Designations Given To Ayurvedic Doctors – Vaidya Upadhi

By Dr Raghuram Y. S.  MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B. A. M. S

According to Ayurveda, physician is first and foremost limb of 4 limbs of treatment (Chikitsa Chatushpada). Other 3 limbs are patient, medicine and caretakers.


If all these 4 limbs of treatment work in an integrated and coordinated way in a closed network, treatment would be success.
Read – 4 Basic Elements Of Ayurvedic Treatment – Charak Samhita Sutrasthan 9

Modern day doctors carry different designations according to their qualifications. In ancient times, a physician was designated on basis of qualities he adorned. 


Vaidya Upadhi – ancient designations and titles given to a physician

  1. Designations given to good and appreciable physicians

Pranabhisara Vaidya – Life savior physician

Pranabhisara means ‘one who saves life’.

Pranabhisara vaidhya is defined as ‘ physician who brings back  life which has left body of  patient and resuscitates him’.

Qualities –

  • Shaastre – involved in learning comprehensive knowledge of treatises, and preaching of Ayurveda, i. e. one who has scientific knowledge.
  • Artha vijgnane – one who has clear understanding of science
  • Pravruttau – right application of knowledge
  • Karma darshane – one who has gained thorough practical experience

Read – Sadvritta In Ayurveda – Code Of Conduct For Healthy Life

Sanskrit verse

Rajarha Bhisak – Royal Physician

Rajarha bhishak means royal physician.

Qualities –

  • Hetu gnanam – one who has knowledge of causative factors of diseases
  • Linga gnanam – knowledge of signs and symptoms (including premonitory symptoms, pathogenesis, prognosis etc) of a disease
  • Prashamana gnanam – knowledge of treatment strategies
  • Roganam apunarbhave gnanam – knowledge of prevention of diseases

Read – Nidana: Meaning, Word Derivation, Definition

Now days, we do not have concept of royal physicians. In olden days, kings used to have their personal physicians and they were selected on basis of their all round skills. In modern times, we can correlate this to family physicians.

Peeyushapani Vaidhya –

Piyushapani Vaidhya – Nectar handed physician, Physician with magical touch

When a physician is very successful, when any disease he treats gets vanished every time, he is said to be a physician with ‘good hand’, we even call him ‘lucky physician’. In olden days they used to call such awesome physicians as ‘nectar handed physicians’. These physicians were said to have nectar on their hands, and when they touch patients, they would survive and live healthy getting devoid of their diseases, just like nectar saves their lives.

Qualities –

  • Gororadheeta akhila vaidhya vidhyaa – one who has learnt entire Ayurveda by submitting himself to revered feet of his teachers
  • Piyusha pani – one who has magical touch, whomsoever he touches, patient gets relieved from diseases and gets enriched with good lifespan
  • Kushalah kriyaasu – has expertise in treating diseases, has well versed knowledge of instruments, treatments, chanting etc
  • Gata spruha – one who doesn’t have any desire
  • Dhairya dharah – one who is courageous
  • Krupaalu – one who is compassionate
  • Shuddhah – who is clean inwards and outwards

Read – Ideal Method Of Teaching Ayurveda – Dr CR Agnives


Pranacharya – Life saving physician who is equal to a teacher in status

Pranacharya is a physician who endowed with wonderful qualities resembles a teacher in all aspects.

A physician possessing below mentioned qualities should be respected and worshipped just like a teacher, because just like teacher gives life in form of education, physician cures diseases and gives life to patients.

Qualities –

  • Sheelavaan – having good character
  • Matimaan – highly intellectual
  • Yukta – having good practical experience in terms of treating diseases
  • Dwijati – one who has been born twice, second birth being that of a physician, once he has finished his training
  • Shaastra paaragaha – perfect in theoretical knowledge

Read – Personality Types And Features Based On Satva, Rajas, Tamas

Vaidya – an ideal physician

Vaidhya is one who has completed his training in theoretical and practical medical knowledge.

Quality –

Once a person completes his education in theoretical and practical aspects of medicine, he will be designated as physician and hence said to have been born for second time.

