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The holistic picture

CLEARING MISCONCEPTIONS Dr. Ramkumar: `There are so many myths about ayurveda. People believe it is only for chronic diseases. Others believe that the treatment takes long. We want to break this perception'

CLEARING MISCONCEPTIONS Dr. Ramkumar: `There are so many myths about ayurveda. People believe it is only for chronic diseases. Others believe that the treatment takes long. We want to break this perception'  

"If food is cooked lovingly, shared with people we love and eaten with gratitude and happiness most of us will have no illness," says Ramkumar, ayurveda practitioner and promoter of Punarnava, an ayurveda institution. Dr. Ramkumar, who was in Bangalore recently to mobilise people and resources from colleges and other institutions for Punarnava's first International conference on ayurveda to be held in Chennai in January, says the aim of Punarnava is to "showcase authentic and classical ayurveda". The conference, Where Science meets Consciousness, will be held at Mahabalipuram, Chennai, between January 18 and 22, 2006 and will feature doctors, scholars and practitioners of ayurveda to share their expertise with students and others.

The conference, to be held at the Sterling Resorts, Mahabalipuram, will have speeches by international gurus Deepak Chopra, Robert Svoboda, Hari Sharma, Claudia Welch and several others. "There will be demonstration of different ayurveda treatments, spoken Sanskrit classes, daily yoga sessions with Rose Baudin of Australia and a range of homams in a yogashala."

"The conference only seeks to remind people about what they already know," adds Kalpana Sampath, Human Resource Manager in the specialised field of Learning and Value Clarification. Having seen the effect of ayurveda on herself and on other members of her family, the Bangalore-based director of Arpitha Associates joined hands with Dr. Ramkumar and three other doctors to start Punarnava. "We want people, especially students of ayurveda, to be inspired and motivated to go deeper into the study of authentic ayurveda and to learn about global trends in ayurvedic treatments," says Dr. Kalpana.

"There are so many myths about ayurveda. People believe it is only for chronic diseases. Others believe that the treatment takes long. We want to break this perception," says Dr. Ramkumar. "In fact, it is a testimony to the efficacy of ayurveda that this conference is being put together almost entirely by people who have been cured or have benefited by ayurveda."

The Coimbatore-based Dr. Ramkumar hails from a family of ayurveda practitioners and has been the director of Ayurveda Trust for nine years, and the executive director of Arya Vaidya Pharmacy for four years. He observes: "We all have the right to good health. Ayurveda addresses the body, mind and spirit to alleviate suffering. Unfortunately, people come to us after trying out all sorts of treatments and abuse. At Punarnava, we are not against other systems of medicine, but we want people to explore the wholesomeness of this system. We definitely feel sad when people are lured into what we call mixopathy."

Research, says Dr. Ramkumar, has shown recitation of the Samaveda reduces the growth of certain cancers by 40 per cent. The recitation of, or even listening to, the Hanuman Chalisa reduces cancer growth by 60 per cent, says this bachelor who is totally committed to promoting ayurveda.

It was while sitting at Piravam, Adi Sankara's mother's house, that Dr. Ramkumar envisioned ayurveda clinics for the masses. Punarnava's objectives include setting up of such state-of-the-art clinics, establishing an online pharmacy-clinic-information centre and promoting ayurveda. The institution is working towards developing a hospital and training centre on the outskirts of Coimbatore at the foothills of the Western Ghats. "Ayurveda Village will also serve as a sort of finishing school where physicians and students will undergo treatments that they could prescribe to their patients," says Dr. Ramkumar.

MALA KUMAR

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