As providers of authentic AyurVeda healthcare services for more than 22 years, we have had the opportunity to observe, first hand, the introduction of AyurVeda to the West. In those past 22 years, we have faced the challenges inherent in introducing a new paradigm of healthcare to the West. Having fairly successfully met these initial challenges of educating the public and gaining respectful acknowledgment, or at least tolerance, by allopathic institutions, researchers and practitioners, today we see promising opportunities. But with these new opportunities comes a new set of challenges.
The opportunities inherent in the increasing popularity of AyurVeda in the West bring with them a far more serious set of challenges. At this time, the single most important challenge confronting those of us who are concerned for the perpetuity of authentic AyurVeda, is to ensure that it remains embedded in Veda. Maharishi spent his life restoring the Veda and Vedic Literature to its authentic, holistic, unified integrity. And in so doing, Maharishi put the Veda back into AyurVeda.
Keeping AyurVeda rooted in the Veda is key to a successful global integration of AyurVeda, avoiding the dangerous perspective that AyurVeda is nothing more than a collection of parts from which one can pick and choose. It is essential to avoid this Western tendency toward fragmentation, commercialization, and secularism, since these tendencies are, in fact, at the very root of the epidemic of poor health and emotional suffering we see today.
AyurVeda must be offered as a holistic science if it is going to consistently and successfully address chronic disorders, prevent disease, as well as address the pervading psychological and emotional imbalances symptomatic of this day and age. Maharishi’s insight into the integral unity — not only within the body of Ayur-Vedic knowledge itself, but as importantly, within the entire body of Vedic Science — is the foundational perspective that will allow AyurVeda to fulfill its mission to offer perfect health as the full unfoldment of human potential.