Source: Collected Works/Volume 38/Letter To Honorary Secretary Ayurvedic (7th May 1927)
LETTER TO HONORARY SECRETARY, AYURVEDIC CONFERENCE
[Before May 7, 1927]
Owing to my sudden illness, I have not been able to reply earlier to your letter of the 17th ultimo. The remarks quoted by you and ascribed to me in the Minority Report, which of course I have not seen, are substantially correct but they have been torn from their context. In the speech, the report of which I have not read, from which I suppose the remarks quoted by you have been taken, I was drawing a distinction between Ayurveda and Ayurvedic physicians of today and I do hold the opinion that they do not do justice to the profession they seek to represent. But these remarks should not be used in support of any proposition designed to prevent Government’s assistance being given for Ayurveda research. I believe that Ayurveda is a field for much research work. For want of research scholars, unlike Western medicine, it has practically come to a standstill. Therefore, I should not discountenance aid being given to Ayurveda research under given circumstances and to honest and industrious men who love research work and who have the necessary qualifications. I should add that the remarks attributed to me were made at the ceremony of laying the foundation of an Ayurvedic College. Had I been averse to any aid being given to Ayurvedic work, I should certainly have declined to lay the foundation of an Ayurvedic College at Calcutta, to open the Tibbia College in Delhi and very recently, to open an Ayurvedic Hospital at Ahmednagar.
Pl. see part 2 Ayurveda post (previous post) which gave the 1942-46 position.-- Gandhiji thought that he took poison by excess consumption of ayurvEdic medicines. He wanted to try the allopathy for his hookworms and amoebe. He wanted vallabram vaidya to find ayurvedic physicians like himself and train them. He wanted vallabhram to discuss the matter with his personal physician Dr. Sushila Nayyar.
But the 1927 letter to the Secretary of Ayurvedic Conference indicates that he had supported Govt. funds for Ayurvedic Research fully. Alternatively, did he want to assuage the feelings of the Secretary of the AyurvEdic Conference?
One problem with Gandhiji was, he was too busy in freedom movement, and promotion of khAdi. Some Ayurvedic practitioners and the Ayurvedic Conference were apparently pressing him to try Government funds. At that time, or probably even today there were/are two sections of AyurvEdic doctors. Section 1: Those who oppose reforms. Section 2: Those who support reforms.
Gandhiji apparently wanted reforms and research, with the help of volunteers. He didn't apparently believe in Governmental promotional efforts, while the AyurvEdic profession and industry wanted Government support.
One problem which appeared in the Gandhi-vallabhrAm question answer session I quoted in Part 2 Ayurveda post made by me earlier, was about the modern doctors telling Gandhi that the tridOsha system of vAta pitta kafa was a fraud.
I (ybrao) want to highlight here, that the tridOsha system existed even in Euro-American medicine. They were called humours. In addition to the wind-fire-water (vAta-pitta-kafa), the Euro-American System had blood as another humour. Probably, the Indian AyurvEdic system too might have had blood as a dOsha in ancient times. The dOsha (humours) system of India and Europe appear to be inheritances from Indo-European ancestry or the Assyrian/Babylonian/Mesopotamian/Sumarian import. Whatever it be, the modern medical system in Euro-America got rid of the belief in humours, while the Indian native medical system is persisting on it.
tridOshas or humours were examined and experimented with by Indian AyurvEdic physicians over a period of nearly 3000 years. AyurvEda had evolved from the experiences of the Ayurvedic physicians examining the patients from generation to generation, though formal clinical records are maintained. We cannot, therefore, get it ridden of by brushing it aside with brooms. Research is to be conducted with the help of modern equipment and techniques, on how solids, liquids and fluids move in human bodies. Diabetic studies, endocrinology, gastro-enterology, pulmonology, and other anatomical sciences have made great strides in the study of fluids along the digestive system, respiratory system, blood-circulatory system. But the modern studies have not taken into account the Indian experiences of tridOshas. Combined researches are necessary.
The ayurvedic practitioners and the allopathic practitioners are allergic to one another because the ayurvedic physicians are surviving for their survival- pinned to the wall, while the allopathy doctors are building huge nursing homes. The allopaths consider the AyurvEdic vaidyas as fools. The ayurvedic physicians consider allopaths as Euro-American invaders into their territory.