The Mythological Origin
Ayurveda recognizes itself by its mythological origin .the science was proposed to be envisaged by the lord Brahma and thereafter forwarded to his disciples. Ayurveda is followed by the enough amount of literature available in the form of treatises the samhitas which are the sole textbooks recognized in ayurveda world. These were written by the then contemporary vaidyas or the classical ayurveda doctors. No doubt ayurveda was originated in India as the texts clearly indicate so. Without giving significance to its mythological origin we can see that the science endeavored in the these classics is worth & recognized with its due respect to its application, theories, treatments, results & as the whole science .The evolved sciences like allopathy, homeopathy, unani, siddha etc. can be completely amalgamated in ayurveda as it is the first science & medical science on earth. We will explain the history in two categories viz
THE FACTUAL HISTORY
The Early Beginning
During its early period, it was perhaps the only system of overall healthcare and medicine which served well the people in such crucial areas as health, sickness, life and death. It enjoyed the unquestioned patronage and support of the people and their rulers. This situation promoted maximally the growth of this system. Practically all the systematic ground work of laying down its basic concepts, principles and medicaments took place during this period of Indian history.
Gurukul system of Ayurveda
In the earlier days of its conception, the system of Ayurvedic medicine was orally transferred via the Gurukul systemuntil a written script came into existence.
In this system, the guru gave a solemn address where he directed the students to a life of chastity, honesty, and vegetarianism. The student was to strive with all his being for the health of the sick. He was not to betray patients for his own advantage. He was to dress modestly and avoid strong drink. He was to be collected and self-controlled, measured in speech at all times. He was to constantly improve his knowledge and technical skill. In the home of the patient he was to be courteous and modest, directing all attention to the patient’s welfare. He was not to divulge any knowledge about the patient and his family. If the patient was incurable, he was to keep this to himself if it was likely to harm the patient or others.
The normal length of the student’s training appears to have been seven years. Before graduation, the student was to pass a test. But the physician was to continue to learn through texts, direct observation (pratyaksha), and through inference (anumana). In addition, the vaidyas attended meetings where knowledge was exchanged. The doctors were also enjoined to gain knowledge of unusual remedies from hillsmen, herdsmen, and forest-dwellers.
The Medieval Period
Then followed a long period of medieval history marked by unsettled political conditions and several invasions from outside the country when Ayurveda faced utter neglect. Its growth was stunted, its teaching and training were stopped from being spread and its monopoly in practice or utilization was eroded greatly by the officially supported systems. Ayurveda barely survived because of its native roots and also because the official systems of medicine could not reach everywhere particularly in widely scattered and difficult rural areas.
The Present Era
The political situation of the country was destined to change in favour of freedom from foreign rule. With the awakening of nationalism and movement for freedom the Indian cultural values and way of life (including health care and sickness cure systems) surfaced again. The patriotic zeal of the people, their leaders and benevolence of the rulers of princely States initiated the revival of Ayurvedic system of medicine even before the country got its freedom. In 1916, the Members of Imperial Legislative Councils pressed the Government to accept this ancient and indigenous system of Ayurveda for developing it on scientific basis and for increasing its usefulness. In 1920, the Indian National Congress demanded Government patronage for Ayurveda and Provincial Governments began to grant assistance. The State and Central Governments appointed several committees to suggest ways and means of rehabilitating this time tested system in the service of the people and promote its further growth following modern scientific parameters and methods. As a result, several States started schools and colleges for training of competent Ayurvedic practitioners with working knowledge of modern medicine.
After, the country became free in 1947, the movement for revival gained additional momentum. The first Health Ministers’ Conference resolved that Ayurveda should be developed and put to use for providing medicare to the people. In due course of time this system got official recognition and became a part of the National Health network of the country. In several ways, the official health policies, national plans and programmes accorded to it the same status as enjoyed by the dominant Allopathic system. At present the system is well set to re-orient itself to modern scientific parameters. Simultaneously, it is well poised for much greater, effective utilization so as to enable the country to reach its goals of Health for all and regulate population growth. In the present situation, Medical Scientists are researching Ayurveda remedies for lifestyle related diseases, degenerative and psychosomatic disorders.