Talk:/Medical Institutions in ancient india/method of theoretical and practical study/Personal Touch

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Personal Touch

The instructions, being personal, consisted of a great deal of elaboration of the succinctly worded texts and even supplementa�tion from a line of traditional instruction carried down through a successive line of teacher and pupil. In his teaching, the teacher always took into view the three grades of the intelligence of the pupils. They may be highly intelligent, moderately intelligent and of the lover type of intelligence. Without this supplementary part, the texts perhaps would yield very meagre fruit of knowledge. One has therefore lo remember while assessing the value of this difficult and concise texts that they were only the skeleton requiring the filling up of much vital stuff from parallel tradition of supplementary lore, they were mere precis, bare outlines of the subject prescribing only the germs of principles and theories to be explained and expounded by the learned teacher. That was prevalent in ancient times, and was maintained by the personal and direct conveyance from the teacher to the pupil. This method of direct imparting of knowledge was known generally as Adhyapana It included the imparting of the text of the treatise as well as exposition in elaborate terms of the implications of the texts which method was known as Vyakhyana or Vivarana (f^Roi) This elaboration of the implications in the texts of a treatise was known as Tantra-yukti. Caraka describes these Tantra-yuktis as being similar in their relation with the texts to the sun in his relation with the forest of lotuses or to a lamp to the house. It awakens the mind and illuminates it so as to make the sense of the treatise exhaustively clear


�What the sun is to the lotuses in a pond and what the lamp is to the house, the canons of exposition are to the treatise m subserving the double purpose of awakenment and illumination."


One who has acquired a good grasp of even one branch of this science will be able to acquire an understanding of the other branches as well on account of his being well grounded in general principles."


That the mastering of a branch of science enables a pupil to acquire, with ease, proficiency in other branches is a statement in Caraka which bears out the fact that not only mastery in any one or more branches of Ayurveda but a good acquaintance though not mastery in all branches was the ideal aimed at .That a sound and thorough mastery and not any haphazard learning was the ideal enforced is clear and that thoroughness was relentlessly aimed at, both by the master and the pupil, is fully borne out. This signifies the importance of the teacher, and Susruta emphasises the necessity of study under a Guru in very vehement terms.

"He who learns his science directly from the preceptor and repeatedly studies and practises it, is indeed the real physician while all others are mere pilferers.