Ayurvedic Perspective with universal application

The success of medical science depends on four factors – Doctors(भिषक्), Drugs(द्रव्य), Nurse(उपस्थातृ), Patient(रोगी). These four are described in the Ayurvedic Texts as पादचतुष्टय of चिकित्सित (Paada Chatushtaya of chikitsita). Each of these factors should demonstrate Four Fundamental attributes as ascribed to them for effective and triumphant performance of medical science. Here in this article, the attributes of DOCTOR – the first of the PAADA CHATUSHTAYA is discussed.

Over the years वैद्य वृत्ति/ Vaidya Vritti or medical profession has evolved, reformed and transformed. The transformation and reformation by the use of new technology and technique for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment procedures is a clear reminder of the fact that change is the only constant. However, the factors that shall remain a constant with the वैद्य/ Vaidyas (doctors) of all times – today, yester and of the tomorrows that are yet to be born are मैत्री/ Maitri (cordiality), कारुण्य/ Karunya (compassion), प्रीति/ Preethi (affection), उपेक्षणं/ Upekshanam (endurance).

The attributes ascribed to be “Doctors Par Excellence” can be found in the treasure box called AYURVEDIC TEXTS. These have been written down for the benefit of every one that is a doctor or a doctor-in-the-making; irrespective of what category of medical science they practice.

In Ashtanga Hridaya, Chapter -1, Verse 28, the below verse is given

दक्षस्तीर्थात्त शास्त्रार्थो दृष्टकर्म शुचिर्भिषक्
Dakshastheerthatta shastrartho drustakarma shuchirbhishak

The four fundamental qualities that are ascribed for a doctor par excellence are

  1. दक्षः/ Daksha – This one word encompasses several virtues to qualify as being Daksha. To quote a few are
    1. Being Prompt – Giving up on laziness or procrastination makes one to be prompt. This can be explained in Sanskrit as अस्ततन्द्रिण(astatandrina).
    2. Being Dexterous – Dexterity is being skillful. This quality is directly proportional to the inherent passion for the science in oneself.
    3. Being Diligent – Due diligence is sense of responsibility to complete the job effectively and on time. It also means that no job is left undone. This in Sanskrit is termed as निःषेश अशेषितः क्रिया
  2. तीर्थात्त शास्त्रार्थो/ Teerthaatta shastrartho – This is explained as Teerthat upaadhyayat gruheeta shastrartho – To learn and understand the शास्त्राः/ Shastraas or scientific treatises from learned scholars who have great insight into the shastras. A scholarly guru lays a strong and unshakable foundation of the science and its application in the shishya or student is emphasised here. The Guru-shishya sambandha is important for the knowledge to pass on without any dilution or misinterpretation of the science. This apart, the point that is untold but implied is that a scholarly Guru will be familiar all related shastras and thus will impart and sensitize the student of all relevant points and aspects to be considered from related shastras/ sciences. This is a clear indication that an understanding of the applications of modern technology for the apt use of ayurveda shaastra and viceversa i.e modern vaidyas learning the aspects of ayurveda shaastra – multidsiciplinary understanding is a requirement and not a matter of disgrace.
  3. दृष्टकर्म/ Drushtakarma – Practically trained. Extensive practical training to have substantial exposure and expertise to practice independently. Points 3 and 4 may be considered as :TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION – Theoretical and Practical. To be successfully trained and certified for minimum eligibilty criteria is one aspect, the other is to remain abreast with the developments and progress of the science. This is possible through CONTINUED MEDICAL EDUCATION(CME). In Ayurvedic texts, this is called तद्विद्या संभाष/ tatdvidyaa sambhasha – coming together for debate, discussion, analyse and conclude.
  4. शुचि:/ Shuchi – To be clean. Cleanliness is not limited to physical cleanliness and appearance. The boundary extends to purity of thoughts, words and actions. The term shuchi explains that persons belonging to this noble profession should be
    1. कायवाक्मनोव्यापारैर्मलीमसैः अपरामृष्टः/ kaayavakmanovyaparirmaleemasishi apramrushta – Should be untouched by sinful thoughts, words and actions.
    2. अलिप्सावान्/ alipsaavaan – Free from whimsical desires.
    3. अर्थोपजीविकाहेतोर्न करोति परं धर्मोपार्जनेन/ arthopajeevikaahetorna karoti param dharmopaarjanena – Not practice medical science for the only sake of earning/ making money but for the sake of achieving dharma. In short, it means that a vaidya should not be focused to obtain a commercial benefit but should have भूत दया/ bhoota dayaa – compassion for all living.

This knowledge of “FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTES OF A GOOD DOCTOR” is त्रैकालिक/ trikaalika – valid for all times i.e past, present and future and अमल/ amala – Faultless and true to the core.

It takes a lifelong commitment and relentless efforts to achieve the above four qualities and to be classified as a doctor who is cut above the rest. It is hard, but every effort in this path brings us closer to be distinguished

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