My Ayurveda journey is something I get asked about the most. Hence, I’m sharing it in this blog.
I consider myself fortunate to have been born into an Ayurvedic family. My father, grandfather, his father and his grandfather were all Ayurvedic doctors. However, my mother was a government employee, adding a different dimension to my upbringing.
Throughout my life, I was surrounded by Ayurveda. As a newborn, the first thing I was given was a little bit of Vacha (Acorus calamus), honey and a touch of gold in my mouth. Ayurveda was a part of my upbringing. Whether it was the food I consumed or the medicines I took for various ailments, Ayurveda was always a part of it.
My father was a Yogi. He led a Satwik life and practiced yoga throughout his life. He held a strong belief in Ayurveda and had reservations about Western medicine or any medical system other than Ayurveda. As a result, throughout my childhood, I never set foot into an Allopathic hospital or took a single Paracetamol. Even when I had a fever – even a high one, my mother would request my father to admit me to a hospital, but he would insist on giving me “pani koorka” juice and Tulsi juice. Surprisingly, the fever would subside without further medical intervention.
As time passed, it was time for me to enroll in college.
The Ayurvedic clinic that my father ran was attached to our house. The smell of oils always lingered in the air, and patients would gather in the mornings and evenings, for their consultations with my father. There was always a bustling crowd in front of our home that made me want to live somewhere else, as I couldn’t stand the smell or the sight of so many patients and suffering. All of these coupled with the fact that I had hot blood of a teenager running in my veins, I told my father that I didn’t want to study Ayurveda.
When the results of my entrance exams arrived, my marks aligned with those required for BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery). In India, medical college admissions are determined by your score in competitive entrance exams. Those with the highest ranks have the first option to pursue MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery), which is followed by BDS, Ayurveda and then Homeopathy.
I was disappointed not to secure a place in MBBS as it would have been my one way to get out of Ayurveda. But my father was extremely happy. He said, “Why limit yourself to just the teeth? Why not consider the entire body? Pursue Ayurveda, and we will support you.” It was in that moment that I realized my true calling lay in treating the entire body.
So, I made the decision to study Ayurveda and joined my college. But, little did I know of the challenges that lay ahead. I was never the type to sit for extended hours and study, but I would be somewhere in the top five all through my life. But when it came to my college and studying Ayurveda, I realized I had no chance of passing it, because it was so voluminous for anybody to study.
My cousin used to be an MBBS student. We used to share notes of our classes because we had almost similar subjects. Only difference was that we have some other subjects added in the form of Ayurveda, and that too three different volumes and three different Samhitas, three different Acharyas, their books and what they have said about each of these concepts. Hence it was too voluminous for me and to make it worse, everything was in the form of a verse or a poem because it was all written in Sanskrit language, but not to the point that I could read all these verses and understand the meanings and all of it in detail.
At the time when I was studying, if you don’t write the verses then you don’t get any marks. Nowadays, the students are no longer required to memorize every single verse. This is what I’ve gathered from speaking with newer students. However, during my time, complete memorization was essential. Every single Sloka had to be learned by-heart.
It was too much for me to the extent that I contemplated running away from college. So, one morning, I packed my bags and returned home, pretending as though nothing had happened. No one, except myself, knew that I had abandoned Ayurveda. I remained at home until the college contacted my father, informing him of my prolonged absence.
My parents had believed that I was having my month-long study break. However, once they received the call from the college, they realized the truth. My parents insisted that I return to college. My father said, “Whatever happens, it’s fine for you right now. This is your Karma. Karma has to be done. This is something that you have to do. This is your duty to do. So do the duty. And then finally whatever end result it may bring, it’s okay. We are there to support you.” Encouraged by their support, I returned to college, where a new principal had also taken charge. So, things appeared brighter and more positive in my college.
However, I soon discovered that passing the exams required even more effort than before. We had an exam in every one and a half year. Memorizing everything we learned in that one and a half year and facing exams was much of a struggle. So, I had to literally take time and study.
So, I would wake up early in the morning, say by 3 AM, and dedicate myself to studying continuously. Even after returning from college, I would continue studying and sleep for only three hours at night. Sleeping any longer wouldn’t let me complete the portions and I won’t have time to exercise. During study breaks, I wouldn’t even take restroom breaks. I used to have bread and butter and jam and all of that was stacked in front of me just because I didn’t want to go to the hostel mess and eat food from there. This was my routine. The competitive atmosphere was intense, with friends becoming rivals. It was a challenging and difficult time.
Also, there was literally no entertainment – there was no Wi-Fi or internet. There was one TV which gets switched on only on Sundays and the only entertainment that I got was on a weekend, when we would go to the town have a Biryani. The rest of the time was only about studying. I barely socialized or exercised.
Unfortunately, my relentless dedication to studying took a toll on my health. Suddenly, I noticed that all my fingers had become swollen, and my joints ached. If one day the pain was on my left hand, on the other day, it would be my right hand. Gradually, I realized that I could no longer sit properly because I felt so weak; all I wanted to do was to lie down. Holding a book or pen became excruciatingly painful. It was evident that I was experiencing significant health issues and needed to find a solution.
Despite my concerns, I didn’t want to worry my parents. If I confided in them, I knew they would put me on Ayurvedic medication, which I believed would take a long time to show results. I wanted a quick fix and preferred not to burden my parents with my troubles. So, I took a couple of my friends and visited a hospital, where I told the doctor about my symptoms.
The doctor told me few things which I still get nightmares about. He told me that I was young and that I would never be able to marry or have children and that I would end up in a wheelchair. I hardly 19 at that time and to hear all of this about my future was devastating for me. The doctor further explained that the Mitral valve in my heart was already leaking, and over time, the leakage would worsen. He prescribed monthly penicillin injections for the rest of my life.
Receiving this news shattered my world. I couldn’t accept it and fell into a state of depression. I couldn’t even attend college because of my deteriorating health. It also affected me emotionally. Eventually, my friends realized the severity of the situation and insisted that I return home. I felt completely depressed and avoided classes. My parents came to pick me up and I told my dad that I had already taken one pencil injection, but I didn’t want to take it for the rest of my life. I said I was sorry for not sharing this with him, but I wanted some solution. At this point, I was bedridden
I had traction for my neck upwards and hip joint downwards and was unable to move. Even the simple act of holding a book or pen proved impossible because the moment I held a book, my hand would start paining. I depended on others for support even to visit the restroom. It was an unbearably difficult time for me. During this time, my mother read my textbooks aloud for me and I would listen and memorize it while. This became my method of studying. I wrote my exams by dictating answers to my mother, who transcribed them with a pen. It was a terrible situation.
After six months of Ayurvedic treatment, I made a complete recovery. To this day, I have not experienced any relapse or health issues related to it. Ayurveda was responsible for my complete healing. And I’m forever grateful to everybody for that – for bringing me to Ayurveda.
One thing I realized from my experience was that if I could do this to myself, I could help others also to heal. It was during this challenging time that I truly grasped the immense potential of Ayurveda and its ability to transform lives. If I, someone who was once bedridden and in a critical state, could fully recover, then anyone can experience a similar transformation.
Today, in my practice, if I’m successful even a little bit, I believe that it is because I can relate to the pain of my patients. When they talk to me about their suffering, I tell them “See, your Vata is only 80%. I suffered 98% Vata and have still recovered and got cured from it. So don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.”
This is the reason why I have become one of the biggest ambassadors of Ayurveda. My own life and journey serve as a shining example of how Ayurveda can completely change your life 360 degree.
And if you’re struggling with any health issues, book a consultation with us. We’ll help bring you back to good health.