When I Stepped Right On The CrossRoad Of Ayurveda

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.

13 thoughts on “When I Stepped Right On The CrossRoad Of Ayurveda”

  1. Laughing with people is cheap.
    Perhaps this person is itself a heavily to hide or lack an inferiority complex hidden behind mockery and laughter! Or his pride is so high that he would feel offended if you’re not idolized his ego (AVIDYA). If your message is useful even for one person among the thousands of still is it a favour for humanity.
    Said Krisna not thousands feel called but there is only one among these thousands of someone who understands me and terfore I teaching people in wat I know. I can only acknowledge your efforts.
    Namasteji

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  2. The kind of work which you are doing, no one else in the world is doing. I have referred many of my students and acquaintances to your blog, which is a phenomenal collection of health tips and medicinal resources. Some of my students are in touch with you as well, for their healthy recovery from the disease.

    To be frank with you, when I had such similar incidents in my life, I used to think that, “let the whole world stand on the other side; I will stand on this side, and keep doing whatever seems to be right according to my conscience”. After all, there are not enough people in this world who think beyond their generation. EGO=Edging God Out.

    “Time will tell” is absolutely right. When great ones were alive, and when they did great work, the normal people ridiculed them and troubled them. The books written by those great ones were later being preserved and studied, after those great ones passed away. Hence, don’t worry much about the trivialities, and keep doing the great work which you have been doing till now. We are with you.

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  3. I can feel you, having been working in Singapore, I also come across a similar kind of passive criticism and mocking by certain senior ayurveda doctors online, who do no even know me personally. it just goes to show they don’t have what you have and therefore, attack others o satisfy their own insecurities.You are doing great work, very inspiring.

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  4. i was surprised and intrigued by this recent post. i often refer to your site and your fine book to spark my thoughts into an ayurvedic mindset. i am a yoga teacher of over 15 years and a student of ayurveda, dr frawley, for quite a few. the world is now ‘online’ whether we like it or not. to be online is to spread ayurvedic knowledge and thus maintain its heritage and heal the world. assuming correct training and right intention is present. when i react to something i like to strip it back and look at the energetics of that incident and it often becomes clear. we all have heard attack is the best form of defence…..well i think you saw it in action. i find ayurveda so complex, and i am wholly interested and invested in it, that you do a fantastic service in making it manageable and bite sized for the modern busy person to inroduce and change small things in thier lives that result in bigger benefits. thank you for your work. kind regards, leza

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  5. Resp sir,

    We are constantly amazed by the good work and awareness that you are spreading. You are a sincere, competent man of the modern times who deserves a rightful place in society. You have simplified Ayurveda and made it accessible to one and all. This is a great public service for which the least you deserve is a public podium that establishes your credentials as an intellectual. And that is what the organisers of the said lecture meet have correctly believed.

    As for these hypocrites that do lip service, they are there only to gain petty positions and ranks of honour. They have come up in their career by touching feet and licking the sandals. Please try and ignore them. With time you will realise that their numbers are dwindling. Awareness is spreading so fast, thanks to people like you that charlatans and hypocrites will be simply washed away. Therefore, please continue to do the good work without bothering about such people. Your continuation of the lecture in the face of obviously derogatory remarks in public is a testimony of your strength. It happened with Swami Vivekananda in his early days in America.

    Sir, it is obvious that you are hurt with this incident, but there is no need to make a display of the same in a public forum like this. Nor is it necessary to get defensive about anything. It will only make these rascals stronger. Please remember that your work will stand-up in the light of its own merit. No need to add an emotional pitch or an advertorial.

    If possible kindly withdraw your article silently (My personal feeling, that is all).

    warm regards

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  6. I don’t subscribe to the line of thought where you’d use one article to avenge on your hurt ego. Firstly, we don’t know whether that person was indeed right or wrong (since you yourself seem unclear on that).

    Secondly, blaming the whole old generation and becoming a champion of the new generation is also incorrect. I am from the “current generation” and I still bow down to my elders for the knowledge they had shared with me. So clearly, you or me or anyone else is not representing the whole generation.

    Thirdly, If you are writing about ancient texts, you must also realize that respect is not just a function of actions. It’s a deep interplay of our actions, words and thoughts. If I think negatively about someone and still bow down, is that respect? NO. If I think very nice about someone but use the worst words, is that respect? NO … So, I hope you realize that claiming to respect someone just by actions alone could be an incomplete definition of respect.

    Ayurveda should teach us not just medicinal values of herbs and healing potential of human body, it should also make us forgive the world more easily. Clearly, you have not forgiven the person and hence maybe that person was right in some regards, something which you had dismissed. Wish you the best and I hope you continue to improve yourself, instead of writing your grudges.

    Reply

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