Dr. Abhiranjan, Please tell us about your educational background and professional qualifications.
First of all a great thanks to Nirog street for choosing me for this.
Myself Dr. Abhiranjan Kumar Singh, here I used Dr. and not Vaidya because to be called a Vaidya needs more dedication and responsibilities toward Ayurveda and its followers, which I am yet to accomplish.
I’d like to go back to my early education from where my convictions took form. I am a native of the West Champaran district of Bihar. I started my schooling from kindergarten in a boarding school in the local town and I can't forget those times and the study system and dedication with which our Principal sir taught us, something which is completely different or missing in present times. For example, on summer nights we used to read underneath the mango tree under the lantern light and Principal sir used to sit with us up to 10,11 midnight until we finished our homework, with a cane in his hands, of which we were scared of. I feel great respect for him whenever I remember those days. But one drawback of this perhaps till now is that mentally till now I am a little bit scared of teachers and have hesitation in querying for my doubts, but yes everything has its pros and cons. (laughs)
So I completed my S.S.C. from Muzaffarpur, Bihar in 2008 and H.S.C. from Delhi in 2010.
I started my B.A.M.S. from Chaudhary Brahm Prakash Ayurved Charak Sansthan, New Delhi in 2012 and is going to finish it in September 2018.
Pursuing B.A.M.S. for me was not easy. It has never been just about getting the pass marks every year and get to the next year. First and second years I passed satisfactorily but what I realized was I didn't study up to the right level. When I went to third year and as interactions between students and patients started I started analyzing my knowledge whether it is up to that level so that I can understand the disease, its pathogenesis and the treatment protocol. Then lots of questions started arising in my mind. Without any prior medical background and belonging to a family where my father is a hardworking farmer, I understood I will do no good just by passing every year and after coming out of the college with a degree. Then I decided that I will not come out of the college just with a degree but also with the proficient knowledge that a B.A.M.S. doctor should have. This confidence and decision-making power only came because of the great teaching faculty support I got and the dedication they showed for us in making us understand Ayurveda. Then I started revising from the basics i.e. dosha, dhatu, mala, srotas, mahabhootas, prakriti, ras, etc. in all aspects, i.e. Prakrit and Vaikrit Avashtha, and start correlating them with each other. Then it was easy for me as I used to remember the slokas even from the first year, i.e. Astang Hridaya and Kriya Sharir, Padartha Vigyan. I could do so because I am blessed with such teachers and their teaching skills. The way I progressed I was getting confident because I was understanding the subject, but I got a 6-month back in the third year and it was little sad. But I took it in a positive way and studied even harder. These 2 years were the best part of my B.A.M.S. career and one good thing is that I remember all the 50 mahakashaya mentioned in Charak Samhita.
In between these, I also did diploma in Yoga, Acupressure and Acupuncture. I attended a few classes of Reiki and Neurotherapy also because I love to learn and my profession this. I thank my parents and my brothers for their support and belief in me. I am also thankful to my batchmates for their support.
Why did you choose Ayurveda?
Now that I am about to finish my B.A.M.S. I can give many reasons for choosing Ayurveda. But at that time it was not easy for me to choose what was best for me. My brother was preparing for B.Tech so I chose to go for medical field. My parents have more faith in me than I have in myself because during my schooling most of the time I used to be first ranker but nonetheless I was very much fond of cricket. I used to skip classes to play cricket and there also I used to come with medals. But in villages only studying is considered the best option as a career.
After 10+2, I took 2 more years to prepare for Medical entrance i.e. MBBS, as I belong to a family where now I am the most literate one. In the main entrance I didn't get a good rank despite being a good student, may be because I was not focused as life can't be as you want. So I was unable to get admission in the Govt. College and it was not easy for me to take admission in any private college. I thought of doing M.B.B.S. from a foreign college as it was comparatively cheaper than here but at last in June the results of I.P. University came out and I had secured the 51st rank in that. So I thought of doing B.A.M.S. after gathering lots of information regarding its scope. That time I had seen various Ayurvedic doctors also doing very well and I from a farmer background have enough farmland to set up pharmacy, etc. Such ideas came to my mind, I finally chose Ayurveda or you can say that Ayurveda chose me.
What are your objectives after completing B.A.M.S.? Are you going to pursue post graduation or start practising?
