant study, practice and revision are needed for upgrading ones knowledge and intelligence. It is the best food for the brain.

This aspect is not only important for students but for everyone seeking to learn something or the other and master that subject. This rule is applicable in all fronts of life, in all activities we do.
Read related: My Child’s Intelligence Is Decreasing. 9 Tips To Improve

Constant studying and revision would make understanding easy and one would surely master over the subject. This also enables one to derive new thoughts and hypothesis related to that subject. Every new reading would ignite a new idea and every new idea will lead to probing deep into the subject and that in turn leads to quest of learning new things and mastering over every aspect of the concerned subject.

Satata Adhyayana includes –

  • Constant reading – includes related subjects, adjoined subjects
  • Revisions
  • Theorotical and practical exposure and approach on constant basis
  • Analytical reading
  • Making protocol and timetable of reading, dividing and distributing equal time for subjects and projects
  • Reading newspapers and journals
  • Watching television
  • Browsing internet
  • Read related: How to Improve Brain Speed and Memory Space? 25 Sure Shot Tips


Vada – Discussions, arguments, debates, interactions
This is another effective tool for learning and enhancing intelligence and brain capacity. When one is indulged in discussions or arguments or debates or interactions of any sorts, the reasoning power is ignited. The reasoning will give origin to stream of ideas from the resourceful think-tank of an individual.

Regular participation in these events will keep the brain functions activated. The research process will be in continuity. The mind will be on high alert and ever-active and ever-motivated. This will also give an opportunity to meet different minds and intellects under one roof, sharing knowledge.
Read related: Do you concentrate on improving concentration? 14 Easy Techniques

Vada includes –

  • Discussions, group discussions
  • Debates
  • Arguments
  • Interactions
  • Group studies
  • Conferences
  • Workshops
  • Symposiums
  • Sharing knowledge and discussions on social sites, Whatsapp, facebook groups, twitter, hangouts etc

Para Tantra Avalokanam

Para Tantra Avalokanam – Appreciation of other sciences and theories, accepting, endorsing and inculcating cross and additional references

Study or updating knowledge and fortifying it includes getting indulged in multiple references, may be in the form of many allied books or getting the opinions of the scholars and masters of the same science or subject in discussion.

It is highly important that we appreciate parallel and allied sciences which fall into the vicinity of our science. Ayurveda had always been open-minded to accept the contemporary theories and sciences and implicate them into its science. Example, Ayurveda has accepted some basics of Darshanas etc and has given the reference of those sciences in the discussion of certain related chapters.

Even in Ancient Indian History, we can find references of Ayurveda being carried to distant countries by visitors and invaders. Ayurveda has thus influenced the origin of many medical sciences. This is nothing but Paratantra Avalokana. The history has just continued and bettered.

Today, take it Ayurveda or any other science, one part of the science is influenced by other science, one part of geography is influenced by other part and there is lot of ‘give and take’ mechanism in sharing of knowledge. Some research which has been undertaken in some country was completed somewhere else. Some experiment has influenced similar such experiment by another group, in another part of the globe. We have copied and pasted many things from each other into our lives and have bettered with passing generations and evolution, including the way of living and ‘living better’.

Thus Paratantra Avalokana plays a major part in upgrading knowledge, increasing and fortifying our knowledge, researching things and giving good things for the future generations to make ‘best out of good’.

Paratantra Avalokana includes –

  • Appreciation of other (contemporary) sciences and theories
  • Accepting, endorsing and inculcating the best essence of other allied sciences and ‘references of knowledge’ into our science and fortify the knowledge
  • Cross References
  • Additional references
  • Comparative study
  • Research works
  • Library references
  • Internet browsing
  • Taking references from other researches, blogs etc

Tad Vidya Acharya Seva

Tad Vidya Acharya Seva – Serving, respecting, admiring and following resourceful teachers and scholars of related field

Those were the times of Gurukuls (they exist even now) when Ayurveda was propounded and propagated. Students, immaterial of caste, creed, religion or socio-economic status had to stay at Gurukul, abode of the teacher (isolated from towns and cities and all riches) and learn under his guidance until they were declared graduated to make an exit as educated individuals.

Being in the proximity of teachers and serving them paved way for extensive and comprehensive studying and learning. Following the footsteps of teacher was the method of learning from their experience.

‘Aachaarya Devo Bhava’ – i.e. Teacher is God, Teacher was considered as God and worshipped with reverence.

Tad vidya acharya seva includes –

  • Serving, respecting, admiring and following resourceful teachers and scholars of related field
  • Residential studies
  • Graduation, Post-graduation and PhD studies or any other higher studies being connected to a guide or teacher who helps us finish studies
  • Learning from resourceful persons of related field of study
  • Selecting teacher for study

Just before finishing
Intelligence and its proportions we inherit are limited to particular individuals. The brain think-tank and its performance are already programmed and nothing much can be done about it. If we need to educate our brains and stuff it with good knowledge and intelligence, we need to constantly train our higher system to do so by giving them the above said assignments. It is a matter of constant practice. It is not possible to transform a ‘sleek-brain’ into a ‘highly intellectual one’ but the surrounding environment in which an individual is brought up and the availability of promoting factors might influence the performance and enhance it. It is interesting that Ayurveda had long back mentioned 4 such natural measures of ‘brain training’ and ‘promoting and fortifying intelligence’.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

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