Dwija – twice born

Dwija means twice born.

Any physician is said to have born twice after becoming a physician, completion of medical training being second birth.

Qualities –

After having thoroughly learnt and practised medical subjects with dedication, one would become a physician and his mind would transform into Brahmakaya or Aarshakaaya i. e. his mind will become endowed with pure thoughts and divine virtues. This marks birth of a new individual. Person after becoming a physician is said to have born for second time, thus he is called Dwija.
Read – Mind – Qualities And Functions As Per Ayurveda

Purnakama Vaidhya

Purnakama Vaidya – physician who fulfils your wishes, life savior physician

Purna kama means fulfilling one’s wishes. Physician who helps in fulfilling wishes of patient i. e. wish of living healthily and brings back life which patient has almost lost is called purnakama vaidya. 
Read –Achara Rasayana – Behavioural Therapy For Calm Mind And Long Life

Qualities –

 Physician who trades medical services and earns for his sophistications, without any intention of curing diseases, would be rejecting heap of gold and will be embracing heap of dust.

When valuable lives of patients suffering from incurable diseases has been suddenly pulled into noose of God of Death, and is being pulled towards hell, purnakama vaidya pulls life back into patient’s body. Thus, purna kama vaidya saves and resuscitates life of patient and brings back person alive from his death bed. Thus he fulfils desire of patient to live long, to achieve his dharma i. e. righteousness and artha i. e. wealth, which are chief longings of one’s life. ‘Giving back one’s life’ is greatest deed and none can do that except a physician.

A physician who lives by principles and ethics, who believes that compassion towards patients and value you give to one’s life and saving lives is greatest deed and also practices same in his medicinal practice, is called purnakama vaidya. His birth has been said to be a blessed one and that physician is said to attain greatest happiness in his life.
Read – Easy Introduction To Ayurvedic Medicine, Types, Myths and FAQ

Ubhayagna Vaidya – Wise and Well learned physician

Ubhaya means two. Physician who has dual knowledge i. e. theoretical and practical knowledge and is well versed in both is called ubhayagna vaidya. Such a physician is suitable to be a Raja Vaidya i. e. royal physician. 

Quality –

Intelligent physician who is good at theory knowledge and also who is perfect in clinical practical knowledge and methods of intervention can alone save patient’s life and cure diseases effectively.

Simily – dual knowledge of theoretical and practical experience is compared to two wheels of a chariot. Just like chariot having two wheels having good strength and good mobility comes to good help in battlefield and helps rider to win battles, physician with two wheels of knowledge i. e. theory and practical will help patient to battle out his diseases and come out victorious with good health.

Read – Money, Ayurveda, Spirituality – How To Strike Perfect Balance?

Highly qualified and efficient physician

Bahushruta Krutayogya Vaidhya – Highly qualified and efficient physician

Bahushruta vaidhya means highly qualified physician who has learned medical science from various points of reference.

Qualities –

Physician who has not limited himself to learn only one system but has tried his best to gain knowledge from various treatises and teachers is said to be bahushruta kruta yogya vaidya. He is said to be efficient enough to practice medicine.

All essential knowledge cannot be obtained from a single medical treatise i. e. shaastra. Therefore physician compile knowledge from all available treatises and experts. If physician learns from one shastra, his learning would be partial. Therefore it is essential that a physician should be bahushruta. Only then he can become krutayogya i. e. efficient and best.

Read – Ayurveda Is Best Medical System For You – 10 Strong Reasons 

Ideal Physician

Vaidya Guna Yukta Bhishak / Jivitabhisara Vaidya – Physician having qualities of an ideal physician, Good physician

Good physicians associated with ideal qualities which all physicians should have are called vaidya guna yukta bhishak. Since they save lives, they are also called Jivitabhisara Vaidyas.

Qualities –

  • Prayoga gnana – those having practical knowledge related to administration of various types of treatments
  • Vijgnaana siddhisiddhaah – those who have good scientific knowledge of therapeutics

Physician having above said qualities gets immense success in their clinical practice and medical career. They alone can bring happiness to patients and become saviours of life. 

