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India: World Ayurveda Congress features holistic perspective of Maharishi Ayurveda
by Global Good News staff writer
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28 January 2013
Experts in Maharishi Ayurveda health care from India, Europe, and America were featured in the recent World Ayurveda Congress in Bhopal, India.
At the beginning of the Congress, Dr Oliver Werner, from Maharishi Ayurveda Products Europe, gave opening remarks including an overview of Maharishi Ayurveda, to the nearly 5,000 guests from India and around the world—including many teachers, students, scientists, and practitioners of Ayurveda, as well as several government officials.
Ayurveda is the world's oldest and most comprehensive system of natural health care, which originated in the Vedic civilization of ancient India. Maharishi Ayurveda represents the modern restoration by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the complete, authentic practice of Ayurveda as recorded in the Vedic texts.
A panel discussion with participants from India and the west considered international applications of Ayurveda, in keeping with initiatives of the Indian government to revitalize Ayurveda within the nation, as well as bring this knowledge to the world as a gift from India and the Vedic civilization.
One of the panel participants was Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, Director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management, USA.
Dr Schneider was attending the World Ayurveda Congress during the first stage of his Total Health World Tour. See related article: India, Nepal, Greece: Total Health World Tour highlights integration of modern science, ancient Vedic medicine
Commenting recently on the Congress, Dr Schneider said that he and other Maharishi Ayurveda experts sought to expand the understanding of Ayurveda beyond the generally known framework of herbal medicine, Panchakarma (rejuvenation therapy), and three Doshas*, to the holistic approach to health care brought out by Maharishi. Maharishi's Vedic Approach to Health, they explained, incorporates many aspects of Vedic Science, as well as those of modern science, including the knowledge of quantum physics and empirical validation through scientific research.
Dr Schneider and colleagues presented the understanding that the Unified Field of all the laws of nature identified by modern physics as the source of the entire physical universe is identical to the underlying field of pure consciousness (Atma) described in the Vedic literature as the foundation of human life and the human physiology. This theme of 'Atma based, Unified Field based total health' also emphasizes the primary importance of consciousness and mind-body balance in creating health.
Dr Schneider was invited to chair a session on public health. In his keynote address, he explained that Maharishi Ayurveda encompasses public health because it deals with individual as well as community, societal, and world health.
He discussed how, from the perspective of Ayurveda, epidemics are caused by collective stress and that it's necessary to reduce collective stress to reduce the possibility of epidemics. Public health means health of a system or a society, he explained. From a systems perspective, for a society to be healthy it needs to include the practice of Transcendental Meditation and its advanced techniques, as well as other Vedic technologies of consciousness designed to improve every area of society.
Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the world, is now also the number one cause in India. Dr Schneider pointed out that for thousands of years it has been known that there is a relationship between the heart and consciousness. He quoted Charaka Samhita, the major Vedic textbook of Ayurveda, which states: 'One who wants to protect the heart, great vessels . . . should particularly avoid afflictions of the mind,' and 'He should regularly take measures which are conducive to heart . . . and make efforts for serenity of mind and knowledge.' [Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthana, 30:13-14]
Dr Schneider's extensive research has identified many beneficial effects of the consciousness approach of Maharishi Ayurveda—the Transcendental Meditation technique—in reducing blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
The text notes, he said, the close connection between mind and body, consciousness and physiology. To improve health in India and every country something needs to be done on the level of both individual and collective consciousness.
Dr Schneider commented that overall, this new, holistic perspective they presented on Ayurveda for creating individual and societal health—coming 'from the West, from modern science, meeting ancient Vedic Science for applications to contemporary society'—stimulated deep interest among many who attended the World Ayurveda Congress.
* In Ayurveda the inner intelligence of the body is understood to express itself as three primary governing factors or Doshas—called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—which regulate the different functions of mind and body. When these three doshas are in balance, they promote good health and longevity; when out of balance they produce disorder and disease.
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