Structure and logic underlying the Ayurvedic knowledge system
Padma Shri Prof. Anant Darshan Shankar, India
The sophistication of the Ayurveda lies in the fact that it possesses the four key features of a mature system of knowledge viz., observations of the range of changes that occur in biological processes, rule based categorization of the changes at multiple levels, linking the changes to causality (not mere correlations) and restoration of homeostasis. The presence of these four features suggest its maturity. Modern knowledge systems have not yet evolved to achieve these features of maturity. The knowledge has a 3 tiered structure, existential principles (Tatwas), Science that governs the analysis of changes (Shastra) and rules of application specific to time and space (Vyavhar). A unique property of knowledge in Ayurveda is that it is not a function of time but of states of mind. It is this property that explains how knowledge of health generated in 1500 BC guides solution to problems in the 21st century.