My aim is to do practice and not to go in teaching faculty line. So after B.A.M.S. I am thinking of learning more in Ayurveda under the Guru Shishya parampara or under the guidance of gurus, I need to search for that and after that, i.e., after one or two years if it requires then accordingly I will decide whether to do the P.G. or not.
What are you views on the current Ayurveda education and infrastructure? Does it need to improve?
As far as B.A.M.S. education is concerned, the syllabus mentioned in the curriculum is far better than that of any other system of medicine, but it depends on how much you are getting out of it during your studies and for this the infrastructure is very much required and most importantly the teaching faculties and the dedication of students towards Ayurveda matter too. Including new advancements will further boost the confidence of young Ayurveda doctors coming out after completing the studies.
Let’s talk about your college. What makes it a good college?
As we discussed earlier that good education and infrastructure are required for a student to look for getting admission and CBPACS is good in terms of both these aspects. You can go and see for yourself and you will surely be impressed. But true quality can only be judged if good doctors are coming out of it. So its the joint duty of students, faculty members, and administration to work toward it.
What do you think of the Bridge course and Integrated Medicine?
As far as bridge course is concerned, is there is requirement for approval for a B.A.M.S. student? For this please first have a look at the syllabus of the B.A.M.S. curriculum. In other words Bridge concept shows the strength of MCI and weakness of AYUSH.
Integrated medicine is the best form of medicine for the people and society, Ayurveda itself teaches us to apply the integrated approach for healing the patient in all aspects. It is the physician’s duty to treat the patient in a manner which is beneficial for the patient and favourable to their nature based on Ayurveda knowledge and yukti. It is as simple as that.
Do you believe Ayurveda is the best medicine system?
Now with full confidence and having seen the evidences I believe I can say that Ayurveda is the best system of medicine and it's an eternal truth which everyone will have to accept. Truth can't be negotiated. But as an Ayurveda physician or as any other pathy physician being confident is good but one should not be arrogant. One should accept the positive aspects of other pathies also.
I can say a lot regarding Ayurveda and why it is beneficial but in short I would say that it's the only science which fulfills the criteria of health laid down by the W.H.O., i.e., to treat the person wholly (physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually). It is the belief that one cannot just conveniently split a person into parts.
Do you think NirogStreet is making a difference by striving to revive expertise and knowledge among Ayurveda practitioners through its dedicated technology platforms?
No doubt, Nirog street is a great initiative and by creating this platform for making the Ayurveda logical and to clarify the doubts and queries regarding Ayurveda is remarkable. And the people of Ayurveda who don’t have the NirogStreet App in their mobile are missing a great share of knowledge and discussions today. The engagement is necessary and it is only going to rise.
How do you spend your leisure time? What are you hobbies?
Nowadays my life is a little busy with the internship. In leisure time I like to check my WhatsApp, Facebook, NirogStreet App and other prominent websites. My day starts with Yoga but sometimes I miss that due to uneven timings of internship. But I love to be fit and try to follow Ayurveda. Earlier my hobby was to play cricket but now I find interest in reading Ayurvedic literature and love to have collections of books related to Ayurveda for improving knowledge. There’s always a lot of reading required in all stages of life.
What is your message to the Ayurveda youth and students?
I will suggest to all the B.A.M.S. students that Ayurveda is the best science to learn and understand the human body and its relation with nature to build a happy and healthy society. Only Ayurveda fulfills the definition of integral health. So, students and youth should study sincerely and deeply from the first year only and learn the slokas, understand the concepts, etc. Initially it is difficult but keep going. Every subject in B.A.M.S. has its own importance, so don't be choosy. Once it becomes your habit, it's the best health science to understand and apply its approach to a patient.
Also, adhere mainly with the Samhitas as much and as you can learn from it. You will get your concepts much better as you progress in your career. Ashtanga Sutrasthana in first year, and then Charak Samhita, and in the last year Susruta Samhita. Learn as much you can. Learn dosha, dhatu, mala, srotas, etc. in every aspect of their kshaya, vriddhi, dusti, lakshan. Ans Ras Panchak with scientific name of the plants with all formulations, composition, and uses. Don't try to find shortcuts, the more you go through the samhitas, the more knowledge you will have. It will help you develop your own view.