Sunday, December 29, 2019

BHU to Start a Course on 'Bhoot Vidya'

BHU to Start a Course on 'Bhoot Vidya'

Dr KK Aggarwal
President Heart Care Foundation of India

BHU in India is starting a course on Bhoot Vidya and the same has caused a debate in the Western medicine doctors.

In scientific terms it will be a six months course on mental health.

As per Vedas physical body is made up of three basic elementary functions called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In modern medicine they are equivalent to movement, metabolism and structure.

The mental health in Ayurveda is defined in terms of Tamas, Rajas and Sattva equivalent to various parasympathetic and sympathetic states of mind in modern medicine.

Mental health problems are a spectrum of diseases ranging from extreme sympathetic state of mind to extreme parasympathetic state of mind.

In modern medicine we evaluate mental disorders

1.       Disorders of living in unreal world: the person is not living mentally in the present and are called psychotic disorders. The classical example is schizophrenia.

2.       Disorders of intellect or cognitive decline called dementia disorders

3.       Disorders of hyp or hyper mind: as Anxiety and depression

4.       Disorders of ego or personality disorders

As per Vedas, every thought in the mind is analysed by the intellect, then individualized by the ego and finally converted into action. Action leads to memory and memory leads to desires. If desires get full field one enters the cycle of action memory desire and subsequent addictions and individual personality. If the desires are not fulfilled it leads to anger, which can be expressive or suppressive.

Anger out leads to aggressive behaviour and anger in overtime leads to depression.

In Ayurveda the treatment of depression and anxiety is taught in terms of cognitive behaviour therapy and meditation - a process of shifting one from sympathetic predominance to para sympathetic predominance state of mind following the principles of living in the present.

Marijuana has been and is being used extensively in Ayurveda for mental health and the same is being now recognised in modern medicine also.

Bhagavad Gita extensively talks about Tamas, Rajas and Sattva in terms of mental state of mind, diet and behaviour.

There is a phrase in Hanuman Chalisa which talks about
bhoot pisaach nikat nahin aavai
mahaavir jab naam sunavai
naase rog harai sab peera
japat nirantar hanumant beera

Bhoot in Sanskrit means the past. When your past disturbs you, the condition is called nightmares or post-traumatic stress disorders in modern medicine. In Vedic Sanskrit descriptions they were called bhoot pret and pichas. (simple nightmares of someone known or bhoot; distressing nightmares of someone known pret and distressing night mares of someone unknown termed as pichas.)

The above Hanuman Chalisa phrase describes the treatment of PTSD by asking people to recite the hanuman Chalisa the correct way. Hanuman Chalisa recitation (4 lines in one breath) reduces respiratory state, shift one to parasympathetic state and is said to reduce the duration of REM sleep. REM sleep is responsible for the nightmares. The treatment of PTSD has been SSRI or Pranayama both reduces the duration of REM sleep.

Bhagavad Gita was a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna when Arjuna was in acute panic reaction with depression cum dispassion and was in a state of delusion. At that time Krishna the only available counsellor taught Arjuna taking 18 classes called 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita

In the first-class Krishna only listens to Arjun. In the second class he councils in so much detail that Arjun got confused. From 3rd to 17th classes he explained in detail, answering point by point, consoled him and yet warned him of consequences. Finally, in 18th chapter he revised all what was taught.  Today these coincides with the standard cognitive behaviour therapy principles.

The standard Narration exposure therapy in PTSD also is well described in Vedica rituals of teirvi and chautha ( 13th day and 4th day) rituals after death.

Let's not laugh at the word bhoot because we use this word quite commonly: in reciting Hanuman Chalisa or describing the word bhootkaal which means the past.

For years Ayurvedic doctors have been leading the country in treating sexual disorders including erectile dysfunction. The whole Kamasutra book is from Vedas philosophy of treating sexual disorders ans is unexplored my modern medicine.

The Vidur Niti talks about principles of Mental Health comes from Vedic descriptions. It was a dialogue between Vidur and Dhraitasthra and talks about the principles of Insomnia management.

Even homeopathy medicine describes Tamas, Rajas and sattva cum Vata Pitta and Kapha by way of Psora, Syphilis and Psychosis state of mind and the body.

In my personal view the Ayurveda has taken a lead to train their BAMS doctors in starting a six months course on mental health. In modern medicine we still lack such a course for MBBS doctors.

{The views are personal}

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