Dr. Shriram Chaturvedi is an assistant professor in the Panchakarma department of Ajivan Swasthya Mahavidyalaya, Chitrakoot, Satna, Madhya Pradesh. With over 7 years of experience both as a practitioner and teacher, Dr. Shriram Chaturvedi has been contributing to both Ayurveda education and people’s health in a significant way. Read his interview below.
Dr. Shriram, please tell us about how your Ayurveda journey began.
My journey in Ayurveda started from my home because my father is an Ayurvedic Physician. As a child, I used to see him many times giving self-prepared Ayurvedic medicines. I got curious and I asked him how this all works and that’s when he started teaching me all about Ayurveda little by little.
I completed my B.A.M.S. from R.D. Memorial Ayurvedic College, Bhopal in 2011. I also have an M.D. in Panchakarma. I am currently teaching at Ajivan Swasthya Mahavidyalaya, Chitrakoot in Satna and practising in my free time at Sewa Dham Chikitsalaya.
How did you see the Ayurveda education as a student earlier and how do you see it now as a teacher? What are the challenges?
Since my Ayurveda education began at home, I already knew how to prepare Ayurvedic Medicines and what raw Herbs or Drugs should used to bring results. Ayurvedic books later taught me each and everything and my teachers said that Ayurveda is the best medical science, but at that time no used to believe because students were yet to see what it could do.
As a teacher, I think Ayurved is really good. Ayu knowledge means understanding the lifetime from birth till the end. Ayurveda treats the healthy as well as the ill. It advocates for preventive health care because nature and health conditions change like rainy, winter, and summer seasons. I think as a teacher I have learned far more now.
About challenges I’d say there are many, from education to practice. from preparation of medicines to varying standard of education in different places. I think there should be a focus on quality education, uniformity in standards, regular national and local level seminars to help the practitioners become aware of latest developments and breakthroughs, initiatives to recognize medicinal plants in rural areas, updated curriculum with courses like MCH, etc.
What do you see in the younger generation of students now? Are they confident about Ayurveda?
What I am witnessing as a teacher is that many students want to become allopathy doctors and not Ayurvedic Physicians because most of them are the ones who could not compete in the PMTS satisfactorily and hence they came to Ayurveda. Unfortunately, their vision is that they want only the Ayurvedic Degree and then go on to practice modern medicine. Only a handful of students are confident about Ayurveda.
How do you see Ayurveda's future?
Ayurveda has a very bright future because a lot of patents have started to come specifically for the Ayurvedic treatment. Many complex diseases have no effective cure in modern medicine.
What do you think of the integrated medicine and the bridge courses that are being brought in?
It is a good move because patients want fast treatment and Ayurveda demands more patience and faith. Modern medicine has a lot of new things which was not there in ancient times due to the lack of technological advancements. The best of all medicine systems should come together to safeguard the health of the society in the best way. Integrated medicine is much needed in this light.
What more should be done in Ayurveda today?
The focus should not just be on the theoretical Ayurvedic education but clinical practice as well, in groups under the supervision of expert physicians.
What about the quality of medicines? a lot of practitioners are not happy.
Yes, we need to strictly follow Acharya Charaka’s guidelines while preparing medicines. Technology should play a crucial part and ensure long-lasting and quality medicines.
Coming to complex and chronic diseases, can Ayurveda really help?
Yes, because even in ancient times, it cured many complex and chronic diseases like Kapha Avarita Vata, Tamaka Sawah, Rajayakshma, etc.
Please tell us something about the achievements of your institution in Ayurveda?
It is a good Institution. It has the right learning Atmosphere. Many students have topped at the university level because we have quality teaching faculty, our Panchakarma chair got first prize in a national level competition and was felicitated at the president house.
Dr. Shriram, please tell us about your hobbies?
I like reading, spiritual work, and social work.
What's your advice to the students?
Read Ayurvedic books and magazines, keep in touch with your Ayurvedic Physician for routine counselling, and promote Ayurveda among others so that everyone is healthy and happy.