Disclaimer: This is kind of narcissistic rant. Sorry for wasting your time.
Impressed with the work that I do, an Ayurveda group invited me for a talk on “Online Ayurveda”. I gladly accepted and went there. I am very thankful for the respect that they showed to me. People there, were very humble and I am forever thankful for them for believing in me and giving the opportunity to talk.
I was told that my talk duration is half an hour. When I went to the dais for presentation, very senior Ayurveda greats were on stage. Most senior of them was sitting almost behind the dais. All of the presenters were doing Pranams to to this senior person, before presenting. I didn’t.
I was not at my fluent best. I am not fluent in English speaking, in the first place. I usually stutter while speaking.
10 minutes into my presentation, this senior person quipped –
“Do not repeat what you have already told, finish your presentation quick.”
I continued for 5 more minutes, he quipped again.
“I had been to Moodbidri college, your previous college. They’d told me about you. I know what you are (in a very offensive sense)”
Stunned! But I continued. 2 minutes more, he quipped for the holy third time.
“Nobody seems to be interested, audience is getting bored, see, they are already clapping you away. You should end it quickly”. (one person actually did clap). I asked the audience, nearly about 80 people, were they bored? I did not hear yes or no. I continued with more stuttering and finished my great fumbled lecture.
When I came off the dais, 4 – 5 from the audience told that the speech was useful to them. But I was flustered.
Now, after 3 weeks, I have gotten over the incident. I look back at the whole episode, I realized, on that day, I was standing between the old school and new school of Ayurveda.
From 1,950 – 2,000 AD, Ayurveda course in the college, followed a highly respectful teacher-student relationship. Even now, it is very common for a BAMS student to bow down (do pranaams) to his lecturer. I find this trend more common in north India.
In the earlier decades of Ayurveda academic course development, translating and studying the Ancient Ayurveda textbooks – Charaka Samhita, Bhava Prakasha etc were given utmost importance. Back then, it was the need of the hour.
In the 21st century, the below aspects of Ayurveda are taking the center stage –
Applied aspects and dissecting the hidden knowledge from ancient text books,
Scientific validation, experimental and clinical studies
Online form of Ayurveda education
Incorporating herbs from different sciences into Ayurveda etc.
So, when this transition is going on, the old school people, when they see people like me, who are not so very respectful to academic seniors, who are into online world, who are doing unconventional ways of Ayurveda service, it is very hard for them to comprehend or acknowledge our work. They feel side-lined.
I do not consider my Ayurvedic teachers as spiritual Gurus. I do not show my respect to them by bowing down to them. I want to show respect to them through my work.
Ultimately, I rested the case in the court of my mind with this –
“The seniors did what they thought best for themselves and for Ayurveda, in their green days. Useful or useless, time will tell.
We, the current generation Ayurveda people have to do what we think is best for us and for Ayurveda. Useful or useless, time will tell.