How to find an appropriate Vaidya.
If you are a person, seeking Ayurveda as an option to heal your body, mind and spirit, at times, you ought to get perplexed, as whom to choose among this flood of people who claim to be Vedic healers. Who is the right person you should levy your trust on? The answer has been provided by Acharyas (Teachers) in Ayurvedic Samhitas (classical texts). This article is an attempt to share the answer with you. If you are a healer, this is that part of Ayurveda, which you can look up to when exhausted by all the hard work you put in to heal.
Science of Ayurveda is incomplete without a Vaidya. He is the medium through which classical Ayurveda texts connect with the real world for the purpose of healing. As humans, we desire good health, for our self and for those we love. The most ancient medical science of the world clearly indicates that chikitsa or treatment primarily depends on Chikitsa Chatushpada or the four pillars. Every eminent text of ayurveda, like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita etc. mention in details about these four pillars necessary for successful healing.
Chikitsa Chatushpada (Four pillars)
Paricharak/Upasthata (Medical attendant)
The importance of Vaidya is clearly indicated, as he has been mentioned first. Acharya Charaka explains with this example; creation of a perfect pot mainly depends on the potter. We might have potter’s wheel, best mud, other equipments etc., if the potter is not efficient, we do not get pots that can be put to use. Similarly a disease cannot be healed if a Vaidya is not proficient despite the availability of proper medication, nurse and patient. Vaidya needs to give sufficient thought to drug selection and actions leading to the cure of the disease.
Guna of Vaidya (Qualities of a physician)
According to Acharya Charaka, an ideal physician should possess the following qualities:
Shrut: Having detailed knowledge about diseases and their treatment.
Drushtakarma: Having extensive practical experience.
Daksha: Alert and dexterous.
Shuchi: Purity of mind, body and soul, includes hygiene and cleanliness.
Acharya Sushruta stresses the importance of proper training and education for Vaidya. He says just like a bird cannot fly with one wing similarly a Vaidya cannot heal if he ignores either of the two aspects of learning: knowledge of texts and practical experience. He adds that a Vaidya needs to be brave so that he does not panic during critical situations. He should be well read and should be a person of ready resources along with high standard of good moral virtues.
Types of Physician
Raja Vaidya (Royal Physician): The physician who has intellect, memory, analytical skills, promptness and perseverance is fit to be a royal physician.
Pranabhisara Vaidya (Excellent Physician): The physician who is noble, well read, practically experienced, skillful, has all the equipments, educated, healthy and mindful, is a life savior
Rogabhisara Vaidya ( Disease devoted Physician): The physician who moves from one place to another in search of sick, boasts about his merits, finds faults with other physicians already attending on the patient, tries to be over friendly by too pleasing manners, giving gifts etc. is a Rogabhisara Vaidya. He wants minimum remuneration. After he wins the heart of the patient, he visits him frequently to cover up his minimal knowledge. If the patient does not respond to treatment, he blames it on equipment, attendants, and not enough self discipline by the patient. If the patient approaches death, he flees to find another patient.
Chadamchar Bhishag (Pseudo Physician): These are counterfeits without any true knowledge of Ayurveda. They pretend to be physicians with their display of bottles, potions and medical books.
Siddhisadhit Vaidya (Pretend Physician): These include people who flaunt their association with person accomplished in knowledge, wealth and success. They claim to be physicians although they are not so.
Vaidyagunayukta Vaidya (Legitimate Physician): A physician is genuine if he knows the correct methods of administering the therapies and has obtained success in bestowing happiness to the sufferers who approach him for treatment.
Texts also mention that a Vaidya should be sympathetic, kind and concerned about his patients. He should also have the ability to detach with those suffering from incurable diseases and are destined to death
In present times, the manual ‘Benchmarks for training in Ayurveda’ by WHO, mentions that Bachelors in Ayurvedic medicine and surgery (B.A.M.S.) is the undergraduate degree recognized by the Central Council of Indian Medicine to be a Vaidya. It is a five and half year integrated degree course conferred to those who study modern medicine, yoga and ayurveda. It includes one year of internship. One can specialize in various divisions of ayurveda later by doing three years post graduation to be MD (Ay) / MS (Ay). Manual further states that Ayurveda for treatments involves different types of experts: Practitioners and Dispensers. Then there is a subcategory of ayurveda therapists and dietitians.
By virtue of his intellect, knowledge and prescribing powers, Vaidya occupies the foremost position of all. The medications are his tools. If the three limbs endowed with appropriate qualities get conjugated with the fourth limb, the intelligent physician, together they can cure any kind of disorders.
©Moninder Kaur Rekhi
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