Poojya Vaidya

Pujya Vaidya – Physician worth worshipping

Pujya Vaidya is a physician who is worth worshipping due to his virtues. 

 Qualities –

  • Shastravid – well versed in medical knowledge achieved from various sources
  • Rakshaa – brilliant
  • Shuchih – clean and good conduct
  • Karma kovida – has good practical experience of therapeutics
  • Jitahasta – physician with magical touch
  • Jitatmana – who has self control

Read – Arishta Lakshanas – Ominous Signs And Symptoms Indicating Bad Prognosis


2. Designations given to bad physicians and quacks


Chadmachara Vaidya – quacks, fraudulent practitioners

Chadmachara vaidya means deceitful physicians. They are not even physicians but act as if they are physicians.

Qualities –

They are equipped enough to show that they are doctors. They exhibit themselves as doctors by placing few medical books around them, boxes having medicines and formulations etc. They are totally ignorant of any medical knowledge.
Read – Happiness Through Wise Discrimination, Detachment – Viveka Chudamani

Siddhi Sadhita, Rogabhisara

Siddhisadhita Vaidhya – feigned physicians

Siddhasaditha vaidyas are feigned physicians who fake a lot, they practice on basis of visual experiences and collected information, but they are not trained and educated doctors.

Rogabhisara Vaidya – Votaries of Diseases

Qualities –

Rogabhisara means inviting diseases and complications. These physicians due to lack of their knowledge, instead of curing diseases they invoke diseases and complications in patient with inefficient treatments.
Read – Upadrava: Complications of diseases, Definition, Examples

  • Pranabhisara Viparita – they will have qualities opposite to those of life savior physicians
  • Hantaarah pranaanaam – they take away life of patients
  • Roganaam abhisaro – make diseases complicated
  • Chadma pratichanna – quacks
  • Kantaka bhuto lokasya – they are like thorns for entire world,
  • Pratirupaka – in spite of not being physicians, they take form of physicians and behave like one
  • Raajnaam pramaadaat charanti rashtrani – with a fright of being caught and punished by king, these people keep strolling from one place to other in entire country and never stay at one place


Tyajya Vaidya – Physicians who should be kept away

A wise patient desirous of long and healthy life should avoid a person who is in form of a physician and is full of egoism, idiotic and self-boasting physician. These physicians are as dangerous as air swallowing serpents.

Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y. S. MD (Ayu) – Email / Skype

Modern Synonyms of Ayurvedic Doctor

An Ayurvedic doctor may represent his profession with different terms such as Ayurvedic practitioner, Ayurvedic physician etc. For external world it might seem that all terms carry one same meaning, but they have subtle differences in what Ayurvedic doctor is trying to convey or express with his title. It is also has got something to do with legality of Ayurvedic practice in some instances. Let us explore. 

Ayurvedic doctor – This term is usually used in India, or in countries where BAMS – Bachelor’s degree in Ayurveda is a legal academic course and practice of Ayurveda is also a legal profession. The person calling himself as Ayurvedic doctor is usually has BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine And Surgery) degree.

Ayurvedic practitioner – Usually used in India and also in other countries, with people having BAMS or any degree or training in Ayurveda. This term is more used in foreign countries than in India.

Ayurvedic Vaidya / Ayurvedic Vaid – The term Vaid  / Vaidya is usually used in North part of India. This term has a traditional touch to it. Apart from a few qualified Ayurvedic doctors, traditional healers who are practicing Ayurveda from many generations usually prefer this term.

Ayurvedic physician – Generally this term is used by BAMS or higher qualified Ayurvedic doctors in urban areas. It gives them a modern touch, a hint towards their knowledge in allopathy / modern science.

Ayurvedic healer – Not quite used in India. Used in foreign countries, where people might have done Ayurveda course. Usually they   are also thorough with other systems of natural healing like Yoga, Naturopathy, Chinese, Reiki etc.

Ayurvedic Guru – Used by those who wish to give spiritual touch to their practice.

Ayurvedic surgeon, Ayurvedic pediatrician- Usually used by people who have done post graduation after BAMS, and have specialized in respective fields of Ayurvedic practice.

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